Sunday, February 12, 2012

My first a-englands: swatches and comparisons

Yesterday was rough for me! I ended up needing to work from home for about 11 hours, which is totes not my favourite way to spend Saturday.

The one bright spot was that my a-england order from llarowe arrived yesterday!!!

These are my first a-englands. I tried desperately to avoid jumping on the bandwagon, but I still caught the bug *sigh*. You can read my general thoughts at the end.

No topcoat in these pics, but I used Barielle HRF as my base coat.

a-england Guinevere - 2 coats, a medium dusty purple.

Comparison: a-england Guinevere and Essie Bangle Jangle - both 2 coats

Comparison: a-england Guinevere and Zoya Caitlin - both 2 coats

a-england Galahad - 1 coat, very nice formula! Reminds me of SH CSM Fairy Teal, but without stainage.

Comparison: a-england Galahad and Illamasqua Muse - I prefer the colour of Muse, but both are beautiful 1-coaters

a-england Perceval - homg! 2 coats, though it was opaque at 1 (it seemed richer with two coats). I'm guessing this is pretty similar to that Kleancolor metallic red and/or BL Knees Up, but I don't have any of those. So I am happy to have a metallic red like this! Definitely a keeper for me! Reminds me of Zoya Posh with topcoat, but finer shimmer.

a-england Elaine - dark, warmish purple. 1 coater as well!

Comparison: a-england Elaine and Zoya Pinta - Zoya is 2 coats here.

a-england Dragon - 1 coat. A warmish green with holo sparkle and a pretty, golden sheen to it. I'm a little lukewarm on this polish with my skintone. This brush was a little wonky for me, so I had to give it a bit of a haircut.

a-england Saint George - omgahhh. This one is to die for. 1 coat. It's really deep, jewel-toned teal. TOTALLY UP MY ALLEY.

Comparison: a-england Saint George and Speciallita Hits Hera over CND Urban Oasis (1 coat of each) - it looks closer in normal lighting, but the Hits is definitely more holo. The colour is less deep and dreamy XD.

a-england Lady of the Lake - 2 coats. Very pretty dark, grape purple with holo sparkle. This definitely needs two coats for me, a little sheerer, and so I think the holo shows up better

(I already purged Hits Dionisio, otherwise I would have done a comparison!)

Comparison: a-england Lady of the Lake and a-england Tristam - since I tend to get these two confused with one another

a-england Tristam - 2 coats. Dark blue with holo sparkle. Similar in formula to LotL. I like this too; it reminds me of one of the OPI Suede polishes (Ink Suede, I think)

My crazy-eyes, polish-addicted opinion:
  • Very lovely formula across all bottles. Of course, other brands also have polishes with great formulas (e.g., Illamasqua Muse), but it's still worth noting how consistently good these are.
  • I love the bottles (square/rectangular is my favourite!) and brushes (except Dragon)
  • Interesting theme, although I personally don't care much about it as long as the polish is amazing ;)
My reasonable-person opinion:
  • These don't seem to have balls! It worries me, because Galahad had streaky pigmentation when I first used it. I shook it up as much as I could, but it would have been easier if these guys were not ball-less.
  • The polishes don't add much variety to my stash, colourwise. Most of these don't give me that intense burning feeling I get when I absolutely LOVE a polish.
  • Other than the formula, the cremes are not that special.
  • If you are expecting holo-rainbows with LotL, Tristam, Dragon, or St. George, I think you will be disappointed.
Overall, I think these fall in my "nice to have", not "need to have" category. My favourites were Perceval and Saint George.

I bought mine at llarowe ($12 each), but you can also get them direct from Adina, the creator of a-england for 9GBP with free international shipping.

Have you taken the plunge and tried this brand? Am I totally missing out on one of their best shades? Tell me so I can buy more (bahahaha).


  1. my galahad was grey when I recieved it, no amount of shaking would fix it. I e-mailed them about it and got told that my pc monitor must have made the colour look different. I no longer buy anything from them, no matter how gorgeous they olishes look in swatches now, after been insulted by them. Like I can't tell the difference between slate gray and fairly bright teal :/

  2. I totally read, "...these don't have balls" in another context ;-)  I was thinking, "I know, Cilucia- I like my polish to have balls too!" and then I realized it's just really early for me to be reading while only half way through my first cup of coffee for the day.  I did chuckle out loud when I realized this.

    As for the polishes, I've been resisting A England because of the 2 things you pointed out: #1, they are more expensive than a "regular" brand, and #2, the colors-with a few exceptions- don't scream out to me.  They are beautiful, don't get me wrong at all, but being a polish hoe, I have tons of 'similiars'.  Saint George has been giving me the 'itch' though, and I think I may indulge myself and order that one.  Pretty swatches and great comparisons!

  3. If you like purples, Avalon is a good addition. 

  4. What! that's unbelieveable!! It sounds like this happened to it:  - maybe it was the same pigment? I'm worried for this bottle now! Do you have another teal you can compare it to? If I have the same one, I can do a comparison pic as well, and maybe you can send both pictures to show them (if you still care, that is). :( 

  5. Haha I like talking about polish balls :D It's always good to not have expensive lemmings! I spent just around $100 on this haul, yikes! 

  6. Wow. Those are some crazy beautiful colours. :) I especially like Guinevere... I think it's probably the most spring-y polish out of these...

    Of course, the holos are a whole different ball game. :D

  7.  looks just liek the galahad polish. I have several teals that I bought around the same time ( I was on a teal kick, don't judge :P) and they are a fine.

  8. i love your nails!!!!! all of them look great on you!!

  9. I need to catch the bug you caught too! All of the polishes looks so lovely on your skin tone! I'm totally drooling over Dragon, Saint George, Lady of the Lake, & Tristam!

  10. Girl! I am continuously so impressed with your purging skills. Thank you for the lovely swatches, too!

  11. I just bought Dragon, Saint George and Ascalon. I'll probably get Tristam and Bridal Veil if I like the first three. 

  12. Hands down st. George is my fav, but i'm a sucker for anything green/blue! 

    P.S. love your blog:)

  13. Perfect swatches and comparisons

  14. Gorgeous swatches and great comparisons, as always! I already have Tristam (love!) and King Arthur, a cool dark gunmetal grey that doesn't show brushstrokes and has a bit of hidden shimmer. I've just ordered Saint George, Ascalon and Galahad. I love anything in the teal/turquoise range! I'm hoping that Galahad will satisfy me since the stunning Illamasqua Muse remains hard for me to obtain -- Sephora doesn't ship it to Canada :(

  15. I suggest you try Avalon! It's amazing and I have yet to see anything remotely dupey... it's a glowing, lit-from-within, electric purple shade...see, I can't even describe it! No picture does it justice....even the mighty scrangie failed to get Avalon to translate to pics. That is how you know a polish is really unique!

  16. Hi, First time I caught your blog! I looove the side-by-side swatches/comparisons. Some of the brands are a bit rich for my pocketbook, but I splurge for Zoya and Essie, and maybe for OPI. Thanks! 

  17. I CANNOT get enough of St. George, I would just love to stare at your swatches all day! I think I'll have to bite the bullet and get it.

  18. If you decide that Dragon is not your color, I'd be more than happy to take it off your hands!

  19. OMG, I love the glitter ones!!!!!!! They r soooo cool:)) 
    Would u like to follow each other??
    Kisses xxxx

  20. Yeah, that's how I felt too, so I just went ahead and got it. I feel much better now, LOL.

  21. I might have to try it now! Thanks for the rec!

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