Monday, January 27, 2014

Swatches and Reviews: Pahlish - Mad Man With a Box

2 coats, no topcoat
A few weeks ago,  I mentioned in a post about how I love supporting independent artists and creators and that the indie nail polish community has really caught my interest.  In that post I mentioned that I was looking at the new offerings Pahlish had put out, and that I'd caved and spent a few of my spare dollars on one of their polishes.

That polish was Mad Man With a Box from part one of a series inspired by Doctor Who. Being a fan, this polish combined so many of my favorite things: Doctor Who, nail polish and BLUE. <3 Care to see some swatches of this beauty?

Pahlish - Mad Man With a Box

Brand: Pahlish
Product Description: "Mad Man with a Box is a smokey navy blue jelly loaded with metallic gold flakes and blue glass-fleck shimmer." (credit: product page)
Vintage: January 2014
Limited Edition: Yes
Size: 15ml/.5 fl oz

If there were ever a shade of blue that could be described as "TARDIS blue," this polish would be it. I've come across a few polishes inspired by the Doctor's TARDIS, but this one has a beautiful depth that really sets it apart. A deep navy jelly base, Mad Man With a Box is packed full of blue green glass flake shimmer. The metallic gold flakes that take on a greenish-blue hue inside the blue base andd give the polish added dimension.

2 coats polish, 2 coats topcoat, a good look at the color

Because the polish is so loaded with flakes, the formula is a tiny bit on the thicker side, though not annoyingly so. It also dries to a semi-matte, slightly textured surface which also makes it a bit fiddly in application.

2 coats polish, 2 coats topcoat; The topcoat's shine really shows the depth of color

These photos show two coats, but it is very close to being a one-coater. I found that if I tried to put it on too slowly, or too thinly, it began to dry and clump a bit while working. I suggest using a light touch, which allows you to apply the polish more smoothly.

2 coats polish, 2 coats topcoat. LOVE <3

This polish is definitely one that devours top coat, so keep that in mind when chosing what you want to put over it. I applied two coats of Butter London PD Quick Topcoat (which is the only non-matte TC that I have at the moment), after which you can really see the color in this polish shine (no pun intended). When the light hits those glass flecks in the formula, you can really see the depth of the glowing blue-green-gold.

A shot in direct sunlight. Look at the depth of color <3

The one thing to keep in mind with this polish is that it definitely stains, as is the case in most polishes in the dark blue range. Make sure to use a good base coat to protect your nails!

Look at those flakes and shimmer as they shine  in direct sunlight! 

Manicures/nail art that use this nail polish:

About Pahlish

Pahlish is an independent nail polish maker based out of Northeast Arksansas. Founded in 2012, they are a  privately owned and operated company run by Shannon Pahlas and Josh Pummill, providing 3-free polishes to the masses. Check them out, and continue supporting independent polish makers everywhere!

I want to try to make this indie spotlight post an ongoing feature on the blog. So, every Monday, I'm going to try to bring you something indie related - be it swatches, a review, an interview, a company profile, indie nail polish enthusiasts, whatever. Please let me know who to check out so that I can make this a wonderful weekly feature. If you have any suggestions, please let me know in the comments. If you would like to be featured, let me know!

Disclaimer: I will give my honest opinion on any reviews and swatches that appear on this site, regardless of origin. All products mentioned in this review were purchased by myself <3


  1. I could forgive these stains- the shade is amazing :)

    1. It really is amazing! The photos don't even pick up the half of how beautiful and deep this color is on the nail. The staining is about the same as what I get with OPI's "I Saw..U Saw...We Saw.. Warsaw," which is a deep navy blue. I think it's pretty much unavoidable when you get into these dark blues since they're so highly pigmented.