Monday, January 2, 2017

My 2016 in Review and My Favorite Polishes of 2016

*Some Press Samples Included*

Hi everyone! Today I have a wrap up of my favorite polishes of 2016 to share, but first I wanted to give a little synopsis of my year so that I can lead into where my blog is going from here. 2016 was not a good year for me blogging-wise, even to the point that I considered quitting at the end of the year. My personal life has been a bit chaotic and I really let that affect how I viewed blogging. Not only that, I started to have feelings that I was just old news (this blog is almost 5 years old y'all!) and that newer, flashier bloggers and swatchers with impossible glamour shots were all the rage now so I was just fading into oblivion. 

I got a surprise promotion at the beginning of 2016 after my boss passed away suddenly and it came with a ton of responsibilities that I had to adjust to and a LOT of work I had to do to get our department up to date which took almost the entire year. In the midst of that, my husband lost his job and has been unable to find another one, so that added even more stress. I was very mentally drained, stressed, and depressed, so when it came to blogging I could barely make myself go. For those of you who have never struggled with depression, it affects people differently. In my case, I wasn't sad all the time, but instead it was a major task for me to do ANYTHING. I could function fine at work, but at home it was a task to make myself get out of my chair. It took me a long time to even realize that I was depressed and seek help. I stopped blogging for fun and did only what I had to do and it became like a "job", which isn't what I got into blogging for. I got behind on a lot of my commitments and then things snowballed and I had SO MUCH STUFF TO DO, I just wanted to throw in the towel. 

Going into 2017, I have a handle on my new job, things are running smoothly now and I'm actually enjoying it! My stress level is back to normal and I'm feeling like my old self again, so I'm going to put my focus back on blogging for fun again. I'm still going to review things of course, but I'm also going to make time for me. I want to explore my collection (which has to be at around 3000 bottles now, with lots of cool older stuff) and share that with you guys. I want to do more nail art because that is one of the things that I find the most fun about nail polish...playing with it! Heck I even want to do some features on layering which was my original form of "art" when I started this blog almost 5 years ago (hence the name!). I want to blog about my purchases, because I have bought from some cool new or new to me brands this past year that I haven't gotten to feature on my blog. All in all, I'm going to try to bring the focus back to what I love in 2017 and make blogging fun again. 

Anyway, just wanted to "explain myself" I guess for how things have been on the blog this past year, because I felt like getting it out there would hopefully help me move past it in the coming year. It's sometimes embarrassing to admit your shortcomings and it's just easier to act like everything is normal and okay, but it's also very cathartic to get it all out there on the table! New year, fresh start! 

So now, how about we check out my favorite polishes of 2016 now? After looking at a few "favorites" posts from other bloggers, I can tell that I have so many amazing polishes in my untrieds that very well would have made the list if I had had time to wear them (the number of untrieds I have is epic at this point!). I realized when I started making this list that there were also a few of my favorites that I neglected to take photos of, so I did a mini swatch session to prepare for this post (on my fresh baby nubs even)! There are a few things that really stand out about my picks this year: orange, green, blue, and purple. SHOCKER! Also flakes...all the ultra chrome flakes. And complex holo finishes really dominated the list as well, especially those involving my favorite holo shards/bits that finally became widely available this year!

KBShimmer Pink Tourmaline. KBShimmer rocked out this amazing jelly/metallic flake/holo glitter finish this year starting with the Birthstones Collection. There were so many gorgeous ones, but Pink Tourmaline really grabbed me. These are ridiculously reflective!

Darling Diva Polish The One That You Love (shown here over OPI Skull & Glossbones). Carrie makes some really over the top polishes that are so flashy, but some of my favorite Darling Divas are a bit more subtle and delicate. I thought this topper was just amazing and offered a little more oomph than your standard holo glitter topper. It makes a great topper for a galaxy mani too!

Tonic Polish Rainbowfish. Tonic Polish came onto the scene this year and just took off! Her complex mixes of shimmer, glitter, and flakes are right up my alley. Rainbowfish was the first polish that immediately drew me to the brand.

Tonic Polish Slitherin'. The shiftiness plus glitter in this polish made me put it on my wishlist immediately. Just check out that green color shift!

Potion Polish Pumpkin All the Things. Potion Polish is another new brand on my radar this year (very much thanks to two of my retiring blogger heroes Kellie Gonzo and Very Emily). This polish made me swoony the first time I laid eyes on it and it did not disappoint!

Ever After Polish The Pumpkin King. Ever After does some stunning things with ultra chrome flakies, and The Pumpkin King tops my list from them this year! I missed out on a lovely grey exclusive polish from them (Littlefoot) and I saw this one in the For the Love of Polish box. All of the polishes looked fab so I didn't feel so bad about purchasing it mainly for this one. Luckily, I really ended up liking them all! But lookit this one! LOVE! 

