Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Talk It Out Tuesday: Brand Wins & Brand Let Downs

If you think over the past year, have there been any brands who have captured heart? Perhaps, they're brands that you just were introduced to, or brands you were just "ok" about, but now you love.  Why?

What about brands who have let you down? Are there any brands that used to "wow" you that have fallen flat?  Why?

Please let me know in the comments below!

* I also want to keep this in relation to you as a consumer to these brands. I understand many bloggers have PR relationships with brands, but I'm not interested in PR relationships to brands. I'm interested in how you has a person who buys from these brands feels about them*

My answer:
I want to forewarn that these are my opinions only. I want to say the same for the people who comment on this post.  If someone has a differing opinion from you, it's totally fine, just no flames guys!.

Brand Wins- OPI, Essie,  & Zoya

OPI- When I first got into nail polish, I only owned one bottle of OPI. OPI never seemed very innovative to me color wise, so I just backed off. I'd say over the past year I've accumulated so many OPI's. It seems to me OPI has started to mix in classic colors with innovative ones. I've been impressed with all of their collections this past year. They've given us shatters, sorbets, glitter bombs, and etc. They've really set the trends this year.

Essie- A lot of people scoffed at the idea of Essie going retail, but I love it. I've never been able to really shop Essie before and see their selection until now. My Essie stash has grown, and I'm really impressed with the formula and the brand overall. I love shopping Essie at CVS because I can use my extra bucks on them and make them less expensive!

Zoya- Zoya has really paved the way in social networking for polish brands. I've always considered them a favorite as far are color selection and innovation. They've really stepped it up though with offering various promos and accumulating an amazing fan base. They're very engaging has a company which makes them popular and successful!

Brand Let Downs- China Glaze, Wet n' Wild, Milani, & Zoya

China Glaze- I am *majorly* disappointed by China Glaze. When I first got into nail polish China Glaze was the "it" brand. They were the trendsetters and the risk takers as far as colors and finishes. Now, I find that they have lost their spark. I find other brand surpassing them when it comes to uniqueness. They have a few wins in their collections, but what I've found is a lot of their stuff just seems "dupey". I get a very "been there done that" vibe from many colors in their collections. I also feel they are lacking in keeping themselves relevant amongst other major brands in the social networking world. I see other brands surpassing them in this, and I think it is hurting them.

Wet n' Wild- I've heard it tons of times it's up to the individual store on what products they chose to put out. I swear the entire state of Florida has been axed from getting LE collections. I'm convinced other locations have as well. It sucks to see amazing LE collections being put out, and not having any access to them whatsoever. It also stinks that they don't sell these products online. I feel like they're missing out on a lot of business from people who would be willing to shell out the money for their products if they could get their hands on them.

Milani- Last summer Milani released probably 5 small LE collections. The colors were on point with what was trendy that year and the selection was awesome. This summer they've had one collection of fast drying non-exciting colors. I don't know what happened? I used to consider Milani my #1 drugstore brand because they used to step outside the box.  After One-Coat Glitters, I haven't seen anything really new or different from them. They're fading into the background

Zoya- Yes, Zoya was also in my win my section, but they also have some faults. I find that they overwhelm themselves with their promos which causes orders to get mixed up, polishes to run out, and people waiting long periods of time for their orders. I feel like they should be better prepared. Also, this REALLY ticked me off, the colors Valerie and Jem. As far as I'm concerned this is absolutely no difference between these colors, yet they've both been released within in maybe 7-8 months of each other. This is a major no no in my opinion, and I don't know how that go overlooked. Why make your customers buy 2 of the same color? Not cool.

Please share with me your wins and let downs!

Happy Tuesday!


  1. I love this post and I agree with many of your opinions.

    I disagree on Essie though. Essie used to be my favorite brand but now I feel like what they have put out, color wise, is boring. They have always been on the slightly boring side, sticking to pinks etc but this year I didn't get into any of the new collections really.

