VAMP: red nail polishes for the holiday season

wpid-wp-1446660650474.jpgAfter complaining for God knows how many weeks, my nails are finally at a relatively uniform length so I can start wearing bold nail polishes again (yay.) Deep reds are my favourite because of the whole carnality kind of thing it’s got going for it, and realising that I’ve got quite a few very similar shades, I thought I’d do a little breakdown on the ones I own. For when you’re so inspired by my writing that you must rush out to buy your own. Obviously.

Revlon Nail Enamel in Vixen, £6.50 /// This is the one I’m wearing in the feature photo, taken after four days. As you can see, chipping is really minimal, and I think this is due to the fact that the polish doesn’t truly harden. This is brilliant for long-lasting colour, but as it stays quite… malleable? It absorbs impressions of things like bedsheets and scratches easily, so it does lose its glossy sheen quickly.  I know this is a bit of a Devil Wears Prada situation, but of the solid reds I’m reviewing, this is the most pinkish, a kind of claret colour. The flash in the photo below really emphasises the differences, but in real life, it’s harder to tell.

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And the prize for most dust particles in one photo goes to…

Chanel Le Vernis in Rouge Noir, £18 /// I love a product with some history. Compared to the previous product, this is more of a true lacquer, which means it hardens much more, but also chips in larger flakes. I think the colour is more impressive, too, as it has a deeper, dimensional shine, and moves slightly away from ‘cute berry colours for autumn’ and closer to ‘vampy villainess’ territory. Like I said before, this difference is minimal and nuanced, so don’t romance yourself with the Chanel brand if you’re not that bothered about the tiniest details and you’re just looking for something that lasts, in which case I’d suggest the Revlon.

Calvin Klein Splendid Colour in Opus, £4 /// This is one of the more unusual reds I’ve come across. It’s a semi-opaque grey-brown with a red shimmer. On its own, it doesn’t look particularly special, but on top of a base coat of bright red it gives a really pretty, multi-dimensional effect. As far as I can tell, it’s pretty long-lasting, but I’ve never worn it without a base and top coat, so I can’t really be any authority on that. It’s so cheap, though, that it’s worth giving it a go to see if you like it.

L-R: Revlon, Chanel, Calvin Klein, Sephora, Nails Inc.

L-R: Revlon, Chanel, Calvin Klein, Sephora, Nails Inc. And a tiny hair. Ew.

Sephora Nail Lacquer in Resist to Temptation /// Either I’m blind or they don’t have their own nail polish brand on their own website. Guess they don’t want to make sales. What I can tell you, though, is that if you like Rouge Noir but don’t want to shell out on that price tag, this is a great alternative. It’s very, very slightly more brownish, and I actually bought it because in the bottle it looks likes a chocolate brown, but is definitely a deep red on the nail. It also sets quite hard like the Chanel, also resulting in large flakes coming away, but I got less wear out of it before it started chipping. It’s inexpensive so if you like it, buy it, but definitely don’t expect miracles.

Nails Inc. Alexa Hearts, £15 /// Finally, something completely different. I’d been lusting after this since last Christmas when I saw it in a limited edition Alexa Chung gift set, but didn’t want the full set, so just waited until I found it on eBay, where I snapped it up for £7. What I like about it is that the hearts are matte, rather than traditional shiny sequins, however, the product is very difficult to use. The picture supplied on the website is very misleading as it gives the impression that you’ll get a sweep of polish full of these tiny hearts, whereas in reality, the stupid tiny brush provided makes it very difficult to pick up even one. This could be massively improved by providing some kind of tool to pick out an apply individual hearts to the nail, or doing away with suspending them in liquid, and just selling them dry in a little pot. It’s also pretty expensive for what you get, so I would advise keeping an eye out at craft stores to see if you can find similar sequins without the expense. I’m definitely glad that I didn’t pay full price.

Have you tried any of these products? What did you think?

– Niko

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