Sunday, October 9, 2011

Orly Emberstone

Sorry for my hiatus, but here's a post (finally!).

Let's call this the "I GOT THE JOB!!" mani, because well, I was wearing it when I got the call. It's an Administrative Assistant position with a non-profit that I have been *dying* to work for, and it's my first "real" job, seeing as I've been in college or grad school and working part-time (for various other non-profits and a restaurant) for the eight and a half years. And then I moved, so I've been unemployed since late April, and it is hard to find a job right now out there. The HR girl at the company told me she received over 400 applications for certain postings, which is nuts! Also, I took a gamble and turned down another (awful) job with the vague hope that I'd get this one... and I did. I started almost two weeks ago, and it's been stressful so far, but hopefully things will even out :)

OK so--Emberstone! Pretty, it makes me think of dying embers in a fire. It's a red-orange or really, an orange-red. It's an awesome glass fleck shimmer, and I think it looks even better on the nail than it does in the bottle. It's so eye-catching and pretty. Orly, you're knocking my socks off with these Mineral FX polishes. Reminds me of molten lava or something.

It was a tad sheer, so this is 3 coats:

It's got some wicked cool blue/purple shimmer going on in there. So super lovely, and definitely a bright happy color for an awesome day! Maybe this will be a good luck color for me from now on. What's your good luck color?

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

A quick update...

Hi guys! I apologize for being MIA so suddenly but in less than a week, my husband and I found and leased a new apartment, moved, AND I started my new job. Things have just been crazy, but I definitely haven't abandoned this little blog. I just won't have Internet at home until October 6th, and posting from my iPhone is a huge pain so it'll have to wait.

My nails, between anxious picking and moving breaks, are trashed. So a little TLC and we'll be back and ready to go in no time!

Best to you all, you guys are the best :) :)

Monday, September 19, 2011

Sally Hansen Nail Prisms Purple Diamond

Dollar Tree can be simultaneously amazing and an asshole. While I've found things there occasionally (and often way behind the times), the hunt is kinda fun. Plus: $1, occasionally less if in two-packs. These Dollar Trees I formerly hauled at were in Upstate New York, and yes, it was not unheard of for me to hit quite a few on a given day. Now in Canada, we have Dollarama, which is kinda awesome for other stuff but a veritable polish wasteland. Any-who. My NY Dollar Trees got Nail Prisms but never any of the holographic ones, so I ended up ordering this and Golden Tourmaline on eBay for a price that was about on par with what it originally retailed for (fine with me).

This polish is the ridiculous kind of holo that makes me smile. Light purple, with holo that seems to be not only scattered but also linear, and super bright and sparkly. It actually shines so well indoor under lamplight (this was compared to the premature fall drear that overhung Winnipeg today).

This is 3 coats (old polish can get kinda watery), and Seche Vite didn't appear to dull the goodness:

Ummm awesome! I'm looking forward to tracking down more of these! I remember them being in stores, but I was a poor middle and high schooler, and while I loved polish, Sally Hansen was not on my radar at the time. I had a few Wet 'N Wilds (glitter!), some Janes, and a whole bunch of those Townley Cosmetics polishes they sold at places like Claire's and Fashion Bug back in the mid-90's. Then again, I also had about 20 bottles of that black L'Oreal Jet Set, from when I was a fledgeling punk rocker in the late 90's. I wish I hadn't thrown all that good stuff out!

Sunday, September 18, 2011

OPI Gold Shatter

I was pretty excited to stumble upon this, since I thought it was supposed to come out with the Muppets holiday release. I refrained from buying any of the gold China Glaze metallic crackles because I wanted this one. And it's a great gold. Not too pale, not too yellow. Shiny and bright. And I was super-duper excited to try it over my Orly Stone Cold manicure from the previous day.

But then this happened:

Again, I apologize for the way my camera goes haywire with shimmer. If I am soon employed, a new camera is surely on my list of things to get.

