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Although it doesn’t comport with my continuing search for a natural nail polish, I picked up a couple bottles of Revlon’s latest gimmick–scented nail enamel. The bottles are a bit on the small side, only 0.4 ounces (0.5 ounces is standard), but they also were fairly inexpensive. I think I paid around $4 a bottle at Wal-Mart. (Actually, my grandma bought them for me. I never, ever, ever shop at Wal-Mart because they treat their employees like garbage, but that’s where my grandma shops, and I was running errands with her.)

Anyway, the cute little bottles are what first attracted me, and I was mildly intrigued by the idea of scented nail polish. They have a ridiculous number of scents from which to choose (24, to be exact), but I chose mine based on color more than scent. I picked up a pale mint green with blue glitter called Wintermint and a greige (that’s a beige-y grey, for those unfamiliar with the term) called Spun Sugar. I had a pretty good idea of what Wintermint would smell like, but Spun Sugar was a mystery.

As far as polishes go, these are fairly typical. They go on smoothly, but two coats are definitely required to get adequate coverage. The brushes are small, which makes it easier to get close to the cuticle along the sides of the nail; however, I think it would be extremely difficult to manage the three-stroke coverage technique that most professional manicurists use. The bulbous top is easy to hold onto but feels a little weird at first.

I was hoping that the added scents would replace the awful chemical smell that non-natural nail polishes have, but no such luck. There’s definitely a hint of fragrance as you use the product, which is a nice touch, but the chemical smell is there too. On the plus side though, I don’t think the chemical smell lingers as much as it does with other non-natural polishes.

The Revlon website claims that the “fragrance is revealed when dry” and “lasts all day.” Um, no. The fragrance is discernible while you’re painting your nails and then mostly disappears once the polish is dry. Maybe if you didn’t use a top coat you might be able to pick up on the scent after your nails dry. But who doesn’t use top coat?

The wear on the polish is pretty good. I used the Spun Sugar first, which turned out to be more of a silver than a greige when I actually got it on my nails. I painted them on a Thursday and got my first chip the following Tuesday, but it was a small one. My manicure was still in rather good shape when I removed the polish seven days after applying it, especially considering that my hands had been through a lot that week: cleaning, baking, typing, and packing a suitcase. Removal was typical–it required some scrubbing with the remover-soaked cotton balls, but it took less than five minutes to remove polish on all 10 fingers.

The Wintermint didn’t hold up quite as well. Again, I painted my nails on a Thursday but had my first chip by Monday, and then many more chips by the next day. I only got six days of wear out of that manicure, and I probably should have called it at five. Because of the lightness of both shades, I was able to push them a little longer than you could with a dark shade, where a chip is far more noticeable. One nice thing about the Wintermint is the level of glitter–it’s enough to give your nails some sparkle, but not so much that you feel like you’ve painted your nails with sand. As expected, removal is a bit more difficult than for non-glitter polish, but with an acetone remover (a must for glitter) it only took about five minutes.

Oh, and it turns out Spun Sugar just smells sweet, kind of like cotton candy, which makes sense because cotton candy is literally spun sugar. It reminds me of something my friend Lisa said in one of her less-than-proud moments: “Cotton candy is just like cotton. Except it’s candy.”

Overall rating: ***

One * for wear (five to seven days is pretty solid). One * for packaging and color selection. One * for making the experience of painting your nails a little less of an olfactory assault.

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