{ high/low }

recently on twitter, someone asked what my preferred nail polish is. truth be told, i’m an equal-opportunity experimenter in this arena. due in large part to all the jewelry-making i do, my nails require frequent repainting. so i like to mix it up!

lately my favorites fall into two categories: cheap-o and chanel:

{ chanel colors (bottom row) from left to right: inattendu, jade, particulière, black pearl, paradoxal, peridot, nouvelle vague, khaki rose // all the others are in portuguese! }

i’ve long looked to chanel for trend-setting colors, but cutting-edge comes with quite a cost. that’s why i was so excited last month in sao paulo to discover that a bottle of nail polish there sells for about $1.50, and their standard drugstores stock every color under the sun!! i picked up roughly twenty new tones ~ my sister stole half of them upon my return to new york (and yet she also gave me many of the designer varietals pictured here, so we’re cool); the few i managed to hold on to are interspersed with my high-end favorites in these photos:

shooting this, i noticed that i tend to choose mauve-y neutrals, smokey metallics, dusky plums, and the occasional glint of green. one that i’m especially excited about is peridot (center, below). it’s my birthstone and the finish reminds me of the holographic sheen of beetle wings:

i also really love my brand-new brazilian 3D topcoat (bottom left, below; you saw me wear it HERE) ~ it’s great on its own and layers fantastically with every other color:

what’s your favorite nail color or polish line? is there any one that we all simply must try?!

  • Anonymous

    O.P.I – the colour range is superb!

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/08414016239959739344 Christina Bettencourt

    sally hansen hard as nails extreme wear!!!

    I just started to do reviews on blog spot about beauty fashion and more! If you have one im hoping you could follow me on there and support me. Just trying to get my reviews out there!

    Most likely will be doing a giveaway once i hit 50 followers.


    Love Alway

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/04783823686564686418 Bri

    I've never tried the Chanel nail polish but it looks like they have some great colors!

  • http://www.amandasnotebook.com Amanda’s Notebook

    My obsession is with Deborah Lippmann… I can't get enough of her colors!

  • http://www.paperdolltheory.com kelly @ paper doll theory

    essie's colors are always great! although they require a few coats to get the full effect. and i've just discovered sally hansen complete salon manicure (base, color, and top coat all in one!) plus it has an application-friendly brush that i'm obsessed with! otherwise, i'm curious to try nails inc which is a u.k. brand that has finally launched in the u.s.

    btw, i'm so jealous of your chanel polish collection!



  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/05942764320600245819 Julie Khuu

    wow, that's quite a collection Kelly! And you scored Peridot! Number one seller, and now thanks to you, I'm sure it'll sell out of stores everywhere!

    I'm a cheapy nail polish gal myself (usually purchase at Asian beauty supply stores for $1 each) but those metallic Chanel beauties are totally worth the bucks!

    Peace. Love. LOL!

    Haute Khuuture Blog

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/14227790770455857624 The Fancy Teacup

    I'm a big fan of Essie nail polish–but I am wanting to add to my stash some Chanel. I like how you mix low end with high end polish. And I especially love how you are drawn to the metallic and plum hues!

    ♥, Jamie

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/00830416372998932026 Joni James

    I mostly only use Revlon. It last the longest in my experience. I recently tried Revlon's matte suede in a beautiful dark green. I ended up going over it with a clear shine. I just couldn't get use to the matte finish.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/17140683247414304286 Sacha Noelle Peet

    American Apparel has great colors!

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/12347329353442093349 Michelle Lee

    i loveeverything glittery :)


  • http://thedailytiara.com The Daily Tiara

    I love Essie and Chanel. The colors are always amazing! Chanel always has such beautiful colors.


  • http://www.riamichelle.com Ria

    I haven't heard good things about the Peridot unfortunately, in regards to quality vs cost. Have you tried Zoya polishes, I dig them but you gotta use their topcoat otherwise they chip pretty quickly. I also really like Illamasqua polishes and I have no complaints there.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/15352458274492211995 Andrea

    Chanel have the best formulas and colours, the brighter the better! I still maintain that their Shanghai nail vernis collection was the coolest. I've been longing to try out Peridot.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/18265420991342432233 Mrs. C

    As much as I love Essie and OPI the cost really bogs me down. I've been stocking up on Sally Hansen "hard as nails" as they are great!! Whenever I'm in a bind though I always wear "Wicked" by Essie. Classic go-to!

