Essie’s new Luxeffects polishes are starting to show up in stores now. I found them in Walgreens over a week ago, but things have been busy for me lately, and cloudy, so I just got them out today for the first time.
I have swatches of the three non-glitter polishes today. The Luxeffects polishes are all sheer topcoats, meant to be worn over another polish. I like polishes like this to extend an existing manicure, but Essie didn’t really have any in their lineup before. The only one that comes to mind is Kisses and Bises from Spring 2011, which was really pretty. So I was hoping that these would be similarly nice.
All swatches are over Essie’s Smokin’ Hot, from Winter 201o. I also did a layer of clear topcoat (Essie’s Good to Go) between the Smokin’ Hot and the Luxeffects layers, just to be sure that the Luxeffects topcoats didn’t drag any dark purple off the nail. It’s good to take this precaution with not-totally-dry polish, so that you don’t end up with grungy looking topcoats.
All of the Luxeffects topcoats had a thick, gummy texture, some more so than others. I started with As Gold as it Gets, which is straight gold flaky pieces. The formula on this was a little thick but not too bad. It took just one coat for this coverage. I like this but I was hoping that the flakes would be a little richer gold, maybe a little more orange. It comes across as a bit weak on the nail. The flakes are also a bit smaller than I hoped. I was looking for something like CND’s gold flaky Effects polish from this fall/winter, since I haven’t tracked it down yet, but based on swatch pictures As Gold as it Gets is just not quite as dramatic.
Pure Pearlfection is a white shimmer topcoat. This one was the thickest of the three, and had a sort of cake batter consistency. It went on pretty well for something so thick and still seemed to dry ok, so I don’t think the thickness is too big a deal. I did think that it was a bit streaky, though, because I was afraid to try to push it around on the nail too much. I really liked this one; it has a stark, almost greyish or blueish shine because it’s so white, and it flashed off the dark purple base really nicely. It gives a very wintery, cold shimmer.
The last non-glitter topcoat is Shine of the Times. This one was way better than I expected. It’s a fairly standard flaky, which flashes from green to reddish orange on the nail. It’s very close to polishes like Sally Hansen Hidden Treasure, Nubar 2010 and several of the Nfu Oh flakies. I’ve never tried Hidden Treasure, but I like this one better than the similar Nfu Ohs or Nubar 2010. The flaky pieces are incredibly dense in this one so you need only one coat, and it’s a little thick but not too bad. It went on easily and really covered the nail. The thing that edges it above Nubar 2010 or the Nfu Ohs is the dynamic flashiness of the flaky pieces – the green hint at the edges of the nail was very pronounced and almost lime, neon greenish; the orange flash took on an almost red, very bright tone at the other edge of the spectrum. The colors of the flash are very similar in the other polishes, but seem just a little more toned down. It was hard to capture in pictures, but you can see a bit of the green on the edge of the nail in the picture below.
This picture shows how densely this one covered, in just one coat.
Out of these three polishes, Shine of the Times is the clear winner for me. The others were pretty but a little flat. They’re just not that new looking. Shine of the Times isn’t new either, but it manages to be slightly nicer than other, similar polishes. I bought the collection at Walgreens, and I’ve also now seen it at Ulta, so these polishes should be easy to find. I’ll also have swatches of one of the glitter topcoats coming up soon!