Saturday, December 31, 2011

Top 10 Nail Polishes of 2011

Wasn't 2011 a great year for nail polish? Here are my picks for the top 10 nail polishes of 2011:

10. Nails Inc "FNO"
Nails Inc released a limited edition shade to celebrate Fashion Night Out. I rushed to Sephora right after work and was lucky enough to find it before it sold out! This metallic blue polish is so fantastic and like nothing else in my collection.

9. China Glaze "It's Alive"
China Glaze raised the bar for glitter nail polish in 2011. The texture and unique color is what earns this  polish a spot in my top 10!

8. Milani "Gems"
The entire "one coat glitter" line was a huge win this year. "Gems" is in my top 10 because you can do this with it:

Dylans candy mani
I really need to do this again and photograph it in my light box :)

Glitter sandwich/candy mani instructions here!

7. Essie "Cocktail Bling"
It's the lovely grey blue hue of "Cocktail Bling" that puts it on my top 10 list - it's actually a lighter version of the color I painted my apartment :)

6. China Glaze "Concrete Catwalk"
My eyes hadn't seen a greyer-grey until the de-saturated wonder that is "Concrete Catwalk" came into my life. This is the kind of color I can wear for almost any occasion!

5. Essie "Shine of the Times"
Ending 2011 with a sparkly bang, Essie gave us "Shine of the Times" and won the hearts of flaky fans everywhere. Like a magic wand, this rainbow-in-a-bottle transforms polish of all colors! I'm looking forward to using this color more in 2012.

4. Revlon "Facets of Fuchsia"
This polish is truly special a gem containing multi-faceted pinky purple glitter pieces that float on top of a black jelly polish. WIN!

3. American Apparel "Neon Red"
There are just some colors you are drawn to and "Neon Red" is one of them :) I think of my vacation to Aruba whenever I wear it!

American Apparel Neon Red window

2. Ozotic 528 layered over 506
Ozotic nail polishes were all the rage in 2011 (and I'm sure will continue to be in 2012)! Before llarowe and Harlow & Co. began to stock them, these beauties had to come from Australia aka the-other-side-of-the-world-from-NYC via piCture pOlish. When my boyfriend surprised me for my birthday with Ozotic 506 and 528, I was thrilled - I never imagined these polishes would ever find their way onto my nails :)

Ozotic 528 4

1. aEngland "Tristam"
"Tristam" is everything I want in a nail polish: sapphire blue, holo, classy, and long-lasting. I would wear Tristam every day and that makes it my #1 nail polish of 2011!


I hope 2012 brings us all lots of pretty polishes! And I'm calling it now - chartreuse is going to be THE color of  the year for nail polish :)

Product(s) in this post were provided for review. Read my disclosure policy here.

Friday, December 30, 2011

$3 Nail Polish at the American Apparel Warehouse Sale

When my boyfriend said he wanted to check out the American Apparel Warehouse Sale, I didn't exactly jump for joy. I think I actually rolled my eyes. Nothing against American Apparel... it's just that while going to a warehouse or sample sale in New York City may sound exciting, I've really never had a great experience - they have been crowded (Barney's), merchandise is still expensive for my liking (Rebecca Minkoff), or anything left is just... weird (I'm not naming names). I've learned it's best for me to go with low expectations fully prepared to be shoved around and find nothing.

That being said, imagine my surprise when I saw this:

There must be a thousand nail polishes! This table of wonderfulness is on the lower level of the sale (on the way to the registers).

"Mouse" and "Factory Grey" were the most prevalent, but a handful of other colors from the main collection such as "Peacock", "Trench", "L Espirit", "Mannequin", and "MacArthur Park" were hiding out. They needed a good shake - from the top, they all looked like "Mouse" :) There weren't any neons or metallics.

In addition to the nail polish, there is a TON of clothing on sale - leggings, skirts, t-shirts, tank tops, holo pants - at great prices. This was a sale I was quite impressed with AND I wasn't pushed around!

The American Apparel Warehouse Sale is going on now through January 11th on 6th Ave between 25th and 26th St (address: 766 6th Ave). Read more about the sale on Racked.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Wrap Up: Inspired By NYC Holiday Window Series

Whatever you celebrated, I hope it was fantastic! Did you get any nail polishes this year? I was surprised with Revlon's "Whimsical", what a great present! Thank you boyfriend :)

I hope you enjoyed the photo tour of some of New York City's most fabulous holiday windows this season on Gotham Polish. I really enjoyed using the windows as inspiration for manicures and was challenged to create designs and use nail polish (and other random adornments) in new ways. Here's a look back at the manicures inspired by the windows.

I brushed layers of glitter polish together to create the effect that the glitter was unevenly mixed together. I love this effect and will definitely do this again!