    Recipes Fashion Marriage

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/17421347098225672822 Yasmeen

    One of my roommates got me into all OPI's collections. She has almost everything so I can't compete at all but I hope to amount one as impressive as yours one day! :D I love colors like midnight blue and dark grey…

    Castle Fashion

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/06082917538862403026 Allegra

    OOOH wow you have that peridot – I want it so badly but they don't have it at the stores yet … I'm looking every day for it!!

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/02726299173571681212 Chloe Moreau

    So many colors! I'd never be able to make up my mind if I had that many =) Amazing!


  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/02244779094747933099 Tess

    wow so cool you got these for $1,50! Personally, I think chanel has some really great colors, but it's simply too expensive.. I like opi :)

  • http://www.rockygirl.fr Rocky Girl

    Hello ! You can try OPI's. They have fabulous colours but stay much more longer than other brands (up to 8-10 days, well I don't do handcrafted jewels but stil…)


  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/12167213309697759280 Lily

    Love the chanel polishes…you have so many gorgeous colors !!


  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/01671622982235409326 S

    I really love chanel nailpolishes but i try every brand i find with cool colours, even h&m;, they make really trendy shades but the quality is not very good.



  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/06170231748460848663 Do You Desire?

    Hey doll, if you love green tones you should definitely get Essie-terquoise and caicos! I love it so much, it is awesome with Essie – California Coral (Target exclusive) Target gets a lot of great shades (exclusively) <3

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/00315028460641143477 nina oliva

    love your selection! I also go for nude and grey-ish tones… bolder colours I use for toenails…
    there's a no-name brand in Switzerland which adopts the trend colours rather quickly and is quite inexpensive… love it to try new tones!

    Nina Oliva

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/04987908098132123033 The Style Spook

    I love chanel and have three of the same colors, but it comes off way too fast! My favorite for long lasting polish even when tightening an o ring or wrapping wire is Essie. It allows me to have dishpan hands, cook and make things without worrying if my manicure will chip or crack for a week. I Love!!! I am into an orangey coral right now and I love my gray purple Revlon color that's cheap from the drug store! Obviously, I am way too lazy to go look at the names. Last year, I was obsessed with commander in chic by sally hansen. I love colorful nails! Fun post! http://stylespook.blogspot.com/

  • Anonymous

    Illamasqua has the most amazing pops of colour.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/08625435112538119954 Jules xo

    I love dark red or black most of time.
    I've tried brighter colours but soemhow they seem to look dull on my skin.
    Chanel seems to have a great range of colours. I might give it a go next time. :)

    sienna rose
    x x

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/02641524108306861481 FashionFlirt

    I love all your chanel nail polishes! xxx, Jasmin


  • Anonymous

    I've been trying to use only natural ones, because there are a lot of nasty chemicals in nail polish. Butter makes a nice line, and there are starting to be cheaper brands coming out that still skip the serious chemicals.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/15376356878120105071 Gina Michele

    Great shades!
    I only use Zoya. They have a ton of colors and (most importantly) they're free from formadehyde, DBP and toluene.

    ♥ Gina Michele

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/05052792977181531741 La Petite Marmoset

    I gravitate towards OPI because it's middle range price but I think I'll have to try chanel after this!
    La Petite Marmoset

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/05329196451830464702 Dominika

    what an amazing collection!


  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/02451299578131268902 Mary

    I love your nail polish collection! Especially the Chanel jade one, mmm it's beautiful. I don't have a particular favourite nail polish colour though, I think everything is great!

  • Flávia

    Love all the nail polish colours!
    Whenever I visit Brazil I always buy too many colours as well :).
    Oh and be assured: they're both great brands that last really long!

  • http://www.closetcravings.com/ Closet Cravings

    I love Chanel's nail polish bottles. OPI always has great colors too. =0

  • Anonymous

    Inglot – Polish nail polish. Also in NY. All colours you can imagine!

  • cp

    Love that there's not a pink or red in the bunch! Such a great range of colors!


  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/04588215135554425458 CK

    I love all the neutral options. I am a big fan of Essie/OPI but definitely want to check out some of the Chanel options you pictured.


  • http://www.joellevandyne.com joelle van dyne

    my most favorite is probably lippman, but it is a near-tie with chanel. i think the two have different aesthetics, but are both always coming out with something totally new. i also try to give my nails a break by rotating with '3-free' polishes like butter london or rescue beauty lounge (which is a great place for a mani/pedi if you want to pamper yourself!).

