Sunday, 3 March 2013

Nail Polish: Battle of the brands...

Rather than a nail art or nail design post, this post is more of a behind the scenes editorial (and a bit of a long one, sorry.) Every beauty buyer and blogger has their own opinion when it comes to their favourite piece of make-up stash. My question I put to you all is; How do you identify a good nail polish brand?
For me, a good nail polish brand has to have a nice consistency – smooth, creamy, pigmented etc. Is opaque after applying one coat (two maximum) and also lasts the length of time, by this I mean does not turn gloppy or starts to thicken after a few months and also lasts on the nails after a time consuming manicure. I expect a manicure to last without chipping and peeling for at least five days. After all a nail polish should be for life (or until you have an empty bottle) not just for Christmas.
I have experimented with a few different brands of nail polish. I have by no means tried and tested them all, but I have drawn up a list of the ones I have put to the test and some that I shall firmly place on my wish list.
I would have to say hands down that this brand is my favourite brand of nail polish. I like their consistency, and I only ever have to apply one coat, which in my opinion is a bonus. It means less waiting around time for polish to dry and you get to do more of the fun stuff like nail art designs and making them look pretty. The smoothness and texture are a 10/10 for me too. I don’t however like their price tag. At £10.50 minimum for a bottle it is a little on the steep side, but the bottle design has a nice look to it, and I guess you are buying into the brand name. However you can forgo the RRP, as I have recently found out that the shopping channel QVC often do deals on Nails Inc. products, and you can pick up sets for a bargain! There are also eBay and amazon where you can pick up a bargain too, although I am sure you all knew that anyway!? I am finding it really hard to get my manicured paws on their matte black polish called 'Oxford Street'. Every time I try to make the purchase, they're sold out. GRRRRRRRR!
Okay, so I may get a little stick for this, as I know this brand of nail polish is favoured by many beauty bloggers across the globe. However I have bought a numerous amount of polishes from them, and I have found some (not every) polish to be rather watery. They are definitely not my go-to brand for polish. They are great for water marbling, so are great for that nail art effect. For an every day nail job, and intricate designs theses are a no-no, for me anyway. On a positive note I have to say I do like the application handle on the packaging, which is rather long in comparison to other brands out there, which allows you to maintain a good grip thus a steady hand when applying. I do have one confession regarding OPI nail polishes; my favourite thing about OPI are the names they give individual products. They never fail when it comes to giving them a catchy moniker, some often make me giggle, and I do love a good nail polish name. Sometimes this can be the deciding factor upon purchase. My favourite at the moment, has to be "Kiss me on the Tulips." It has a nice romantic ring to it. Another named favourite has to be "No more waity Kaity" a cobalt blue polish, which was named after Kate Middleton's marriage to Prince William. Not only am I fan of the Royal Family, and the Duke and Duchess. I really like the purply-blue colour, which for me is rather regal and an apt named polish.
Now I do like Barry M. They are easily available at Superdrug and some department stores here in the UK, and at £3 a pop, they are not too hard to resist. They do offer a vast range of colours, and are great for releasing on trend colours and mimicking and duping (in some cases rather closely) the likes of Chanel at a more affordable price. However some polishes can be a bit hit-and miss, some are lacking in smoothness and pigmentation which doesn’t always make application that easy even for the most experiences nail polish addicts. So over all, if you get a good polish and not one that is lacklustre and not a dud, you’re laughing!
Although the nail polish colours are rather limited, and those that are more adventurous are not really my style, these are okay polishes. Some colours you need to apply two coats, but the polishes that I have purchased seem to work well for me. One great thing about the 17 nail polishes are the application brushes. The seem to be flatter and have a curved tip which makes application near to the cuticle area so much easier than the standard brush. However whilst looking through my nail polish collection, I did notice not all polishes have this application brush. I have also noticed taking photo’s of nail art, that in normal light they appear opaque, but under the flash of the camera, they tend to be a little transparent, which has been a nightmare when writing new blog posts. Nowadays I make sure I definitely have two coats before taking pictures.  You can find these little pots of colours in most Boots stores
I don’t own too many of these polishes, just a handful. The ones I do have seem to okay, not brilliant by any means, but okay. They have quite a watery consistency and can be a little transparent, but if you don’t mind applying two-three coats, then they are nice polishes. I do like the shape of their bottles, they are easy to hold on application, although they only tend to stock the mainstream colours and have played it safe with a few naturals, reds, and pinks that make up the bulk of their collection.
The wish list:
Chanel – This is on there for obvious reason. The have been put on a pedestal by many; bloggers, fashionistas and celebrities to name a few. They tend to lead the nail polish battle which many nail companies try to dupe seasonal colours. They always have rave reviews, however they do tend to sell out very quickly, so you have to be fast, but if you don’t mind shelling out a high price-tag, I’m sure you wont be disappointed. I have never tried a Chanel polish, but hopefully I will do
Ciate - The packaging is super cute and girly, and from the website the colours look rich and creamy, and just has an ora about it that speaks out to me. A little birdie told me that they have recently changed the company that actually manufactures the nail polish. So those little people stuck in the lab of nail polish heaven are none other than the ones that create the polish for Chanel! So before I head to the Chanel counter at Harrods or Selfridges,. I shall be making my first pit-stop there
China Glaze - Now this brand is another sort after nail polish brand that I know is rather popular amongst bloggers. However I have not tried these so therefore can not really make an informed judgement. From what I have read on other blogs, YouTube videos and from their own website they seem to sell a variety of colours, that tend to be rather popular, so may have to add these to my wish list and make a purchase soon.
L.A. Girl - I recently discovered a hot pink matte shade that I really REALLY want.. However from the little bit of research I have done I can only seem to get it from across the pond in the US and they don’t ship internationallyL if any of you out there know how I can get my talons on a bottle, please let me know…
Essie - I have heard rave reviews on these polishes, and would like to give them a go. They seem to stock a good range of colours, and are not too steep in price either. Could be a close contender in my nail polish battle.
So, for me Nails Inc. win my battle, but they may not win the War. I wont know that answer until I have tried and tested every single brand. So my War may last years, but then again what War doesn’t?
Who wins your battle and why?
Until next time…