Hello everyone! I had a completely different intro written out, but now that my country is going through its umpteenth reckoning with racial injustice, I thought that I should unequivocally state: Black lives matter. And, all lives do not matter until black lives matter. I am white and I am unfortunately not an encyclopedia of anti-racist resources. However, I have found one cool thing that everyone with internet access should be able to do! If you are either like me and are facing analysis paralysis with the large number of organizations out there that could use financial aid or if you, you know, are struggling financially because OH RIGHT, we’re also going through a global pandemic, then you should go to this video on YouTube. Don’t click through any of the ads, watch the video fully. All the revenue generated is going to the organizations listed in the notes. There are lots of helpful tips in the comments section to help get maximum monetization out of the video! Please stay safe and don’t stay silent (truth to power!) and let’s treat our fellow humans with all the empathy and compassion we have.
With today’s post, I am finally caught up with all the recent a-england collections! Watch them drop a new one the day I publish this… anyhoo, we are talking about the Poe’s Tale quartet, inspired by Edgar Allen Poe’s poem The Raven. I assume that everyone reading this knows who Poe is, if you made through school without being exposed to any of his work I would be shocked (at least, in the Western world). We have four mostly darker shades and, surprise surprise, they all have amazing formulas! You know I’m going to waffle on about all these polishes, so I’ll shut up here so we can get to the polish.
For today’s swatches, I used a-england The Ridgeway as my base coat and SuperChic Lacquer Marvel Liquid Macro top coat where noted.
a-england The Raven, 2 coats plus top coat
The Raven is our first polish, which a-england describes as a “dim flaming holo”. I kind of like that description, because the formula almost feels like a black creme that is stuffed with holo. The holo does really contrast with the base in direct lighting. Also, as an aside, I can’t read “Once upon a midnight dreary,” without getting that Blues Traveller song stuck in my head, ugh, because they decided to riff on it at the beginning.
a-england The Raven, 1 coat
The Raven has more of a creamy base and I found it was the most opaque with just one coat of all the polishes here! I think those of you who are more heavy-handed than I am (aka people who apply coats with a normal thickness) might get away with just one. I got a couple lighter patches. I also found that if I tried to go back over the lighter patches they got slightly worse, this is not a polish that should be over-manipulated.
a-england The Raven, 2 coats
The Raven is perfect in two coats, I just glided the polish on in three easy brushstrokes and all those lighter patches were gone.
a-england The Raven, 2 coats plus top coat in direct lighting
Most of my macros today are garbage, but I am hoping you can see how vibrant that holo is against the deep base when under direct lighting. I REALLY love this one so, so much. Black nail polish is life.
a-england Pallas, 2 coats plus top coat
After that gorgeous black, we now have a delicious grey! Pallas is described as a medium grey. I find that it’s a little bit more concrete grey than stormy sky grey – has more brown than blue in it, if that makes any sense. This one has a magnificent flaming holo finish. Scroll ahead to the macro to commence the drooling.
a-england Pallas, 1 coat
Pallas is a super easy polish to work with. The formula is smooth as butta and you can work with it slowly, really take your time and lay it down right. I got just a couple patches, but other than those it has great opacity.
a-england Pallas, 2 coats
I cannot imagine anyone is going to need more than two coats to get Pallas looking perfect. I used an even thinner second coat just to cover up those little patches and it looks completely smooth and opaque.
a-england Pallas, 2 coats plus top coat in direct lighting
This is the only good macro in the whole blog post, but damnnnnn son, that’s just flippin’ gorgeous. The craziest thing about this polish (and all of a-england’s flaming holos) is how holographic they are in normal lighting, you add direct lighting and it’s the most intense rainbows ever.
a-england Lenore, 2 coats plus top coat
Lenore is a stunning “deep purple” that kind of makes you feel elegant yet badass when you wear it. This one is called a flaming holo, but it looks like a normal linear holo to me, maybe the dark base impedes some of that holographic pigment? Anyway, you’re going to get rainbows, just not Pallas-level rainbows.
a-england Lenore, 1 coat
Lenore is a little patchy on the first coat, but I tend to use thinner coats and probably could have put a little more polish on the brush, yeah? 99% of the time you see my swatches, they are actually the first time I have ever used the polish so I’m photographing myself learning about these formulas. The spots that don’t have obvious patches are actually really opaque, it’s impressive.
a-england Lenore, 2 coats
A second thin coat of Lenore did the job completely. Whenever I have a really patchy first coat, I usually apply a little blob of polish at my cuticle, then paint the sides first and finish with a swipe down the middle to try to avoid creating extra patches in the cuticle area. I also do this with metallics to get more even-looking brushstrokes :]
a-england Lenore, 2 coats plus top coat in direct lighting
Lenore definitely has galaxy vibes with all that holo pigment in the dark base, mmmm. Delicious!
a-england Nevermore, 2 coats plus top coat
The last polish we have today comes with the biggest surprise of the post! This beauty, described as a “vibrant ruby red” is called Nevermore and it is my favorite of the collection! I know, right, a red is my favorite??? I love deeper reds and this one really scratches that itch. It is a bit berry-ish and has that medium-dark red tone that I just go nuts over. I’m not typically a fan of red, but I think the closer to blood red something is the more I like. Let’s not analyze that too much!
a-england Nevermore, 1 coat
Nevermore has really amazing coverage in one coat. It honestly looks mostly opaque, it’s just that the tone of the color is a bit uneven, I have some patches that are lighter than others. This polish felt like it had a slightly thicker formula than others in this collection which is a-ok with me, I love a nice creamy polish!
a-england Nevermore, 2 coats
A second coat brings Nevermore to sweet, sweet perfection. The base color is completely even and delicious!
a-england Nevermore, 2 coats plus top coat in direct lighting
In a post of bad macros, this is the worst but I still shared it to keep myself humble. I think that this one comes off as a normal linear holo. Like with Lenore, the base color is so pigmented that the flaming holo effect is dulled a bit. Still, don’t doubt the holo on this one, it is definitely there!
So, you already know that Nevermore is my favorite, but honestly I only love it *slightly* more than the other three! These polishes are just so far up my alley, they’re… ew, I’m not going to finish that one. It is unusual for me to purchase entire collections, but between this one and Tales from the Tower, I found a lot to love. I hope you have found at least a few you love on the way too! I now present you some exciting news: we will finally be taking on some spring content here!!! I have the swatches, just need to put the posts together. Thanks for sticking around, always appreciate everyone who takes the time to read my garbage :]