Yes, this is going to be a bit of a mental post regarding far too much nail polish for anyone else's good.

The contenders:




[Marks & Spencer]

This is a culmination of insanity, but don't judge. Let's see how the colours actually pan out and listen to my whining about Ciate.

Yes, let's begin with Ciate. Love their nail polish. Love the names they give to their nail polish. Despise the company and their service. 

So what happened was that the night we landed, we took a quick trip over to Sainsbury's to stock up on groceries, and while there, I saw this:

[Marie Claire, UK - July 2013]

It's not like I had a choice. I had to pick it up! And I don't regret it at all! I didn't use the caviar bits on it because it didn't come with a funnel, but it's nice to have the option. The Enabler has a funnel which I will steal as and when the need arises.

[Ciate's Shooting Star & Cookies and Cream Minis]

[Ciate's Shooting Star]

As you can see, the colour is quite sheer. This was two coats of it, but it's a pretty colour nonetheless, especially if you're going to layer over it, either with caviar beads or a glittery shadow. It's quite neutral, which is why it works as a great base colour. As for the texture and consistency, I love! 

Then, there was this inside Marie Claire:

[Marie Claire, UK - July 2013]

Advertising won again!

So, we ordered stuff from their site and at first I was extremely impressed by their efficiency because the package was received less than 48 hours after ordering the stuff.

[Package from Ciate]

Let's examine the contents of the box:

[Ciate's Mattnificent (£11)]

[Ciate's Love Letter (£9)]

[Ciate's Fashionista Sister (£9)]

[Ciate's Antique Brooch (£9)]

So, what was wrong with it all? There was an item missing. We had ordered two bottles of Love Letter, but only one arrived and when we called customer service, they were nice enough and said they would send it out within 3-5 days.  

A week later, still nothing. So I called them again and they said they would get back to me, but they didn't. So I e-mailed them and then called them and finally two days later (a full week and a half after my first complaint), it arrived. Irritated, but prone to appeasement, I placed another order with them because I REALLY wanted their Dark Chocolate nail polish remover and decided to add their yellow nail polish to that order. 

A day after I placed that order, they e-mailed me to tell me that just as I had placed my order (and they had charged me), the Dark Chocolate nail polish remover went out of stock and they would be refunding the cost of it. So, the package came within 48 hours:

[Ciate's Big Yellow Taxi (£9)]

As much as I love their presentation and products, I'm extremely disappointed by all this nonsense. They're an internationally recognised brands and should really be more organised. I think I'm quite done with their company for a while. 

Now, on to happier things! OPI never fails to deliver satisfaction:

(Note that these were all stolen from the Enabler)

What's in the sparkly pink kit?

Yes, a portable manicure kit! How cute is this? If you do your nails regularly, you definitely need this!

[OPI's Call Me Gwen-Ever]

[OPI's My Chihuahua Bites]

[OPI's Birthday Babe]

[OPI's Purple With A Purpose]

My nails have 2 coats of each shade on them and the consistency of the polishes were perfect. They went on smoothly without any streaking (that wasn't of my own doing), and they were just very true to the colour in the bottle. I love them all! The silver was a tad bit sheer though, so it might be better used as a base for a glittery polish. 

So, I've been eyeing Illamasqua for years now, but their products aren't available in Asia...yet (I hope). So, I thought it might be time to get on board and see what the fuss was all about. Before my trip to London, I was browsing the Boots website and came across a set of Illamasqua's polishes. I think it is a testament to the fact that I have some semblance of a frontal lobe left that I managed to restrict myself to ordering just that one item:

Don't you love how big a box they sent me for this one item? I am an absolute fan of companies who do not pretend to save the environment! 100 points to them in my book.

[Illamasqua Nail Polish Duo (£15)]

Just look at those colours! Tell me they weren't worth it?!

[Illamasqua's Viridian]

[Illamasqua's Glitterati]

I seriously love these. I'm a bit sad I didn't get more. The consistency of the polishes and the ease with which they apply is wonderful. It's not even necessary to discuss how awesome the packaging is, but it has to be one of the nicest. Absolutely gorgeous...and symmetrical too. Viridian has to be what I would classify as being my favourite green while the Glitterati is extremely complementary to multiple skin tones. The different sizes and shades of glitter in there provide a very nice complement to the deep wine colour.

Now, the polishes for M&S were not polishes I was expecting to love, and I definitely did not have high hopes for the lipstick. Also, I'm not entirely sure these are all from a house brand of M&S (although Autograph is), but I bought them there, and they have no differing brand on them, so I shall refer to them as such. On a side note, you will notice absolutely no creativity whatsoever where the names are concerned, and this is quite a change from the norm.

If nothing else, I couldn't resist the prices on these. But the colours were so absolutely attractive that anyone who passed them up is a saint. If you are one of those people who hates economics and assumes that something cheap cannot be awesome, you are sorely mistaken! Look at these!

[M&S' Gold]

[M&S' Flame]

[M&S' Dark Coral]

[M&S' Mauve]

[M&S' Neon Pink]

[M&S' Pale Peach]

[Autograph's Peach]

[Autograph's Coral]

I'm not even remotely unhappy with any of fact, I'm quite enamoured with all of them. I thought the pale peach was a little dubious when I saw it, but it actually looks quite all right on. It would be a little creepy to walk around with beige nails (yes, this is for you people who like mannequin hands), but it would be a nice addition to a themed set of nails like a set of corals. Speaking of can you resist? Even the lipstick is so pretty! And it's really smooth and moisturising too. I'm over the moon about this set of stuff! 

All in all, I think that there's nothing to complain about where the items are concerned. I love them all and I wouldn't return them even if I could. They will keep me very happy when the world ends and I am left alone to paint my nails.

But broke my heart.