Monday, November 14, 2011

Soulstice Spa Manchester wants you to embrace gray, gloomy days.

One of the few things I'm not too happy about leaving Daylight Savings Time is the early sunsets that prolong the dark of night. After a short day of gloomy, grey weather (much like today's) cut short only by more darkness, not much light does the soul no good. It really is not much wonder that depression hits people the most during the winter months. But grey doesn't always have to be bad.

Grey came back with a splash this fall season. It was considered one of the trendier shades. Mind you, we're talking full on grey and none of that "greige" (a grey/beige hybrid) or "grerple" (purple leaning greys and yes, I made that up) or any other grey with a splash of ____ hybrid. I've long been on the hunt for a light grey that doesn't make me think wet cement and I think I've finally found it.

soulstice spa manchester nail polish
Don't you a-grey?

The Quick Take

Brand/Name: Soulstice Spa Manchester
Color: Blue-based pale grey
Finish: Creme
Price: $8.50 CDN for 14mL
Seen at: Nail Polish Canada, Soulstice Spa Website (you can also order from them via phone or email; click on the "Order" tab for more details), and various beauty salons in the US
Note(s): This line is 100% Vegan and Cruelty-free (Peta certified) and is exclusively available through Nail Polish Canada in Canada.

The Fun Facts

Bottle shot.

Back of the bottle.

Label at the base.

Good sized brush that reminds me of the Essie brush.

The exact shade of grey I've been looking for!

The Soulstice Spa website describes this color as "concrete grey-blue". I think it's more accurate to call it a blue based grey. The blue in it is probably what I like so much in that it doesn't bring out any of my sallow looking undertones. It's not overtly blue though. It's still very much a grey that's on the paler side of the spectrum. I think the name suits it well considering Manchester's reputation for being a rainy city. The creme finish was nice and glossy even without top coat. Add vegan and cruelty free to that and you've got the makings of a great polish!
***All nail swatches were done with Orly Bonder Base Coat and two coats of  Soulstice Spa Manchester unless stated.

light gray
Natural light/No top coat/No flash
If you look close enough, you can see the camera's reflection.

Natural light/No top coat/Flash
Shiny, eh?

Sunlight/No top coat/No flash
I was lucky the sun decided to say hello for a bit while I was taking photos.

The brush that came with it was very reminiscent of the standard Essie brush. Easy to handle and pliable enough to fan out to get into nooks and crannies. It applied really well with the polish that had an Essie-like consistency. Not too watery nor too thick, it went on the nail smoothly, albeit streaky on the first coat. It did build up wonderfully after two coats and leveled itself out upon drying. Dry time was average in that it was dry to the touch in maybe five minutes.

Natural light/Top coat/No flash
Top coat doesn't change the finish much.

Natural light/Top coat/Flash
Hammie says: I think you forgot to put top coat again.

Despite what Hammie says, the top coat photos DO have top coat. Only thing is, the finish of the polish alone was so glossy that top coat really made no difference. If you're wondering about the missing sunlight photo, Mr. Sun didn't come back after that brief hello so I'll just have to update this when he's more..reliable.

The Lowdown

Based on online swatches, the blue based grey that Manchester has falls somewhere in between Fingerpaints' Stunning Stillettos from their fall collection (of which Military Green is part of) and China Glaze Sea Spray from the Anchor's Away collection which was released earlier this spring. But in as far as full on dupes go, I can't think of any.

As for availability, we, Canadians, can easily order it from Nail Polish Canada that carries the line exclusively. I've had nothing but good experience with them based on the few times I have ordered from them. In fact, they've recently introduced a rewards system where you accumulate points with every order towards a free bottle of nail polish or nail art stickers that you can choose from a wide variety on their rewards catalog. However, I personally think that getting a free bottle on your next purchase was a better way of getting repeat customers (something they did earlier on). I'm guilty of placing my next few orders with them to redeem the free nail polish coupon that came with my last order. That being said, I got Manchester for free with a coupon I got from doing a survey on their website. Value for price, I think this one is pretty spot on. But getting it for free was such a great way to try the line and I'm looking forward to playing with the other shades. If they're anywhere as good as Manchester, it would indeed be a shame not to spread the love.

Hammie is thrilled about the whole Soulstice Spa line being vegan and cruelty free. In addition to having a polish that performs on par with beloved brands, a high shine finish even without top coat and a color that can drive the blues of grey mornings away, this one was easy to score:

10 Hammie Points!

Would you favor a vegan and/or cruelty free brand over one that isn't? Have you tried any Soulstice Spa nail polishes? What's your go-to grey polish?


  1. Me thinks it's the bluish tint that transforms this color from blah (drab cement-like color!) to fab (dusty melancholic hue!). =) For my part, I prefer grayish purples (no, I'm not going to call it grerple), but true gray is a color with character (that's why not everyone can wear it!)

  2. I totally agree, Anthea! That tiniest hint of blue makes it so very wearable. What's your favorite greyish purple? Off the top of my head, Rad Nomad from Color Club's Back to Boho is a darker grey but it might be right up your alley. :)

  3. Great how it dries so shiny even without a base coat! That's always a plus.

    I have trouble wearing greys like this. Even some silvers don't look quite right on me. But you rock this grey, Carmela! :)

  4. You mean top coat, right? ;) But yeah, for a quickie, on the go mani, this one works very well!

    Really? I can't seem to believe that! Most everything should work well on you. Thanks so much, Mary! :)

  5. I'm wearing almost the same shade right now by Misa! I guess gloom IS in the air. It's also kind of romantic and pretty, though. :)

  6. Haha, whoops! Yes, I meant TOP coat. Base coat? I've been smelling my nail polish too much, it seems. :P

  7. UHm... I could have sworn I left a comment yesterday?! ... Came back to read your response... only to realize that you can't reply to a mimed comment... lol
    I love this colour on you! I'm glad you got to play with this new shade (and get it at a bargoon price also)... it reminds me of Sea Spray like you say (but with its own very distinct character)... You know, I saw a post by someone who stamped with a super light silver over a similar grey... the result was quite pretty :) I tend to wear these 'cold' greys under a stamp because they give me dead-fingers on their own...

  8. Oooh, which one is it? I haven't tried Misa yet and I might want to get another grey. It can be romantic and pretty if you have someone to share it with, for sure! :)

  9. Oh, no! I'm so sorry about that, Marta. I hope none of the other comments were also eaten by Disqus. Tsk. Bad, Disqus, bad!

    Thank you so much! Ooh, tone on tone. That sounds like something I'll definitely want to try. :) Hahaha, I know what you mean about dead fingers. I get those from pale beiges or purple greys. Luckily, blue greys work out okay. :)


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