A few weeks ago I got offered a chance to review some nail varnishes from Nicka K, and my god did I jump at it. If you saw my Bedroom Tour, you'd know that I have such a love for nail varnishes that my dad installed shelves especially for my collection - and these were aesthetically (oh, how Tumblr) like absolutely none that I owned. I got a nice range of colours when they arrived, and a good range of finishes, and so I really did feel like I got to try the brand and really put them through their paces (I took all my swatch pictures after a base coat and two colour coats - no top coat to allow you to see how they really look on).
The first colour I wanted to try was the Sky Blue* (these bottles don't have names on that I can see, although they are named on the BeautyCrowd site) - this is a fairly flat blue, but it really did surprise me. The only colour that I had that's similar to this is Barry M's Blueberry Ice Cream - I struggled with Blueberry ice cream as I find it really difficult to get a really opaque colour, but this honestly couldn't be any further up the scale. I had this opaque after a base coat and a single coat, and the second coat I used just to add colour etc. This is a really strong blue (a little more pastel than it photographs when you see it in real life) with a nice glossy sheen. With no top coat, this lasted a solid few days on my nails - probably about the same as Barry M nail paints, with a salon top coat like I normally use (Seche Vite etc.) I suspect you could get a fair amount longer out of this.
I approached Glitter Red* with a certain amount of trepidation. This is a red glitter polish with a chunkier silver glitter dispersed inside. There were two reasons I was worried about this polish;
1) Glitter nail varnish can often be next to impossible to remove
2) I had no idea whether this should be a top coat, or a coloured polish within itself
I applied it to my bare (basecoated) nail, and after one coat - assumed that this was a mistake, however - after two coats I think it's definitely wearable on it's own. I had some minor issues with this one - I find it quite hard to spread the chunkier silver glitter evenly across my nails, and I also think that this is fairly hard to paint cleanly and neatly with the addition of the glitter. I do like how this looks on though, and I'll definitely be reaching for it at Christmas. I found this surprisingly easy to get off, no clumps of cotton wool stuck to my nails at all, and it lasted a fair few days without a top coat without chipping. Not my favourite of the nail varnishes I received, but definitely not a bad nail varnish within itself.
When I first saw Pearly Orange* colour in the bottle, I was immediately reminded of Ciate island hopping - a nail varnish that's a red/orange duochrome that I just never got along with. When I put this one though, it couldn't be more different; it's a metallic tangerine sort of colour, with next to no visible glitter but a really solid shimmer. There's something about this that clashes with my super pale skin and I just really like it. The sky blue remains my absolute favourite, but this is a step out of my comfort zone and one that I definitely want to keep experimenting with as we head towards Autumn (and Halloween!)
All in all, for the price - I'm been amazed with Nicka K - £4.95 a nail varnish puts them solidly in the centre of high street prices, but their packaging and opacity has them solidly towards the front of the pack. I find the orange polish a little thin and the red glitter hard to work with - however; I do think that they're a brand worth trying, and one I hope I'll be seeing more of in the future.
*Products marked by an asterisk(*) were sent by BeautyCrowd in consideration for a review, however this has not influenced my opinion and all views expressed are completely my own. Please read my disclaimer for more information.