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Thursday, 12 February 2015

Review: Formula X

Red nail varnish - an oldie but a goodie, the perfect little pick-me-up, a hint of old school glamour. Yes, red nail varnish is my kryptonite. I can't even begin to count how many bottles of the stuff I've gotten through over the years... yet alone how much I've spent feeding my addiction. As a result, I consider myself quite the expert. I've tried and tested every brand from the bog-standard Barry M to the shimmering heights of Chanel. I love the stuff and I know what makes for a perfect polish. So when my mother me brought back a red nail varnish fix after her last NY trip, I was far too excited to give Formula X a go. Having read reviews from around the blogosphere, including beauty blogger extraordinaire Lily Pebbles, I had high hopes for this polish.
This shocking candy apple red naturally reminded me of Essie's classic 'A-List' varnish which has been a staple of mine ever since my Liberty Sale Haul back in June. However, Formula X is not quite on the same name game as good ol' Essie and this classic red varnish is rather boringly called 'X Rouge'.
On first glance the varnish looks promising, a very sleek and upmarket design. Unfortunately, the formula and application just don't live up to the design promises. The brush is small and thin which means the varnish collects at the bottom of the nail making it tricker to spread evenly. The polish itself is very thick in comparison to other brands - an attribute which I don't particularly value in a nail varnish. Some like a thick formula, it means you get more for your money and the often laborious process of painting your nails is shortened. You could definitely get away with only one coat of this glamourous crimson shade.
Personally, I enjoy painting my nails. Anyone could figure that out from a quick glance at my mammoth collection. I find it so relaxing and wonderfully therapeutic taking time out of my day to make my nails look pretty. And I'm oh so aware of how ridiculous that will sound to some. But that's why I don't mind taking the time to go through all the steps to a perfect manicure. The never-ending buffing and filing, followed by a base coat, then the first coat of colour, the pause to let the colour settle, then the second coat, etc etc. For me, the formula of this varnish just doesn't bode well. It's far too thick which also means that it takes longer to dry and set - the one part of the nail painting routine I simply can't stand!
For me, Formula X just can't compete with the perfection of Essie. Despite my upmost efforts in applying top and base coats, my manicure is already chipping after a mere two days. My pedicure, on the other hand, is going strong after a week and a half. Strangely enough, I broke my toe on Wednesday morning (a funny story for another day) and there's not so much as a chip in sight. Perhaps this thick formula just isn't cut out for the wear and tear of a LydiaLulu manicure.
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