Tuesday, 21 April 2015

Kester Black Review & Swatches (part 1)

My all time favourite nail polish brand Kester Black is FINALLY offering international shipping! Kester Black is an Australia indie brand and I fell in love with them when I was living in Melbourne. But when I moved back to the UK, I was unable to purchase any of the new collections and it was sad. Plus I didn't want to use any of my Kester Blacks because I was worried of wasting them or finishing them and never being able to buy new ones. It was sad.

Last week they posted online that they are offering international shipping so I instantly placed an order. I received my polishes within a week! Incredible. Anyway that haul is coming up soon, but first I wanted to do a little (long) brand review.

I swatched 12 colours. I wanted to start off with 5... then 7... then 10... and then I decided I wanted a bit of every collection so it ended up coming to 12.... I am actually planning on swatching all of my Kester Black nail polishes in the same way, so I'm sure they'll be a part 2 (or part 10) coming up soon!

Kester Black is a Non Toxic, 5 free, Vegan, Cruelty Free brand that's proudly Australian made and committed to supporting local businesses. They use sustainable production methods including using recycled materials. The colours are high shine and chip resistant. Does that not sound like the best brand ever?!

Since I started collecting Kester Black nail polishes the brand has slightly changed. The front of the bottles has changed: The red colour is the old bottle design and Blush is the new bottle design. The brushes have also changed. They started off with very skinny round brushes like the US Essie's, and now they have very wide brushes like the European Essie's. The flat wide brushes cover my nail in 1-2 brush strokes so it really is an easy application.

More info and swatches after the jump!

First up is Cherry Pie.

I am obsessed with reds, so it isn't any surprise that I love this one!

I used 2 coats for the swatch, but it is opaque in just 1. It's a bit of a crelly formula, so it dries very very glossy. It's not streaky at all.

Next up is Blush.

This is a very very light peachy colour. It's almost a neutral, but it leans much more peach.

It was a little streaky on the first coat and still slightly streaky on the second coat. Most nails were fine at 2, but I applied a 3rd coat just to even everything out.

It dries very glossy, so no topcoat required.

Bubblegum is a minty green. I actually love that this is called bubblegum and it isn't a hot pink! It's like a spearmint!

This is one of my top favourites.

The first coat was only the tiniest bit streaky, so I did apply 2 coats for the swatch.  It's a very creamy and opaque formula and it's a dream to work with.

It dried super glossy.

Next is Alimony.

This is also way up at the top of my favourites. I actually brought this one with me when I was travelling long the East Coast of Australia and I wore this in Tokyo.

This is a collab with Trophy Wife nail art, a company also based in Melbourne.

This is a super bright turquoise nail polish. It's almost like a neon darker mint.

It was very slightly streaky on the first coat, but the second coat was perfect. It has a nice and creamy formula and dries very glossy.

Next up is Forget Me Not.

This is a dusty sky blue.

This was opaque in just 1 coat! Such a gorgeous creamy opaque formula.

It dried glossy.

NOW is a collaboration with the band Architecture in Helsinki.

I bought this shade in Melbourne Central in a little Architecture in Helsinki pop up shop. This shade was limited edition, but it's now available on their website. The other half of this set is a bright pink.

This is a neon cyan blue.

It's fully opaque in just 1 coat, and anyone would be totally fine wearing it on 1 coat, but I added a second coat, just to even it out a little.

Again it dried SUPER glossy.

Next is Violet.

This is part of a collection that came out right after I left Australia.. Sad times! Luckily one of my friends in Australia came to visit the UK and brought these over for me.

This is, simply, a violet nail polish. It's a warm toned purple.

It's opaque in just 1 coat, but you can see a slight visible nail line. Not enough to really bother me, but I added a second coat for the swatch.

This wasn't as glossy as the others on the first coat, but when I applied a second coat it dried super glossy as well.

The next colour is another purple called Tutti Frutti.

This is part of the summer 2013 collection that I received to review and what made me fall in love with the brand.

This is a super super bright fuchsia.

It has a similar formula as Cherry Pie where it's a bit more of a crelly. It has the smoothest formula, and although I love each and every one of these nail polishes, I love the more crelly based formulas.

It's slightly sheer on 1 coat, but completely even and no streaks. It's fully opaque in 2 coats. It takes a little longer to dry and dried semi matte so I applied a top coat for the swatch.

Next is Fairy Floss.

This is like the OPI Mod About You of Kester Black. It's the same milky white colour with just a hint of pink.

But.. it has a better formula. I had Mod About You for all of 10 minutes before I decided I just didn't want to work with the formula.

This was slightly streaky on 1 coat, but the second coat perfected it. It's very opaque and quick drying and it's super glossy.

Dragon Fruit is part of that same Summer 2013 collection that made me fall in love.

This, again, has that slightly crelly type formula. It was a little sheer on 1-2 coats. It had no streaks so could easily be worn either way, but to get it fully opaque without any visible nail line I applied 3 coats.

It dries with a semi matte finish so it needs a topcoat.

I actually don't reach for this as often as I should because in my memory it couldn't get opaque. Now that I've pulled it back out to swatch it I've fallen in love with the shade all over again.

This and 4EVA, the other half of the Architecture in Helsinki shade, are the same. 4EVA is not available online.

Almost at the end of the first swatches!!

Next up is Papaya, again from the Summer 2013 collection.

This is the brightest neon-est yellow-orange nail polish ever.

This was slightly streaky on the first coat, but 2 coats was perfect.

It dries semi matte so does need a top coat.

The only thing I can think of that's similar to this one is China Glaze Sun Worshipper. CG took 4 coats to be fully opaque but could really do with a white base. This is fully opaque in just 2 coats (almost 1!) and no white base needed!

And finally, the last of the 12 is Sugar Daddy.

This is another collaboration with Trophy Wife Nail Art.

This is a super glittery silver micro glitter. It's just a straight up silver, no holo's in here!

Super Daddy is probably the most opaque micro glitter I've ever used. It was almost fully opaque in just 1 coat... of GLITTER in a clear base! It's incredible.

I used 2 coats for the swatch and my nail line is literally no where to be seen.

It dries quite gritty, as to be expected, so I applied two coats of topcoat to smoothen it all out.

As you can tell, I'm obsessed with this brand for good reason! All 12 of these are incredible, and I didn't just pick the 12 best polishes, they are all like this!

Like I said I want to continue swatching all of my Kester Blacks so you will have an accurate view of the brand as a whole.

The nail polishes retail for $20 each, but with international shipping to the UK the tax was deducted so they were $18.18. The shipping was $34.

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