Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Indie: Contrary Polish Mega-Post

I've known Carrie from nail board for a while now, and I tried to enter a giveaway for some of her polishes late last year. When I did, she asked if I wanted to swatch some of her polishes. I said "Yes" and that I wanted to swatch ~ ALL OF THEM ~. So she sent me a huge package with tons of minis, and here I am... about 7 weeks after they came in the mail XD It took a lot longer to put together this post than I anticipated, BUT I hope someone finds this useful, as this is currently the entire Contrary Polish catalogue available to purchase.

Speaking of which, if you find any you want to purchase, you can do so at Llarowe, and you can order minis directly from Carrie (check out the sidebar on her blog here).

I had a stand out favourite colour: Creeping Moss. There's just something about that polish that works so well with my skin tone; I want to make love to it. I'll be purchasing a full size of this, definitely! :)

But every one of these polishes has an excellent formula that applies very smoothly and evenly. These polishes were all swatched with topcoat, as I found them to dry somewhat satin-y on their own.

As usual, all my swatches are photographed with a big ol' diffused flash (so my macro lens will focus on more than just a tiny sliver of my nails), so the shimmer is a bit more pronounced in these photos compared to normal, indoor lighting.

The Original Six

Bright Night (3 coats) - Gorgeous. Dark blue jelly (a warmish blue) with aqua and silver shimmer.

Comparison: Contrary Bright Night and NARS Midnight Express (both 3 coats) - the Contrary looks much lighter because of the shimmer, but the base colour is quite similar. You can see it better in my pinky nail as the flash is not hitting it directly there.

Creeping Moss (2 coats) - Warm, olive brown (slightly purpley red) with copper and pink/fuchsia shimmer. This was an OMG polish for me. So beautiful.

Comparison: Contrary Creeping Moss and Nina Ultra Pro Never Glum Plum

Firebrand (3 coats) - Super complex and pretty dark raspberry red with red and pink shimmer. I used 3 coats for the swatches, but 2 looks fine IRL.

Gilded Oak (3 coats) - Purpley-plummy brown with gold shimmer

Inky Fingers (2 coats) - cool grey blurple with blue and green shimmer.

Purple Smoke (3 coats) - I did 3 coats for the pictures, since I use flash, but two coats looked fine IRL. A cool toned purple (or blue grey) with blue and purple shimmer.

Comparison: Contrary Purple Smoke and Nina Ultra Pro Never Glum Plum - I don't have Revlon Perplex anymore (did I ever have it?), so I grabbed my trusty bottle of Nina NGP for comparison.

Stand Alones

Desert Fruit (2 coats) - Not part of any collection. Beautiful formula and coppery/bronze/red shimmer. I don't have OPI Peel Me a Gobi Grape, but this looks very similar to swatches I've seen!

Comparison: Contrary Desert Fruit and Orly Plum Noir

The Islands

Anna Maria (2 coats) - Dark teal with golden-greenish shimmer

Aruba (2 coats) - Turquoise base with aqua shimmer.

Santorini (3 coats) - A dark periwinkle or indigo or violet (IDK) with blue shimmer. It looks darker IRL than the picture shows.

Comparison: Contrary Santorini (3 coats) and MAC Ming Blue (2 coats) - These photographed more similar than they appear IRL. The MAC is much less purple, and the shimmer appears almost a bit more silvery in the Contrary.

Fall 2012 LE Duo

Bonfire (3 coats) - Again, I used 3 coats for pictures, but 2 looks fine IRL. A warm, slightly orange leaning red jelly with red/pink, gold, and brown shimmer and microglitter.

Hayride (2 coats) - A caramel nude/tan with gold, bronze, and brown shimmer and microglitter. Flattering on my skintone!

Comparison: Contrary Hayride and SH CSM Fedora - I don't have anything close to Hayride, so I grabbed one of my favourite neutrals to compare it with

Holiday 2012

Adorned (over black creme) - A golden flakie topcoat with gold/copper shimmer.

Comparison: Contrary Adorned and Essie As Gold As It Gets - These are quite similar, but the Essie is a lot more dense, so if you prefer a more subtle topcoat, the Contrary is a nice choice. I think there's a difference in the shimmer, too, but it's difficult for me to tell.

Bauble (3 coats) - a bright cherry red jelly (slightly pink) with red microglitter and silver shimmer.

