When these arrived in the post the other day I gave a little squeal; these nine stunning jewel toned polishes from Max Factor tumbled out of the package and straight into my heart. Yep, I'm going for THAT level of cheese here because dammit, this collection is pretty great. Inspired by certain decades to "create a modern glamour collection", the idea is that you get both intense colours but with a high shine- hence the gel shine lacquer part.
What makes these different from your other gel-type polishes on the market? Well, the brand claim that with most other polishes you can't always get great colour, longevity and high shine but the gel shine nail lacquers utilise a "smart new technology" to do just that. So here's the science bit:
*puts on glasses and gets out beakers and graphs and whatnot*
- That high pigment is as a result of Bentonite Clay Gel. I can vouch for the pigmentation in these guys, very impressive- some of them only need one coat to be opaque.
- High shine is due to a thicker formula; this stops the polish from moulding into the natural ridges of the nails so you're left with a smoother and therefore, shinier finish. It also "self-levels", which is a new one on me but means that you're left without streaks, brush marks or lines.
- Lastly, longevity wise, the addition of a "two-fold patented plasticizer" (try saying that really fast after a few drinks) adds flexibility to the polish, resulting in a strong and resistant film to minimise impact on the nail. So when you'd normally bash your nails off of your keys and they'd chip, that's less likely to happen with this formula. Rejoice!
So that's all the technical stuff and while it's not as much fun as looking at all the pretty colours, I think it's useful in understanding why these are that bit more special. I really am liking the formula; I have shellac on at the moment so can't put any on my nails but I'm wearing one of them on my toes and everything from application to finish was really spot on. My only bugbear is that it didn't dry as fast as I would like but I also didn't use my Seche Vite topcoat, which normally dries a polish quicker on the nail for me than it would on it's own, so perhaps it's just that. I wanted to try these without a top coat to see how it would fare chipping wise. As I'm only two days in it's far too early to tell but I will pop back after a week with an update. The finish is perfect; rich, glossy colour with a few of them needing only one coat and to be honest, if you were in a rush, you'd probably get away with only one coat for most of them, which is impressive. I used two coats for all of the swatches below as I always do, purely out of habit!
First up is the 1950's Red, Patent Poppy. This is a bright, orange toned, classic red to match to your lipstick as you would've done back in Marilyn's day. While the brand say that everyone should have a red like this in their collection, I prefer a slightly darker red to have as my "classic red" but that's just personal preference. If you like your red a bit brighter then you'll love this one.
Next is 70's blues, these reference the growing punk movement of the time. Glazed Cobalt is a soft blue, a less warm shade but is a good bit darker than the pastels we've been seeing all Summer. Lacquered violet is a warm blue with a good old whack of purple in there. I love these darker shades of blue for Autumn/Winter and apparently both this and Glazed Cobalt were inspired by the looks seen on the recent 2014 catwalks.
80's Brights are in keeping with the vibrant colours of the decade and music from the New Romantics and Boy George. I'll just interrupt myself here to say how much I love that these polishes have a proper back story. I love anything 80's anyway so these spoke to me straight away. There's three shades in this group; a super bright pink- Twinkling Pink, a muted green- Gleaming Teal and again a very bright orange in Vivid Vermillon. These are kept up to date by their high shine finish and in the case of Vivid Vermillion; although neon orange was big in the 80's, it's been toned down here with a coral undertone to make it more wearable for today. Clever.
My favourite of all of them however is 90's shades of Burgundy. If you think of the nineties, you'll probably think of grunge or the rise of the supermodel. Well these provide both- grunge using deep, wine hues mixed with the glamour of the high shine finish. I'm currently wearing Radiant Ruby on my toes and I plan on wearing all three of these non stop throughout A/W as they are all perfect for the colder months ahead. Radiant Ruby is my perfect red I was talking about earlier- a more sophisticated blue toned red that works really well on those of us with deathly pale skin. Sheen Merlot a rich burgundy with a shot of gold running through it and lastly, Sparkling berry is a dark raspberry red.
Each polish costs €10.39 and are available from all the usual pharmacies, Boots etc. I'd say it'd be worth waiting for a Boots 3 of 2 for these actually cause I can guarantee you that when you see them you'll want a few of them!
Are you swooning over this collection as much as I am? Which decade would you go for? (you're allowed pick more than one!)
*Press sample, gratefully received. All opinions my own as always.