My I Love Nail Polish Ultrachromes arrived! Wow, the first swatches of these have been out for over a month already. It’s kind of a bummer as a blogger to not be able to get hold of things more quickly, but I guess that’s what I get for living in the land of croissants.
So, I jumped on these as soon as they went live. I’ve ordered from ILNP a few times before, dispatch is usually very fast. This time, it took a few days longer. That was for a good reason (they needed to replace the brushes), but as a paying customer, it would have been nice to have an email to inform me, instead of having to check all the social media accounts to find out what’s going on. Just saying.
I photographed all of these yesterday afternoon; I apologise in advance for the messy clean up and the awkward hand positions; I wanted to swatch them in natural light while the sun was out, so I was working against time, and not in my usual photo-zone. I hear that the best way to get a full colour-shift for multi-chrome photos is underwater. Sorry girls, but I’m not doing that – I don’t walk around with wet hands, I’d much rather show you the polish as it is. So the photos aren’t quite perfect, but I got the colours to come out, that’s the most important thing aaaand (and this isn’t easy with ILNP!) they are all still in stock here, if you’d like any.
Ultrachromes are billeted as not needing a dark colour under them to bring them out, so the only base coat I used with these is Nail Foundation. So, you get to see these exactly as they are! I didn’t use top coat either, since these polishes have a naturally glossy finish.
First up, Birefringence. This was one of the two I was most excited about (the other being My Little Glacier). I used 3 coats to get it totally opaque (two was almost enough). I felt was a little brush-strokey, and it is also the only one that bubbled a little (I have no idea why, I’m hoping that was just bad luck !
In direct light, there is a microglitter sparkle going on that is a bit more forgiving. The prevalent colour here is definitely a rich purple, and it shifts strongly to a deep teal.
There’s also a strong colour shift to a deep burgundy/purple on the other end of the scale.
In the bottle, you can see a definite gold shift after the burgundy, I couldn’t get this effect at all on my nails, no matter how I moved my hand.
Next up, Cygnus Loop. This polish looks a little like Birefringence in the bottle, there is a definite overlap in the colours, and the predominant colour is again purple. This time, it’s more of a warm, royal purple, though, and the blue shift is a definite blue rather than teal. It took 2 coats to be totally opaque, and not so many brush strokes (and no bubbling) this time, the formula was just a tiny bit more fluid.
But the biggest distinguishing feature between them is that Cygnus Loop shifts much more strongly to red-copper, instead of burgundy.
In fact, Cygnus Loop even has more of that golden tint that you can see in Birefringence‘s bottle. Here, it is more prevalent.
Unless you really love purple-based colour-shifting polish, I don’t think you need both (and they are $12.50 each!) although, before getting them, I was more excited about Birefringence, I think I prefer Cygnus Loop in person. Unfortunately with the former, you just don’t get the full colour shift going on, and the formula doesn’t apply quite as easily.
The polish that I got ‘just to complete the set’ is Mutagen. But actually, it really surprised me! I was worried it would just be a green metallic polish, but actually, I’ve already decided that this is my favourite.
I only needed two coats, and I didn’t have so many visible brush strokes. The formula was very silky, really great !
Okay, so the main shift is green-to-green, but on one side you have an acidic green with copper undertones, and on the other, a beautiful blue-green. Then it flits right to blue, and you even get a hint of purple. It’s really the one that is easiest to apply, shifts most dramatically, and where you actually get all the colours you see in the bottle.
Last of all, My Little Glacier. This is the other of the two that I really wanted to try. Unfortunately, I was kind of disappointed in the end. It is so much darker than it looked on the website! I was actually so keen to get this, I ordered two – in case one order didn’t get through.
This is what it says on ILNP.com : “My Little Glacier is incredibly sexy titanium blue polish that appears silver one moment, and blue the next! Expect very subtle hints of purple, red, and even yellow from time to time.” Well, I got a polish that shifts from gunmetal-grey (almost black) to a greyish teal – and no matter how I turned my fingers, I didn’t see any purple, red or yellow. Also, I used 3 coats, and most of the time that looked opaque. But there was a certain angle where it went totally transparent.
It is still a very nice polish, and I will persevere. Maybe over a silver it would lighten up, or maybe over a black, the colours would shift more. But I don’t think that My Little Glacier is at all in the same league as the others. And it definitely isn’t silver…
So overall, a nice set of polish. But I don’t think you can expect to see all of the colours that you see in the bottle actually on your nails – especially in the case of My Little Glacier. If you don’t want to splash out on all four, I recommend Cygnus Loop and Mutagen. And I’m definitely not going to get caught up in the hype again! This is a very respectable polish, but I’m not sure if it’s really “the” multichrome polish of the year.
Birefringence is defintely the one that’s being talked about, but I didn’t feel that the formula was quite perfect. You might be better off holding out for a good Ozotic instead. And, at $12.50 for 12ml, don’t feel bad if it’s out of your budget. It is a shame, because from ILNP, I do expect great quality polish every time. I guess maybe the biggest problem here is the hype surrounding them.