Friday, 31 August 2012

a-england Gothic Beauties Collection

I have been itching to post about the Gothic Beauties collection for months and they are finally here! 

Gothic Beauties

I spent a few days in London this week and squeezed in a visit to Adina and company before heading back home. My timing couldn't have been better!

When I first heard of the concept I was immediately sold: a small collection of five black nail varnishes with an elegant and mysterious twist. For those who have been following me here and on Twitter, it'll come as no surprise that I loved these even before setting eyes on them! These nail varnishes are so me that I just had to get them all.
Indoors - natural light
Outdoors - daylight
Adina is very passionate about her brand and everything that she does, and created each shade with a lot of care and thought. Talking to her is a real delight and her love for her polishes is contagious.

As with all a-england nail varnishes, each shade has a story behind it. These gems are based on characters from literature who either have a darkness within or end their lives in tragic circumstances. This darkness is represented in the base of all of these colours: Camelot, a-england's signature black creme.

The formula on these is excellent as usual: it goes on smoothly and requires minimal clean up if you have a fairly steady hand, which is a bonus considering black polish can be tricky to get off from your cuticles.

They are so richly pigmented that one coat would have probably been enough; two ensure perfect coverage and leave no staining upon removal. One thing I love about a-england polishes is that you have the flexibility to just apply one coat if you're doing your nails in a hurry! They are also great for stamping, as I have recently discovered.

I applied a coat of The Knight base coat, two coats of each polish and one coat of The Shield top coat for the photos below. A skittles mani seemed apt so you can see the differences between each colour:

Jane Eyre (little finger) is packed with red and coppery micro particles which resemble embers. It's very effective, yet subtle, and a perfect fit for the character it is named after. 

Ophelia (ring finger) is my personal favourite. The darkest of all, it is brimming with purple and some fuchsia particles. The purple is piercing, much like Avalon - I think the two together would make a lovely mani!

Avalon (top) - Ophelia (bottom)

Lady of Shalott (middle finger) is full of blue particles, with a hint of purple/pink to add depth.

Tess d'Urbervilles (index finger) is probably the most noticeable of all, with its emerald green particles. I think I saw some teal in there too, but don't quote me on that.

Dorian Gray (thumb) started as a black but became pewter in the process. It has shimmering gold particles that add intensity to this shade and it's very classy and wearable. When compared to King Arthur, Dorian Gray is more sepia, like an aged version of a-england's other dark silver/pewter shade.

King Arthur (top) - Dorian Gray (bottom)
King Arthur (back) - Dorian Gray (front)
Despite being black, you can still notice the difference between one polish and the other indoors, but they really come alive in the sunlight. Besides Dorian Gray, which is the most unique of the five, Tess d'Urberville and Lady of Shallot look lighter than the other two (Ophelia and Jane Eyre).

If you are desperate to get your hands on the Gothic Beauties collection and can't wait for the a-england website to sell them, you can order them from tomorrow, Saturday 1st September, by emailing your choice to Did that make your weekend or what?!

I understand from Adina that two new shades will be available before the end of the year, so stay tuned. 

By the way, in case you are not familiar with each character, a perfectly executed description of them, as well as a full review, is available at Eugenia's highly recommended blog: ommorphia beauty bar.

Last but not least, I am sure you all want to see handsome Tristam, looking very grown up indeed, so here's a little photo for your viewing pleasure:

Tristam, Adina's gorgeous cat


  1. ooooooh I might have to fiddle the figures and blow the budget this month and try and order them :)

    1. I don't normally but entire collections in one go but these are right down my alley. Now I just have to decide which one to wear tomorrow as I still have the skittles mani on :-) Any suggestions?

    2. Lady of Shallot is probably the number one in there, the rest are equal seconds I guess.

    3. Interesting choice! I have just finished doing the rest of my nails in Jane Eyre ;-)

  2. Beautiful swatches as always!

  3. These are stunning! I can't wait to get my hands on them!

    1. They're gorgeous, aren't they? Which one will you be getting first?

  4. Que bueno que posteaste... hacía mucho que no te cruzaba en tw ni tenia noticias tuyas por el blog... :)
    Una pregunta... Hay que ponerles base negra abajo? son tipo top coats? o ya vienen con la base negra incorporada? Porque como lei que estaban pensados en relacion a Camelot, no me di cuenta si estaba incluido en el color o habia que usarlo de base...

    1. No necesitan base negra, son así. Lo que sí, el otro día me puse una mano sola de Ophelia y se luce mucho más con dos, el efecto se pierde un poco con una sola. Un dato para tener en cuenta! ;-)

  5. I'm amazed. The name of the collection is perfect. The polishes are terrific, I've just loved all them!
    Moreover, the cat. Yessssss. Perfect, beautiful, full of grace.
    Rock Ur Nails!

    1. Glad you like them! I know they are very similar to the untrained eye, but if you like dark polishes like I do then you can really tell the difference :-)

  6. Compared to the other A-England polishes, I'm disappointed with these... they all seem simply black. It's hard to tell the difference. Even though they look pretty in the bottle they just look black on the nail - so what's the point?

  7. Can't see any of the color in your swatches, plus the nails are tilted -poor pictures.

  8. pretty!

    p.s. I'm having a giveaway from Sunglasses Shop if you'd like to check it out! xx

  9. I just love colours that aren't what they seem and have that secret little something to make them special, Gorgeous colours.

    Jazz x

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