Where the Sand Meets the Sky

MayJune 2017 Collage

With this duo of angry thunderhead and sparkling sand-hued lacquers, Enchanted Polish seems to be going back to nature with its mystery releases for May and June 2017. Thankfully, the au natural look suits them well; much as I love my not-of-a-colour-found-in-nature glitter bombs, there’s something soothingly refined about less artificially-hued shades.  I also can’t overstate the importance of finding a beautiful, unique polish you can wear to work, cocktail night and your grandparents’ anniversary dinner.

I’ve complained a bit in the past about how Enchanted’s mystery polishes don’t always correlate to the months in which they’re released.  Sure, you’ve got the requisite fir-green polish for December and red for February. But you’ve also got a shade best described as “holographic dishwater” for July and an inexplicable – if pretty! – primary blue for May. Back in 2015, the inspiration for these polishes seemed to be all over the place.

But this year’s crop of mystery polishes has so far been an absolute delight.  Inspired by some of Enchanted’s retro best-sellers, the polishes have also corresponded nicely to their month of release, particularly these two stunners, stormy May and sandy June. Let’s take a closer look at both, shall we?

May 2017 Collage

May 2017 reads a tad more blue in these photos than it does in real life, where it’s the same dark and dusky hue as loaded thunderhead clouds above a sandy beach.  The holo in this polish is not hugely pronounced, but no mind, this is one of those ones I actually prefer in the shade – lower lighting brings out its fine silver shimmer. These photos show two coats, and as always, it applied like a dream about smooth, streak-free things.  Never doubt Enchanted’s formulation – it’s across-the-board rock solid.

June 2017 Collage

At the halfway mark of the year we have June 2017, a beautiful sandy holo shot through with fine red shimmer. I think this polish looks like that sand I talked about beneath the thunderheads of May 2017, although it also looks like tanned skin after a day spent out in the sun – bronzed and slightly flushed.  This is another polish that is lovely in the sun, but positively gorgeous in the shade, where you can really see that shimmery pink glow.  An immensely flattering three-coater that’s workplace (and churchplace) appropriate.  A surprise favourite that will undoubtedly see a lot of nail art action.

Holo Package Shot

And because Enchanted’s stunning holographic boxes make my paper product-loving heart sing, or at least begin spouting impromptu slam poetry, I’ve included a shot of one of those, too.  I particularly like the way it appears as though the blue/green haze of the holo rainbow is climbing up the side of the castle in this photograph – let’s give it up for some decent iPhone photography, yes? 😉  Total fluke, I assure you!

Bummer time: Short of finding these mystery releases on, say, Ebay or via some other re-seller, May and June 2017 are one-and-done polishes.  But there’s still six months left in the year, so six more opportunities to nab fantastic polishes like these.  So if you’re interested, sign up for Enchanted’s newsletter here to stay up to date on all new releases.

My Pretty Purple

April 2017 Collage

Afternoon, friends!  Tiny word of warning regarding this post: It’s coming at you primarily under the power of lotsandlots of cold meds.  Toooooo many cold meds!  I’ve been terribly sick since the end of last week, and yesterday, after reaching my breaking point with the headaches, the fever and the nausea, I reached for just a few too many medications instead, and promptly fell into a David Lynchian, *mostly* unaccounted-for 24 hours (best summed up by the shipping confirmation I received from Sephora this morning for an order I do not remember placing last night!)  I will attempt to keep this as linear as possible!

This lovely purple lacquer is Enchanted Polish’s mystery pick for April 2017.  It’s very pretty – can’t go wrong with an Enchanted holo; they always do ’em up right – but probably nothing I’d seek out of my own volition. All the same, I will use the heck out of this polish – there’s always room for a pale purple in my nail art endeavors, and this one is just lovely, in the sun, of course, but also in the shade, where you can see just the tiniest touch of rose shimmer streaked throughout the bottle.  Very pretty.

March 2017 Bottle

So Bluetiful!

So Bluetiful Bottle

All right, NOW we’re cooking with gas on this mystery polish business!  This lovely speckled specimen is Enchanted Polish’s mystery lacquer for the month of March, and it is stupendous – the kind of polish I was hoping my last turn at the mystery hokey pokey was going to turn up, but regrettably never produced.

So Bluetiful Fingers

Glittery jellies are my nail polish kryptonite, and March 2017, with its navy blue-leaning black glitter, purple, colour-shifting shimmer and fine sprinkling of holographic glitter, is one for the Top 3 list, absolutely.  What a stunner!  I think it looks like a very vibrant robin’s egg.  It’s also quite beautiful way, way up close and personal (shame about that little bubble, perfectly outlined though it may be – with thanks to my new husband-procured Olloclip macro lens, which could pick out a dust mite on a flea on a dog, I swear.  Or, you know, something less gross and buggy!)

So Bluetiful Macro

The Dark Side and the Light Side

Main Enchanted Mystery Photo

Yesterday I was banging on about a bath bomb that looked like the Death Star and today I’m equating my nail polish shades with the moral relativism of a Jedi – looks like somebody’s got Star Wars on the brain.  Which is sort of interesting, as I’ve actually never done a Star Wars manicure.  Can’t be that big a fan, I suppose (I’m not; I pretty much like The Force Awakens and that’s it!)

