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Encyclopedia of the 8 Most Popular Indie Nail Polish Terms

Encyclopedia of the 8 Most Popular Indie Nail Polish Terms

06.06.14

By Elma

Over the past few years, the explosion of indie nail polishes have rocked the entire nail community, changing the way we look at polish as well as the types of polishes available on the market. Now, instead of a world of only opaque, crème shades and occasional glitters, there is a whole universe of different texture, sparkle, and iridescence to choose from. For instance, are you sure you know what a crelly is? And what’s the difference between a crelly and a jelly? You mean a jelly sandwich isn’t just something you eat?! What separates a holo from a shimmer? 

No worries, Roselynn Mercedes from Manicured and Marvelous is here to help! While there are dozens of different finishes in the polish world, today we’ll be covering eight of the most popular. Click through to see the hottest indie terms, explained by expert swatter Roselynn.

  • Crème

    The single most popular type of polish is the classic crème. Crème polishes are pure color with no additives. These usually only take two thin coats to be opaque and will dry to a smooth glossy finish.

    SLIDE 1 OF 9
  • Jelly

    Pictured: Sincerely Polish Neontastic Love

    A jelly is sheer and transparent. Most jelly polishes remain sheer to a certain extent even after several coats of polish but have an extremely glossy finish.

    A “jelly sandwich is created when you begin with 1-2 coats of a jelly, then a layer of glitter polish, followed by a final layer of the jelly polish over the top, plus top coat.

    SLIDE 2 OF 9
  • Crelly

    Pictured: CDB Lacquer Off With Her Head

    Crellies are a mixture of both a jelly polish and a crème polish. Think of it simply as the best of both worlds. They are not usually sheer enough to be a jelly and not opaque enough to fully be considered a crème. In the indie world, it is very common to combine crelly polishes with glitters.

    SLIDE 3 OF 9
  • Matte

    PicturedSupernatural Lacquer GEB & Give Em’ Hell Attitude

    Matte polishes have a type of finish that dries to have no shine or gloss. No atop coat should be added or else the matte effect will diminish. You do have to be mindful of your brush strokes with matte finishes as they tend to streak. Crème polishes that do not naturally dry matte can become matte-like with specialty topcoats.

    SLIDE 4 OF 9
  • Glitter Topper and Glitterbomb

    Pictured: Heather’s Hues Part of Your World

    The term glitter topper is usually used to define a clear polish base full of glitters. Glitters are often paired with other types of bases as you’ve already seen in this post. Most commonly you’ll find them paired with jelly polishes. Glitterbomb can refer to any type of polish chalk full of glitters in different shapes, sizes, and colors. Often, you’ll find yourself needing to use a base color and also using a thick topcoat to smooth out the glitters.

    SLIDE 5 OF 9
  • Holographic

    Pictured: Color Club Miss Bliss

    Holographics, more commonly known as "holos," are a type of polish that produce an iridescent rainbow effect when turned in the light. Typically you’ll see these polishes containing an array of micro glitters and will dry to a high gloss finish. Outdoor sunlight is usually best when trying to showcase the reflection of colors.

    SLIDE 6 OF 9
  • Shimmer

    Pictured: Stardust Polish Professor Plum

    Shimmer is a type of finish added to a colored base polish. The color of the shimmer itself can range from silver or gold to a color that contrasts the base. These beauties are as common as crème polishes and are extremely popular.

    SLIDE 7 OF 9
  • Thermal

    Pictured: Jior Couture Leo the Lion changes from orange to yellow

    Thermals change color depending on temperature. Thermals can come in any type of finish (jellys, holos, shimmers, etc.), just so long as they change color in heat.

    Next time you shop for indies be sure to keep your eyes peeled for the many different types and textures!  -Roselynn Mercedes, of Manicured and Marvelous

    SLIDE 8 OF 9
  • Check out more from Roselynn online!

    Blog: Manicured and Marvelous
    Instagram: @roselynn787
    Facebook: facebook.com/ManicuredandMarvelous
    Twitter: @twitter.com/roselynn787
    Pinterest: pinterest.com/roselynn787
    Tumblr: manicuredandmarvelous.tumblr.com

    [Courtesy of Roselynn Mercedes, of Manicured and Marvelous]

    SLIDE 9 OF 9
  • Crème

    The single most popular type of polish is the classic crème. Crème polishes are pure color with no additives. These usually only take two thin coats to be opaque and will dry to a smooth glossy finish.

  • Jelly

    Pictured: Sincerely Polish Neontastic Love

    A jelly is sheer and transparent. Most jelly polishes remain sheer to a certain extent even after several coats of polish but have an extremely glossy finish.

    A “jelly sandwich is created when you begin with 1-2 coats of a jelly, then a layer of glitter polish, followed by a final layer of the jelly polish over the top, plus top coat.

  • Crelly

    Pictured: CDB Lacquer Off With Her Head

    Crellies are a mixture of both a jelly polish and a crème polish. Think of it simply as the best of both worlds. They are not usually sheer enough to be a jelly and not opaque enough to fully be considered a crème. In the indie world, it is very common to combine crelly polishes with glitters.

  • Matte

    PicturedSupernatural Lacquer GEB & Give Em’ Hell Attitude

    Matte polishes have a type of finish that dries to have no shine or gloss. No atop coat should be added or else the matte effect will diminish. You do have to be mindful of your brush strokes with matte finishes as they tend to streak. Crème polishes that do not naturally dry matte can become matte-like with specialty topcoats.

  • Glitter Topper and Glitterbomb

    Pictured: Heather’s Hues Part of Your World

    The term glitter topper is usually used to define a clear polish base full of glitters. Glitters are often paired with other types of bases as you’ve already seen in this post. Most commonly you’ll find them paired with jelly polishes. Glitterbomb can refer to any type of polish chalk full of glitters in different shapes, sizes, and colors. Often, you’ll find yourself needing to use a base color and also using a thick topcoat to smooth out the glitters.

  • Holographic

    Pictured: Color Club Miss Bliss

    Holographics, more commonly known as "holos," are a type of polish that produce an iridescent rainbow effect when turned in the light. Typically you’ll see these polishes containing an array of micro glitters and will dry to a high gloss finish. Outdoor sunlight is usually best when trying to showcase the reflection of colors.

  • Shimmer

    Pictured: Stardust Polish Professor Plum

    Shimmer is a type of finish added to a colored base polish. The color of the shimmer itself can range from silver or gold to a color that contrasts the base. These beauties are as common as crème polishes and are extremely popular.

  • Thermal

    Pictured: Jior Couture Leo the Lion changes from orange to yellow

    Thermals change color depending on temperature. Thermals can come in any type of finish (jellys, holos, shimmers, etc.), just so long as they change color in heat.

    Next time you shop for indies be sure to keep your eyes peeled for the many different types and textures!  -Roselynn Mercedes, of Manicured and Marvelous

  • Check out more from Roselynn online!

    Blog: Manicured and Marvelous
    Instagram: @roselynn787
    Facebook: facebook.com/ManicuredandMarvelous
    Twitter: @twitter.com/roselynn787
    Pinterest: pinterest.com/roselynn787
    Tumblr: manicuredandmarvelous.tumblr.com

    [Courtesy of Roselynn Mercedes, of Manicured and Marvelous]

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