Review – Ulta Nail FX set

The Ulta Nail FX top coat set comes with four different top coats to give you four different effects for nail art. It retails for $14 in Ulta stores.

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What’s in the box:
Color Enhancing Topcoat – Brightens and intensifies any nail enamel. pops in direct sunlight and glows under black light.
Matte Topcoat – Create a matte effect when applied over any shade.
Holographic Topcoat – Futuristic rainbow holographic effect when used alone. Silvery holographic frost when used over any colored nail enamel.
Smoky Topcoat – Gives any shade of nail polish a dark smoky effect. Extends wear and increase (sic) shine.

(Descriptions taken directly from the back of the box. All four are listed as Formaldehyde, DBP, and Tolulene free.)

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First impression –
Typical Ulta bottles. No minis in this set like their other sets usually have. All full size topcoats.
The color enhancing topcoat looks like a normal gloss top coat with a slight blue tinge.
The matte topcoat also looks typical for a matte. Milky semi clear in bottle.
The holographic topcoat has a grayish look to it.
The smoky topcoat looks……well…..black.

Ok, here we go. All 5 swatches are a blue polish (Wet N Wild Fast Dry in Saved By the Blue) with two coats and no Seche Vite.

From left to right
Base color with no top coat.
Color Enhancing
Matte
Holographic
Smoky

First, no flash.

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With flash.

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The Color Enhancing topcoat is glossy. Will update with shots in sunlight and under black light when I can. Otherwise it’s rather unremarkable.

The matte one isn’t very matte. It looked virtually identical to my base color with no top coat. Not glossy but not very matte. Meh. I much prefer Essie Matte About You or even the very economical NYC Matte Me Crazy.

The holographic. Wow. On its own it’s rather blah as a silver holographic polish. Spend a little money on a brand that uses high quality holographic pigment. Try FNUG or Layla. As a topcoat it’s way too thick to be used. Base color barely shows through even at one coat over a dark polish. For comparison, I went ahead and put one coat of my favorite holographic top coat My Private Rainbow from I Love Nail Polish on the originally non top coated swatch.

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Now that’s what I’m talking about! One coat of My Private Rainbow on nail one vs one coat of Ulta Holographic topcoat on nail 4. At two coats (not shown) the first becomes a holo queen while the fourth becomes…….silver. :/

Finally we have the smoky topcoat. It’s basically a black jelly polish. A very light black jelly polish. It changed the color, otherwise I can’t speak for its ability to “increase wear”.

As a fan of nail art and unique finishes, this kit is disappointing. If the color enhancing one works as described (and I’m not holding my breath on that one) it might be worth the purchase. We go to skating rinks and bowling alleys that love black lights so I would definitely use a top coat that could make my nails glow like crazy. Ulta probably should think about selling these individually but in my opinion, they’re pretty much junk. Save your money folks.

The products in this review were purchased by me. The opinions in this review are my own.

Update 7/14/13

Finally got to test out the black light responsive top coat.
Here’s two coats alone on my little one’s nails.

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And here is two coats over my regular mani of I Love Nail Polish’s Cosmic Barney, a very dark purple holo. I only did my pinky as this top coat does bubble and no way was I ruining my holo goodness for a few hours at the bowling alley LOL. But it works, and works well.

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