Tuesday, 1 December 2015

Project Polish - Summer 2015/16 Edition

I’m a slacker.

No really, I am.

I didn’t quite get around to starting this blog in time to post about beginning a Project Polish series, so I’m going to explain everything in this post.

(First things first though….I must give credit to Hailey from Just Buy The Makeup for giving me the inspiration to do one of these.)
Back in August this year, right before spring sprung in Australia, I decided that my polish stash was starting to get...well...a little out of hand. Athough I have about 60-something polishes, I don’t paint my nails that often (then wonder why I can never achieve perfectly rounded cuticles) & considering I went on a polish buying spree just before my birthday in September, I figured it was as good a time as ever to start focusing on reducing my stash bit by bit.

Before I introduce the polishes, here’s mah rules:
  •  Each season I will focus on about 8-12 coloured polishes, as well as the base & top coats I own. At the end of each season I will swap the coloured polishes out for a new selection, purely because I don’t want to get bored with the colours I’ve chosen…and believe me, I was bored with my spring colours as soon as that edition kicked off.
  • No opening new polish until at least 1 older colour is finished. I’ve been on this ban since the beginning of the year & lemme tell you, the. struggle. is. real. I’m not sure whether I’ll continue with this rule next year, but right now I have to seriously fight the urge to crack open  & swatch all my newer pretties every time I look at my polish holder….so much so that I’ve put a covering over it so I don’t have to be reminded of my vow haha.
  • If I feel I’m close to finishing a colour by the end of each season, then I can include it in the following season’s Project Polish if I wish. 
  • If I finish a polish during any current season/edition, then I may replace it with another polish.

Aaaaaaaaaaaaaand here’s the polishes themselves:

Please excuse the wear & tear of my Can't Find My Czechbook swatch!

Essie – Blanc
Just your standard white - I don’t know how else to describe it. I’m getting rid of this because I bought a mini of Sea Siren’s Leucosia during their stocktake sale back in July & I’m over having this particular bottle in my stash. Despite having this in my spring Project Polish, I’m including it for the summer edition because I’ve made a considerable dent in the bottle already & I’m desperate to finish it. Plus white just screams summer, no?

Ciaté – Amazing Gracie
If I ever needed a reminder of why I avoid sheer polishes altogether, then this polish is it. I’m really not looking forward to trying to dwindle down the contents of this because aside from the fact that I look a bit dead with it on having worked with it twice already, I know that it takes forever to dry on my nails, despite using a fast-drying top coat. The 2nd time I used it I ended up with significant smudges in my nails some 5-10 minutes after applying both my fast-drying top coat and drying drops. Ugh. This polish may meet my bin before summer finishes...

Butter London – Kerfuffle
In general I avoid orange nail polish because that colour + my pale cool-toned skin don’t go well together, but I couldn’t resist this pastel version. Aside from Blanc & another colour I have in this edition (see below), this is the only other bottle where I’ve made significant progress.

Butter London – Trout Pout
A bit of a story for you – I had another bottle of this several years ago but I tossed it out in a moment of madness, mistakenly thinking that it had thickened up & was therefore unusable...and of course it was neither thick nor unusable. Cue sad face...which turned into a happy one when I realised how much I missed this shade & decided to re-purchase it. Butter London describe it as “opaque cantaloupe” (or rockmelon as we Aussies call it) that “looks great on anyone” and I suspect they’re correct. I feel that this polish contains just enough pink for me to get away with wearing it, but ladies with more warmth in their skin will be able to carry it off with ease. This colour IMO is absolutely perfect for summer.

OPI – Strawberry Margarita
Now for another pink...this time a vibrant, deep-ish strawberry pink. Aside from blue hues, I also own numerous pink polishes because it’s a colour that just works for me; although if you’d told me this when I was 15 I would’ve scoffed at you. I just know that this will go swimmingly well with several of the other colours that I’ve chosen for this edition of my PP series, like Trout Pout and the next 2 colours I’m about to introduce you to…

Kit – Dive In
I couldn’t resist this colour when I swatched it in Mecca Maxima several months back. It's such a gorgeous vivid cornflower blurple - it can shift either way depending on the light. I'm amazed my rather old camera has managed to capture this colour well enough in these photos because it hasn't done so in the past.

