a tiny bit obsessed with nail polish

SpaRitual (Nail Lacquer) – Hijinks

In anticipation of Halloween, I have an orange nail polish from SpaRitual, Orly’s higher end brand. Both lines make a fantastic nail polish formula, and I love their rubberized caps for great, non-slip application.

Hijinks is a lovely, semi-sheer corally orange with fine gold shimmer. It has a super smooth, slightly jellied finish and applies beautifully. I do wish it was an opaque polish, though! I bet it’d look fantastic over an orange cream.

SpaRitual (Nail Lacquer) - Hijinks

SpaRitual Nail Lacquer, 0.5 fl. oz. / 15 mL. MSRP $12 US. SpaRitual nail lacquers are vegan and free of DBP, toluene, camphor, formaldehyde and formaldehyde resin. They are also packaged responsibly.

Crabtree & Evelyn – Black Tulip, Wisteria & Sky

Collection: 2013, Nail Laquer Launch

I chanced upon Crabtree & Evelyn’s newly launched line of nail polish last year, and picked up three colors that have been sitting by my desk for quite some time now! I did give wearings to Black Tulip and Wisteria last year, and was fairly pleased with them, but I haven’t swatched and photographed them until now.

I’ll start with Black Tulip, the color that caught my eye most readily. It is very different from the rest of the C&E lineup. As you would imagine for a brand that specializes in old English style fragrances and bath & body products, most of the line is soft, pretty, wearable shades. And yet, Black Tulip sat there so invitingly among the pastel pinks and pretty peaches! It’s a deep, almost vampy (but not quite) purple microglitter duochrome that flashes olive green. I know, right? Not exactly reminiscent of a dewy rose garden or lilac bush! The formula for Black Tulip is a little on the sheer side, so it reaches full opacity with three coats. The green flash only shows up in the shade; I couldn’t really see it well in sunlight. Nevertheless, it’s a pretty purple and unique in this launch.

Crabtree and Evelyn - Black Tulip

Crabtree and Evelyn - Black Tulip (shade)

Wisteria is the next color I chose, and it is much more in keeping with how you’d imagine a C&E to look. It is a pretty smoked periwinkle-lavender with silver shimmer. Two coats was enough.

Crabtree and Evelyn - Wisteria

Lastly, Sky is a pastel baby blue cream. It was fairly even and opaque with just two coats, which is pretty good for a very pastel shade.

Crabtree and Evelyn - Sky

Overall, the quality of these polishes is average: the sparkle isn’t amazing, the cream finish isn’t super smooth, the polish can feel a little watery or goopy. The lasting power is just all right. But, they were on sale, 3 for $12, so I think that for the price, you get what you pay for. The bottle is actually pretty nice for a $4-$6 polish, though. I think these polishes are pretty average, but if C&E ever released some unique shades, I’d certainly pick them up.

A quick visit to C&E’s website shows me that a year on, the nail polishes are still on the website. What’s more, there is a new collection out, which, unsurprisingly, appears to be nudes (Alabaster, Almond, Mocha and Peaches & Cream).

Crabtree & Evelyn Nail Lacquer, 0.5 fl. oz. / 15 mL. MSRP $6 US / $6 CA. Happily, the pricing appears to be the same in the US and Canada! These polishes are formulated without camphor, dibutyl phthalates, formaldehyde or toluene.

Clinique (A Different Nail Enamel) – Splish Splash

Collection: 2013, A Different Nail Enamel for Sensitive Skins Launch (Spring)

Last year, Clinique finally reintroduced nail polish to their cosmetic lineup (they used to have a line of polish years ago, and I’ve posted my old swatches at the end of this post). I’m happy to report that although you get less bang for your buck, the new polish formula is pretty nice! The color selection, while on trend, typifies Clinique as a brand: clean, wearable and on the safe side.

I selected Splish Splash, a strong, happy azure blue cream. It applied very smoothly, and covered perfectly with two coats. The drying time was also surprisingly fast considering the easy application. I didn’t need a speed-dry top coat at all.

Clinique - Splish Splash

The new polish has a somewhat wide brush, which makes application very easy (unless you have tiny pinkies). The packaging is what you would expect from Clinique: sleek, silver, and a little boring. I admittedly have a soft spot for their old polish packaging, which was adorably chubby. Overall, it’s a little overpriced, but I like this formula and I’d definitely buy more if I see any colors that interest me—especially at Clinique bonus time. Sometimes you just need to tack on an extra product!

