Friday, December 2, 2011

NYX Girls Nail Polish in Carnival Review and Swatches

Deborah Lippmann makes a polish called Happy Birthday. It is really, really glittertastic. It's got a mix of all kinds of colors, shapes, and sizes of glitter (Scrangie described it as "clown puke", though in a good way) in a clear base, but it's $18 and therefore out of my price range. Fortunately, there's a ton and a half of cheaper dupes or near-dupes, one of which is the topic of this post: a NYX Girls polish called Carnival.
NYX Girls Carnival
Carnival comprises a mix of hex and round glitters in red, magenta, orange, yellow, green, silver, and blue in a thick, clear base.
4 coats on nail wheel
The glitter, while pretty and interesting, loses most of its dimension in direct light and just reflects silver, red, and green, which makes it very holiday-appropriate, but not quite as exciting as I'd hoped. I found it harder to work with than my other NYX Girls glitter, Spot Light, because it was thicker and the glitter had a tendency to want to clump, so even after pushing it around with the brush, there was still some unevenness in distribution (not to mention how thick the polish layers ended up!). Because of the thickness, it takes a long time to dry––quick dry top coat is definitely necessary. Also, in spite of the thickness, the glitter doesn't apply very densely, so if you're wanting really reflective, opaque nails, look elsewhere, as even 4 coats failed to be opaque.

2 coats on nails

2 coats on nails, please pardon my icky cuticles

I tried wearing it on its own at first, but also did some nail wheel swatches over other colors, and I think it will definitely work best layered over something else (shown over black and shimmery red below).
2 coats NYX Maroon (review to come), 1 coat NYX Gold Glitter (ditto), and 1 coat Carnival

1 coat Wet N Wild Black Creme, 1 coat Carnival

It wore as long as polishes ever do on me, about 3-4 days before I "had" to remove it (it obviously could have stayed on longer, but I'm really OCD about my nails, and that was as long as I could put up with a single color/the tipwear).

Application, as I mentioned before, is a bit of a pain, as you definitely have to wait between coats so as not to displace the glitter already on the nail (and it takes forever for a coat to dry, so you should definitely do your nails while watching TV or the like), and removal is just as terrible, though the aluminum foil trick does make it much less painful.

Bottom line? For me, not a total win. The sparseness of the glitter, coupled with the lack of color variety under direct light (inside as well), makes it a glitter that doesn't seem worth the hassle. Compared to Happy Birthday (based on swatches from online), Carnival is lacking the square glitters, has much lower orange and yellow ratios than HB, and doesn't have nearly the same size variety (much less visually arresting), and also seems to be less dense. If you're wanting Happy Birthday, I suggest either saving up for it (though Scrangie has pointed out that it's been reformulated and doesn't have the same mix of glitters, sadface) or looking at other dupes, because Carnival just doesn't cut it. I will be wearing it this holiday season, though, because the dominant green-red-silver (and gold) glitter is very on-trend, and I really like how it looks over red. It's just not quite what I wanted it to be.

Here are some final shots of all 3 layering nails:

$1.99 for 0.35 oz, available from Cherry Culture and random stores

Quality: 8
Effectiveness: 4
Ease of Use: 1.5
Senses: 4.5 (it needs 2 coats of top coat for a completely smooth finish, but even with just one it's not annoyingly bumpy)
Pigmentation: 4 (I want more glitter!)
Duration: 5
Consistency: 3.5 (very thick, which would be fine if there were a corresponding amount of glitter to justify the thickness, but as it is, it just builds up way too much)
Price: 5
Value: 4 (0.35 oz is smaller than most nail polish, which clocks in around 0.45-0.50 oz)
Grade: B-

What do you think of Carnival? Do you own Happy Birthday or any of its dupes?
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...