Monday, January 7th, 2013

China Glaze Altered Reality Nail Lacquer
China Glaze Altered Reality Nail Lacquer

Six Stages of Transitions

China Glaze Altered Reality Nail Lacquer ($8.00 MSRP for 0.50 fl. oz.) includes six shades of color-changing shades.  I’m not aware of any other polishes that change color with the addition of a top coat, so none of these have dupes.

  • Altered Reality is a shimmering teal with a metallic finish. When a top coat is applied, it turns bluish-teal. This one doesn’t have a lot of color shift.
  • Duplicity is an aqua-tinted turquoise with a creamy, mostly matte finish. When a top coat is applied, it turns to a darker, blue-toned teal.
  • Metallic Metamorphosis is a silvered gray with a metallic finish. When you layer a top coat on top, it turns to a darker, gunmetal gray. This one was the best-applying of the six.
  • Modify Me is periwinkle blue with a metallic finish. This one was a bit streaky. When layered with a top coat, it turned darker and bluer.
  • Shape Shifter is a dark, purple-tinged gray with a metallic finish. With a top coat layered on top, it turned into a dark royal purple.
  • Split Perso-nail-ity is a light-medium pink with a cream finish. When you applied a top coat on top, it turned into a dark pink.

China Glaze gave out a how-to for applying these, which is how I attempted to swatch these. I found that two coats was ridiculous–the polish has a really thick consistency and is opaque in one coat. Without fail, with two coats of color, drying time was on the longer end of the spectrum and I’d get bubbling. I ended up with one coat of polish for each swatch; I did a diagonal pass of top coat on the index finger, no top coat on the middle finger, and a full layer of top coat on the ring finger. I applied one coat, waited fifteen minutes for it to dry, and then applied the top coat.

I really didn’t like the formula. I feel like saying, “Interesting idea, bad execution.” The polish on its own (no top coat) has a semi-matte finish–there’s a sheen to it, but it looks flat. I used a regular base coat for all of the swatches, but I’d recommend a ridge-filling base coat, because all six shades were unforgiving–you could see every little nook and cranny on my nail and then some.

With a top coat, it was a swirling, streaking mess. From a distance, it almost looked like a marbled effect, but it was really just streaky. I used China Glaze’s Fast Forward top coat on all of the shades, and I had numerous problems from a little bubbling, streaking, blobs, and swirls and jets of color. It was just a mess. There was also a graininess to the polish itself that wouldn’t go away no matter how much I rolled the bottle.

All six changed color when a top coat was applied with some changing more than others. Altered Reality was the least changing.  I wore Duplicity and Shape Shifter for wear, and I did experience above average tip wear when worn without a top coat. There was some light staining behind, and I think these may be prone to staining (though I did not test all six for wear). Nails with a top coat lasted seven days with normal tip wear but no chipping. In all honesty, I think it would have been easier to take two individual polishes and work with them.

The Glossover

product

China Glaze Tranzitions Nail Lacquers Reviews, Photos, Swatches

C-
I really didn't like the formula. I feel like saying, "Interesting idea, bad execution." I think if used sparsely, then the top coat color change might work, but when used in a larger area, it comes out looking very streaky.

Product

5/10

Pigmentation

9/10

Texture

7/10

Longevity

8.5/10

Application

3/5

Results
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Dupes
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See more photos & swatches!

China Glaze Altered Reality Nail Lacquer
China Glaze Altered Reality Nail Lacquer

China Glaze Altered Reality Nail Lacquer
China Glaze Altered Reality Nail Lacquer

China Glaze Altered Reality Nail Lacquer
China Glaze Altered Reality Nail Lacquer

China Glaze Altered Reality Nail Lacquer
China Glaze Altered Reality Nail Lacquer

China Glaze Altered Reality Nail Lacquer
China Glaze Altered Reality Nail Lacquer

China Glaze Altered Reality Nail Lacquer
China Glaze Altered Reality Nail Lacquer

China Glaze Duplicity Nail Lacquer
China Glaze Duplicity Nail Lacquer

China Glaze Duplicity Nail Lacquer
China Glaze Duplicity Nail Lacquer

China Glaze Duplicity Nail Lacquer
China Glaze Duplicity Nail Lacquer

China Glaze Duplicity Nail Lacquer
China Glaze Duplicity Nail Lacquer

China Glaze Duplicity Nail Lacquer
China Glaze Duplicity Nail Lacquer

China Glaze Duplicity Nail Lacquer
China Glaze Duplicity Nail Lacquer

China Glaze Metallic Metamorphosis Nail Lacquer
China Glaze Metallic Metamorphosis Nail Lacquer