This window inspired me to post my first ever stamping manicure on Gotham Polish :)

This look was all about the inspiration! Using seed beads as bubbles, this manicure was purely artistic and not exactly the most practical. While I won't be reaching for seed beads anytime soon, this sure was fun to create and the final look was just what I had in mind :)

Bright red and Tiffany blue aren't colors I would have thought to pair, but the windows at Tiffany's inspired this manicure and the result was unquestionably "Tiffany's Christmas"!

The ultra blinged-out "under the sea" window at Bergdorf Goodman inspired me to layer glitter after glitter (6 glitters in total) and then pile on the jewels.

I hope you too have been inspired to use your polish/color combos/nail accessories/craft supplies in new ways! Do you have a favorite window or manicure from this series?

Product(s) in this post were provided for review. Read my disclosure policy here.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

This Just In! Nicki Minaj OPI Polishes Spotted at Ricky's

NYC friends - I spotted the fabulous Nicki Minaj OPI collection at Ricky's today and simply had to share this find with you! The collection isn't scheduled to "officially" release until January, so if you've been waiting for this collection to hit the stores I highly recommend checking out your local Ricky's! I'm loving the chartreuse green "Did It On 'Em", the grey sparkle "Metallic 4 Life", and the holo bar glitter "Save Me" is stunning in person.

Check out the Gotham Polish map and Ricky's store locator to find the Ricky's in your neighborhood. You can also purchase the Nicki Minaj collection online.

Are any of these shades on your wish list?

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Inspired By: Bergdorf Goodman's Holiday Windows


This is the final post of a series of manicures inspired by the holiday windows in NYC! I hope you have enjoyed!

Merry Christmas Eve! I have a treat for your eyes! The holiday windows at Bergdorf Goodman were the most stunning of all. The theme was "Carnival of the Animals" and each window could inspire a manicure! My favorite window was the aquatic window - beautiful turquoise, deep blues, and shimmery teal gems adorned giant sea creatures. In these photos, it's hard to grasp the large scale of the windows but believe me, they are HUGE. No detail was left out - every inch was covered in gems.



As every inch of the Bergdorf window was covered in something sparkly and amazing, it's only fitting that my nails were also packed with bling! 

To create this look, I piled on polish very haphazardly. Colors used were Sally Hansen DVD, Color Club Pure Energy, Milani Blue Flash, Color Club Gingerbread, Color Club Too Violet, and Essie Choose Me. Then I had a blast picking sparkly adornments from Bundle Monster's wheels full of goodies. Isn't the dolphin perfect?!

See more stunning scenes inside Bergdorf Goodman's 2011 holiday windows...

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Inspired By: Tiffany's Holiday Windows

This post is part of a series of manicures inspired by the holiday windows in NYC! I hope you enjoy!

Tiffany's on 5th Ave dressed up their window this year as elegant carousels. Inside each small window is a scene depicting the animals on wintry adventures around New York City and a Tiffany jewel is featured. I absolutely adore these windows and am amazed at what Tiffany's created using such a compact space - remember these are not huge department store windows! The windows at Tiffany's are the perfect size to showcase small & sparkly things :)

I chose the red sleigh full of Tiffany boxes as inspiration for my manicure! The swirly image from BM-201 reminded me of the gold detailing on the sleigh. I stamped Deborah Lippman "Nefertiti" - the perfect gold for stamping, might I add - over Essie "Limited Addiction". On my ring finger, I stamped Sally Hansen Xtreme Wear "Celeb City" over China Glaze "For Audrey". And because this manicure wouldn't truly be Tiffany-inspired without a gem, I added a single silver rhinestone from one of Bundle Monster's wheels full of sparkly goodies.

See more miniature scenes inside Tiffany's 2011 holiday windows...

Monday, December 19, 2011

Inspired By: The Saks Fifth Ave Holiday Windows


This post is part of a series of manicures inspired by the holiday windows in NYC! I hope you enjoy!

The mannequins in the Saks Fifth Ave holiday windows are hard at work making bubbles in a sparkly underground cave! Each window is alive with various pulleys and spinning wheels. One couture bubblemaker even rides through the windows on a Victorian high wheel bicycle.

I chose the deep blue in the sparkly caves and the bubbles as inspiration for this manicure.


Totally wearable, right? Essie "Dive Bar" is the perfect deep, shimmery blue. I then added a layer of Inglot's blue flaky 204 and dotted Essie "Shine of the Times" to create an iridescent effect (like bubbles!). Finally, I scattered my "bubbles" - small iridescent seed beads. Globs of Seche top coat did the trick, as it is thick and sticky enough to grab onto the seed beads.

The best part of Saks holiday celebration is viewed across the street from Rockefeller Center! Every 15 minutes or so, giant bubbles and snowflakes are projected onto the side of Saks in a 3D light spectacular. It's unlike anything else in the city!

