Friday, 26 December 2014

Merry Christmas!

Sorry for the radio silence lately, a couple of illnesses and busy times at work have kept me more or less out of Internetland, but check back soon for more reviews, fashion posts, and more.  I've got a few drafts up my sleeve to come, and new products to test out in the new year.

But really I just want to say Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays, everyone!  I hope you're having a fantastic holiday season and wish you all the best for the coming year and those to follow.

Monday, 8 December 2014

Tried & Tested: Nails Inc Nail Polish - Victoria

£11.00 - Boots | $14.00 - Nails Inc

Nails Inc is definitely one of the industry leaders when it comes to nail art and trends – it seems every other month there’s a brand new gimmick to check out.  I haven’t been too impressed by some – the feather effect polishes are a perfect example of this – but when it comes to others, like the Leather effect and Concrete effect polishes, I am nigh insatiable.  The colour collection is quite vast as well, so you certainly won’t be short of options.

Today there’s one in particular that I’d like to review for you: Victoria.  My namesake in polish form, and I must admit that if I were to choose a nail polish to represent me, this is actually exactly what I would have chosen.  Classic, blood-red, off-black, with a high shine cream finish.  This is everything I’ve been searching for in a vampy wintery red for years. 


I must admit that I have a bit of a love-hate relationship with this one, though.  The consistency of my bottle (and I admit I may have bought an older product that’s been on the shelves for a while, or part of a bad batch, so as always your mileage may vary) was very thick and gloopy.  I applied a coat of OPI’s Nail Envy beneath my Seche Clear base coat, as I’m trying to regrow healthy nails following a spell of brittleness, breakage and peeling.  Once the base had dried down, I began to apply Nails Inc Victoria and… well I was immediately unhappy.  The thick texture applied very unevenly and streaky, and when I went over it to try to even things out it felt like the brush was just removing the polish it had just so haphazardly applied to my nails. 

However I persevered, and I’m glad I did – after three coats (allowing each to fully dry down before applying the next) the polish was perfectly opaque and had an even finish, and the colour.  Oh, the colour.  I instagrammed this a few days into wear and one of my favourite online acquaintances commented on how it looked like blood, which I love so very much!  I feel like I've done a bad job capturing the subtle red tones in these photos, so you may want to head over to said Instagram post, where the red shows through much clearer than it does here.  


Even better, however, was the wear time.  The photos in this blog post are after five days of wear – as you’ll see there may be very minor tip-wear but absolutely no chipping whatsoever – and when I eventually removed the colour after seven days there were still zero chips.  Now I must be honest and put this down in part to my Seche Vite topcoat, but I must also add that even with that topcoat I have experienced chipping and peeling of nail polish from time to time, so I’m impressed by the wear time of Victoria all the same. 

When it comes to removal, this came off very easily using a cotton pad and whatever remover I happened to have around (a Sally Hanson one I picked up from Asda, nothing special).  Although to be honest, it’s rare I have any issues with removal unless there’s glitter involved. 

All in all I would still recommend this shade based mostly on the colour, though with the warning that you must be very patient with application to achieve optimal results.  And so dear readers, as much as I like this polish, I must ask; if you know of a similar shade with a more user-friendly and less-fiddly formula, please do share!  I’m happy to work with Victoria to get the look that I want, but would be even happier if I could get the same look without all of the extra time and effort to get an even finish and application.

Pros: 

  • Absolutely beautiful colour, I've been on a long hunt for the perfect off-black red like this!
  • I love the finish when applied opaque; lovely glossy creme
  • Long-lasting and zero chipping experienced over a week of wear

Cons:

  • Nails Inc is a pricier brand, so this polish retails for around £11 which some may find a bit pricy
  • The texture is quite thick which makes application quite difficult and the first coat or two will go on very streaky.  So this takes a fair amount of work to get the best results, which I know a lot of people do not have the patience for, particularly at this price point
  • Requires 3 coats for fully opaque coverage

Ratings

Quality: 3/5
Value: 3/5
Does What It Says: 3/5
Packaging: 4/5
Bonus*: N/A
TOTAL: 13/20

Note: This post may contain affiliate links; please see Disclosure page for further information.

Monday, 1 December 2014

Giveaway Winner Announced!

If you've been following my MAC + RHPS giveaway post, you'll already know that it closed to entries on Friday.  I didn't get a chance to select the winner this weekend, but I did so this morning: Rafflecopter randomized the winner as Gemma from Touch of Belle who happens to be one of my current favourite bloggers as well!  Congratulations Gemma ^_^ I can't wait to see how the shade looks on you!

The giveaway gained over 700 entries in total, which absolutely floored me as a new blogger.  I want to thank everyone for your participation and for following Lipstick and Lightplay.  I sincerely hope you stick around as readers, and it's been really nice having some audience participation during this event.  I've been so excited to see who the prize would go to!

I'm certain there will be more giveaways to come, although I can't promise what or when - the next one will probably be for a milestone.  But check back and following on BlogLovin' and you'll be the first to know :)

Until next time!
XOXO