China Glaze Metallic Metamorphosis Nail Lacquer
China Glaze Metallic Metamorphosis Nail Lacquer

China Glaze Metallic Metamorphosis Nail Lacquer
China Glaze Metallic Metamorphosis Nail Lacquer

China Glaze Metallic Metamorphosis Nail Lacquer
China Glaze Metallic Metamorphosis Nail Lacquer

China Glaze Metallic Metamorphosis Nail Lacquer
China Glaze Metallic Metamorphosis Nail Lacquer

China Glaze Metallic Metamorphosis Nail Lacquer
China Glaze Metallic Metamorphosis Nail Lacquer

China Glaze Modify Me Nail Lacquer
China Glaze Modify Me Nail Lacquer

China Glaze Modify Me Nail Lacquer
China Glaze Modify Me Nail Lacquer

China Glaze Modify Me Nail Lacquer
China Glaze Modify Me Nail Lacquer

China Glaze Modify Me Nail Lacquer
China Glaze Modify Me Nail Lacquer

China Glaze Modify Me Nail Lacquer
China Glaze Modify Me Nail Lacquer

China Glaze Modify Me Nail Lacquer
China Glaze Modify Me Nail Lacquer

China Glaze Shape Shifter Nail Lacquer
China Glaze Shape Shifter Nail Lacquer

China Glaze Shape Shifter Nail Lacquer
China Glaze Shape Shifter Nail Lacquer

China Glaze Shape Shifter Nail Lacquer
China Glaze Shape Shifter Nail Lacquer

China Glaze Shape Shifter Nail Lacquer
China Glaze Shape Shifter Nail Lacquer

China Glaze Shape Shifter Nail Lacquer
China Glaze Shape Shifter Nail Lacquer

China Glaze Shape Shifter Nail Lacquer
China Glaze Shape Shifter Nail Lacquer

China Glaze Split Perso-nail-ity Nail Lacquer
China Glaze Split Perso-nail-ity Nail Lacquer

China Glaze Split Perso-nail-ity Nail Lacquer
China Glaze Split Perso-nail-ity Nail Lacquer

China Glaze Split Perso-nail-ity Nail Lacquer
China Glaze Split Perso-nail-ity Nail Lacquer

China Glaze Split Perso-nail-ity Nail Lacquer
China Glaze Split Perso-nail-ity Nail Lacquer

China Glaze Split Perso-nail-ity Nail Lacquer
China Glaze Split Perso-nail-ity Nail Lacquer

China Glaze Split Perso-nail-ity Nail Lacquer
China Glaze Split Perso-nail-ity Nail Lacquer

Product & Review FAQ

Where can I purchase it? How much is it?

Is it limited edition?

Yes.

Any dupes?

No.

Discussion and debate are highly encouraged, and we expect community members to participate respectfully. When asking a question, please check the FAQ section (above) for information about purchasing, price, dupes, and the like. If you have general feedback or need technical support, please contact us.

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65 thoughts on “China Glaze Tranzitions Nail Lacquers Reviews, Photos, Swatches

  1. Profile wp-user-avatar wp-user-avatar-60 alignnone photo of Holly HOLLY

    what in the world! no. the polish does look like it has sand in it.

  2. When I first saw the promo I knew these weren’t for me because I like to wear top coat all the time, but I thought they would make fun presents for people getting into nail art. I was planning on getting a few of these and a few top coats and gifting them to friends with no nail polish, but seeing swatches of these definitely makes me think that’s a bad idea. Might as well just buy two different colors instead of ending up with these streaky messes. It’s such a shame that these are a flop because they really are a fun idea.

  3. mightyclassy07

    LOL! Soooo glad I didn’t purchase these!

  4. Amanda

    Thank you for the honest review. Seems like a lot of the nail bloggers with the exception of 1 that I’ve seen are all giving these glowing reviews even though they look terrible and streaky. Makes me question their integrity when I see a streaky nightmare of a polish and a caption that says THIS IS AMAZING followed by a *product sent for review* at the end of the post. I always appreciate that you actually say it how it is, please never change.

