Monday, December 26, 2011

Top 20 of 2011, Part 1

I didn't get my act together in time to submit a Top 20 for the boards this year but decided I'd do it on my own anyway. To come up with my list, I looked at what I chose last year and what I've worn since then and also thought about which bottles of polish I'd be most likely to keep if ever decide to do a radical de-stash (I wouldn't say such a thing is likely at this point, however). Of course my first cut at the list had rather more than twenty polishes on it, so I had to make some tough choices. Instead of posting my whole list in one entry, I decided to group them into categories and post one category each day this week. Today, it's the Nostalgia Division, which are polishes that survived all my stash purges of the 80s and 90s and 00s.

First up is L'Oreal Rose Délicat. I wore this one a lot during the mid- to late-1980s, including at my wedding. When my love for nail polish re-ignited in a couple years back, this was one of the first bottles I pulled out to swatch. Here's a photo I took of it in December of 2009. (Look how un-stained and un-peely my nails are. Those were the days. Let's ignore my lack of cleanup, okay?)

The photo above shows one coat of Rose Délicat. When I grabbed it to swatch for this entry, I used two coats, but it's probably more the effect three would have been when it was new, since it's thickened up noticeably. I didn't put any thinner in, but I'm going to have to if I want to use it again. For the swatch below, I added some OPI topcoat to level out the goopiness from it being so thick.

I admit this one is on the list purely for sentimental reasons. I have a lot more interesting polishes in my collection now and even in the pale peachy shimmer category I have prettier ones, but this one is special to me. Look how low the level in the bottle is—that's how much I wore it back in the day.

And look at these ingredients—no Big 3 Free here. Dibutyl phthalate? Yep, we got that, and toluene, too. You can't see it in this photo, but the original price tag is still on the cap; I paid $2.98 at Osco (which at the time was a separate drugstore; now they're all rolled into Jewel-Osco grocery stores if my visits back to Illinois are any indication).

The other polishes in this division are all carryovers from last year's list, starting with Revlon Street Wear in Grape. I remember when the Street Wear line first came out; the colors were so different than most of what was in the stores then and so different than what I was wearing. They looked edgy and a little strange to me, but I did buy some. The only one that's still in my stash from those original purchases is Grape, saved by my love of all things purple. I've since swapped for a lot of other Street Wears, but Grape has a special place because it's been with me the longest.

Sally Hansen Nail Prisms in Purple Diamond was one of the first holos I owned. I'm not sure I even knew the word holographic at that point; I just knew it was pretty. In indirect light, its rainbows are shy.

In direct light indoors, the holo starts to show, even in low light situations.

There was no sun when I was swatching this, but this flash shot should give you an idea of how it looks in full rainbow mode. This is two coats, which is a tiny bit on the sheer side; three would give more depth.

Sally Hansen Nail Prisms in Turquoise Opal was another revelation to me—my first duochrome polish (again, before I knew the word to describe it).

Is is purple? Is it teal? Is it both? It all depends on the light. Sometimes pink and even gold show up, too, though I didn't manage to capture them on camera this time.

I didn't know about layering things over black when I first got Turquoise Opal, but I do now. Here's one coat over black:

I'm glad I held on to these four polishes. I'm sorry I didn't keep more from that era but thanks to swapping and blog sales and Dollar Tree I've been able to replace most of what I regretted destashing, plus picked up some things I never bought in the first place.

Coming up in part 2 tomorrow: Cremes.


  1. Lovely! I'm looking forward to the other parts.

  2. I have the last one ^^
    Great polishes!

  3. It's so nice to look back fondly sometimes! I really should do a top 10 post for 2011, but I just got so many new pretties for Christmas! I think I'll wait till 2012 to start posting my favorites, haha.

  4. I love the Sally Hansen Nail Prisms

  5. Great picks! Can't wait to see the rest. I still remember those old L'Oreal bottles, sadly I threw all of mine away. I've been meaning to post my favorites for the year, still debating on it.

  6. Those Sally Hansen are amazing! Really, I'm speechless *___*

  7. Great to see you still have such old polishes and enjoy them!

  8. I love swatches of older polishes, thanks for posting:)

  9. I like this part of your top 20. Most people are just doing this year-I love how you have stuff from way back when. Very cool KarenD!! If I did one of these lists-most would be brown!! So I won't be doing one!

  10. Oh yay! I just added those SH polishes to my wish list. Those are great!


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