Wednesday, 25 March 2015

Avon Matte - Inky Blue

Matte dark blue  

This is a strange one, look at these bottle pics

A gorgeous purple with swirls of copper/pinkish shimmer right?

Not on the nail...

On the nail it's the Inky Blue of the shade name.  I think you can see a hint of the purple but not much.

So I tried some top coat in case that would bring out the depth?

A little, but not so much - it still looks totally different to the bottle colour!

Avon Matte Inky Blue is a matte dark blue.  I just wish it looked like the bottle colour!

Application was fine, you have to work fast with mattes but usually the formula is ok.

Swatches are 2 coats, shown with and without topcoat.

Saturday, 28 February 2015

Vintage Valentines - Nails Inc - Chelsea

Lilac creme with secret shimmer  

So my last Vintage Valentine comes from my largest collection, Nails Inc.  I have over 550 unique Nails Inc colours and focus on collecting the older releases which all have the hands/fingers overprinting on the bottles.

Once I started collecting I realised there were nuances in the bottles and labelling.  The oldest bottles in my collection (about 12 of them) have the hands/fingers print but not the word London under the brand name and the address printed on the back is not the well known South Molton Street address of the first store, opened in 1999, but rather a mysterious Nottingham Freepost address.

From digging around on the internet I believe that Nottingham postcode to be for the Boots headquarters making me think, that certainly to start with, the Nails Inc polishes were manufactured by Boots.

Chelsea, yes the earliest polishes started with the London naming convention, is a gorgeous lilac/purple creme with a pink/blue secret shimmer that's just about strong enough to add depth to the colour.

Application was great (the reason I fell so hard for Nails Inc polishes) and swatches shown are 2 coats with no top coat.

Which brings our month of showcasing vintage polishes to a close.  I've really enjoyed digging out some of my oldest polishes and sharing the personal and brand stories behind them.

You can see all of my Vintage Valentine posts here and all of Lina's over on her blog Pretty Perfect Beauty

Wednesday, 25 February 2015

Vintage Valentines - Hard Candy - Violet?

Pastel pink/lilac creme  

Another collectable vintage brand is Hard Candy, first produced in 1995.  I have a couple of first edition Hard Candy polishes and one from the second edition when they changed the bottle shape to be rectangular.

Hard Candy were all about unusual colours (for the time), the free rubber ring with every bottle and provocative advertising.  Again Pretty Random has a great reference guide if you want to see more.

The very secret shimmer

I *think* this is Violet.  As you can see my bottle is pretty worn and has no labels left at all so I am guessing the name based on peering at some old shade pics on the internet!

I do have the ring that goes with this, or to be more accurate, I have a selection of rings that might match this!  Somehow I have 4 rings but only 2 polishes!

And unfortunately this polish is not a win from me.  Pastel cremes are notorious for  being tricky and this one certainly lives up to that.  You can see in the swatch photos that it really didn't self level and looks very uneven.  I even added top coat but it didn't help much.

Swatches are 2 coats with top coat.

The bottle close up in the sun shows a pretty secret shimmer but I couldn't spot a hint of it on the nail.

So this will always have a place in my stash for its originality and rarity but not a lot of love....

Monday, 23 February 2015

Vintage Valentines - Urban Decay - AC/DC

Purple foil  

Definitely one of the most desirable vintage brands, Urban Decay was first released way back in 1996.

All of my Urban Decay polishes are second generation from around 2001.  I did have a first generation polish (a silver holo) in the iconic bottle but stupidly threw it away as it had dried out - before I knew that practically any polish could be revived with enough thinner!  I have mentally kicked myself so many times since that sad occasion....

AC/DC is a slightly blackened muted cool purple foil.

Application was great, swatches are 2 coats, no top coat.

Urban Decay polishes do pop up on ebay quite regularly if you fancy dipping a toe in these vintage polish waters...

Urban Decay is now owned by the cosmetics giant L'Oreal.

Saturday, 21 February 2015

Vintage Valentines - Revlon Top Speed - Daring 992

Beautiful warm red/gold duochrome  

Gah - for some reason this didn't post on Saturday as scheduled - so here's my belated Birthday post....

Today (21st Feb) I'm a little bit more vintage myself - that's right, it's my Birthday!  I'm actually on a long weekend away in fabulous Istanbul with my hubby, hopefully eating yummy Turkish food and celebrating by stomping round a cold but beautiful city!

I thought I'd celebrate my birthday here with this gorgeous duochrome from Revlon.  It's from the Top Speed range which weren't known for their duochrome goodness and bears more than a passing resemblance to the much loved Zing range.

My bottle seems to be a Canadian edition - no idea where I got it from...

Daring is a stunning red/gold duochrome - it's like Autumn in a bottle with a strong colour shift that was a dream to capture.

Application was fine, a little runny but no big issues.

Swatches show are 2 coats, no top coat.

Totally stunning - I just adore the duochrome on this....

Thursday, 19 February 2015

Vintage Valentines - Botanics - Sea Holly

Blue/purple shimmer  

Botanics is a brand from Boots, the UK drugstore.  Whilst Botanics still produce skin and body care products, the make-up range disappeared many years ago.

I have a small collection of 4 or 5 Botanics polishes...

Hmm, not sure the jojoba oil and coconut extract are really going to make much difference with the cocktail of chemicals that make up nail polish!

Sea Holly is a gorgeous purple toned blue shimmer - if you google 'sea holly' you'll see how close the colour comes to it's inspiration..

Application was good and swatches are 2 coats, no top coat.

This one was a bit of a surprise, I don't think I've worn it before and I should've done, it's lovely.

Tuesday, 17 February 2015

Vintage Valentines - Yardley - Bronzed 29

Warm brown/bronze shimmer  

Yardley definitely takes the prize for the oldest brand featured this month.  Yardley of London was established nearly 250 years ago in 1770.

Yardley have mostly been known for their perfume and toiletries like soap and talc with Lavender being the scent most associated with them.

They were big in cosmetics (in the UK) in the 60's and 70's, although I'm not sure they offered nail polish then..

In the 90's, after changing hands several times and with sales slumping they attempted a relaunch, famously appointing Helena Bonham-Carter as their 'Face' before terminating her contract after she announced she "never wore make-up and couldn't understand why they'd chosen her".

This was followed by a more radical change to the marketing with supermodel Linda Evangelista in print ads featuring handcuffs and chains (not actually as extreme as they sound!)

Sadly that didn't work either and Yardley went into administration in 1998 - which means this nail polish is at least that old!

Paint and Go - Bronzed is unsurprisingly a warm bronze shimmer.

Application was fine and the quick drying aspect didn't cause any issue.

Swatches shown are 2 coats, no top coat.

Yardley do still exist in the UK but they've gone back to their heritage of perfume and toiletries.

Does anyone else remember Yardley cosmetics?