Saturday, December 31, 2016

Top 25 Indie Polishes of 2016

Happy New Year's Eve, dear readers! It's almost baffling that another year has come and gone, but what a year it has been! This past year, I saw quite a bit of traveling for the blog, from Colorado for the Uber Chic launch party, the Indie Shop in Los Angeles in May, Las Vegas for Cosmoprof North America in July, the first ever Polish Con in Chicago in September, and finally the Indie Shop in Los Angeles again in November. It has definitely been a fun experience, and each time I am always thrilled to see friends I have made in the blogging and beauty communities as well as making new ones. I'm certainly looking forward to seeing what 2017 brings the blog!

In honor of the close of the year, I wanted to put together my top Indie nail polish picks that came out this year. There were so many stunning shades to choose from, and there as so many that are deserving of recognition that just barely missed this list. One thing to note, this list only includes polishes that were available for purchase to the public. Many of the polish events I attended included event exclusives created by the various makers, and while so many of these exclusives could easily have made my list, I chose to not include them. I also did not include any mystery shades or gift with purchases; every polish on my list HAD to have been advertised and purchasable by anyone, and this does include collaboration projects. Let's jump in!


While I tend to not wear a lot of super sparkly shades, Wanderlusting certainly captured my attention this year! Rather than just a simple gold polish, this one has a complex makeup of  several different pigments, glass flecks, and a subtle green shift that I just had to include this beauty on my list.

Dancing in the Moonlight

I love my blues to be vibrant, and Girly Bits Cosmetics really nailed it with this stunning August color of the month shade. What really set this shade apart from other similar shades is the gorgeous pink flash that complemented the base colour so perfectly.

Fright Club

Originally part of a Halloween Duo, the deep green Fright Club made my list this year. It appears almost black in some lighting, but the flashes of blue from the glitter touches are unmistakable and add the perfect pop of colour against the dark base.

Butterfly Floufs

While I'm not generally particularly drawn towards lilac shades, Butterfly Floufs is just too pretty to leave off this list. The combination of the base with the golden shimmer, golden microflakes and a light purple flash makes this pastel more wearable for warmer skin tones that normally cannot wear this sort of shade.


It almost seems wrong that the DDP shade on this list isn't filled with flakes, something Carrie does oh-so-well, but it's DDP's knack for making sexy reds that put Vivien on the list. There were so many to chose from, but the Vivien Leigh-inspired shade filled with gold shimmer and holo sparks had me going ooh-la-la!


NWP has a specialty for putting out stunning shimmers, and while there are so many to choose from, it is the fabulous Mutagen that demanded attention. I may not be overly fond of neons in general, but I do love this muted neon green hue while the name appeals to my nerdy side.

Soot And Ladders

I have taken hundreds of photos of the magnificent polish, and yet a perfectly clear shot of the microflakes still eludes me. Even so, the rainbow of microflakes dance too perfectly against the jelly black base to not be added in this post.

Come And Take Me

Orange may be my favorite colour, but it certainly isn't dominating my list for top shades this year. That being said, combine Literary Lacquers, orange, and a fire opal jelly hue, and I have my top orange shade for 2016! The opalescent flakes and holographic microglitter add the perfect amount of sparkle that can win over any orange-hating heart.

The Meantime

Joy Lacquer released her first set of creme polishes this winter, and The Meantime has been one of my top go-to shades ever since. A blue-based teal with a flawless formula? Sign me up! I, for one, would love to see Joy expand on her Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows creme lineup and have a few favorite words myself from the dictionary.

Fin Swirl

BLUSH Lacquers might be a new brand that opened up shop this year, but the brand's creations are so on point, you'd think they've been at it for years! I especially love this dusty-mauve hue; it's definitely not your mother's mauve!

Emerald City

Ever After Polish is another brand that is well-known for their flakie-filled beauties, and yet it is this deep emerald green holographic polish from the Wicked Collection that is on today's post. It's easy to get lost staring into its rich hue; it is easily the most perfect emerald shade to be released this year!

Cuddle Up

Cuddle Up is a beautiful berry-red shade that can look a little more red or a dark raspberry depending on your skintone. It's a lovely cool-toned shade and one that I adore!

Bad Hare Day

Sara may be known for her vibrantly-coloured shades, but it is the cool-toned nude Bad Hare Day that was a standout for the year. The gold and rose gold shimmer combined with the copper microglitter made for the perfect combination and made this a favorite of many this year.

Shimmer Me Timbers

Shimmer Me Timbers is part of the Pirate's Booty Collection and my personal favorite collection of the year. The full collection is glorious, and with a pirate theme and fabulous names, I'm afraid no other collection could possibly compete. This oceanic green polish has made me swoon time and time again since its release this summer.

Master of Wine

Perhaps living in wine country has biased me towards this shade, but it was love at first site when I first saw Master of Wine. I have it shown here to really show off the colour-shifting blue green shimmer, but at other angles it is a lovely plum red hue that looks fabulous on the fingertips while drinking a glass of wine.

