Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Layla Hologram Effect Nail Polish Swatches and Review

Holos! Glorious, shiny, rainbow-filled holos. The new Hologram Effect collection from Italian nail care brand Layla (who you may already be familiar with from their Magneffect polishes) is exactly what we've all been hoping for. Strong, linear, colorful holos. Not flakies, not metallic polish with a little hologram glitter thrown in, but actual, genuine holographic effect nail polishes. See for yourself:


Layla Hologram Effect Nail Polish in 01 Mercury Twilight. This is the requisite silver hologram. Every collection needs one. This one is especially nice, though. It's linear, but the particles are larger than most linear holos so it has more of a TV-static-esque effect. It's very cool.


Layla Hologram Effect Nail Polish in 04 Ultra Violet. Light purple hologram. Blue-toned and a tiny bit deeper in color than some of the other light purple holos I've worn. (Sidenote: this is with one full day of wear, no basecoat or topcoat. It has more tipwear than a normal polish would have after this same amount of wear time.)



Layla Hologram Effect Nail Polish in 05 Jade Groove. Light green hologram. Blue-toned. Doesn't look all that holographic here, but it is in real life. It's just as strong as all the others.


Layla Hologram Effect Nail Polish in 06 Mermaid Spell. Light blue holo. Like Ultra Violet, it's slightly more saturated than some of the other light blue holos I've worn.


Layla Hologram Effect Nail Polish in 08 Flash Black. Charcoal / dark grey holographic. This one is my favorite of the bunch. It's not quite black, like the original version of OPI My Private Jet, but it is darker than China Glaze Let's Do It In 3D.

These pictures were taken on an overcast day, indoors, with only natural/ambient light. As you can see, they actually look fantastic in indoor lighting conditions, unlike a lot of linear holos which tend to look dull and non-holographic or like frosty metallic shimmers unless they're in direct sunlight. Bright light, camera flash and full sunlight do enhance the holographic effect, but they really look amazing in any lighting.


Layla Mercury Twilight (flash)


Layla Flash Black (flash)


The application on these is good if they are applied as directed. When I apply them over my normal basecoat, application is a streaky nightmare. When applied over clean, bare nails that have been prepped with the Layla nail buffer (see below), application is a breeze. If you have one of those special Aqua Base-type basecoats for holographic polishes, I'm sure that would work, but I don't own one. I did three coats of each (giving each coat about two minutes to dry before applying the next), no basecoat, no topcoat and had very good results. These do chip faster on me than normal polish, especially since I skip basecoat when I wear them, but using a non-quick-dry topcoat (like Gelous) helps them resist chips longer and doesn't dull the holo effect.


This is the Layla Hologram Effect Base File that's recommended for use with these polishes. Instead of applying a basecoat, you prep your nails with this before applying the Hologram Effect polishes. It really does apply better that way, but there are two things I need to mention about this: One, this is just a regular two-sided nail buffer (a very fine grit side for removing shine/evening out ridges and then a smooth glossing side). You don't need this specific one; any similar buffer will work. And two, I'd really recommend going easy with the buffing step or skipping it entirely because it can weaken your nails if you do it too often.

I wanted to see how the holographic effect in these compared to some of the other holos in my collection, so I gathered a few of my favorite ones and did a side-by-side comparison:

Layla Hologram Effect in Mercury Twilight - China Glaze OMG - China Glaze Sexagon - Sally Hansen Magical Nail Makeup in Crystal Ball


Left to right (pinkie to index):
Sally Hansen Magical Nail Makeup in Crystal Ball (three coats)
China Glaze Sexagon (three coats)
China Glaze OMG (three coats)
Layla Hologram Effect in Mercury Twilight (three coats)

As you can tell, they're all quite different. The Layla has a larger, chunkier holo particle than the Sally Hansen Magical and the China Glaze OMG Collection holos (like OMG), but it's less chunky than the China Glaze Kaleidoscope Collection holos (like Sexagon). The Layla is the most strongly holographic in low light. It's not as fine, smooth and completely linear as the OMGs or Magicals, but it is linear. I think it stacks up pretty well against my other favorite holos, both in application and in hologram effect.

What I liked:
  • Very strong holographic effect, visible even in low light.
  • Every single color I tried looked gorgeous and super holographic.
  • Dries extremely fast.
  • The holographic finish is different from other holos I have.
  • Removes easier than regular nail polish.
  • Available online from Zappos (Free overnight shipping rules! Plus, amazing customer service.)

What I didn't like:

  • They're very prone to chipping.
  • They don't hide imperfections in the nail (like ridges).
  • They can be very difficult to apply over normal basecoat (streaky and patchy).
  • Expensive ($15.50 for 10ml / 0.33 fl oz).
  • The colors are pretty, but they're also very common colors for holographic polishes.
  • Promo images are slightly misleading; colors are lighter in real life.

I think these are awesome. What I like the most about them is that they look good even in low light / indoors. The hologram effect is strong and it manages to balance itself between having a strong linear finish without losing its hologram effect indoors and having chunky/substantial enough particles to not look frosty without being a scattered holo. The biggest downsides are the price and the fact they chip so quickly. But, overall, I think they're great holos and I'd definitely buy more shades of these.

