December 31, 2015

Bottle Spam: Top 15 Polishes of 2015! [Swatch]


Hey everyone! How are you? Are you guys excited about the new year?!

I'm still taking a break from nail blogging (and enjoying all the extra time, to be honest!), but I wanted to pop in and share my favorite polishes from 2015, because it didn't seem right not to! If you're thinking that there are more than 15 polishes in the cover photo, you're right! That's actually my initial finalist pool.

Here are the final fifteen polishes that made the cut: shades which I found myself totally in love with and wanting to wear again and again:


As you can see, there are a mix of indies and mainstream brands- but mostly indies this year! Now I will say that I only chose polishes which I had a chance to swatch and photograph for the blog. There were a few that might have made the list had I had time to share them, but I really wanted to be able to show a swatch next to each chosen shade! There are also gorgeous polishes that could've made the cut, but are still untried. (I'm looking at you Femme Fatale Dune Collection!)

With all that said, here are my favorite shades I've worn and swatched for Polish Hound, in no particular order. I feel like many will not surprise you, as a lot of the internet hype regarding certain shades was well-founded. (If you're looking for more photos of each polish, their names are hyperlinked to my original swatch or nail art post!)



Mainstream Brands

Zoya- Rayne:



I only had the opportunity to use Rayne in a couple of nail art looks, but I feel like it stole the show in both! It's just the prettiest blue with icy blue-green glassfleck shimmer. So love!


Orly- Fireball:



Fireball is actually brighter than my pictures manage to show but it's just stunning and flattering on. I've worn it on my toes and fingers, and love it on both. Had an amazing formula too! It's seriously one Orly everyone needs...even if you think you don't like reds!


Formula X for Sephora- Whirlpool:



Whirlpool caught me by surprise! It's part of the Formula X Seaglass collection, which was just full of win for me. It's actually my favorite matte/ textured finish set of polishes released this year. They really nailed the sparkle factor without sacrificing the polish's texture- no lumpy grit blobs here! And oh yeah, that soft taupey purple color is right up my alley!


Essie- Coat Couture:




Here's another soft taupey purple for you! Coat Couture was the clear standout for most people from Essie's Cashmere Matte collection. It had a great, easy formula too- unlike some others from the set! Look at the shimmer!


Indie Brands


ALIQUID Lacquer- Divine Disease:




I love Divine Disease because it's a grungy, moody color, but it has beautiful flake and shimmer in it which bring it to life. It's my favorite from ALIQUID's Fall 2015 Incarnate collection! Just perfect!


KBShimmer- Funky Cold Patina:




I purchased Funky Cold Patina for the name alone, but I ended up loving it because I don't have another polish similar to its base color! It's a very unique, vibrant swampy blue-toned green. Not to mention the copper hex! (Copper hex improves every polish, in my opinion!)


Femme Fatale- Mirror, Mirror, On The Wall:



Ah yes, one that won't surprise you. This is possibly the most hyped and coveted Femme Fatale shade this year! And, I have to say that Mirror, Mirror, On The Wall lives up to expectations with beautiful holo, iridescent hex glitter and crazy dense pink-purple shimmer swimming in an aqua base. Amazing!


Femme Fatale- Hundred Year's Winter:



This is probably my favorite Femme Fatale release though, possibly because I almost missed it! Hundred Year's Winter hits that neutral-with-a-twist spot so well, and I keep finding myself wanting to wear it for its intense shimmer.


Indigo Bananas- Sulfur Green:



It was difficult to choose a favorite from Indigo Bananas' Neon, the 10th Element collection of neon cremes. In a year of neons, that collection was the best that I tried, hands down. All of the 10th Element neon shades are excellent, but I think Sulfur Green has to be my favorite! It's radioactively bright, and I do love crazy neon greens!


Cirque Colors- Miami-Dade:


Here's another neon creme that won me over! Miami-Dade is just the prettiest shade of green-tinged blue, and I love how my hands look when wearing it!


Polished by KPT- Swimming With Mermaids:




This year, I really grew to love thermal polishes, and Swimming With Mermaids is my favorite from the 2015 releases I tried! It's super sensitive, and shows the thermal change even on shorter nails. Very, very unique, and the holo sparkle doesn't hurt either!