Rendered Speechless

I don't think there is a more appropriate name for this gorgeous polish! Colors by Llarowe certainly has seen a number of magnificent shades in 2016, and this bright minty green is my top pick for the year. The copper to gold to pink colour-shifting shimmer suits the base hue exquisitely and leaves me speechless.

Nauti Girl

This beauty was on my blog recently in holiday nail art, and it still sets my heart a flutter every time I look at it! The warm red base is so inviting, and the colour-shifting shimmer is fantastic no matter what time of year!

Party At The Pallazo

I will party just about anywhere if it includes this beautiful shade! This mid-toned grey polish is so packed with pink, purple, and blue microflakes that you'd never know it started out as just a grey polish. The final look is more of a dusty purple and makes me weak at the knees.


IAMCCC has filled this year with collection inspired by different mythologies, and I have been enjoying learning about the different pantheons throughout the year. There are so many beautiful shades, and my most-worn has been the moon-inspired shade from the Norse pantheon. A gorgeous champagne hue, this polish is also filled with blue shimmers and real silver flakies!

The Night She Came Home

I see we meet again, orange, my dear friend! I suspected that an orange from my beloved Halloween would make it on this list, and I just had to bide my time to see where it would come from. The flakies and gold shimmer are the perfect accompaniment to this pumpkin-coloured polish.

Beach Walk

I considered breaking my "non-exclusive" rule since the Polish 'M Indie Shop exclusives are magnificent, but I had to behave and stick to the guidelines I set for this post. That being said, Polish 'M has released so many pretty shades this year so it's not that surprising so see one still end up on my top 25 list for the year. Beach Walk is beautifully designed, from the base colour to the added shimmers and glitters, and I feel like I'm looking at tropical waters when I look at this beauty.

We're Vincible

What's this? A mustard yellow creme on a favorite's list? Here me out, dear readers! Mustard yellow has been a surprisingly popular shade in the fashion world, and it is a trend that naturally should cross over into the polish world. I'm actually a little surprised that this shade hasn't really joined the indie world this year, and BEGL's semi-thick but still easy to use formula made this one of my stand out polishes from the year.

Kissing At Sunset

Aptly named, Kissing At Sunset is a lovely peachy pink holographic shade filled with golden shimmers and flakies. While the polishes on this list were chosen by me, my husband vehemently agreed with the addition of this playful pink to my top 25 list. It certainly definitely a shade I enjoy when the weather turns warmer!

The Gravedigger

It seems as though 2016 is the year of greens for me as this Game of Thrones-inspired sage green rounds out my choice of greens for the year. Ellagee's The Gravedigger is the perfect pairing of sage and gold that is wearable any time of year.

Vegas Show Girl

I'm generally not a microglitter fan, but my top 25 list couldn't be complete without one on it! While my options were limited based on my collection, Vegas Show Girl is a fabulous glitter bomb, something to be expected based on the name. Alter Ego had a complete formula overhaul so their formula has radically improved this year! A mix of blue, green and gold with a touch of holo, this microglitter has even won my heart.

And that, dear readers, rounds out my list of top 25 indie polish shades from 2016! I look forward to seeing the collections that are released in the upcoming year!

What do you think of my top 25 polish picks for the year? Are any on your list? What shades would you add? I'd love to here from you!

Until next time, dear readers, have a safe evening and I shall see you next year!


  1. Thank you so much Jen! I love your reviews of all of the brands listed!

  2. There are some great picks in there! I hope you and your family have a wonderful new year!

  3. Replies
    1. PS why do I not have that mustard yellow BEGL!? Must get on it!

  4. Great picks! Now because of you and An She, I had to make a Fair Maiden order! I love those oranges too (I'm such an orange lover!)

  5. Eeeeeeeee! Thanks so much! 💜 💜 and now my wish list has expanded!

  6. I love that you have a list of polishes that I can buy! I keep getting sad seeing colors no longer available! Great list

  7. I love that you have a selection of both colors (mustard yellow is a great color!) and finishes (shimmer, holo, micro glitter, cremes). :) Happy new Year!

  8. I'm still kicking myself for missing Bad Hare Day! I love your list, so many of my favorites are on here, too!

  9. So many wonderful colors, thanks for sharing so many indie brands with great colors!

  10. So many of these I purchased but haven't got to try them yet. The cupcake was among my tops too though!

  11. Oh my gosh, girl, SO many beautiful polishes! That Fright Club from the Octopus brand is sooooo pretty!

  12. I love your picks! And I was naughty in 2016 so I own most of them, hehe!

  13. Oh my gosh, these are all so beautiful! I'm so ashamed that I don't have any of them in my collection!

  14. I love them all! Have a great new year!

  15. All of these are absolutely stunning... I'm totally swooning over Bad Hair Day. I need to get some of these in my polish collection.

  16. These are such gorgeous picks!

  17. I'm totally digging The Gravedigger LOL! Nice picks.


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