Wednesday, February 12th, 2014

Formula X Wavelength Nail Lacquer
Formula X Wavelength Nail Lacquer

This spring, Formula X (for Sephora) launched Liquid Crystals Nail Lacquer ($12.50 for 0.40 fl. oz.) in fourteen shades. The new finish is described as a “brilliant, light-reflecting nail lacquer made from crushed micro-crystalline and pigmented mica.” Now, these really need some clarity on just how pigmented they’re supposed to be. The individual shade descriptions all imply that there’s some hue of glitter in a sheer color base, then the formula is described as a “buildable formula that intensifies with each coat.” The press release elaborated a bit more and said, “Apply one coat for a sheer crystalline look, or layer for a full stained-glass effect.” So, it sounds like most other polish–one coat will be sheer, two will not be, and that is what I looked for with these.

Fluorescent was the only shade that I’d really describe as sheer, and it was only semi-opaque after three coats–it wasn’t that buildable. Borealis was very pigmented and fully opaque after two coats, and Wavelength was nearly opaque after two and just had subtle nail line only visible if I held my nails at certain angles where enough light was coming underneath the nail. So, the pigmentation is a mixed bag, but in general, if you were seeking opaque color, most seem to be there. If you were looking for really sheer top coats, I felt like some were too pigmented to let a base color come through. The drying time on all of these was faster than average; not so fast that you can’t work with the formula. They all dried down to a shiny, reflective finish that wasn’t really glossy but smooth and shiny. I typically get over a week of wear with Formula X with little tip wear.

Wavelength Nail Lacquer ($12.50 for 0.40 fl. oz.) is described as a “pink micro-glitter in sheer purple pink.” It’s a cool-toned, fuchsia-pink with pink sparkle. It was semi-opaque in a single coat, mostly opaque after two; only if I held my nails at certain angles could I see any visible nail line. Zoya Bobbi (P, $9.00) is darker, less cool-toned. China Glaze Love’s a Beach (LE, $7.50) is brighter, less shimmery. China Glaze Endurance (LE, $7.50) is darker. See comparison swatches.

Borealis Nail Lacquer ($12.50 for 0.40 fl. oz.) is described as a “gold micro-glitter in sheer olive green.” It’s a murky, yellow and brown-tinged green with golden olive and olive green shimmer and flecks of sparkle. It was nearly opaque in a single coat, and it was fully opaque after two. Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics Ripley (P, $10.00) is less yellow-toned with finer shimmer. SpaRitual Lithophonic (LE, $10.00) is less shimmery, darker. Rescue Beauty Lounge Turn It Around (LE, $20.00) has coppery shimmer, lighter. China Glaze Zombie Zest (LE, $7.50) is cooler-toned, has a duo-chrome. See comparison swatches.

Fluorescent Nail Lacquer ($12.50 for 0.40 fl. oz.) is described as a “lime micro-glitter in sheer lime.” It’s a mix of gold and chartreuse-hued sparkle and shimmer suspended in a sheer, green-ish base color. Two coats, it was still sheer, and three coats, it was semi-sheer (see ring finger). The consistency of this shade felt a little watery, and the shimmer and sparkle didn’t spread as evenly across the nail.  This one had more of a duochrome effect, which was really noticeable over black (I applied one coat over one coat of black in the swatches).  Butter London Dosh (P, $15.00) is much darker and opaque. NYX Lime (P, $4.00) is darker, brighter, less yellow. See comparison swatches.

The Glossover

P
product

Wavelength

A

Product

9.5/10

Pigmentation

9/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

10/10

Application

5/5

Results
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Dupes
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P
product

Borealis

A

Product

9.5/10

Pigmentation

9/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

10/10

Application

5/5

Results
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Dupes
P
product

Fluorescent

B

Product

8.5/10

Pigmentation

7.5/10

Texture

7.5/10

Longevity

10/10

Application

4/5

Results
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Dupes

See more photos & swatches!

