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China Glaze Anchors Away Spring 2011 Collection – Sand & Sea Swatches & Review

By on February 9, 2011
in Blue, China Glaze, Gray, Nude, Spring 2011, Tan, Taupe, White
china-glaze-anchors-away-spring-2011-nail-polish-collection I can’t begin to tell you how apropos it is that China Glaze created the nautical themed Anchors Away collection for Spring 2011. You see I grew up sailing. As a child I spent every weekend of my summers on my parents’ sailboat cruising the shores of Lake Erie. It was such a huge part of my life that even though I’m not exactly a fan of sailing (it can be boring), being on the water is an essential piece of who I am.

It’s always been part of my life plan to have a boat of my own to enjoy everything Lake Erie has to offer. The Lake Erie islands, the Sandusky Bay area, it’s all so beautiful and fun. This spring my dream of summering on a boat just may come true. The boyfriend and I are signing up for a safe boating course and starting to shop for our own floating home away from home which has me on an all things nautical high.

I’ve been shopping for new deck shoes, conjuring up boat names, contemplating the boat themed manicures I’ll wear, etc. And after seeing a mani/pedi combo using the navy and orange cremes from this collection, I already know what is going on my nails first.  But before we get into the bold Knotty Nauticals let’s take a look at the softer side of the Anchors Away collection, the Sand & Sea six piece set.

Formula & Application: China Glaze is a 3-Free brand with a round brush that is both medium in length and firmness with enough give to allow for ease of control. The cap is slightly tapered and made of smooth plastic that is comfortable to hold.

Because this half of the collection has varying finishes and opacity levels I addressed the specific application issues I experienced in the actual color review.  The three cremes that I showed you in my sneak peek all applied flawlessly in two perfect coats.

Below Deck is a murky purple taupe creme.  It’s meant to be a dupe for the discontinued China Glaze Channelesque polish that achieved cult fave status thanks to the message board communities.  As I mentioned when I first showed you Below Deck, I never picked up Channelesque while it was still available.  I wasn’t a fan the first time around and it just goes to show how tastes can change.  Now I find this type of color very chic though it’s still an ugly-pretty situation.


Knotty is a golden tan, semi-sheer glass fleck.  I used three coats and you can still see my smile line.  This color is one that is best left to sheer polish lovers and layering types.


Pelican Gray is a dove grey creme with a hint of micro-shimmer.  It’s a bit more apparent on Pelican Gray than on Sea Spray (below).  We’ve seen pale greys before but none of them tend to stick around.  Prior to this launch I had readers looking for a quality, opaque pale grey and I didn’t have anywhere to send them, especially with RBL Concrete Jungle being discontinued.  I just hope China Glaze keeps this beauty around.


Sea Spray is a soft, grayed blue creme with the tiniest hint of pearl.  The micro-shimmer doesn’t really show on the nail, it really adds depth more than anything.  It keeps the polish from looking chalky.  I really can’t talk this color up enough.  I’ve been wearing it since late August and if I had my druthers I would wear it all spring.  It’s so fresh without feeling like a typical spring pastel.


Sunset Sail is a peachy nude with an opaque creme base peppered with silver micro-glitter.  It has that band-aid effect and reminds me of a beloved shade OPI Skinny Dippin In Lake Michigan except I think Sunset Sail is more wearable.  The only thing dragging this polish down is the application.  This polish applied so streaky that I needed four coats on my ring finger to avoid patchiness and dragging at the cuticle.


White Cap is a sheer, white-based glass-fleck style polish packed with gold flecks that create a sunshower type effect when the light hits it.  Because it is so sheer I think it’s best used for layering.  I think it will look amazing over the orange, green and navy cremes in this collection or you could use it to add warmth to a cool toned shade like Sea Spray.


Bottom Line: This side of the collection definitely speaks to the Fanatics who opt for a more neutral palette.  I can’t get enough of the three cremes and can’t wait to start layering with White Cap.  The application problems that plague Sunset Sail and the unflattering nature of Knotty place them in the “pass” category for me.

China Glaze Anchors Away is available now and can be found at stores like ULTA and online at, and  China Glaze polishes retail from $3-6 depending on the retailer.  Sally Beauty will not be carrying Anchors Away instead they have exclusive collections Treasures (in stores now) and Tronica (coming in March).

What do you think of the sand-washed neutrals and semi-sheer glass flecks in the Sand & Sea set?  Which colors are on your must-have list?  What would you layer under White Cap and Knotty?

Disclosure: Product samples were provided by China Glaze. For more info view my Disclosure Policy.

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There Are 57 Brilliant Comments

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  1. Chris says:

    I am not really a fan of the light shades, but White Cap does interest me. Do you think it could be a decent substitute for SH Hidden Treasure?

    • Cat says:

      White Cap is nothing like Hidden Treasure. It’s got gold shimmer, not rainbow flakies. Dupes for Hidden Treasure are Nfu Oh 38 and Nubar 2010.

    • queenfrostine says:

      I own and love both and don’t consider them to be anything alike other than that they’re both fanastic for layering. White cap is about lots of tiny, gorgeous sparkles that can alter whatever you put it over because of how dense the shimmer can be while Hidden Treasure is large opalescent flakes that otherwise let the base color shine through unfettered.

