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Behind the Inspiration: Sunset In The Keys Quartet & Sparkling Seas Quartet

Written by Victoria McMillin

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Posted on July 01 2022

Hey Beauties!

I hope you are enjoying the new Sunset In The Keys & Sparkling Seas Quartets! They have a special place in my heart because their creation was inspired by a trip that me, my husband and in-laws took to the beautiful Florida Keys over Valentine's Day this year. It's summertime now and the Indiana weather is much more pleasant, but I still daydream about going back.

We stayed at the Playa Largo Resort & Spa in Key Largo, Florida. You know how you look at a place online and you think, "Oh, that looks really great, but is it really that nice? Is it really that pretty?" For Playa Largo, the answer is yes. This was kind of a surprise trip for me and my husband in that we didn't know that we were actually going to go there until just a couple of weeks in advance. But, once I found out, it was all I could think about. (Not to mention we were getting some crazy snow storms in Indiana at the time, so any talk of beaches and warm weather made me say, "Yes, please!"

BLUSH Lacquers Blog Playa Largo Resort and Spa

We left from the Indianapolis International Airport and flew into the Miami International Airport. From there we rented a car and drove to Key Largo, which is the first and closest key to Miami. It was about an hour drive, but I didn't mind. Something you may not know, (I didn't) is that the Florida Keys are all connected with one big highway called The Overseas Highway or Highway 1. You can literally drive from Miami all the way down to Key West in just a few hours and without having to take any other road than the highway.

Although we only stayed for a few days, I literally could have stayed there for weeks. The weather was gorgeous, the resort was beautiful and the food was great. I laid by the pool, I stood in the ocean, ate lots of seafood and got some much needed rest and relaxation (and even a little bit of a tan!). If you ever get the chance to go to the Florida Keys, I highly recommend it. It did not disappoint!

BLUSH Lacquers Blog Playa Largo Resort and Spa

So, what about the collections? Well, let me tell you, sunsets are a big thing in the Florida Keys. I mean, like, a BIG thing. The resort held sunset celebrations every single night where they'd ring a bell at sunset so everyone could come out and see it. They played live music, made drinks on the beach and lit lanterns. You could sip your pineapple colada and be sitting with your feet in the sand staring at the sun sinking into the ocean and it was breathtaking. I wanted to capture those feelings in nail polish form, so I created the Sunset In The Keys Quartet.

But what about the ocean? The Florida Keys are surrounded by the ocean, so I couldn't exactly do a Florida Keys inspired collection without also including nail polish inspired by the beautiful ocean waves. The water in the Florida Keys is often referred to as being "turquoise" in color and I just ran with that. Enter, the Sparkling Seas Quartet.

These two collections are what I call, "sister" collections. They are inspired by a similar topic and have similar formulations, but different colors. They could have easily been one big collection, but I decided to split them into two because I've been more interested lately in "capsule" style collections, which are smaller and more concise in color formulation and theory.

BLUSH Lacquers Blog Starfish in the ocean

I decided on jelly formulations for two reasons. One, as I mentioned in our 2022 Spring Nail Polish Trend Report, we don't really have any true jelly polishes. Alot of our formulations have a sheer quality to them, especially with our shimmers and flakies so that all of that sparkly goodness shows through, but we didn't have any solid colored jelly polishes that don't fully go opaque. Secondly, I liked the way that jelly polishes pick up the translucent qualities of the sea and the sky. It didn't really make sense to make fully opaque polishes when I was trying to mimic the effects of the ocean and sunsets. It just felt like jelly polishes fully embraced this creative aspect. 

After creating the jelly polishes, I decided that I needed to add a little bit of sparkle, because how else does the sun reflect off the ocean but in sparkling glimpses? I created 'Sundrop' to magnify the glistening rays of sun bouncing off of the crashing waves and 'Mermaid Scales' to mimic glints of underwater treasures yet to be found.

Most of all, I created these collections because I LOVE jelly sandwiches! (If you aren't a nail polish person, that probably sounds funny to you.) What's a jelly sandwich? A jelly sandwich is when you apply a layer or two of a jelly nail polish to your nails, then apply a layer of a glitter or topper type of polish and then add another layer of your jelly polish. Basically, the jelly polish is the "bread" of your jelly sandwich and the glitter or topper is your "jelly". Although this term also means that you are literally making a sandwich on your nails with jelly polishes. (Please don't eat a nail polish sandwich, that would be gross. lol)

I love jelly sandwich manicures almost as much as I love skittle manicures. I have multiple blog posts planned just on jelly sandwiches and the layering effects of jelly polishes, so get ready! The possibilities are endless! Jelly polishes are literally some of my favorites types of nail polishes for easy, easy nail art applications that look amazing!

Are the Sunset In The Keys & Sparkling Seas nail polishes on your future manicure list? Let us know below!

Read more of our 'Behind the Inspiration' series:
The Inspiration Behind The Upcoming Storybook Collection

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