Clinique A Different Nail Enamel, 0.3 fl. oz. / 9 mL. MSRP $12.50 US / $14 CA. Clinique advertises this product for sensitive skins, and it is opthamologist tested.

Here are some older swatches of Clinique’s discontinued nail polish line from, oh, maybe ten years ago? (Not the most diverse bunch of colors, I know!)

Clinique (old nail enamel) — Black Cherry
Clinique - Pure Luxe

Clinique (old nail enamel) — Garnet Ice
Clinique - Garnet Ice

Clinique (old nail enamel) — Hotsytotsy
Clinique - Hotsytotsy

Clinique (old nail enamel) — Pure Luxe
Clinique - Pure Luxe

Clinique (old nail enamel) — Sugarplum
Clinique - Sugarplum

Lise Watier (Light Cap Nail Lacquer) – Sapphire

This is my first time trying Lise Watier nail polish. Lise Watier is a Québec-based Canadian company that has been around for about 40 years; its cosmetic and fragrance products are sold at Hudson’s Bay and Shoppers Drug Mart, though you can also purchase online from their website.

First off, Sapphire is from their Light Cap Nail Lacquer line, which is a rather gimmicky product. Its selling point is that there is an LED light built into the cap of the nail polish, which you can turn on and off with a little rubber nubbin of a button on the top of the cap. The light comes out on one side at the base of the cap, denoted by a sort of flare on the side of the cap. The flare and the button don’t get in the way, so the Light Cap is by no means a drawback. However, I fail to see how anyone is doing their nails in such poorly lit situations that a bluish LED light in the cap is helpful. That said, if you are intent on doing your nails with the LED light assist, it is designed well! The light points down accurately on the nail when you are using the brush. It’s all a bit silly to me, but at least it seems to be a unique, if rather unnecessary, idea.

Now, Sapphire gives a very wintery sort of look. It’s a dark slate blue loaded with silver (and possibly some blue) shimmer. It doesn’t come off like a cheap frost: this is a pretty silvered look. Two coats gives reasonably good coverage, though three is probably required to be fully covered. The slight sheerness makes this a good candidate for layering. Overall, the polish itself applied nicely and I have no complaints as to the quality. It’s a good product in an attractive, hefty square bottle and I will certainly pay more attention to Lise Watier’s nail products in the future.

Lise Watier (Light Cap Nail Lacquer) - Sapphire

Here it is with the light on:
Lise Watier (Light Cap Nail Lacquer) - Sapphire, on

Lise Watier Light Cap Nail Lacquer, 0.41 fl. oz. / 12 mL. MSRP $13 CA.

Pacifica (7 Free Nail Color) – Red Red Wine

Collection: 2014, 7 Free Nail Color Launch (Fall)

I recently signed up for a beauty subscription box, just to try one out, and I conveniently received another Pacifica nail polish, after having just tried out their new polish line last month. Hey, it’s a red one, which is totally my cup of coffee!

Red Red Wine is a gorgeous deep red cream that stops short of being a vampy polish. It’s exactly the kind of red I love, especially now that cool weather is just around the corner.

Pacifica - Red Red Wine

I was surprised to see that Red Red Wine has a flat brush à la OPI’s Pro-Wide (which I don’t like because it is too big for me). It isn’t quite as large and cumbersome, though, so I am OK with it. The other Pacifica polish I tried, Abalone, doesn’t have a wide brush. Red Red Wine applied pretty nicely, with no bubbles or streaks. It is a thinner formula, however, and after two coats, you can see in the picture that it is still not fully opaque. I personally like my red creams with a luscious consistency on the nail, so I am not thrilled with this. Three coats is better, but let’s be honest, that’s kind of a pain!

The color, on the other hand, is fantastic. It’s like black cherry juice. Love! I can’t see this not working for most skintones due to the deepness of the color.

Pacifica 7 Free Nail Color, 0.45 fl. oz. / 13.3 mL. MSRP $9 US/CA (I do appreciate the price not being jacked up in Canada! Yay!). Pacifica nail polish is vegan and cruelty-free. It does not contain parabens, phthalates (dibutyl phthalate), toluene, xylene, camphor, formaldehyde, and resin.


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