Topshop Mannequin and Andrea Fulerton Annie

I'm not normally the type for nude polish - I prefer having something bright and cheerful on my hands - but as the saga of trying to reduce down my nail polish box continues I thought I'd finish a blog I started many moons ago on Mannequin, a peachy nude polish from Topshop's phenomenally successful make-up line.

In the three years since Topshop Make Up (has it really been that long?), it's become known for its quirky polka dotted and striped packaging and for great quality affordable products. I have a ton of stuff from there - their Saddle eyeliner is my go-to weekend make-up and I'll be bereft when I eventually finish my Brighton Rock lipstick. But one area where they've really excelled is their nail polish, specialising in on-trend funky colours with brilliant names. So Mannequin is a little bit of a departure for them as it's definitely more of a classic shade rather than a fashion one.

The first thing I have to say is that it applies really nicely. I am the least dextrous person ever and the fact that I managed to do two coats of this with only marginal scraps going onto my fingers speaks volumes about how easy it is to apply, so points for that. It is however slightly thin for my liking in terms of coverage - two coats does leave a little bit of streakiness, although as I've said before I suspect this is an issue with paler polishes in general and not necessarily specific to this shade or brand. The other issue is that it seems to be a much different colour once it's on. I'm not sure how much you can see in the photograph but it is much peachier on my fingers than it is in the bottle, so just to be aware of that if you do want to invest.

I haven't done a top coat on this, for reasons you'll see in a moment. Base coat is Revlon Post Trauma Nail Treatment as usual - although my nails are in pretty good condition right now I used to have terrible ridges, particularly on my thumbnails, and this has helped sort them right out. Plus the fact that you can put polish on top of it, unlike some treatments, is a bonus (it dries into a slightly milky colour so doesn't work too well on its own).

One of the great things about more neutral nail polishes is that they give you a nice base to play around with some more interesting effects, and whilst I thought Mannequin was OK I wanted to liven it up a little bit. I'd spotted the idea for silver laid over nude in a magazine and thought this was the perfect opportunity to experiment, so I grabbed a bottle of Andrea Fulerton Annie - a sparkly silver polish - from my kit and applied a very thin coat of it over the top of Mannequin. This was the result (with added Seche Vite top coat):

I have to say I'm a litle undecided on this. On the one hand, it feels like a good way to grunge up a polish that could potentially be quite prim and proper but without it being too in-your-face (I'd like to see it with a pale blue), as well as the fact that it can look very different depending on how the light hits it. But then at the same time, I'm not sure I like the messiness of it close up. With crackle, that messiness is part of the effect and it tends to be that it adds edge because of how it's formulated. This to me just looks a little bit sloppy when I look at it closely (though I should add it looks much better on the photo).

In terms of durability, I painted these on Friday afternoon - when I wrote most of this post - and there was marginal tip wear on Tuesday morning. First proper chip was spotted Thursday lunchtime (although I did manage to hack a lump out of it on Wednesday fiddling with keyrings, but that doesn't count as it was something I did not just natural wear and tear). So I'd say that's pretty good; clearly the Seche Restore is working!

Overall, I actually liked Mannequin a lot more than I thought I would once it was on. I think it's something that could potentially become a great staple polish, especially if you worked in a fairly corporate job where bright colours were frowned upon for nails. I like Annie as well - it would be a brilliant shade with, say, an all-black outfit for an evening out, or perhaps for a holiday if you want something that really grabs the light - but I'm just not sure that these two do actually go together all that well. It's a bit like when you were a kid and mixed red and purple thinking you'd get this amazing colour, and what you ended up with was brown. But oh well, at least I tried it!

If you fancy picking up a bottle of Mannequin, it's £5 from the Topshop website but check in stores as well as sometimes they may have it (in the unlikely event you're not near a Topshop John Lewis also stocks it). Annie is available in Superdrug stores and on their website - it's currently £3.99 as opposed to the usual £5.10. I'm also prepping a blog on Annie on its (her?) own, so look out for that in the next few posts!

What do you think of this manicure? Would you try a similar effect with your polishes? Let me know in the comments (and please share pictures, I'm always keen to see other people's nail art!).

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