Author Archives: Alli

We’ve moved! Time to update your email subscription.

Hey everyone!

This week Katie and I have been working on moving The Daily Varnish from a hosted site to a self hosted site at This move is going to allow us to have more freedom with formatting and context among other things.

All old links still work…they are just redirected to the new site. If you subscribe via RSS you don’t need to do anything….that automatically switched over.

The only thing that we can not seamlessly move are the email subscriptions (there was a hiccup with email subscriptions this morning…sorry!). To continue to receive emails when we publish new posts you just need to go to the new site,, and re-sign up for emails.

Signing up is easy….just look on the right side of the website below the social media widgets and put in your email address. Unfortunately this can not be done on the mobile site unless you pick the “view full site” option at the bottom of the page. Once you view the site in full the subscribe option will be below the recent posts.

We worked really hard to make this transition as painless as possible for our readers. Hopefully this will be the only negative thing that comes from our move!

Hope everyone is having a wonderful day,


JulieG Secret Treasure

JulieG Secret Treasure bottleWhat seems like a gazillion years ago at this point new polishes were added to JulieG’s permanent collection. I ended up hauling quite a few of them and have more or less loved every single one I have tried. Previously I have used Secret Treasure once over Orly High on Hope. It was gorgeous and I loved it. But then Secret Treasure got kind of lost in the mix.

This past weekend when I was looking for a fun nail polish to wear I ran across Secret Treasure and decided to give it another go. I started with a white base coat (Ulta Snow White) then topped it with 2 coats of JulieG Secret Treasure.

The glitter in Secret Treasure isn’t overly dense (it’s definitely a top coat only type of glitter) but it is buildable.

I ended up loving this manicure so much I wore it the entire weekend and Monday. Usually I do a manicure for both Friday and Saturday just so I can use some of my more fun polishes but I couldn’t bring myself to take Secret Treasure off!

For Friday night I paired this manicure with an orange dress and it complimented the manicure perfectly. There is a picture of the manicure with the dress fabric below the jump (along with a slew of additional swatches).


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Nail Art: Toothpick Stripes (plus a how-to)

Toothpick StripesLately I’ve become a bit obsessed with mixing neons and black and white. I have a noen pink clutch that I absolutely adore so I’ve been carrying that with a couple black and white dresses I have. It’s a great way to summer-ize otherwise dull pieces.

Last week I was wearing wet n wild Pin’ Em Slater when a lightbulb went off in my head; hey, you can mix neons with black and white on your nails too! Duh Alli.

I wanted to do something sort of geometric since the yellow polish is so bright but, quite honestly, I just didn’t feel like laboring over nail art. In an attempt to cheat I tried using a toothpick to make stripes. It worked out surprisingly well.

Doing stripes this way will not give you a perfect stripe or even edges. But the  inexact looking stripes made the manicure feel less fussy and care free. I liked it quite a bit.

For exactly how I did this and additional swatches check below the jump!


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wet n wild megalast Sugar Coat

wet n wild Sugar CoatAs much as I hate to admit it sometimes life requires nail polish that isn’t a crazy color. Subtle isn’t exactly my thing but everyone needs a go to pale pink or nude in their collection. I have a couple that color wise I like (China Glaze Oxygen, Color Club Who Are You Wearing?) but hadn’t found one with a good formula AND a good color.

I found myself browsing the wet n wild display at Harris Teeter, a local grocery store. Sugar Coat caught my eye. It looked like a good color for my (very) pale, cool skintone and in the past I’ve had great luck with polishes from the megalast line.

Sugar Coat is a very, very pale cool toned pink creme. The color is very flattering against my skintone. While the color is lovely, I was very concerned about the formula. As it turns out….the formula is wonderful! I used three coats in my swatches and was very happy with the result. The polish isn’t thin or runny like so many pale pinks I’ve used in the past.

I must admit that normally these kinds of colors make my stomach kind of turn but I ended up liking this mani quite a bit. It was subtle and understated yet looked very polished and chic.

Who knew I’d find the perfect nude polish at the grocery store! Especially for the very affordable price of $1.99.

There are additional swatches under the jump!


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Nail Art: French Flag Manicure (Bastille Day 2013!)

Bastille Day NailsHappy Bastille Day!

No, I’m not French. But I’m a tad bit obsessed with Europe and France in particular. What can I say? Paris stole my heart.

Last year I did a manicure for Bastille Day so I wanted to continue that tradition on this year.

After alot of unnecessary contemplation I decided to do a French flag manicure. It’s a super simple look to achieve. I started off with a coat of L’Oreal Jet Set to Paris. I let that dry then used tape to block off the bottom third of my nail and applied 2 coats of Ulta Snow White. I again let my nails dry, blocked off two-thirds of my nail with tape and applied Sally Hansen Diamonds and Rubies. I find this works really well and if there is any bleeding of colors I used a striping brush and white polish to clean up the edges.

At first I had a flag on all 5 nails. I decided that was WAY too much. I opted for solid colors on the pinky and ring finger and did glitter (Forever21 Tinsel Town and NCLA United States of Glitter) on the thumb nail.

There is nothing in particular that I do to celebrate Bastille Day (I’m not French, after all…) but I grab onto any excuse to do a themed mani! I have made an effort this week to read a book called An Attempt at Exhausting a Place in Paris. It has nothing to do with the storming of the Bastille or the French Revolution but it does chronicle the lives of ordinary Parisians in Place Saint-Sulpice.

As always there are swatches below the jump. I hope everyone has a fabulous fourteenth of July!


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LuxeCoat Winter in Paris

LuxeCoat Winter in ParisOh hey. I’m Alli. And I have a small obsession with Paris.

