I’ve been thinking about writing this post since I placed an order for this collection. I have worn each shade (not only for the swatch pics but for my own pleasure) and can safely say now that this is a superb release. All polishes in the collection are one-coaters. The new wide brush makes the application a breeze (and this is coming from a person who does not usually like wide brushes at all!)
This collection also pushed me to read about the history of King Henry VIII and his six wives. Reading about them made me realise and understand the choice of colours for each person. I don’t know whether I am right or not in my interpretation of the shades but I hope that at least I’m not entirely wrong 🙂
I added each person’s motto next to the name of the polish (in brackets) just for some extra information. Let’s dive into some history and pictures now!
Katherine of Aragon («Humble and loyal»)
The first wife of Henry VIII, they were married for over 20 years.
Katherine was actually first betrothed to Arthur, Henry’s brother. They were married when she was 16 but Arthur died shortly afterwards. Seven years later Katherine married Henry VIII.
Katherine was a well-educated woman and she continued to broaden her knowledge during her life and also provided training for her only child, Mary. Education among women became fashionable partly because of Katherine’s influence.
Katherine would be a perfect wife if it weren’t for her one «flaw». Henry still considered a male heir essential. As she was no longer able to bear children by that time and became more of a burden than a wife, our dear king began thinking about the annulment — plans that Katherine didn’t know about. Katherine was defiant when she learnt about Henry’s wish to send her to a nunnery or annul their marriage. She was later forced to leave the court and spent her last years living in distant castles. Until the end of her life, Katherine would refer to herself as Henry’s only lawful wedded wife and England’s only rightful queen.
Now that we’ve read a bit about Katherine, it can be noted that the colour selected for her polish resembles her very well. If we go to the brand’s website and check out the description, we will see that this shade does suit our Katherine («Holographic antique gold like precious brocade«). She was born a princess and later became the queen and that was taken from her even though the church never gave consent to annul her marriage to King Henry VIII.
I struggled to think of a description for this colour. I would call it a white gold probably with strong gold shimmer. There are several polishes in the collection that have gold shimmer added to them but the shimmer in this polish is the most prominent in my opinion.
Anne Boleyn («The Most Happy»)
Anne was the second wife of Henry VIII. They were married for 3 years.
Anne was a lady-in-waiting of the king’s first wife, Katherine of Aragon.
Sources said that she was not considered a great beauty, but she received praise on her style, her wit and charm. King Henry was attracted to her sharp and teasing manner. People of England weren’t happy about the king’s idea to marry Anne but hey as if he cared a bit about their opinions! Her coronation was a lavish affair; but the people of London were noticeably unimpressed. Still, Anne enjoyed her triumph and chose ‘The Most Happy’ as her motto.
After a couple years of marriage Henry grew wary of Anne since she couldn’t bear him an heir. He started thinking of how to get rid of his second wife because that would allow him to marry once again (his first wife Katherine passed away by that time). In the end Henry had her arrested, charged with adultery, witchcraft, and incest; the charges seemed ridiculously absurd even to her enemies. She was brought to the scaffold in May 1536.
Anne was vivacious, passionate and stylish and you can definitely see her in the shade dedicated to her name. It is described as «Rich full red scatter holo» and there couldn’t be a better Anne. You can easily distinguish her among others and she is well-deserved of a «centre of attention» title.
This is a berry-toned red for me. It is eye-catching, full of emotion and sensuality. The signature holographic effect of A-England adds up to the grandeur of the polish.
The Most Happy (Anne Boleyn’s motto)
As it was mentioned before, Anne was a striking contrast to Henry’s first wife Katherine.
When Anne became the queen, she ordered new blue and purple livery for her servants and set about replacing Katherine’s badge of pomegranates with her own falcon symbol. She chose as her motto, ‘The Most Happy’, in stark contrast to her predecessor. Katherine had been ‘Humble and Loyal’; Henry’s mother, Elizabeth of York had chosen ‘Humble and Reverent’. But as we learned a bit earlier, humility was not a well-known word to Anne.
That gives us a lot of information on why this colour was chosen for the name of the polish (or the other way around). It’s rich, it’s royal, and for Anne it was a way to show her triumph.
Jane Seymour («Bound to Obey and Serve»)
Here we have the third wife of the king who was a lady-in-waiting before being courted by the king. Their marriage lasted a little more than a year.
Jane was known for her quiet and gentle manner. Henry was far more discreet with her, and this undoubtedly suited Jane. She was content to remain unknown until the king announced his intentions to marry her. There were rumors that she would not dine alone with the king, insisting always upon a chaperone, and that she responded to a particularly bold flirtation by reminding the king of his marriage. Henry married Jane eleven days after his previous wife, Anne, was beheaded. Jane was publicly declared queen.
Jane was able to provide the king with his fondest wish — ah heir, the future king Edward. Sadly Jane died some weeks after the birth of her son. In the end, she would be the only of Henry’s wives to be buried with him.
Her meek and soothing manner can be easily traced when looking at this nail polish. The understated green that according to the brand reveals «at times an inner vibrant green fire and subtle grey hue complemented with golden shimmer» has a very sophisticated feel to it.
The peacefulness of the shade together with a sudden gush of golden spark that is visible at times resembles Jane perfectly.
The second part of the collection will be posted separately, I will add the link to that post here.
English History website — link (there’s a link to a separate page for each of Henry’s wives)
Wikipedia — link (this page also has a link to each wife’s own page with lots of information)
A-England website — link