Monday, 20 January 2014

Hey Swatch It! Belle Glamour's Harry Potter Collection Review & Swatches

Hey y'all!

Yesterday I teased the latest Belle Glamour collection, which I was so excited to get.  It's everybody's favorite boy wizard, Harry Potter!  Catriona has included six delicious shades in this collection, and a little birdie told me that she might consider doing some add-ons in the future.  Color me totally psyched!

Fair warning, this is going to be a huge, picture-heavy post.

From L-R: Bellatrix LeStrange, Golden Snitch, Ron, Hermione, Harry, Sirius Black
(because Bellatrix and Sirius should NEVER, EVER be put side-by-side!)

To save repeating myself, I will say that all of these polishes used 3 coats and are topped with SV.  More on application/formula at the bottom of the post and with each polish description where warranted.

Let's start off with everyone's favorite boy wizard himself, Harry.

Bottle shots with (L) and without (R) flash.   

Macro of Harry, no flash.
Harry is a gorgeous medium-to-light green with hints of yellow holo shimmer that twinkle much like I always imagined his eyes would as I read the books. If you watched the tutorial video I posted yesterday, this is the polish I was wearing during filming. 

I think this will make a lovely shade for St. Patrick's Day, which apparently isn't as big a deal over here as it is back home.  Either way, I think I'll be rocking this shamrock shade on March 17 this year.

Harry with (L) and without (R) flash.  
You can really see those golden shimmers come out in these shots, but the flash turns them sort of white. This is not indicative of what happens in natural lighting.

Though not over-the-top or deep or mysterious, there is definitely something magical about Harry.  I love that the polish is soft, but still has a masculine feel to it.  When I first saw the color, I thought it was odd because I consider green a more Voldemort-y color, but after thinking on it for a few days it makes perfect sense.  Voldemort in a polish would be nowhere near this smooth and subtle. 

In short, Harry earns high marks for being a gorgeous mid-toned polish.  Like the boy who lived, this polish is strong, but kind of shy, and definitely special.

Next up is my favorite ginger and Harry's best friend, Ron.

Bottle shots with (L) and without (R) flash.  Look at the way it lights up!

Macros of Ron, with (L) and without (R) flash.

Out of the lot, Ron really tops it for me, but I couldn't stand to stick him at the bottom of this post.  He's far too pretty!  This is a medium copper polish with bright red-gold microglitters, which read almost foil-like on the nail.  There are a few visible brush strokes, but to be honest, not that many, and I wasn't trying to avoid them, so I'm super pleased with that.  This polish LIGHTS UP in the sun.  I was amazed and fell in love all over again. 

You can really see in these flash shots how adding any light just sets the polish on fire.  Stunning.

I hereby submit a blurred flash shot of Ron, because look at the shiny!
I was most amazed at the difference between indoor vs outdoor on this color.  Kind of like Harry's bestie in the books, Ron starts out kind of shy in indoor light, but really evolves into a stunner when put to the fire.  Okay, that metaphor may be going a little far, but, seriously... check out how this polish starts out as a deep golden shade and then turns to bright ginger copper in the light!

That being said, it's still gorgeous in lower light.  I felt like I was wearing gilded claws. 

In short, Ron makes me heart go pitter-pat.  Such a winner!

Rounding out the young Gryffindor trio is Hermione.  She really is the brightest witch of her age.

Bottle shots with (L) and without (R) flash.

Hermione is a buttery, pale peach shimmer that went on so smoothly that I wasn't even sure I was seeing it right.  For the longest time I couldn't decide if it was a pale pink base or what, so finally I had to compare it next to the other pale pinks and yellows I own to finally decide it was actually peach!  Absolutely LOVE this shade.  Great neutral for pale skin types when you want just a hint of something shiny but nothing over the top.

In fact, Hermione is so beautiful that I immediately had to start stamping over her before I bothered checking to see if any of my straight swatch shots were actually usable.  (blogger fail!)  However, I loved the results I got when I played with simple stamping.  If anyone cares, I'll go look up which plates I used, but I don't remember them off the top.   Pretty sure one was a BM 400-series and the other way a MoYou London Princess plate.

This is the closest I've got to a true macro of Hermione.  Sorry.
I loved the soft look of this swirling pattern.  It reminded me of Hermione's Yule Ball look, all sophisticated and girlie.  IIRC, this image is stamped with elf Cranberry, but don't quote me.  I know I had some issues getting something that would match the soft feminine flow of the image but still show up on the nail.

The next thing I did was cover that same stamped finger in pink glitter polish, Sally Girl In Love, and then stamped over that in black.  Actually, I tried several different colors but nothing would cover the same way the black did. 

Hermione with her stamped buddy.  Actually this may be the closest to a macro shot.  Either way.
I really like the way a full nail image looks over a glitter base.  It's like all that magic is bottled up inside a swirling mess, and you can just see it poking through in the negative space.  However, I need to invest in some more opaque polishes specifically for looks like this.  I don't have any stamping-specific polishes as of yet but may consider investing in some.

I do kind of like the contrast of the swirling, glittering chaos on the accent nail against the soft, feminine Hermione.  It's a big statement, though.

In short, Hermione is a lovely soft shade that plays very nicely with my skin tone.

As mentioned above, two of these last three players should NEVER, EVER be placed side-by-side, so I'm going to start with the friendliest shaggy dog of the wizarding world, Harry's Godfather Sirius Black.

Bottle shots with (L) and without (R) flash.

Macros of Sirius Black, with (L) and without (R) flash.