    I am really impressed with Sinful Colors. For $2 a piece you can get total dupes of OPI's Pirates collection right in the drug store. I love that! 

    I love Deborah Lippmann. The products are soooo expensive so that sucks but the colors and formula are spectacular!

    I agree, OPI is at the top of their game. They have given us so much variety this year!

    China Glaze used to be my all time favorite but I agree with you 100% they have really not been as good as they were.

  2. In a sense all of the polish companies who sell in the US have let me down because how could they possibly miss how much people want holo polishes? Why are they still so hard to find? When people (myself included) are buying aluminum pigments from custom car paint retailers and making their own, OBVIOUSLY the finish is in demand. The nail polish community has got to be the most visible and easily researched consumer community on the web.  I know dozens of people who own anywhere from 200-2000 polishes. Pay attention to what we want and give it to us....isn't that how sales and marketing is supposed to work? 

  3. I have just discovered Nails Inc.  I am totally in love with this brand.  It is finally available in the USA at Sephora and I have already stocked up with 20 bottles! Their formula needs only one coat for opacity and their 45 second top coat is to die for.  

    I also love Rescue Beauty Lounge.  yes its expensive, but the formula is a dream and the colors are unique. 

    As far as drugstore brands go, I have always loved Essie even before it was bought out.  i love the formula and think they have very nice colors.I have a problem with Deborah Lippmann.  I have bought several recently and find the formula to be runny, thin on pigmentation and for the price should be better in that regard.I am not a fan of OPI because the brush is too big for my small nails.  I liked their old brush better.  

  4. I agree with you about Milani--and their distribution seems to be slipping, too.  Still haven't seen the fast drys here, and while I'm happy they re-released Vintage, I was hoping for some more Chanel dupes and other new stuff from them.

    OPI is slipping for me--their inability to keep the same color/finish from batch to batch on some colors is annoying.

  5. I really enjoy these posts! 

    I am constantly impressed by Zoya.  Their colors are always gorgeous and they have such a huge selection.  I have had a bit of disappointment with them but only in the formula of a few - too thick for my taste.  And I wish they were more readily available, but if I can be patient, they're worth the wait.

    I have a love-hate relationship with OPI.  For the price, I expect more.  More often than not, I have issue with their formula.  And there have been more than a few times that the colors in the bottle don't match on the nail, which isn't necessarily a bad thing, but what draws me in is what I want to see on my nails.

    I'm a little disappointed in ChG but ONLY because Tronica was so similar in color to OMG, only not as awesome.  However, the core ChG colors have always been a go for me.

    I'm pretty impressed with Orly.  I really don't think Orly gets enough love.  Sure, their Cosmic FX collection got lots of buzz, but what about all their other colors?  They have so many great shades and really, for the price, they're good stuff.

    One final disappointment: Essie.  Their bottles seem so small and their price is a little steep for me.  And their colors seem just so flat...they don't have any knock-you-on-your-butt colors - especially lately.  I want to be WOW'd by a color.  I want to HAVE to have a color.  Essie just doesn't do it for me.  And their formula isn't anything to shout about, either.

  6. My wins...Zoya, Barielle, and Orly. Barielle is the newest to me out of these but the formula is simply amazing. Their selection isn't as large, but I haven't been disappointed yet. I'm kinda meh about OPI...it never seems that amazing to me and the formula is just ok. I've never wanted an entire collection. I only own a few. I understand exactly what you mean about WnW in Fl...I never see any of the LE collections either. 

  7. Hee, my list is about the exact opposite of yours :).

    My letdowns: OPI and Zoya.

    OPI for two reasons: first, their price point and their absolute inflexibility on discounters. Sorry, OPI is not worth almost $10/bottle. And second, for OPI Ink. It's so gorgeous in the bottle with the navy base and purple shimmer...and on the nail, it's straight navy with a little shimmer. I like Claire's 7th Inning Stretch so much better and at half the price. I keep this bottle around to remind me why I don't buy OPI even if I am tempted.

