“ Brand: Leighton Denny / Type: Nail Varnish / Subcategory: Nail Polish / Suitable for: Nails „
I was first attracted to the Leighton Denny collection of nail polishes after reading an excellent review on Dooyoo by ladybracknell. Although the colour she was reviewing - 'Supermodel' - would not be right for me, as pale shades do not suit my skin tone - the quality of Leighton Denny Nail Colours sounded very good, and so I headed off to take a look online.
As a lover of glossy magazines and their fashion and beauty features, Leighton Denny was a name that I had been vaguely aware of, but I did not know very much about him or his range of products. My first port of call was therefore the Leighton Denny website, where I was able to inspect lots of different colours of polish, and also found an 'About Leighton' page. This describes him as a 'leading expert and internationally recognised figure in the beauty world, with a multi-award winning range of nail and tanning products'. He is also a 'fervent supporter of Breast Cancer Care and continues to collaborate with them on initiatives for all his product ranges'. He also has Facebook and Twitter pages, where he invites you to ask questions or share your thoughts.
This all sounded very good, but what about the nail polish itself? I looked at lots of colours, and then headed to eBay to see whether it would be possible to buy one for a bit less than the RRP of £11.00. My chosen colour, 'Vamp', is described on the Leighton Denny website as 'A rouge-noir, deepest red cream', and it's also described as 'a modern classic'. I certainly agree with that - it's what I consider a seductive, rich colour - as opposed to, say, pretty, flirty or summery. The deep rich red is a excellent colour as we head into Autumn, and - looking ahead! - would really suit an elegant outfit worn at a Christmas party.
One of the comments included in the Leighton Denny description of this colour is that it suits short nails as well as it does long. I wholeheartedly agree, and not just because my own personal preference is for short nails. Whenever I am attracted by the nails of a model in beauty ads, it is because their short, dark nails look glamorous and chic.
Having found the colour I wanted at a good price on eBay, I placed my order. When it arrived, and I first saw the bottle, I thought that the nail varnish looked as if it was dark brown. But as soon as I took off the lid, I could tell that the colour was in fact a very dark red, almost maroon. The 12ml bottle itself is lovely - encased in a clear perspex casing that is both stylish and modern as well as being solid and practical. The lid is silver, and again is encased in clear perspex.
I was eager to try my new nail varnish, and so applied a base coat. You should definitely do this when using dark varnishes, to avoid staining your nails. Leighton Denny recommends that you do not shake the bottle before use, as this can cause air bubbles. Rather, you should roll the bottle between your hands to make sure that the colour is well mixed. You should apply this nail colour in two thin coats, as this will reduce the risk of your manicure chipping. I really liked Leighton Denny's suggestions for the application of their nail colour - it's succinct yet very useful: 'Wipe one side of the brush on the neck of the bottle so it holds just enough to cover one nail. Present the brush to the nail about 2mm away from the cuticle then push the brush towards the cuticle before making the usual sweep back towards the tip.' In future I will try to follow these instructions to the letter!
The brush itself is quite narrow, which I like, because I find it easier to apply nail varnish using my preferred technique of three strokes - centre, left, right - while at the same time being able to carefully top up any areas where the colour might look a bit thin. I found that the first coat of this polish was ever so slightly patchy, but this was soon remedied when I applied the second coat. I always finish with a top coat, as this helps seal the colour and should extend the life of your manicure.
The polish dried fairly quickly, and I had no problems with smudging - although I do tend to apply my nail varnish when I have got the time to sit and wait for it to dry thoroughly. My manicure lasted really well. I don't do a huge amount of housework, so it wasn't ever put under too much pressure, but I was still very pleased that it stayed looking good for so long (at least a week). I've seen a review (I think it was on MakeUpAlley) that mentioned problems with early chipping, but I have not experienced this myself. On MakeUpAlley, Leighton Denny Nail Colours get an average rating of 4.7 out of 5, and 90% (of 10 reviewers) would buy again.
I like my nail varnishes to give a glossy finish, and although 'Vamp' is classified as a cream polish, it certainly delivered the shine I was looking for.
I was so pleased with 'Vamp' that I went on to purchase two more colours - with mixed results. One thing I found when buying my Leighton Denny Nail Colours online was that the colours I chose did not really match their online photographs. Now I know that it can be very difficult to get a true representation of the colour of a cosmetics product, but my second and third choices ended up being quite wide of the mark. I bought 'No Comment' from my eBay seller, and on all the photographs I could find, this looked like a deep blackcurrant purple - and indeed the first, slightly patchy coat looked like that, but after applying a second coat, I found that the colour ended up being a very dark brown. It was attractive enough, and suited my skin tone, so I decided to keep it, but it wasn't exactly what I had wanted. I also bought 'Best Seller' from Amazon. Again, this looked like a dark purple, this time with a slightly sparkly effect. When it arrived, I was disappointed to see that - in my eyes, at least - it was in fact a fairly bright coral red. It was promptly returned to Amazon for a refund. If you search for 'Leighton Denny Vamp' on QVC, I think the photo there matches the colour really well.
You can buy Leighton Denny Nail Colours from the Leighton Denny website, where the standard 12ml bottles cost £11.00. Purchases from this website come with free postage and packing (2nd class when you spend £15, and 1st class when you spend over £15). Amazon and other outlets like feelunique also cost £11.00 with free delivery. You can also buy these nail polishes from Marks & Spencer online, although I'm afraid I don't know whether they are available in their high street stores. QVC's website has lots of colours to choose from - mostly in a range of collections featuring 3-8 colours - as well as a range of finishes. I found 'Vamp' on eBay this afternoon (14th September), from £7.00 (Buy It Now) with free delivery. There are also some ongoing auctions.
I do think that the RRP of £11.00 for these nail varnishes is very expensive (says the woman who bought a - fabulous! - nail varnish from YSL for £17.00). However, as with so many things, I think that if you find exactly what you are looking for, then perhaps it is worth the investment (as well as a quick look on eBay).
I absolutely love 'Vamp', which gets five stars from me. I think that it is a truly classic colour, a deep dark red that I am very glad to have added to my collection, and one that I will definitely buy again. It's a timeless colour - not trendy, not glittery, just supremely glamorous, dramatic and elegant. Perfect!
(This review is also on Ciao, under the same user name.)