Monday, November 18th, 2013

Formula X A+ Nail Lacquer
Formula X A+ Nail Lacquer

Formula X for Sephora Nail Lacquer ($10.50 for 0.40 fl. oz. each) launched in October, and it did so with quite a splash as it launched with over 200 shades. Since it was a new formula, I tested three of the shades for wear (the ones in this post) over the past month and a half. Of course, keep in mind that almost nothing chips on me, and I get extraordinary wear out of most formulas. Formula X held up well on me with very, very minor tip wear by the seventh day, and I wore A+ for a full ten days with minor tip wear (I had more nail growth than I did tip wear) but no chipping. The natural shine–that is, without a top coat–dulls a bit by the fifth day. After playing with these, I ended up caving on the 22-polish set during the VIB sale, but I’ll be breaking up the set and reviewing as I can (since they’re all part of the permanent range!)–so more to come eventually.

A+ Nail Lacquer ($10.50 for 0.40 fl. oz. each) is described as a “raspberry.” It’s a brightened, medium-dark, blue-based pink cream. It had a really high-shine, glossy finish when it dried down, and it’s very, very pigmented. On my ring finger, I applied only one coat (the rest all have two). Two coats definitely give the color a really plush look–made it look almost jelly-like. The consistency was well-balanced between thick and thin, so it didn’t pool along the edges. MAC Girl About Town (LE, $16.00) is bluer-based. L’Oreal Members Only (P) is pinker.See comparison swatches.

Chaotic Nail Lacquer ($12.50 for 0.40 fl. oz. each) is described as “black and white confetti.” It’s a glitter top coat that consists of black and white hexagon-shaped glitters in multiple sizes, plus black bar glitter, all suspended in a clear base. The consistency wasn’t too thick or too thin (I’d say on the thinner side for a glitter top coat), and one coat had good coverage and spread evenly without having to pull or tug the glitter into place–other than if a bar glitter landed on the edge of the nail, then you might need to tug at it so it doesn’t hang off the edge of the nail. I applied one coat over A+, and then I applied two coats of it on its own on my thumbnail. China Glaze Glitz ‘n’ Pieces (LE, $8.00) is a mix of silver and black. See comparison swatches. This particular shade was also available in a previous Sephora polish range (same name).

Perfection Nail Lacquer ($10.50 for 0.40 fl. oz. each) is described as a “smoky violet.” It’s a muted, gray-ish mauve with a cream finish. It was mostly opaque after two coats, and the consistency was slightly thick but workable and didn’t take too long to dry down. It did dry down to a really high-gloss finish, though. China Glaze Below Deck (LE, $8.00) is darker. Zoya Jana (P, $8.00) is similar. See comparison swatches.

The Glossover

P
product

A+

A+

Product

10/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

10/10

Longevity

10/10

Application

5/5

Results
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Dupes
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P
product

Chaotic

A

Product

9/10

Pigmentation

9.5/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

10/10

Application

5/5

Results
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Dupes
P
product

Perfection

B+

Product

8.5/10

Pigmentation

9/10

Texture

8/10

Longevity

10/10

Application

4.5/5

Results
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Dupes

See more photos & swatches!

Formula X A+ Nail Lacquer
Formula X A+ Nail Lacquer

Formula X A+ Nail Lacquer
Formula X A+ Nail Lacquer

Formula X A+ Nail Lacquer
Formula X A+ Nail Lacquer

Formula X A+ Nail Lacquer
Formula X A+ Nail Lacquer

Formula X A+ Nail Lacquer
Formula X A+ Nail Lacquer

Formula X A+ Nail Lacquer
Formula X A+ Nail Lacquer

Formula X A+ Nail Lacquer
Formula X A+ Nail Lacquer

Formula X Chaotic over A+ Nail Lacquers
Formula X Chaotic over A+ Nail Lacquers

Formula X Chaotic over A+ Nail Lacquers
Formula X Chaotic over A+ Nail Lacquers

Formula X Chaotic over A+ Nail Lacquers
Formula X Chaotic over A+ Nail Lacquers

Formula X Chaotic over A+ Nail Lacquers
Formula X Chaotic over A+ Nail Lacquers

Formula X Chaotic over A+ Nail Lacquers
Formula X Chaotic over A+ Nail Lacquers

Formula X Chaotic over A+ Nail Lacquers
Formula X Chaotic over A+ Nail Lacquers

Formula X Chaotic over A+ Nail Lacquers
Formula X Chaotic over A+ Nail Lacquers

Formula X Chaotic over A+ Nail Lacquers
Formula X Chaotic over A+ Nail Lacquers

Formula X Chaotic over A+ Nail Lacquers
Formula X Chaotic over A+ Nail Lacquers

Formula X Perfection Nail Lacquer
Formula X Perfection Nail Lacquer

Formula X Perfection Nail Lacquer
Formula X Perfection Nail Lacquer

Formula X Perfection Nail Lacquer
Formula X Perfection Nail Lacquer

Formula X Perfection Nail Lacquer
Formula X Perfection Nail Lacquer

Formula X Perfection Nail Lacquer
Formula X Perfection Nail Lacquer

Formula X Perfection Nail Lacquer
Formula X Perfection Nail Lacquer

Formula X Perfection Nail Lacquer
Formula X Perfection Nail Lacquer

The Dupe List: A+

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The Dupe List: Chaotic

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The Dupe List: Perfection

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30 thoughts on “Formula X for Sephora Nail Lacquer Review, Photos, Swatches

  1. Woww A+ gets A+ :) trying these for sure in near future n also its easy to remember which shade to pick :)
    all looks awesome to me

  2. I like Chaotic. I’m pleased to see a glitter in clear base that’s fairly easy to apply. I have Pyrotechnic and I really like the formula and color of it.

