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Monday, November 3, 2014

a England: Elizabeth and Mary Collection - Swatches, Review and Nail Art

Press Sample 
*These products are Cruelty Free 

Today I have the latest collection from  a England, the Elizabeth and Mary Collection, to show you! I can't tell you how I stalked the mailman for these. "Giddy anticipation" is understating it a bit.

a England
Elizabeth and Mary

Continued after the jump...

Before I show you the straight swatches, I had a little fun with them.

Freehand Argyle using Virgin Queen, Crown of Thistles, Fotheringhay Castle and Queen of Scots.


Saran Wrap - Crown of Thistles and Queen of Scots


Toothpick Marble - Fotheringhay Castle, Crown of Thistles and Queen of Scots


Amended Ruffian with Crown of Thistles and Queen of Scots


Vertical Gradient with Crown of Thistles and Queen of Scots


Gradient with Crown of Thistles and Fotheringhay Castle


Autumn Toothpick Marble with Gloriana and Fotheringhay Castle


Autumn Leaves with Gloriana and Fotheringhay Castle


Skittles using all five. L to R: Gloriana, Virgin Queen, Fotheringhay Castle, Crown of Thistles and Queen of Scots

Okay that's it for now with the nail art, let's get to the swatches! I think all 5 of these could actually be one-coaters if you have a slightly heavy hand. I generally do 2 coats though, so that's what I've done with all of these. There are photos in artificial lighting, shade, and in some cases, when it cooperated, sun.


Crown of Thistles - This is the backstory of  England and Scotland. Family and feuds. Kings and Queens. A family divided. The Scottish Thistle is the National Emblem of Scotland. According to a legend, an invading Norse army was attempting to sneak up at night upon a Scottish army's encampment. During this operation one barefoot Norseman had the misfortune to step upon a thistle, causing him to cry out in pain, thus alerting Scots to the presence of the Norse invaders. Some sources suggest the specific occasion was the Battle of Largs, which marked the beginning of the departure of King Haakon IV (Haakon the Elder) of Norway who, having control of the Northern Isles and Hebrides, had harried the coast of the Kingdom of Scotland for some years.

Crown of Thistles is a perfect violet orchid shade of purple with a generous helping of tightly scattered holo pigment. Perfect formula and application. Two coats and one coat of top coat. (Note: This is a one-coater if you wish.)


Fotheringhay Castle - This castle has a long and rich history but is probably most famous for being  the final place of imprisonment of Mary, Queen of Scots, who was tried and executed in the castle in 1587. It was allowed to fall into disrepair and in 1635 was demolished. This is all that remains today.

Fotheringhay Castle is a rich, green with a tightly scattered holo. Creamy and smooth. Perfection. Two coats and one coat of top coat for the photos. (Note: This is a one-coater if you so wish.)


Gloriana - Gloriana is another name for Queen Elizabeth I, the last monarch of the Tudor dynasty and the daughter of Henry VIII and Ann Boleyn. She was Queen of England and Ireland from the mid-1500s until her death in 1603. She ushered in the Elizabethan Era, which brought with it the likes of Shakespeare.

Gloriana is a very saturated  rusty, orange-red full of gold micro-flakes that gives it a metallic glow. Great formula and easy application. Two coats and one coat of top coat for the photos.


Queen of Scots - Mary, Oh, Mary. Mary, Queen of Scots (Mary Stuart, Mary I of Scotland) was, some say, the legitimate heir to the throne instead of Elizabeth I. She was the only surviving legitimate child of King James I of Scotland and was technically Queen of Scotland from the age of 6 days old. She became Queen Consort of France before returning to Scotland and marrying Henry Stuart, Lord Darnley. He was murdered and she was forced to abdicate the throne for her 1 year old son James and fled to England for help from her cousin Queen Elizabeth I. Big mistake! Perceiving her as a threat, Elizabeth had her confined in various castles and manor houses in the interior of England. After eighteen and a half years in custody, Mary was found guilty of plotting to assassinate Elizabeth, and was subsequently executed, strangely enough on July 24, 1567. What would become my birthday 401 years later. Some say the date was February 8, 1567. I have no idea which is correct.

Queen of Scots is a rich, royal blue shimmer polish that glows from within. Great formula - no issues at all. Two coats with one coat of top coat for the photos.


Virgin Queen - Again, Queen Elizabeth I, aka Gloriana, aka Good Queen Bess. Being of Scottish Heritage, I'm not sure I'd call her Good Queen Bess though. *wink*

Virgin Queen is a nicely saturated taupy-gold with a tightly scattered holo. Smooth and easy formula and application. Two coats with one coat of top coat for the photos.


This is the collection I've waited for. Such a perfect collection of colors and finishes and the inspiration couldn't be more awesome for me. It appeals to my Scottish roots and my anglophilia. And it is amazing that all the colors go well with my skin tone. Not to mention Crown of Thistles is MY color and naturally my favorite of the collection. Fotheringhay Castle takes the number 2 spot and I was quite surprised by the other three. I figured I needed Crown of Thistles and Fotheringhay Castle but the others would just be a nice bonus. They blew me away too though! Virgin Queen is so rich and "appropriate," Queen of Scots is just about the perfect blue and Gloriana is stunning and glowy and so decadent. I can't help you narrow them down, that's for sure.

What do you think? Favorites?

Thanks to Royal Mail (BAH!) the US can't order directly from a England anymore but thankfully there are great stocklists in the US who carry them. You can have a look at the a England Stocklist page for e-tailers in your country/area including Llarowe here in the US.

You can check out a-England's social media here for more information and swatches: 


If you enjoyed this post, please take a second to "like" it! Thanks!



  1. Love the gradients, and Fotheringhay Castle is absolutely stunning!

  2. I've ordered three holos and I'm waiting for them to arrive. I'm already sure I'll LOVE Fotheringhay Castle, as for the other two, I'm not sure if they'll be fine with my skintone, but they are definitely worth a try.
    After all, I've collected all previous A-England holos so far, why make exceptions? :)

  3. They are amazing colours - not that I'd expect anything less from A England. I particularly like your argyle pattern.

  4. wow!!! must have the purple! loving your nail art!

  5. Nail art tour de force on an awesome collection! Just breahtaking.

  6. I love the nail art that you did! Did you have any staining with Gloriana?

    1. I actually haven't had a chance to wear it for a full mani yet to know. But usually when one's going to be a stainer, I have a bit of staining on my cuticle area when removing and I didn't on this one. Of course that doesn't mean it won't. I plan on wearing it for a full mani later in the week. I'll report back.

  7. Oh my gosh! I NEED Fotheringhay Castle like right now! This is such a beautiful collection and perfect for you! :)

  8. Beautiful collection, swatches and nail art! :)

  9. Beautiful!!! I would love to get my hands on those polishes!!

  10. I'm completely drooling over your saran wrap and the gradients.
    And this collection is another goal by Adina. She's amazing and I always expect more and more from each collection of hers, being always satisfied <3


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