Sunday, 4 August 2013

Color Club nail varnish from Birchbox review

As last month was the  month that I discovered Birchbox, I thought I would take advantage of the free postage and treat myself to a new nail varnish from their store. As I mentioned in a previous post, the one I chose was their Color Club Blue-Insta-This. I was absolutely thrilled when it came as quite often when buying online, the colour that you see on the screen can be quite far removed from what you actually receive. Well, not with this one - an absolutely vibrant blue. To say I was thrilled was an understatement. Here it is (flash on as there were thunder clouds outside the day I photographed this) 

So - the default "holding bottle with nails on show" photo. One thing is though, I took my time with this one. I wanted to show it in the best possible light and to give it that gorgeous shine so it was a bit more than one layer of colour for photo op and off we go. 

I always use Sally Hansen's Double Duty (here). Not only does it give a great base for the nail varnish to go onto, it protects the nails from staining, and gives a gorgeous glossy topcoat too. I have recently been tempted by OPI's base and top coats, but at £12.99 for the two, opposed to the £3.99 I have been able to pick it up from from my local drugstore for quite some time, I am happy with it. Given that, if I am going to start paying more for my nail varnishes and branch out from Rimmel and Avon, I might well give them a go. 

That will be for another post though, as for this one, Sally Hansen it was.

Just a simple little clear bottle that does it all for me (currently). The consistency is quite thin and it does come on a fanned brush so one stroke and I am sorted.

To get the look, I did one base coat with Sally Hansen, two thin coats of Color Club and a top coat of Sally Hansen. It gave a super glossy finish.

The Color Club varnish is very highly pigmented, but you definitely need two coats to get the full opaqueness that you would want from such a bright colour.

One thing I did notice is that the Color Club varnish came with a standard brush. I am old enough to remember when ALL nail varnishes came this way and the old mantra of "three swift strokes" came back to me. As a teen, it was always our mantra! One stroke up the middle, and then one either side. I have to admit to being a little disappointed, but in all fairness, it was not marketed as having a fan brush. It is exceptionally thin in consistency, but with a small brush that is exactly what you want. It does take a while to dry (again, I think we have all been spoiled with quick dry varnishes recently).

It might sound like I am complaining but actually - far from it. It was quite lovely spending time with just me and my nails in a retro kind of way. It is important to get the coats thin otherwise you are going to be there forever. 

So, one base coat, two thin coats of colour and a top coat later I had superb coverage and a really high gloss, hard finish to my nails. I cannot complain in the least as I was absolutely thrilled with the finish. The colour is absolutely stunning and eye catching.  The girl at the checkout where I shop commented on it as she had been looking for a non metallic blue for ages. I have sent her this way as she is a friend of my sons. 

And the finished product (again with the flash on). You will have to excuse the "fat hands" but I had dreadful water retention on the day I photographed this. 

Now, I am left handed and so far not one chip or even a scratch on the surface. Today is Sunday, and I did them on Wednesday. This might not sound much but as I have mentioned, I am in a wheelchair and they are not the kindest thing to nails. I had got in the habit of buying cheap varnishes with fan brushes as I was doing my nails daily. I think I might be on to a winner with this one for sure. 

Given that Birchbox has opened my eyes to products that aren't available where I live (no, we can't get OPI, Essie or anything like that over here), I am just about to order this. OPI's San Tan-Tantonio. It is absolutely gorgeous and I think it is a colour that will take me through to Autumn/Fall. I am not overtly concerned about having the latest colours, I just go for ones that I like, and this is going to be my inaugural OPI purchase. 

I would have to give the Color Club Blue-Insta-This a 9/10. The only reason I am dropping one mark is that I would love to see how it performs with a fanned brush (and that is only laziness on my behalf). Other than that, everything else is superb. Colour, coverage and staying power have exceeded my expectations. 


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