Comparison: Contrary Bauble and Essie Bonded (both 2 coats) - The Essie is a lot brighter and lighter, but the microglitter is pretty similar.

Candlelight (2 coats) - A very dark greenish-brown-almost black with golden shimmer.

Comparison: Contrary Candlelight and Hello Kitty Night Sparkle - These are similar in darkness, but the Contrary is a little bit jellier in finish, whereas the HK is an opaque creme with lots of shimmer.

Frozen (3 coats) - The most well behaved white polish I've tried in a long time! Really pretty white polish with blue microglitter and silver/white shimmer.

Mystery (2 coats) - a dark, rich, warm brown with coppery-bronze shimmer

Comparison: Contrary Mystery and ChG Ingrid - I don't have any browns similar to Mystery, but here it is compared to ChG Ingrid just so you get a sense of the colour

Spruce (2 coats) - deeper and darker IRL with strong green-golden shift.

Comparison: Contrary Spruce and ChG Glittering Garland - Contrary Spruce is deeper and darker than the ChG, and also more of a squishy finish.

Spring Collection 2013 - Love Lyrics

Better Together (2 coats) - Very unique combination of a grey-blue base and turquoise shimmer. I couldn't find anything in my stash to compare this to.

Feels Like Home (2 coats) - kind of a warm purple taupe base with rosey-pinky-coppery microglitter and shimmer.

Comparison: Contrary Feels Like Home and Nina Ultra Pro Never Glum Plum - Sorry I keep comparing things with Nina NGP.

Play Me (3 coats) - Reminds me of SH Mystic Lilac (which I don't have anymore to compare), but I think this is a lighter lilac base and fine green shimmer running throughout.

Comparison: Contrary Play Me and Essie Chinchilly - without flash under low lights it seemed like the base colours were closer, not so much with flash, eh?

Somebody Loved (2 coats) - Pale pink with lavender undertones, lots of warm copper and green shimmers that makes this cool-toned pink flattering on my warm skintone! This might be my favourite of the spring polishes. A pink, can you believe it?!

The Way I Am (2 coats) - This is a greyed-out sage or avocado green (looks less green IRL than these pictures show) with fuchsia microglitter and fuchsia/blue shimmer.

Ain't No Sunshine (2 coats) - A grey blue with white flakies and shimmer.

Comparison: Contrary Ain't No Sunshine (2 coats) and Illamasqua Raindrops (3 coats)

Comparison: Contrary Ain't No Sunshine and Zoya Skylar (2 coats each)

A couple Contrary-to-Contrary comparisons:

Gilded Oak (3 cts), Mystery (2 cts), Creeping Moss (3 cts), CandleLight (2 cts)

Bonfire(3 cts), Bauble(3 cts), Firebrand (3 cts),Desert Fruit (2 cts)

Ok that's everything! Thanks, Carrie, for letting me swatch your polish line and thanks for your patience :)


  1. HOLY LORD!! I will admit to not being huge into indies, but indies without glitter? Yes please! I just started a wish list for these bad boys, and I legit, put over half of them on there!! Wow, just wow! Gorgeous swatches!

  2. Gah, as always, I have a love/hate relationship with viewing your swatch posts... I love them because your photos are on-point, and I hate it because now I have to add too many of these to my wishlist! Whyyyyyy must you make everything look so beautiful?!

  3. What great polishes! I think Contrary Polish does classy glitter/shimmer very well. Thanks for posting these!

  4. omg i hate this post because now i seriously want to buy every single one DAMN

  5. I haven't got any Contrary Polish polishes yet and yesterday I was thinking I might get just one from the new collection but now I think I am going to have to get more! These are all seriously gorgeous - my wishlist now has basically every single one of them!

  6. wow, texture-wise Raindrops and Contrary ANS look pretty similar! but colors are different of course.

  7. you just created like 10 lemmings ...

  8. These are GORGEOUS! I think my favorites are Purple Smoke and Desert Fruit. So many pictures do NOT do these polishes justice - now I really appreciate them!

  9. Man....these are nice!!! I seriously need some of these: Bright Night, Purple Smoke, Aruba, Santorini, Hayride , Better Together....the list goes on and on.....

  10. so pretty! I love the Contrary Polish "Somebody Loved" too!