OPI – Can’t Find My Czechbook
Oh I love the punny names nail polish companies come up with for their products! In terms of shades, I would describe this as a blue aqua – if you’re wondering whether this and Essie’s In The Cab-Ana are the same & you don't need both, then stop right there sister. They are different - I know because I own both & I've checked. I would post a proper swatch comparison, but I’m afraid my camera wouldn’t be able to tell them apart. Now back to the task....I’ve fallen in love with Can't Find My Czechbook again & God only knows why I haven’t used it up already. It’s purdy, even though it does dry/look darker on the nail than in the bottle. Like Essie’s Blanc, this was also in my spring Project Polish but I figured it would go well with the colours I chose for the summer edition too.

Ciaté – Pepperminty
This + Knickerbocker Glory were the main reasons why I purchased Ciaté’s Beach House mini set from Kit (which I think is now known as Mecca Pop?) earlier in the year. I feel like this could be the shade of mint I have been searching for since I got into this whole polish thang several years back. Neither too green nor too blue and certainly not icy. I’m really hoping that I’m onto a winner with this and it doesn’t take forever to dry like Amazing Gracie does, or else I’ll be giving Ciaté a wide berth in future.

Essie – Mojito Madness
I’ll be honest, I’ve thrown this shade in here because I want to do some Australia Day nail art with it. Don’t know what I’ll do yet, but I’ll figure something out. In terms of the polish colour, it really is like the cocktail it’s named after – a warm, kind of tropical-looking green. This is another Essie polish that isn't sold in Australia, but I somehow managed to get my hands on it from an Asian beauty store in Sydney's QVB (Queen Victoria Building). Not sure if they still have it though.

Butter London – Airy Fairy
Out of all the Butter London polishes I own (and there aren't that many since I culled my BL collection), this is probably my favourite. As much as I loathe this brand for the cruddy formula of their polishes, I forgive them in this instance because this shade is somewhat unique to me. I just love Airy Fairy's foiled goodness & how it shifts in the light – one minute it looks blue, the next turquoise. It's one of those shades that will leave you in awe every time you happen to glance at your talons. This was part of the Lolly Brights collection from last summer (?) so it’s not one you’ll be able to get your hands on easily; but if you see it grab it, especially if you’re a blue obsessive like me.

Essie – Good As Gold
Ladies & gentlemen, may I present to you my idea of a perfect gold nail polish. This is more of an antique gold than a yellow gold, which is why I believe I can pull this off a lot easier than other gold polishes. This is essentially an OCW (or One Coat Wonder, as Karen aka Manigeek says), but I always do 2 coats anyway. It’s unfortunate that it isn't sold here anymore because I want another bottle once I’m done….unless anybody wants to recommend me a good antique gold polish that doesn’t have too much warmth in it.

Ciaté – Party Shoes
Another one from the aforementioned Beach House mini set. This is like a gold-ish holo glitter. Not sure how else to describe it and also not sure if I’ll get any use out of it during this edition of Project Polish, but I’m gonna try. I might sport it on my nails for NYE, who knows.

With all the colours I’ve mentioned, they all take about 2-3 coats to reach opacity, depending on their formula, how much you load onto the brush & your technique etc. The only exception to this is Amazing Gracie – I doubt you’ll achieve any kind of opacity with it. Believe me, I've tried...even after 4 coats it was a one-way ticket to Failtown, although I admit my technique isn't brilliant. You may have noticed some small lines on some of the bottles in the top photo – I have marked the bottles just so I know where I've begun.

I haven’t got photos of the base & top coats, but I’ll just quickly mention who/what they are:

Essie – All-In-One
I was using this as an all-in-one product before I discovered the wonders of their Good to Go top coat, so now this gets used solely as a base coat. I’m not overly fussed on it tbh & now that I’m fairly close to hitting pan on it, I feel its stopped working well for me. It keeps thickening up every single time I go to use it and even with multiple applications of nail lacquer thinner it still does this, so methinks I ought to just chuck it instead of persisting with it. However, I'm prepared to give it one last shot because I really want to prove to myself that I can pan a polish.

Orly – Bonder (mini)
I’ve opened this one up to take the place of Essie’s All-In-One once I decide to chuck it out. Having used it twice already I can say that I’m really impressed with the drying time – about 2-5 minutes & then I'm set. I can’t speak about its adherence & durability aspects just yet, but I’m hopeful that this will become my new favourite base coat. I’ve read mostly good reviews about Bonder, so we shall wait & see. 

