June 12, 2013

Strong Stash Starters: Paint it Black

Manicurity | Strong Stash Starters series = perfect black polish

Alright, we're back with another round of Strong Stash Starters - a mini-series in which I share my top ten fundamental polishes to create a strong foundation for a polish collection. I've already covered an important basic, white creme, and a fairly fun and probably less important to some people neutral glitter effect topper. Today a new pick for my top ten is BLACK CREME! Black, like white creme, is really versatile and essential in a stash.

A good basic black polish is such a helpful color for so many reasons: you can layer really nice effect glitter over it (see previous Stash Starter post), you can mix it with other colors to make different shades (especially nice for ombre skittles or just adding a little depth), it's pretty sexy all alone, and I find it really essential in nail art for shadows, depth, and details. Black is a funny color because most blacks are just a really dark brown or green, and with enough coats the overall effect is black. It's not really hard to find a pretty okay black; almost every polish brand offers a black or a color that's so vampy it looks black in indoor lighting. I'm listing the polishes that I use most; I also use these blacks to stamp with, so I find them really outstanding in terms of opacity. 
  • On a budget: Wet n Wild's Wild Shine Black Creme ($.99) - I use this to stamp with frequently! It's really nice and creamy. I will probably always recommend the Wet n Wild Wild Shine line as my budget pick because it has a nice standard round brush compared to the other WnW sub-brand polishes, like the Fast Dry line, which I find scraggly and mop-ish. AND Wet n Wild is cruelty free. Extra bonus: sometimes the $.99 WnW products are on sale for $.69 = unbeatable deal!
  • Mid-range: Revlon Lunar ($5) - I'm having a hard time finding out if this is still available at your local drugstore; but it does seem to be widely available on Amazon and Ebay. This was a surprising one-coater for me! It's a blue-based black, which I find to be a smidgen more attractive than the brown or green based blacks. It also stamps very well!
  • A little splurge: Cult Nails Nevermore ($12)  - By far Nevermore is the nicest, glossiest, actual one-coater black polish I have in my collection. The other two I have listed are 1.5 coater deals; where if you paint slowly and deliberately it'll be opaque, but you might need to go back and fill in some patchy areas (they usually occur for me on the cuticle end). Nevermore is glossy and glorious all by itself! Is it "worth" $12 to paint one less coat per finger? I don't know! Depends on your budget! I'm glad I have it, but I usually reach for the Revlon or Wet n Wild more frequently because they're less expensive to replace (especially if I muck up stamping over and over, which I do).

I know some people find black way too harsh (and it is really hard to clean up, btw), so you can try a different vampy polish like OPI Lincoln Park After Dark, but I don't find dark vampies to be as useful to me because they don't mix as well as black when my goal is to make different shades of a color (like for ombre nails, for instance).

- - * - -

Please keep in mind that this series is a combo of my personal opinions (obvs, as is everything you've ever read here) and experience with polishes that I find fundamental. I expect your Top Ten Necessary Polish Choices to be different & I'd love to hear what they are; please leave a comment, chat with me on Facebook, or tweet me about it (@manicurity)!

Did I list your favorite black polish?! Or is your favorite black polish not listed here??
ORRRRRR would you totally blow off black polish for a different polish altogether for your Top Ten?!

Check back next Wednesday for another Strong Stash Starter pick!

To read the first post, Beginning with a Basic, click here!
To read the second post, Neutral-ish Glitters, click here!
To read the post in which I interview myself about this series (and answer questions about budgets and how I pick polishes), click here


  1. Nice basic black recommendations! :)

  2. My fave black is Black Expressionism by Fingerpaints...its a one coater for me and easy to find. I wanted to love the WnW but for me it was AT LEAST a 2 coater. I do find that most of my blacks run on the lower priced side as I'd rather use 2 coats of a dollar polish than 1 of a 10 dollar polish! Oh Sinful makes a good black too. And I also have Fetish from Cult Nails on the way. I love black polish. I have too many of them.

  3. Black polish is essential to me, haha! It's one of the few colours I actually use up, and I usually have a few backups lying around :) My go-to is Maybelline's Blackout, it's a onecoater for me and I just really like it!

  4. LOVE this series!! Keep at it!!

  5. I love Sally Hansen's Midnight in NY. That is my most used black because I love the shimmer.


I LOVE comments! But pretty please don't leave a link to your blog or website - if there's something you want me to check out, tweet me @manicurity, say hi on my Facebook page, or email me at: manicurity (at) gmail (dot) com. Comments with unrelated links are considered spam and will be deleted.