Monday, August 9th, 2010

Estee Lauder Surreal Violet Nail Lacquer
Estee Lauder Surreal Violet Nail Lacquer

Estee Lauder Blue Dahlia: Surreal Violet

Estee Lauder Surreal Violet Nail Lacquer ($18.00 for 0.3 fl. oz.) is a gray-toned pink-mauve with copper-bronze shimmer. It’s a little on the sheerer side with two coats, but it was nearly opaque, so I left the swatches with two–but you could probably do a third for a totally opaque result.  The formula itself wasn’t too thick or thin and applied smoothly without any issues.  Drying time seemed average, and there was a soft glossy shine, but I’d still recommend a top coat.

The amount in the bottle is a little below average, I’d say, while the price tag is a bit hefty.  Those with larger collections may want to add this more unique shade to their stashes, but if you’re just building up your collection, this may be too much on the expensive side.  You can grab Illamasqua ($14/0.5 fl. oz.), NARS ($16 for 0.5 fl. oz), and Lippmann ($18/0.5 fl. oz.), which are all stellar polish brands, and get more for your money.

I would also like to give this polish props for being utterly difficult to photograph in natural light — thanks a lot! What a diva on set!

If you want to know more about how products are evaluated, read out Rating System FAQ! :)

  • Product: 26/30
  • Value: 6 /10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

RECOMMENDATION: Those who are fans of greiges and purples may find themselves in love with this mix of both!

AVAILABILITY: Nordstrom

See more photos & swatches!

Estee Lauder Surreal Violet Nail Lacquer
Estee Lauder Surreal Violet Nail Lacquer

Estee Lauder Surreal Violet Nail Lacquer
Estee Lauder Surreal Violet Nail Lacquer

Estee Lauder Surreal Violet Nail Lacquer
Estee Lauder Surreal Violet Nail Lacquer

Estee Lauder Surreal Violet Nail Lacquer
Estee Lauder Surreal Violet Nail Lacquer

Estee Lauder Surreal Violet Nail Lacquer
Estee Lauder Surreal Violet Nail Lacquer

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.

Comments that include advertisements, self-promotion, insults, etc. may be in violation of our comment policy and subject to deletion. Please see our comment policy for more information.

41 thoughts on “Estee Lauder Surreal Violet Nail Lacquer Review, Photos, Swatches

  1. Avatar of Etaoin baby in a corner

    i like these colours. I picked up MAC’s shale eyeshadow at the weekend. I wanted a purpely greige colour but it goes brown on my eyes. it also seem quite powdery! i’m a little disappointed!

  2. Eileen

    The color is interesting and perfectly in keeping with the smokey grays of autumn. It’s a shame that the formula is not better. I can see the streaks in it :-(

  3. Avatar of Natalia Natalia

    this is beautiful! i will not be purchasing however, gotta draw the line somewhere! (although its very hard to)

  4. Roxanne

    It’s definitely an interesting color but I don’t really like it.

  5. Amanda Enn

    That’s such a pretty color. Do you think OPI or any other brands my have dupes for this?

  6. Amy

    OMG. This is totally my color. I wasn’t expecting anything when I was reading the review, but once I saw the pictures, I want it!

  7. Stephanie

    Pretty color, I don’t have anything like it. Do you know of any colors that could be a possible dupe?

  8. elizabeth

    Venus Di Violet by OPI is sort of similar, just by going off the pictures… it’s kind of a light lilac-y pink with pink, purple, and gold micro-shimmers. If you want to get closer to this particular color (I don’t care much for this color myself, so I will skip this step) you could mix in a tiny tiny amount of shimmery brown/copper or gray pigment depending upon your skin tone and/or desired hue and get a very similar effect I am sure. I love wearing lots of colorful and different nail polishes but I also like to just mix the colors I have when I can (because most of the time I will only want to wear a color once or twice and then go back to my staples–ashy purple, red, and pink). Anyway, I just wanted to tell anyone who cares about the cheaper alternative (even though it won’t be spot on) and also that IMO the OPI color is much better in the application process.