  5. Profile wp-user-avatar wp-user-avatar-60 alignnone photo of rebecca blueraccoon

    Well, that’s a shame. I don’t wear normal polish but this looked like a really cool concept, but it just looks messy and not nice on your nails :(

  6. Amber

    I have noticed this now on a few different nail posts, and I can’t help but ask. The price you have listed through the 8ty8beauty website is about half the price of the polish normally, how are they selling them for so less?

  7. Profile wp-user-avatar wp-user-avatar-60 alignnone photo of caitlin Cait

    I still might buy the teal, pink and gray. I kinda like the streaky look of the top coat, kinda like water colour.

  8. Profile wp-user-avatar wp-user-avatar-60 alignnone photo of Precious Precious

    Duplicity’s a beautiful shade, too bad the formula’s a huge let down.

  9. Jess

    That’s a huge fail!

  10. Carrie

    Ick. I’ve yet to see swatches of these that I’ve liked! It really a case of good idea, bad follow-through!

  11. Sarah

    You’re very gracious. I would have given this an F. As someone who needs a gel base and top coat, I couldn’t buy into this concept, but the performance of the product formula is subpar at best.

  12. S.

    Aw thats too bad, I was really hoping these would be as cool as they sounded! Was the polish fully dry before you applied the topcoat? Maybe that’s why the application was hard :)

  13. Profile wp-user-avatar wp-user-avatar-60 alignnone photo of Veronica Veronica

    Thanks for the review. Out of all of them, Metallic Metamorphosis and Split Personaility look like they might have a smidgen of hope. I might give Metamorphosis a try just because I think the concept is interesting. I’m a big fan of playing with changing colors or textures, like matte nails with glossy top coat designs, so these polishes strictly in theory are intriguing to me, but it’s a pity these do not perform well.

  14. Rebecca

    Really thought they had a great idea with the transitions and was looking forward to purchasing a few but now that I have been seeing swatches of them I definitely will not be wasting my money on these. So disappointing coming from a brand I really like.

  15. Profile wp-user-avatar wp-user-avatar-60 alignnone photo of Tina Tina

    These look like a hot mess and not in a good way disappointed with China Glaze. The only other color changing ones I know of that are effected by a top coat are the three chameleons by Barry M and I love them

  16. Profile wp-user-avatar wp-user-avatar-60 alignnone photo of Jill Edani

    I bought Shape Shifter on Sunday, put it on my acrylic nails to try that night, and it stained my nails purple, to the point where I have to get a brand new set put on! I have had acrylics for five years non-stop, changing my polish nearly every day, and I have never had a polish stain that I couldn’t get off. SO mad about this! I definitely didn’t expect this from China Glaze!!

  17. Profile wp-user-avatar wp-user-avatar-60 alignnone photo of Emily Emily

    I really love the color of “Modify Me” before the top coat, can you think of a good dupe for this one?

  18. Profile wp-user-avatar wp-user-avatar-60 alignnone photo of Marian Marian

    Yuk! They don’t look good at all! Thanks so much for showing them. I was excited to try them. The concept seemed interesting. You’ve saved me some money!

  19. Profile wp-user-avatar wp-user-avatar-60 alignnone photo of Amy xamyx

    If I catch Shape Shifter in a B&M store, I’ll likely pick it up, but I won’t be going out of my way to order these online…

  20. Profile wp-user-avatar wp-user-avatar-60 alignnone photo of Kami Kami

    Oh wow it’s been a long time I want to pass on an entire nail polish collection. I liked the concept but wasn’t crazy about the colors even before seeing swatches. After seeing these though I’ll just wait to see swatches of the Zoya spring collection. Hope those won’t be a disappointment because the colors are lovely.

  21. Profile wp-user-avatar wp-user-avatar-60 alignnone photo of Kristin Kristin

    Gosh, I was pretty interested when I saw these advertised recently, but after seeing the pics, I am NOT impressed. I won’t be getting any of them even just to play with.

  22. Sami

    I actually really love the dark purple one, but the other colors are pretty meh.

  23. Profile wp-user-avatar wp-user-avatar-60 alignnone photo of Dinitchka Dinitchka

    When I first saw the Youtube video I was in awe. I knew I had to get these … WRONG! I MIGHT pick up a couple of colours when they go on clearance.

    Thanks for the review Christine. You saved me a bit of money and much aggervation!

    • RS

      Exactly my thoughts as well. I was downright *giddy* when I saw the first Youtube video with these. Now seeing the reviews? Not so much.

      I’ll probably pick up Duplicity & Split-Personality when they go on clearance.

