Given how much I’ve been writing about nail polish, my friend Liz suggested I check out All Lacquered Up, a blog dedicated to nails and written by a fellow Clevelander. I’m not sure how she manages to change her nail polish so frequently, but she definitely has a lot of good recommendations. If you’re into nail polish, you should check out her blog.
When I recently found myself hanging out at the Third Street Promenade in Santa Monica (one of my favorite places in Los Angeles), I popped into Sephora to kill some time and was greeted by a dizzying selection of polishes in the Formula X for Sephora line. I remembered reading something about Formula X on All Lacquered Up, so I decided to pick up one for myself. Easier said than done. I must have spent 20 minutes looking at all the different colors and styles. Here’s the page on Sephora’s website that shows all their Formula X options. Now imagine all those arrayed before you in person. It can be a bit overwhelming.
I wanted something sparkly, so I narrowed my search to the Celestials line. Then I had to choose from among 17 color options. I ended up with a blue-green color called Celestial (mildly confusing because that’s the name of the line as well). At $12.50 apiece, I wanted to limit myself to just one.
Formula X is what’s known as “3-free,” meaning that it does not contain formaldehyde, toluene, or DBP (dibutyl phthalate), all of which are known toxins. The next level up is “5-free,” which means it also does not contain camphor or formaldehyde resin. More and more brands are switching to 5-free. Here’s a pretty extensive list of which brands fall into which category.
So, onto the polish itself. The bottle has a fat, squared cap that is removable to reveal a standard round, ribbed brush handle. The brush bristles are firm and don’t fan out too much, which is nice when you’re trying to get to the side of your nail without getting polish all over your skin. The coverage is very opaque. I only used one coat, both because I felt the opacity was sufficient after one coat and because the polish is rather thick and textured, and I was afraid more than one coat would just result in a too-thick layer of polish.
Speaking of texture, because this is a glitter polish, the end result after drying is rather gritty and bumpy, even with a clear top coat over it. If you like smooth nails, I don’t recommend the Celestials line. The wear time was disappointing. I painted my nails on a Saturday and had my first chip by Monday. By Wednesday when I removed the polish, it was in bad shape. Removal took about five minutes and was slightly easier than I expected for a glitter-based polish, but it might have been because I only used one coat of color.
All in all, I like the polish, but I probably won’t buy any other colors because I like to get more than two days of wear before chipping. (I realize that eliminating toxic chemicals from nail polish also cuts down on its wear time, that’s why the chemicals were put in there in the first place. But I’m sure there is a polish out there somewhere that won’t poison me AND will last longer than two days. I’ll keep looking.)
Overall rating ***
One * for texture and opacity. One * for color selection. And one * for brush design.