Color Club — Harp On It

If you want to sport an attention-grabbing nail but don’t have the time (or skillz) to deal with complicated nail art, there are few better ways to get ooohs and aaahs than a holo.

There are a bunch of holographic shades on the market, but my favorite brand is Color Club. They’ve got a full range of linear holo colors, but I like to go for the tried-and-true silver holo. As I always say, why gild the lily? A classic silver that sparkles like a prism is just perfect.

Here's the full lineup of Color Club holos, 2013.

Scrangie's got THE best swatches of the entire collection. Click the pic to check out her post.

If you’re going to have but one holo in your Stash, my professional recommendation is Color Club Harp On It. The coverage is INSANE, the formula’s smooth as silk and the rainbow effect is oh, so pretty.

Think about it. This is *indoor* lighting and it gleams like this.

Holo nails make you feel like your nails are from The Future. A streamlined, metallic future where everyone dresses only in American Apparel lamé outfits.

But wait! Step it up a notch and do an accent nail inspired by the always clever NailedIt.

Nailed It created a beautiful holo 2D diamond; looks great with that powder blue. Click the pic to get the tutorial.

shineon, Francesca

P.S. Color Club Beyond is a great dupe for all of y’all out there who are still on the hunt for an OPI My Private Jet dupe. Just sayin’. :)

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.

Nail Polish Lemmings — An Exposé

Today, we're going to talk about lemmings. First, here's how The Polish Addict defines nail polish "lemmings." Lemming is a common nail blogger term. This bit of jargon likely came from the myth that lemmings, small rodents that live in the wild, are so foolish that they've been known to commit mass suicide. Lemmings have the fatal habit of mindlessly following each other anywhere... including right off the edges of cliffs. Ouch.

My take on the nail polish term "lemming" is this: if it's a polish you know you'd pay a ridiculous amount for... or if it's a polish that you know wouldn't look good on you but you have to have it because everyone else does (here's lookin' at you, OPI You Don't Know Jacques)... then that color, for you, is a lemming. In fact, you are also a lemming.

To really talk lemmings, we first have to touch upon HTFs and VHTFs. And reader beware, this post exposes the dark, seedy underbelly of the nail polish world. Ha! You though it was all sparkles and ombrés? Think again.

Supply and demand. People want HTFs and VHTFs. But here's the catch; you're craving an HTF? Well, finding one will be a challenge out in the wild. Maybe it's been discontinued. Maybe it's selling like hotcakes. But there is one place you can probably find it — for a price. And that, of course, is eBay. eeeeBaaaaayyyy. The very name is chilling to me.

It's an unfortunate fact that when supply is low and demand is high, it's a seller's market. There are a few sellers on eBay that, like selfish dragons curling their scaly tails around stockpiles of treasure in their foul little caves, hoard precious bottles of polish and then sell them for unthinkable amounts of money. But who's really to blame? It's a vicious cycle, as you're about to see below.

Let's go.

So you liked Polishment's post on OPI My Private Jet Holo, and you can't stop thinking about that color. We warned you, it was an HTF, but check this out.

It can be yours for the bargain price of $74.99. That's not even the result of bidding. That's the "Buy It Now" price. Definitely much more than I'd ever fork over for a bottle of polish.

Have you heard of the legendary VHTF, Clarins 230? Google images will show you its loveliness. Those who have seen it say it's a rainbow in a bottle. It's known to nail polish bloggers as "Unicorn Pee." That's its actual nickname.

If you covet this VHTF, be prepared to kiss $149.95 good bye. Hope you find some gold at the end of that rainbow.

And now the Holy Grail of Lemmings. Essie Starry Starry Night. Sometimes it's called "Starry Starry Nights." Code name: SSN.

What's so special about SSN, you ask? It's a deep blue (nearly navy but not quite) jelly base with small specks of silver microglitter. The most popular application involves three thin coats. The sheer jelly base allows you to build color, and three coats result in a layered look that leaves you with three colors of sparkle: blue from the first coat, light blue from the second, and silver from the third coat. It literally looks like the night sky twinkling about in gleaming glory on your fingers.

This is my lemming.

So imagine my horror when I shamefully turned to eBay and saw THIS.

$81.00! And that's Australian currency! I was shocked. How does a polish get to be that expensive?

Oh. I see. Let's put this in perspective.

What. The. Hell.

I presumed that this was unusual activity for SSN. Because $81 Australian dollars is a heck of a lot. In the world of Essie SSN eBay activity, this transaction must be an outlier. Right? I know it's VHTF but c'mon.

