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?

Sunday, 15 February 2015

Vintage Valentines - LO'real Jet-Set - 255

Orange pearl  

I've already shown you a vintage L'Oreal Shock Proof, now here's a Jet-Set.

I'm not sure when Jet-Set was launched, I think before 2000?

The colours and formula are pretty variable, some are fab colours with an opaque formula, some, like this one, are 'unusual' with pretty terrible opacity.

And, at least in the UK, they didn't have names, only numbers...

255 is an orange pearl with a strong yellow shimmer/pearl.

Orange is definitely not a friend to my skintone so I don't have a large collection of orange polishes, but I certainly don't have another like this!

Sadly the formula on this was pretty terrible in terms of opacity.  These swatches are 4 coats and there's still a hint of vnl.

I'm not totally adverse to doing 4 coats for the right colour (I'm thinking of you, OPI Brand New Skates) but for an orange pearl - no thanks!

I do like the bottle shape on these Jet-Sets, chunky and funky - after this they changed to a smaller triangular bottle which for some reason really bugs me....

Friday, 13 February 2015

Vintage Valentines - Revlon Streetwear - Scary 061

Luscious blood red jelly  

Revlon Streetwear is definitely one of my favourite vintage brands.

As I'm sure most of you know, Street Wear was Revlon's answer to the Hard Candy and Urban Decay's of this world back in the 90's.

And boy did they come out with some amazing polishes.  Please go check out Kaz of Pretty Random's reference guide

I have a very modest collection of about 25 polishes, mixed between the US and European releases and I've shared a few swatches before.

But for Friday the 13th and  (nearly) Valentines this polish seemed very appropriate.

Scary is a stunning blood red jelly.

Perfect in 2 coats, application was a dream and look at that shine!  Especially as I took these pictures today in natural light and it's been grey and rainy for most of the day here.

Sadly most of the Streetwears are very hard to come by now although a few pop up on ebay now and again.

And oddly, although the brand disappeared many years ago, Revlon launched (or relaunched?) the Street Wear brand in India in 2014.  But sadly with tiny bottles of what look like standard colours....

What's your favourite vintage brand?

Wednesday, 11 February 2015

Vintage Valentines - Mary Quant - B11

Soft blue/green jelly  

This may be the newest Vintage Valentine I'm going to share but I don't feel too bad as Mary Quant is a very vintage brand!

This polish is, I think from 2008, but Mary Quant has had a cosmetics line, off and on, since 1966 and the lady herself opened her first shop in 1955!

I remember when the bottles looked like this...

But sadly don't have any...

But the signature black daisy is still around.  In fact on the version I have the (removable) cap is shaped like the daisy.

The bottles have changed again since I bought these and are now an even less interesting design..

Here's the brochure I picked up when I bought them - toy soldiers with nail polish hats?!

Anyhow, on to the swatches

Sadly the polishes don't have names, only numbers.

B-11 is a soft sage green jelly that I think looks more blue in my pics.

It's very shiny and slightly squishy.  Application was good, if a little scarily thin on the first coat.

Swatches shown are 3 coats, with no top coat.

I bought this and 3 others from the Mary Quant store in London, before it moved to it's current location in Chelsea.

The cosmetics company is now wholly owned by a Japanese company and there are many stores in Japan, but I believe the shop in Chelsea is the only one outside Japan.