Dusty Hunting 101

10 June, 2010

As a nail polish junkie, one thing that I have grown to love is the art of dusty hunting. What is a dusty, you may ask? It typically refers to off-the-beaten-path beauty supply stores where there literally is dust on the products, they’re that old. Because nail polish never expires (just use thinner, available at any beauty supply store-I enlightened at least a half dozen folks with that today), it’s actually a very wise beauty buy, and you save money over buying 800 lipsticks. However, you can also buy polishes from salons-that is how I found my single largest OPI lemming, along with two moderate ones. (OPI Pooltime Lime; OPI What’s Dune and OPI Tangerini Bikini. Current largest lemming? More Summer for Shore ones)

The easiest way to start is to look up nail supply places online or in the phone book. What I like to do is go on a day off, and try and hit at least three or four in an area. Why? I bus it, so it’s easy if I do a bunch at one time. Also, many beauty/nail supply stores are not open to the public-they want to work solely with licensed professionals, which is totally understandable. (Too bad nail polish fanaticism doesn’t qualify)

Next, you want to have a little notepad and a pen. If you have a bunch of lemmings, write them down. Check online to see if you can order some that way too; it is often more cost-effective to go to a site that sells the stuff online because many sites do offer polishes discounted (check as far as brands go), and then note what you can get online and how much they are. The one I usually hit, polishes are full retail. Anyway, though, the other reason why you want the notepad is to write down the names of polishes that you want, but you want to look online to find swatches of them first. Another thing to bring is a little flashlight-if there is no natural light sifting in, or at least not good natural light, you can use the flashlight to really examine the polishes. Take a look at the shimmer!

Finally, I like a nice, lightweight crossbody bag. That way you can sift easily through racks and bins if necessary, and you want something that won’t weigh you down.

Anyways, the first thing you want to do is look and see if there is a clearance section-because there are gems there to be found. In Essie especially, there are some great colours. These are ones that I found the last few times I was there, and I believe you should scoop them up if you see them at all, anywhere: (these are all Essie)
Keno Taupeo-A somewhat frosty taupe. Takes three coats, but it’s a refreshing take on the taupes that have seemed to proliferate over the last year or two.
Boca Rattaned-A pink-tinged neutral with a bit of shimmer; it’s one that could get away with being “work-safe” for conservative environments, while at the same time being one with a bit of pop to it for fun and joy.
Oscar Please-A shimmery pale lime green.
Final Answer-A slightly redder, less gold version of Love Beverly Hills. They’re close ENOUGH to warrant picking/choosing, but not close enough to where you can’t have both.
Magnifico-An iridescent sheer midtone pink, this is amazing for layering.
Burma Ruby-Yes, it’s similar to Wrapped in Rubies, but it’s really pretty, and it’s very neutral from what I found-more brown-red than anything.
Lifesaver-A shimmery three-coater of a bright orange-not as dark as OPI Brights Power, not as bright as Bright Tights, and not as light-bright as Pop Beauty Ablaze. That’s the closest I can do:)
Unforgett-a-Ball-A nice pale bright orange. When I say that, I mean a light orange that is still on the brighter side, as opposed to a total Easter egg colour.

As far as things to look for when it comes to collections, there’s a few that I think deserve attention:
OPI-Holiday on Broadway, any Summer collection especially Summer for Shore, Designer Series (pay attention to numbers on bottom, anything below 23 is what you want to look for especially)
Essie-North Fork collection
China Glaze-OMG, Kaleidoscope, the 50 glitters

Everyone has their own things that they look for, of course, but these are just ones that are highly coveted, and for good reason! I don’t just say what everyone else says, these are collections that I love.

My final word of advice: bring cash with you. It always helps because some places don’t take cards, or only take certain ones.

Have fun!


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