It’s a Trap! The Perils of Precipitous Polish Purchases! (And Remedies for Same)

Greetings from a position doing the splits over a spike pit, fellow rogues!

Since I’m in a rather delicate position at the moment (re: spike pit), I’m actually going to try and keep this post rather short. There’s also the fact that I don’t really like negatives, but I thought this was an important and useful conversation to have! After all, as rogues we’re supposed to see the traps before they happen, so on the off-chance you  do fall into a trap, what can you do about it?

As I mentioned in a recent polishy post, I’m not generally an impulse purchaser – especially when it comes to makeup! With the prices the way they are here in Middle Earth, added to the fact that you can’t return things once opened, unplanned expenses aren’t really an easy option. However, we all have our moments, even rogue (who are generally more preoccupied with suddenly finding gold than suddenly losing it). Mine came in Dubai, where I spied a rack of bright and gorgeous Nailstation Paris polishes on sale, and scooped up three. Two have been pretty successful (I didn’t just grab them totally at random, after all), but this last one, sadly, didn’t quite hit the mark (unlike that spike in the pit down there that’s threatening to, well, you know…). 

I present: Nailstation Paris Cocorico, a bright sky blue with hidden white pearl…


Nailstation Paris Cocorico swatch and review 2

Sky blue goodness, with a pale whitish (superfine) pearl, if you can spot it!


Looks good, right? Well, it is, in the colour sense – I actually really like it. The pearl isn’t overt, so it doesn’t get to ’80’s frostpearl’ on you (frost mages from the ’80s had an interesting style, to say the least), and the colour is neither too cobalt nor too baby/pastel. It’s like that door that looks totally innocuous, and has some nice, nonthreatening carvings on it. Can’t be a trap, right? We’re in a hurry after all, and the treasure must be much further in….

Anyway, it’s when you put the polish on me that the problems begin to crop up…

Nailstation Paris Cocorico swatch and review 2

Lobster claws! 😀 Also, Nailstation Paris Cocorico (blue) and OPI Rose of Light (glitter). Pardon the particularly mangy looking cuticle area on my little finger – eczema waits for no swatch picture…


As you can see, this polish gives me the dreaded ‘lobster claw’ effect – when you wear a (usually mint green I think) polish on your pale/cool toned hands, and they magically look INCREDIBLY PINK. This blue also brings out some yellow splotches as well, which is interesting, but not particularly attractive. Now, as much as I like this blue as a colour, it made my hands scream at me in all the wrong ways. My nails stabbed me in the eye from arm’s length every time they passed into my vision. It was like that time I picked up that gorgeous sparkly ring in that dungeon…some weird sh*t went down that day…

Nailstation Paris Cocorico swatch and review 2

Cuddly sweater shot, because every polish deserves at least one turn with a cuddly sweater.


Next to my flamboyantly fluffy cuddly sweater, the colour is still incredibly hard. Now, although I’m bitching and moaning about it, your mileage may vary – if you have a skintone that suits these colours better, or if you’re just really a fan of bold sky blues, then this colour may be a winner for you. Before you go, however I’m afraid I have to warn you that there are a couple of other issues here as well – for a start, the polish is…chewy. You know, the kind that manage to be thick *and* streaky, and seem to dry partly as soon as you get the brush past the opening of the bottle. Secondly, the *actual* dry time is really long. I think I waited for about half an hour for this to stop being tacky (let alone dent-proof). Even the next day I could still gouge it without much effort. Part of the reason I’m harping on this is that the other two polishes I tried from this brand didn’t have any of these problems, so this one was kind of a letdown.

However! I promised solutions in the post title, and you’ve already pretty much seen it – my ultimate solution, if you’ve gotten a polish you don’t really like, is to whack a favourite glitter topcoat over it. Yes, I know what you’re thinking: ‘Syl, you complained about this colour smacking you in the face, and now you want to make it sparkle as well?’. But since I like glitter so much *especially Rose of Light OMGBUYITDOITFLAIL* I find that it actually softens the effect for me. The reflection from the glitter takes the hard edge off the colour, and, well, sparkles are always OK in my book. An alternative solution would be to reserve the colour for nail art purposes (where it will make an excellent sky blue if you need one) or paint a design with it/over the top of it (it might actually make quite a funky ‘modern french tip’ over navy blue or orange). I know you could also just sell it/give it away or throw it away, but I feel bad about selling/giving a polish to someone where the formula itself is iffy, and I CANNOT just throw things away (comes from living in a world where an OPI polish used to be close on $30 a pop).

What’s your favourite method for dealing with a polish you regret buying (depending on why you regret it, probably)?

Of course, one solution, to make yourself feel better, is just to remove the offending polish and put another favourite combination on instead. To that end, I give you Chanel Rose Insolent (which I have waxed lyrical about, in actual iambic pentameter here), and OPI Blush Hour (of which I took my first ever successful super macro shot here) with two coats of thick lacquer topcoat to make it SUPER SHINEH. In a word: ahhhhhh 🙂 Now if you’ll excuse me, I just need to get this spike out of my…


Nailstation Paris Cocorico swatch and review 2

The other hand! 😀 Same light. I changed the sweater so the fluff wouldn’t get too busy with the sequin explosion… my thumb is still pink, but that has more to do with the fact that the thumb-hole in the sweater is kind of tight 😛


Nailstation Paris Cocorico swatch and review 2

One of the benefits (?) of natural light photography is that occasionally you don’t even need a computer to achieve arty, semi-overexposed shots…


What do you think, fellow adventurers? Have you had any impulse purchase disasters? How do you deal with them? Does it ever involve ‘add glitter’?

