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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Iron Man inspired nail art

Two coats of A England Perceval
Sponged on Zoya Ziv with a teeny bit of OPI’s Goldeneye
Accent nail of Tony Stark’s chest piece is one acrylic flat back stone.
Topped with Seche Vite.

We missed opening day due to a sick kiddo so we postponed our date until the following Friday. Can’t wait! I hear its great! Shhh no spoilers lol.

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Textured polish spree!

The latest textured polish trend took me by surprise. I didn’t expect to love it as much as I do. Here are my favs so far.
Photo on the left is full sun. Photo on right is indoor lighting.

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1. Julie G Gumdrops collection Hot Cinnamon
2. Zoya Pixie Dust Chyna
3. OPI Bond Girls collection Solitaire
4. OPI Bond Girls collection Honey Ryder
5. OPI Bond Girls collection Jinx
6. Julie G Gumdrops collection Tangerine Dream
7. Julie G Gumdrops collection Crushed Candy
8. Julie G Gumdrops collection Blueberry Fizz
9. Zoya Pixie Dust Nyx
10. Zoya Pixie Dust Dahlia
11. Zoya Pixie Dust Godiva

Swatches are all 2 coats.

Zoya Pixie Dust – Nyx

I do think Zoya has won the battle of the textured polishes. Their formula is simply perfect. Not too chunky, just the right amount of glitter.

Here is Zoya Nyx. My kids tell me it’s purple or blue. I say it’s both lol. It’s best described as periwinkle with bling.

Pic with flash and with indoor lighting. I get so many compliments on this one! No base coat or top coat as directed.

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I simply cannot wait for the summer Pixie Dust line!

Darling Diva – Ringer

This week I’m wearing Unicorn Pee.

For those not in the know, Unicorn Pee refers to a very special, highly sought after polish that is now so rare and so awesome, it’s given this nickname.

Darling Diva’s Ringer is a dupe of Max Factor Fantasy Fire or Clarins 230, both of which are as rare as the urine of a mythical four legged horned creature.

Ringer isn’t meant to be worn alone. It magically transforms whatever polish you put it over. It’s described as “a sheer blurple jelly with copper red to green shifting shimmer.”

In the sun it looks like its on fire from beneath the base color. Here I havetwo coats of Ringer over one coat of Wet and Wild Fast Dry Saved By the Blue. I’ve gotten stopped so many times to get a better look at this one. It transforms from every angle and is truly eye popping!

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Definitely need to try this over other colors to see how it looks.

I purchased my bottle of ringer from Llarowe here. It’s currently sold out but should be restocked in the future. Good luck and happy unicorn pee hunting! 😉