Saturday, 31 December 2011

Crumpet's Brand of the Year - 2011

 The Brand of the Year 2011

Hi Goddesses

I wanted to do a post which evaluated how good or bad the nail polish world has been to us this year.  I am aware that my readers are split about 50/50 between well-read nailaholics who know more than I do, and real nail newbies who appreciate being pointed in the right direction.

So here you have my opinions on the output of the main brands, together with my ultimate winner of the year.


Let’s start with the biggest.  OPI was the reason I became re-obsessed with nail polish because a workmate wears them all the time with minimal chipping.  A quick journey through ebay and I saw their preference for reddish colours (matched my own at the time) and an obsession was born.

Since then, I have been educated, and I have come to realise that the Queen has lost her crown.  Newer brands have become better, and other brands have overtaken her.  OPI no longer rules the roost.  Why ?  I don’t know.  Maybe they became complacent, maybe they didn’t realise what other brands had up their sleeves, but OPI have been well and truly left on the shelf this year, churning out dull crèmes and only briefly hinting at their heyday with The Muppets Collection.

Final Verdict - A really disappointing year.


So after my OPI obsession, came Zoya.  No one does purples like Zoya.  They also use a small brush – neater application – and have smaller bottles height-wise – better storage.

Zoya have released some beautiful collections this year, yet I’m quite shocked to end the year without feeling the love for them.  I literally could not wait to get my hands on Smoke & Mirrors when it came out, and yet have not been wearing it half as often as I expected.

All this though is only half the story.  Zoya have – in my eyes – the best customer respect on the planet, and do awesome giveaways regularly, just because they love their customers.  They also do the best nail polish remover.

Final verdict – a solid year, with much expected in 2012 – we’ve seen photos of the flecked top coats, and the Zoya fairies still keep whispering about holos.  I am sure if Zoya do a holo, it will be the most beautiful ever made.

China Glaze

I had never heard of China Glaze before this year, but d’you know what, if I was recommending just 1 brand to a beginner, it would be this one.

CG is reasonably priced, offer great colours, do glitters, holos, crèmes, shimmers, the best crackles – you name it, you can find it in the CG catalogue.  Their collections this year may not have set the world on fire, but there have still been interesting individual polishes.

Final verdict – a solid year, with great expecations for 2012 and The Hunger Games collection.

Color Club

Color Club – what’s to fault?  Awesome polishes, great application, holos, glitters and yes!  FOILS !!

Final Verdict - It’s been a great year for Color Club, and all at an insanely affordable price. 

Sally Hansen

Good ole Sally.  She may be nearly 100 years old, but she still keeps knocking them out!  Lol.

Again, a brand I was unaware of in the UK but wow – good prices, great colours and application and a full range of finishes.

Final Verdict – good, not spectacular, but good


This baby was born this year, and wow was she born with great qualities.  A stunning range of colours, amazing application and to die for finishes.

This is a THOROUGHLY impressive brand, with a woman at the helm- Adina – who has a true passion for polish as well as the most adorable cat in the world, Tristram.

Final Verdict – totally blew everyone away with her Mythicals Collection.  Oustanding, and with great hopes for her next Collection.

Glitter Gal

Hands up if you’d heard of Glitter Gal at the start of the year?  Probably none of us, but holy holo wowness, what amazing polishes.

A Glitter Gal holo is beautiful like very little else in the world.  Exquisite beauty and finery, amazing colours, balanced only by a far too small bottle and a tendency to give colours names slightly darker than how they appear on my nails!!

Final Verdict – outstanding year.  2011 was the Year of Holo, and Glitter Gal led that charge.

So, to the Awards

Honourable Mention

Although she is not a brand, I want to include in this post a woman who has possibly done more than anyone this year to champion exotic and amazing polishes.

Step forward Leah Ann Rowe.  I remember buying from Leah Ann back in July.  Back then, she had a handful of Glitter Gals which she mainly sold through her eBay store. Since then she has created a true, loving Facebook community, genuinely interacted with her “fans” the way only a fellow nail geek can, and introduced us to-
·         Glitter Gal
·         Ozotic
·         A-England
·         HITS
·         Picture Polish
·         Ludarana

I know I speak for many of us when I say – where would our stashes be without her ? I know our bank balances would be healthier!  And then she topped it all by bringing Lynderella to her site … and promises more magic for 2012.

Leah Ann – you’re awesome.

Best Indie Brand – Cult Nails

I don’t own any Cult Nails polishes yet, but I would love to know how a small US brand managed to create more buzz than ANY of the multi-nationals.

Well done for all you achieved with Unicorn Puke / Clairvoyant – you’ve touched the true heart of a polish lover.

Best Expensive Brand – Deborah Lippmann

I know, I know, but 3 of her polishes are in my all time Top 10 (Ruby Red Slippers, Across The Universe and Lady Sings The Blues).

Let me put it this way – 2012 is going to be The Year of the Flakie, 2011 was the Year of Holo, and 2010 was the Year Glitter Came Back, and no one did more to achieve that and continue that than DL.

She redefined what a glitter could do in a polish, keeps releasing bijou little collections, does crème and shimmers AND did her own flakie, Edge of Glory.

Can you imagine if DL was in charge of OPI – can you IMAGINE what a year that would have created for OPI ?

Within Budget Brand of the Year – Wet n Wild

A US brand I had never heard of, Wet n Wild has rocked my world this year.   They did the best glitter of the year – Tangled in My Web – as well as a couple of GREAT collections and generated HTF buzz with On The Prowl and the Ice Collection.

I don’t know if it was this year or last year but there is also a great collection based on TV programs which I LOVE.

Final Verdict – a surprisingly strong performance with great polishes of all shapes and sizes – an EXCELLENT year.

So there you go – which brand blew you away this year?  If you could only keep the polishes you bought from one of them, which would it be??


Enjoy J  xx


Top Tip – if you’re ever unsure what a nail colour looks like, go to Google images, which will give you plenty of contrasts and compares.

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