Top 10 Favourite Polishes of 2020
Hello everyone! Despite previously being in two minds about whether or not it was too late to post this, I am very excited to bring you my ten favourite polishes of 2020! This was my first year being fully immersed in the indie nail polish and nailstagram community and there were so many amazing brands I discovered and many more who released beautiful polishes, too many to choose just ten from. Of course there were some beautiful polishes I saw this year but unfortunately missed out on and many others which could have made the list but I managed to cut my picks down to ten polishes which felt incredibly unique, were polishes which I kept going back to throughout the year and overall loved wearing this year.
Disclaimer: A select few of these polishes were sent to me as PR but I was under no obligation to include them in this list and all the polishes included were my own choices with my own thoughts and opinions.
10: ‘Maren’ by Zoya
Coming in at 10th place in the only mainstream brand to have made it onto my list. Zoya is probably one of my most favourite mainstream brands and there were so many polishes from them I had wanted to get my hands on but just never got the chance get. ‘Maren’ was from their Summer ‘Splash’ collection and is a beautiful medium blue creme polish. Of course, royal blue is my favourite colour so I am a little biased but I love collecting medium-royal blue cremes and this shade is stood out against my skin tone beautifully and I love how it fit in with the nautical theme of the collection and suited the summer perfectly, but also this was definitely worn all year round too.
9: ‘Pink Lemonade’ by Cupcake Polish
This shade is definitely one I did not expect to make the list but I could not ignore how much I enjoyed this polish this year. I bought this polish because I had just discovered polish pickup and I was excited to finally be able to add more Cupcake to my personal collection. This polish is a light pink jelly base, packed with shifting gold-to-green shimmer. When I bought this, I was worried it would be too sheer on me, or would not suit my skin tone but the result has been quite the opposite! I’ve used this as the base for nail art twice on my Instagram and both times been very tempted to just wear it by itself and I have managed to sneak it onto my nails a few times through the rest of the year. This shade was definitely a dark horse for me this year.
8: ‘Three French Hens’ by Dystopia Nail Polish
Orange was never a colour I used to like on myself until I put this shade on my nails for the first time, last November. This shade was part of the ‘12 Days of Christmas’ collection from Dystopia and after I completed my swatches, I put this on all ten of my nails and wore it for quite a few days and received so many compliments from friends and family. This is a fiery orange jelly base packed with gold shimmer and was perfect for the autumn and winter. This was also my first time trying polish from Dystopia and I absolutely loved them! Going into 2021 I’m very much going to try and support UK-based indie companies more.
7: ‘Serenity’ by ILNP
Linear holographics may not be my absolute favourite finish of nail polish but I can definitely appreciate a solid linear holo when I want to. ILNP was a brand which was new to my collection this year but has fast become some of my favourite ultra-linear holos to wear when I’m in the mood for holographics. ‘Serenity’ was released in the summer of 2020 and the holographic effect sparkles so bright in the sunlight. This was an incredibly bright and glowing shade of blue and definitely one that found it’s way onto my nails a lot this year. What I love most about this polish is that, with mosr linear holographic polishes you need to have your nails in very intense direct light to see the holographic effect, but in this polish the effect is so strong even just kitchen lighting will make those rainbows sparkle!
6: ‘Ultrahot’ – Live Love Polish
Live Love Polish will always have a special place in my heart as they were the first brand to reach out to me for swatches and it meant even more that the first collection I ever swatched was a collection of multichromes! In 2020, multichromes were very much en vogue; many brands were bringing us many collections and shades, and no matter how much I love multichromes I can still admit that often times they have a tendency to become repetitive. However, when I first put ‘Ultrahot’ on my nails, it was unlike anything I’d put on before. The transition between the hot pink and peachy-gold is striking and very flattering too, I wore this shade as a summer pedicure too. Pink-gold multichromes are some of my favourite and I definitely do not see as many as I would like, hence I love having this beauty in my collection.
5: ‘Moon Spells’ – Penélope Luz
Penelope Luz is definitely a brand I want to add more of to my collection in 2021; their packaging and polishes are absolutely stunning. ‘Moon Spells’ is one of the two only polishes I own from this brand. This is a dark blue jelly base packed with colour shifting flakes and a very small holographic glitters too. I love how the flakies contrast against the dark blue base so vividly and the jelly base gives them the chance to shine through every single layer, giving it so much depth and character too. The colour fit the name and theme perfectly and I loved wearing this nearer Halloween. This polish was definitely a game-changer for myself, in terms of finally seeing why so many people adore flakie nail polishes!
4: ‘Magma’ – Prism Polish
I don’t think any year-end list for 2020 could be complete without mentioning the famous black/red multichrome which so many, including myself, went crazy for this last year. There were, of course, so many contenders to have been considered for this list but I am going with ‘Magma’ from Prism Polish. This brand has released some stellar polishes this year and if I’m not wrong, Prism was the first UK-based indie polish brand to bring out a black-red multichrome and it is so beautiful! The colour transitions are easily visible and honestly, this shade looks completely different in all different lighting and you can even catch some hints of aubergine, gold and orange in between.
3: ‘Open Work’ – Emily de Molly
Emily de Molly is probably one of my favourite indie brands at the moment and each of their releases has something incredibly exciting to offer. There were many polishes from this brand which could have made this list but ‘Open Work’ was truly a standout this year for me! This shade is a pastel multichrome polish which shifts from purple to green and blue with a foil-type finish. This polish holds a special place to me this year as it was one of the first polishes I posted swatches of on my Instagram and it garnered a lot of attention for my page. There was a lot of talk in the indie community about this being the “sister polish” of an older shade from EdM called ‘Sea of Lies’ but after trying that polish, I definitely still preferred ‘Open Work’. The colour tilt is so drastic and the foil finish really elevates the polish. This is such a special colour to me and definitely a stand out of the year.
2: ‘I’ll Have What She’s Having’ – Glam Polish
Honestly, I could have filled this entire list with Glam polish. I adore polishes and collections which are inspired by pop culture references and Glam always delivers the most gorgeous collections! ‘I’ll have what she’s having’ is from their 80s collection and is inspired by a certain infamous Meg Ryan moment in ‘When Harry Met Sally’. I absolutely love Meg Ryan rom-coms and white glitter crellies so this polish was just a match made in heaven for me. I honestly have nothing like this in my collection and I love the simplicity yet it is such an effective polish; the purple glitters stand out so much against the white base and when the sunlight catches the aurora shimmer in this polish, it really sparkles!
1: ‘Intensity’ – Emily de Molly
If you are familiar with me and my instagram, this may come to you as no surprise considering how much I’ve raved about this polish all last year. This was my very first crellie nail polish and definitely started a slight obsession with the formula in my own collection. This polish features a royal blue base with matte white glitters. If I’m not wrong this, was the first polish from Emily de Molly to feature a creme base with white glitters and proved to be such a popular fan favourite that the maker released an entire collection featuring only this finish. The base colour is just the most perfect shade of royal blue and the white glitters add so much depth and I just adore this polish. I already own two bottles and often consider buying a third! Honestly, if I had to wear one nail polish for the rest of my life it would definitely be this polish.
And that’s my top 10! There were so many others I wish I could’ve included and it was very difficult narrowing this list down but these were my personal standouts of the year and I cannot wait to see what makers choose to bring to us this year! Please do let me know in the comments below whether you agree with my choices and what were some of your personal top polishes of 2020?
Thank you so much for reading!