Product Top Picks
Oh, I found this great site that lists look-a-like brands so when you can't find a color you like in one brand you can try it's look-a-likes. Click here for their site.
Nail Hardeners/StrengthenersMy all-time favorite is Sally Hansen's "Hard as Nails" with Nylon. It's my old reliable that I use as both a base and a top coat.
Sally Hansen also makes "Hard as Nails" without Nylon, which dries quickly and has a nice shine to it. I use it as a top coat to make my colors stand out a bit. This also comes in colors so can be a polish and hardener in one.
Yet another Sally Hansen product I use is "Thicken Up!" It's ok as a hardener, but I find it more useful as a coat between my color coats to give a bit of depth to my nails... it is subtle, but looks good with metalic shades. Just alternate this with the color and also use it as a top coat.
Nail Repair StuffI use the Acrylic liquid and powder from a company called "Kiss." It came in a set with a brush and a small nail buffer with two sides for choice of grain.
Sally Hansen makes a small kit called "No more Cracks." This is pretty handy for repairing small cracks and the kit can fit in a shirt pocket or purse. I would not use this for bad tears and breaks though.
As far as simple black goes, I tend to just use a few coats of "Wet 'n Wild" Black Cream (#9923) - it is simple and cheap. Use a nice clear glossy top-coat for added shine.
Urban Decay has a nice shade called "Oil Slick" but it may have been discontinued. It is a kind of black/grey with hints of color sparkle, like an oil slick... subtle, but nice. (I don't like glitter polish in general.) Urban Decay is more expensive, but you don't need as many coats and the polish lasts longer.
NutraNail makes a "60 Second" One Coat Nail Enamel that can be useful. It costs about $4 (US) but dries a bit faster than regular polish. This is great if you are on the run and need to touch up your nails.
My all-time favorite color that I would choose if I could only wear one color, is "Wet 'n Wild" (#415A), a nice metalic blue. It used to match my hair when I had that blue tuft!
Sally Hansen makes a nice dark blue called "Xtreme Frost" that can be found under their "New Lengths" line. This has micro fibers and doubles as a good nail hardener.
Another nice blue, "Cobalt Frost," can be found under Sally Hansen's "Hard as Nails" line. This also is a decent nail hardener.
I like Urban Decay's "Gash" - a nice red with gold tint. Very regal.
Manic Panic makes a nice bright red called "Blood Red." Ooooo.. blood... Gothic... Well, maybe not. It's more of a "Candy Apple" red, but looks nice against black velvet. Make sure to keep even coats though, or it won't look good.
If you really, want the dried blood look, there are the colors "Tramp" and "Vamp" - I forget the companies that make them (I think Channel makes Vamp). Both are the same, but "Tramp" is cheaper. Revlon's Vixen is another cheap alternative to Vamp. Or, you can get "Blackest Red" (#467B) by Wet 'n Wild, which costs even less. Same thing, nice dark red.
Avon makes a really nice silver in their "Color Last" line called "Intrigue" (#363). It needs a good quality clear top coat or it will scratch, but it looks nice. I'm actually wearing it as I am typing this!
NutraNail makes a nice color called "Gun Metal" (#12961B) that dries in 60 seconds (don't count on that!). It's a nice dark metallic grey.
A brand called "Liquid Metal" makes a color called "Hg" (#80) that is a lighter grey. You need to use several coats for a good effect.
I have a really nice metalic purple that I got at "Ricky's" in NYC, but there is no name on the bottle and the brand is called "Mattese N.Y.C." so this may not be easy to find outside of NYC.
A brand called "Essentials" makes a color called "Julie" (#127) that is a bit light alone, but is awesome over a coat of black.
Maybelline makes an interesting color called "Violet Water" under their "Express Finish" line. It's a clear purple nail enamel. Has potential. I've noticed a few brands starting to roll out clear colors so this may be a new fad in the making.
I found some neat glow in the dark colors (opaque-ish "green", blue and pink) that can look cool under black lights in clubs, especially if you have some funky cyber look going on.
One may think that white would be a gothic faus pas, but used with the right outfit or style, it can be quite interesting. Brucci makes a nice pure white called "Snow White."
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