Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Review: Island Girl

I couldn't really help myself to grabbing a few bottles, though I didn't grab as many as I would have liked. So a quick introduction to this line: Island Girl Hawaii Nail Polish is only available through ABC Stores. I've read some other blogs that have noted that the ABC Stores that are in Las Vegas also carry the line, so it's not just restricted to the islands of Hawaii, just the store. While I haven't attempted this, it also looks like you can buy the variety packs through their online site (but you won't be able to purchase individual bottles).

1132 Surfing Paradise, 1149 Island Coast, &
1112A Hawaiian Dream.
Upon seeing them, the first thing to note is that they are bright and vivacious colours. Which meant that at the very beginning of the trip I was hesitant to get them. I knew that I wouldn't find them anywhere else but an ABC Store so it was now or possibly way later. Toward the end of the trip I decided to spring for three bottles. Had I not just ordered 5 bottles of Zoya, I probably would have sprang for more. Anyhow, my experience with cheap nail polishes goes back a long way, so seeing these bright colours only meant one thing in my mind: high maintenance

Bright colours, while lovely and wonderful, generally meant that it chips easily or isn't very long lasting. While I could be wrong in my experience, I also know that when you couple that with a slightly cheaper formula then you're in for dents and chips. But I could overlook that, what I was also prepared for, and what bugs me the most is the inevitable matte look.

A good base coat and top coat can help, but not by much. Why am I mentioning all of these? Well, if you are like me and you're used to this kind of performance from a nail polish, then sure, Island Girl won't disappoint. You've got these bright colours and sure, it's a bit on the high maintenance side, but very lovely. In the short time I've been wearing them, I can offer this:

  1. They dry very quickly which leads to #2. 
  2. They will chip on their own so get a good top coat. (Last night I applied two fresh coats and then had to work on a project. By the time I was done, the nails were dry, but I hadn't applied a top coat in time so I already had some very minor chips).
  3. They dry matte so if you plan accordingly with the proper top coat. If you want the matte effect then be sure to get a matte top coat, otherwise the very bright and shiny colour will pop even more with your standard top coat (this isn't a bad thing, by the way).
  4. They don't last that long. Given that they are prone to dents and chips, don't anticipate them lasting for a week.
  5. They come in a variety of colours, all of which are bright and... cheery? 
  6. They are cheap and exclusive to ABC Stores.
If you could overlook the pitfalls of the nail polish, then it's a good line. I wouldn't compare them in quality to OPI but they stand in line with Sinful Colors. 

I have yet to try Island Coast (the purple) but I imagine that it is quite similar to the Surfing Paradise in terms of performance and endurance. I have tried the Hawaiian Dream and to be honest it was a bit lackluster. The brush, while wide, was unable to pick up the hearts (which are blue and a very light pink) and so after painting all ten nails, I had only 4 hearts. I am hoping that as I get used to it, it would be worthwhile.

Sadly, I cannot remember just how much I paid for each bottle. I think it averaged to about $2 each but I could be wrong about that. 

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