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/05665923494721652626 Gawgus things…

    As much as I love Chanel, I don't find the polishes last very long and the cheaper ones last forever! A chemist friend of mine did explain it once to me and if I'd managed to stay awake throughout the conversation, I could have enlightened you as well, but alas I didn't…;) xx

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/15587528712745654936 Lauren

    i go through brand phases. when i first got into nail polish, i was really into OPI. it tends to peel away without the right topcoat though (i use seche vite). i like most of the china glaze that i've tried. their formula is thicker, but not as gloppy as some OPI i own. i also like essies, but i prefer their more pigmented colors because the lighter colors tend to be a bit runny/streaky.

    right now, i'm into essie. i have cute as a button on my nails and watermelon on my toes. :)

  • Anonymous

    "dazzle dry" top coat is a must have when painting your nails… You will be chip-less for about 2 weeks!

    My favorite color is OPI "do you think i'm text-y" and anything D&G;, their polishes are all beautiful.

  • http://simplychicforcheap.wordpress.com/ simplychicforcheap

    i've never tried chanel polish! after seeing your post i might just have to try a bottle! i stick to essie for the most part – i was told that essie is made for your natural nail, whereas OPI was specifically made to adhere to acrylics. food for thought :)

    xo jeanette


  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/13478913892771015503 vera.c

    cliché is a portuguese brand that sells for about 1€, is really easy to apply, lasts a long time and has really pretty colors (their website SUCKS though, the best option is googling the colors)

    my collection is all greens, blues and greys, with some brick oranges/beige/neutrals, my favorite is green though, top 3 right here:

    Jade: https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-O4H7DSxqTqI/TXJgYGjA-FI/AAAAAAAAVD8/PyzJgre5tdU/s400/Clich%25C3%25A9+Jade+-+7.JPG




  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/10180981549019906943 Kelsey K

    I really love China Glaze. I get bored easily while waiting for my nails to try, but with China Glaze I have noticed that the colors dry faster than other brands. Also, China Glaze has a nail polish simulator on their website so you can pre-test out colors. Cheesey but fun.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/13478913892771015503 vera.c

    oh and cliché is also formadehyde and toluene free :)

  • Anonymous

    I recently discovered Scotch Naturals and I was really impressed. I'm trying to lighten my "chemical load"

  • http://mod-mode.blogspot.com Susie

    Aside from your GORGEOUS chanel range, I need to know… where is that amazing catchall plate that you modeled your polish on?!?! I loooooooove it!

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/08518329813713039329 C’est La Viii

    So jealous of your polish collection! Pretty!


  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/03256752355688311090 the smoking nuns

    we love your mint colored chanel nail polish!! rocking some royal blue nail polish as we type. love your stuff.

    blair and dani
    the smoking nuns

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/10682889544071697460 Lindsay

    You MUST try CND. It goes on in one coat, has the perfect brush, and does tons of designer collabs. I just got the Jason Wu Miss Wu set and I'm in love with every color.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/11654664951885250724 Dirty Hair Halo

    cherry blossom girl does this amazing inverted french manicure, where she paints her nails fully with one color and lets dry, then lays round stickers (the kind meant to reinforce the ripped holes on sheets of binder paper) on the bottom of her nails over the cuticle, and paints over the sticker and the part of her nails that aren't covered. i hope that made sense. i feel like you might be into the effect.


    Dirty Hair Halo

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/04750934444442772717 Caitie

    I love mixing it up with nail polish, too! For the past few years my go to color for spring/summer was OPI 'mod about you' but this summer I was smitten over Essie's 'mint candy apple' just amazing!


  • http://www.founditonapostednote.wordpress.com/ founditonapostednote

    Lincoln Park After Dark–OPI

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/16801889081775639080 Maria Maria Maria

    If you're looking for some cute cheap nail polish..Forever 21 is where it's at! I get the cutest colors there for under $3.


  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/13555338365629174476 Vani

    Great collection!
    I usually go more for the colour than for brands. My favourites for this season are silver, pale yellow, jade green and neon green.


  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/02292910347965825864 SWF_Terra

    Not that I'm wishing away summer but I was really feeling FALL this week when I did my nails. I just purchased Essie Carry On. Highly recommend for that deep, vampy color.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/09842164788898717616 Tora Anderson

    My favorite line is Butter London – their line of colors is always changing and the top coat is awesome! Check them out!

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/12581527200255195587 rachel kirk peterson

    i have been an avid MAC nail polish purchaser, but i heard their polish is going to be discontinued. too bad, because they had so many fun campaigns and new season color lines. it just goes on so flawlessly. hurry and pick some up before it's gone.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/09247099308018043870 ashley

    love your chanel collection!