Butter London – Nail Foundation
I’m going to put this out there right now - I hate this base coat. I know some people love it, but I can’t with this product. Seriously can’t. Aside from the fact that it’s overpriced (BL polishes retail in Australia for $18-$22 and I’ve even seen this as high as $25, which is nutso IMO), it just doesn’t work on me. I’ve used it on my fingernails several times & have had my polish chip within anywhere between a couple of hours to 1 day. Even though I've since relegated it to toenail use only, my polish ends up chipping within a week. (Ok, so it's happened twice, but still!) It’ll take me forever and a day to finish it & I may bin it sooner rather than later, but I want to get down to halfway at least. I’m about 1/3 of the way through at present.

Essie – Good to Go
This stuff has saved my polishing bacon. I think a huge reason why I haven’t painted my nails that much in the past is the time it used to take to dry them and now that this baby is in my life, I don’t have to worry about that. That said you do have to be careful when applying this because if you’re too firm on your nails, it can bald your polish or mess up your nail art. A very light hand is definitely needed here. Also, be careful if you’re using a polish that’s too thin, otherwise you’ll get shrinkage. I’ve learnt all of this the hard way so you don’t have to! 

I have 2 bottles of Good to Go in use right now because one of my bottles got contaminated with very fine glitter (from Orly’s Rage) when I was applying top coat one time so I’ve written on the brush handle to discern the difference. I’m confident of finishing one of these bottles by the end of summer, but after that I’ll be having a think about my top coat choices. Whilst I like Good to Go for its fast drying properties, it is on the thick side and I’d like to try out some other brands before I figure out what’s best. Anyone got a good suggestion? (And no, don't suggest Seche Vite. I am firmly a 3 or more-free kind of lass and Seche Vite isn’t in that group.)

Whilst it feels a bit like a chore at times, all in all I think I’m having fun doing a Project Polish on my own terms so far. Already its been great re-discovering some forgotten gems in my collection & I know that slowly but surely I’ll finally pan a polish.

Follow The Novice Life on Bloglovin
I've just added this post to Fabulous & Fun Life's Monday Makeup Madness link-up party. 

I’ll be back to do a full wrap-up of this particular Project Polish edition at the end of February, but in the meantime let me know if you’re doing one of these (or you’re inspired to do one) & if so, link me! 


  1. So glad to see you have started a blog! You've chosen gorgeous colours!! Looking forward to seeing your progress! xx

    1. Thanks Hailey! I think I have the rainbow just about covered here haha.

  2. I like your selection of colours for the polish pan. I really should do this, too. Good luck! xx

    1. Thanks Indie! Your stash is waaaaaaaaaaaay bigger than mine, you'll be stuck on a Project Pan for the rest of your life. :oP

  3. This is such a GREAT idea. I have ways too many nail polish, and I'm sure they will all go back within the next couple years. I might have to do one myself. But I get bored with polishes easily :P

    1. I'm the same, hence why I've made my own rule about swapping the colours each season. I reckon that way I won't get bored & it won't feel like a chore.

  4. I love most of the colours you've chosen here. It's a great idea, but I don't think I've ever finished a bottle of nail polish! I just keep buying new ones and never get any finished (which I guess is your point with the Project). Good luck! :)

    1. Neither have I Di, hence why I'm doing this project haha. My whole aim is to start reducing the amount in all my older bottles and if I get to finish any of them completely, then that's a bonus. Besides, my holder is filled to the brim at present, need to make way for more!

  5. So many gorgeous colours! I'm of the opinion that life's too short to be bothered with shades and polishes that you aren't fully happy with. So I quickly pass on or throw out polishes that don't suit me for one reason or another.

    I've thrown out nail polishes that have thickened or I haven't loved but from memory I don't think I've ever finished a polish.

    1. I'm like that with most other things (although I have persisted with some things more than I should have), but thankfully I dig all these shades...well, except for Amazing Gracie, I think that will be hitting my bin sooner rather than later. I actually gave away another polish from the Beach House set because it was bright orange & I know it doesn't suit me.

      I've sort of finished some polishes before - I created a splatter canvas earlier in the year using some older nail polish colours & my imagination. That was a fun way for me to use up some stuff.

  6. I've never finished a polish in my life, love the butter bottles :)

    1. Never too late to try though! The butter bottles are classy, but the square casing can be a bit of a pain.

  7. Project Polish... I like the idea. re: Orly Australia. Yes, interesting. I haven't heard from them for a few months. Not sure what's going on... re: great to hear you're loving Essie Good to Go. It's my fave! <3

    1. OMG the famous Maria commenting on my blog? I feel honoured, thank you. :o) I suspect a Project Polish would be a bit more difficult for you, given how many polishes you have to choose from!


Feel free to comment, but all I ask is that you don't spam, troll, abuse others, ask for a follow-for-follow or post nonsense. Let's play nicely. :o)