Sunday, January 29, 2012

a-england - Dragon

'The Legend' has landed!! I got my first 3 polishes from a-england's 'The Legend' collection on Friday and I'm so excited to show you the first of them today... Let's get straight to the good part - the photos...

a-england, Dragon, The Legend, swatch
Dragon is a gorgeous forest green verging on jade. I was afraid it would be too green, but it's depth of colour makes it that little bit more sophisticated.

a-england, Dragon, The Legend, swatch
This photo was taken indoors in indirect light and you can see the subtle holographic nature of the polish peeking out.

a-england, Dragon, The Legend, swatch

Again in indirect light, the holographic beauty is on display. This polish instantly makes me think of the fourth Harry Potter book "Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire". It is the perfect colour of the "Common Welsh Green Dragon" if you ask me!

a-england, Dragon, The Legend, swatch
The base green colour has a golden hue about it that makes it all the more dragon-like.

a-england, Dragon, macro, The Legend, swatch
The macro shot gives you a little more idea of the colours making up this beautiful green legend. From blue right through green to gold.

The formula of Dragon was exactly as I have come to expect from a-england. It was so easy to apply. It was slightly on the thick side but this didn't cause any issues. I used two coats for absolute opacity. As a base coat I used Essie 'Millionails' and as a top coat I used a-england 'The Shield'. One thing I will note is that the polish appeared to dull ever so slightly after I applied the top coat, though it was not very noticeable and it definitely wasn't enough to make me want to skip the top coat. As for how the polish lasts... It stood up to the test of working behind the bar on Friday without any tip-wear or chipping at all! It still looks as fresh and shiny now as I type this, as it did when I first put it on on Friday morning (even after spilling acetone all over one of my freshly painted nails!).

'The Legend' collection is not yet available from the a-england website, but this beauty and its 6 noble companions can be ordered by emailing Adina at The generous Adina is still offering free world-wide shipping and at present 'The Legend' collection remains at £9 a bottle (just two more reasons to LOVE this brand)!

P.s. Happy (belated) Chinese New Year! The year of the dragon - how appropriate!

Friday, January 27, 2012

Nicole by OPI - Wear Something Spar-Kylie

When I first started collecting nail polish seriously, I never would have chosen a full-on glitter. But here we are about one year later and I'm showing you 'Wear Something Spar-Kylie' from Nicole by OPI's 'Kardashian Kolors' collection.

Nicole by OPI, Wear Something Spar-Kylie, Kardashian Kolors, swatch
I love this polish! It's a little like the colour of watermelon flesh (thanks for that description Mum!). This is two coats of 'Wear Something Spar-Kylie' and it is very close to looking opaque. There is a very slight VNL (visible nail line) but I'm fine with that as it wasn't particularly obvious in person.

Nicole by OPI, Wear Something Spar-Kylie, Kardashian Kolors, swatch
In indirect light, the polish appears a little more opaque and the colour deepens significantly. The pink becomes a lot redder and much richer.

Nicole by OPI, Wear Something Spar-Kylie, Kardashian Kolors, swatch
Indoors and slightly more shaded, my nails now have become little disco balls! The larger glitter pieces are reflecting every bit of light they can find. The glitter appears much more silvery than in the previous photo where it seems more pink.

Nicole by OPI, Wear Something Spar-Kylie, Kardashian Kolors, swatch
Finally, some macro goodness... You can see that there is plenty of medium pink hexagonal glitter along with small pink glitter. The glitter is all within this gorgeous pink jelly-like base.

Every time I look at this polish, I just end up thinking about candy! But for now lets think about the formula... The polish wasn't too thick but it was thick enough in that it was easy to get an even spread of glitter on the nail. One problem... I applied this in the afternoon and didn't do anything too drastic with my nails that night, but when I woke up in the morning I had a chip! I'm not ready to say this is a problem with this polish - I'd like to give it another chance. I have a feeling I may not have used the best top coat for a glitter manicure. I used Essie 'Good To Go' and it's a fairly thin top coat. I had to use two coats of top coat and it still was super gritty to the touch!! I think next time I might try a thicker top coat, maybe something like Sally Hansen's 'Insta-Dri'.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

MAC - Endless Night

Today I have for you 'Endless Night' by MAC . For christmas, I was lucky enough to get a $100 MAC voucher and I was so excited because I've never tried MAC products before. I did a little research and the recurring theme seemed to be that MAC nail polishes can be a little "iffy" in terms of formula. I thought seeing as I had the voucher I might as well form my own opinion. So here it is....

MAC 'Endless Night' is part of the 'Daphne Guinness for MAC' collection for Winter, released in America in December...

MAC, Endless Night, swatch
 'Endless Night' is a pinky grey with a very fine micro-shimmer that leans very slightly to the purple side of pink. The shimmer is very subtle and seems to just give the polish a slight glow or sheen.

