Product Type: Maybelline makeup
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Stylish grey nails for Graygirl - Maybelline Forever Strong Professional Nail Varnish
Maybelline Forever Strong Professional Nail Colour
Member Name: Graygirl
Maybelline Forever Strong Professional Nail Colour
Date: 30/12/11, updated on 23/01/14 (123 review reads)
Advantages: A high-shine colour that lasts really well
Disadvantages: Did not give 100% perfect colour coverage on a couple of nails
Although I don't always follow fashion trends, preferring to keep my wardrobe fairly classic, there are two trends that I decided to try this season. One was for a statement piece in red, and I was lucky enough to find a fabulous red coat at a bargain price. Another of this season's trends that I found really interesting was grey nail varnish. I have seen models in glossy magazines wearing this colour, and I decided I would like to try it for myself. I did some fairly intensive online research, as I didn't want anything too dark - some grey shades are closer to black - and nor did I want a pale grey. Delicate shades just don't suit my skin type, and pale nail varnish makes my hands look as if they are suffering from some strange disease - I'm sure you can understand that this is not a look I wish to go for!
One of the reviews I read was InStyle magazine's recommendation of Maybelline Forever Strong Professional Nail Varnish in Couture Grey. They included this colour as one of their favourites for autumn/winter 2011, and described it as a slate grey with a touch of blue that would suit all skin tones.
I bought the nail varnish as part of an order from Boots' website, and it cost me £4.09. Some colours from this range can be found cheaper online, from eBay as well as from various cosmetics outlets. At the time of writing (30th December), Superdrug have an offer of 3 for 2 on selected Maybelline products.
One of the claims made by this nail varnish is that it will last for up to seven days' wear, and my own experience would certainly agree with this. The varnish contains Iron and Calcium, presumably to add strength to your nails. I was very pleased with how long it lasted. It survived a later manicure where I shortened my nails with a heavy-duty emery board, wrapping a ton of Christmas presents, as well as pre-Christmas housework - both with and without rubber gloves.
The nail varnish comes in a slender, almost square bottle, that has a long black handle. There is a range of about twenty shades, which can be seen on Maybelline's own website as well as the product description page on Boots' website. I personally found the colours shown by Boots to give a more accurate representation.
Maybelline suggest that you first apply a base coat. I always do this, as I like to wear strong (usually deep red) colours, and a base coat helps prevent staining or yellowing as well as (with the right product) acting as a conditioning treatment. They then suggest that you apply the first coat up the centre of your nail, and finish by applying the varnish to the two strips on either side. I definitely needed the recommended two coats. You should then finish with a clear top coat. I found that the varnish dried quickly.
The brush is described as 'Precision Curved', and is quite a long brush. The long handle means that the brush is easy to control, but in spite of this the colour coverage was the one aspect of this product that I found slightly disappointing, and it was the same with both the first and second coats. There were a couple of tiny 'gaps' in the colour that did not give a complete covering, and although I admit to being something of a perfectionist when it comes to painting my nails, I did think that this was not up to my demanding expectations. I paint my nails regularly, and do a good job (she said modestly), so I would have to say that it wasn't my technique that was lacking. My husband pointed out, however, that these flaws were barely visible to other people (it was not as if someone was going to point to me from the other side of the room and gasp in horror at the tiny flaw), and perhaps it would not have shown if I was using a paler shade.
I'm going to deduct one star because the application wasn't absolutely 100% perfect, but I admit to my perfectionist tendencies, and agree with my husband's verdict. In all other aspects I consider this to be an excellent nail varnish, and definitely worth a try. I will almost certainly consider one of their red shades for my summer holiday - either Deep Red, Really Rose or Hot Salsa. However, I will make my choice in store rather than buying it online. The Couture Grey was an experiment, and I was happy to go with the recommendations I'd found online, but for red nail varnish I prefer to see the bottle for myself.
Couture Grey is definitely a stunning, striking colour, and I would agree with InStyle's comment that it would suit all skin tones. It is a beautiful dark slate grey with a high shine, and was just what I had been hoping for. Because it was such a change from my usual choice of deep red, it took me a little while to get used to. Although I liked it very much, I do think that perhaps (for me, at least) it is a colour more suited to a night out than for everyday use.
(This review is also on Ciao, under the same user name.)
Summary: A long-lasting nail varnish that comes in a variety of shades, and is good value at £4.09