Ever After Polish Burning Twilight. This lovely periwinkle crelly started out as a custom for Traci over at Newsie Nail Novice and the demand was so high after people saw it, that she graciously let everyone have a chance to own it. It is just gorgeous!

Baroness X Doomfire (shown here over Pretty Serious Snugglebutt). Baroness X has made some STUNNING polishes using color shifting pigments (the Ex Libris Collection last year was one of my favorite collections of the year!). Doomfire came about due to everyone's quest for unicorn pee, and boy is it amazing! It was released in a fan group exclusive Unicorn Box originally, and has reappeared a few times to buy since then for group members. 

CrowsToes Betelgeuse. This polish is so full of awesome! It might be my top pick of the year to be's just all kinds of amazing! Photos do it no justice, you have to see it in person to understand!

Dreamland Lacquer Sugar Coma. This's SO GREEN. And per usual, for Dreamland Lacquer (formerly Smitten Polish, she had a name change in 2016), perfect microglitter formula!

Dreamland Lacquer Son Sit Grow. Noelie and I have lusted after these flakes to be widely available for years now, and her first collection using them was all over the top awesome (brights/neons with holo shards...bring it on!) If I had to pick a favorite from the #autocorrect Collection though, it would be this amazing orange!

Girly Bits Astoria. This has been on a lot of favorites lists this year, and it is well deserved! I'm so glad I finally got my hands on it just recently! Check out the shiftyness!!

Girly Bits What Happens in Vegas, Ends Up On Twitter. This polish blew me away and I definitely think it is Pam's best Vegas polish yet!

Girly Bits Mon Cheri. This polish is one that I think was highly underappreciated this year. For my fair, pink undertones, it is a perfect neutral shade and the shimmer is just divine!

Girly Bits Grandma Got Run Over by a John Deere. My 4th favorite from Girly Bits this year was instant love from the first time I saw a swatch of it! That green and that flash of red shimmer...amazing!

Glitter Daze Blooming Mortalis (shown over piCture pOlish Mad Magenta). I just loved this topper so much because it had the added glitter for some extra sparkle! The color combo of the flakes was just stunning too!

Great Lakes Lacquer Never Gonna Give You Up. This was my custom creation with Mariah and it was inspired by copper patina. The name was Mariah's tribute to me because she constantly Rick-rolls me. I think it is fantastic, and just what I wanted!

Great Lakes Lacquer DO NOT Pumpkin Spice Everything. I was so proud of this amazing orange creation from Mariah (who isn't much of an orange fan herself). This fully satisfied my orange-loving soul! Also my second Pumpkin Spice-inspired polish of this list!

Lollipop Posse Lacquer I Felt You Like Electric Light. This polish has holo, holo shards, and multichrome. All of the things I love at once!

Lollipop Posse Lacquer Life, For All It's Anguish. This polish is not only gorgeous, but was inspired by one of my favorite binge watches of the year: Penny Dreadful. It is such a saturated purple!

Pahlish Candy Corn on the Cob. I was convinced that the orange Pahlish that I would be adding to my list this year would be Combustible Lemon II all the way up until Halloween, when I got this beauty on my nails. It is so perfect...and I wore it as a pedi several times too!

Pahlish Saint Glinda. I saw this on a few favorites lists this year, and with good reason! This was amazingness in a bottle (and impossible to capture in a was just too sparkly!)

piCture pOlish Alice. This was a top contender for my favorite polish of the year for sure. Holo shards and that magnificent blue...I was sold as soon as I first saw it. It is the first of two blue Alice in Wonderland inspired polishes that made my list!

piCture pOlish Spring. I feel like this was a very underappreciated piCture pOlish this year (several others seemed to get all the buzz). This cool purply-pink was amazing to me!

Lemming Lacquer Sanguine. Lemming Lacquer did several polishes this year with this finish (holo + shimmer + glitter) and they were all so gorgeous, but this bright red with it's amazing golden sheen really stole my heart.

Lemming Lacquer Peryite. Ultra chrome flakes + lime green...this polish was made for me!

ILNP Highline. I posted about this baby recently and even though I seem to resist buying most multichromes, this one felt unique to me and I had to purchase. It did not disappoint!

I couldn't complete my list without a few of my favorite cremes! I did forget to include one on here that I don't have a pic of, and that is Cirque High Roller. It is bright mint green and amazing!

OPI Fearlessly Alice. This was my favorite creme of the year, bar none. This was a constant pedi color for me during the warm months. It is SO perfect!

OPI She's a Bad Muffuletta! Overall, I really enjoyed all of the cremes in OPI's New Orleans Collection (I tend to always like their Spring/Summer cremes), but this bright corally red really stole the show for me.

Polish My Life Green Goddess. I really enjoyed Polish My Life's line of Gleams and Cremes this year, but this one really took top billing for me (though Heart of a Mermaid, the blue creme from March was a very close second!).

Well I hope you all enjoyed my round-up! What were your favorite polishes of 2016? Thanks for looking everyone!

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