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Pretty and Polished Icons Part 1 - Swatch and Review

Thursday, May 12, 2016

Sorry for the lack of posts this week. My son has had a cold all week long and I've only been able to work on this post and the accompanying video swatches for just a few minutes each day. This is going to be a very very heavy picture post and you'll see why it's taken me a while to get it up. Anyway, today I have for you the new collection from my favorite indie brand, Pretty and Polished. In the words of Chelsea herself, "Part I of the Icon Collection is based on current female music icons. I chose these women because they are iconic and have made big impacts not only in music but in my life and the lives of others". It consists of 8 polishes, 4 of which are thermals. Like I said above, lots of pictures ahead (about 50).

A little note on the swatches, I've included swatches of the holo polishes taken with an LED lamp from Ikea called the Jansjo. While it brings out the holo nicely, it casts a strong yellow light. I've color corrected them but they are still not 100% accurate. I include these swatches because they show off details in the polishes that you don't really appreciate with my regular (and color accurate) light set up.




Firework - Inspired by Katy Perry. Firework is a full coverage flakie polish with lots of different colors and textures. Chelsea explains, "I chose this song because I feel like it is one of her most empowering performances. The lyrics push you to keep moving forward and find the light within yourself. The polish was made to match the color in not only her lyrics but the video as well...This polish really ignites your fingertips with color."

Swatch is 3 coats with top coat. Firework is set in a clear base, so you can use it as a topper or build it to opacity in 3 coats. You can also apply with a sponge for less coats. I love the golden shimmery effect in this one.

Run the World




At an angle.

Jansjo Light

Jansjo Light

Run the World - Inspired by Beyonce. It's a black jelly holo polish with gold holo glitter and copper color shifting flakes. The video for this song was incredibly powerful from the beginning. Females standing together in black and metallics letting everyone know who runs things. So much strength in that alone even without her having to say a word. I modeled this polish off of her presence in the video.

Swatch is 2 coats with top coat. Even though it's a jelly, I found it to be opaque in just 2 coats. I applied 1 thin coat followed by a thicker 2nd coat. It self-leveled nicely on it's own. It dries textured and slightly matte, so I added 1 coat of Out the Door top coat to smooth it out and add shine. I love the combination of the copper flakes with the gold holo in this one. It has so much dimension and sparkle.

Express Yourself






Express Yourself - Inspired by Madonna. It's a pale pink crelly with red and gold holo glitters as well as rose and dark gray flakes. When I think of Madonna there are a few words that come to mind. Soft. Sexy. Confident. Strong. I wanted to pull inspiration from the video but found myself gravitating towards the message and the woman herself. The message is simple, don't settle...The polish has a strong presence in a soft base which I feel suits Madonna perfectly.

Swatch is 2 coats with top coat.  I applied 1 thin coat followed by a thicker 2nd coat. It self-leveled nicely on it's own. Dries textured from all the glitters, easy to smooth out with one coat of top coat.

Just A Girl




Jansjo Lights

Jansjo Light

Just A Girl - Inspired by Gwen Stefani. This polish is a bright blue holographic jelly with a purple/blue shimmer and color shifting flakes. I wanted to choose a song from No Doubt where Gwen really got started and made a huge impact with young girls. She was cool and everyone wanted to know her or be her. In the video for Just A Girl you see a young Gwen wearing an outfit that was basically the opposite of the girl she was singing about everyone wanting her to be. I wanted the polish to represent that. It's ok to be a girl who doesn't bow down to the standards put in place for her. You can be whatever you feel and still be beautiful.

Swatch is 2 coats with top coat. Even though it's a jelly, I found that 2 medium thick coats were enough to achieve full opacity. It dries matte, so I added top coat for shine. This is one of my favorites, I love blue polish and I love the holo/flaky/shimmer combo.

The Thermals - I have even more pictures per polish for the thermals! 1st shots with the bottle are all at room temperature - around 75 degrees F.

Rhythm Nation




Jansjo Light - room temp

Jansjo Light - warm
transition - macro
Jansjo light - transition
Rhythm Nation - Inspired by Janet Jackson. It's a thermal holo that changes from a dark gray to a softer pale gray when warm. It has holographic glitter as well as bright purple and dark gray micro flakes. This nail polish represents not only the powerful black and white music video for this song but it also represents Janet. Janet is multifaceted. She has so many talents and abilities. Her music is powerful just like her and I felt she needed a polish that represented her power and beauty. The polish is subdued enough to draw you into taking a closer look just to show you exactly how powerful and pretty it is.

Swatch is 2 coats with top coat. It dries matte and textured, easily smoothed out with one coat of top coat. Also another favorite. I love gray polishes.