The practicalities: Nailstation Paris polishes cost EUR 15 /AED 50 (I think) each for 15 mL and may be acquired from assorted stockists listed on the Nailstation website. You can check out the details for Rose of Light here, Rose Insolent here and Blush Hour here!

Until next time, fellow adventurers, 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! All images and text on this blog are the property of The Painted Rogue unless otherwise stated. If you nick off with any of it, be prepared to find that your morning hot beverage tastes a little…different than usual. Didn’t the rogue say something the other day about that new poison that makes your inner ear itch maddeningly for the rest of your life? I think she did…


32 thoughts on “It’s a Trap! The Perils of Precipitous Polish Purchases! (And Remedies for Same)

  1. If it is a bad quality polish, I’ll first try to return it. If I can’t bully the store into taking it back, I’ll save it for a craft project (polish can be good for marking stuff) or just throw it out. If I just don’t like the color/like it on me, I’ll give it away or try it with a special topcoat. Sometimes some iridescence or glitter or another sheer color on top can make all the difference.


    • I know, right? Glitter ftw! I was thinking I should add ‘use it to do minature painting’ because it’s surprising how tricky it is to get some colours/finishes in actual model paint. Painting with straight polish is tricky too, as you have to thin it, but maybe with the glacial dry time on this one it’ll work out, LOL!


  2. Syl, I think the color looks great on you! I can’t see any excessive or unusual redness on you 🙂

    I’m in fall mode at the moment, and sporting a lovely matte plum on my nails!


  3. yes! i often use a glitter topcoat to fix unflattering tones or to hide a streaky application! i bet the blue would be cool with an opalescent top coat too!

    i hate it when you can still gouge it the next day. nothing is more upsetting than gouging my newly done nails when i’m trying to open a stubborn eye shadow the next day! /glares at her kiko eye shadows and her UD anarchy.


    • Good Gods, opening palettes of any kind becomes ridiculously risky when you’ve got a good polish on, let alone a dodgy denty one. You should see me trying to open things with the pads of my fingers and thumbs, LOL! Either that or I’ll just get the Wizard to open it 😉


  4. Whaat? That looks perfect on you! What “pink” can you see that I cannot!? 😛 I have lost count of the colours that look horrendous on mu hands and tiny stubby nails!! So recently I decided to wear this super grey purple color on the tips and it made my hands look BAD and dirty.. so what I did is cover it with another failed color, a sheer gold and suddenly I have my best metallic nail polish ever!! 😀

    So long story short don’t throw away nail colours you don’t like just put two together!!


    • Hehe, if you put it right next to the pink polish picture, you might get a better idea of what I mean – but whatever it is, I can’t unsee it! 😛 I definitely agree with your ‘add another polish’ philosophy. If this polish didn’t have a dodgy formula that’s what I’d do, probably.

      Grey is such a tricky colour for nail polish!


  5. Oh aww I’m so sorry to hear that! Hmm I prefer to steer clear of beige beige nail polishes, because those just make my hands look dead. Years ago I had a more memorably failed nail polish experiment with OPI Parlez-Vous OPI. That one also made my skin tone look really, REALLY bad for some reason!


    • Ah, beige polishes! Like greys, I find them tricky, but they have the added difficulty of the ‘mannequin hands’ effect (which is a matter of personal taste, I guess). That’s such a shame about Parlez-Vous OPI! I never tried it myself (would probably also be tricky on me!) but it is a pretty colour!

      Also… beige isn’t very, er, exciting 😉 I have such trouble getting polish to stay on my nails, that I kind of feel that to make the effort of putting it on, it had better be bright, or sparkle, or both, LOL! 😉


  6. Yellow splotches I can (force myself to) see but pink?? Where?? I don’t see no pink! Something wrong with my eyes? Oh NO! The formula sounds awful… dry even before the brush touches your nail? LOL.

    Yeah, I fix bad nail polishes with glitter top coat, too. ^_^


    • High fives for the glitter topcoat fix! 😀

      Hehe, it amazes me that so many people are like: ‘I don’t see the problem’. I can’t un-see it!! It might be all in my head, but whatever it is it’s like a sinister enchantment was placed on my hands…


      • I do see the pink and yellow splotchiness, so it’s not just you. Maybe it’s just too cool toned, and it brings out your undertones?


      • Aha! I’m not going crazy! 😛 Possibly that’s the case. I think it’s also that the colour is both cool and bright, but with a peculiarly ‘hard’ edge to it for something that’s ostensibly a pearl.

        I thought it was minty greens that were supposed to do this, but apparently sky blues do it to me too…


    • I love the colour in and of itself, LOL, just not what it does to me! 😀 If the formula wasn’t so ‘bleh’, then I would go for some nail art with it, but the idea of controlling details with such a chewy polish gives me the heebie-jeebies! 😉


  7. Actually, it doesn’t make your hand look that pink, but I know why you don’t like it. 🙂

    It’s always the same with those blues: look great in the bottle but shit on the nail. I had the same problem with Chanel’s Coco Blue – also a terrible formula.

    Adding glitter FTW.


  8. I was all set to type “LOBSTER CLAWS BE DAMNED – CARRY ON” until I hit the part about it being chewy, LOL. Sorry, streaky and long drying time are absolute dealbreakers for me. I try to hoist them upon unsuspecting friends/acquaintances, and if everyone is too smart to take the crappy polish, I’ll just toss it rather than try to salvage. Life’s too short to spend hours blowing on never-drying nails!


    • I know – if the polish itself was better, I’d probably have busted it out for the occasional feature nail, but I have such a thing against chewiness. I’m like: ‘HOW CAN YOU DRY ON THE BRUSH BUT NOT ON MY NAILS??!!’


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s