Thursday, May 16, 2013

Polish4Pennies: Drugstore Clearance Finds - CQ & Sinful Colors

Hi everyone!

I first want to say "hello" to the wave of new visitors who found me through the I Love NP and Zoya Facebook pages. 
With the nail art community growing so rapidly, I'm so humbled that there's enough of you polished lovelies out there that are interested in what I'm up to. So thank you!

Today I want to do something different. I've been stretching out my pea brain muscles working on ideas for a variety of themed posts. 

The first thing I thought of was my polish purchasing habits. As much as I'm willing to splurge for the coolest collections and Indie favorites, most of the time my wallet is bone dry since I lost my job due to my chronic illness over a year ago.

So how do I satisfy my polish habit without my boyfriend having a heart attack? Pay in change! I'm a thrifter at heart, and am not ashamed to say I'll rush to a sale/clearance section before looking at anything else. Nail polish is no different, especially when it comes to the drugstore. 

Recently my local Rite-Aid had a little bin of $.99 polishes, and I scooped up the only four colors I didn't already own. I have individual swatches to share with you, along with a spur-of-the-moment nail art look combining the colors.

So let's take a look!

The Polishes

First up is  CQ "Honey," a white-based, buttery yellow creme.

CQ is an overlooked brand, mainly because of the availability. They do not have a website, and I've only seen them in Rite-Aid stores. Others have spotted certain shades at Walmart, but none of the ones in my area seem to carry them. If you don't have a Rite-Aid in your area, I'd turn to Amazon or eBay.

It's a shame because the formula is fantastic! Honey had the slight streaky problem of most yellow polishes, but this is actually one of the creamiest yellows I own by far. It was extremely easy to work with. I used two coats for the photos to smooth the streaks. 

The warm undertones also make this a more flattering yellow than the highlighter hues you've been seeing me sport recently. I'm a fan!

Next is another CQ in the color "Corduroy," a muted teal creme.

The formula was thinner than honey but still just  as easy to work with! It's possible to get away with one coat, but I went with two to ensure the color was really saturated. 

Best part? This is one of the few teals I have that does NOT stain. 
That gives it a two thumbs up in my book!

My next find brings me back to good ole' Sinful Colors in "San Francisco," a a shimmery emerald green.

The shade surprised me. Not only was it extremely sheer, but it was really runny. Not one other SC polish I own has this behavior, so I was a bit disappointed when it took me three to four coats to get it to full opacity.

It's not devastating enough to take away from its shiny goodness. I was relieved when it didn't turn out to be a frost, which is why I think I hadn't purchased it before. It is lighter than I expected, but it's still a nice, festive green for holidays  and can be paired with some chunky glitter for some real razzle dazzle!

The second photo is in the shade, where you can better see  how it would appear sheer if applied with anything less than three coats. It even looks thin on the nail.

My fourth find is Sinful Colors "See You Soon," a black-based, dark dark shimmery teal blue.

Now before I go any further, I don't own Essie Dive Bar...but by the swatches I've seen this looks to be a dead-on dupe for it, but for a quarter of the cost.

I can't compare the formulas of the two, but compared to San Francisco I just showed you, See You Soon is an improvement. The formula was still a bit runny, but it was no where near as sheer. The first coat is what led me to believe that it's actually a black-based polish, but my eyes could have deceived me. I went ahead and added another coat to intensify the shimmer.

I have no idea why I hadn't purchased this one before. I suppose I assumed it was a frost, but it is definitely not. It's a beautiful color. I do have others similar from Wet 'N Wild, eyeslipsface, and Nicole by OPI, so needless to say it's not an original color. I will say that if you saw Essie's  Dive Bar and have yet to purchase it, reach for this one instead.

Once again, the first photo is in the sun and the second is in the shade. Even without direct sunlight this color still sparkles. 
Gotta give it props for that!

 Nail Art Inspiration

Often times I'll pick up a polish on clearance without even having an idea on how or when to use it. In this case, all four of these colors complimented each other in a way that I just had to find a nail art look that utilized them all.

I did end up skipping San Francisco, but the other three were used to create the look you see below.
I don't really know what to call it, but it's not half bad.

I started with See You Soon as the base. 

Then taking a small nail art brush I made random strokes with Honey starting from the lower left of the tips and bringing the brush upward diagonally. 

After cleaning my brush, I left a bit of polish remover on the brush and dipped it into a dot of Corduroy and repeated the same step as before. Leaving the remover on the brush waters down the polish, creating a smudgy, blended effect. 

I finished with a few dots of Honey on the opposite side of each nail.

I kinda went to far with the blending and the longer I stare at the close-up shots, the messier I think it looks. 
I usually wouldn't post a design I wasn't entirely proud of, but in person it looked cool.

Could I have done something entirely different with these polishes? Oh sure, the possibilities were endless. 

Unfortunately, if you follow me on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram then you know I'm trying to treat my wounded dog who is suffering from an infected and possibly sprained leg from injuries sustained from a fight with my roommates dog. 

So all my nail painting took place with poor Odie in my lap, meaning I used his  little cone head as a hand-rest. It was the only time his little nub tail would wag. He's attention-starved no matter how he feels.

Oh life. Le sigh.

What do you think of this design?
What are you polish purchasing habits?

Let me know in the comments below and share you thrifty finds with me on Facebook!

And keep my little Odie dingo in your thoughts for a full recovery. All it took was him coming up behind Buster while he was excited and digging in a hole. It scared Buster and the fight broke out immediately. 
My sappy little dachshund/lab/chow mix is no match for an aggressive American Bulldog/Pitbull mix that's twice his size. :(

Posting should be kept to a normal schedule, so make sure to keep up with me on Twitter and Bloglovin'!

Thanks for reading!



  1. I love that yellow, awesome awesome yellow, and 99 cents?!!?!??! JEALOUSSSS
    Also I thought i was the only one that used "le sigh" haha

    1. Hahaha. I say it in chat playing video games all the time. I knew I'd whip out my League of Legends speak at some point. I should've just named my blog "The Nail Noob."

      And Honey was such a steal! CQ polishes retail for $4 at my Rite-Aid, but I didn't include that information because I think it's different at every location.

  2. I love when Rite Aid has a clearance polish bin!!! Mine has CQ polishes also! They're awesome! I picked up Corduroy in the clearance bin a few weeks ago, but I haven't tried it yet! :D You snagged some great colors and your nail art isn't messy at all! Hope your little fur baby gets well soon!! ♥

  3. Great colors you picked up! I love the manicure you created with them too!

  4. Oh Odie! Poor thing! Of course I'll pray he gets better soon ;)
    I loved Honey it is really unique.

  5. Love this post on cheap dupes--Sinful Colors has a surprising amount of OPI, Essie, and China Glaze dupes, I love it! I will keep an eye out for See You Soon.
    I hope your pup feels better soon <3

  6. Your design is super cute! I might have to try it when my nails grow back out! I havent seen that brand before at my Rite Aid, just the bigger name brands that all Rite Aids Carry. Also I have the same runny problem with my Sinful Colors San Fransisco! I get irrated because of that so I usually dont wear it! As always awesome swatches and beautiful pictures!

  7. i always hit the sale section first, too. unfortunately i don't find much polish on sale too often. great finds!

    the painted ninja

  8. Nail polish is nail polish. All I hope is that your poor baby turned out ok. <3


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