  2. Jiya says:

    I love sunset sail. I am lookign for these shades on the websites you mentioned in this post. Thanks for sharing.

  3. I’m falling in love with glass flecks. I wore a peach toned one for most of this week and couldn’t stop staring at it. I like the idea of layering White Cap but will probably also wear it alone on those busy weeks when I need to do my nails and then not think about them for a few days.

  4. C says:

    Besides the channelesque dupe – they all seem pretty…blah. I suppose though, if I were a neutral girl I would be beside myself with joy.

  5. kelliegonzo says:

    la la love all of them, except maybe knotty. what type of camera do you use? i’ve searched your site but can’t find the answer. thanks in advance!

    • All Lacquered Up says:

      I use a Canon T1i dslr. I got it in Sept 09 & I’m still learning the best ways to shoot with it but I love it.

      • Mer says:

        i have the T1i too! I love it, it takes amazing pictures… I had no idea you had one too- you’ve inspired me to get my own nail blog off the ground, finally- if you can take swatches that good with it, maybe i can too. Now i just need to think of a blog name- Ive been wracking my brain for months.

        PS- sea spray is my fave of this collection-soo pretty.

  6. Lauren says:

    I didn’t realize these were finally out. I need to stop at ULTA today to get Sea Spray. Will you be doing comparisons? I’m wondering how it compares to Essie Sag Harbor, although I think SS is more gray and less blue.

  7. Hannah says:

    I absolutely love Sea Spray, it feels like something new for Spring and it looks amazing on. I will be wearin this one a lot! I have Pelican Grey too which I also love biut the shimmer makes it stand out from other greys. I have First Mate from this collection and I adore it!! Fabulous swatches as always!! Xx

  8. Kitty says:

    I like the shimmers. I’m not a huge fan of creme though.

  9. Grace says:

    I got pelican gray and sea spray a while back and, while I love the colors, I was disappointed in the application. They were so thick and streaky, and my manis started peeling after just two days (probably because of the thick goopy coats I had to use). I’m going to hit them with some seche restore and try again, though. The colors really are gorgeous.

  10. Goose says:

    Ha! I LOVE Knotty (I just recently had a post naming it the “most underrated” from the collection)!

    Also, I hear that sea spray is an EXACT dupe for Essie’s Sag Harbor… do you think so?

    Oh, and White Cap is so fun to layer! I put over Starboard the other day and it’s GORGEOUS.

  11. Barbara says:

    I love the colors! Just one problem: I live in Canada (Montreal) and have never seen China Glaze in any of the stores here. Does anybody know where I can buy this brand (other than online)?

    • titeju says:

      Barbara: I bought the entire collection on, they ship through Canada fast enough for only 8,75$ !

    • melli says:

      Bon soir, Barbara! :)

      I have seen them here in Toronto at Sally Beauty and Trade Secrets. I usually order mine online because the prices are reasonable, even with shipping. Good luck!

    • Laura says:

      Chatters sells them. Google them, they have stores right outside Montreal. they probably sell about 40 colours and they have this collection!

  12. Ulmiel says:

    I adore Below Deck and Sea Spray (fell in love with them both at your sneak peak pictures). Below Deck is one of those colours I could wear all the time, same with the Sea Spray. I’m really sorry I haven’t ordered White Cap too, it looks so amazing layered over green (especially Starboard).

  13. NailPolishFan says:

    My favorites from this part of the collection are Below Deck, Pelican Grey, and Sea Spary.

  14. Minxy1 says:

    I’m a Sandusky girl! Can’t wait to get rid of this -3 windchill and be back on the beach…
    Love the Below Deck, Pelican Grey & Sea Spray! Can’t wait to try them out.. Thanks for the swatches:)

  15. Catch Me In Your Net says:

    Do you know of a semi-close dupe to Sunset Sail? I love the color but am wary of the application issues.

  16. sara says:

    I have all three of the cremes. I haven’t tried Below Deck, yet, but I love love LOVE the other two. I’ve also tried the orange and green cremes from the other half of the collection. I have the blue, but I haven’t worn it yet. But back to Sea Spray, I think it’s my new favorite. I got nothing but compliments from everyone who noticed it the entire time I wore it.

  17. Federica says:

    LOVE Sea Spry, Pelican Grey and White Cap! Is this last one a shimmer or glitter colour?? I can’t understand it well by your swatches…Thanks advance LOL :)

  18. Kimberly says:

    nice swatches!! white cap reminds me a bit of essie tennis corset, no???

  19. Ann says:

    finally! will you do a review/swatch post on the OPI Texas collection??

  20. Ofelia says:

    I find Below Deck was a waste of my money because it’s really close to Metro Chic. But Sea Spray is absolutely lovely

  21. Andrea says:

    Pelican Gray is my valentine.