Polished by KPT- Selene:




Here's another KPT shade that I adore! Selene is from the Fall 2015 After 7 collection and is probably the most unique holographic polish I own! It has this reddish magenta shimmer that can even make the polish look coppery at the right angle. Excellent formula too!


This year, ILNP released some of my favorite polishes the brand has ever put out before, so I have three in my top 15!

ILNP- Harbor Island:




How can you not love the saturated blue-teal holo jelly that is Harbor Island?? I need to wear it again, stat!


ILNP- Long Walks:




Long Walks will probably not come as a shock either! This was the most talked-about polish ffrom this year's Summer collection- and for good reason! It's got a flattering, wearable taupe base color filled with holo shimmer and amazing dense, gold shimmer. And, oh yeah, the gold flake! It's interesting and lovely no matter the lighting condition!


ILNP- Juliette:




Finally, Juliette will surprise no one! This is the most adored ILNP polish from the Winter Collection, and definitely my favorite of the Precious Metals finishes. In fact, I'm wearing it as I type this...for the third time! I actually wore it alone as my Christmas mani, and it was perfect. (And, it drew several compliments, actually!) Classic, perfect two coat formula, rose-gold shade you need to own!
--



That's it! As you can tell, I am a bit biased toward some of the brands I swatch for, and it's partly because I'm able to try, proportionally, more of those brands' polishes, and partly because, well, in my opinion, they are glorious nail polishes! What can I say?


What do you think of my top picks for 2015?
I'd love to know what your favorite shades were this year!
Can you narrow it down to a single polish??
(I can't.)


*Disclosure: polishes in this post were provided to me as press samples for honest review, and all opinions are my own.

December 16, 2015

Swatch Spam + Temporary Hiatus


Hey guys! How is everyone?

Today I have my first ever Swatch Spam post for you, as well as a bit of an announcement!

First, the news: I'll be taking a hiatus from Polish Hound temporarily. For those who don't write or maintain a blog, especially one that's photo-based, it's incredibly time-consuming, and I'm sure I put in over 35 hours/ week when I'm able to post three times during that week. I know some of you will be very familiar with this!

Well, anyway, I'm anticipating some major life changes which will require all of my time and energy! Right now, I think the hiatus will probably last a couple of months, but we'll see! I do intend to return to swatching and blogging when I can. I do love it!

During this time, I'm also hoping to get back into non-nail photography a bit. Some of you may or may not know that I've done professional wedding/event photography in the past, but I'm also hugely into night time long-exposure photography, although that's always been more of a hobby! I'm thinking that photographing fewer nails will give me more time to shoot other things! If you're interested in seeing some of my work, I have a semi-current Flickr account, and also a portfolio which sorely needs updating.

In the meantime, you can keep up with me (and Hambone) on our Instagram, where I'll still be posting occasionally. I will probably post sporadic nail swatches/ arts there too during my time away, as I'll still be painting my nails, of course! (Although I'm technically done swatching at the moment, I've already found myself taking photos of a recently-worn shade, as it was just to
o awesome not to share!)

Now, want to see some miscellaneous swatches I've accumulated but not had a chance to post?! Be prepared for a variety of nail lengths/ shapes, and swatch posing, because some of these are pretty old!

A skittelette:


The two middle nails here are Essie- Hors D'oeuvres, and the index and pinkie nails have Illamasqua- Hemlock layered in/under chevrons with Illamasqua- Jan (I think! It's been a while.)


Zoya- Vespa:


Femme Fatale- Mirror, Mirror On The Wall:



Femme Fatale- Glass Coffin:



The above is actually Mirror, Mirror, on the Wall layered over Glass Coffin from the Snow White collection. I can't remember which chevron guides I used for this. Loved that combo though!

Here's another from the Snow White collection, Femme Fatale- Bodice Lace, w/ the same accent:


Black Dahlia Lacquer- Olaf's Snowflowers:




I loved how that^ polish looked, but it was more chunky than I'm normally comfortable with on the nail!

Finally, Picture Polish- Moscow in the sun:


That's it!

I hope everyone has very Happy Holidays; and, for those who read, comment, and chat with me about polish- thank you so much! Hope to be back soon! :)