The first nail shattered nicely, the next one less so, the next one even less so... and so on, basically ending up in a major fail. As you can see, my index finger, while blurry, barely shattered at all. My right hand is just awful. And I only did thick enough coats to ensure the gold was opaque, but nothing crazy. Damn you, Gold Shatter,  I want to love you so!! You are super blingy and gorgeous but you don't shatter all the way! It didn't appear to need to be thinned (but I may try this), but I guess my next go will have to be trying it over wet-ish polish rather than dry, as I know some mentioned having more success with certain OPI Shatters this way. But for now, the jury's out on this one.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Orly Stone Cold

I can barely contain myself from buying blue polish, so this was obviously no exception. It's got the same fantastic shade of blue as OPI's Swimsuit... Nailed It! but with the super duper large glass fleck glitter that reminds me of OPI Love is a Racket. Except the shimmer doesn't sink in the base as much, make it uber blingy and with tons of depth. I love it. This was 2 coats, and because of the size of the shimmer particles, it can be a bit tricky to apply.

Anyway, I'm in love. So in love, in fact, that I've got nothing more to say on the issue. This one is a must-have people, especially if you love blue polish.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Orly Rock Solid

Gah, Orly. I love you. Seriously. Your collections are often smaller, and fewer, than other (bigger?) brands like OPI, Essie or China Glaze, but y'all do what you do so well. It's refreshing. Like last year's amazing Cosmic FX, this year we have the Mineral FX collection. They're pricier (I paid $8.99 with card in Canada), but crap. I might buy them all. And one of them is a definite dupe of the whole Zoya Faye/OPI Rally Pretty Pink/ OPI It's My Year color & finish, but I still want it. It's a freakin' sickness. They're a wicked kind of gorgeous and vary a little more in finish than last year's Cosmic polishes. Rock Solid, which is featured here, is a charcoal foil shimmer with holographic glitter thrown in. No photo I've seen of it, including mine, really captures it. It's kind of an odd polish, but it's so fun. Others I got: Stone Cold (super huge glass fleck glitter/shimmer, and blue, so I couldn't deny it), Rock-It (this deep, shimmery, jewel-toned magenta I picked up and put down and actually went back to Sally's for because it haunted me), and Emberstone (see my description of Rock-It except this is a super shimmery red-orange with multi colored flecks). There are two others: Rococo-A-Go-Go (shimmery and complex deep purple) and Rock the World (the aforementioned dupe)... well, crap. I'll go back for them, I just know I will.

So, Rock Solid. You are a strange little bird. Here you are with two coats. You eat topcoat a bit, and I spent yesterday at the beach, so you're not as shiny as you ought to be.

Blurry glitter shot!

So Mineral FX.... how are we feeling about these? Redundant? Amazing? I'd love to hear your thoughts.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Essie Playa del Platinum

Sorry if things are boring around here lately, folks, but I have been busy-busy and job interviewing, so nudes it is! Today, I have for you yet another: Essie Playa del Platinum. It was a recent acquisition, and I'm glad I rounded out last year's resort collection. This is a strange and amazing color. It's very nude, but also kinda putty like. It's got a definite green and/or yellow-ness to it, especially in the bottle. Oh the nail though, it transforms into a lovely neutral shade, that is simultaneously flattering, office-appropriate, and due to it's drab nature, kinda subversive.

I think this is two coats, and it was lovely enough that I wore it for a few days, even after my interview:

And in this job climate, I actually did something bonkers: I turned down a job recently. Ugh. It was something I thought I wanted, but the starting pay was too low (we're talking $10 here, and I've got a MA), the commute was 40 minutes (which for 10 bucks is insane), and they wanted me to say belittling things to their customers who missed appointments on the phone. This was reception in a chiropractic office, by the way. It's about half of what I'd like to make and that I think I'm worth, so I turned it down. I'd rather wait tables in our neighborhood (and would probably make more money doing so.... I like restaurant work, and did it for 8 years on and off during high school, college and grad school) than put myself in the position of something I'd hate. On the bright side: I'm waiting to hear back from the job I would *love,* and since both interviews went well, I'm hopeful. They said this week, either way, they would let me know. I love companies who let you know either way, because there is nothing more degrading than just being brushed off and ignored.

Digression! So Playa del Platinum. I really want this job, so let's hope it brought me a little luck :)

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Essie Mint Candy Apple

Um, whoops! For some reason this originally got posted without text! My bad.

My recent foray with Essie Absolutely Shore made me remember a polish that I've never actually tried from Essie, their original mint green, Mint Candy Apple. This is the quintessential blue based mint green creme, and I found the formula on it to be excellent. Super smooth and not as streaky as most, below is two coats.

