Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Polish Review - Pretty & Polished Icon Collection

Disclosure: This collection is a press sample, all opinions are my own.

*WARNING* This is a very photo heavy post!

Important information: This is an eight polish collection (four thermals, four non-thermals) inspired by eight music icons personal to the maker of Pretty & Polished. The inspiration for each polish is listed with every polish so you can feel connected to the process behind creating these.

These polishes release on May 13th, so make sure to check it out to grab your polishes. While you are on the Pretty & Polished website, be sure that you are signed up for the rewards program. It's a great system where you get perks for making more purchases. If you buy the Beauty Boxes, those purchases go towards your rewards as well!


Early apologies for the thermals. It went from being really cold to really warm and humid in the two days I was doing swatches, so bottle temps changed and it proved to be slightly difficult to get polishes to change as easily as they would had it not been such extreme temperatures.

First up, the thermal polishes from the collection!

Set Fire to the Rain - Inspired by Adele's Set Fire to the Rain. Adele is one of the best selling recording artists in the world. And if you are familiar with her sultry voice you know why. This young woman has held her own with every album she has released. Her music is so easy to listen to and elicits so many emotions.

Set Fire to the Rain is a powerful song. My interpretation is that of an unhealthy relationship needing to end and her finally doing just that. Anyone who has been in an unhealthy relationship can attest to the difficulty of walking away from someone you love knowing it's for the best. I wanted this polish to almost have a feeling to it. It changes from a red to a pale orange/purple shift with fiery color shifting flakes. I wanted it to spark interest with the person wearing it and those around them.


Check out this gorgeous red with so many flakes! Set Fire to the Rain is a two coat opaque polish and it ends up so smooth. I did use a single coat of glossy top coat, but it isn't a textured polish without one.


Set Fire to the Rain in its cold state. 


Second shot of this gorgeous polish in its cold state.


In transition.


This is Set Fire to the Rain while warm. I had a slight issue with this one not wanting to focus because I had to keep my fingers constantly submerged just to keep my poor fingers warm.


Second shot of Set Fire to the Rain. The orange/purple is such a unique change to the red cold state - love!

Rhythm Nation - Inspired by Janet Jackson's Rhythm Nation. This nail polish represents not only the powerful black and white music video for this song but it also represents Janet. Janet is multifaceted. She has so many talents and abilities. Her music is powerful just like her and I felt she needed a polish that represented her power and beauty.

Rhythm Nation is a thermal color changer that changes from a dark grey to a softer pale gray when warm. It is a holographic shade with holographic glitter as well as bright purple and dark gray micro flakes. It is subdued enough to draw you into taking a closer look just to show you exactly how powerful and pretty it is.


I am always a huge fan of grey polishes, so to find a thermal that is dark to light grey, that's the best. Rhythm nation does need a good top coat because it does have some texture to it. Swatches are two coats, full opacity, with one thick coat of glossy top coat.


Rhythm Nation in its cold state. This is such a great shade of dark grey.


I love how deep and complex all of the sparkle is in this polish.


Transition! There has been this amazing effect of the entire nail warming up enough to start darkening it a bit and then stopping. Rhythm of Nation has been my wear test polish so I have been enjoying watching this one change so much.


Rhythm of Nation warm.


I had just the slightest amount of cold come up on my tips, but this shot really shows how there's purple flecks with holographic as well. The purple really doesn't show up in the cold state, but it is powerful in the warm one.

Genie in a Bottle - Inspired by Christina Aguilera's Genie in a Bottle. She started off young and had a cool and calm good girl way about her. She has transformed into an iconic powerhouse who can sing anything you throw at her.

This polish needed to be special. Not only does "Genie in a Bottle" make you think of magic literally IN a bottle but I wanted it to be representative of her charm, beauty, and good girl attitude. This shade is a thermal color changer that changes from a gorgeous soft teal to a pale pink when warm. It is also filled with a holographic sparkle as well as teal and pink holographic glitters to play up the changing colors.


Genie in a Bottle is tied for my favorite polish out of this collection. This is a two coat to opaque, but you could definitely get it to be a one coat with thicker coats. There is the slightest bit of texture, but a single coat of top coat smooths that out nicely. Shown below with one coat of glossy top coat.


Genie in a Bottle cold (mostly).


Second shot of Genie in a Bottle Warm. I love the pink holographic glitters while it's cold. 


In transition. 


Genie in a Bottle while warm. I never was able to get my swatch to the pale pink that it is supposed to be, but that could be entirely because of how cold it was when I swatched this.


Second shot of Genie in a Bottle.

Blown Away - Inspired by Carrie Underwood's Blown Away. Carrie is special because we got to see her evolve from being a normal country girl to an iconic country superstar. She has continued to produce singles that not only showcase her amazing vocal abilities but the good person she is. Her music can speak to you on a very basic human level and make you feel like she's just a normal girl doing what she loves.

Blown Away is a very emotional song. The feeling of wanting things to just go away is an emotion I think we can all relate to at some point. The polish I made to represent this song is a 3 part color changing polish that shows you the beauty in the beast of a storm. It is blue when cold, green when room temperature and a gray when warm with a "dusty" appearance same as our popular "Dusty Creme" line. I feel like I've really captured a storm in this polish.