  22. Jaztee says:

    I love Sea Spray and Pelican Grey, but I’ll have to think some more about the others. Great swatches :)

  23. aggie says:

    I tried Sunset Sail, and I did not like it at all. I also had to put four coats, and even after waiting a long time, and then putting Seche Vite on it, somehow it still got dented !!
    Also, the sides of my fingernails (not sure what that’s called) were so gross with this nail polish, it was everywhere. And it was super streaky !

  24. Gina says:

    I was so excited about Seaspray when I saw the previews. I ordered it as soon as it became available and when it came, I was REALLY disappointed. I don’t know if it’s just my bottle, but it is NOT blue. It’s bluish-gray but much more gray than blue, in every light. If mine looked like yours, I’d be SO happy! That’s what I wanted. But it’s just…not. I was at Ulta in Mentor, OH (Cleveland girl, too) last weekend and the only bottle of Seaspray they had left also looked gray, even grayer than mine! I wonder if there are different versions or lots of that color?

  25. Mohmlet says:

    For those who are curious how they compare, Below Deck isn’t an exact dupe to Channelesque (I own both, so of course my first item of business was to swatch them side by side), but it’s very close. BD is a bit darker, a little more opaque (perfect in two coats, and a better application than Channelesque), and just a smidge more purple. It’s a great color.

  26. Silva says:

    I love this collection, want pretty much everything :) But Sea Spray is my favorite.

  27. Ter G. says:

    Wow…Lake Erie??? I live in Olmsted Falls. Ever hear of it? I’m thinking you might live near Toledo or Sandusky. I love visiting the islands! Small world, eh? Oh, beautiful pics too! Hugs,Ter

  28. Michelle says:

    I’m having a hard time making a decision on the glitters in this collection, so for now I just ordered (yesterday) Sunset Sail and Sea Spray, the ones I know I’ll want to wear in March. I had decided to wait on Pelican since I just got Zoya Dove, but this swatch really shows how different they are.

  29. TraceyJoy says:

    Love all of them. Knotty I think is my favorite. Beautiful

  30. Kara says:

    I want White Cap, it looks so pretty! Gah, Sunset Sail is pretty (I have a weakness for any peach) but the application thing doesn’t sound fun

  31. Naz says:

    Sea Spray is fantastic!! I picked up that one, as well as White Cap, which looks awesome on top of Sea Spray, and even better with a matte top coat. I love versatility in nail polishes.

  32. christine says:

    i wonder how below deck compares to essie’s merino cool or opi’s parlez vous opi?

  33. ire says:

    i love sunset sail & white cap, can’t wait to have them in my collection!!!^^

  34. Barilla says:

    Sea Spray and Sunset Sail are quite lovely, and not like anything else I have in my collection.

  35. Sarah says:

    I just bought these at a new website (to me) – Image Beauty Discount Beauty Center because all 3 of the e-tailers I normally shop at (the 3 you listed above) were already sold out of one or more of the polishes I wanted. I think all 3 were sold out of Sea Spray. Craziness! Guess I shouldn’t have waited around so long but I kept hoping my local Sally’s would get them (for the last month I’ve been calling them). The manager had no idea that they weren’t getting this collection! Anyway my order should be here Monday! Too excited about these – especially after hearing your opinions of the ones I ordered!

  36. Michaela says:

    I’m been wearing Pelican Gray for the pas few days and I love it! Now I’m thinking I may need to go back for Sea Spray as well. With spring creeping around the corner and all ;)

  37. Keri says:

    LOVING this collection! I think I want to get everything except Sunset Sail…

  38. Nicole says:

    I love Below Deck and Sea Spray!!
    And on a side note, I have to agree, Lake Erie is absolutely beautiful! Our family has a summer house on the lake about 15mins from Sandusky, and I absolutely love it there :)

  39. meghan says:

    the perfect pale grey cream will always be sally hansen xtreme wear wet cement, it’s absolutely perfect.

  40. flipflopgal says:

    Just wondering if part 2 will be coming soon? Am curious to see the navy, orange, green, pink, etc :)

  41. Briana says:

    ooo Im so in love with pelican grey.
    Came home to find the mail man had left me a wonderful little package with my 5 polishes from this collection.
    I ordered Pelican Grey, Below Deck, Sunset Sail, First Mate and Life Preserver. They are all gorgeous but Pelican Grey is my love, followed closely by Below Deck

  42. Rachel says:

    I have not been able to find Sea Spray anywhere! It is sold out everywhere I try. I have wanted it since you swatched it last Fall. I just got OPI’s I Vant to be a Lone Star. I love it! How close is it to Sea Spray?

  43. Michelle says:

    Wearing Knotty right now in a single coat over white tips. No boring french for me… LOVE IT!

  44. Becky says:

    How does Below Deck compare to Essie Smokin’ Hot? I just got Smokin’ Hot for my birthday and I love that dark lavendery color, but I don’t want to pick up Below Deck if it’s too similar.

    • Linda M says:

      I was going to ask how Below Deck compared to Essie Island Hopping. I thought Smokin’ Hot was darker than Below Deck. Maybe we’ll get a comparison.

  45. Jane says:

    What does “3-free brand” mean?

  46. Atwork says:

    What is the application like for Pelican Gray. Some say it takes 2 coats and is great and others say it is thick.