    Zoya...I LOVE their colors. I hate their prices and I hate even more that their polishes take literally hours to dry. And if you use any chemical help, they shrink. I don't have hours.

    I know I'm harping on price, but if I'm paying more than $6/bottle I expect a LOT out of a polish - not just a pretty color. I do have quite a few of the more expensive polishes because I do believe in buying quality, but honestly, they have not delivered.

    My wins:

    China Glaze has my number when it comes to color. I don't care if it's not the most trendy - neither am I. I can think of one, maybe two of their collections in the past couple of years where nothing caught my eye. And if they release a dupe of a brand I don't like, even better. They also wear very, very well on me.

    Essence. I think this is a German drugstore brand that's carried by Ulta and I've been impressed with their colors, application, and wear. Unfortunately, I haven't seen any new collections at Ulta lately - hopefully that just means there haven't been any.

    Sally Hansen and Revlon. It seems like their limited stuff is getting far better distribution around here than it has been, I like the colors and the formulae, I love they have coupons and specials, and I am so happy Revlon has been "duping" Chanel colors so I could find out how much I hate the color without spending $20 on Paradoxal.

  8. OPI disappoints me for the same reason as someone else. It is inconsistant from bottle to nail and different bottles can have the same name, but appear to be a different color.

    Also Essie disappoints me, for their price the colors just seem so generic.

  9. I really LOVE Zoya. I do not like that I have to order online or how sometimes they are out of stock of one color I ordered in 5, but their forumla is amazing, most of it works for stamping, and they are still cheaper than most other quality brands.
    I also really like SinfulColors. Some of them have disappointed me, but mostly because I just don't like sheer polish, which is not their fault if the polish is intended to be sheer.
    Color Club has suprised me in a good way. I did not think I would like them (And don't like that bottles baught in boxes are not labeled), but their formula is pretty good and their colors are just plain pretty.

  10. i really love sinfulcolors because they have a huge variety & good prices & conveinent locations ALSO NYX girls polish because i find alot of there polishes unique! specially the glitters

    i cant say im let down by a specific brand but a line that Sally Hansen has the crackle by her which i notice my black getting goopy and hard to work with after 3 uses, and the shimmer crackles dont seperate nice like the cremes

    <3 BB

  11. I am a relative newbie to polish, but through different sources have managed to own loads of different brands. Sadly I also have to be very budget conscious, so unless I find them on clearance I don't buy many OPI, ChG, or Orly's. BUT I totally understand what folks are saying about the inconsistencies from bottle to bottle. 
    I am with the gal who mentioned the Holos...BRING THEM BACK, more more more! =D (and yeah I'm one of those who bought the Spectraflair pigment to make my own! lol)  I LOVE Sinful Colors 1 because it's inexpensive and they tend to dupe alot of the 'salon' brand colors.  Personally I don't mind the mini bottles as I rarely if ever have finished a full sized bottle.  I'd love to see the bigger name brands offer larger selections in the mini bottles.
    My favorite polish by far has to be my Nubar 2010 though.  I LOVE LOVE LOVE that polish over anything.  So much so that I own 3 bottles! =D
    I've really enjoyed reading everyones opinions on their likes and dislikes!  Great blog post!

  12. My brand wins are Deborah Lippmann, OPI and Milani. They churn out shades I like (personal preference) and quality is consistent for the most part.

    Losses? Essie, Sinful Colors and Zoya. Essie is a great brand, but their formula has always been on the very thin side for me. They didn't release anything lately that caught my eye and say WANT! Sinful Colors is here only cause of the formula. Other than that, it's cheaper and serves as relatively good close dupes to some more expensive brands. I do hate that they have limited stock on limited edition collections, but that's not really thier fault....is it? Distribution basically is the problem for this brand sometimes (at least where I live). Zoya is a brand I really love, but they have a good number of shades that require 4 coats and on. No bueno. I got rid of those shades and only kept those that didn't require at least 4 coats to look accpetable. Their later collections are superb.

