So it struck me today that on the cusp of my *cough*(inaudible)*cough* birthday, I’m about 1,000 times lamer than my 70-year-old parents, who are at this very moment partying at Mardi Gras in New Orleans. That’s WAY advanced party studies right there – they may as well be in Ibiza! I’m chuckling at the imagery, but two of us are nibbling on powder-dusted beignets and roulez-ing le bon temps this evening and one of us is reheating last night’s broccoli mac and cheese and watching the final episode of Crazyhead, so who’s winning at life now? (Possibly me; Crazyhead is wicked awesome.)
At least I’ll always have you, nails, this time a simple, but glittery, mani in some very Mardi Gras shades, Whimsical Ideas by Pam’s There’s No Place Like Home, a green and gold glitter topper, over A England’s purple Crown of Thistles.
Because nine times out of 10 your intended fish scale design will wind up looking more like fishnets. But super cool purple fishnets over a holographic turquoise base, which sounds like just stupendous leg adornment, right?
For these nails that could either be mermaid scales or fishnets, or perhaps even a mermaid IN fishnets, I used two holographic A England polishes, turquoise Whispering Waves and plummy Crown of Thistles, painting the purple scales over the turquoise base on my index and pinkie fingers, before topping my two middle fingers with one coat of Whimsical Ideas by Pam’s Mermaid glitter topper.
Good grief, this polish is a knockout and a half! This is A England’s Rose Bower, a polish I have thus far neglected to give the full swatching experience for what I can only now conclude are totally bogus reasons, because it’s STUNNING. Like its purple holographic sister, Crown of Thistles, Rose Bower is a shimmer-infused one-coater that positively glows from within. You can really ramp up that lit-from-within effect, too, by adding one more coat of Rose Bower to deepen the colour and a final coat of Seche Vite to pull out the shimmer. But Rose Bower is equally lovely on its own, drying down nicely to a smooth eggshell finish in one easy coat. And not for nothing, but bearing the label “one-coater” is actually something pretty desirable in a red nail polish; they have a tendency to stain the skin around your cuticles and nails if you colour too far outside the lines, so the less monkeying around you have to do with a red polish, the fewer chances you’ll have to dye your mitts indelible pink!
And what of that red colour? Well, it’s fabulous, of course! Variations on tomato red still set the standard for red nail polish, but I actually prefer berry red hues like Rose Bower, which is rich and lush and vampy in all the very best ways. Gorgeous!
I thought I’d kick off the weekend with a porny post of an absolutely stunning polish from my very small untrieds pile, A England’s holographic Crown of Thistles. A England is one of those brands I tend to discount for no good reason whatsoever, because their polishes are always drop dead gorgeous, with flawless formulations and exquisite branding. Yet Crown of Thistles, a polish purchased in a ferocious post-holiday binge, has to date somehow remained undetected, caught up in a storm of glitterier, Springtime upstarts. So I thought I’d give this polish its due and finally let it do its beautiful thing.
And so how did it do? WOWZA. Crown of Thistles is a stunner, a beautiful, rich orchid holo stuffed with a coppery-rose shimmer that gives this polish gorgeous depth and visual interest. Holos always do their best work in direct lighting, but Crown of Thistles positively glows in the sunshine, throwing off tiny, copper-tinged rainbows. Like another favourite A England Polish, Rose Bower, Crown of Thistles is a true one-coater, and dries to a satiny, eggshell-type finish (although in the interest of full disclosure, I used two coats for these photos and one coat of Seche Vite, because I always do.) This polish will make a fantastic background for nail art, but with its one-coat formulation, vibrant, jewel-toned colour and stunning holographic effect, it’s the perfect polish for someone who just wants a perfect polish, no fuss, no muss. And while it’s not quite as pronounced as Cirque’s sweet floral scent, A England’s lacquers smell not altogether horrendous, a minor miracle in the world of nail polish. Lovely – a big recommendation on this under-the-radar beauty.