I think this is pre-cleanup, so I apologize. I like this mint green, I've always liked the mint trend. To the point where I probably have too many of them and have lately tried to restrain myself. I think my favorite, however, is still China Glaze Refresh-Mint (or wherever that hyphen goes). That one reminds me exactly of the base of Mint Chocolate Chip ice cream, which happens to be my favorite. While this is wicked pretty, the blue brings out the pink tones in my hands and I find the lobster phenomenon happens. So pretty though, I really love this color. What's your favorite mint? 

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

OPI Steady As She Rose

The past couple weeks have been interview crazy. I applied for two jobs (among many) that were interested, and after multiple rounds of interviews, I'm starting to get sick of nudes. Ugh. I have so many nice polishes lined up waiting to be used, and I've gotta wear something neutral. In good news, if I get either job, I think I'll be able to wear whatever I want polish-wise, which is refreshing. But for interviews, I'm always better safe than sorry. My standbys so far have been Revlon Grey Suede, RBL Grunge, Essie Demure Vixen, and Borghese Almondine. I was about to pull out one of these when I happened to see Steady As She Rose hiding in the back, untried for quite some time. Happily, I pulled it out and wore it to an interview.

This is either two or three coats, I can't remember, but the formula was great, and it dried super shiny and fast.

Kind of a strange color to describe, but it pulls pale pink-lavender-grey on me, and at the same time, it's almost nude-ish. I really like it, and I think it may become a new interview standby. This one was from the OPI Pirates of the Caribbean collection, which I ended up buying a few from even though I didn't plan to. OPI does that to me, they're evil in the best kind of way... and their cremes are my absolute favorite. Any-who, that's my story for today. I'm scheduling this post in advance, so hopefully by the time it goes live, I may know if I have a job or not! Fingers crossed!

Monday, September 12, 2011

Chanel Graphite

When I saw this polish in promo pictures, I died a little inside. I had to have it. That grey-gold-pewter shimmer.... it looks exactly like pencil lead (its namesake). I needed it in a sick sort of way. I also decided to grab Peridot after seeing a slew of photographs, too, and that whole hype sorta brainwashed me into thinking that I might like Graphite less. In the end, my gut won out. This is a super gorgeous polish, amazing and faceted and shiny and deep. Again, I'm late to the game here, but you'll have to deal with it, because I am just in love.

Again, I apologize, as this kind of shimmer makes my camera flip out. With or without flash, it just blurs like crazy! But look at the the depth of the color. 

So many flecks of color: silver, pewter, platinum, gold, green, and black...

Without flash, ambient light:

Mmmm. I just love it. Again, I had a bit of trouble with bubbles. Not sure what's up with that, it's not a problem I usually have, but it appeared with both Graphite and Peridot. So the jury's out on whether or not Chanel and I agree with each other overall, but I'm glad I shelled out for them in the end. 

Sunday, September 11, 2011

OPI Big Apple Red

I am popping in today to pay homage to my favorite red polish: OPI Big Apple Red. It's almost identical to OPI Color So Hot It Berns, my other favorite red, except it recalls images of my homeland. I'm a New Yorker, through and through, I was born and raised Upstate, but I lived in the city for a time, too. While I'm enjoying my time away, I miss home quite a bit, and this polish will always have a warm little place in my heart because it reminds me of home. Guess I must be homesick today :)

Here are three kinda messy coats of my most favored red polish:

Ugh, love it. I usually like it when my nails are a touch shorter, but it just kills. Vodka & Caviar looks dull on me, but the unabashed brightness of this is just sexy. It's badass and totally out there, unforgiving, classic, fun. Big Apple Red, I love you.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Essie Splash of Grenadine

This color came out last summer with Turquoise & Caicos, Lapis of Luxury and Playa del Platinum. These are four great colors, I don't regret a single one. This one was the last of the set, which I acquired recently. When it arrived in the mail, I made a face. Has this color always been so.... pink? I guess I had it in my head that it was deeper and closer to magenta. This is a straight up lavender pink color. It's quite pretty, but not as I remembered. Hope it's not a dud bottle.

It's a nice polish though, with that weird almost jelly (but not quite) texture that some creme Essies have. This is 3 coats.

What's funny about this is that the color almost (but not quite) makes me look... tan. I am not tan at all, so this is kind of amusing to me. I'm not sure about this one, it's definitely my least favorite of the set, but I think that's because I'm preternaturally afraid of pink. Any thoughts? 

