Sunday, January 13, 2013

Alanna Renee Review - Black Cherry, Milky Way, Mardi, Pacific

Glitter for all!

To be honest, I'm not normally a fan of big chunky glitter polishes. I've seen a lot of other bloggers go weak at the knees for things like Lynderella, and there are a lot of indie makers apparently going by the rule that if the glitter will fit in the bottle, it's never too big. I just can't get behind that. As much as I love OTT fashion, the reality is that I will only wear a polish if it's not going to look, well, messy. I love the idea of indie polishes - supporting someone else in doing what makes them happy makes me pretty damn happy - but a lot of them just end up looking cluttered to my fussy eyes.

Happily, Alanna Renee has changed my mind about chunky glitters, and indie polish in general.

Full disclosure - I do know the founder of this brand through a nail community I'm part of, and she's lovely. I will admit that apart from Black Cherry, which I knew I would love, I bought the others to give them a go and support her, not because I thought I would love them. But I was quite, quite wrong.

Speaking of Black Cherry, let's start with that one.

Under office flourescents - it won't always bubble like this, I just got over excited
and decided insisting on putting it on in +40 degree heat was an awesome idea.
 Buying this was a total no brainer for me. Pretty much everything I own is black and red, and I was really interested to see how the red glitter would look in person. It turns out it's not really glitter as such - it settles into the dark jelly base like bright drops of blood in a dark night, and I fucking love it. I put a layer of black under it, and I think that really helped the red stand out so beautifully. having said that, it's surprisingly subtle and tactful, for a polish full of three different kinds of glitter. I wore it to work and it was halfway through the day before someone asked if I had red or black on my nails today, so if you're looking for something a bit different that doesn't scream LOOK AT MEEEE, this could be for you.

If you DO want something that screams LOOK AT MEEEEE, then Mardi is for you.

Both under lamp light - I wanted sunshine, but the weather won't play nice
with me this weekend.

Macro so you can see ALL THE GLITTER
I actually put a layer of red under this because I thought it might be a bit transparent, but it turns out that was a totally unnecessary step. This polish is just pure glitter, all the way through. It's like she literally liquified a drag queen's favourite dress and then put it in bottles. While not something I would wear every day, it's out and out fabulous, and will be proudly worn next time I need a bit more fabulous in my life. Unfortunately, this is out of stock currently, but Alanna Renee assure me there will be a restock in the coming weeks.

This next polish is currently out of stock too, which is kind of heartbreaking because I can think of at least three people I'd like to buy it for now I've seen how stunning it is in person. I bought Pacific largely as a challenge to myself to try something I didn't think was "me", and it ended up being my favourite out of the whole collection.

This one I did manage to get in the sun

The rock is from the Pacific Ocean!

The bottle shots made it look a bit...well, tacky and overly shiny, like tinsel. But on your nails it's just beautiful. The jelly base makes the glitter float like it's in the ocean, and the way it sparkles in the sunlight reminds me perfectly of the parts of the Pacific I actually like, ie. the parts where no-one else goes. I recently took a trip to Milton on the coast, and spent the most relaxing week I've had in a long time roaming around beaches like this;

While I hate beaches, especially beaches with other people on them, I ADORE the clear, beautiful blue water you get around this area of the coast, and the way the sunlight twinkles on it like a diamond. This polish makes me think of these amazing nooks every time I look at it, and for that I dub it my favourite of the collection so far. It surprised me so delightfully, and I love surprises.

Which brings me to the last, Milky Way, which I thought I would love, but have ended up feeling pretty ambivalent about(in the dictionary definition of the word). I tried it first over a dark base, as the sale page reccomends.

I have a sneaking suspicion I should have used a base colour that was less transparent, because I don't feel like it really made the Milky Way "pop" the way it could have. So I tried it over a light base, and was pleasantly surprised with the results.

It gives the pink a really subtle, secret princess sparkle, and I dig that. Unfortunately, I don't know when I would actually wear this look. I also found the glitter looked a lot more chunky in this polish than the others. As I said at the start, some people just LOVE that look, but I prefer the glitter to blend with the base to create an overall impression. Pacific and Black Cherry both do this really well - the glitter and the base work together, instead of the base just being there to make sure the glitter sticks. Mardi can't be compared because it's ALL GLITTER. but Milky Way looks a little too Lynderella for my taste - the glitter is lovely, and much more tasteful than a lot of indies I've seen. But it's just kind of...there. There's no overall look. I'm planning on using it to add some subtle glitter tips to a solid colour in the future, but I think that's probably all I'll end up using it for.

Matters of individual taste aside, I was really blown away by the quality of these polishes, from formula to packaging. I've long been wary of glitter polishes because I've heard you often have to "fish" around with the brush to really get a decent  amount of glitter out, and that sounded like a disaster waiting to happen in my hands. I had to fish a tiny bit with Milky Way, but the others were no problem at all. Just dunk, slather, and BAM bitches. You will however want to put a nice thick topcoat over these, especially Mardi. The sheer volume of glitter means they can dry a little textured otherwise.
The labels are incredibly professional, even compared to other mainstream brands, and I love that an indie label has taken the time to consider the visual impact of the packaging as well as the product. This is a tactic that has served Cirque extremely well so far, and given that her polishes are at least as good, and the packaging just as lovely, I believe Alanna Renee can reach the same heights of success.

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