…from the shabbiest of locales.  Most of these cost me quite a bit of acetone swabbin’, inside and out.

These are what I initially went in for:

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I switched the rings cos I prefer them this way 🙂

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Both have a captivating sheen… Claws Up!’s is pearlescent; Coconut’s flashes bright pink, then bright blue.

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I thought I would want the others available in this 20th anniversary collection, but no… these two were the best of the rest for me.

When Hard Candy first issued Sky, where I live, it was only available at Nordstrom.

I was recently graduated from university, mother to a kindergarten-age little boy, and attempting unsuccessfully to figure things out economically as head of household in a recession.

Light blue nail polish only available at a snobby department store cosmetic counter was the last thing on my mind, or even my wishlist, for that matter.

When I saw Sky again (both when it was touted as a Chanel Riva dupe in 2010-2011 in its rebranded incarnation and just last week in the grubby clearance baskets at Wal-Mart where it is supposed to have a dedicated freestanding display), I still didn’t really want it.

(I passed on Mint and Tangerini, too, if you can believe that!)

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Since I was traveling last week for work to different cities, many of which were listed on the Hard Candy website as unique launch pads for the 20th anniversary collection, I made a special trip to each indicated Wal-Mart in those locales.

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The first time round, I didn’t find the reissued original Hard Candy bottles anywhere, nor their dedicated cardboard floor stand.

But I did find the four above!  And it was good…

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I brought these two and the four below home with me as well, originally filthy as all get-out.

Since they were relatively dirt-cheap, I guess it’s only fitting that they appeared true to their price point… nothing a half-liter of acetone can’t remove!

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On a subsequent sojourn in the other direction, also to a store location listed as uniquely stocking the Hard Candy 20th, I was about to give up.

It was the end of a grueling, exhausting workday, and I felt like I was chasing after a mirage.

There was no Hard Candy 2015 finish line there, either.

Contenting myself with a practical purchase of toothpaste and floss picks, having scoured the Pollock-spattered varnish aisles on this side of Hell and even passing up a seafoam green L.A. Colors bottle for $1USD, I was about to walk through the security sensor gate of the dedicated cosmetics section, when I saw a few random clearance baskets — shallow, yet piled high.

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The mirage was those clearance baskets — they turned out to be goldmines.

Not only did I find the two Hard Candy varnishes I chose as my edits from the collection, but the entire collection was there, albeit in bits and pieces.

You had to know what you were looking for in order to actually scour for it, and scour I did.

Shame on you, Wal-Mart marketing geniuses!

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I loved Drew Barrymore’s Flower line of cosmetics, but could never afford these varnishes when they were available at full price.

So I thought I missed the boat once this line was discontinued (in store, at least), since my visits to Wal-Mart are intentionally few and far between.

I found several I had always had my eye on, in the mucky yucky baskets for $2.50 USD each.

They were so trashed, I felt like Wal-Mart should have paid me for refuse hauling.

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This one, Beige Beauty, I have always mentally compared to Chanel Beige.

It’s a very yellow, almost fugly beige, with a pink microsheen flash.

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Eye of the Tiger Lily has long intrigued me, as well.

Now I can get down to investigating the mystery of her searing jelly beauty. 🙂

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What do you say, café patrons?  Were they worth the stalking, effort and subsequent cleanup?

xx blueberry milk tea