Friday, September 9, 2011

OPI Uh-Oh Roll Down the Window

I have another polish from the OPI Touring America collection today, and it was one that had a lot of chatter about it going on beforehand. People were refusing to buy it, based on the sophomoric name. I, however, enjoy having conversations about my three-year-old nephew about who is the bigger poophead, so I think it's actually pretty funny. Whether it's a puke or fart reference, I'm down. Anyway, I also like the color. It's another kinda gross yellowy-green color, definitely army-esque. I like it, the formula was excellent. 2 coats, shiny and perfect.

As you've seen here and here, I am really digging these Touring Americas. I still have Roadhouse Blues to try, but I doubt I'll be disappointed. The formula on these has been flawless. So, what's your opinion on this one? Do you think less of me for liking it?? Do tell.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Essie Absolutely Shore

For the longest time, Essie was a brand that was poorly represented in my stash. I relied on them for nice neutrals and sheers, and Fishnet Stockings and Ruby Slippers, but other than that, they didn't interest me much. I do remember being into Essie when Starry Starry Night(s) was available, and I do kick myself for never grabbing that one, but other than that I never really got into them until recently. Now I'm buying at least a polish from each of their releases and I find myself, now that they've gone retail, attempting to flesh out my collection. I've got a nice little army now, with more on the way. I find the formula hit or miss for me, but nothing unmanageable.

Absolutely Shore came out with the Brazilliant collection, from which I also got Smooth Sailing. Essie's blues and greens have been knocking it out of the park lately. I have a mint green problem, I tend to buy them without really thinking if they're anything great. I have a lot of neutral mints and blue mints, but this one seems to lean towards the yellow end of the spectrum. It's very pale, which I like, but somehow still not terribly unique. It's just another mint, not quite as yellow or dusty as I wanted it to be. It's pretty, but the color's definitely done.

That's three coats, pre-cleanup (sorry!). It wore really well (as Essie's tend to for me), and I only removed it because I chipped a corner of my nail. Boo :-( Any thoughts on Super Bossa Nova from this collection? I feel like I want it but I haven't talked myself into it yet. Let me know if I'm missing out!

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

OPI I Eat Maine-ly Lobster

This is the second OPI Touring America color that I've tried, out of four that I picked up. (See In the Expresso Lane here.) A lot of people were disappointed with the collection, and yeah, I agree: it wasn't that original. But--I think it is a great fall collection, and I love OPI cremes and the theme of the collection in general, so I had a to pick up a few. This color called to me for a reason I cannot pinpoint, I tend to give away or purge corals. Usually, and seriously no pun intended here, they give me lobster hands. This one I really like. It's so pretty and soft--but still bright! I love the hidden shimmer, too. Another problem I tend to have with corals--no matter how opaque they seem, they always seem to have VNL when in bright light (RBL Coral, I'm lookin' at you). I didn't have this problem here, so this polish will stay with me. Perfect way to finish out the summer.

This is three coats, and if you look closely, you can catch that hidden shimmer:

Mmm. This color isn't really my speed, but I am just loving it right now. In other news, I stumbled across China Glaze Halloween and Orly Mineral FX the other day, so I've got some fun stuff coming up to show you! Fall/Halloween/Holiday polish is my favorite, I'm so glad it's that time of year again!

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

OPI Pink Shatter

OPI's Pink Shatter is being released in conjunction (if not a little early) with October being Breast Cancer Awareness month. As per the tag, it's the "Pink of Hearts 2011" color, as they release a pink every year for the cause. The shatter idea is fun (if not overdone at this point), but this pink is kinda lackluster. I ended up seeing it at a random salon, and grabbed it for the heck of it. While OPI Shatter polishes are my favorite of the lot so far, this pink suffers from being way too ordinary. It's a medium pink, not terribly bright, shimmery (but the type of shimmer we'd consider frost if it weren't a shatter polish), and not very eye catching. It shattered just fine over dry polish.

This picture makes it look brighter than it actually is. This is one coat over 3 coats of Borghese Almondine, which was my job interview polish (someone even complimented me on it). I took this under a desk lamp (sorry), so I apologize in advance for the glare.

If this pink had been a bit brighter, perhaps even neon, I might have liked it better. I have to say that this is my least favorite OPI Shatter so far, but there's nothing *wrong* with it per se, it's just not that remarkable. Will you pick up Pink Shatter if you find it? For those of you that have found it--what do you think?