Genie In A Bottle




warm macro
Janjso Light - transition
Janjso light - transition macro
Genie In A Bottle - Inspired by Christina Aguilera. It's a thermal holo that changes from a soft teal when cold to a pale pink when warm. It has teal and pink holographic glitters. Note: At room temp this was a pale blue. She started off young and had a cool and calm good girl way about her. She has transformed into an iconic powerhouse who can sing anything you throw at her. This polish needed to be special. Not only does "Genie in a Bottle" make you think of magic literally IN a bottle but I wanted it to be representative of her charm, beauty, and good girl attitude.

Swatch is 2 coats with top coat. It dries really textured from all the glitter, I added 1 coat of top coat to smooth it out. I recommend adding a 2nd coat or using a thicker top coat if you want it to have a super smooth glass like finish. I don't mind a bit of texture so 1 was enough for me. This polish was also another favorite. It was really sensitive on me and kept changing as I applied it. I hated having to take it off.

Set Fire to the Rain





Set Fire to the Rain - Inspired by Adele. It's a red jelly thermal with copper flakes and shimmer. It changes to a mauve shade when warm that Chelsea describes as having an "orange/purple shift" and really makes the flakes stand out. Set Fire to the Rain is a powerful song. My interpretation is that of an unhealthy relationship needing to end and her finally doing just that. Anyone who has been in an unhealthy relationship can attest to the difficulty of walking away from someone you love knowing it's for the best. I wanted this polish to almost have a feeling to it.

Swatch is 2 coats with top coat. The red cold/room temp color was opaque in 2 medium thick coats. In the swatch video, my 1st pass with the brush was really sheer as if I didn't have enough polish on it, so I loaded the brush with more polish and passed it again. If you apply your polish in really thin coats, you might need to do 3-4. At 2 medium thick coats I could still see some hints of visible nail line in some of my nails, so when I wear this again, I will do 3 medium thick coats instead. Overall, I loved this one as well, even though it's one of the more simple colors in this collection. It's just beautiful and fiery. 

Blown Away



Room temp (green) to cold (blue) transition
Room temp (green) to warm (gray) transition
tricolor transition - gray-green-blue
tricolor macro - gray-green-blue
Blown Away - Inspired by Carrie Underwood. This thermal creme is really special. It's a tricolor thermal, green at room temperature, gray when warm, blue when cold. It has the speckled particles that give it a dusty look, just like the popular Dusty Cremes. Blown Away is a very emotional song. The feeling of wanting things to just go away is an emotion I think we can all relate to at some point. The polish I made to represent this song is a 3 part color changing polish that shows you the beauty in the beast of a storm. I feel like I've really captured a storm in this polish. 

I don't really know any Carrie Underwood songs but I love the inspiration. I'm obsessed with weather, storms in particular. My twin sister lives in Indiana, not too far from Chelsea, and she's always showing me amazing pictures of these huge storms as they roll through the plains. They are scary at times but they are also beautiful. This really spoke to me on an emotional level.

Swatch is 2 coats with top coat. This polish dries matte and it needs top coat to really make the dusty appearance shine through. Otherwise the specks just get lost in the base color. Blown Away was really difficult to photograph for me. It was really sensitive and would change incredibly fast on my nails. The only way for me to capture the shifts was to take the photos as fast as I could, without drying my hands off first. If I stopped to wipe off the water, my tips would be changing by the time I'd take the photo. So, excuse the large amounts of water drops all over my fingers but it was the only way.

Video Swatches

If you want to see how the polishes apply and the color change for the thermals in action, check out the video here:

Congratulations on making it to the end! The Icons Part 1 collection will be available for sale tomorrow May 13th at You can follow Pretty and Polished on Facebook, Instagram, and join the FB fan group to keep up to date with the latest info and see more swatches.

Polishes in this post where provided for photography and review.

12 comments on "Pretty and Polished Icons Part 1 - Swatch and Review"
  1. Just a Girl is my absolute favorite on you but your pics of Blown Away are spectacular!

  2. That really is the perfect description for Blown Away. Reading Chelsea's inspiration it now makes sense, no wonder I was drawn to it! As I'm typing this storms are gearing up to roll through Indiana, whenever I get around to it I'll have lots of pictures to show you lol! <3

  3. These are all super pretty but Firework takes it for me.

  4. Rhythm Nation and Genie in a Bottle are my absolute favs from this collection. I really loved the variety of lighting for your swatches. :-)

  5. Just a Girl is my favorite, but all of your swatches are fantastic!

  6. I love this collection so much! She did a wonderful job!

  7. This whole collection is just gorgeous!!

  8. Run the World is absolutely stunning ♡

  9. Yeah, you killed these swatches. I love the thermals.

  10. Those are gorgeous, your nails look amazing! I love your live swatch as well!!

  11. Blown Away and Genie in a Bottle are my favorites. Gorgeous swatches!

  12. Such beautiful swatches! I am loving this collection, especially the inspiration for them.


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