If you scan the QR code, you can view the show online! Here's the link - yes, it does look this awesome in person: Watch for the snow accumulating on the windows :)

Don't try to scan this picture of the code :) Here's the link

See more pictures of the Saks Fifth Ave 2011 holiday windows...

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Bundle Monster Stamping Plates - a Review, and Tips from a First Timer


Bundle Monster's Stamping Image Plates are famous in nail polish land. With two packs to chose from and over 100 images in each pack, nail art lovers at all experience levels can create intricate designs in just a few steps - swipe, punch, and "squash" :) Seriously! As one with minimal nail art experience, stamping plates were completely new to me and I questioned how well I would be able to pick up the technique. I'm excited to share with you my "first time" stamping experience and review this product as a stamping plate n00b.

My written review is below, but I think the showing you what these stamping plates can do is just as important :) I'm still learning - but if I can get results like this after only a little practice, I'm a Bundle Monster believer!

Essie "Raise Awareness" and Sally Hansen Xtreme Wear "Celeb City", stamping plate BM-201

Mattese Elite "Playa del Chrome" and China Glaze "Grape Pop", stamping plate BM-206. Top coat: Revlon Sweet Nothings "Lilac Lingerie"

Packaging and Designs
The stamping plates come packaged in a plastic bag with a clear blue cover to protect them in transit. I flipped through them to check out the images like I was dealing cards - plate after plate had amazing patterns, I already was imaging what colors to use! Each pack contains individual images such as flowers, Chinese characters, and a bunch for the holidays (a snowflake, a pumpkin, hearts, etc). Then there are "full nail" designs like animal prints, geometric patterns, and swirly designs. There are also French tip designs like zebra stripes, flowers, and stars. There's something for everyone's taste and each pack has a nice mix of designs.


What's the Difference Between Packs?
At $17.99, the Bundle Monster 21 piece set includes:
-91 individual designs
-12 tip designs
-36 full nail designs
Total: 139 images
Link to purchase:

At $21.99, the Bundle Monster 25 piece set includes:
-30 individual designs
-40 tip designs
-80 full nail designs
Total: 150 images
Link to purchase:

Both sets have an incredible assortment of designs. The 21 piece set has more individual images, and the 25 piece set has more full nail designs. The full nail designs in the 25 piece set are larger than the full nail designs in the 21 piece set. If you're interested in viewing all the images, you can see them clearly on each product page which I think is really useful.

My First Time: A Narrative

Thursday, December 15, 2011

China Glaze's "Eye Candy" Polishes are Ornaments for your Nails

Each year, the Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree is a holiday tradition shared by New Yorkers and people around the world! Lit with 30,000 lights, this year's tree is 74 feet tall and came from Pennsylvania. Could you imagine seeing this giant tree traveling across route 80 on a truck?

But what's this? Up close, I noticed that the color of the lights is actually coming from the intense glitter inside China Glaze's "Eye Candy" polishes!

Visit the tree this season in Rockefeller Center on 5th Ave between 49th and 50th St. :)

Glitter is all the rage in nail polish this winter. Recent glitters by China Glaze "Skyscraper" and "It's Alive" have taken glitter to the next level with great coverage and multi-faceted depth, so I was absolutely thrilled to hear about an entire collection of glitter polishes, appropriately named "Eye Candy".

"Material Girl" is a rose-gold multi-shaped glitter. This is the pink version of "It's Alive" :) The sophisticated rosey hue goes well with my skin tone and I found this to be a very wearable glitter - I actually wore it to work for a whole week. The secret of this polish is that there are holographic glitters scattered throughout! In this swatch, you can see some revealing themselves in the bottle.

I used three coats below. For a unique look, try layering one coat of "Material Girl" over a taupe polish like China Glaze's "Street Chic". The rose and taupe color combo is fabulous!

"Blonde Bombshell" has a similar texture to "Material Girl" with both small and large shaped glitter. The twist with this bright yellow gold is the subtle bar glitter China Glaze threw in the mix!

This is a bit off topic, but recently I have been watching obsessed with the show "Gold Rush" on the Discovery Channel, and the little gold glitters remind me of the gold flakes they find :) For a pan-for-gold effect, try layering one coat of "Blonde Bombshell" over a deep grey like China Glaze's "Concrete Catwalk".

Speaking of bar glitter, China Glaze describes "Marry a Millionaire" as an "alluring amethyst with multi-tonal fibers". While you may not be on team bar glitter, the bar glitter in "Marry a Millionaire" isn't overwhelming and isn't too long so the final result doesn't look "hairy". Also cool is the multi-tonal color shift from gold to turquoise! You can see this in the bottle in the picture below. I would recommend layering "Marry a Millionaire" over your favorite cool purple cream polish - I chose China Glaze's "Grape Pop".

