Nail polish is definitely having a moment right now — between all of the textured polishes, top coat effects, and DIY nail art kits, there’s a million ways to keep your nails looking awesome. But there’s a rising trend in the nail polish scene that gives you a whole new way to deck out your tips: indie nail polish.
The concept of indie nail polish is pretty simple: Basically, it’s people mixing their own, handmade nail polish creations and selling them through internet retailers. And the results are amazing. From glitter polishes with tons of shapes and colors to gorgeous holographic polishes that change colors in different lights, indie nail polish creators have dreamed up pretty much any polish you can imagine. The price tag may seem a little steep for someone on a budget — the polishes usually range in price from $8-$15 — but the results are worth it. The polishes available from indie lines are unlike anything you’ll find from bigger brands, and that’s what makes them so special.
However, it can be a little more difficult to get your hands on these polishes than normal brands. The polish makers generally only restock every few weeks or so, and some brands are so in-demand that polishes sell out in minutes. It’s helpful to like the Facebook pages of your favorite brands since they usually post restock information there.
The indie nail polish scene is growing rapidly, so it can be pretty hard to sort through all of the brands to find the ones that are really worth your money. You have to be careful when buying indie nail polish; since it’s handmade, the quality of some brands is definitely superior to others. But don’t worry: I’ve purchased more indie nail polish than I care to admit, and I’m here to make your foray into the indie polish world much easier. So if you’re looking for a way to spice up your manicure, check out these cool brands.
This is my favorite indie polish brand, hands down. HARE polishes usually have a beautiful variety of glitter in a colored base, though some are in clear bases. These polishes are absolutely loaded with glitter: Just one coat will give you the sparkliest nails ever. This brand is pretty popular, and new colors tend to sell out really quickly. My favorite HARE polishes is currently Golden Years a deep blue base filled with green, gold, and turquoise glitter.
Known for their color-changing, holographic polishes, Enchanted Polish has become a highly sought-after indie brand. I have most of their Beatles collection, and they are worth hunting down. The color shifts when your nails are in different lighting, and the holographic sparkles make them extra special. Restocks for this brand have been known to sell out in seconds, so you have to be fast!
With restocks on the 7th and 22nd of any month, you can set your alarm to snag some of these polishes. Not all indie polishes are glittery, and Elevation Polish has a great balance of fabulous glitter, gorgeous shimmers, and classic cremes. I’m pretty partial to the glitter, but all of their polishes are great quality. Right now, I’d recommend Haba Xueshan, a mix of black, white, and mint matte glitters in a clear base. It looks like splatter nail art!
Serum No. 5 has a lot of cool polishes, but what really makes this brand special is their glow-in-the-dark polish. Yes, you read that right — you can literally have glow-in-the-dark nails. There is nothing cooler than that, really. Serum No. 5 has a variety of glowing colors. You can go with Day Glow, that classic, pale yellow-green that we all associate with glow-in-the-dark stuff, or you can get something more exotic like Twilight Sparks, a blue-green with gold sparkles that glows blue in the dark. You really can’t go wrong with glow-in-the-dark polish, and Serum No. 5 makes the glowiest stuff around.
Don’t want to wait for restocks? Lush Lacquer fills orders as they get them, so all of their colors are always in stock. Your order might take a little longer to ship because of that, but I’ve found that the mom-and-daughter duo always get my polishes shipped super quickly. This brand is well-known for their vibrant, matte glitter combos. I recommend checking out Clowning Around which is a rainbow of neon, matte glitter in a clear base. Layer it over pretty much any polish for an instantly fun look.
If you’re looking to discover your own favorite indie brand, I suggest starting with nail polish blogs. Chalkboard Nails is definitely my favorite, and she posts tons of reviews of indie nail polish (along with some insanely amazing nail art). You can also check out retailers like Llarowe.com, which carry polishes by a number of great indie brands. Otherwise, you can scour Etsy — that’s how I started my indie polish addiction! No matter what kind of polish you’re looking for, I guarantee you’ll find it (and more) when you start exploring the indie nail polish market. So go ahead, buy an indie — or four.