Strap yourselves in, ladies, because this is going to be the most ambitious nail polish post I've done to date! I've been overwhelmed and delighted with the nail lacquer samples crossing my desk. Many are new takes on familiar favourites, but that doesn't make them any less appealing. From metallics to darks, from blues to reds and some of the prettiest nudes around, here are my top polish picks for Autumn/Winter 2013, along with a few tried-and-true favourites for comparison.
1. Coco + Lulu 'Bordeaux' ($8.50 at Chapters Indigo) is a deep burgundy with a slight metallic shimmer, and part of a new line of 3-free nail lacquers exclusive to Chapters Indigo stores. One coat is enough for complete coverage.
2. When I first bought Butter London 'Shag' ($17 at BeautyMark), I expected a dark bronze like what was in the bottle. But, once dry, I loved the unexpected finish even more: bright and coppery like a new penny. 2-3 coats are required to make this colour come alive.
3. Revlon Chroma Chameleon 'Rose Gold' actually came out for spring/summer 2013, but the gold-with-a-gleam-of-green hue would be stunning paired with fall neutrals. Definitely not a shade for wallflowers, the thin formula dries quickly and takes 2-3 coats to really shine.
4. Dior Vernis 'Galaxie' ($25 at Sephora) is a rich plum with a subtle shimmer finish and part of the limited edition Mystic Metallics collection for F/W 2013. Very sophisticated. I'm always pleasantly astonished by the pigment payoff of Dior's nail polishes too: one coat was all it took to get this saturated colour.
A Dark and Stormy Night
1. Lise Watier 'Chic Tartan' ($13 at London Drugs) is a smoky grey from the plaid-inspired, limited edition Tartantastique collection for A/W 2013. (Lady Macbeth would approve, I'm sure.) Like Lise Watier's other lacquers, this one comes with a light-up cap that makes application in poorly lit spaces easier.
3. Joe Fresh 'Pebble' ($4) is a putty grey with surprising warmth and high shine, even sans topcoat. The first coat is a little streakier and sheerer than I'd expect from a creamy nail polish, but the second coat evened things out.
Crimson and Claret
1. Spa Ritual 'Kiss the Cook' has not only been one of my favourite vampy reds since I reviewed the label, it continues to impress me with its top-notch formula.
2. Layla Pro nail polish made waves at the London Drugs media preview I attended, where everyone was talking about the Italian brand's ceramic formula. N.14 is a deep, sophisticated burgundy.
3. Joe Fresh 'Cabernet' ($4) is a slightly darker classic red than Spa Ritual 'Kiss the Cook', with an impressively glossy finish that belies its meager price tag.
1. Revlon Chroma Chameleon 'Aquamarine' goes on sheer and ghostly in one coat, and becomes a luminous blue with an eye-catching chrome effect in 2-3 coats. Like the other Chroma Chameleon shades, this colour was released for spring/summer 2013 but still seems apropos for fall.
2. Joe Fresh 'Peacock' ($4) is a lustrous metallic teal that lives up to its bird inspiration.
3. Butter LONDON 'Big Smoke' ($17 at BeautyMark) was my first introduction to Butter LONDON nail polishes. Despite how heavily I've featured Butter LONDON polishes in this post (the colours are simply irresistible), I'm still not a fan of how chip-prone the formulas can be (although a decent top coat goes a long way toward addressing that problem).
Warm Honey Nudes
1. As you can tell by how well used Sephora by OPI 'Nonfat Soy Half Caff' ($6) is, it's my go-to nude shade when I need a like-my-own-nails-but-better colour. It's halfway between pink and peach and flatteringly warm.
2. Dior Vernis 'Abricot' is the only nude in the bunch that goes on completely opaque in a single coat—impressive. This gold-infused peach has the same flattering warmth I love about the Sephora by OPI shade and is definitely going to be a new favourite.
3. Butter LONDON 'Hen Party' ($17 at BeautyMark) is the same warm peach as Dior 'Abricot', but that's where similarities end. This opalescent shade is infused with subtle blue shimmer and needs at least 3 coats to really pop.
4. Joe Fresh 'Rose Blossom' ($4) is very similar to the Sephora by OPI shade, but a tad lighter.
Phew! My shoddy nail polish application technique aside (c'mon, I did 5 manicures in one afternoon!), do you have a favourite colour trend or polish shade in the bunch?