"Lorelei's Tiara" is a bright white silver glitter with vivid blue flecks scattered throughout. I was impressed how the blue glitter evenly distributed across my nails and that it didn't get buried under the silver pieces. Wouldn't this be a great polish to use for an icy winter gradient manicure? If you have a silver foil polish like China Glaze's "Icicle", you won't need to use too many coats of "Lorelei's Tiara" for an opaque manicure.

"Love Marilyn" is described by China Glaze as a "vivacious red with shimmering silver particles". This polish has the same texture as "Lorelei's Tiara". Isn't this a stunning and festive red? "Love Marilyn" was the thinnest polish of the "Eye Candy" collection and I used three coats below (I could have even used four). I would highly recommend layering this over a complimentary red in your collection - China Glaze's "Poinsettia" would be a nice match!

"Some Like it Haute" nails the latest trend in glitter polish - grey! Who would have thought that a desaturated shade would make for such a lovely and "haute" glitter? China Glaze topped this polish off with holographic pieces (like in "Material Girl"). I needed to use three coats below, but if you have a deep grey such as China Glaze's "Concrete Catwalk" to use as a base, you could save a coat or two!

I must say that China Glaze created a true collection with the "Eye Candy" polishes. There are similar uses of texture in each polish (the bar glitter, the large shaped glitter, the holographic pieces), however each polish is still unique.

Do you have any fun ideas for ways to layer these glitters?

China Glaze polishes can be found in New York City! Click here for a list of retailers.

Product(s) in this post were provided for review. Read my disclosure policy here.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Inspired By: Louis Vuitton's Holiday Windows

This post is part of a series of manicures inspired by the holiday windows in NYC! I hope you enjoy!

The holiday windows at Louis Vuitton's 5th Ave location are designed with a circus theme complete with models and animals as acrobats. A color palette of cream, pink, and coral decorated a tent-like backdrop. I chose the diamond pattern and gold ball as inspiration for this manicure.

Nail art is a rare sighting here on Gotham Polish, please be kind :) This was the perfect opportunity to practice using the Bundle Monster image plates - it took me four tries before I had a manicure that I was comfortable sharing with you, but each time was better and better (a full review of the image plates will come!) I chose OPI "So Many Clowns, So Little Time" as my cream base color (fitting with the circus theme, right?) and for coral and pink: Ulta's "Coral Chic" and Maybelline "Pink Crush", respectively. Bundle Monster has a great diamond design on plate BM16 that perfectly matched the background design! To finish the look, I painted gold tips using Deborah Lippmann's "Nefertiti".

The holiday windows are providing great inspiration for color palettes and manicure designs. I'm excited to continue this series through the end of the month!

Product(s) in this post were provided for review. Read my disclosure policy here.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Where to Find Butter London Nail Polish in New York City

Maybe it's the cute angular bottle or maybe it's our love for all things British, but Butter London nail polishes are simply irresistible! I love to see them all together - C.O. Bigelow and Windsor Pharmacy have an especially nice selection.

Butter London nail polishes are available at the following locations in New York City:

C.O. Bigelow
414 6th Ave (between 8th and 9th St)

Duane Reade
40 Wall Street (note: not all locations carry Butter polishes)

Henri Bendel - as of July 2, 2012
712 5th Ave (between 55th and 56th St)

Various - see store locator

Ulta, Rego Park Center (Queens)
61-35 Junction Blvd, Rego Park, NY

Windsor Pharmacy
1419 6th Ave (corner of 58th St)

Exhale Spa
980 Madison Avenue

Georgia NY
89 A East Houston Street

Paul Smith Inc.
142 Greene Street

Ryan Darius Salon
82 West 12 Street

*Last Updated 06/30/12

Where to Shop Map
What is this all about? Introducing the Where to Shop by Brand Guide

Monday, December 5, 2011

Inspired By: Bloomingdale's Holiday Windows

This is the first in my series of manicures inspired by the holiday windows in NYC! I hope you enjoy!

The theme for Bloomingdale's window decorations this year was inspired by the designs on their holiday bags from years past. Each window showcases a giant shopping bag that spins around or opens up to show a beautiful recreation of the design on the bag!

The inspiration for my Bloomingdale's holiday window manicure came from the pink and blue neon reflected on the sleek black glitter in the 2011 display. I love how these colors bounce around off the black glitter!

Using this idea, here's what I created:

I am absolutely thrilled with the final result! I created this look by dabbing on Milani's one coat glitters "Purple Gleam" and "Blue Flash" in random patches on my nails. Then I brushed the other color on over purple, purple over blue... lightly, because you want the color underneath to still peak out (the Milani glitters are great for this because they aren't runny). I then touched up a few spots that had turned either too blue or too purple. I finished this look by adding a layer of Wet & Wild "Tangled in My Web".

I am very excited to share more manicures inspired by this year's holiday windows with you this month!

See more pictures of the beautiful Bloomindale's 2011 holiday windows...