Tuesday, June 25, 2013

China Glaze Holographic Nail Polishes: Mini Review and Swatches

China Glaze Holographics
It seems holographics just won't go away yet. They're not anything new, so I don't know why it took me so long to write about them. 
Maybe cos I like holographic polishes but I don't go out of my way to get hold of specialty brands, so it's a good thing an accessible line like China Glaze jumped on the bandwagon awhile ago or I'd probably just pass on the whole trend.

Not all brands are the same, so you might want to consider the below before you buy these.


  • Holographic polishes are made with the addition of special pigments called "spectraflair". They refract light differently because they are spherical in shape, unlike flat flakes of regular holographic glitters.
  • Regular holographic glitter or pigments give a scattered sparkle (like stars), and do not throw out this amazing radial effect on curved surfaces. 
  • Spectraflair pigment is traditionally used for car paints. They are available for commercial buyers only. You CAN purchase small quantities of pure pigment from some sellers on eBay, but I think the price for a tiny amount is exorbitant and you might be better off just buying a holo polish that you like than getting the pigment and struggling to mix your own.
My China Glaze Holographics Collection (from Left): Strap on Your Moonboots, Don't Be a Luna-Tic, OMG A UFO, Astro-Hot, Get Outta My Space)
China Glaze Holographics
  • China Glaze holo polishes are very subtle compared to some other brands like Color Club, and look like normal chrome polishes in the bottle. They have to dry on the nail before you can see the holographic effect properly.
  • The holo effect shows up better on most of the lighter shades. With the red and berry shades, I find the holo a little too subtle. If you want more obvious bling go for Don't Be a Luna-Tic (silver-blue), and Get Outta My Space (pale mauve).
  • Newer formulations launched in the recent couple of years work and last like regular polish. Some of the older versions from a few years ago require a special base primer or they don't go on smoothly. 

China Glaze Strap On Your Moonboots: Deep navy holographic blue. Medium-soft holographic effect. Not the most dramatic of the bunch simply because the color is quite deep, but I do love the stormy effect nonetheless.

China Glaze You're a Luna-tic: Very bright silver -blue holo.
China Glaze OMG A UFO: Fun olive green. This is one of the subtler holographics, and the rainbow effect is not as apparent as some of the other colors. Skip this unless you really like the green base tone and subtle effect.

China Glaze Astro-Hot: Pretty holographic pink. This is a good bet if you MUST blind-buy without being able to see a swatch first-hand.  I'd say it's medium intensity holographic.

China Glaze Get Outta My Space: Pale silvery mauve (pink-purple). Probably the strongest holographic effect of the bunch, aside from Don't Be a Luna-Tic. Really like this one. 

Varies from country to country but they tend to cost just slightly more than regular China Glaze polishes.
  • Affordable
  • accessible
  • pretty
  • subtle enough for office or more formal occasions
  • Many of the shades dry quite fast, so you have to apply quickly in 2-3 strokes or they will drag and streak.
  • They are so subtle that you might not notice they are holographic until you look close.


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