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My thoughts are already turning (longingly) to the warmer months ahead, and especially to my summer holiday. We were lucky enough to be able to book this well in advance, and because my health is not good it really helps me during the winter to have this to look forward to. Thinking about our holiday, I began to consider branching out from my usual red nail varnish into - wait for it - pink!
My requirements were fairly stringent. I keep my fingernails short, and I like to wear quite a deep colour because I think it looks more stylish. So it couldn't be a pale pink (pale nail varnishes make my hands look as if they're suffering from some strange disease), it couldn't be frosted or shimmery (ditto), it couldn't be too fiery. It had to be a deep pink that, while taking me out of my deep red comfort zone, nonetheless had the same striking impact. And looked more summery. And had to last a good while before chipping or fading. And had a good shine. So, not much to ask for, then.
Oh, and it had to be something I could buy online, as I've been really under the weather recently and simply haven't had the energy to go out and actually look at actual products in actual shops. Buying cosmetics online can sometimes require a leap of faith in terms of getting the right colour, as what is shown on screen doesn't always exactly match the product once you've got it home.
So I did lots of careful online research, searched countless websites, and read lots of reviews. One of these was on Red magazine's website, from October 2011, where the Yves Saint Laurent La Laque nail varnish in Fuchsia was one of their recommended shades. The photographs of both the nail varnish bottle and especially the drizzle of polish next to this looked exactly what I was looking for. I also found what looked like a similar colour from the Maybelline Express Finish range, which also looked like just what I wanted, and which was available from Cheap Smells at a discounted price. I decided to be very good, ordered the Maybelline version (which I hope to review in the not-too-distant future), and congratulated myself on going for the thriftier option. Then I went to bed. Then I woke up, logged on and bought the Yves Saint Laurent as well! Good grief, what was I thinking? Spending £17 on something to paint my nails with? And I'm so glad that I did, because it looks so very beautiful!
I had seen that this nail varnish was available from Boots at £16.50 (it's now £17), plus a charge for delivery to either my local store or my home. Because Debenhams were offering free delivery, I decided to buy from them, with the nail varnish costing £17. I placed my order on a Friday morning, and it arrived on Monday, which I thought was excellent for free delivery.
My nail varnish came well protected and in sturdy wrapping. The packaging of the product itself is everything you would hope for. The nail varnish is first presented in a beautiful gold box, that features the red, black and gold YSL logo on the front, as well as the number of the nail varnish - in this case 19. The name of the colour - Fuchsia - is printed on the top lid of the box.
While I waited for my impetuous order to arrive, I have to say that I was panicking a bit. I couldn't believe that I'd paid £17 for a nail varnish! The colour I'd seen on Red's website looked as if it would be absolutely perfect for me. Some other websites (including Boots) showed a much brighter, almost neon pink, which I knew would not suit me. So when my parcel arrived, I was longing to be reassured that I hadn't made a costly mistake. I ripped open the packaging, then even more packaging, and then oh crikey it's in a box, will it be nice, will it suit me, why is there a blue shimmer to it, oh that's lovely, phew.
The rectangular bottle is a thing of beauty, sleek and elegant, showing the beautiful Fuchsia pink nail varnish within and topped by a gorgeous gold lid. It's like a little work of art! To get to the nail varnish, tug off the gold lid to expose a black screw-off lid beneath. The brush is what you would expect - a decent length and size.
As I had already applied my base coat (Sally Hansen's Double Duty, the subject of a separate review) in readiness, I was all set to apply my new treasure. The faint blue shimmer was not in evidence in the nail varnish itself, and the colour is all that I had hoped it would be. I found that I definitely needed two coats of polish, as the first was a little bit thin in places. However, two coats gives a stunning finish, and my nails looked lovely. Fuchsia is a beautifully dark pink, with a great shine, and I think it's a colour that would suit most skin tones.
YSL's website describes this nail varnish as 'A nail lacquer that is both elegant and practical in its elongated glass bottle. Available in an incredible palette of shades, from the most natural to the brightest, it guarantees reinforced hold, wonderful shine, fast drying and protected nails'.
I applied my nail varnish last Monday morning, and it's still going strong - no chipping, and still quite shiny - a week later, having survived a further manicure yesterday when I shortened my nails with an emery board. I should point out, however, that I don't do masses of housework, and when I am cleaning, washing up etc I always wear rubber gloves. So I think it should last quite well on my holiday, as I spend most of my time there taking things really easy - the main thing it will need to survive are the sessions of packing and unpacking!
I don't mind paying a fairly high price occasionally for something wonderful, because I usually try really hard to economise and find bargains. However, my expensive purchases are nearly always for a product that is tried and trusted - cosmetics or skincare that I have used before and that I know suit me. So this one was a bit of a leap into the dark. Happily, all is well and I absolutely love my gorgeous new nail varnish. I do realise, however, that there may be some people who will be coming over a bit peculiar at the price of this - I did myself, for a while - but I am absolutely thrilled with my shiny new make-up star.
Yves Saint Laurent's La Laque Nail Lacquer comes in a wide range of colours - the YSL website shows 30 shades to choose from, and Boots showed 29 shades.
You may be able to find some shades of this expensive nail varnish cheaper online from sites like Cheap Smells and eBay.
I am delighted with my purchase, in spite of its price, and so I am happy to give it five stars.
Postscript: As this nail varnish claims to be long-lasting, and my initial experience certainly seemed to validate that, I decided - in the interests of science - to leave it on for as long as possible to judge its longevity. Well, it's now 14 days since I applied it, and it is still going strong. It has even survived a second shortening of my nails with an emery board. There is a tiny chip at the side of one thumbnail (barely noticeable), but apart from that the nail varnish still looks really good, and has retained most of its shine. As I mentioned above, I don't do masses of housework, so my manicures tend to last a good while, but this really is exceptional. And it's not as if all I've done for the last two weeks is loll around on the settee being fed grapes by my adoring husband! Long lasting? Oh yes, most definitely.
(This review is also on Ciao, under the same user name.)