Review: Shandy + A Casual Vacancy

The worst thing about dark polishes is how when they chip, it’s painfully obvious. I only had a few minor ones, but Blackberry Jam had to go.

It was a happy coimg_8437incidence though – I had just finished A Casual Vacancy by JK Rowling and really wanted to coordinate my nails with the dust jacket. While not Smokey Mountain Lacquers, I had just the color: Shandy by Love, Angeline from the “Let’s Grab a Drink” collection released in fall 2015.

Although I’ve used this color for several gradients, it’s never been used for a full mani. The color stays true to what you see in the bottle: a gritty mustard yellow with green and brown undertones, with yellow and orange spectroflairs throughout. Application was easy and even, opaque in two coats. It dries matte and appears textured, but both are done away with a top coat. Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for matte, but the color is honestly too hideous to bear without the top coat. Removal was easy enough, except the yellow stained my nails and skin. It was unexpected and a little irksome.

Beyond the obvious nail-polish-matches-the-img_8446cover situation, I thought the qualities of the polish were parallels to the novel itself. A Casual Vacancy is a story about a small town fight – between lovers and friends, parents and their children, rich and poor. JK Rowling, always the master of character development, seamlessly telling the story from many different perspectives, often transitioning from one to the next paragraph by paragraph, much like all of the colors playing together to create Shandy. The Fields and Krystal Weedon are the gritty tough aspects of the story that still offer a ray of hope. The climax of the novel was unexpected – though when I got to it, it was like a watching a train wreck happening: you knew what was coming and there was no way to stop it.

I was genuinely surprised by how much I enjoyed A Casual Vacancy. It’s beautifully written and the climax is heart wrenching. I wish I knew more people who have read it because I’m still working on unpacking everything from it, even though I’ve moved on to other novels. If you’ve read the book, share your thoughts in the comments – I’d love to hear what you think! 

As for the nail polish, I think it will be relegated to accent color status. It just wasn’t something I really enjoyed having as a full manicure and the way it stained everything is not something I’m looking to repeat.


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