Brand: Leighton Denny
Leighton Denny is a brand which I, being in North America, only vaguely recognized. When I recently spotted some of the brand’s polishes at Winners, I somehow recollected that it was a British brand, although I suppose with a name like Leighton Denny, that’s not much of a leap to make!
According to his website, he’s a nail tech to the stars who has worked with celebrities like Kate Moss, Penélope Cruz, and Adele. He’s also an MBE, which is pretty impressive considering he started his career as a humble forklift operator! (OMG, maybe he knows what the Queen wears?!)
Now, the colors available at Winners were not many, and I ended up selecting a taupe shimmer, which seemed to be one of the more unique colors available. I’m guessing that it’s named Message In a Bottle for the Police song, though I suppose that is a common enough phrase that it might not be! (The other shades aren’t all named for songs, à la Deborah Lippmann.)
Message In a Bottle is a warm taupe shimmer that goes on semi-sheer. Against my warm skintone, it reads more light beige-taupe than medium taupe-grey, partly due to the polish’s fine, peachy-pink-gold shimmer. I am actually surprised at how much I like this one, even though I don’t think it’s the most flattering shade on me. The shimmer’s more lively and accentuated in the sunlight, too. I think the polish is named quite well, as it does bring to mind an aged glass bottle nestled in wet sand.
Application was nice and smooth: no complaints about the formula. Two coats gives semi-sheer coverage, with just a hint of VNL (visible nail line). I feel that the polish is even enough that I could try using one coat as a topper, as well.
The bottle is quite nice, with a good heft and solid construction. The brush is slender, similar to an Essie brush. Overall, this seems like a nice product line, and I’m tempted to head back to Winners to pick up an opaque shade!
Leighton Denny High Performance Nail Colour is 12 mL and retails for £11 (I found mine for CA$4.99). It is free of toluene, formaldehyde, and dibutyl phthalate (DBP). The label states, perhaps a bit vaguely, that it is made in the EU. The brand is cruelty-free.