Yay, another Dusty Creme! The Dusty Creme line is probably my favorite line from Pretty & Polished. This polish did prove to be the most difficult to get accurate swatches of. Because this is a creme, it is smooth without a top coat. Shown below is two coats of Blown Away with one coat of glossy top coat.


Blown Away while mostly cold. It does get slightly more blue if you can get it really cold, but this was swatched on the lovely hot, humid Georgia day.


Second shot of Blown Away. It is slightly more green (although not as easy to see).


Finally the only shot I could get of how grey it can get when warm. I love how it looks in this state, which is good because it doesn't seem to be getting cooler again this summer!

Now onto the non-thermal polishes!

Express Yourself - Inspired by Madonna's Express Yourself. When I think of Madonna there are a few words that come to mind. Soft. Sexy. Confident. Strong. I wanted to pull inspiration from the video but found myself gravitating towards the message and the woman herself. The message is simple, don't settle.

This polish has a white base for Madonnas softness. But it's also packed with sexy red and gold holographic glitters as well as rose and dark gray flakes. The polish has a strong presence in a soft base which I feel suits Madonna perfectly.


This polish as well as Genie in a Bottle are my two favorite polishes from the collection. There's something about the base colors being perfect for Spring and the sheer amount of glitters/flakes that make me fall in love. Express Yourself does add slight amounts of texture, so you will need a top coat to smooth it out. Shown below is two coats with one coat of glossy top coat.


I am so in love with this polish. There is so much depth with all of the glitters and flakes, and they are all some of my favorite colors!


Second shot of Express Yourself. You can see more of the complexity of the glitters and flakes in this shot, as well as see jut how much gold is in this polish!

Firework - Inspired by Katy Perry's Firework. Katy Perry is an artist that has really given a voice to the underdog. She has a very laid back kind of beauty and attitude but speaks to those who don't always have the words to express themselves. She speaks for them through her music and has really ignited a wave of confidence in young people that's hard to ignore.

I chose this song because I feel like it is one of her most empowering performances. The lyrics push you to keep moving forward and find the light within yourself. The polish was made to match the color in not only her lyrics but the video as well. It's a full coverage flake polish with so many different colors and textures. Its difficult to explain them all without showing you. This polish really ignites your fingertips with color.


Firework definitely looks like its name, and I love that! Such a powerful polish for such a great song. This polish could easily be a one coater, but I used two to make sure. I added one coat of glossy top coat to smooth out the tiny bit of texture.


Even if I had all the time in the world, it would be impossible to describe all that is in this polish. It's an amazing bronze base with every type of flake one could think of. 


This polish is perfect for being inspired by Katy Perry, and I just love how amazing this one came out.

Just a Girl - Inspired by No Doubt's Just a Girl. I wanted to choose a song from No Doubt where Gwen really got started and made a huge impact with young girls. She was cool and everyone wanted to know her or be her.

In the video for Just A Girl you see a young Gwen wearing an outfit that was basically the opposite of the girl she was singing about everyone wanting her to be. I wanted the polish to represent that. It's ok to be a Girl who doesn't bow down to the standards put in place for her. You can be whatever you feel and still be beautiful. This polish is a bright blue holographic jelly with a purple/blue shimmer and color shifting flakes.


There is nothing better than a blurple jelly with shimmer and flakes. This is described as a blue, but it looks just the slightest bit like a blurple. Due to this being a jelly, you will want to do a few coats to add to the squishiness. Below is three thin coats with a coat of glossy top coat to make it shine!


Yay for squishy polishes. I love jellies more with each time I use them. The base is the perfect color for Gwen Stefani and I think the shimmer/flakes work perfectly.


Second shot of Just a Girl. You can see more of the shimmer in this shot!

Run the World - Inspired by Beyonce's Run the World. Beyonce is one of the best selling music artists of all time. If that alone doesn't sell you on her iconic status maybe watching a few of her videos will.

The video for this song was incredibly powerful from the beginning. Females standing together in black and metallics letting everyone know who runs things. So much strength in that alone even without her having to say a word. I modeled this polish off of her presence in the video. This is a strong black jelly with gold and copper holographic glitters as well as some very interesting copper color shifting flakes. This polish has amazing dimension.

And yes, this song has been stuck in my head ever since I received this box and saw this polish.


Of course for Beyonce, the polish was going to have to be over the top spectacular.


A black base is definitely the way to start any polish to pop. This is jelly so the layers can show the amazing copper flakes as well as all of the holographic glitters. You will definitely feel more powerful wearing this polish!


Second shot. I just love how much the holographic shows through and pops against the black base.


Overall, I am so in love with this collection and I'm hoping there will be a second part with even more icons! Almost every single one of these songs/singers are from my childhood/teen years and I immediately recognized all of them between my own style and what I have inherited from my mom. The polishes are all so unique but fit so perfectly with their respective inspirations.

Again, this collection releases on May 13th, so that's not too far away. Make sure you have joined the Pretty & Polished Facebook Group to see the other bloggers swatches as well as to just stay up to date with what's going on with Pretty & Polished!

As always, let me know what you thought of this collection in the comments!