Oh boy, I have missed you guys, and the blog, and everything! I am so so sorry for the hiatus, but it really couldn’t be helped. But now, I think I have enough Christmas gift polish to last me until I make it back home to Colorado (things didn’t progress as much as we wanted them too), so it’s time to bring the blog back in a big way.
And by big way, I mean huge. Like, a post two months in the making and what probably looks like a new section, maybe? We’ll see how my stash evolves before I decide.
But, anyway, Stash Staples. I know the concept has been done before (and maybe even called just this, but a quick Google turned up nothing), but obviously it always helps to have multiple opinions. So, in Stash Staples I’m gonna talk about polishes/colors I feel you should totally have in your stash, and what polishes I have in mine to fill that niche (and some other options of varying price points on the off chance the one in my collection is HTF). And I’m gonna start with four very basic colors: black, white, gold, and silver.
And because I like overkill, I’m not going to just discuss basics, no. I also have for you crackle polishes and textured polishes in these four colors as well, because I don’t think textured is quite on the way out, and there’s still so much you can do with crackle polishes (see the crackle gradients I’ve done here and here).
(I wanted to include some other polish types, like glitter and magnetic but I either didn’t own at least one polish in each of the chosen colors, a polish didn’t exist in one of the chosen colors – see my search for a white magnetic polish – or both. I also decided against trying to find mattes in these colors since it’s possible to turn any polish matte with a matte top coat.)
Anyway, let’s get going.
My Pick: Claire’s Black Hole (one coat, no top coat)
I have used many black cremes in my time on this blog, but Claire’s Black Hole is probably one of the best. This polish is a straight up one coater and that’s awesome because any more and I probably will have cuticle flood.
Availability: Available at Claire’s ($7.00), but the bottle style has changed.
Other Options: Kleancolor Black, Wet N Wild Black Creme, Sinful Colors Black on Black, Essie Licorice, Orly Liquid Vinyl, OPI Black Onyx, China Glaze Liquid Leather
My pick: Sally Hansen Ink Splatter (one coat, no top coat, over NYC French White Tip)
I dunno guys, but I never got over crackles. I love them and feel they can be a very quick way to do some pretty sweet looking nail art. And if you need a good starter crackle, a black is the way to go.
Availability: Surprisingly still available in certain drugstores (price varies by store)
Other Options: LA Girl Erupt, OPI Black Shatter, China Glaze Black Mesh, Burst Crackle Midnight Black, Color Club Smash Hit
My Pick: China Glaze Bump in the Night (two coats, no top coat)
I already did a pretty extensive review of this polish here, but I’ll quickly rehash what I said: For the longest time I was boycotting China Glaze (as well other AII brands like Salon Perfect and Seche) but I saw this little guy sitting in the polish bin at Marshall’s for $2.99 and I “needed” (in the polish addict’s definition of “need”) a black textured polish. So, home it came with me and here we are, I’m a convert.
Other Options: If you’re looking for the same look as BITN, your only choice is Sally Hansen Lick-O-Rich. But, if you prefer a little sparkle in your texture, try Zoya Pixie Dust Dahlia, Nicole by OPI A-Nise Treat, or Orly Black Pixel
My Pick: NYC French White Tip (two coats, no top coat)
A white creme is almost essential for anyone who does more than do solid colors (and even if you do, I have many neons that just don’t get opaque no matter how many coats I use). French White Tip is a wonderful and affordable option, since you’ll probably going to be replacing it almost as much as your base and top coats).
Availability: Available at various drugstores (price varies by store)
Other Options: Sally Hansen Hard to Get, Wet N Wild French White Creme, Color Club French Tip, China Glaze White on White, OPI Alpine Snow, Orly White Tips, Zoya Purity
My Pick: LA Girl Cracked (one coat, no top coat, over Clare’s Black Hole)
I mentioned this in my first crackle gradient post, but while “crackle year” was the year I got into nail polish hardcore, I never owned a white crackle until last year. And while I picked this one up because it was the only one I could find in a physical store, I’ve been impressed with this polish. (And I REALLY wanna marble over it)
Other Options: Sally Hansen Snow Blast, OPI White Shatter, Burst Crackle Blizzard, Color Club Clean Break, China Glaze Lightning Bolt
My Pick: Sally Hansen Sugar Fix (two coats, no top coat)
I confess that I feel that white in general is just a color you need to have in as many finishes as possible because it’s just such a versatile color. And this is a wonderful pick on its own or as a nail art base (paint a nude color over it and you’ve got sand! Imagine a textured gradient or a textured water marble!)
