Interviews with Indies - Tough As Nails Lacquer

Today, we welcome Elizabeth from Tough as Nails Lacquer!

What is the name of your brand?
Tough As Nails Lacquer, LLC

What is your name/names of everyone involved in your brand?
I do almost everything. My dad does helps with the naming process and drops off packages to the post office. My entire family and close friends are incredibly supportive and encouraging, especially my mom.

What got you started in the polish making market?
Well I guess that begins with my one year old. I became a single mom to Punk (don’t worry, that’s just a nickname) who had a very colic-y first three months of life. Lots of crying, sleepless nights, and general miserableness.
When Punk would give me a break, it was only for about 20 minutes. During those rare moments I had to myself, I would paint my nails. It was therapeutic, something I did for myself, and even when I was covered in spit up, I could look down at my nails and feel a little bit pretty. After Punk settled into existing “on the outside” and I had more time, nail polish became a form of self-expression. I wanted to create beautiful and unique polishes to share with others. So I did a lot of research, bought supplies, went through a lot of trial and error, and introduced my own line in July 2012.

Do you have a background that was conducive to getting started in this field?
(example: were you a chemistry major, work in a lab, have an art degree, etc...)
I wish I had a background in chemistry but I don’t. But I have always been creative and even considered going to an art school instead of traditional college, so that helps.

What is your thought process when naming colors? 
Naming polishes is the most difficult part of the process for me!
Almost of my lacquers are named after they’re created. I might have an idea of the direction I want to go in when making a polish (for example, my Breakfast Combo No. 1 was always going to have a bacon and an egg polish) but usually I sit down with the finished product for a while before giving it a name. Like I stated before, my dad helps me with the names of some of them (credit for It’s All Over Now goes it him). But I try to find the right mood/attitude for a polish and develop the name from there.

Where do you derive your inspiration for your creations?
Everywhere! Sometimes I really love a particular glitter that I purchase and develop a polish around that. Teal Me About It is an example of that. I purchased some teal diamonds and knew that I wanted to center a polish around them. Spacing Out was the same way with the blue holo hex glitter. Other times, I’m inspired by something I see. It’s All Over Now was inspired by a particularly rainy summer day. And once in a while, I draw inspiration from a person, like Not A Plain Jane.

Where do you create?
I have a very modest little area of my home set aside for creating. It’s just a desk I purchased at Ikea and some plastic tubs and drawers. I need to expand!

Do you make polish full time?
Not at this time. I have a full time job in corporate America but it’s my dream to give polish my full attention.

What is your favorite polish that you did NOT make?
Such a tough question! I would have to say that Dior Purple Revolution is my go-to “I have no idea what to wear but must paint my nails now” color. It’s a vampy purple crème with amazing application and goes with anything and everything.

What is your favorite polish brand?
China Glaze because of their wide variety and quality product. And because you can get them for $2.99 at!

What is your favorite polish from your own line?
That’s like naming a favorite child! At the moment I’m really in love with Spacing Out.

What is the best part about making polish?
I sincerely love every part of the polish making process, from purchasing glitter and pigment to sending off packages.

What is the worst?
Keeping my glitter stash organized. I have it organized by color right now but it seems that every time I start making something new everything ends up a mess.

How many polish shades have you made to date?
Eight for sale, six in serious development, many more in my head, and countless dumpers (polishes that should never see the light of day).

What is your one favorite ingredient?
Glitter, of course.

Do you make non-polish products? If so, tell us about them!
I make other art in various media, but nothing for sale at this time.

Tell us where your polishes are available to purchase?
I currently sell on Etsy at
I can also invoice directly from PayPal if you contact me via email at

Do you have a website/facebook/blog? Give us any links you want.

What does the future hold for your brand?
Lots of excitement! In six to twelve months, I will move part of my sales to a more independent selling platform (a Big Cartel site that’s currently in development). I love the exposure that Etsy provides a seller but I would like to carve out more of a little corner of the internet for my brand.
In 12-18 months, I plan to create packaging that will allow me to sell my polishes in retail outlets like specialty boutiques and salons. Beyond that, I will have to see what the future holds for Tough As Nails Lacquer!

Do you have anything else you'd like my readers to know about you or your brand?
I truly love making lacquers and I'm so thankful to everyone who has tried Tough As Nails Lacquers. And thank you so much for the opportunity to be interviewed!

For something a little different, I am going to show you swatches I did for this Interview that Elizabeth sent me to try out...get ready to be SUPER jealous!

My two favorite colors - Pink and Teal! Hello Heaven!

Starting with Not a Plain Jane - this polish is a glitterbomb in a clear base! Just wait...

Not a Plain Jane in macro - this polish is LOADED with hex glitters in MANY sizes and MANY shades of pink and  white - satin, matte, metallic, every type of glitter is accounted for! There are even some hearts in this!!

Layered 2 coat of Not a Plain Jane over 2 coats of American Apparel Pink Ladies.

I could have easily only used one coat of Not a Plain Jane, it is packed on the brush with glitters, but I really wanted to get some good glitter dimension, so I used 2!

This polish is not very topcoat hungry - 1 coat of Gelous and a quick dry top coat smoothed it straight out.

Formula wise - this polish was very nice! It was super easy to get a brush full of glitter. The formula tended to be slightly dry, which is sometimes the case with a densely packed glitter, you get more glitter on the brush than you get base. So be careful upon application to not have dry spots. I think this polish would look amazing over soooo many colors, I wish I'd had the time to experiment more before this review, but you can bet I will soon! My favorites were definitely the satin large hex glitters in here!

And now...the stunner! This is Teal Me About It

Have you ever seen a more beautiful macro?! Probably, but humor me. This polish is a clear bases glitter top coat full of hex glitters in many sizes and variations of teal and holo, blue and green, mixed in with large diamond glitters!

Here I have layered 2 coats of Teal Me About It over 2 coats of American Apparel Malibu Green.

Easy peasy glitter, I put one coat of quick dry top coat over this and had no issues with bumps.

I simply love seeing pictures of glitters laying on top of each other, suspended well and  behaving so wonderfully!

On to formula. On this polish, I had the opposite formula issue (which is not an issue) than I did with Not a Plain Jane. This polish was very fluid. The first coat went on very thin and sparse in glitter. It had a very liquidy formula, but I found that after I turned the bottle upside down for a few seconds and gave it a bit of a shake it balanced out better and the second coat was WAY more glitterific. It was awesome and I swear angels flew out of the top of the bottle and started singing. This polish is very similar to others I have like it, including China Glaze Atlantis and Enkelini's Shifty Minx. This polish does not have a colored base like those do, and it is a sparser glitter, great for people who don't want to be completely blinged out or overpowered with teal (unlike me!).

Thanks so much to Elizabeth for doing this Interview and letting me review these amazing polishes of hers! Now go run run run and get yours - she has got some amazing stuff in her shop!!

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  1. such a fun interview and beautiful colors!!! I'll be checking out her store:)

  2. Great polishes and I'm going through the exact same thing with my baby right now! I'm even typing one-handed because I'm holding her!

    1. Lindsey I know that one-handed typing feeling all too well! The only thing that gets me through the painfully slow typing process is knowing that I have a bundle of love in my arms!

  3. aw I bet you HATED wearing that teal !! Lol - she is one of my ones to watch at the mo. Loving every single swatch I see of her polishes and yours are fab too xx

    1. Debbie I'm going to start shipping to the UK very shortly so I'd love to send some your way!

  4. I love this interview!! And the polishes, oooo la la!!! <3 Btw, I've tagged you for a blog award, you can check it out here:


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