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/16286215177596742133 Maria Tereza

    Oh yeah! there is no way not to fall in love with the Impala 3D! And it's so cheap! I loved all your choices in the photos. Am I crazy to buy more Chanel Nail Polish.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/10140062771002956746 Jessica

    Cute nail polishes! I vary my polish brands, it all depends on the colour for me :)


    Please take a minute to look at my trunkshow;


  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/17926676963361210046 Style Dilettante

    "Peridot" by Chanel has been my go-to allll summer long! It's iridescent so it tends to take on whatever color you're wearing – and it reminds me of a June Bug's wings! I think I spotted it among your collection.


  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/00994320449949133404 ctkiyonaga

    Love the Peridot–also found Nars Kismet that is a deeper gold. A light transluscent coat can warm up anything; the deeper coat is at once invisible and at the same time terribly LUXE a la Liz Taylor in Cleopatra.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/16478371672108973240 jeanette

    You will definitely not be disappointed in Chanel Peridot. Out of all the Chanel les vernis that have come out for their fall collection, I thought Peridot was the most unique. The other colors I thought were pretty dupable.

    My go-to nail polish brands lately have been essie and Chanel. Essie has a great collection of colors and i'm really anticipating their fall line.

    I would have to say though from a polish performance perspective, you can't really beat Chanel. Their polish formulas rarely let me down.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/03115699797752749223 dailypolish

    Where can I even begin!?!?

    High End: Nars, Rescue Beauty Lounge, Chanel, Deborah Lippmann, Illamasqua

    Mid range: Zoya, OPI, Essie, CND, Color Club, China Glaze

    Drugstore: Wet'n'wild, Rimmel, No17, etc

    Not even made anymore: StreetWear, Old style Maybelline/Revlon/Covergirl

    International Brands: Catrice, Rivka, Impala, Essence, Bloom, BarryM (Catrice & BarryM are good for Chanel dupes)

    But then….I became a nail blogger to justify my nail obsession!


  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/04909763030979798414 Coco

    I LOVE the navy blue one from Chanel from a few years back. One of my friends had it, so I'd always borrow it from her. I usually use OPI or Essie, but my sister swears by China Glaze.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/09606827280456842787 Audrey

    so fun!! I use all kinds too! http://www.casualglamorous.com

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/13807176055077408821 Mónica C. Welton

    minty ones, silver… and matte.


  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/13637724940222334924 Andrea

    Have you tried Deborah Lippmann ones? I love those. I found a cute blush color from opi though. Check it out on my posting. http://www.artalarue.com

  • http://www.seescoutsleep.com See Scout Sleep

    Essie "Oui Madame" with Sally Hansen "Celeb City" on top = LIQUID SILVER. gorgeous and last forever

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/10312408733555420268 Leonie

    So far I have only collected two brands: Chanel and O.P.I.

    The latter is my favorite, it stays pretty for much longer than my Chanel ones.

    NEW POST: Beautiful Industrial

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/16724256823919163639 Not Just A Pretty Dress

    I completely agree with you on the fact that Chanel always proposes amazing shades, but I find the texture of its nail polishs very difficult to apply. I personally love OPI and Essie.


  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/12522886851362329751 In Small Spectacles

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/12522886851362329751 In Small Spectacles

    Revlon's Top Speed "Carbonite" looks just like Chanel's "Graphite." I am loving it. Needs only one coat, dries fast, reasonably long-lasting

  • Joanna
  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/10734126704777777772 angelieeee

    I love CHANEL nail polish !

    you can also follow me on Twitter! :) @angelieeee

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/05590175743597181966 Grace

    Ahhh, this is nail polish HEAVEN!


  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/14418273235641997155 TheRoseAlley

    Peridot is my birthstone too, I treaded myself to the Chanel polish as well and ADORE it! My favorite by far.


  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/09907874331757742081 Kitty

    you should try Inglot – they have an enormous range of colors!

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/02951796823587909161 Jennifer King

    Chanel nail polish makes me squeal. The colors are the best and super stunning. I still haven't gotten the courage to cough up the cash for a bottle, but I'm still loving my OPI colors. My current favorite is a green jewel tone called "Jade is the New Black."

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/01567658149275652293 v v

    soooo is your brand-new brazilian 3D topcoat from brazil ? cause if it isnt… where can i buy it!!!??


    ps… im wearing my periot right now :)

  • Grace

    deborah lippman diamonds and pearls is an amazing colour by itself or on top of solid colours!