Formula X Wavelength Nail Lacquer
Formula X Wavelength Nail Lacquer

Formula X Wavelength Nail Lacquer
Formula X Wavelength Nail Lacquer

Formula X Wavelength Nail Lacquer
Formula X Wavelength Nail Lacquer

Formula X Wavelength Nail Lacquer
Formula X Wavelength Nail Lacquer

Formula X Wavelength Nail Lacquer
Formula X Wavelength Nail Lacquer

Formula X Wavelength Nail Lacquer
Formula X Wavelength Nail Lacquer

Formula X Wavelength Nail Lacquer
Formula X Wavelength Nail Lacquer

Formula X Borealis Nail Lacquer
Formula X Borealis Nail Lacquer

Formula X Borealis Nail Lacquer
Formula X Borealis Nail Lacquer

Formula X Borealis Nail Lacquer
Formula X Borealis Nail Lacquer

Formula X Borealis Nail Lacquer
Formula X Borealis Nail Lacquer

Formula X Borealis Nail Lacquer
Formula X Borealis Nail Lacquer

Formula X Borealis Nail Lacquer
Formula X Borealis Nail Lacquer

Formula X Borealis Nail Lacquer
Formula X Borealis Nail Lacquer

Formula X Fluorescent Nail Lacquer
Formula X Fluorescent Nail Lacquer

Formula X Fluorescent Nail Lacquer
Formula X Fluorescent Nail Lacquer

Formula X Fluorescent Nail Lacquer
Formula X Fluorescent Nail Lacquer

Formula X Fluorescent Nail Lacquer
Formula X Fluorescent Nail Lacquer

Formula X Fluorescent Nail Lacquer
Formula X Fluorescent Nail Lacquer

Formula X Fluorescent Nail Lacquer
Formula X Fluorescent Nail Lacquer

Formula X Fluorescent Nail Lacquer
Formula X Fluorescent Nail Lacquer

Formula X Fluorescent Nail Lacquer
Formula X Fluorescent Nail Lacquer

Formula X Fluorescent Nail Lacquer
Formula X Fluorescent Nail Lacquer

The Dupe List: Wavelength

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The Dupe List: Borealis

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The Dupe List: Fluorescent

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45 thoughts on “Formula X Wavelength, Borealis, Fluorescent Nail Lacquers Reviews, Photos, Swatches

  1. Borealis looks amazing! It is definitely “greener” than Ripley, which I finally laid my hands on recently (because of yoooouuu, Christine)!

  2. Borealis is amazing! China Glaze’s Zombie Zest is one of my all-time favorite nail polishes (& for a few years I would have said it was my absolutely favorite, no contest). This seems like a great polish to add to my collection!

  3. Borealis looks a good deal like Butter London Wallis. I wouldnt say they’re absolute dupes, but definitely very similar.

  4. I’ve kind of “grown out” of the shimmery nail polish shades, but the one in the middle is beautiful.
    Rikki Recently Posted: MAKEUP 101: Foundation Primers

  5. Oh, wow, these are really pretty! I spotted these bottles in-store and they didn’t really grab me, but these photos are so beautiful. I kind of enjoy the weirdly translucent light green … it’s fun, but not as bold as a more opaque polish would be.
    Erin Recently Posted: Maybelline Face Studio Master Hi-Light in Light Bronze

  6. Michelle Reece

    Seriously, why wasn’t Borealis released sooner? It would’ve been the *perfect* gift for my friends a few years back!

  7. Wow! These look like such a great range! I love the iridescent fluoro green over the dark shade, and the pink one is just fun :-)
    Sylirael Recently Posted: My Rogueish Valentine: A Love Quest with Chanel Rouge Coco in #40 Charme

  8. Fluorescent is so disappointing! The bottle color is amazing, but it doesn’t even come close on your nails.

    Borealis is pretty interesting though…

  9. Oooh Borealis! Something that can be dressy, edgy, and funky all at the same time!

  10. I simply loved this. There is something very different about Formula X and I really loved the finish. I am not a big fan of nail paints, being a professional makeup artist. But these are simply amazing. I loved Borealis the most. Its beautiful…

  11. Avatar of Johanna Johanna

    The borealis shade is to DIE!

  12. i just bought borealis and i am so in love with it. lately when i’ve worn it, i can’t stop staring at my nails!

  13. The first two are just beautiful!

  14. I love Borealis! It’s such a cool shade. :)

  15. Avatar of Malia Malia

    Omigosh Borealis!!!

  16. Borealis looks devine

  17. Marthe

    could you please do a hair care post

    • I really don’t do anything beyond regular shampoo/conditioner, and then maybe a deep conditioner once a week or once every other week. I don’t use a lot of heat on my hair, which I’m sure helps a lot!

  18. Avatar of Jenn Jenn

    Borealis is gorgeous! I am a sucker for all green shadows and apparently polishes too. I’m surprised the wear on these is so long. That’s the only reason I hadn’t picked one up.

    • To be fair, most polish lasts seven days on me without chipping, though Formula X is even longer (there are maybe four or five formulas that I can go as long as ten days with). So while I’m not the best yardstick for wear, theoretically it should wear longer than average!

  19. Borealis is my favourite. Really different the shade reminds me of ivy!