I didn't want any of these Rescue Beauty Lounge polishes at first but then I read Antonia Fraser's The Wives of King Henry VIII. And then I wanted all of them. Even though these are only four of his six wives. Which kind of bothers me because it feels incomplete. Where is the love for Anna of Cleves and Catherine Parr (though Catherine Parr is probably the least colorful character of the six)?
And then I wanted to review them just because I like the following rhyme; I think it's an amusing way to remember the order of Henry's wives:
Divorced, beheaded, died;
Divorced, beheaded, survived.
By my count, these were named for Divorced No #1 (Catherine of Aragon), Beheaded Nos #1 and #2 (Anne Boleyn and Catherine Howard) and the singular one who died naturally while still married to Henry (Jane Seymour).
My first question is why did one man marry so many women by the name of Catherine (or Katheryn, or whatever permutations of the name his wives used)? If you've already divorced one Catherine and beheaded another... why marry a third? Wouldn't the name feel jinxed to you? I guess Henry was a hopeless romantic and optimist.
All of these were NOTDs so I can comment somewhat on their longevity. In chronological order by the date of their marriage to Henry...
This is the only manicure that I did with only a coat of Nubar Nu Nails as basecoat (and Diamont as topcoat) and it chipped like mad the first day. And it refused to dry so it got all squashed up. Dark eggplant purple with multicolored shimmer: I love seeing the gold, pink, blue and green shimmer all together in the sunlight. It is rather dull and depressing indoors though.
Closeup of Catherine
This murky green (again, with the multicolored shimmer in a base that appears quite dull indoors but is lovely in sunlight) was a pain in my neck to apply. The formula was harder to control, needed three coats to get all of the spotty patches and also refused to dry. This wouldn't be so bad in a less expensive polish but I expect better quality from RBL. This was with Gelous and Diamont, which meant that it stayed together pretty well for two days -- this photo was taken on the second day -- but the long dry time contributed to the number of dents that I acquired while asleep. :(
Closeup of Anne
Okay, guys, obviously, she wasn't a witch and didn't bewitch Henry by means of "sortilege". She was young, intelligent, charming and *ahem* wouldn't give it up until he married her. And, most importantly, she kept on swearing she'd bear a son for Henry. When she didn't, he got pissed at her (and also worried that maybe God didn't like her either because he had committed a sort of incest because he had had an affair with her sister, Mary Boleyn years before). After plenty of intrigue and a totally bullshit trial, she ended up being sentenced to death (along with her accused "lovers", one of whom was her brother). Apparently, when she was told who her executioner was, she said that she had heard he was good and besides, "I have a very small neck".
I think this may be my favorite polish from the collection. I've seen swatches of this elsewhere and it appears more beige on many Caucasian people -- a perfect nude for them. On me, a tanned Asian woman, it pulls more grey and even brings out some tinges of dusty purple. Like the other polishes, it has shimmer but this is more opalescent shimmer (which still sparkles several different colors) and is more subtle. I love this color though: I guess this could be called a greige. :) Two coats, so beautifully and thickly pigmented. Very easy to apply. This stayed for two or three days without a single chip and almost no tipwear with Gelous and Diamont.
Closeup of Jane
Oh, plain Jane Seymour. This is sort of perfect for her. She supposedly was a bland, timid lady who was sweet and obedient to Henry (unlike Anne who loved to argue with him and Catherine who refused to give him his own way). She was pretty much Henry's absolute favorite because she bore him an heir... and died soon after. She was much mourned by Henry and was remembered very fondly... possibly because she didn't have enough time while alive to annoy him in one way or another. She was even painted into a family portrait during one of Henry's subsequent marriages. What the heck? I would've been pissed if I were that wife.
RBL Catherine H
Second favorite from the collection. I love this slightly greyed out medium blue. It's chock full of chunks of purple and blue shimmer. Also a great two coater that went on super easily. I may only keep this one and Jane from the collection. This was taken after about 36 hours of wear with Gelous and Diamont: as you can see, no chips and very little tipwear.
Closeup of Catherine H
Apparently, Catherine Howard was kind of a ditz. Unlike her cousin Anne Boleyn, it's probable that she cheated on Henry -- which is extremely idiotic, given this man's propensity for divorce (or rather, annulment) and beheading. She was much loved while she was in the king's good graces -- apparently, "young, pretty and vivacious" are attractive qualities to middle aged men -- but when he found out she hadn't been faithful... yeah, off with her head. It is said that she spent the night before her execution practicing how to position her head on the chopping block.
I don't mind so much that RBL left off Catherine Parr... after reading about the other five more interesting wives, I was sort of bored by the sixth. But come on... no Anna of Cleves? The ONE political marriage Henry made -- if you don't count Catherine of Aragon, whose marriage to Arthur was political but whose marriage to Henry was not quite as much -- and he couldn't *cough* get it up for her. She ended up with an annulled marriage... but got a boatload of compensation for it. Instead of returning to Cleves, she stayed in England as the King's "much beloved sister" and got a ton of property and money. Her position in society was second only to the queen and the daughters of the king. If I could choose a color for her, it'd be some very luxe shade: maybe a rich, multifaceted gold to represent how well she did for herself eventually. :)
History is so much fun to me. If I hadn't been a psychologist, I might have considered being an historian. There's nothing I like better than to hold and examine old documents, to piece together a story from many different sources. Most of my leisure reading falls under either history or sociology: mostly, trying to understand particular groups of people in particular places. I love being immersed in different worlds through reading.
October 3rd (65m cardio -- I was watching a cake challenge on Food Network and doing some reading and simply lost track of time)
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