    • Thanks, Elizabeth! :) I don’t have the OPI shade, so it’s great to hear this!

      • Avatar of Etaoin baby in a corner

        I mixed pigment with clear nail varnish with pigment last week. It worked well but i probably put too much pigment in cause it was quite matte but covered with a glossy top coat and it was perfect! Must try mixing it with other nail polish now. my tip would be smush the pigment with a spoon or something like that to get rid of any lumps! also use a petri dish or something disposable cause i ruined one of my mother’s egg cups!

    • Roxanne

      DUPE LIST! DUPE LIST!

  9. It seems to be violet/brown but I find this colour a little weird… not for me !

  10. Abby

    For some reason, this reminds me of Essie’s Demure Vixen, except a touch darker and with copper flecks instead of violet.

  11. Jessie Q

    I really like that color, and I wasn’t expecting to just from the picture of the bottle. It’s so interesting… I love looking at it. :) It’s a bit more than I’m willing to spend on nail polish, though.

  12. Steph

    I think this is a beautiful colour, but I don’t spend a lot on nailpolish, so I’m leaving it!

  13. Ashley D.

    It’s pretty! I love neutrals.

  14. samijane

    I think Essie Demure Vixen is quite like this!

  15. Jess

    I find this color to be beautiful. It sort of reminds me of Essie’s demure vixen. (to the next level and without the purply/blue sheen) Still laughing at you calling it a “diva” hehe

  16. Added this to my nail color wants list. This one is indeed very pretty and when I need to tone is down these are the kinds of colors I go for.

  17. Kathylulu

    This is really pretty, looks kind of like MAC Trax e/s but less purple, love it!

  18. Karen

    Love this color !! I’m always leaning towards gray-toned nail polishes. I find them to be office friendly but at the same time, funky & different (if you get the idea I’m trying to describe) lol. But it’s a little too expensive for the amount you get. Maybe I’ll go check out that OPI dupe you mentioned :)

  19. Bang

    The photos don’t do this colour justice! I was “casually” walking past an Estee Lauder counter when the salesperson tried this colour on me. Thought it was pretty, said I’d think about it and left, but I was back in 5 seconds because the colour just turned so darn gorgeous when reflected under the light. For someone like me who loves the whole purple-mauve-gray-gold-muted pink combination, totally worth the money, I say! My favourite nail polish of the moment! :)

    FYI, I’ve been a silent/invisible Temptalia follower for the past few years now, and this is the first time that I actually posted a comment… I love it that much!

    • I would definitely agree, Bang! It’s a total pain in the behind to photograph!!

      Thank you! Happy first comment!! Hope this is but the beginning of many more to come :)

  20. Ooooh, that is pretty!

  21. I’ve wanted this sooo much since I saw Charlotte at Lipglossiping swatch it. But I’m saving all of my money for MAC’s Rodarte collection :c

  22. Petra

    Oh this is gorgeous!

  23. The colour is fab, but most nailpolishes caused breakouts. I can only wear Chanel, which is not so bad ;-) but gets pretty expensive.
    I will stick with reds and pinks though.

  24. Surreal…… But nice (as Julia Roberts said to Hugh Grant in Nottingh Hill).

  25. Luisafer

    LOVE this color!!! can’t wait to get it!!! sweet but cool… =O)

  26. MissDeeCanada

    What an odd colour. Its like a creamy sheer purple with bronze glitter! Its almost missing something!

  27. I love the uniqueness of this colour, so beautiful! Shame its a bit streaky but for the colour I may just have to buy it anyways!

  28. Très douce et jolie cette teinte! I lov’it

  29. Naz

    This is gorgeous! I’m not a fan of the price either, but my nearest Cosmetics Company Outlet had a bottle for $12, so I snatched it up! I actually had no trouble with the formula. It’s a lovely color!