Monday, September 5, 2011

Chanel Peridot

Sorry for the short break, I got caught up last week with a couple of pretty important job interviews (**crossing fingers**), so I neglected to line anything up to be posted until today, which is Labour Day here, and Labor Day at home ;-) 

This isn't anything you haven't seen but here is one of two polishes that finally made me splurge on Chanel. Nothing, including Jade--which I was around for, and could've purchased--has prompted me to splurge until now, and I bought both Peridot and Graphite. So Peridot: I shouldn't like it in theory. I hate golds on me, except for very light, bright, white golds (this applies to yellow, too). Greeny-golds are hit or miss. This color is... green, gold, sorta blue, and all kinds of duochromey goodness.

While pretty, I have to complain: the formula sorta sucked. I mean this polish had a ton of hype, but a lot of people fail to mention its main flaw (in my opinion): it's frickin' frosty. Seriously. As in I had to apply it twice to get it right, because I kept trying to get the brushstrokes right and this caused bubbling. And, I got shrinking at the cuticle, which I never seem to have a problem with. So, formula-wise, Peridot is kind of a nay from me. However, it is beautiful.

I ended up using three coats. Here are my attempts to capture the color:

With flash:

Without flash:

I kinda love it, even though it's a fickle little thing. Glad to have it as a part of my collection, though. Definitely unique, and thus worth the money for me.

Happy Labour/Labor Day! Enjoy :)

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Nina Ultra Pro Glamrock

I recently encountered this lovely little beast at Sally Beauty Supply. There seemed to be a bunch of new Nina polishes there, I'll have to give them further inspection when I go back. These are almost twice as much here as they are at home in the States, which is kinda silly. Glamrock is a jelly-black with tons of super shiny silver glitter, which overall gives it a pewter effect. In the bottle it looks more black based, but on the nail it pulls pretty grey. But I like it a lot, lots of glitter, lots of sizes and super shiny, as I mentioned. It reminds of Borghese Nero Magico (excuse that crap swatch), a seriously great polish, but with a less opaque base and more glitter. I actually like the more vampy Nero Magico slightly better, but you really can't compare them in the end, as they're pretty different.

I'm going to a concert tonight, so this felt like a fitting manicure. Who am I going to see? Don't laugh, but Rancid and Against Me! Yes, I'm 25 (14?). In all seriousness, I'm going to see Rancid mostly, as they were my gateway drug into punk rock (along with the Clash) when I was 14. I've seen them twice before but not in a very, very long time. Plus there was a Groupon for it, and I have nothing better to do tonight.

Anyhow. Glamrock.

Sorry my camera can't handle the glitter! Another nice polish from Nina. The formula was pretty chunky though... but there is a shit-ton of glitter in this thing, so that's probably why. Only two coats for this coverage. I used Gelous under Seche Vite to smooth it out, because it definitely was gonna be a bumpy ride otherwise. If you see this, grab it! It's very pretty and definitely a welcome addition to my already over-sized collection (hoard). Nina polishes are a Sally's house brand but kinda underrated I think. Purple-Xing is a favorite, I know, I also have Emerald City, In A Tiff and Sailor... plus a few others somewhere from that metallic Velvet collection that came out a couple Christmases ago. I always wanted Salsa but never found it. What's your favorite Nina Ultra Pro polish?

Monday, August 29, 2011

Color Club Wild at Heart

There is so little to say about a polish this amazing. After filing down my nails, I was craving something darker, and I realized I had not worn this polish in a long time and I don't think I've ever posted on my blog. Wild at Heart is a beautiful purple holo, I got this version when the collection came out a couple years ago. I'm not sure if there are "dud" versions of this color like there apparently are of Revvvolution, Worth the Risque  and Fashion Addict. I don't have too much to say, as this polish is pretty close to perfect. It has that perfectly starry rainbow holo going on, the purple is deep and rich, the formula is flawless (this was 2 coats but one is pretty decent coverage), and it dried so shiny. Seche Vite didn't dull the holo for me (though I don't usually find that it does).