      These sounded great in theory! A shame they’re so problematic in execution. :(

  24. Lauren

    Even though I’m left feeling a little bummed because I was planning on picking up at least one of these colors (probably in shape shifter), I am grateful to you for doing a review first. At least I avoided spending hard earned money on something that clearly isn’t at a stage optimized for at home use. I hope they go back to the drawing boards because I think it’s a near idea though.

    Do you know of anything off hand that looks like shape shifter (with the top coat on)? Thanks Christine!

  25. Profile wp-user-avatar wp-user-avatar-60 alignnone photo of Elena Elena

    Avon had some nailpolishes like this, 4 or 5 years ago, I think. They were pretty decent, almost too thin, unlike this goopiness.

  26. Profile wp-user-avatar wp-user-avatar-60 alignnone photo of Veronica Veronica

    Well, that’s a real shame. They could have been really interesting, but the formula is just so goopy looking. And nobody likes goopy polish. >(

  27. Marta

    I don’t own any China Glaze polishes, but I have other color changing nail polish collection from Essence. One of them was runny, and as with the China Glaze ones once you applied the top coat the result was a little uneven. But we had fun mkaing polka dots in our nails, and for 2$ (Essence is very budget friendly) we they werent really bad, just a little meh.

  28. Maris

    Altered Reality looks similar to Maybelline’s Metal Me which is gorgeous.
    Out of topic, on a scale of 1 to 5, how would you grade MAC’s Antique Green pigment? Would you recommend it? It’s going to be discontinued and am not sure if I should finally give in and get it.

  29. Maris

    The maybelline nail polish is Metal Me Teal, damn autocorrect

  30. Profile wp-user-avatar wp-user-avatar-60 alignnone photo of Laura Laura

    I had a feeling these were going to suck.

  31. Fifibelle

    So disappointing!! I’m a huge China Glaze fan, but this is just a let down. Thanks for the very honest review, Christine :)

  32. Sarah

    I know that Essence and Barry M also make polishes with this concept and have done for a while, so there are some dupes….if you don’t count the fact that these CG ones are a hot mess and look literally disgusting on the nail. :/

  33. Hm…very interesting indeed. A lot of them actually don’t look half bad sans top coat–like Duplicity, for example. But with the top coat, they really do look rather sloppy. That’s too bad :/ I REALLY like the color of Modify Me on its own, too. I don’t like the semi-matte finish though but the addition of top coat renders it unwearable, in my opinion.

  34. hm…cool concept and I was really excited to see it in action, but it doesn’t hold up. I appreciate the effort to innovate, though. If I see them on clearance I might pick one up to play with.

  35. Alexis J.

    I knew these weren’t for me, as I get terrible wear from polishes when I don’t use a top coat. I’m not really a fan of the satin finish either. I’m glad I get to save my money!

  36. Definitely looks like this should have sat with product development a little bit longer… I’ll be passing on these for sure.

  37. Profile wp-user-avatar wp-user-avatar-60 alignnone photo of tzwiggy t_zwiggy

    When I first read about these I expected them to be gimmicky more than anything else and it seems like I was right. The finish after the top coat is applied is so uneven and gross looking.

  38. Profile wp-user-avatar wp-user-avatar-60 alignnone photo of Alexis Alexis V.

    When I saw these swatched on a nail blog the other day they looked beautiful. In the instructions it does say to let dry completely, and from my experience nail polish takes alot longer than 15 minutes to dry completely. I’m hoping to still try Altered Reality to see if it works for me. I’d probably wait a couple of hours before applying the topcoat.

  39. Ana

    I’m not impressed at all. I can see I wouldn’t be able to apply the polish correctly. Anyway, the colors are not something you can’t get elsewhere. I’m sad because I love China Glaze and most of the times it upsets me to know I have to wait around a year to get a collection released here, not the case with this one though.

  40. I’d be interested in seeing if a specialized base coat would help these. I just ordered NFU-OH’s Aqua Base, and although it’s for holographic polishes, I know I’ll try it with regular ones, too. I really wanted Shape Shifter, but my less-than-perfect application would really turn these into a hot mess.

  41. Profile wp-user-avatar wp-user-avatar-60 alignnone photo of Malia Malia

    I mean dammm that is probably the worst looking nail polish I’ve ever seen! Boo CG you can do better!