    • Good to know Pyrotechnic is good, too! I really like glitter top coats that aren’t too thick AND that don’t have to be tugged into place a bunch!

  3. Profile wp-user-avatar wp-user-avatar-60 alignnone photo of liz liz

    do you hear that? whoooooooooosh it’s the sound of my next paycheck flying out the window. these are beautiful!

    • Ooh, I heard it! What do you think you’ll try first?

      • Profile wp-user-avatar wp-user-avatar-60 alignnone photo of liz liz

        probably a cream and an effects topcoat! from the sephora site, the one that’s catching my eye most is the orchid pink Gemini, and then I want to try the opalescent topcoat cause I’m obsessed with opal flakies and can’t find them anywhere!

  4. I love all of these polishes! On my shopping list :-)

  5. I’m SO on the fence with these. I wanted to love it so so so much because my nails chip like CRAZY. I was really hoping for a miracle product (so I could justify buying the $55 set) and they were definitely more long-wearing than any other polish but I’m still not sure if it’s worth it.

    Has anyone tried the full system? Does that make the difference?

    • Hey Annie!

      I did try with the base/top coat, which I hope to review at some point, and it seemed to extend the wear by a day or two for me – in terms of less tip wear – and longer shine overall. BUT almost nothing chips on me even without a base/top coat :(

    • Carrie

      I haven’t tried the top coat, but I’ve had very good luck wearing their base coat with this. I found this to be one of the longer wearing formulas on me (my nails are very short so can be prone to chipping). As a bonus, the base coat and the polish play nice with Poshe.

  6. I tried Gemini this weekend and so far I’m pretty impressed. Very opaque, dried fast, and has worn well so far. I put it on Saturday afternoon and had tiny chipping on the thumb on Sunday (I usually don’t get more than a day or two out of nail polish unscathed) so I ran a third coat over it and now it’s Monday and not quite as shiny as it was but still looks great. Very unusual for me. It’s what I wish Marc Jacobs was. Similar formula – just less brittle.

  7. Profile wp-user-avatar wp-user-avatar-60 alignnone photo of SheDaisy SheDaisy

    Wow! I’m very impressed with the formula and colors. Sephora used to have those awful mini-bottles for $5. 200 is a great shade range! Although this is more expensive than Essie…

    • Yeah, they’re a bit pricier than you’d expect, but so far I’ve been quite impressed – the level of shine and plushness of A+ reminds me of why I fell hard for Guerlain’s new lacquer.

  8. I love chaotic, very cool glitter top coat!
    Judith Recently Posted: Color correcting primer overview and blue primer review

  9. Natalie

    The Chaotic reminds me of the Maybelline Polka Dots nailpolish. I have that one and I love it. And it’s a lot less expensive.

  10. I’ve been wondering about this line. Nice! So many choice with nail enamel these days.. argh :)

  11. Profile wp-user-avatar wp-user-avatar-60 alignnone photo of Cat CatG

    Geez, $10.50 is expensive to me! I could maybe get $7-8.
    That said, I really like Chaotic.

    • Profile wp-user-avatar wp-user-avatar-60 alignnone photo of Hannah Hannah

      If you’re comparing to the price of drugstore nail polish, $10.50 is a bit of a splurge. However, when you consider that Sephora carries high end, luxury brands, $10.50 is nothing compared to the prices of other brands’ nail polish (case in point, Illamasqua, Marc Jacobs, Dior, etc.). It helps to either use a VIB 10% off coupon or wait for one of the sales/coupon events that Sephora does a few times a year. It is most definitely worth the money, though, especially if you buy the whole system. I work for Sephora, specifically in the shipping and receiving department, and I cannot get nail polish to last a single day without a big chip because I’m constantly using my hands to open boxes, plastic bins that are a pain in my ass, doing gondola updates (a task that guarantees destruction of any manicure), etc. Formula X, when using the whole system, will typically wear 3-5 days with minimal tip wear on my hands. It’s seriously the best, and the system makes other brands last much longer. I tried with my Zoya polish (my favourite brand for years, Formula X is challenging that), and it made such a big difference. I’ve been holding back on purchasing dozens of colours haha.

    • Profile wp-user-avatar wp-user-avatar-60 alignnone photo of Brenda Brenda

      Hard Candy’s Black Tie Optional looks identical – and the wear is great – and it’s under $4.00 CDN (so it must be cheaper in the U.S.)! I’m a part time cashier so polish lasts less than two days usually. With that one I believe I got 5 days out of my manicure.

  12. Profile wp-user-avatar wp-user-avatar-60 alignnone photo of Phoebe Phoebe

    I have been so good about not buying nail polish anymore… that’s about to change! I am seriously wowed by A+!

  13. Jill

    Chaotic is almost exactly the same as Hard Candy’s Black Tie Optional – which is much much cheaper!

  14. Wow…both looks amazing the pink and pink with chaotic!

  15. I really didn’t want to want these, darn it. If you listen closely, you can hear my wallet cry.

  16. Profile wp-user-avatar wp-user-avatar-60 alignnone photo of SandraJT SandraJT

    I bought a Formula X nail polish last week just for the hell of it in the shade Legend. It’s definitely a fall shade, blackened purple with violet shimmer & silvery sparkles. This nail polish formula is very pigmented, 1 coat is opaque, and it applies very easily. I like it more than the Marc Jacobs polish I bought in Sally, which looks more black than anything.

    I’d definitely recommend trying this brand, especially for the price & amount of product yoü get.