This black jelly-based polish is loaded with microfine brownish-red pigment, and in the flash above you can see the fine color flashes of bright red microglitter.  During application, I noticed that the natural finish of this polish was ALMOST textured.  It had a kind of gritty feel to it that I actually thought was kind of neat.  However it didn't photograph very well, and I wanted all that depth to come out so I used two coats of SV to flatten it.  Only later, after talking to Cat, did I realize that this texture was deliberate, in homage to the character's slightly dirty and unkempt appearance.  I think that's brilliant, because it really was somewhere crossed between a full fine-grained textured finish and the sort of bumpy unevenness that comes in some glitter polishes. 

Sirius-ly, this polish has so much depth.  I love how it rides the fine line between brown and red shimmer (shape-shifter, anyone?), and the little flashes light make it seem just a little bit magical.  Go figure. 

Although I'm sad that I don't have any pics showing the natural texture, doesn't that just look super squishy?  So much depth, and you can see some of those little flashes around the nails.

In no way do these nails look like they belong to a mangy dog.  I don't care what they say, Padfoot is very huggable.

In short, Sirius Black could easily be misunderstood for an evil black polish, but once you start looking closely, you'll realize that it's actually quite loveable.

Playing referee today is a pesky lil devil we call the Golden Snitch.

Bottle shots with (L) and without (R) flash.

Macros of Golden Snitch, with (L) and without (R) flash.

I really thought the last thing I needed was another gold polish when I saw this bottle.  From the outside, it just looks like your standard gold shimmer.  I didn't realize until I put it on, however, that like Ron, it isn't a shimmer at all - those are microglitters and they come to life under the light.  Golden Snitch has just a tiny bit of what might be holo microglitters, but it may only be green and red.  I think it actually becomes quite sophisticated and playful at the same time.

Nobody likes a snitch, right?  Wrong.  Whereas the copper gold of Ron screamed at me and made my heart pound erratically, Snitch's medium gold prefers to strongly suggest things at me.  It's like an older, more refined cousin.  *This* polish is what it feels like to have gilded tips. 

You can see that while the flash definitely brings out the specks of colored glitter, it doesn't do a lot to change the base color of the polish, the way that Ron does.  In daylight the difference was even smaller between shades, but the shiny really comes alive in sunlight.

In short, gold fans out there will definitely want to get their hands on Golden Snitch.

Finishing out the list, as deadly as she is beautiful, we have the wicked Bellatrix LeStrange.

Bottle shots with (L) and without (R) flash.

Macro of Bellatrix LeStrange, no flash.
You all know I'm a sucker for a purple polish, and Bellatrix LeStrange is no exception.  Purple microglitters captured in an inky purple-black jelly base, I can definitely picture Bellatrix herself wearing this near-black shade.  As with the other "adults" in this collection, Bellatrix has a touch of additional magic in her, micro green glitters that spark just like a wand issuing unforgivable curses. 

This wicked witch breaks my heart just like her character did when she killed Sirius, but this time it's on account of being so beautiful.  She's deep and definitely mystical, because I just can't figure out what's not to love. 

The flash definitely brings out the depth of this shade... a bit like shining a flashlight into a pool of dark water and realizing that it's teaming with tiny little organisms. I realize that's kind of gross, but I can't be the only one who finds things like that morbidly beautiful.  Right?  RIGHT?!?!?!

Bellatrix is just about as vampy as you can get. I love a deep, dark purple, probably more than lighter creamier shades.  In fact, since I've officially run out of ways to describe how much I love this color, I'm just going to let these pics speak for themselves.

In short, wearing Bellatrix LeStrange makes me feel powerful and more than a little bit naughty.

WHEW!  I'm exhausted!  How 'bout you?   I really just adore this collection and I'm so happy that I got a chance to review the entire set.  That's a blogging first for me!  At this point I'd also like to mention that Catriona definitely paid attention to her feedback about formula consistency being too thick.  She has definitely tinkered with it, and I'm happy to report that all of these were SO MUCH BETTER.  Most of these practically slid on my nails like butter on the second and third coats.  I did notice that on the first coat (and this is true of all the BGs I've swatched thus far) it will drag and pull up if you attempt to go over an area to cover a bald spot.  Best way around this is to let the bald spot happen on that first coat, because the second coat should fill it, and by the third coat, you won't even know it's there.  Dry time is fast enough that it isn't inconvenient to do three coats.

This 6-pc Harry Potter collection is available in 5ml bottles from Belle Glamour for £15, but it is in VERY limited edition.  So limited, in fact, that she's not sure if she'll be able to get supplies to make more once these run out, specifically for Hermione and Sirius Black.  However, if you're interested in singles of the other colors, they are available in both 5ml (£3.50) and 10ml (£6) bottles as well. 

Do these colors make you drool just a little bit?  Let me know what you think in the comments below!

Hope you all have a great week.  I'll be back tomorrow with this week's Tri-Polish Challenge (did that totally just make you think Tri-Wizard?  Me too.) 

Disclosure:  The above polishes were sent to me at a reduced price in exchange for my honest review.


  1. Well I certainly cannot wait to get the rest of these on my fingertips now.
    Fab review :-D

    1. Oh and a ps
      I dunno where abouts you're living (but your about me says uk)
      But up in Newcastle we make a huge deal on St Patricks day (and definitely bigger than St George)
      Maybe it's something about the iriag and drinking the geordies relate too

    2. Seriously Heather... if you want them, don't wait! I am so sad that Hermione may not ever be around anymore! I'm actually in Gloucestershire, so I guess that's southwest midlands?? I dunno what area it technically falls in. I'm only going by what my hubby said about St Paddy's around here, but he knows that we make a full-on spectacle of it in the States, probably because something like 80% of us claim Irish ancestry and I don't even think that's genetically possible!

  2. Aww brilliant! :P I love reading your thoughts on the polishes. :P


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