Value for money
Revlon €9.15 for 14.7ml, 62 cent per ml
Well now! How could we be expected to resist the temptation of scented nail enamel. Scented! Amazing. This is not just any old polish, thank you very much, although the Watermelon Fizz does beg some questions. Why would you want your nails to smell like cheap lip gloss? Or of anything? Is this not just one step away from sniffing glue? The scent is not our idea of heaven, but the sparkle did inject some fizz and left a nice shine after two coats, despite its watery application and rather long drying time. It was still sticky after 20 minutes and that’s just annoying. As was the scent. Bah!
Verdict: Pretty, but irritating
17 €4.36 for 8ml, 55 cent per ml
Knockout Red vows one coat, 60 seconds and you’re off. Indeed you might be, but your nails will look gloopy and sloppy. We were disappointed with the loose bristle that we found as soon as we opened the bottle, and it was messy and sticky to apply. The single coat gave an uneven finish and lacked the high shine colour it promised – instead leaving a matt, dull effect. It would just about do in a desperate last-minute dash for dinner nails. Yes, there is such a thing as dinner nails.
This bottle contains so much information we’re surprised it’s not the size of a water bottle. Given its attention to detail we also half expected it to hold our hand as it merrily painted our nails by itself. Hot Gossip’s lycra pro nail polish with professional finish promises many things including colour memory, anti-fade colour system, chip resistance and long-lasting wear – up to 10 days actually. It also has a maxi brush which delivers a smooth, even application. While it carries lots of hype that we don’t really care about, this is a very good nail polish that only needs one layer, is fast drying and looks shiny and rich. A top coat would seal the deal on this one.
Verdict: It’s the London look, innit
L’Oreal €7.67 for 5ml, €1.53 per ml
Rouge Cancan boasts some class of precision paddle brush and we are told that application requires only one stroke, as opposed to the usual three. The result is smooth but the paddle brush is very wide – too wide for narrow nails and pinky fingers – unless you intend to paint half your finger also. Or you are, perhaps, a giant. The built-in top coat promises a lasting glossy shine and while it delivers on that promise even after one coat, we feel the teeny tiny bottle is not the best value. It also lacked the thickness of the other pricier polish.
Verdict: Is it worth it? Meh.
Nails Inc €16.50 for 10ml €1.65 per ml
Victoria Albert really is fit for royalty and something Princess Kate could happily wear to show off the family jewels. This lovely rich polish goes on very smoothly and although it recommends two coats, we’re not necessarily convinced it needs them. Nails Inc advises the three-stroke technique; centre of nail, left and right. This gives even coverage and even with two coats it is surprisingly fast drying, although it doesn’t brag about it. It’s a long-lasting chip-resistant polish with a creamy texture and wet look that looks like you’ve had a professional manicure. At three times the price of the cheapest offering, it had better be good, but there’s value to be had when buying these in gift sets and on offer.
Verdict: You get what you pay for
Star rating: ****