  42. Judging from some of the comments, I’m going to repeat what’s already been said, but thank you so much for this honest review! I’d seen an ad and thought this was an interesting line, but I still wanted to wait for your review. And it seems that wasn’t a bad idea, because now I’m not so convinced after all. I think I might actually skip this line entirely!

  43. Profile wp-user-avatar wp-user-avatar-60 alignnone photo of Cat Cat

    You’re spot on– interesting concept, but total failure in execution. Metallic Metamorphosis and Shape Shifter look the best in terms of color shift and non-streakiness following top coat. I love the color of Duplicity and Modify Me, but I’d only be able to wear them with a top coat, because they look terrible with it on!

  44. kari

    i’m wondering that since you used a fast forward top coat, that that was the reason why they turned out so streaky/uneven? ff basically dries down under 30 seconds and maybe they didn’t have enough time to change color and transition because of the fast drying top coat, hence the marbling effects? i dunno though. i’d like to see if it would do the same with a normal top coat.

    • It’s the top coat China Glaze sent with the product, and it was also the top coat they recommended in the press release, which was why I used it! :)

      Step 3: “Lastly, apply one coat of clear top coat such as China Glaze® Fast Forward and watch the color change right before your eyes.”

  45. eileenie

    I saw swatches from another site and yes, she didn’t do full-nail top-coats or even half-nail, she did dots and random designs I believe, and that worked out pretty well. Anyway, the colors aren’t interesting enough for me to purchase though.

  46. Chantal

    I guess I’m the only one who thought these were a silly idea from the start? I mean, how difficult is it to do a two-toned mani with two different polishes that you already have and love?

    That said, we’d never have anything new to look forward to if companies didn’t take risks and try to innovate. I respect companies that TRY, even if they fail, and I’m sure they learn new things about formulation during their experimentation. I won’t buy any of these, but I always look forward to new releases from China Glaze. :)

  47. ChynnaBlue

    I’ve seen quite a few reviews on these now and they’ve all had the same issues you’ve had. The only ones I really liked were the creme colors where someones used a dotting tool or a striping brush to do dots or narrow stripes. Even then, the color would be inconsistent, but it looked neat. Unfortunately, I don’t feel like buying a polish I can only really wear in those limited ways. Disappointing.

  48. Teleute

    I just swatched these using both the China Glaze topcoat and Seche Vite, and it was a world of difference! The CG topcoat looked like your swatches, all swirly and uneven, but the Seche Vite gave me a smooth even color (and the shift was deeper and more noticeable too.) I am worried about shrinkage with the Seche, though… it might not last very long before developing separation lines. Still, the effect is pretty enough that I’d use it for an evening even with some shrinkage, whereas I wouldn’t use it with the CG topcoat at all.

  49. Brittany

    This collection was a mega flop by China Glaze. It just didn’t make any sense at all, if i want the lighter or darker shade I could do that by using the same color but different shades (duh china glaze). Also you can’t wear a topcoat unless you want the color to change and I do prefer to wear a topcoat so my manicure won’t chip. I will admit that the colors do look better with a topcoat.

  50. Profile wp-user-avatar wp-user-avatar-60 alignnone photo of Kat Lisa Gualtieri

    Periwinkle is a great color on you!

  51. Profile wp-user-avatar wp-user-avatar-60 alignnone photo of Dominique Dominique

    It’s simply horrible ! What’s the matter with China Glaze ?

  52. These are so bad the Sally’s near me put them in the corner of the shop and only mentioned them with reluctance when I said I was in search of a matte.

  53. Nailsinthecity

    You really summed these up with the phrase “Interesting idea, bad execution.”
    I was super disappointed, because I managed to snatch these up before their release date, and I couldn’t wait to do some swatches. But the color was so streaky once I put the Fast Forward on, I couldn’t even get a decent pic.
    So then I tried using some different topcoats (Seche Vite, Zoya Armor, and Orly Sec’n Dry). No matter what I used, it still steaked, with a significant amount of color transfer on all of the topcoat brushes.
    Finally I decided to give it more drying time. I put a different color on each nail, and left it on until the next morning. Can you imagine my surprise when it STILL streaked, and STILL left a ton of color transfer?
    The worst part of this, was how bad it stained my nails. I have acrylics, and I always get a clear coat of gelish on them (it helps protect them during my many, many polish changes) I had literally just gotten my nails filled, with a fresh coat of gel, right before I tried these out. I was livid when I saw how stained my nails were!
    Now these polishes just sit on my rack, collecting dust…