Other Options: Sadly, I could not find a single polish with the same look as Sugar Fix. China Glaze There’s Snow One Like You came close, but the larger glitters in it kind of ruined the look (and it also dried to look more like powdery snow vs the sandy look of Sugar Fix). For an option with the white color but a more glittery/shimmery finish try OPI Solitaire.
Update: Color Club Coastline is a dead on dupe for Sugar Fix, if you’re still on the lookout for a creamy textured white.
My Pick: Sally Hansen Xtreme Wear Golden-I (two coats, no top coat)
I’m pretty sure I’ve talked about my love for the Sally Hansen Xtreme Wear line (my favorite silver polish was Celeb City for the longest time. I’ll get into what polish usurped Celeb City later in this post). Golden-I is Celeb City’s gold cousin. It has the same formula and color payout as other polishes in this line.
Availability: Available at various drugstores (price varies by store)
Other Options: NYC Bryant Park, Anise Wildcat, Zoya Goldie, Essie Good as Gold, Nicole by OPI For Gold Times Sake
My Pick: Sally Hansen Antiqued Gold (one coat, no top coat, over both NYC French White Tip and Claire’s Black Hole)
I found this randomly in WalMart last year and damn near squealed in the store (ask The Fanboy if he even remembers) because “OMG this polish is supposed to be discontinued!” and “Since it’s here it’s fate and I need to buy it!” So I did. I think this polish works better over a dark base color, for the record.
Other Options: OPI Gold Shatter, Nicole by OPI Gold Texture, China Glaze Tarnished Gold, Burst Crackle Buckingham Gold
My Pick: Julie G Gift of Gold (three coats, no top coat)
I used to be totally against the shimmery textured polishes, and limited myself to the cremes until I decided to take on this project, which meant I needed to get over my prejudice of shimmery textures (cause who’s heard of a gold creme?), and to be honest, I think I’ve spoiled myself because of it. The texture wasn’t quite what I was expecting, it looked and felt more like I used one too many coats of glitter polish than the textured look the cremes I’m used to.
Other Options: OPI Honey Ryder, Zoya Solange
My Pick: Color Club On The Rocks (two coats, no top coat)
So, this is the polish I hinted at when I was talking about Golden-I. This is the polish that has taken over Celeb City as my favorite silver foil polish. It has the same color payout as Celeb City, but has a slightly better formula and is just a little bit easier to work with than the Sally Hansen.
Availability: Color Club Website ($8.00 by itself, $48 in a set with the rest of the Fiesta Collection), possibly Bed, Bath and Beyonds with a Harmon beauty section (also $8.00), in the Fiesta Collection set at Ross/TJ Maxx/etc. ($9.99)
Other Options: Sally Hansen Xtreme Wear Celeb City, NYC Tribeca Silver, Essie No Place Like Chrome, Zoya Trixie, China Glaze Millennium
My Pick: Sally Hansen Fractured Foil (one coat, no top coat, over NYC French White Tip and Claire’s Black Hole)
Fractured Foil, you and I, we go way back. You were one of the first polishes I purchased when I started this polish journey so you have a special place in my heart. One of my first looks was painting you over black. And that’s still my favorite look with you.
Availability: I believe this one is still available in certain drugstores (price varies by store)
Other Options: OPI Silver Shatter, Nicole by OPI Silver Texture, China Glaze Platinum Pieces, Burst Crackle Silver Chain
My Pick: Julie G Silver Bells (three coats, no top coat)
I have the same opinions of Silver Bells that I have of Gift of Gold. I guess I don’t know what I was expecting when I purchased these.
Other Options: OPI It’s Frosty Outside, Orly Silver Pixel
The next set I wanna do for this is red, blue, and gray (huh that color combo sounds familiar lol) assuming I get some new polishes (I’m missing textured polishes in all these colors and a gray crackle).