Does A Brand Name Matter?

The first bottle of Chanel nail polish I bought scared me – I think it cost a whole $20. For a long time I didn’t buy much polish. I used the polish at the salon, didn’t generally see it for sale, couldn’t sit still long enough to let my polish dry if I tried to do them at home, and just ignored the whole thing. I think I started occasionally buying a color when Chanel put out something spectacular, and I felt like OPI was too commonplace to be worth spending money on. 

At some point in the last year I started frequenting Ulta and OPI started coming out with some amazing collections, or at least some amazing colors in some of their collections, and I added them back into my rotation, next to Butter and Deborah Lippman. Then I saw some really cool Wet N Wild colors at the drugstore, and thought maybe they were “good enough” after all, even if they were inexpensive and mass market. I’ve found myself at Wal Mart picking up brands I’ve never heard of if a color grabs my eye – or browsing their racks hoping to be able to satisfy my polish buying need for less than $20.  (Note: this doesn’t work, you just end up with 10 colors for $20 instead of 1). Somehow while I was bypassing colors sold outside of Bergdorf’s, I missed out on things like My Private Jet and Sanderella, and apparently there was an amazing line called LIquid Euphoria that was made by Blue Cross Beauty that must have been affordable at drug stores if I had ever walked down that aisle.

Part of what this realization has done is turned me into a vulture circling Sally Beauty on Fridays and Ulta on Mondays, as well as the OPI web site. I almost can’t drive past a drug store without popping in to see if there’s a new budget brand. I’ve learned that beauty supply stores that don’t sell CG or OPI often sell things like Kleancolor which has an amazing assortment of effects polishes. If something grabs my eye or my heart, I’ll pick it up, and not think twice about what the label says. (Admittedly part of this too is that I change my polish a LOT, and that plus a good basecoat – currently Orly Bonder – means that I’m ready for the next thing before I’m having chipping problems).

The one thing I’m trying to stay away from is indie polishes, mostly because they’re expensive and collectible and I’m just OCD enough that if I start to buy a new brand like that I might feel the need to get them all.

What do you think? Do you have brands that are inexpensive that you love? (Haha, partly because I’m always looking for new brands) Or do you refuse to buy less expensive ones?


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