Thursday, January 9, 2014

a-england Briar Rose & Briarwood + Color4Nails review

I was recently introduced to the glory that is The Polished Perfectionist by my dear friend Rei. I was immediately enamored with every single photo on her blog (if you haven't seen it, forget my blog, go check hers out, NOW!) and physically needed some of the a-england polishes she raved about captured so beautifully.

Unfortunately for this yank, a-england does not ship internationally. But any international polish lover knows that where there's a will, there's a way, and this time, the way was Color4Nails! This was my first time ordering from the site, and since I had such a fantastic customer service experience, I had to share a brief review:

After throwing EVERYTHING on the site into my cart, then filtering significantly, I was ready to check out. I registered, selected the ever so convenient option to pay with Paypal, and bing bang boom, pretties were on my way...until disaster struck. Upon receiving my Paypal receipt, I realized that I had mistakenly left an old address from college as my default shipping address. In a panic, I immediately emailed customer service, explained the situation, and provided my correct shipping address. Then, I thought, it would just be a waiting game. My panic was not relieved.

To my surprise, I received a response within half and hour, assuring me that my polishes would be shipped to my current address. Mind you, this was the Thursday before Christmas, when retailers are bombarded with last minute shoppers and shipping nightmares. On top of this, my order shipped out that night, and arrived by the following Monday, again, amidst the shipping/shopping madness of the holidays. I am very satisfied with my purchasing experience from Color4Nails, and will most definitely be ordering again soon!

Now, on to the good stuff! It was truly a personal dilemma deciding which of these beauties to swatch first. I eventually decided on Briar Rose/Sleeping Beauty, a muted rose packed with holographic shimmer.

I've read other bloggers rave about a-england formulas, and I have to say I agree. This applied in two perfect, smooth coats, and I loved the level of control afforded by the brush shape. The polish was slightly sheer after one coat, but rich and opaque after two. I finished things off with a coat of HK Girl Topcoat.

The bathroom in my office randomly has excellent lighting for capturing holo polishes....I took advantage. 

My second selection was Briarwood, a deep brick red metallic with scattered golden holo shimmer. Formula for this one was also excellent, though a bit brushstroke-y, as is common with metallics. This was more apparent during application than once dry.

Unfortunately, I waited about a week between swatching Briar Rose and this, and some pretty bad chips and breaks happened in between, which is why my nails looks so nubby in these photos compared to the first ones. I blame the Polar Vortex. 

I love how complex this shade is. It's vampy, but not too dark, and the holo effect is really unique. 

Overall, I am a very satisfied customer with this purchase. Color4Nails was great, and I will continue to use the site as a resource for the international indie must-haves. And I'm obviously addicted to a-england polishes now, as I've ordered two more from a blog sale since making this purchase. The first step to recovery is admitting you have a problem, right?!

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