Greetings, from an exotic catacomb, my fellow rogues!
I recently discovered a fabulous hoard of Japanese and Korean cosmetics in a nearby catacomb, thanks to a completely unrelated quest for silicon cooking mats (you’d be surprised what goes up on adventure boards, and what orcs fight to protect). Etude House, Innisfree and a bunch of other brands appeared in alcoves and niches around me, and at incredibly reasonable prices! Needless to say I got quite excited, and couldn’t resist taking a couple of glittering treasures home with me, that is, two of the enormous range of Etude House Play polishes. I’ve also marked that catacomb on my map, so I can return at a later date to further explore the hoard…
The full range in the store consisted of a rainbow of creme polishes, and an equally extensive assortment of glitters. The cremes were NZD 4.80 each, and the glitters NZD 6.00. Let’s just consider that for a moment. OPI have recently been reduced in price at Farmers from NZD 26.00 to NZD 20.00. Essie are in the mid twenties as well and Butter London are NZD 30.00 each. Finding a polish from a decent brand that comes in more than 5 colours and isn’t already hardened in the bottle… for less than $10.00… is like escaping a mindflayer lair with no tentacle marks!
The two shades I chose were a blue-based glitterbomb (#144) and a black and white confetti polish (#147). There were literally dozens of other shades I would have liked to haul out of that catacomb, particularly the glitters, but I absolutely had to have that confetti polish – I’ve been waiting for one to turn up on these shores in any brand for the longest time! The names I will have to bring to you at a later date, after some more research, as (for some reason) every single site I can visit that might have the English translation encounters a page load error :-S If anyone knows the names, please fill me in!
#144 is chock full of glitter in a variety of shapes, sizes and colours. We’ve got larger square glitter in cyan and lavender, small round and hex glitter in orange, lavender, cyan and gold, and tiny round glitter in fuchsia, cyan and orange. Application was super easy with one coat providing even ‘topcoat’ level coverage (i.e. you could still see a colour underneath), and two coats giving the more full-coverage effect you see here. The brush is quite wide and firm, easily covering my little fingernail in one stroke. This isn’t usually my favourite, but for a glitter like this it’s fine.
Dry time was about average for me, and the polish is still wearing strong after two days! I used my usual Sally Hansen base and topcoats (Mega Shine and Insta-Grip, respectively), but it’s worth noting that both of these polishes are very shiny and glossy even without topcoat.
#147 is a wonderful mixture of bar glitter, small square glitter and large round glitter in black and white. I know glitter is a bit of a misnomer, since these are matte, but it’s sort of how I think of these polishes in my head. that or ‘confetti’. Or in the case of this one, ‘cookies and cream’, especially since the round glitters reming me of diassembled Oreos!
I’ll come right out and say it – as you might expect, this polish was kind of difficult to apply. I needed a bit of fishing and three dabby coats to get this much coverage. That being said, it was partly a problem of the polish having setted a little in the jar, and needing a bit of a mix up with the brush to get the large glitters to the top. Once I realised that, things got a little easier. Unfortunately, these polishes don’t have any mixing ball bearings in them, so shaking does nothing – you just sort of have to rotate them in your hands if you want to mix things. The wide brush is a bit of a disadvantage here, as fishing is trickier, but when you do get a good catch, there are lots to choose from.
Dry time was as described above for #144, and #147 is also wearing well after two days. I absolutely love this polish, despite its application hassles – for the price (and the fact that it’s the first one of its kind I’ve seen available here) I don’t really think you can go wrong. Both of these had a good consistency and a lacquer shine finish (even before topcoat). You can bet I’ll be heading back for more – the next one I have my eye on is a ‘harlequin’ one with diamond shaped glitters in red and purple and black!
Have you tried any of Etude House’s offerings?
The Verdict: Glitter and confetti polishes from a huge range with a great price tag. What’s not to love? OK, dabbing, maybe, but that depends on your personal patience levels and how many options you have for other, similar polishes! Definitely a range to check out if you get the chance.
The Practicalities: Etude House Play Nail polishes are available from selected $3 Japan Stores in Middle Earth, and cost (at my local one) NZD 6.00 for glitters and $4.80 for cremes. The polishes are ( I believe, curse my lack of Korean!) around 8 mL. Some are limited edition and some are permanent, but it’s a little difficult to tell which these are, so your best bet it just to go have a look and snag whatever you like. You can also find Etude House cosmetics and nail polishes from various sellers on eBay, and if you live in Korea, Japan or Singapore, you can visit actual Etude House stores. For more info and pictures of Etude House products, you can visit www.etudehouse.com.
Until next time, my rogues, don’t forget to check for traps!
I am an adventuring rogue, not a mercenary for hire, and as such, all opinions expressed here are my own, based on a genuine fondness for/interest in this product. If you have any queries or suggestions, please do not hesitate to pin your parchment to the board (contact me) at thepaintedrogue [at] gmail [dot] com., or use the contact form provided!