There was a time when I was terrified of trying out new colours to paint on my nails. I stuck to my nudes and muted pinks for a good two years before I discovered red and how it didn’t necessarily have to make you look and feel old. Even after that, I was stuck on red, nude, and pink for a while until I picked up OPI’s “Jade is the New Black” which is a gorgeous jade green that just made me feel so happy while wearing it. After that, any and every colour became an option. Greens and pinks are still my preferred shades, but I’ve tried nearly every colour on my nails and one Christmas I even went for a sparkly black instead of the usual red. Grey, however, is one shade I’ve considered but never really had the chance to pick up and try. Grey is tricky, because if it’s too light then your fingers look… well, dead. If too dark, then it’s just too close to being black (and “emo”). I finally had the chance to try a grey, and here it is: Ulta Salon Formula Nail Lacquer in “Smoke Screen.”
“Smoke Screen” is a sort of purpley medium-gray, which definitely doesn’t look black even from afar and it’s not too pale for my warm skin either. In the bottle, the polish swirls and it looks like actual smoke (cool!). When applied, it is a pretty creme finish that is opaque with 3 coats. To be very honest, I was surprised by how much I genuinely liked the colour on my nails. I was very excited to begin with, but the amount of pleasure I got out of wearing a grey was definitely a shock. Haha!
If you’ve never heard of the brand ULTA before, that may be because it’s a U.S. store. It’s like Sephora in that it carries beauty products from various brands and also has a line of their own cosmetics and beauty tools (which this polish is a part of). Unlike Sephora, ULTA stores usually have salons in the back… something that I found really interesting, at first. Haha! Anyway, if you’re wondering hear more about this nail polish and find out how I got my hands on it through the awesome House of Flair, read on!
See the photo of my hand on the grey pillow? I put my hand up against that grey shade to show how purple-toned the polish actually is. I first noticed it when I was holding onto the handle of my taupe coloured bag, and taupe is a grey-brown, so the purple tones stood out even more! I really like that about the polish and that’s probably why it doesn’t look flat at all.
Formula: I mentioned that I had to use three coats to achieve opacity with this, which is normally a bad thing since it all ends up just too thick in the end, but this applied in thin layers and the colour slowly leveled out on its own. You might be able to get away with just two coats, but I can’t stand to see any sheer bits, so I went ahead and added another. It was very easy to apply–like a true salon-formula, which was awesome.
Packaging/Brush: I like the simple glass bottle and the cylindrical shape. The colour’s name it printed clearly on the bottom. As for the brush and cap (which is the “handle” when applying the polish, those were both pretty good. The brush was wide enough to easily cover a good area of the nails and the cover was easy to hold on to.
Colour: A pretty awesome first grey! Not intimidating since it isn’t too dark and wearing it made me feel pretty darn chic.
Rating: I give this a score of ♥♥♥♥ (four outta five!)
Now, on to the part where you find out how you can get your hands on an ULTA Nail Lacquer or almost any other item you may be lusting for from the States!
House of Flair is a Multiply-based online store that not only carries the usual on-hand beauty imports and branded items, but they also allow YOU to pick what you want from the U.S. (aside from food and electronics) and they will handle the ordering, shipping, and processing for you. At the end of it, your order ends up right at your doorstep–and all you had to do was send an e-mail or two (and pay for it, of course!). Whether you’re after cosmetics, books, magazines, shoes, bags, clothes, or home items from the US, this is probably one of the best ways I can suggest you order them.
Sounds good? Wait, I’m not done! Haha. House of Flair also ships all orders for free nationwide at no minimum order amount. That. Is. Awesome. I for one hate it when the price of my order skyrockets just because of shipping fees!
I recently ordered some of my fave Bath & Body Works candles and a pillow through House of Flair, check it out!
The best thing about House of Flair is that they really keep you updated on the status of your purchase. You’re never left in the dark about where your items are and when you’re going to get them. Good service is something I value greatly and its what will ultimately determine if I become a returning customer or not. An online vendor might have the best products available but the worst service in the world and I would drop them in a heartbeat. So, there you have it guys, a valuable tip from me to you–find a good importer you can trust, and your lust for US-cosmetics and other things can be satisfied!
For more information on House of Flair’s pre-order process, click: PRE-ORDER