MAC, Endless Night, swatch
You can see here, when seen indoors without direct light, you tend to lose the shimmer and the polish appears to look more like it has a crème finish. The colour also becomes a little more "nude" without a lot of light hitting it. I found the true colour of this polish in shade really hard to photograph. In reality 'Endless Night' is a little less tan and a little more mauve.

'Endless Night' is a nice polish but I'm not overly inspired by it (hence the slightly shorter and less excited post). I've been wearing colours lately that excite me, that I will catch myself looking at during the day, but this one... not so much. So... nice, that's how I can describe it. I generally really like these sorts of colours - the nudes/beiges etc - as I think that your nails can become a beautiful extension of your hand rather than making a feature of them, so for that purpose this colour is perfect.

As for the formula... I was all ready for it to be a bit of a nuisance to apply. But with a sigh of relief, it was not half as bad as I expected. It was a little streaky and tended to want to pull a wee bit around the cuticle area, but I've learned that these are things that pale polishes are often prone to. This was three coats in order to have an even covering and a decent opacity. I used Essie 'Millionails' for my base and Essie 'Good To Go' as the top coat.

Overall I'm happy with MAC so far. I have two other colours that I got at the same time as 'Endless Night' - they are 'Hyperion' (also from the 'Daphne Guinness' collection) and 'Nightfall', which I will no doubt be showing you at some point soon. I also got a new 'penultimate' liquid eyeliner which, I'm happy to report, I love, but I think as far as reviewing make-up goes I'm definitely not your go-to girl so I'll leave that up to the many fabulous beauty bloggers out there!

Monday, January 23, 2012

a-england - Lady Of The Lake

Today I bring to you my first swatches from my most favourite brand a-england. This is a relatively new brand by Adina Bodana. These polishes have soared instantly to cult status and are easily my favourites from my whole collection! The first collection by a-england is 'The Mythicals' and that is where this polish hails from...

'Lady Of The Lake'...

a-England, Lady Of The Lake, the mythicals, swatch
'Lady Of The Lake' is a deep royal purple that is brimming with holographic splendour. In natural light, you can see how fine the holographic shimmer is, making it subtle and oh so elegant.

Adina tells of the Lady Of The Lake on her site...



the iconic hand with sword

(Foster mother of Lancelot) a woman of great magical power. She resided in the murky water of a lake, an otherworld. She presented the mythical sword Excalibur to King Arthur with her hand emerging from the water."

One of the things Adina seems to do so well, is to capture the story behind the names of her polishes. This polish personifies the magic of this woman, not to mention the glint of the sword that emerges form the murky depths of the lake in which she resides.

a-England, Lady Of The Lake, konad m3, swatch
The macro shot really speaks for itself!

a-England, Lady Of The Lake, Konad m3, swatch
On my ring finger you can see my maiden attempt at Konading!! I used plate m3 that I received as part of the starter kit that I purchased. The polish I used for stamping was another of the a-england 'The Mythicals' - 'Excalibur' (King Arthur's magic sword). This polish is typical of a-england's fantastic formula! It is a wonder polish for stamping as it is easily opaque in one coat.

a-England, Lady Of The Lake, Konad m3, swatch
A close-up of the two designs that I did on my ring fingers. Not a bad attempt for my first go.

a-England, Lady Of The Lake, Konad m3, swatch
Need I say more about the magical Excalibur...

a-England, Lady Of The Lake, Konad m3, swatch
For a final look in shaded indoor light. 'Lady Of The Lake' seems to recede back into the depths a little, making this shade a little more mysterious but still magnificent.

As I hinted at earlier, a-england polishes are always a pleasure to apply. The formula is just right - thin enough to spread easily without being too thin and 'Lady Of The Lake' is a perfect two-coater. I had a couple of fingers pull slightly around the cuticle area but I am fairly sure this is due to my haste in wanting to put this on before my base coat had even thought about drying. I have never had this problem with this before and when I stopped to let things dry for a moment everything went back to normal. I used Essie 'Millionails' as my base and Essie 'Good To Go' as my top coat.

On a side note, Adina has recently released her brand new 'The Legend' collection based on the story of St George and the dragon. Three out of seven of these polishes are currently en route to me and you can be sure I will be wearing one as soon as they arrive so stay tuned... To see this collection, I would recommend you visit Eugenia at to get some serious eye-candy! The polishes in this collection are quite simply breath-taking! I can't wait!

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Essie - Shine Of The Times and OPI - Over The Taupe

I got my first flakie! I'm so excited about this polish! I've have been dreaming of owning Essie 'Shine Of The Times' since it first was blogged about last year, but unfortunately New Zealand doesn't really get much in the way of new collections by Essie. I've been keeping an eye out online for this pretty polish and it has never been in stock until Wednesday when I saw that Candy Girl ( - a Christchurch based online shop) had it back in stock! I ordered it straight away and it was in my letterbox yesterday morning (the very next day)! :)

I used OPI 'Over The Taupe' as my base colour underneath 'Shine Of The Times'...

