September 22, 2014

Fun With Nails Inc, London

I was at ULTA last Wednesday - dangerous territory, I know, but I dropped below my next weight loss marker so I deserved a reward!  They had a deal on Nails Inc, London polishes for a free mini set of their Kensington Caviar base+top coats if you bought any two items (that deal is continuing until 9/27/14!).  I already knew I was going to get Knightsbridge from the Special Effects collection* - basically a disco ball in a bottle - so I decided to pick out another color by the same company.  I was tempted by a bunch of them, but decided that I wanted a nice deep red creme for fall, so I went with Kensington High Street.
*Normally, I'd include a link to Knightsbridge, but this polish is proving impossible to find online.  Nails Inc makes a polish called Knightsbridge Road, which is from the Galaxy collection and is a gold-based color.  That's the only one I can find online.  I will definitely be swatching the Knightsbridge that I bought soon, and when that happens I'll edit in a link to that post!

I also recently saw a really awesome black lace nail art design on reddit, and found this tutorial for one like it on YouTube by elleandish.  The tutorial mentions Big Smoky Top Coat by Sally Hansen, and I was like well, I gotta get me some of that.  So I got that, too.

I was really torn on what I should paint for today.  Knightsbridge over some awesome bright colors because it's still sort of summer here?  Kensington High Street and Big Smoky and maybe some stamping because it's basically fall?  One on each hand?  I decided to compromise between summer and fall by wearing an obnoxiously neon shirt and painting a deep red on my nails.

And since I got the free samples, I decided to try them out.  They're apparently infused with caviar oil to prevent staining and chipping.  The base coat is really pink.  I don't know if it would show through on a lighter color, but it didn't show through the darkness of Kensington High Street.  The top coat is INSANELY smooth and shiny.  It definitely gives my nails that wet, glossy look that a lot of people crave.  The top coat also has a little bit of a pink tint to it, but it didn't tint the polish at all.

Nails Inc, London: Kensington High Street

This is a gorgeous, sort of brick-red polish - it photographed WAY brighter and redder than it is in person.  It almost looks like a bright cherry red here, but in person it's deep and dark, closer to a black cherry.

Application is pretty good.  It got a tiny bit streaky on the first coat, but those evened out completely on the second coat.  I always really struggle with reds, because they stain the CRAP out of my skin if the brush gets anywhere near it.  This one was no different, but I managed to mop up the skin stains before taking pictures.

It's a really great color for fall!  And aside from a few nudes and Zoya Remy & Ryan, my seasonally-appropriate colors for fall are severely lacking, so I'm really glad I got this one.

Sally Hansen: Big Smoky Top Coat plus Stamping

Sally Hansen has a number of fun top coats, all with "Big ___ Top Coat" names.  Matte, Shiny, Smoky, Glitter (which comes in a few different colors), Crackle, and Shimmer - I think that's all of them.  Anyway, Smoky is a really cool sheer black polish with a not-quite-holo shimmer effect.  I decided to try playing with stamping under and over Smoky, all on top of Kensington.

I would have been happier with the process if my stamping kit wasn't kind of blah.  It was only $4, and it's just really hard to work with.  Nevertheless, I really like the results that I got!  I used Nina Ultra Pro "Black" for the black on my left hand, and China Glaze "White on White" for the white on my right.

I like the stamps on top of Smoky better than the ones that went under it - especially when I stamped in black, the design gets really covered up and hard to see.  But I really, really like the look of stamping over Smoky over Kensington!  It just looks so fancy and elegant.  I think that without Big Smoky, I like stamping over Kensington better in black; with Big Smoky, I like using white better because it stands out more.  Which do you like best?  What's your favorite fall color or design?  Let me know in the comments!

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