Now, I realise most of the Polish or Perish audience aren't Australian, and you therefore thought your wallet would be safe - think again! International stockists now have a metric shitton of Australian indie brands (I know, I've seen photos of some of the makers' shipments). For specifics of where to get what you can look at the Lacquerheads of Oz Indie Directory, but some of the stockists that ship overseas and have a few brands include Femme Fatale Cosmetics, Color4Nails, Harlow & Co, Norway Nails, Llarowe, Mei Mei's Signatures and Ninja Polish.
So here are my top 8 indies of 2013...
Gloss 'n Sparkle The Huntress is a new find of mine - I've always been a sucker for deep, complex jellies, and this is in one of my favourite polish colours, green. It's also included in my 2nd anniversary giveaway.
Alanna Renee Reptar is an incredibly cool, unique shade. I love these out-of-left-field shades - they're so satisfyingly interesting even without nail art.
Celestial Highgarden was my favourite from the Game of Thrones-themed collaboration between Color4Nails and Celestial. I love a special effects shade, and this has both holo and thermal colour change effects! This shade inspired me to write this sciencey article on how thermochromic colour change pigments work.
Brown and green is such a pretty colour combination in my books, but so few polishes contain this colour combination. Sayuri Mori has this rare foresty look, and is lovely over a golden base.
Arcane Lacquer Erudite Dreams is a pretty blurple creme with pinkish gold shimmer. I really love Arcane's elegant but pretty polishes - very work-safe and wearable for all occasions, without being plain.
Powder Perfect Decorate a Palm Tree is a very shimmery dense microglitter in a fetching shade of grass green. I especially love how the green jelly base means that the glitter in the lower layers are a deeper colour.
I posted Loki's Lacquer Omicron Persei 8 here in April, but it deserves revisiting! It's the most amazingly unexpected smorgasbord of sparkles, and jaw-droppingly stunning in the sun.
This one's a bit of a copout - I'm nominating the entire Mckfresh Sunnydale Collection as my #13! The Buffy-inspired vampy collection just looks so good together. But if I had to pick one polish, it would probably be Xander (top right hand corner) - the blue-green duochrome is so pretty, even though Xander is a bloody irritating character.
There you have it - the best indies I tried this year! I'm sure there are some glaring omissions I'll kick myself for a bit later, but I've agonised over this list long enough that I really just needed to hit the "post" button and walk the hell away.
I realise that this list is ridiculously biased towards Australian indies, and that's simply because I had enough to try within Australia that I didn't feel the need to pay premium shipping prices for overseas polishes! I will endeavour to try out more overseas brands in 2014, but to be honest, given how the Australian indie market is growing, I think I already have my nails full.
Like this? Click below to let us know!