But I always like nail polish, and I really like these two Enchanted Polish lacquers, picks both from Enchanted’s collection of 2017 mystery polishes.  Longtime readers may remember that I purchased all of 2015’s mystery polishes, although they may also recall that I wasn’t terrifically impressed with any of the choices.  As such, I sat out 2016.  But when Enchanted announced that 2017’s run of mystery polishes was going to harken back to their earliest best sellers, polishes that I initially missed out on because nail art wasn’t yet a thing in my life, I thought I’d jump back into the fray and hope for the best.

The first two polishes of the year, January and February, already give me great hope that this collection will be filled with unique offerings.  I have my fingers crossed about five times over for a polish inspired by Shrimp Cocktail, a shimmery, coral-hued jelly that is MY holy grail of nail polishes, but I’ll be satisfied if they’re all as lovely as January and February.  Let’s take a closer look at both. 🙂

January 2017 Collage

Representing the Dark Side (or just, you know, the dark side) is January 2017, a black scattered holo brimming with indigo, purple and lime green shimmer.  January 2017 is one of those polishes that regrettably photographs quite poorly.  Glittery black polishes tend to do that, their riot of rainbow colours getting somewhat lost in the gloom.  January ’17 is no exception, particularly in the shade.  But out in the sun or beneath any other direct light source, this polish is an absolute stunner, tossing off mad rainbows with every flick of your fingertips.  Gorgeous in two easy coats.

January 2017 Bottle Shot

February 2017 Collage

Then looking on the lighter side of life, we have the very ethereal-looking February 2017. This polish is a bit of an odd duck – I initially thought it was a very sheer topper.  But February 2017 is actually a full coverage polish, beautifully opaque in two coats, and reminiscent of standing in a cloudy haze.  By which I mean an actual cloudy haze, not a drug-induced one – like when I quite triumphantly stood on a mountaintop in Stowe, Vermont as a teenager, the clouds gently curling my hair into damp tendrils, and looked down on the majesty of creation and thought…”WHAT THE HELL AM I DOING UP HERE?! IT’S A FRIGGIN’ THREE HOUR HIKE BACK DOWN THIS OVERGROWN HILL!”  Never been much for nature, this one.

But this polish is so lovely, this time a silver linear holo infused with a rich streak of greeny-purple shimmer. It’s a sort of queasy-looking colour combination, and one I like very much, particularly in the shade.

February 2017 Collage Shade

These two polishes are unfortunately no longer available.  For the mystery polishes, Enchanted operates on a pre-order basis, and I purchased both of these (at a cost of $16 US a bottle) earlier in January.  But the rest of the year is still up on deck, and if these two beauties are any indication, we’re all in for some lovely treats.  You can get yours by signing up for Enchanted’s newsletter, which will fill you in on any upcoming pre-orders and releases.

An Enchanted New Years Eve: A Final Review

Enchanted Full Year Collage

For my final post of 2015 (or the first of the new year, according to WordPress Standard Time), I thought I’d put together a round-up of the 12 lacquers (plus one) I purchased this year via Enchanted Polish’s mystery buy…program?  I still don’t know what to call it.  But it’s not a subscription box or anything like that – you simply purchase the individual polishes sight unseen.  That way you can choose as few or as many as you like. I went along with the entirety of the year, picking up all 12, as well as a special holiday polish.

In terms of finish, all 13 are shimmer-infused holos.  Formula-wise, they are all absolutely gorgeous – rich two-coaters that look just as beautiful in the shade as they d0 in the sun.  Zero complaints there.  But in terms of colour selection – you know, that thing that ultimately lures you in – I remain disappointed.  I had hoped that for taking the “risk” of buying a polish sight unseen, we’d be rewarded with something a little outside the norm.  Instead I found the colours to be, with a few exceptions, safe and uninspired and nothing I’d ever buy myself had I the choice. January, November and December are all rich, divine jewel tones, but the icy shades that dominate March, April and July legitimately tick me off – July is the colour of (shimmery) dishwater.  I’m not even sure I could charitably call it a colour, period.  There also isn’t much, if any, cohesion among the shades, making for a bit of a muddled mess en masse.

So would I do it again?  As in, will I be doing it again in 2016?  I don’t think so.  I wasn’t overly wowed by anything I received this year, although they’re nice enough polishes, all.  But nice enough is not quite enough to justify the higher than average price point of Enchanted’s lacquers ($16.50 US each.)  That combined with the absolutely shit Canadian dollar means I’ll probably be sitting out the next round of mystery buys.

Holiday bottle

Blue Spruce

December 2015 Collage

And so here we are at the end of the year, celebrating the final day of December and indeed the entire Year 2015 with one final Enchanted mystery polish, blue spruce-hued December 2015.  I had a feeling that December was going to be a Christmas tree-type green.  The only other green of the year was a pale, watery mint in March; we were overdue for something rich and festive.

