Nail Varnish Review – A-England Galahad and Shield Topcoat

Nail Varnish Review

A-England – Galahad

A-England – Shield Topcoat

I had a bad day last week and in order to cheer myself up I decided to treat myself to a couple of A-England nail varnishes online from the official website; And they arrived super quick, which made me happy. I think I placed the order on the Friday and it was a bank holiday weekend and they arrived on the Wednesday, I think. Or possibly even the Tuesday. Anyway, it was quick.

A-England Shield and Galahad

Now, I’m not really what you would describe as a “girly girl”. I don’t really wear much make-up except on special occasions, and on a Saturday afternoon you’ll find me at the football match with my dad instead of shopping with my mum and sister. That being said, recently, I’ve really gotten into nail varnish in a big way and am starting to build up quite a sizeable collection and have become quite serious about painting my nails. But it’s still quite a new thing for me, and some of the stuff which is new to me which I may write about, has probably been around for ages. But if I like it, I’ll probably write about it.

I kind of came across the A-England collection by accident. I can’t remember if I was searching for nail varnishes which are shipped from England, or whether I was looking for movie inspired collections or any other type od themed collection. Anyway, I came across the A-England website and found two collections based on English myths and legends. My bank account knew there and then that it would only be a matter of time before I ordered some of the varnishes. I adore history (I have a degree in it) and the combining of Arthurian legend with nail varnish is, in my view, just sheer genius. It also helps that the BBC’s Merlin TV programme is amazing as well.

I ordered four varnishes from their Mythicals collection, one from their Legends collection and I also got the topcoat. The varnishes are a little expensive, they’re £9 each, but shipping is free from the website. The do currently have an offer on the website at the moment which they are calling Jubilee Delights where they are offering certain varnishes together at a discounted price in honour of the Queen’s jubilee. These aren’t new colours but are just colours which are already available in the Mythicals or Legends collection but which represent England the best. This offer ends on the 10th June 2012, when the anniversary of the Queen’s jubilee will be over. And guess what? None of the varnishes that I bought are included in the collections, so it is very tempting to buy them, even though I’ve bought loads of nail varnish recently, including Essie’s entire Poppy Razzi collection which I can’t wait to arrive.

So although A-England has been around for a while, it’s a new nail varnish brand for me. I’ve only tried one of the colours so far and the top coat and I am already completely in love. Which is why the offer for the Queen’s jubilee is so very tempting. I now know why I have read so many good reviews about this brand, they are simply amazing. The colour which I have tried is from the Mythicals collection and is called Galahad. The varnish is named after Sir Galahad of Arthurian legend, the illegitimate son of Sir Lancelot and who is renowned for his purity and gallantry. The colour itself is a bright bluey green colour. When I say bright, I don’t mean that it’s neon, because it’s not, it’s more of a dark bright, or a dull bright, if you know what I mean by saying that (I know it’s a complete contradiction but I know what I mean and I hope you do too!) It’s a mid blue colour, boarding more towards dark then light and definitely has green undertones and could maybe be described as a light teal, but it is more blue than green. It is a cream finish, looking at swatches online many A-England varnishes do seem to have some shimmer but this one doesn’t. And it doesn’t need it, it’s a perfectly lovely colour by itself. I was a little worried when I got it that it would be very similar to Barry M’s Cyan Blue which I have, but that varnish is slightly lighter and a lot brighter than Galahad.

I really liked the brush and the formula was very easy to apply and went on smoothly and it dried really quickly. It was pretty much opaque with one coat, but I did add a second coat. The packaging is also really cute and it really fits the myths and legends theme which the brand has. You also get 13ml for your £9, which is rather good. I know that with China Glaze, Essie and OPI you usually get 15ml, but here in England 13ml is a good amount, Barry M is only 10ml, Topshop 8ml, Collection 2000 lasting colour is 12ml and nails inc is 10ml. And here in England it’s cheaper to buy A-England products online with the free shipping than it is to get either China Glaze or OPI so it’s good value for money. I did start to get minimal chipping on my index fingers after three days or so, but as I type a lot for my job my nails usually take a really bashing and the chipping wasn’t overly bad and I just kind of filled it in and you couldn’t tell.

And then I used A-England’s topcoat, which is called Shield. And that really is amazing, but I don’t really have much to compare it to as the only topcoat I’ve ever used is Collection 2000’s Nail Care 2 in 1 Top Coat and Gloss Enhancer, which I usually need to apply every other day or so to complete my nails looking good and feeling good to the touch. A-England’s topcoat is so much better, it’s applies so easily and it looks so good. It is now definitely going to be my standard topcoat instead of the Collection 2000 one.

It was when I created a feature nail with Topshop’s glitter polish Adrenalin that the Shield really proved how good it was, it covered up the rough glittery texture almost immediately and still looked so shiny!

So overall, I’m really very impressed with the A-England brand and I’m looking forward to trying out more of their colours sometime soon.

Photos are taken with a flash and on my nails I have a basecoat, two coats of Galahad and then a topcoat. The base coat I used was Collection 2000′s Nail Care 2 in 1 Base Coast and Ridge Filler with Keratin and the top coat is A-England’s Shield. On my feature nail I added two thin coats of Topshop’s Adrenalin over two coats of Galahad and then the topcoat.


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