Are you horrified? Good. Brace yourself.

Two hundred and ninety five dollars. US dollars. I know SSN is gorgeous, but no nail polish is worth nearly $300. How on earth did this happen?

It's kind of a relief to see it was a bidding war between two insane people, (neither "upping the ante" nor "setting the bar high" can accurately describe the $29 to $159 jump)... but it doesn't make this any less disturbing.

I blog about nail polish. I have a bajillion colors. And yes — in total, I have probably (mmm, make that "definitely") spent over $295 on my Stash over the years. But I pledge to you all, here and now, that I will never engage is this eBay gouging, so help me GOD.

As crazy as it is that there are dragon-hoarder-sellers on eBay making such a profit on the sale of a tiny bottle containing less than ONE FLUID OUNCE of product, just remember. People bid for it. Someone bought it.

On a lighter note, I am going to share some helpful tips to avoid eBay and get your lemming fix in an affordable way in future posts, so stay tuned.

xxo, Francesca

P.S. The idea of an out of touch person paying ~$300 for one nail polish always reminds me of this scene:


OPI — My Private Jet (Holo)

I am sure you angels studied The Polish Addict's Lacquer Lexicon post religiously and can recite all the jargon by heart, right? ;) Of course.

So you know all about HTFs; "Hard To Find" colors that nail polish hunters search high and low for. We'll talk about the best way to go about tracking down HTFs at a later date. In the meantime, allow me to boastfully show you pictures of my current manicure.

Meet: OPI My Private Jet Holo. And this isn't just an HTF... it's actually regarded as a VHTF.

Let's talk about the murky history of OPI My Private Jet. MPJ was released in 2007 and quickly became adored for its deep, smoky, somewhat translucent base loaded with teeny, tiny holographic sparkles. Is it a sheer? Is it a jelly? Is it a glitter? It's hard to say what genre My Private Jet falls under... but it sure is easy to love.

And then, so help us all, OPI pulled what is basically one of the most perfect polishes in existence from the shelves. And that's fine, I guess. Maybe, for some bizarre reason, it was more expensive to produce than other shades... or maybe there was something sinister and toxic about it, something we'll never know... or maybe it was just too awesome and was cannibalizing the sales of their other colors and so, in a cold, calculating, utilitarian move, they killed it.

This is merely speculation. We will never know why OPI made this poor decision, but what we do know is this — OPI never actually killed My Private Jet. OPI replaced the original color with a similar (but hardly the same) shade and dared to keep the name "My Private Jet." As if we wouldn't notice. As if we couldn't tell.

You know what this is like? It's exactly like falling in love with a great girl who's popular and gorgeous and a really great student, whose favorite color is blue. And then she mysteriously vanishes, and you panic, fearing the worst. Accident... abduction... murder? And then she is found and you want to rejoice! Except something's just not right. She's not as... special. She's coarse. She's dull. She loves the color red, and you're like, "What the hell. This isn't like you. I know you said you're 'you,' but something's different. And your leg is missing. I am starting to believe that you're not really who you say you are."

And so now, true nail polish aficianados know that there are two* versions of My Private Jet floating around: The "Original" My Private Jet, to which we add the suffix "holo," and then The Imposter; a warm bronzey brown with small pewter pieces of microglitter. To be fair, I have never tried it, but my neighbor owns it, so maybe one of these weeks I'll get around to giving the less attractive twin a fair shot. (*I should note that rumors swirl of a THIRD version — or more! — but I have never seen one in real life. Here's a link if you want to learn more.)

Back to MPJ Holo. The formula is a dream. I've had mine for years and it applies just like the day it was opened. The sparkleocity we've got going on here is incredibly multifaceted. In dull fluorescent office environments, MPJ puts on a professional demeanor and her prism-like glitter tones down to a subtle shimmer. But take MPJ outside on your lunch break and HOT DAMN does she sparkle and shine. Mini rainbows on every nail.

This is one of those polishes that's a distraction while you drive because it just keeps twinkling at you, "Look at me, look at me!" And so you begin to turn your finger this way and that, watching the sunlit sparkles dance... and then the next thing you know, someone is giving you a finger of an entirely different kind.

Lovely in Lacquer has some gorgeous swatches of MPJ Holo that are simply fun to look at. Enjoy!

xxo, GLOSS

P.S. Thank you to Katia, who gave MPJ to me as a gift so many moons ago. <3

UPDATE, dated 07/19/12

I mentioned above that my neighbor had the newer MPJ. I took a picture of the bottom of my MPJ Holo bottle and she took a picture of her bottle. Observe.