February 2, 2015

Formula X for Sephora Sea Glass Negative Space Nails [Nail Art] [Review]

Howdy guys! I can't believe another weekend has flown by! I spent most of the time battling the epic snows we're getting here in Chicago, but also helped a friend celebrate her 30th, which was fun!

Today I've got a kind of combo/ mash-up post for you today. I've got some nail art featuring the newly released Formula X for Sephora Sea Glass textured polishes, as well as a mini-review of some NailVinyls, which I used to create the design!

I'm really thrilled with these polishes so let's get into some bottle shots first!

I didn't shoot a mail-time because Ham was currently in limp-puddle-state (LPS) after a loooong walk. That didn't stop me from adorning him with the polishes, though!

I should mention that there's a fifth shade in this set, called Deep End, but I didn't pick it up since it's just a black with silver sparkle, and I think it's the least unique of all of them. I'm sure it's pretty, but I didn't need another black/ silver shimmer!


left to right: Starfish, Tide, Whirlpool, Marine

I really don't think the sparkle comes through adequately in photos, which is a shame!

It's a close race, but Whirlpool is definitely my favorite, so I thought a brush macro was necessary:

I did wipe a lot of polish off of the brush for that photo!

And, here's some quick swatch stick swatches of the four shades, since I won't get to actual hand swatches:

left to right: Starfish, Tide, Whirlpool, Marine

Now let's talk about the NailVinyls!

First of all, I have to thank Traci from Newsie Nail Novice for turning me onto these particular vinyls! She does a lot of fabulous vinyl manicures, so go take a look! :) 

NailVinyls come on sheets like this, and many sheets cost only ~$5, although it depends on how many vinyls per sheet as well as the design. Shipping was free, and the vinyls arrived (quickly!) in a standard envelope.

I chose the Skinny Single Chevron 100 count ($5, blue), as well as the Lightning Bolts 40 count ($5, pink).

I didn't take any photos of the application process, but it's pretty straightforward. You can use your fingers- or tweezers for even more control. I just used my fingers! I applied them over a totally dry basecoat (OPI- Lay Down That Base), and just made sure that they were adhered to the nail surface, especially at the cuticle lines and nail tips.

NailVinyls are really not like stickers, which is what I thought at first. They aren't super sticky, exactly- more like tacky. They feel thick, very flexible, and a little bit stretchy like vinyl. They sort of want to cling to your nails, but aren't going to pull up polish or anything. I really like the texture of them- especially the stretchiness!

I used tweezers to remove them so I wouldn't accidentally bump my drying polish. They came up very cleanly and easily with no problems to report! Overall, I'm really loving them, and kind of kicking myself for not investing in some sooner!

Here's how the design turned out:

Since I wanted a true negative space manicure with the actual nail bed showing, I needed to use two coats of each polish before removing each NailVinyl. That's usually a no-no, and I guess it was risky to do so! I think it came out a little better than expected, but you can see, especially in the photo above, that the lines are not as precise and clean as they normally would be. Which...is not the best way to show off these NailVinyls, admittedly!

I do have another nail art look (using the skinny chevrons) coming up featuring these vinyls which does use just one coat of polish on top.

This was my first time placing the NailVinyls, and I'm not totally happy with the amount of free-edge showing, but that's just me being bad at placing them!

About the polishes:

  • Formula: Formula-wise, all of these polishes applied super nicely, and were very easy to work with. I did not even do any cuticle cleanup on these photos- that clean cuticle line is a result of how incredibly easy they are to control! I had all of them opaque in two coats as well. The pink, Starfish, is slightly sheerer than the others, but it still built up to an opaque finish in two coats. Marine was almost opaque on the first coat. 

Like most textured polishes, they also dry very quickly. The drawback is that wear time is reduced. These did chip on me fairly quickly, but it's totally worth it since they are so quick and easy to apply, in my opinion. Of course, they are also reaaaally beautiful with top coat, and if you're interested in seeing how they look glossy, check out Karen Falcon's swatches on imabeautygeek.com!

  • Texture: They are a bit similar to the original line of Zoya PixieDusts, if you're familiar with those. They are the smoothest, most low-profile textured polishes I've ever tried, and it's probably why I love them so much! They feel like actual seaglass feels: smooth but slightly...frosty? at the same time. It's hard to describe, but they are very smooth! I'd almost hesitate to call them a textured polish, but they aren't quite as seamless as a straight matte polish would be.

As you can tell, I love these, and I'm really, really hoping that Formula X decides to release more colors in the line! I'm not sure what the chances of that are, but a nail polish junkie can dream.

>What do you think?
Do you like super subtle textured finishes?
Have you used NailVinyls, or other vinyls, before?


  1. Still haven't tried any Formula X polishes but they look good. The negative space nail art is fun.

  2. Hey hey hey! Thanks for the shout out! These look great and I'm so glad you finally got to play with some nail vinyls, they are a great way to show off a multitude of polishes in one mani! Love the look you created here and the colors are stunning! You did a great job for our first time, I'm very proud. Can't wait to see what you do with the single chevrons!

  3. These are so pretty.Starfish is my fave,and Tide too.Love the nail vinyls.

  4. Not only do I love all of these polishes, but I love your mani. Looks hot!

  5. Poor worn out Ham :D

    Loving Tide, Whirlpool, Marine......feel like Marine should be named Whirlpool and Whirlpool should be named....I don't know, Maytag?

  6. How is it you make me want to own everything you post? I love the grittiness in these polishes and your nail art is fab! Aren't NailVinyls just awesome?

  7. I need this set so bad, and I adore what you've done with these polishes!

  8. Haha! They ARE awesome! Now I want to use them for every manicure! I love these polishes because they look kind of gritty, but don't feel that way!

  9. Starfish is so wearable! Thank You! <3

  10. Thaaaank you, and yes you do, hahahaha! :D

  11. Haha! It's true...they are so good for motivating you to use more than one polish! Now when I paint my nails at 11pm, I can't be as lazy!!

  12. Why thank you! I'm digging the negative space thing a lot recently!

  13. This is stunning! I think I need that aqua one. :)

  14. Yay, thanks! That's my second favorite, I think! It's definitely very vibrant!