Good morning, dear readers! I am so excited to be sharing this post with you! I have written and revised it numerous times, and I decided that today is the day no matter what. I hope you're ready for something pretty awesome! Let's do this!
Recently, Jenna from Lyn B Designs posted in her LynB Loves Facebook group asking if members had specific requests or wants for future collection themes. I had suggested going in a different direction from the fandom-inspired collections with a history-inspired collection, and we were pleasantly surprised that the suggestion was such a big hit in the group. We discussed the idea further and decided to do a King Henry VIII themed collection. While there is obviously so much inspiration to use for such a collection, no Tudor-themed collection would be complete without recognizing his six wives. The Tudor Roses Collection had begun!
With such a fascinating subject for this collection, I had polish designs planned in no time! I sent my ideas off to Jenna, and she did a fabulous job bringing my visions to life! On to the beauties!
Katherine of Aragon
A royal purple crelly base with hidden golden shimmer and intense linear holo
Katherine of Aragon was a Spanish-born princess, and she was a royal both by blood and her nature from the moment she took her first breath. Older than Henry, she was originally married to his brother Arthur and was widowed six months later. Henry VIII married her after she was declared a virgin and the quest to produce male heirs began. Unfortunately, Katherine did not provide the coveted sons and Henry's eyes went elsewhere. Katherine was noble and eloquent throughout the end of the marriage and their divorce, and her divorce speech to Henry is arguably the most famous of the Tudor period. With such a strong and royal person, Katherine's polish naturally needed to be purple with subtle golden shimmer to capture her queenly state. It applied very nicely for me, but be careful not to overwork it as it does get a little thick if you do.
Three coats plus top coat
A blood red jelly base filled with linear holo, red micro glitter, and a hidden red shimmer
The marriage of Henry VIII to commoner Anne Boleyn was controversial to say the least! Henry's divorce from Katherine was not a quick and easy process, and in order to free himself of the marriage, the devout Catholic had to break from the Catholic church and create the Church of England in order to marry Anne. As a result, Anne was hated by many. While rumors of a goiter on her neck and the sixth digit on her hand are likely false and made to slander her name, commentary about her quick temper is widely believed to be true. Anne was highly educated for a woman at the time, and she was a great influence on Henry. Unfortunately, she was unable to produce a male heir and was accused of adultery and incest. Her marriage to Henry ended with her beheading by a hired French swordsman. Ironically, Anne's lowly daughter Elizabeth is often declared to be one of England's greatest rulers. Anne's polish needed to be bold and striking, hence the choice of red jelly and shimmer. The red micro glitter was added to represent the flash of temper in her eyes. The polish applies quite nicely although it is a little patchy at two coats. The third coat smoothed it out nicely.
Three coats plus top coat
A dove grey crelly base with a hint of blue shimmer, golden flecks, and gold micro glitter
Jane is delicate and sweet, and every bit Anne's opposite. Henry's affair with Jane began while he was still married to Anne, and he was taken with her quiet and obedient manner. She was also Anne's opposite in appearance as well. While Anne had dark hair and eyes and olive skin, Jane was pale with blonde hair. Jane is said to have been Henry's most loved queen because she provided him with his son and heir, hence the blue shimmer. Jane paid the ultimate price in providing the son and died shortly after giving birth. This polish is a subtle beauty. It is a little patchy at two coats, but the third coat evened it out. It is on the sheerer side so you may need a fourth coat if you have longer nails and wish to avoid visible nail line.
Anne of Cleves
Two coats plus top coat
A taupe base loaded with golden shimmer, gold galaxy holo, and peachy pink glass flecks.
Anne of Cleves had it better than most! Henry didn't find her attractive enough for him and called her a Flander's Mare. Henry's marriage to Anne was a political tactic to have the German Protestant states on his side and the Catholic France and Spain had formed an allegiance against England. Poor Anne had it rough with being so obviously unwanted by the king, but she reportedly took it all in stride and was good natured and kind. She wisely accepted the king's divorce proposal and remained in England as the king's "beloved sister". Jenna went in a slightly different direction from my design with her own spin on Anne of Cleves to create this sparkling beauty. The application was really easy but be careful not to overwork this one. It does dry to a gritty texture so you'll need to add a couple coats of top coat if you want a smooth surface on your nails.
Two coats plus top coat
A light pink base loaded with silver and golden shimmer
Katherine was flirty and thirty years younger than the king. Henry was reported to come alive again when he started courting her. A foolish and promiscuous woman, Katherine was cousin to Anne Boleyn with a poorly influenced upbringing. Thrust into Henry's view by her title-grubbing family, Katherine was inexperienced with politics and severely overestimated Henry's love for her. She was caught having an affair and was crudely beheaded by the ax for her treason. Katherine Howard applied nicely for me, but again, you do want to take care not to overwork it as the polish may get thick and goopy.
Three coats plus top coat
A forest green crelly base with silver galaxy holo
Catherine Parr was the sixth and final wife of Henry VIII; she was widowed twice before marrying him. Henry might have jinxed himself with this choice as she outlived him and became thrice-widowed with his death. Representing life and survival, Catherine's base shade certainly needed to be green! Her marriage to Henry was performed privately and without ceremony, and I didn't envision her being a wildly flashy shade. Jenna used my green suggestion and added her own take to the beautiful Catherine Parr. This polish is a little on the sheer side with some bald patches at two coats, but the third coat leveled it out perfectly. In spite of all the glitters, the finish wasn't very gritty and I only needed a single coat of top coat for a smooth finish. I apologize for the super-blurred closeup photo- my camera refused to take a focused image with all the holo glitters!
over China Glaze Pink or Swim
One coat plus top coat
A clear base topper with gold, green, and red flecks with white, red, and burgundy glitter.
Even though there were six wives, this collection felt incomplete without the addition of this seventh and final polish. While the Tudor rose was adapted by Henry's father by cojoining the white and red roses of the feuding York and Lancaster families, it felt a fitting conclusion to the collection of Henry VIII's queens. This is a beautiful topper, and I adore the flashes of colour! It applied perfectly for me and does dry to a slightly textured finish that can easily be remedied with a quick coat of top coat.
I am loving this collection, and I hope you enjoy it as much as I do! I think each shade represents what is known about each of the wives well, and the range of finishes certainly captures the range of personalities. While I personally find myself identifying more with Anne Boleyn as a person, I think the polish Jane Seymour may be my surprising favorite from the collection.
The Tudor Roses Collection launches April 1st at 7 pm EST at the Lyn B Designs Etsy shop located here.
What do you think of the shades in this collection? Which are your favorites? I'd love to hear from you!
Until next time, dear readers, have a wonderful day!