Not that y’all didn’t already know that but considering it’s Bastille Day weekend and there will inevitably be a Bastille Day themed manicure tomorrow I thought it was worth saying again. The holiday gave me a perfect excuse to give Winter in Paris a try!

LuxeCoat is a new(ish) nail polish brand that focuses on producing cruelty free nail polish with sustainable vegan ingredients. We don’t cover near enough cruelty free, vegan brands on this blog so when LuxeCoat offered to send me a few polishes to review I happily accepted.

Winter in Paris is a medium rose creme with pretty significant brown and yellow undertones (it reminds me an awful lot of Revlon ColorStay Vintage Rose). This is definitely a color that is more appropriate for the cooler weather (as the name clearly implies) but a pretty, classic color none the less.

The formula is good. I used just two coats in my swatches. That being said, I did have a bit of difficulty with application.

The first thing I noticed about the LuxeCoat polishes is they appear to be in Orly Instant Artist bottles. LuxeCoat is not affiliated with Orly so I have no explanation for that. But, the problem arises because the bottle is so tall. Due to this, product tens to run down and it’s easy for product to build up on the brush. This can be remedied by cleaning off the brush between each stroke.

LuxeCoat polishes are a bit pricey at $15 a bottle but if you’re looking for a cruelty free, vegan friendly polish and you’re willing to pay a bit of a premium for that definitely check out their website.

There are swatches below the jump!


The product(s) used in this post were provided to TDV for review. For more information check out our disclosure policy.

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wet n wild Pin’ Em Slater

wet n wild Pin Em SlaterOh, A.C. Slater. I always felt bad for him. As the stereotypical jock he was always the butt of the joke. But he was lovable, none the less.

When wet n wild released their limited edition Saved by the Bell collection last summer every child of the 90’s was dying to get their hands on the polishes. Unfortunately, the collection was not rolled very well. Not only were these polishes next to impossible to find, who releases a collection of neons in August?

Well, regardless, the collection included 6 neons; one for each of Saved By the Bell‘s main characters. Pin’ Em Slater is a super bright neon yellow jelly. I find this polish isn’t wearable on its own (there is a swatch of it alone under the jump) but looks gorgeous over white. I used 2 coats of Ulta Snow White and just one coat of Pin’ Em Slater in my swatches.

I love super bright neon polishes for summer. I’ve done neon polka dots using this polish and I’ve also paired the bright yellow with a black and white accent nail. Both were fun, summer manis. But, if your thing isn’t highlighter bright nails then I do apologize for burning your eyeballs! There are more retina scorching swatches below the jump.

For other polishes from this collection check out my posts on Nerd Alert: Screech and Fashionista Lisa.


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Rimmel Hot Chilli Pepper

Rimmel Hot Chilli Pepper bottleRimmel has (obviously) relaunched their 60 Seconds Nail Polish line in the states. I was super excited to find the line again because I loved it back in the day (and back in the day I mean 2010). Being unsure what to expect from the newly relaunched and reformulated line I picked up three colors to try. Mintilicious turned out to be wonderful so I had high hopes for Hot Chilli Pepper (yes, chilli has 2 l’s. That is apparently the way the British spell chili). Luckily, it didn’t let me down!

Hot Chilli Pepper is a bright orange leaning red with a splash of pink creme. It’s a lovely color and perfect for the warmer months. It also makes a lovely pedicure color.

Rimmel claims that all of the polishes in their 60 Seconds line are one coaters. This is definitely not true though Hot Chilli Pepper did apply nicely in 2 coats.

So far I’m really impressed with this line of polishes. For more info on the new bottle and brush check out my post on Mintilicious. There are swatches below the jump!


PS: As a child of the 90’s it was really REALLY difficult not to call this nail polish Red Hot Chili Peppers.

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Orly Royal Navy

Orly Royal NavyEarly today I was cleaning pictures out of my Daily Varnish folder and ran across this macro shot of Royal Navy from probably a year ago. I completely forgot how gorgeous Royal Navy is! When it came time to do my nails the choice was obvious. I needed to revisit Royal Navy!

This polish was originally released back in 2010 as part of Orly’s In the Navy release. It wasn’t really a collection….the display contained 2 repromotes (Star Spangled and White Tips) along with Royal Navy, a new release at the time.

Royal Navy is a cobalt blue jelly packed with aqua shimmer. The shimmer settles at the bottom of the bottle so you have to shake the bottle to death before using it but the result is totally worth it!

Because this is a jelly I did use 3 coats and there was still a visible nail line in bright light. That doesn’t really bother me.

As this polish dries it is a bit dull. A shiny top coat is definitely required! I used Rush 60 Seconds in my swatches. A word of advice: don’t use Seche Vite. It causes this polish to shrink. Badly. 

Honestly, if you are a fan of blue nail polish at all this is a must have. It is part of Orly’s permanent collection and easy to find.

Below the jump there are a slew of swatches including pictures of this polish in the sun. Completely gorgeous!


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PISTOL polish July 2013: Going for Gold & Determined Dreamer

PISTOL polish July 2013 duoWith the exception of my 4th of July manicures, the PISTOL polish July duo has been a constant on my nails since it arrived on my doorstep. It was basically love at first sight. My love of light blue polishes is very well documented on this blog and more recently I’ve really been getting into metallics, particularly silver and rose gold.

The two polishes this month are Going for Gold, a metallic rose gold, and Determined Dreamer, a sky blue creme. Honestly, I was so excited about this duo I couldn’t decide which one to wear first. So I wore them together. The two look amazing as a pair!

Below the jump are in depth reviews and swatches of both polishes!


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