There’s a small handful of products I’ll forever regret not buying, and at the very top of that list sits Chanel's holographic nail polish. Sure, I was 17 and totally unaware of the happenings of the beauty world at the time, but still, how did I miss out on something so truly magical?
Seriously, though, have you seen pictures of this stuff? It’s so rainbow, so sparkly, so completely out of this world. Though I’ve been able to find a bottle or two on eBay over the past few months, the price tag seems to generally be upwards of $100, and $100 for a bottle of potentially expired nail polish is so not something I can talk myself into.
And so, after sulking for awhile and scouring the internet in search of some secret Chanel holo stash, I’ve decided to give up and start looking for a good dupe.
Though beauty bloggers far and wide agree no holo polish is quite as good as Chanel’s brilliant formula, there are quite a few runners-up. Sadly, some of the best ones have also been discontinued, like OPI's and China Glaze's, adding to the list of overpriced rare holos for sale on eBay. There are still a few affordable options out there, however, and I’ve made it my mission to try them all!
GOSH in 549 Holographic Hero
After reading mixed reviews of GOSH 549 online, I set out to find a bottle and found one quite easily at my local drugstore. Apparently, after releasing a limited batch awhile back, GOSH has re-released this colour, but there is no specification on the website about whether it’s limited edition or here to stay this time.
Though I only paid about $8 for this polish, I was really disappointed at first. The texture was patchy and globby, and I had a hard time avoiding bald spots. This is a common issue with holo polishes, however, and it can be remedied with an aqua base (like the one that came in the original Chanel duo) or a coat of non-toxic Mod Podge glue applied carefully with a small brush.
After I had finished painting as smoothly as possible and had let my nails dry, I waited eagerly for a flash of rainbow similar to the Chanel photos I’d seen, but my nails just looked grey. I think my biggest complaint about this polish would be the boring, cloudy colour it appears to be when out of direct sunlight. When exposed to sun/camera flash however, it looks pretty holographic and awesome.
Lime Crime Oriphicus Glitter and an Essie Top Coat
After seeing Wendy’s awesome DIY glitter nail polish, I figured I could easily do the same with a little tub of Lime Crime Oriphicus Glitter I had on hand (a product I originally bought for my eyes but was later told by commenters it may not be eye-safe). It’s a pretty rainbow holographic in the container and on skin, so I decided to try it out as a polish.
I poured about a teaspoon into a half-used bottle of Essie top coat, then I shook it up and painted my nails…
This DIY method definitely yielded a cute holographic glitter, but it was also pretty patchy (I didn’t want to use up all the glitter since one tiny container cost $13), and didn’t really have that hologram look at all. It was definitely no match for Chanel…
Super Black Holographic Polishes
I’ve been super excited to try Super Black polishes ever since Trista interviewed their maker, Natalie Dee, but my want quickly turned to a need when I saw Super Black had an incredible looking holographic collection.
Getting my hands on some Super Black polish was harder than it should’ve been because I live in Canada, and sadly they only ship within the US for now. I was extremely determined however, so Natalie sent my holos to an office in New York where my partner is working for the next few months, and he retrieved it and brought it back for me. It was quite the ordeal, and it was over a month before the polishes arrived home to me, but it was so worth the trouble.
Super Black’s hologram polishes are incredible! As long as you don’t apply a base coat first, they’re extremely smooth and give great coverage.
I tried out Guilty, a gold shade, and Wishful Thinking, a more traditional silvery colour, and both were a total delight.
Guilty only needed two coats, and looked beautiful in and out of sunlight. A great base colour with a fantastic hologram shimmer, I would recommend this product to anyone who loves gold and rainbows (meaning, like, everyone!)
Wishful Thinking is technically a topcoat, so I needed three layers to get a fully solid colour, but it dried pretty quickly and evenly so I didn’t have an issue with that. And when it dried…
I was actually speechless. This nail polish is everything I could ever want in a holo polish, and I daresay it’s almost as rainbow magical as the Chanel version! Out of sunlight it’s a lovely, slightly glittery gray with a hint of holo, but once the light hits it directly, it really comes alive. I’ve worn it for three days now with no chips or weird bald patches in sight, and I’ve suddenly become one of those girls who is always looking at her nails.
Of course I’m still interested in trying other holos to compare, especially if I can ever get my rainbow hands on some Chanel, but till then, Super Black definitely takes gold.
What’s the best holographic polish you’ve found? Have you ever seen the mystical Chanel holo in real life? Tell me everything!