OPI - Over The Taupe, swatch
'Over The Taupe' is a brown/taupe crème by OPI. The best way I can describe this colour is "mousey". It's such a soft and gentle colour.

OPI - Over The Taupe, swatch
I love this colour. It's a perfect work colour - subtle but something a little different. I love the way that it's essentially a brown nail polish but that in some lights it looks as though there is some grey in there and even at times a bit of a purple hue.

Now onto the wonder that is Essie's 'Shine Of The Times'...

This is from the 'Luxeffects' Collection released late last year. As I earlier mentioned, this is a flakie top coat.

Essie - Shine Of The Times, OPI - Over The Taupe, swatch
The flakes in this polish are multi-chromatic and depending on the light, they range from looking red to  orange to gold to yellow to green. Like all of autumn in a single bottle of polish.

Essie - Shine Of The Times, OPI - Over The Taupe, swatch
In this photo you can see more of the yellows and greens that shine through in this top coat when the light hits it at a more extreme angle.

Essie - Shine Of The Times and OPI - Over The Taupe swatch
From a more front on angle the reds and golds shine through. It's like a reflection of a bonfire burning on my nails.

Essie - Shine Of The Times and OPI - Over The Taupe swatch
You can really see the irregular beauty of the flakie pieces. Interestingly at some angles it looks as though there's nothing extra on your nails then you move just the tiniest bit and this fiery light suddenly bursts out to catch your eye.

Essie - Shine Of The Times and OPI - Over The Taupe swatch
Final macro pic just because I can't get enough of this polish!!

Now to the formulas of these polishes...
'Over The Taupe' is not my favourite polish to apply. Lucky I like the colour so much that it seems to make up for it. This polish is reasonably thin and is very difficult to make the colour even on the nail. It is a 2 coater if I take extra care during application, otherwise it is generally a careful 3 coater in order to get nice even coverage. The above swatches of 'Over The Taupe' are 2 coats using Essie 'Millionails' as my base coat and no top coat. Even though there's no top coat, you can see the beautiful gloss that results from this polish.
'Shine Of The Times' is rather thick and I thought it was going to be difficult to make it spread evenly. But... turns out it was really nice and easy to apply. It sort of just glided over the nail without much thought. On top of 'Shine Of The Times' I used a-England's 'The Shield' top coat and I'm super pleased to say that I have not one single chip after work last night. I was behind the bar last night which means scrubbing coffee machine, hands constantly in water and cleaning products and meths etc! Walking out with zero tip wear hardly ever happens after a Friday night.

Hope you enjoyed sharing my excitement about my first flakie! :)

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Nicole by OPI - Sea How Far You Go

My first nail polish swatches and review had to be something that I love and 'Sea How Far You Go' is definitely that. Nicole by OPI polishes were almost impossible to come by in New Zealand (except for the Justin Bieber collection) and had to be ordered online, but to my absolute delight (not so much to my wallet's delight) they are now available at Life Pharmacy and Smith and Caughey for $19.90. I picked up this beauty yesterday.

'Sea How Far You Go' is a beautiful gold and blue duochrome. Dan has named it "baby Chanel 'Peridot'" and I love that description. This polish has instantly become one of my absolute favourites!

Nicole by OPI - Sea How Far You Go swatch

This is 3 coats of colour and in some lights it is still ever so slightly see-through (though you would have to be peering at it with very beady eyes). You can notice the duochrome effect quite well here with the blue and gold shining through.

Nicole by OPI - Sea How Far You Go swatch

I love how subtle this polish is, yet when you actually stop to look at it, you see so much more than you'd ever have expected. I just keep looking and looking at it!

Nicole by OPI - Sea How Far You Go swatch

You can see here with backlighting that the gold is much more prominent than the blue, though the blue still peeks out from behind the gold, not wanting to be forgotten.

Nicole by OPI - Sea How Far You Go swatch

Nicole by OPI - Sea How Far You Go swatch

Finally for some close-up action of this beauty! I can't find a single thing not to love about this gorgeous polish.

As for the formula, it was a dream to apply even though the brush was so odd and will take a little getting used to. I should mention the 'New perfect stroke brush' that is in this polish is now in fact the "old perfect stroke brush". Any of the newer Nicole collections (like the 'Kardashian Kolors') have a much smaller and more normal brush. This brush is huge and paddle shaped and holds SOOO much polish that it's ridiculous. I have seen so many bad reviews of this brush and it was not actually anywhere near as bad as I was expecting, just different. For these swatches I used Essie 'Millionails' as my base coat and Essie 'Good To Go' as my top coat.

So this is my very first blog entry! I'm so excited and to be honest pretty nervous! As you know I have a serious polish obsession, so this is going to be a place for me to share my polish stash with people and also a place where I can keep a record of what I have and a little bit about them.

Hope you all enjoy!