Over the festive period, I was lucky enough to be invited to quite a few Christmas parties – so I felt it only right to put slightly more effort into my look than my usual pyjamas accessorised with cookie crumbs down the front… so hello new mani!
For Christmas party number one, I went with Essie Dive Bar, an inky blackened teal – very cool, very rock n’ roll, but darkly sophisticated with it. It’s one of those intriguing polish colours that looks black from far away, but reveals glittering depths on closer inspection. It’s super easy to use; like most Essie polishes, it flows onto the nail beautifully and is pretty much opaque in one coat (although I always seem to do two out of habit). I did find it dried a little dull for my tastes though, so I added a slick of top coat to give it a glossier finish. Amazingly enough for a polish this dark, it doesn’t stain either so well done Essie.
Of course, being a fickle sort of lacquerhead, I was already bored of this by the time Christmas party number two rolled round – plus it was starting to chip. Time to bring in the big guns… and my big, I mean shimmering glimmering flakie fabulousness!
After fixing up the chips, I layered on a coat of Essie’s Shine Of The Times – instant nail revamp ahoy! I have been holding onto this twinkling treasure ever since it was first released as part of Essie’s 2011 Holiday Luxeffects Collection; like all the most covetable make-up, it’s now discontinued but if you ever see anything of its ilk, I suggest you snap it up quicker than you can say Seche Vite as it’s awesome.
If you’re wondering what the hell flakies are, the short answer is amazing; the slightly longer answer is opalescent flakes suspended in a polish, which produce a showstopping iridescent, almost rainbow-like effect as they hit the light in different ways. Layered over dark colours especially, I really do think flakies look like a magic spell spilt over your nails, something straight out of a Hogwarts chemistry lesson.
For those of you like me who cannot be arsed with nail art or marbling or the myriad of other complicated manicure techniques out there and want in on the pretty but for the minimum of effort, a top coat like this is the perfect way to get a dose of instant glamour on your nails… and it honestly couldn’t be easier. Paint it on like you would any other polish and you’re good to go; Shine Of The Times’ flakes are packed so densely that you don’t have to worry about placing them on the nail like some glitters, and it dries reassuringly flat rather than gritty or bumpy too.
I personally went for a slightly sparser approach to Shine Of The Times, but you can lay it on more thickly for an even more opaque look. Result? Mesmerising, spellbinding nails that you won’t be able to take your eyes off. Magical connotations also provide an excellent excuse to caterwaul Little Mix’s Black Magic at the top of my voice (“Take a sip of my secret potion/One drop should be enough”), which just makes this captivating combo all the cooler. HEY!
Looks good with: witchcraft and wizardry
Drying time: Dive Bar 7-10 minutes, Shine Of The Times 3-5 minutes
Coats: Dive Bar 1-2, Shine Of The Times 1
Chips: Dive Bar 3 days, Shine Of The Times varies depending on what’s under it!