I haven't done a good ol' product showdown in quite a while. However, with the recent popularity of the Nails Inc Concrete effect polishes, spawned a host of drugstore brand dupes sooooo of course my curiosity got the better of me and i just had to investigate just to see if they really could live up to a heavyweight brand such as Nails Inc.
So here are the contenders.....
Barry M Textured Nail Paint in 'Kingsland Road' RRP £3.99
Nails Inc Concrete in 'London Wall' RRP £12
On the surface of it all i'd lean immediately towards Nails Inc. This has mainly to do with the fact that i have a MAJOR soft spot for the brand and have great respect for their consistent dedication to developing innovative and new products and i always seem to love EVERYTHING they bring out. It also has to do with the fact that i find the range of shades they have more appropriate to the nature of the product. Personally, i prefer a 'concrete' effect polish to be more of a stone tone (although Nails Inc did also bring out a bright blue, red and lime green in the range) rather than the uber-pale pastel shades Barry M have come up with (although with the new season creeping in i do see where they're coming from with that). I also think it stinks that Barry M have named the polishes with a blatant reference to Nails Inc's street/place name themes. Yeah, i'm fiercely loyal to Nails Inc, you get that.
I'm going to go through each polish in turn and give my pros and cons in an attempt to crown one product the winner. Starting with....
Barry M 'Kingsland Road'
- Price: At £3.99 it is easily affordable and that means you could pick up several different colours for the same price as a single Nails Inc polish.
- Long Lasting: Two coats of this polish on me lasted a whole week without any top coat (you don't use topcoat with textured polishes). It did come away a bit at the very tips but there was no major chipping.
- Finish: It's more matte than the Nails Inc version (the concrete polish has a slight shine underneath the gritty particles) and i rather like it for that!
- Drying time: It took AGES (hence the slight nick on my middle fingernail). I put this down to the polish being quite wishy washy and thin.
- Colour: Although the colours Barry M have brought out would be bang on for the Spring/Summer season, but just don't seem appropriate for the texture of the polish. The colour also didn't go fully opaque and seemed to fade over time.
- Texture: The gritty particles in the polish are much less apparent in the Barry M polish than the Nails Inc. I don't know whether they are smaller or just not as abundant in the polish but it took 2 coats to see any significant texture appearing.
Nails Inc 'London Wall'
- Texture: I find i get the same amount of texture from a single coat of this polish that i'd get with two coats of the Barry M version. It also seems more pronounced in the polish. This also means you save on polish, justifying the high pricetag a little more as you use less product per application. The photo below is just one coat compared to the Barry M photo which is two.
- Colours: Nails Inc brought out more murky stone tones in their range (London Wall and Barbican being my two favourites) and i find they suit the texture much better than the pretty pastels from Barry M, although this may just be my preference.
- Application: The polish is much sturdier than the Barry M version and dries faster with better opacity
- Price: At £12 you could buy 3 of the Barry M polishes and still have change from the price of this one. I do, however, believe that Nails Inc are worth the price but i know that not all (including myself) can afford to spend this much on a polish on a regular basis and may only purchase as an occasional treat. The Barry M versions are much more accessible.
- Application: I know i listed this as a Pro as well but i just thought i should point out that if you DO attempt two coats of this polish it often ends up looking uneven and thick in places and this affects the visibility of the texture. I also find that this polish chips quite quickly with multiple coats.
In all honestly.... I think the evidence for both polishes is compelling and there isn't really much in it. I think there is a strong case in favour of each of these polishes. I suppose the major factor in this is price and personal preference, although i think i would still prefer the Nails Inc polishes even if it meant i could only have one or two instead of three or four. The kicker for me is the shades and the finish. I think Barry M would have done better to include more neutral, earthy tones in their selection rather than just pastels. I would suggest, however, that if you aren't the biggest fan of the Nails Inc Concrete, you should still consider Barry M as it gives a more subtle textured finish. I would actually REALLY like Barry M to do a range of matte Nail Paint (minus the texture) in these kinds of colours. Now THAT i would buy! As it is i don't think i'll be buying any more of the current textured shades. I'm much preferring their Gelly polishes.
My Winner: Nails Inc Concrete
(with Barry M as a very worthy opponent)
Do you love textured nail polishes?? Do you go for quality or quantity when it comes to nail polish?? Are you willing to pay the extra??