Clinique’s relaunched and revamped nail polishes have been out in the US and UK for a while now, but the lacquers are yet to make an appearance on local shores. You can, however, sample the line in two holiday gift packs currently available: Clinique Party Tips nail polish set and the (inevitable) Black Honey set.
The Party Tips set comes with a little zippered cosmetic pouch and three nail lacquers in Strappy Sandals (bright white silver metallic), Polished Amethyst (purple frost) and Black Honey (midnight eggplant). The polishes are a little smaller than full size, but they’re still generously proportioned at 5ml each. I was pleasantly surprised by the quality of the brush in these mini polishes, long enough to be flexible and wide enough to make application a simple three stroke process.
The big hype point of these lacquers is that they’re Big 5 Free, meaning that they don’t have the standard Big 3 (dibutyl phthalate, formaldehyde, and toluene) or formaldehyde resin and camphor (two ingredients that can cause irritation to the sensitive skin and mucous membranes of the eye, even when dried). Big Three Free is now an almost universal industry standard and Big Five Free is rapidly becoming more and more common, and I get a feeling that the much vaunted six year development cycle of these polishes has put Clinique behind the curve a bit in terms of both getting a first place ribbon for removing irritants from nail lacquers and boasting about being the first to put a hypo-allergenic lacquer formula into the public’s hands. No harm though! The more traction that Big Five Free gets, the quicker major beauty houses start incorporating more sensitive-friendly formulas, and faster it becomes industry standard.
Strappy Sandals was the highlight of this set for me, as it combines my favourite formula (fine metallic mesh) and my favourite colour (high shine bright white silver)! I used two thin coats to get full finish colour with no streaks or bald spots. Colourwise it’s brighter than Australis Foil Spoil, whiter than Hello Darling LIKEOMG, and an identical dupe to Sally Hansen Celeb City.
Polished Amethyst is a red-based purple with some subtle purple shimmer. It’s not an ultra frosty frost, but the shimmer gives it a nice lustrous touch. Application was a touch on the finicky side with three thin coats needed for a smooth finish. This is one of those polishes that I could’ve sworn I had a lot of dupes of, but it turns out that the closest I have to it is the less ruddy Face of Australia Amethyst.
Black Honey is a classic blackened eggplant creme with an excellent formula, needing only two thin coats to bring the polish to a smooth even colour. Colourwise it’s in the same family as Essie Wicked, Covergirl Wine Stain, and OPI Lincoln Park After Dark.
Overall I’m pretty dang impressed with these lacquers. Both manicures I did lasted for four days with minor edge and corner wear which, as previously lamented on this blog, is outstanding for me because few nail polishes ever last for more than a day or two on my nails. I’m hoping that the full Clinique nail line gets a release in Australia soon as I’d quite like to try some of the bright shades. Here’s hoping!
This item was purchased by swatchgirl.com.