There was this one time, not long ago, that I thought I’d try to make my own nail polish. I’ve always considered myself pretty crafty/artsy/handy-with-nitrocellulose-and butyl-acetate, so, I thought, why not give it a shot? Let me tell you: it was the biggest disaster ever. Ever. What I made was NOT nail polish. It was poo-poo colored blah.
So, when I found out that there were regular folks with regular jobs (college students, moms, baristas, lawyers) moonlighting as nail polish creators by concocting lacquers in the most vibrant, uniquely gorgeous shades known to man, my mind was slightly blown. Like, I thought I followed the Google directions for Nail Polish Making 101 to a T. What were they doing differently? It doesn’t really matter -- the point is that some of this indie/kitchen beautician lacquer knocks the socks off of some of the mass market and luxe polish brands. I know…blasphemy! My comeback: Don’t knock it until you try it. Here’s why (IMHO) you needed to get your hands on a bottle of indie nail polish yesterday.
The colors are really cool.
After making a purchase at Lacquistry, an indie brand sold online, I launched a back-and-forth email convo with the brand’s designer (because that’s the kind of random stuff I do). She said that some of her polishes contain 25 different colors. 25!?!?!?!? Indie polish brands don’t have to slide through any red tape or layers of approval to go wild and crazy with color. And, newsflash: some of this creative license leads to trendsetting. For example, the word on the street is that it was the indies who popularized the matte glitter fad. They may be small but that’s an oh-so-mighty move, right? What I love love love about these teeny-tiny polish brands is that if there’s a color that you’ve been dreaming of swiping on your nails -- like midnight blue with gold, neon pink, and black glitter -- you may be able to get it custom blended for a few extra bucks.
They won’t drain your wallet.
I thought I’d have to pay a premium for indie polishes (which I was sort-of-kind-of okay with -- #nailpolishaddict), since they’re as close to one-of-a-kind as you’re going to get. But -- ta-da!!! -- I didn’t. My fave indie brands Urban Lacquer, Lacquerlicious Lacquer and Glam Polish sell polishes on Etsy for under $9. But, my people, be wary of polish hawkers “frankening” lacquer, which means they’re mixing store-bought polishes together to come up with a new color and then selling it as their own concoction. Not cool. Not cool at all.
There are TONS of options.
When it comes to mainstream polish, a few brands dominate the market. I don’t think I need to call them out. If you’re really a nail polish junkie then you know who they are. When it comes to indies, however, there are hundreds (thousands?) of ladies and gents setting up shop in their kitchens, testing, retesting, focus grouping, advertising, and selling their goods (and you thought you were a multitasker). Many of them have nail blogs that they use to accumulate a core following of customers. There are so many indie polishes floating around the blogosphere that you could spend hours mesmerized by all of the shades online until one finally snaps you back to reality and you decided to buy it. So what if you forget to eat, at least your nails will be poppin’.