Monday, 16 December 2013

Dupe test: Girly Bits 'Shift Happens' vs Max Factor 'Fantasy Fire'

Hello ladies! Today I have a comparison to show you of two fabulous topper polishes: Shift Happens (love the name!) by Girly Bits and the famous Fantasy Fire by Max Factor.  I know that the Max Factor is about as easy to come by as leprechauns outside the UK, whereas Girly Bits is a US brand (and cheaper by the ml to boot!).  So perhaps this comparison will help you get the topper effect you want without breaking the bank or paying to import...

Looking at these in the bottle, its not obvious that there should be any similarity between them
 - Shift Happens has a soft opalescent rainbow effect in the bottle, whereas Fantasy Fire has a strong indigo background with pink and purple shifts.  From the bottle you'd guess that the Girly Bits polish would give you a soft pearly shimmer in a whole rainbow of colour and the max factor would give you purple or pink sparkle only.  If you guess that, surprisingly, you'd be wrong.

Girly Bits Shift Happens vs Max Factor Fantasy Fire
left: Shift Happens right: (l-r) Fantasy Fire and Shift Happens
Without further ado, let's see these on the nail (please excuse the splodgy mess I made of my index finger when I was getting out the camera...) All swatches are in artificial light:

Girly Bits Shift Happens vs Max Factor Fantasy Fire - comparison over black and OPI EMIO
index: black base + SH, middle: black base + FF, ring: EMIO + SH, pinkie: EMIO + FF
I chose two different base colours to compare these on: plain black (No7 "Just Black") and a purple based shade (OPI "Every Month is Oktoberfest").  I used one coat of each undies shade, and one coat of each topper.  I was keen to see whether having a purple base shade would make the indigo based FF appear different to SH.  In fact, from this you can see that they are practically identical.  The main shade that I got from both these toppers was this gorgeous cinnamon shimmer.  By changing the angle of the light source this deep russet shade shifted through gold, amber and right through to green:

Girly Bits Shift Happens vs Max Factor Fantasy Fire - comparison over black and OPI EMIO
index: black base + SH, middle: black base + FF, ring: EMIO + SH, pinkie: EMIO + FF
The green was a big surprise for me, coming from the Fantasy Fire.  I see absolutely NO evidence of green in the bottle, no matter which way I turn it, yet it's clearly right there on the nail!

Girly Bits Shift Happens vs Max Factor Fantasy Fire - comparison over black and OPI EMIO
(l-r) SH over black, FF over black, SH over EMIO
Seen here in closeup of my middle finger, you can see those green and gold shades popping from the FF and it's just stunning.  Both of these polishes were like pure bottled Autumn leaves....gorgeous.

I would say that IMO these two polishes, at least over the two shades I tried here, are close enough to be dupes.  Certainly I wouldn't advise that you shell out for both of them if you have neither (personally I'm always keen to save my polish funds for something new, I'm always sad when I find I've accidentally bought a dupe, as in this case).  

In terms of value for money, Shift Happens is a full size polish and I picked mine up for £10 from Rainbow Connection. The Max Factor (in the UK) can be bought in any Boots/Superdrug etc for £3.99 for the mini size bottle (with its fiddly brush).  So the Girly Bits is cheaper by the ml, but depending where you live you might find one easier to find than the other (and really who of us will manage to use up even a mini size topper polish? Not me!).

Later on I'll post a fabulous mani I did with Shift Happens on top of OPI Germanicure, which was all kinds of warm toasty brown cinnamon loveliness...until next time :)

Monday, 9 December 2013

Posting Polish in the UK

Hello ladies.  I just discovered that the Royal Mail have relaxed their restrictions on posting nail polish in the UK for personal customers.  In case you also missed this news here's the skinny:

Nail polish has been added to the 'Restricted Goods' list, the relevant section is copied below...

" Nail varnish, polish and gel (solvent and water-based) :
Volume per item must not exceed 30ml. No more than four bottles of nail varnish can be sent in any one package. Bottles of nail varnish must be placed in strong outer packaging and be so packed, secured or cushioned in such a way that they cannot break, be punctured or leak their contents into the outer packaging.

An ID8000 label must be applied ( see example ID8000 label). The sender’s name and return address must be clearly visible on the outer packaging.

These items must be presented at a Post Office® counter."

This is a relaxation of the previous rules which had said that personal customers could not post nail polish at all.  This change sees personal customers given the same posting rights as business customers.

Posting nail polish from the UK to international destinations is still banned for personal customers.

Sunday, 8 December 2013

Polish magazine giveaways - December 2013

UK girlies there are some polish giveaways this month! The latest issues of Glamour and Cosmo both have multiple polishes to choose from.  The Glamour giveaway is for full size Nails Inc polishes supposedly designed with 'Kate Spade of New York'.  I have no idea who Kate Spade is but I'm not inspired by her polish choices, they look like the same stock freebie polishes Nails Inc roll out every time.  The red reminds me particularly of the free one that InStyle magazine gave away this summer, which was pretty shoddy.  So I won't be rushing out to grab these.


Nails Inc with Kate Spade - free with Glamour UK December 2013 issue
 Cosmo is giving away Orly minis that are really teeny, so although the colour choice is a lot more festive it doesn't seem a big enough bargain to me to suffer through the magazine.
Orly Minis - free with Cosmopolitan UK December 2013 issue
 So there you have it ladies.  If you fancy a freebie this is your month!