    All that I wrote is relative to my experience of using items from the brand.

  13. I have a love/hate relationship with Nubar. Nubar 2010 is a flakie lovers dream, and Love My Louby's (The Painted Nail by Nubar) got me to wear red polish for the first time in almost 2 years. Then there is Indigo Illusion. First, it is not blue, not even a flash of blue, it a green/purple duocrome, so why is indigo in the name? Second, it stained the *Bleep* out of my nails. Lastly for Nubar, we have Night Sparkle, a gorgeous blue glitter. It took a minimum of 7 layers of top coat (including 2 of Gelous, which is thick) to smooth it out enough that I could tough my nails and not have them feel like sandpaper. Removal was fun let me tell you!

    I like Sinful Colors, they have good coverage, are inexpensive, and they seem to be coming out with collections that are close to the collections of more expensive brands.

    Wet n Wild, some great colors, and usually pretty good coverage, but they always seem to have wonky brushes. Not a fan of the wonky brush.

    I also like Pure Ice (Heart Breaker, you make black polish amazing!), but I only have two, since I try to avoid letting Wal-Mart have any of my money.

    Essie Polishes always seemed so...blah. I recently purchased Coat Azure, and I loved the formula. I hope their color choices continue to expand.

    Klean Colors are new to my collection, some of the colors are pretty good, but I haven't found a website that has really good images of them. Plus the formula smells very strong.

  14. My 'good' list~Zoya and Nubar. I never even knew about these two brands until I started blogging. The shades and quality are top-notch in my book.

    Another one is Color Club. They can put out large collections that have every single color pertinent to the color theme. No tan color within the neon collection, as an example.

    My 'meh' list~(no stones please!!!) OPI. I am never totally wow-ed by their collections. There might be one in the entire collection that I love. They have, in my opinion, made one of the best quality shatters.

    Another 'meh' is Essie. I see no 'sizzle' in Essie colors. It seems they are getting more 'trendy' but I find them better suited for more conservative looks.

    This is a great topic!

  15. First the wins:

    Color Club - Great colors, great formula, easy to find and cheap!

    Sinful Colors - What I wrote above for Color Club also rings true for Sinful Colors.

    Kleancolor - Yes, they smell terrible, but they have a wide variety of awesome colors and crazy good glitters.

    LA Girl/Love & Beauty - Just...Groupie. Need I say more?

    Essence - Cheap, good colors, cute little bottles.

    The losses:

    OPI - They've put out nice colors, but nothing that makes me say, "Holy crap, I need that polish stat!" Okay. The new glow-in-the-dark one made me say that. But that's the only one so far. Touring America seems like a snoozefest to me.

  16. WIN:  Rescue Beauty Lounge. Ji is amazing, great with her customers on FaceBook, and her formula and creativity can't be beat.
    LOSE: Deborah Lippmann. She is a great innovator with her colors, but I have been completely bored by everything she has released since Across The Universe. Most especially appalling was her collection of glitters from Nordstom that was Happy Birthday and Happy Birthday mixed in pink and in black. How creative.

  17. I'm really loving China Glaze. The formula, the price, the availability, the colors; all wins for me. I'm also loving Zoya for all of the above reasons; I've never had any issues with my orders and I love all of the promos that they've been having. If it weren't for the promos I wouldn't own as many as I do. Wet n' Wild is really impressing me lately but like you I've had issues with the LE collections; the Dream Weavers collection is the only recent one that a store near me has carried. Same with the Milani LE collections; no store near me has carried them!