Here she is, in all her glory:

If you don't have this color, you simply must. Color Club makes excellent polish, and this is no exception. Oh Holo, how I love thee.  You are always a special treat to wear on my nails.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

The OPI Serena Williams Grand Slam Duos: A Retrospective

Starting early this year, OPI teamed up with Serena Williams to release sets of polishes called Grand Slam! duos to be released in conjunction with the major tennis matches this year. As you probably know, Serena is also a nail tech/polish enthusiast, so this is a pretty cool idea in theory. This month, the final duo of this series was released. I got most of these duos during my blogging hiatus, so I decided to finally swatch them all for this retrospective post. Swatches of all of them in one place! I loved this series. It was obviously a smart collaboration with someone who loves polish. It was a little heavy on the Shatter polishes, but with the exception of one set, I liked the pairings. Here we go!

First, around March and to coincide with the Australian Open, came the first set: Simply Smash-ing! and Black Shatter.
Simply Smashing, 3 coats. A pretty tennis-ball yellow-green. I like it much more on the nail than in the bottle.

Excuse my application of Black Shatter here, the pinky went well, but the other 4 fingers did weird things. I had just thinned it, so maybe that's why. No top coat here.

Then, later this spring, came the France duos for the French Open, which consisted of 2 different sets: Rally Pretty Pink with Red Shatter and Spark de Triomphe with White Shatter.
Rally Pretty Pink, 3 coats. 

RPP with Red Shatter on top. The shatter look strange because there's no top coat. I apologize. This is the one pairing that I'm not crazy about.

Spark de Triompe, 3 coats. Silver and gold glitter. I love this and I bought a backup.

SdT with White Shatter on top. This one does not crack a lot, but it looks pretty neat with the gorgeous glittery veins peeking through. Again, no topcoat so ignore the texture.

Next, we have the England sets, which were released at the beginning of the summer to coincide with Wimbledon. There were also two sets in this release: Grape...Set...Match! with Servin' Up Sparkle and Your Royal Shine-ness with Servin' Up Sparkle.
Grape... Set... Match! 2 coats. This polish is much, much prettier in person. So shimmery, with lots of red and blue flecks happening. 

GSM with Servin' Up Sparkle on top. Very pretty, though the large hex glitter is pretty sparse. Sorry, my camera is a glitter-phobe lately.

Your Royal Shine-ness, 2 coats. I feel like this one is totally underrated. I totally completely disagree with anyone that says this is just a silver foil. It reminds me of pencil lead (but with much finer shimmer than Chanel Graphite). It's silver but got some brown/gold/pewter tones. Very, very pretty.

YRS with Servin' Up Sparkle. It was kind of a dumb idea on OPI's part to release two duos for the England sets with the same layering polish. I think most people bought one or the other, but not both. This could have easily been paired with Navy Shatter (looks gorgeous) or another darker glitter. SUS looks really cool on top, don't get me wrong, I just don't think it was great marketing.

And finally, in August, the US Open duo: Love is a Racket and Pros & Bronze. I know y'all saw these recently, but deal with it! Here they are again. 
Love is a Racket, 3 coats.

Pros & Bronze, 3 coats.

I don't feel like it's been mentioned much, but on the back of this set, OPI recommends layering these two polishes. Since that was the purpose of all the other duos, I guess it makes sense, but Pros & Bronze doesn't much strike me as a layering polish. It goes a bit haywire over Love is a Racket, but they definitely go together and create quite a blingy look (the kind my camera hates). If you want more in depth reviews of these colors you can check here and here.

So, let's break it down. You can create a lot of looks with these polishes. On the whole, they're unique and gorgeous, there's a variety of finishes, and pretty much something for everyone. Like I said before, clearly imagined up with someone who enjoys polish. However: most of the shimmer are very similar to that Orly Cosmic FX-Zoya Sparkle finish we've been seeing a lot of, and there's a lot of Shatters going on, which the market is also over-saturated with. And, as I mentioned, there are two duos with the same layering polish, which is pretty lame. A smarter idea would have been to create a trio for the England set, with both polishes and the glitter.

My favorite polishes in the sets: Spark de Triomphe, Simply Smash-ing, Your Royal Shine-ness and Grape Set Match. My favorite overall set is the Spark de Triomphe/White Shatter duo, and my least favorite is the Rally Pretty Pink/Red Shatter duo. In all honesty, a lot of these polishes are available individually on eBay, so it may be your best bet to pick and choose what you love and just grab those (I did this with Simply Smash-ing because I already had Black Shatter from the Katy Perry release, and I should have done it with Your Royal Shine-ness so I didn't end up with two Servin' Up Sparkles). 

All in all: this was a great job, I thought. What did you think? Did you grab any and/or all of these?