I have only worn Bloody Bride once before this, and removal was so unbelievably god-awful that I vowed never to wear it again. I used the foil method, I used pure acetone, I buffed, scrubbed and basically destroyed my nails to remove this stuff the first time round. I have never had another glitter polish this bad for removal. So when I got my mitts on a bottle of Glitter OFF this seemed like the ideal test case. If it could make this polish wearable it would be worth it. I'll start with a review of Bloody Bride and then the cover the base coat separately...OK on with the show!
|Pretty Serious "Bloody Bride" - artificial lighting|
|Disappointingly the holo particles in the bottle don't translate onto the nail|
So, on the topic of removal, let's move on to the OPI base coat review...
OPI GlitterOFF is almost certainly just watered down PVA glue. There really is no mistaking that smell as soon as you open the bottle. The blogosphere has long talked of mixing your own, which requires an empty bottle that I've never had (really who finishes their polish? Who could be bothered to clean out a bottle?) so I'm happy to go with the commercial product but I'd put money on them being the same thing.
The first thing I noticed on applying this is that it immediately shrank significantly from the edges of the nail. In other reviews I've heard people complain that when peeling off their polish they found it firmly stuck down at the end of the nail and I wonder if this could be the cause. The bottle says to use a single thin coat, I used two coats in a effort to get more edge coverage (and on the theory that the coat would adhere better to itself than to my nail plate). This did help, but as you can see in this photo there is still some tip shrink.
The other thing that I noticed about this base is that my usual clean up method (of a small brush dipped in pure acetone and run round the edges of the nail) didn't dissolve the base coat. This left me with the unsightly edge effect you see in the picture above. I was reluctant to try peeling this bit off in case it took the polish with it.
As for wear time and durability, I was happy to discover it was the same as I'd expect from a regular base coat. Since this is a peel-off product I thought it would push away from the tips quite easily but I was pleased to find this wasn't true. When it came to removal I used a wooden orange cuticle stick, and pushed from the middle at the cuticle end upwards. I had to apply a reasonable amount of force to push the polish off, which might have been due to using two coats. On most nails the polish split into fragments that were pushed off separately. I didn't have any issues getting it off the end of the nail, so I think my double coat method really helped for this.
Below (top) is a picture of my nails straight after the orange stick removal. You can see that there is a lot of residue on my nails, and quite a yellowy effect. I was really worried that this flaky stuff was my nails and not the base coat. I spent some time with nail polish remover, rubbing at the residue, and then gently buffed my nails. The picture in the middle shows how my nails looked after this - most of the residue was gone, and most of the yellowing went too. HOWEVER I'm not convinced that my nail plate wasn't damaged. I think a small amount of this peeling was actually from the surface of my nail (from the way that it took off a thin strip when I peeled it off. Had it been PVA it should have just been the PVA that came off).
If you've reached the end of this mahoosive entry - well done! To sum up, here's what I learned: Bloody Bride is a good looking polish, but I don't feel its worth the hassle (or the pricetag), if you like the effect then get Essie "Toggle to the Top" instead. The OPI base coat certainly makes removal a lot easier, but I'm not convinced you're not doing a small amount of damage to your nails when you use it. I will use the OPI base again, but I don't think I'll use glitter polishes much more often for owning it.
I bought my bottle of Bloody Bride from the lovely Sally Magpies (link in supplier page), currently the only UK based dealer for Pretty Serious. I got my bottle of OPI basecoat gratis, thanks to my lovely mum who gave me it. Thanks mum!