Best Nail Polishes of 2011, Part IV

    Good morning, Dear Reader!

    I'm wrapping up my Best Nail Polishes of 2011 (that link will take you to all twenty on one page) today with numbers sixteen through twenty, and I tacked on my favorite manicure of the year as a little bonus.  As before, these come from polishes released in the U.S. in 2011 which I've reviewed and they're in no order.  Let's wrap up 2011!

    16. Orly Flirty is a bright pink, almost neon, that had such a fantastic shimmer in the bottle that I bought yet another pink even assuming that like most amazing-in-the-bottle shimmers, it would fall flat on the nail.  Flirty did anything but fall flat, and the shimmer is just as striking on the nail as in the bottle  It was easy to control and a well-pigmented two-coater as well.  It was such a pretty polish that I was able to leave a bright pink alone, adding no stamping, glitter, or anything else, and I was happy that it came in the giant 0.6 oz bottle.

    Orly Flirty
    Orly Flirty Nail Polish, Two Coats

    17.  OPI Excuse Moi was the pick of the Muppets for me (of the few I tried).  Even though it needed the several coats of top coat that glitters often do, since it provided full coverage in just two coats of color, that wasn't a problem.  It's really an outstanding multicolored glitter, and the reason it's a top pick and the other Muppets I tried and very genuinely enjoyd are not is that Excuse Moi wasn't terribly difficult to remove.  I'm giving you the close-up of this one because the glitter is so cool.

    OPI Excuse Moi
    OPI Excuse Moi Nail Polish, Two Coats

    OPI Excuse Moi Nail Polish Glitter
    OPI Excuse Moi Nail Polish, Close Up of Glitter

    18. Santa's Cinnamon, one of the Sally's exclusive Color Club scented holiday polishes, made the cut even though it was a little high-maintenance.  It needed extra top coat to smooth the glitter and I took the preventative measure of using drying drops over quick-dry top coat based on the drying troubles with its sister (brother?) in the collection, Gingerbread Man.  However, two thin coats made the tiny dense glitter in an opaque red jelly base a stunning holiday polish as well as gorgeous all-purpose sparkly red, and the mild fragrance of cinnamon red hots made it a lot of fun to wear.

    Color Club Santa's Cinnamon
    Color Club Santa's Cinnamon Nail Polish, Two Coats

    Color Club Santa Cinnamon Glitter
    Color Club Santa Cinnamon Nail Polish's Glitter

    19. Wet n Wild Diamond in the Rough over black creme was what I've wanted a million more expensive glitters to look like.  It was gritty and needed a lot of top coat, but the exceptional holo glitter in it made it worth the effort.  It's rare that I literally get distracted an play with my polish in the sunlight while waiting at a red light in traffic, and that actually happened with this one, which makes it a noteworthy polish for the year.  Additionally, only one coat of Diamond in the Rough really did the trick.  Unfortunately, sun was coming and going the day I wore it, so my picture doesn't capture just how fabulous it is.

    Wet n Wild Diamond in the Rough Nail Polish, One Coat over Black

    Wet n Wild Diamond in the Rough Nail Polish, Closer Look at One Coat

    20. My last pick is one I've gone back and forth on a few times, but the final conclusion is that it's really just a super cool rendition of a current color.  Comet's Collar from FingerPaints Merry & Bright Collection is modern, toned down, kind of olive green, with those kinds of greens becoming much more mainstream in recent years, but what's outstanding about it is the very cool shimmer.  The little shimmer bits reflect different colors, and they're too tiny to call microglitter (and I just use the made-up "shimmer bits" when that's the case) and distributed sparsely enough that they're not flashy at all but densely enough that the effect of them is clearly visible.  Yet again, this is a smooth two-coater.  Comet's Collar is the kind of polish where when I see someone else wearing it in person, my first thought it "nice polish," but then I see the sparkle and the thought turns into "Hey, that's cool!" and I pay a compliment if it would make sense in the situation.  Those are polishes worth wearing!

    FingerPaints Comet's Collar
    FingerPaints Comet's Collar Nail Polish, Two Coats

    Since I'm a math geek, I figured I'd point out the overall themes here in terms of numbers (that's really the only objective way I can think of to evaluate a subjective list, really).  I would have acknowledged that I'm fond of pink before making this list, but am surprised that five of my choices are pinks.  I noticed that theme early on and reviewed each to see if any could be booted for more variety, and I couldn't honestly knock any of them out.  In my choices for the summary, I was struck by how many blues there are, six including the FingerPaints Asylum manicure, because that was a surprise.  I like blue, but I wouldn't have said it's a favorite, but evidently it is, and even more surprising to me is that my favorite color in general, purple, doesn't show up at all.  I think that's because I was thinking in terms of outstanding polishes of the year, and no purples jump out at me as exceptional.  What shows clearly in today's post is true overall: I love glitter.  Seven of my picks were glitters and there are lots of sparkly shimmers, but I have always loved glitter.  I'm also aware that I'm more fond of novelty polishes than most, and using the strictest definition of them, only the ones that have an element not normally in polish (sometimes holos and flakies are called novelties, I'm not including those), there are three, two scented and one magnetic, and it's only three because I allowed myself just one choice from each scented collection (I set the limit because otherwise I'd include more than were reasonable just because I'm enthusiastic about them).  The last thing I noticed that was surprising to me in putting this together is that FingerPaints is the most represented brand with four of my picks, which is fully 20% of my favorites of the year.  I knew I liked them a lot and that recent releases have given me the sense that they're getting even better, but that was more than I'd anticipated.

    That wraps up my Top 20 of 2011, which was an absolute blast to do.  Along the way, I was able to pick a favorite manicure of the year as well.  I chose several others to compare to it and be sure it's really #1, but there was no second guessing it alongside anything I put up against it.  This is not my most perfect polish application ever, I got a bit on a cuticle when I applied the base color and I don't Photoshop that kind of thing, but even in light of imperfection I love it.  This is stamping plate D09 over Nubar Marble Tower.

    Nubar Marble Tower Nail Polish with Nail Art Stamping Plate D09

    That wraps up 2011 but for my New Year's Eve manicure!  I actually wrote this whole post yesterday while still wearing my Christmas Eve manicure because I'm leaving town this morning to spend NYE with one of my favorite people in the whole world ever, so my hope is that I'll have polish changed and a picture taken to schedule that post for tomorrow.  If not, it'll keep until I get back, but it felt kind of jerky to leave for a few days in the middle of a series wrapping up the year so I wanted to be sure to get this finished up.

    I'll wish you a happy and safe New Year's Eve and a 2012 filled with all good things now on the off chance I don't get one more post in.  Until next time, Dear Reader, love and nail polish to you!

    All Rights Reserved, Siobhan@The Nailphile. If you're reading this elsewhere, it's stolen from a real nail polish blog.

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