    I love the new colors that OPI has been releasing and their formula is always good. My only complaint is that their new parent company does animal testing so unless that changes, I have stopped buying OPI. And their price is a bit off-putting. Hopefully Sinful Colors continues to come out with dupes for their collections so I can own similar colors for a much better price. I also have the same animal testing issues with Essie's parent company. And their bottle size is too small for the cost.  :(

  18. Wins:
    -I definitely agree that Zoya is pretty much the frontrunner as far as polish companies that use social media . . . they know how to do it!
    -I really don't know why I don't have more Pure Ice polishes, as most of them are pretty freaking awesome! I just wish my Walgreens sold them, since I hate going to Walmart.

    -I think Essie and China Glaze are kind of in between for me . . . I LOVE China Glaze, but I've been much less enthused about most of their recent collections. They're still one of my favorite brands, but I wish they showed as much innovation in their new collections as in their old ones.
    - OPI's been kind of "meh" for me lately, too, though their upcoming collections look like they have more potential - Muppet glitters, anyone? But I wasn't wowed by much of the other stuff that came out this year. I feel like a lot of the Texas sorbets echoed Hong Kong, and though I loved that collection, I wish they had varied more of the colors.
    -Rescue Beauty Lounge is a bit iffy for me, and a lot of that is due to their price point. I only have one bottle of RBL (Catherine H), which I got in a giveaway, and it's absolutely amazing - however, I don't feel really stunned by most of their polishes, and I expect a freaking lot for $18/bottle. It would take a polish miracle to make me pay that much.

    Let Downs:
    -Wet 'n' Wild . . . yeah. I am dissapoint. :P I always have at least one bottle each of their clear, black, and white polishes for frankening and layering purposes, but other than that I hardly ever buy Wet 'n' Wild.
    -I've also been dissapointed with Deborah Lippmann lately - the collection with the black-based and pink-based Happy Birthdays? Come on!

    Sorry for the suuuper long comment - I guess I have opinions! Haha.

  19. Let Downs non nails: I used to years ago think things Philosophy did were new/fresh/fun - but time and time again they just don't preform. now I never look at their skin care - and bath/body is way to expensive. If they only had Purity - the cleanser I would be fine but even that, despite I like it - I have others I like as much now.

    Wins - Always been an OPI fan mostly because other than cheap store brands I only had access to OPI. Zoya, because it's been easier to figure out with their spoon system which shades work since it's all mail order for me with this brand.  I just wish the spoon credit would last longer than barely 6 months. Essie - happy to have it available to me now in retail. SpaRitual because I like what they are doing with formula and eco friendly. Now they need more shades and a way to retail to us that is better.

    Let downs - nails:  things that don't market easy were I am located which is a lot of everything since the recession and we lost every dept store that was around for 350 miles! Sally Hanson only because I cannot figure out why they have to have so many different lines. When I like a color, then that line is not in my drug store! Wet & Wild - it just does not hold up at all - chips like all get out and is a waste of $ for me. China Glaze also - odd colors and just real misses on shades that I would wear more than 2 times. Things are too bright or too ordinary, or they just did it. And oh my gosh - look at the zillion and one collections they have planned to come out with all lumped between now and next early spring - far too many...also was really upset when they took away the first spring collection this year and did not let Sally's market it. That's just not what works for me at all. They are not the quality of polish that they were in the late 80's when I first got to know them. But on sale at Sally's $2.88 a bottle with my card is pretty good cheap retail therapy still - but how many times have I gone in and walked out with no polish in my hand because nothing was in stock or it was all just run of the mill. Butter London. Wacko colors - I just cannot fall in love with more than about 3. They are not work acceptable.

    In Between - Nubar - it's just not available enough in good swatches and sure not available for me to look at anywhere. I have been burned on colors bought off eBay  and it's pricy to take 4-6 bottle burn at a time. I like their formula.

  20. I think my collection is so large and well rounded all the polish companies have been boring me lately.  Accept KleanColor.  Maybe a few colors out of each collection are okay.   I'm really liking the polishes over seas  ozotics, glitter gal, Asian Polishes,  others Frankenings :)  


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