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/14343408939234740704 CNote

    I love OPI since the colors are great and the brush is amazing! I also love the colors from Rescue Beauty Lounge (Grunge is one of my favorites and is a definite staple!)

  • http://mstwirlyskirts.com Molliee

    I love the bright jewel tones!!


  • Anonymous

    In NYC, Nolita is Maria Bonita beauty salon, there you can find all the shades from Colorama, the brazilian brend. You can also find some of the Brazilian brands in the specialized stores. Don't know in the city but there are tons of them in Queens, for still a better price than OPI's and such!

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/11877905441050609375 FashionFreak/Mihaela

    WOW! your nail polishes *__*

    My blog♥mfashionfreak

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/13238757677243200647 Sharla

    i agree with everyone here who has said OPI. i swear by all of their nail lacquers :)

    dressed yet

  • http://www.randyjacksonnext.com/ Randy Jackson

    I think Essie isn't bad and for Cheap cheap Sally Hanson has some good colors. Zoya is good, but it's hard to find amazing colors with them.

  • http://dawnmurray.wordpress.com/ Dawn

    I used to wear Essie Red Nouveau (the perfect orangey-red) but have switched to China Glaze in Recycle – it's a gorgeous grey that goes with absolutely everything – soooo love it.
    Your collection is fabulous!

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/02369158820640804238 LOOK-OVER
  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/08123644460058416717 David Diaz

    I love Chanel polishes! & Essie is a really good brand! :D

    Have a Good Day!



  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/11690806954307433224 relish

    my favorite nail polish color of all time has to be OPI's teenage dream!! it is glittery deliciousness… but essie has my favorite varnish colors…mint candy apple, brazilliant, absolutely sure, luxedo, steeling the scene… it goes on and on..


  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/01554947826187623725 phantasnight

    Illamasqua – Viridian – all time favourite :

    (the colour is a tad warmer than displayed in the image )

  • http://www.veggie-love.de Franziska

    I love nail polish, and I cannot have enough colors to chose from! But since I wear it constantly, I want to make sure that I use non-toxic, eco-friendly & also vegan brands. Right now I am in love with pink & orange, but forthcoming fall will be all about nude for me. Since I have recently written an article about nail polish, I am happy to share my favorite non-toxic brands: http://chicvegan.com/heavenly-nail-polishes-for-eco-conscious-veganistas/

  • http://laurenlyons.com Lauren Lyons

    The best nail polish EVER in unusual shades such as "Plaster"… is KnockOut Cosmetics (available at Bendels or online). The price is around $16.00.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/18359692445710227141 Collections

    My favorite is definitely OPI for Sephora.

    Fashionable Collections

  • http://www.rareluxus.com Jen

    I have been obsessing over Chanel Peridot! Love your collection.

  • http://www.apparelus.com/ wholesale clothing

    Cute nail polishes! I love to design my nails. and I love your chanel collection!

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/12683043426730681391 So Chic Bizarre
  • http://front-of-a-postcard.tumblr.com/ Caroline

    Do you find that the Chanel nail polish has a better texture/feel/durability than a cheap-o polish? Honestly, I stay with Essie always!

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/04348778557772621239 Allison M.

    i love black pearl, so glad I bought it in the spring.

  • http://unhacarne.wordpress.com silvinha.ba

    Hello!Im from brasil, and I have this polish nails!!
    Visit my blog about nails!!!

  • fernanda – jlfjramos@terra.com.br

    HI! i'm from Brazil and looove this colors! Have so many nail polishes can't even count anymore…let me know when you want some more and i'll send you!
    have you been to the mcqueen thing ate the met? think i saw you there!
    big kiss

  • Anonymous

    I definitely miss being able to buy Colorama!!! They'd sell it everywhere in my home country!

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/08940375900549890859 kATHA

    you and chrislle lim's style is somewhat similar…i love you both!

  • http://www.alexieaguildds.com/ dentist west hollywood

    Pretty colors. I love painting my nails.

  • http://twitter.com/VeronicaHorsman Veronica Horsman

    Honestly, if you are looking for longevity,
    Essie is the way to go. Though, I do have some Chanel and it is truly a
    hardcore battle for the colour-trend crown between them. It must be said
    though, since Nouvelle Vague came out almost three summers ago now, EVERYONE
    has tried to copy that robin’s-egg blue and NO ONE has succeeded.