The Perfect Red

Vlad Bottle

For most beauty buffs, there is no more sought after item than a clear, lush, vibrant, sexy red lacquer. Red polishes are the holy grail of nail polishes, a mythical, temperamental animal that tends to exist solely in our well-manicured dreams. Variations in skin tone, product manufacturing and just plain old personal preference being what they are, it’s little wonder no one can agree on what makes the perfect red – everybody’s doing something a little different with this iconic hue. But there are a few markers of an excellent red lacquer, and this gorgeous, vampy crimson, KB Shimmer’s Such a Vlad-Ass, meets every single one.

Caught somewhere between a clear cherry red and a watery Merlot, Such a Vlad-Ass is a true chameleon, its blue-tinged base making it an especially flattering choice for pale skinned vamps such as myself (tangent: the first semi-professional writing assignment I ever tackled was a full page write-up of “fun facts!” about the original “vampire”, Vlad Tepes (Vlad the Impaler to his friends.) Vlad was a mercilessly cruel despot who ruled 15th Century Romania through terror and torture – as such, there are very few fun facts about the man (“Vlad’s favourite activities include things I can’t talk about in this family-oriented publication!”) It was an odd piece.)

Where Such a Vlad-Ass really shines, however, is in its formula, a smooth, glossy creme that’s just thin enough to flow evenly onto the nail, but also thick enough to actually stay on the nail and out of your cuticles. Cleaning up stainy reds is no one’s idea of a good time, and the less of that time you spend trying to acetone-away red-based boo-boos, the better. Such a Vlad-Ass is very nearly a one-coater, applying just as nicely as its collection and order-mate, navy blue Soul Deep, although I used two coats for these photos and one coat of Seche Vite, because I always do – a good topcoat will always enhance your manicure, and I love the depth Such a Vlad-Ass takes on under all that high gloss shine.

Vlad Fingers Sun

I’ve always loved KB’s gorgeous glitters and holos, but I’m really starting to come around to Team Creme. And if all of KB’s creme offerings are as lovely as Soul Deep and now Such a Vlad-Ass, that spells potentially bad things for my finances! If you like these polishes as much as I do, your wallet can take a ding, too, at both KB Shimmer and Harlow & Co.

Vlad Hand

Old Glory (31DC2015)

Camacho Hand

Coming at you hard and fast with the posts in these final two days of the 31 Day Nail Art Challenge as I play catch-up to a schedule that I managed to stick to not once! And these are my second red-white-and-blue nails in as many posts, although this manicure, which is my submission towards the theme of a flag, is probably the most common way you see that colour combo. I love the American flag – strong, bold colours, authoritative stripes, adorable little stars. It’s a good flag.

I was not looking forward to this 28th prompt. Unlike Dr. Sheldon Cooper (and sometimes Amy Farrah Fowler, or perhaps Wil Wheaton) I’m not down for Fun With Flags – they bore me silly. But I love how these nails turned out, and although I have many more lacquered miles to go before sleep, I really don’t want to take them off! Like the American flag itself, I wanted to keep the lines on these nails sharp and crisp, so I used some star-shaped nail vinyls I’ve been hoarding for just such an occasion, and laid out my red and white diagonal lines with striping tape. I also like the darker, more true-to-life colours I used here (baby blue and pink flags are fine, but I wanted to keep things more traditional and maybe slightly less treasonous?), including KB Shimmer’s navy blue Soul Deep and blood red Such a Vlad-Ass.