Like every other mystery polish released this year, December 2015 is a beautiful holographic shot through with colour-bending shimmer.  The ultra fine gold shimmer running throughout December 2015 is particularly lovely, mingling with the Kelly green base to produce a gentle blue hue that reminds me of blue spruce trees.  The holographic effect in this polish is also spectacular, although that’s really no surprise – a beautiful, dark holo like this one was meant to dazzle, and dazzle it does.

But stain it does not!  Because this time – unlike that time with Colors by Llarowe’s grass green holo, Gemini Rising – I remembered to lay down two thick coats of base coat so I don’t have to walk around for the next month with pee green nails.  See, kids, we’re learnin’!

December 2015 Sun Bottle

Holiday Wine

Holiday 2015 Collage

I thought the last lacquer in Enchanted Polish’s 2015 mystery buy program was going to be the as-yet-unswatched December 2015, but it turns out Enchanted had a little surprise up its sleeve, rounding out the year with a special holiday polish to make 2015’s offerings an even baker’s dozen. This gorgeous wintery wine is Holiday 2015, and it’s everything I thought KB Shimmer’s Men Are From Mars-ala was going to be, but regrettably was not – a rich, brown-leaning holograhpic red.  That it’s the more flattering of the two choices is not surprising, given its hints of gorgeous, purpley-red shimmer, which means it’s really not any kind of marsala at all, but hey, wine is wine, amirite? (Says the woman who imbibed high school-style during a reunion of friends and paid for it for the remainder of the holidays.  “Never again!” she AND her friends undoubtedly said…until next year when they plan to do it all over again.)

Holiday 2015 Collage Holo


October 2015 Bottle

Enchanted Polish’s mystery pick for October 2015 is a black-hued, champagne shimmer-flecked holographic that reminds me very much of a favourite polish of mine, Lilypad Lacquer’s Rainbows in Space. I was initially kind of bummed that I seemed to have another dupe on my hands – nail polish redundancy is something I really strive to avoid. But on closer inspection, October 2015 reveals itself to be a nice alternative to Rainbows in Space, remaining a true black on the nail, something a bit rare with shimmer-enhanced polishes (the copper shimmer in Rainbows in Space, for instance, lends the polish a charcoal grey and sometimes even navy-type tinge in certain lights.) I like that October 2015 remains a pretty solid black on the nail – the better to admire all those pretty rainbows (which you cannot see in these photos, of course, because the sun cares not to visit my apartment at this time of year. Stupid jerk sun ruining my swatching plans.)

October 2015 Fingers Shade 1October 2015 Fingers Shade 2

Feeling Blue

September 2015 Bottle

This blue beauty is Enchanted Polish’s mystery lacquer for September 2015. I’m of two minds about this polish and where it fits into this year’s blind buy program. On the one hand, it’s a beautiful holographic in a gorgeous, rich colour with an excellent finish. None of those things in a nail polish can remotely be considered bad. But on the other hand, this is the third blue of 2015, and a rather uninspired one at that. It’s probably not a colour I would have nabbed of my own volition, pretty though it is.

September 2015 Shade Fingers

And therein lies the problem I’ve had with these mystery buys – with perhaps one or two exceptions, there’s not a single polish I’ve received this year that I would have purchased myself. And although I’ve never participated in any sort of beauty box-type subscription program (which the Enchanted polishes are not in any event; you’re simply purchasing sight unseen) I know that a big part of the draw is discovering great new brands, products and shades you might not have otherwise chosen for yourself. But there really hasn’t been anything groundbreaking about the shades Enchanted has chosen for 2015, or the finishes (shimmer-flecked holos, all.) Lovely, lovely polishes to be sure, and you better believe I’ve been using the dickens out of them in all manner of nail art, but nothing too special, which I was very much expecting from something so almost, well, secretive. But you do know what they say about Mystery Buy Club, though, right? The first rule is…

September 2015 Sun Fingers

Plum Perfect

November 2015 Bottle 2

Three more monthly mystery polishes arrived on my doorstep today courtesy of Enchanted Polish, and I immediately jumped to the back of the line to swatch this plummy beauty, November 2015. Like all the other polishes that have been part of Enchanted’s mystery buy program this year, November 2015 is a linear holo, boosted with a gorgeous dusting of co-ordinating shimmer, this time a sort of bluey-red that gives this plum-toned purple an almost duochrome type of effect.

November 2015 Fingers Shade

It is really SO beautiful, and the kind of “normal,” everyday shade that will appeal to all nail polish aficionados, and not just those of us crazy enough to paint our nails with colours that can most charitably be described as nuclear waste (come on, we’ve all been there; “Hon, this colour isn’t totally butt ugly, is it? Hon? Sweetie?”)

Like all Enchanted polishes, November 2015 applies smoothly and evenly, levels out nicely and dries down to a beautiful eggshell finish that I always top with a shimmer-enhancing layer of Seche Vite regardless, because that’s what I always do. Plum gorgeous!

November 2015 Bottle 1