I am psyched to be doing this guest post because:
1. Indie/boutique brands are AWESOME
2. It's always fun to write in new territory
3. Ryan is one of the sweetest people I've ever encountered and I'm honored to be a small part of her amazing blog!
In this post I am going to present to you my personal picks for the 'best of' of a handful of indie/boutique brands. Indie polish has seen an astronomical increase in interest lately, and with the increase in demand comes an increase in supply! In the last four months I have become completely entranced by the lovely ladies that create these polishes, and the devoted followers who support them. As someone who identifies as an artistic and creative individual, I am absolutely astounded by and impressed with the collections I've seen.
Please keep in mind that this is solely a reflection on my opinion, and what I have had access to. For each indie brand featured I have picked either my personal favorite, or one that I think best represents the brand. Furthermore, all the polishes featured here are ones I have been able to acquire. Trust me, if I had access to all of the indies, this post would be a whole lot longer. So please don't think that just because I don't have a brand featured here, or didn't feature a particular polish, that I think any less of them/it. For example, I would LOVE to be able to feature some Lynnderella's here - but since I haven't been able to acquire any yet, they have been left out. :)
Now onto the goodies....
For those of you who follow my blog, you may have picked up on the fact that I am a Nerdhead through and through. I stumbled across Nerd Lacquer (NL) somewhat early on in it's existence so I was lucky enough to be able to collect an almost complete collection. In fact I still have a little over half a dozen left to swatch!
Nerd Lacquer is the creation of an artistic genius by the name of Amanda Collier. This girl is a glitter goddess. For reals. Her polishes are a perfect balance between chunky glitters and jellies. I have yet to meet a NL I haven't loved :)
Shown here is 'Event Horizon' from her 'FROM SPAAAAACE' series. This is not only one of my personal favorites, but also an example of how talented Amanda really is. Event Horizon has a basic color scheme - blue base, blue and silver glitter. Yet it is still amazingly unique. This perfectly encapsulates what NL does best - taking a basic concept (be it color scheme, character inspiration, or effects type) and turning it into a piece of art.
You can check out some Nerds at Amanda's Etsy Shop as well as on Think Geek, Harlow & Co., & Ninja Polish
Girly Bits is created by the lovely Pam, a blogger turned nail polish entrepreneur. Her nail polishes vary between glitters and effect top coats.
Shown here is her effects top coat 'Shift Happens'. I chose this one because not only is it gorgeous - but it also is a perfect example of how versatile many of Pam's polishes are. This top coat can be used over any shade to create a multi chrome effect.
You can purchase Girly Bits through Pam's blog sales and through Llarowe
Pretty and Polished
Pretty and Polished is another indie brand created and run by a blogger turned nail polish entrepreneur. Personally, PnP is quite hit or miss for me, but that is usually the case with me and chunky glitters (which many of hers are) :)
Shown here is 'Jawbreaker' - one of my all time favorite polishes. I think this polish is an enormous accomplishment because it has appealed to the public on a mainstream level and perfectly encapsulates what a fun, but not over the top, polish should be like.
You can purchase PnP through her Etsy shop
Lacquistry is run by a woman named Jenna. I don't know very much about Lacquistry because it has a minimal (in comparison) online presence and the owner has been offline for a little while due to illness. So although I don't have much to tell you about the brand, I had to include it!
I honestly think that Lacquistry's greatest strengths are her flakies. She focuses primarily on her chunky glitters but I found them to be a bit TOO chunky. Also, be warned that these are not Big 3 Free and they do have a slightly more intense odor than most polishes.
Shown here is here Silver Shredded Holo. Her flakies ('shreds') are fantastic - not in the least bit subtle and chock full o' flakes! Another fantastic one to check out is the Devil's Dandruff, which is a red flakie.
You can purchase Lacquistry through her Etsy shop
Hello Dolly! Dollish Polish is run by none other than Dolly herself! Dolly is yet another blogger turned nail polish creator (see a pattern?), and is one of the sweetest women you will ever speak with. Her polishes cover a wide variety of types - cremes, jellies, chunky glitter, regular glitter, and effect top coats.
Shown here is 'Ghost with the Most, babe!' (Beetlejuice, anyone?). I have selected this one because it has bewen one of her most successful shades. I believer it has since been discontinued, but it stands as a perfect example of how Dolly can add minimal amounts of glitter to a shade to create... magic.
You can purchase Dollish Polish through her Etsy shop
Floam. Amy from Nail-Venturous has taken the polish world by storm with her recent creations, namely Floam - which became an overnight hit not only amongst nail polish bloggers and collectors, but also in the mainstream market.
Amy is YET ANOTHER blogger turned nail polish creator. She opened her Etsy shop recently, and I was lucky enough to catch her grand opening. Oh my. I have never seen such nail polish insanity! Most indies eventually build up an audience large enough that their shops sell out quickly, but on her grand opening she sold out in five minutes. FIVE minutes! I sadly was not able to grab Floam, or the others I had hoped for.
But I was luck enough to snag 'Orange You Unique?' - so this gets featured here by default LOL. This is a great example of how amazing her 3D matte glitters are (this is what creates the 'Floam-like' effect). Wear this polish, and you WILL have strangers coming up to you in the street giving you compliments.
You can buy Nail-Venturous through her Etsy shop and Ninja Polish
Cult Nails is the creation of Maria - a, you guessed it, blogger turned nail polish entrepreneur.
I give Cult Nails a lot of credit because they operate more as a mainstream brand than an indie by avoiding Etsy and doing in-person marketing and promoting as well as online.
Shown here is 'My Kind of Cool Aid' which is my personal favorite of theirs. This also just so happens to be the first color they ever created and sold. A beautiful gravender - gorgeous!
You can buy Cult Nails through their brand shop/site
Out of all the indies I know, I know the least about Candeo Colors. Partially because it is new, and partially because from what I can tell it has a very minimal online presence.
I was first turned on to Candeo Colors by a fellow nail polish addict who I was commiserating with over having to wait for my Lynnderella Connect the Dots. Knowing how much I was lemming black & white glitter, she pointed me towards 'Sprouse'.
There are few polishes I get - indie or otherwise - that I know I will use all the time and will need back up bottles of. This is one of them. I immediately knew that not only was this going into my permanent collection, but I needed back up bottles ASAP.
You can purchase Candeo Colors through their Etsy Shop
Oy vay! That was a wee but longer than expected! I hope you enjoyed my mini summary :)
Every polish featured on this post has been reviewed on my blog. To see full reviews and sets of swatches check out Polish Pixelle! Also, go check out Ryan's guest post!!
With Love and Glitter,Ave / Polish Pixelle