November 13, 2013

Formula X for Sephora- Kapow! [Swatch] & [Review]

It's probably not news to many of you, but Sephora has ended its partnership with OPI, and instead has launched an entire new house brand nail polish campaign called Formula X, which includes all types of finishes and a couple hundred shades already. 

The first I have to show you is Formula X for Sephora- Kapow!:

Kapow! (part of the 'Electrics' collection) is an electric blue base filled with lighter blue flakie-type shimmer as well as some more hidden purple/pink shimmer.  The base has a touch of indigo, too- this isn't just a straight blue.

It dries down to a matte finish, and looks very nice either matte or with topcoat.

Artificial light, three coats (without topcoat):

I wouldn't necessarily call this a true neon blue, but it is pretty damn bright.

The remaining swatches are all under one coat of Revlon- Quick Dry Top Coat:

Window-filtered daylight:

Outside, shade:

This is not a real duochrome; it's just that the pink shimmer only shows up at certain angles.


Formula: It's a little strange.  It's thick, and dries super quickly, so you don't have a lot of time to work with it before you encounter cuticle dragging.  If you can work fast and properly load the brush (not too little polish), then it's very workable, but it's easy to make mistakes with this one, I think.

Also, there were a couple of grainy? lumps on a couple of my nails: not bubbles- I'm not really sure, I think it was just the shimmer clumping up within the polish.

Two coats are mostly opaque, but I needed a third to really even everything out, especially where the polish didn't self-level well, or where the strange grainy lumps were concerned. 

TLDR: Not my favorite formula ever, but the end result was OK, and it's usable if you work quickly.

Packaging: Since this is the first Formula X I've reviewed, I'll speak a little about the presentation. The bottle is a nice, unique shape, and has a removal outside lid like Illamasquas, Butter Londons, or many other higher-end polishes. It only holds .4 fl oz, which in itself is fine by me- but for that size, the packaging is a little bulky, I feel.  There's a lot of glass here, which is probably a marketing trick to make you think there's more polish inside. Overall, I do like the bottle design, though.

The brush is round, but spreads easily, and is very, very flexible.  It's a nice size too: smaller than OPI brushes, but larger than Essie brushes.  I liked it.  However, my particular bottle has a brush with one wonky fiber that stuck out past the rest and caused some slight annoyance.

Formula X for Sephora polishes retail for $10-12.50, and there is also a set of treatments, which are up to $14; all are available at Sephora stores or

What do you think about this new line from Sephora?


  1. I have grainy lumps in my Kapow too! At first I thought they were larger flecks, but when they dried it definitely looked more like clumped glitter or maybe even some dried polish pieces?

    1. Glad I'm not the only one! It's really strange...

  2. It looks very pretty! I haven't tried formula x though

  3. I love the look of this blue, it's amazingly vibrant. But, as I wear only little blue on my nails, I think I'm going to pass and get one with a better formula! I'm too impatient and lazy for bad formulas ;)

  4. This is gorgeous. Glad to see post-SOPI they've hit the ground running with their new line, it's just a shame they want $10 a bottle. :/ Oh well, there will always be sales! Great swatch!