a England Incense Burner

The dreary winter weather lately had me reaching for a lusciously vampy shade, a England's Incense Burner.

indoor, bright CF lighting
Incense Burner is a vampy, rich plum-raisin color (is it purple?  brown?  wine?  all of the above?) with a medium-intensity shimmer overlay.  It went on nearly opaque in one coat and was perfectly done in 2... and then promptly refused to be photographed accurately despite many contortions of lighting and 2 different cameras.  Most of my pics have this being far more black than it was IRL.

bright CF lighting
The bottle shot macro above, however, is genuinely color-accurate, and tells you everything you need to know about what this polish looks like on the nail.  It's an earthy, browned purple wine, and will look like either of these 3 colors in different lighting.  Yes, it's almost-black dark, and it does in fact look warmly off-black in low lighting, but is rarely visually completely black.  And that shimmer, oh that shimmer.  IB's shimmer is a gorgeous antique bronze that sparks a coppery-red head-on, then very green at angles - yep, it is indeed Clarins 230/Fantasy Fire in a fully opaque base.  Most all other polishes I have with this shifting pigment are jellies or crellies sheer enough that the 230/FF acts like a color overlay floating on top of the base shade, but IB instead lets it glimmer out subtly.

direct sunlight, pic way too black  :(
When the red glimmers are out in force, the polish takes on a red-toned purple shade, then a darker brown when the shimmers are bronze instead.

direct sunlight, also too black
The overall effect is most typically purple, in some shade between eggplant and raisin.

the closest to color accurate 2 cameras could come up with... but only on my index and middle fingers.
kindly ignore the tip wear - so excited that this plummy chocolate shade could be caught!
and there's that bronze to emerald 230/FF shift
It was my partner's birthday this week, so when we were planning on dinner, I let him pick a design for stamping.  He was adamant about green, so Pretty Serious Hack the Halls was ready to be tried out, and then he went with some paw prints from Bundle Monster's BM-424 plate and a wolf howling to the moon off of Messy Mansion's MM34 plate.


Hack the Halls, like the whole Ghosts of Christmas Future collection, is touted as a solid stamping polish, and of the 2 I've tried that claim is utterly true.  The green foil nicely complimented the green flashes in Incense Burner as well.


Rating:  4 out of 5 stars.  It's always fantastic when something this deeply pigmented doesn't cause a clean-up nightmare, and Incense Burner's wonderful formula both minimized the need for clean-up and also somehow managed to not cling to my cuticles at all.  It also wore like iron, with only mild, even edgewear evident 4 days later (much more so on macro pics than IRL).  It's beautiful with my skin tone, but I think that a wide variety of people would look great in it - this isn't a polarizingly colored shade.

Where to buy:  a England maintains a list of international stockists, and my usual go-to is Color 4 Nails.

~Michelle

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