Friday, December 10, 2010

Mega-super-duper-long Top 20 Post

Today is Top 20 day on the MUA nail board, when the board's favorite polishes are revealed. The rules were simple: submit the names of up to 20 favorite polishes, with the caveat that they must be in your current stash. This was difficult for me, as my stash is vast and I really like a lot of them (the ones I've tried anyway). I procrastinated until the last day voting was open, then quickly came up with my list by looking back through my posts here and on the nail board and also thinking about the polishes that survived my regular stash purges in the 80s and 90s. This approach weighted things more heavily toward recent acquisitions since they were top of mind, but I decided that was better than no list at all. This is what I came up with, in no particular order. (If I've done a post about it, I've linked it from the polish name. I'd hoped to get swatches of all of the ones I didn't have proper photos of, but my schedule and the sun's made this too difficult for me to manage.)

OPI - Yoga-ta Get This Blue

This was one of the first OPIs I bought after my most recent resurgence of nail polish love. This is also one of my first NOTD pictures for the nail board, so it doesn't exactly show off the polish to its best advantage, but I thought it would be nice to show the difference practice makes in not flooding my cuticles with polish and learning to use a brush for clean up. I like this one on its own and love it as a base for Lippmann Happy Birthday.

Estee Lauder - Ultra Violet

A very recent acquistion that I loved from the first minute.

Rescue Beauty Lounge - Anne

The complexity and depth of this mossy green is what made me include it; the pinky purple shimmer doesn't hurt, either.

OPI - Mad as a Hatter

I wore it for over a week and didn't get bored.

China Glaze - Ingrid

Elegant but not boring.

Borghese - Purple Confetti

Another one that was love at first sight. It looks good matte; it looks good shiny.

China Glaze - Channelesque

One of the first polishes I truly stalked; I found it at a nail supply store last year thanks to a kind nail boarder from this area who pointed me in the right direction.

Estee Lauder - Surreal Violet

Estee Lauder

What I hoped Essie's Demure Vixen would be.

Orly - La Playa

Orly polish
Like Yoga-ta Get This Blue, it's dark without looking black (and therefore boring) in regular room like and makes a great base for layering. Here is it with Finger Paints Sapphire Shimmer on top:

Orly and Finger Paints polish

Sally Hansen - Hidden Treasure

SH Hidden Treasure & GOSH Rainbow on the nail
Unlike Channelesque, which I didn't stalk until well after it had been released, I wanted Hidden Treasure for months before it hit stores. It was the first polish I shared on this blog, and the first one I did a comparison with (it's alternated with GOSH Rainbow on deep plum in the photo above). It was the prize in the first contest I ever ran here, too. I've layered it over so many things (Poema Orchid shown below) and rarely been disappointed. It's also one of the few polishes Mr. Karen has ever commented on without me first waggling my fingers in front of him and asking him what he thinks (I had layered it over a mannequin hands shade, so not even his favorite color).

Poema Orchid

Essie - Sew Psyched

Essie Fall 2010
Discovering that this was a dupe for Rescue Beauty Lounge Diddy Mow made it more attractive to me for some reason. I felt all "yay, Essie!" about it.

GOSH - Holographic

The most holographic holo I own, and more special to me because I swapped for it.

Sally Hansen - Purple Heart

Another one that's extra special to me because I swapped for it (and I like it so much I recently swapped for a backup of it, even though I keep trying to break the backup habit).

Chanel - Paradoxal


I love that this can look taupe or purple and cremey or shimmery depending on the light.

Sally Hansen - Purple Diamond

This still has the Meijer price sticker on it from when I bought it not too long after it first came out. I remember wearing it on a trip to San Francisco in 2002. I remember wearing it as a pedi and being disappointed that my toes were so far away from my eyes that I couldn't enjoy the holo effect to its fullest. I wish I still had all of its siblings that I got rid of over the years.

Sally Hansen - Turquoise Opal

One of the first duochromes I ever owned.

Street Wear - Grape

This also survived my stash purges.

Essence - Victory

Yet another favorite that I only got thanks to swapping. I love it in the bottle, and I love it on the nail (below layered over Street Wear Grape).

There are some people that say women over a certain age shouldn't wear glitter. Those people are not ones I care to spend much time with. They likely don't care to spend much time with me, either, especially since my last two choices are glitters as well.

Revlon - Galaxy

Good on Revlon for giving us something this fun.

Deborah Lippmann - Across the Universe

Deborah Lippmann
Sometimes I question my values and sanity when I pay $18 for a bottle of polish, but when the stuff in that bottle is as good as Across the Universe, I forget my doubts and just bask in the pretty, pretty colors. (Above it's layered over four different polishes and I think it looks good over all of them.)

Whew! If you got this far, I congratulate you on your stamina. I realize looking over this list that a lot of polishes made it for sentimental reasons. Nothing wrong with that.


  1. I think you've picked some really good polishes! I have a few on the list that I've been meaning to try.

    :) And since you're from MI too, what's this *ahem* secret nail place that has Channelesque?

  2. Great choices! I only have one of your favorites. :) Imagine if we all got together and compared stashes - we'd have polish for DAYS!

  3. AWESOME post! Love the selections. I don't own any of those colors. Thanks so much for sharing.

  4. Wonderful choices. I should have participated but I didnt :(

  5. more than half of these are on my wishlist. What you nail bloggers do for my wallet!

  6. BRAVO!

    That was awesome, I'm working on my own Top 10 (I don't have the patience to do a top 20), I loved your picks! :)

  7. Great choices, they all look lovely! I can imagine it was really hard to pick your favourites. :)
    I have lots of sentimental polishes too, like ones I looked forward to getting or ones given to me :)

  8. My favorite of your favorites are Ultra Violet and Confetti. I don't have either but looking at your pictures--gorgeous!!

  9. I have to agree with a few of them, they are very nice. And I was waiting for a purple polish to appear, but it took a while! :P

  10. Great choices, lots of purples and glitters, wich i love but if i do a Top 20 probably 70% are going to be red polishes, i can't get enough of red.

  11. Purples and blues! Interesting. You do have some fabulous polishes.

  12. Great picks! I would have picked alot of the ones you picked and some are now on my wish list AKA my hunt down list. I absolutely most have Essence Victory. I am currently wearing Mad as a hatter and I cant get enough of it!

  13. I love this post! I like reading about what your preferences are!

  14. Great post! I love all of them.

  15. They are all so pretty! Really nice choices especially the glitters!:)

  16. Fascinating post. Not least because I do not own about 90% of these!

    Some of those glitters are really turning me on!!!!

    I love posts like these - I might do my own top 20 list!

    I too love Across the Universe and Paradoxal.

  17. You love your purples and violets, don't you ;) I really enjoyed your selections. And people who claim that "women over..." are just very limited ;)

  18. I enjoyed reading this post Karen! I would like to order more Top 20 posts please!


Thank you for reading and commenting! I greatly appreciate knowing I'm not just talking to myself here. :) I'm moderating most comments now due to the spate of spammers who claim to be looking for sexy times.