My Top Ten \ Number Ten: Cirque — Dark Horse

So here we are. The final polish to round out my Top Ten.

It is... :::drum roll, please::: DARK HORSE from New York-based indie brand Cirque.

Cirque is more expensive than your OPI /Essie brands, but not as costly as Ye Olde Chanel. It's like Deborah Lippmann / butter LONDON in terms of the price point.

This color is one of my top ten faves because, as you know, I love GLITTAH. This polish has a sheer graphite base and is filled with teeny, tiny multicolored bits of glitter. I plan to wear this as a mani soon so that I can share some pics with you. In the meantime, allow me to direct you to some of our favorite (and famous) swatchers out there: Scrangie and Nails and Noms.

Indeed! I think "Dark Horse" captures the mysterious nature of this color, but I would have called it something like... Black Magic. Doesn't it just scream "sorceress" to you?

Now, this is just a thought, but if you're hankering for the infamous VHTF My Private Jet Holo by OPI, why not consider buying Dark Horse instead? In fact, with the layered and prismatic glitter effect plus the jelly base, this polish is sort of like a lovechild of MPJ Holo and Essie SSN.

bubblebubbletoilandtrouble, Francesca

P.S. Missed the rest? No prob.

My Top Ten \ Number Nine: Naturistics — Crystal Blue Pearl

Some things in life are simply overrated. Like... Taylor Swift. Clubs in Hollywood. Spring Break. Fifty Shades of Grey — and Twilight, for that matter.

But every now and then, something comes along that actually deserves all of the praise and passion lavished upon it. Sprinkles Cupcakes, Game of Thrones, Janelle Monáe, Vodka Tonics at Eveleigh... and Essie Starry Starry Night.

Oh, Starry Starry Night; the ship that launched a thousand hits — on this blog, at least. And it's true; Essie SSN really is a gorgeous polish. And it's also true that no exact dupe exists. Why oh why did it have to go the way of the dodo? If I ever snag the ear of an Essie employee, you can be sure I'll ask!

There aren't many options for those who have an SSN craving. This is one hard lemming to capture. Dusty hunts are one method. Searching for Maybelline Twinkle Twinkle or Naturistics Crystal Blue Pearl is another. The last resort would be shelling out hundreds (yes, hundreds) on eBay.

I feel very lucky to have found my bottle of Naturistics Crystal Blue Pearl last December — probably the closest I'll ever get to Essie SSN. I wrote about my epic dusty hunt and shared my pictures with you guys on this post here.

It could be the thrill of the chase, or the cult status, or the fond memories of stalking this down with my mom as my partner, but this VHTF bottle makes me smile (albeit, smugly) every time I see it in My Stash. And the color, as I said, is really something special.

sparklelikealuckystar, Francesca

P.S. Missed the first few? No prob.

My Top Ten \ Number Eight: Essie — Splash of Grenadine

When I was browsing though my Stash to pick my Top Ten and I came across this bottle, I have to admit that my reaction wasn't "Cawwwww! Yesss! You're amazing!!" It was more like, "Hey you. Can't believe it's taken me this long to realize but... shitdamn, you're one of my favorite colors when it comes down to it."

Essie Splash of Grenadine is not a lemming. It's not a color I lusted after. In fact, I think it was a polish I just sort of grabbed on impulse. But look at us now! Years later and still going strong.

Splash of Grenadine came out in Essie's Spring 2010 Resort Collection. Looking back, it was to be a legendary release, bringing us not just the soft and sweet Splash of Grenadine, but the ubiquitous aqua Turquoise and Caicos and one of my other treasured shades, the blurple Lapis of Luxury.

Splash of Grenadine is kind of an odd name for this color because it doesn't resemble a Shirley Temple or Rose's Grenadine Syrup at all.

It does, however, remind me of different vacation staple: orchids.

Splash of Grenadine is another color that really changes, depending on the lighting. Stephanie at Short 'n Chic posted some really great swatches, so I shall direct you to her site to check them out.

xxo, Francesca

P.S. Missed the first few? No prob.

My Top Ten \ Number Seven: OPI — The World Is Not Enough

I wasn't kidding last week when I said that OPI The World Is Not Enough catapulted to the upper echelon of my Stash. I love this polish! So of course it had to be in My Top Ten. When I say "love," I mean it.

In honor of The Spy Who Shagged Me (in my dreeeeeams) I had to make it number 7 — 007, that is.

I reviewed my love of TWINE here, as you may recall. Since I've already blabbered on and on about my devotion to this shade, let's just enjoy some Daniel Craig pics, shall we?

Have any of you guys given The World Is Not enough a try yet?

inBondwetrust, Francesca

P.S. Missed the first few? No prob.

My Top Ten \ Number Six: Essie — Haute As Hello

Essie Haute As Hello, you devil, you. What a haute tamale!

I bought her because I'd never seen peachy coral as "look at me!" bright as this. What I couldn't guess was that she'd tiptoe into straight-up neon territory.

Haute As Hello is a little tricksy. I describe the formula as devilish — you need a steady, light hand to make sure Haute As Hello doesn't end up streaky. It dries semi-matte, too, just like a true neon does. And like a chameleon, Haute As Hello changes colors in an instant, going from creamy coral to fluorescent peach without warning. One second she's coy and kittenish, the next she's untamed and on the prowl.

In fact, the color varies so much (depending on the lighting) that I've got to share some other blogger's photos. Click the images to go to the blogs and explore photos of the shapeshifting shade, Haute As Hello.

And I'm not the only one loving this color! Check out these awesome finds that are just so Haute As Hello! Click any photo to explore the item on its native site.

My advice? Take a walk on the wild side and give Haute As Hello a whirl even though it's officially autumn. I think this shade looks smashing with golden caramels and rich browns, and even adds an unexpected pop to denim and olive greens. Who says peach can't be all year 'round color?

Another bright idea — a neon peach pedicure for November, so that when the chill winds blow and the days grow shorter, one look at your toes will call to mind warm breezes and carefree afternoons. Treat your feet to an endless summer.

wellaren'tyouapeach, Francesca

P.S. Missed the first few? No prob.