Sunday, 22 April 2012

Nails Inc : Victoria & Albert

My new lighting is here! I was so excited to try it out that I didn't stop to paint my nails first, I just took pictures of whatever I was wearing at the time: Nails Inc, in Victoria & Albert. Please excuse the sheet marks, I didn't think I'd be photographing this manicure when I painted my nails, but the pictures turned out so nicely I just wanted to put them up anyway.

Victoria & Albert is a classic warm red jelly. It's a little sheer (jellies generally are, so this isn't a big deal) but it's opaque in two to three coats depending on how picky you are about visible nail line. (In these pictures, you see three coats over Nail Envy and a layer of Orly Sec 'N' Dry topcoat. Once dry, (and drying time is average on this polish - not unbearably slow, but slow enough I still got sheet marks after an hour of not touching anything), you're left with the kind of bright red that you'd expect to see on a 50s Hollywood movie star, most likely teamed with matching red lips and a slick of perfect black eyeliner. It's very glamorous!

I haven't been that impressed with the formula of the other Nails Inc polishes I've tried in the past, since they cost about £11 a bottle depending on where you buy them from, yet don't seem to wear very well on me. This one is actually the best I've tried so far: I still had significant tipwear within a few hours, but not as bad as the other ones I've tried. Interestingly, although tipwear appeared quickly, it stabilised and didn't seem to get much worse on the second day than they had been on the first. Oh, and it's been two days now and there are no chips anywhere.

Application was a little bit of a pain. Since it's a jelly, it's a bit runny. This would be less of a problem if it was teamed with a nice wide brush, but Nails Inc polishes come with a skinny one that tends to hold an excessive amount of polish compared to the small area of nail it covers. It's not very easy to get a nice even cuticle line without flooding your cuticle completely - and since cuticle cleanup with this kind of red usually stains your cuticles pink, I'd rather it just applied nicely in the first place, thanks.

Things I like about this polish:
It's a gorgeous colour with bags of Marilyn Monroe type Hollywood Glamour appeal. My husband actually proclaimed it a 'nice colour' without being asked for his opinion - considering he couldn't care less about nail polish 99% of the time, this is actually high praise indeed.
It matches my hair colour pretty closely (which is why I was wearing it in the first place).
If you're prepared to spend time on the application, and faff around cleaning up afterwards, it can look pretty great.

Things I don't like about this polish:
Tipwear : too much, too soon.
Application: too runny, and the brush is too narrow. It reminds me of a cheapy drugstore polish brush from when I was about 14 and they hadn't invented decent brushes yet.
Price: if I'm going to spend £11 on a polish, I want a better formula than this. I can spend £2 on Collection 2000 and get something that goes on easier and lasts longer.
Would I wear it again?
Yes, but only until I find something else that's the same colour but lasts longer and isn't such a pain to apply.


  1. Pretty! I really do need to get myself a red jelly one of these days.
    You've been tagged in my blog ;)