Tag Archives: Issa dress

China Glaze First Mate nail polish review

As some of you may know, I’m just a little excited about the Royal Wedding (she says, drinking out of a commemorative Royal Wedding mug, dining on commemorative Royal Wedding crockery and contemplating her giant commemorative Royal Wedding poster). I’ve also become obsessed with Kate Middleton – or to be more exact her amazing hair, which survives everything that horrible British weather and scores of unflattering paparazzi shots throw at it and still comes out looking beauty pageant perfect every time. So it was with Princess Kate in mind that I selected my next nail polish – China Glaze’s First Mate.

If you’re thinking that blue doesn’t seem a likely choice for the future Queen of England’s manicure (pretty neutrals all the way, right?), you’d be correct. I was in fact thinking of this iconic Kate moment in choosing it:

The royal blue Issa dress that Kate wore for the engagement announcement was just stunning. Flattering, sophisticated, just that little bit sexy and in an eye-popping shade that *stroke of genius moment* matches the iconic sapphire engagement ring. Apart from lusting after the dress (get me a cheapo high street copy, stat!), it’s had me lusting after that particular shade of cobalt for weeks on end. Enter First Mate, which has been photographed on many people’s blogs looking like this, i.e. a gorgeous hue of that striking blue:

(Note the long-suffering boyfriend’s look of disgust in the background, as I whip out a camera to take pictures of my nails yet again whilst probably droning on about Kate Middleton’s hair yet again.)

However, as I swiftly learned, First Mate only turns this colour in strong bright beating sunlight. Damn you bloggers with your indiscriminate use of flash! Under normal conditions, it actually looks like this:

That’s an inky, very dark, even a little dull, take on navy blue. Under most lightings, it’s actually almost black and is definitely a whole lot darker than the, dare I say it, Issa dress colour of the bottle. It’s got a nautical feel – well, it is from the Anchors Away Collection! – and also a certain Parisian chic to it. Navy in general is an underrated colour that’s extremely versatile and looks smart all year round, even if it isn’t a natural fit for spring. However, as has been well-documented, I’m just not a fan of dark colours on my nails, however great the polish.

This, incidentally, is First Mate’s middle ground, found in normal daylight. A nice enough navy but not exactly set to striking:

Application-wise, this was another China Glaze stellar performer. Nice smooth consistency, opaque in just one coat (though you might want to go two for added glossiness) and a steadfast defiance towards chipping.

I suppose First Mate will just about complement the royal blue found in the Union Jacks I’ll be frantically waving come April 29 and after all that, it looks like Kate’s dress, without the benefit of a million flash bulbs popping at it, also turns a similar inky navy too (see below)! So whilst First Mate is still flattering, sophisticated and just that little bit sexy, it’s just not the colour I was looking for. Even if that was the wrong colour in the first place… oh, never mind. God Save The Queen!

Looks good with: red, Breton stripes, the nautical look
Drying time: 5 mins
Coats required: 1-2
Chips: 7 days

China Glaze First Mate nail polish, Spring 2011 Anchors Away Collection, $60, Cher2