Layla Hologram Effect Nail Polish comes in eight colors. Not pictured here are Coral Glam, Ocean Rush and Retro Pink. All are available online from Zappos, $15.50 each.

(This was sent for review.)

73 comments:

  1. typo in the bible according to scrangie-- mermaid SPELL not dream! *bows down to the scrangie*

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    1. Hahaha, whoops! I think I have Deborah Lippmann on the brain... was just looking at a picture of Mermaid's Dream XD Thank you for pointing that out, I would not have noticed anything was wrong!

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    1. It *is*. I adore it. Mmmmm charcoal holo.....

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  4. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0WUdlaLWSVM CUE THIS.

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  5. Saw these at Ulta over the weekend, they're $15.50 there as well, but I couldn't resist picking up one (used a coupon and reward points to take a little off, still ended up being the most expensive polish I've bought to date, lol). I picked up Ultra Violet, and this is my first holo. I appreciate you doing these swatches so I could see what the others look like, may have to pick up Flash Black as well, so lovely.

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  6. Saw these at Ulta over the weekend, they're $15.50 there as well, but I couldn't resist picking up one (used a coupon and reward points to take a little off, still ended up being the most expensive polish I've bought to date, lol). I picked up Ultra Violet, and this is my first holo. I appreciate you doing these swatches so I could see what the others look like, may have to pick up Flash Black as well, so lovely.

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  7. I love how there are like 2 lines of holo in some of the pics! Never seen a holographic do that!

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  8. Hola!
    Me gustaron mucho estos esmaltes. Además me encanta que no seas super chupamedias de quienes te mandan las muestras para hacer el review.
    Saludos =)

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  9. oo all of them are amazing! like it so much.

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  10. Thanks for clearing up the buffer issue! I've been so hesitant to buy it because I didn't really understand what was "special" about it.
    I guess it's a good way for Layla to sell their branded buffer?

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  11. I'm in a fb group and the girls have ordered over 100 of these between them o_0 OMG I know, wish I'd had money to chip in for some lol xo

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  12. <3333. i have Flash Black, Ultra Violet, and Mermaid Spell and love them. they are coming out with new colors too!!!! im definitely ordering more.
    and i used Seche Vite and it didn't dull the holo at all!!! LOOOOOVE. they better not screw the holo up in the future. lol

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  13. I tried Mercury Twilight without any base coat and for me application was very difficult. It chipped really fast, in a couple of hours, but the effect was amazing. Then I bought the Nfu-oh aqua base and it changed everything! It was like painting my nails with regular polish! I use base coat- polish-base coat-polish and it didn't chipped that fast.
    I bought the coraln and the pink ones for a friend and they are super holo too!!

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  14. I bought Flash Black, and I LOVE IT. I was hesitant because of the price, but you can use the $3.50 off coupons that Ulta always has, which helps a little. I want the rest of them too but I can't afford it!

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  15. I actually have Mercury Layla holo polish which I bought from Harlow&Co. She has all the shades as well which is really awesome. Anyway I do agree that these polishes are crazy holo and I absolutely love them! Havent tried on Murcury yet but have swatched it and from that swatch i definitely want to get more of them. Downside is Harlow is in cananda and the wait kills me!! So hopefully these other sites at least use paypal and my order wont take long to recieve.

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  16. Scratch what I said, completely forgot ulta had these online!! dooh! lol

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  17. How is is possible that Scrangie doesn't have an aqua base? :D
    Anyway, I'm more and more convinced that I need "Flash Black" *_*

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  18. Mmm, love these! I picked up the silver and the light blue ones at Ulta last month. So excited, my first really awesome holos! :) Layla has a mirror effects line now, too! They are really making some awesome collections!

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  19. Zappos now sells nail polish?! That's like...super cool!

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  20. They're amazing holos, but I think for $15.50 I'd have to pass. But maybe if I'm feeling good I'd splurge on maybe one with a coupon like someone else mentioned.

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  21. Oh my gosh. You had to post this the day I started my no buy, didn't you? :-p I have Flash Black and Ocean Rush.... ohhhhh so gorgeous! I neeed Ultra Violet, though!

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  22. ULTRA VIOLET AND FLASH BLACK! These are going to be my clubbing go to colors, I looooovvvvvvvvvvveeeeeeeeeeeeeeee them

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  23. Very pretty! I wish I could find these in Canada haha

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    1. I just picked some up at Lawton's yesterday, if you've got one in your area. :-)

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    2. I just picked some up at Lawton's yesterday, if you've got one in your area. :-)

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    3. I just got some at Lawton's if you've got one in your area. :-)

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  24. These are my favorite holos ever, and they are supposed to be announcing 8 more new shades soon! I made nail wheel comps for my blog of all my holos, and the Laylas are by far the best ones! Thanks for the great photos!

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    1. I hope they make a true turquoise one! I was hoping Mermaid Spell was going to be more turquoise rather than blue.

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    2. Ocean Rush is the closest to a turquoise. It is a gorgeous teal holo. I don't believe there is a blue in the next 8 shades.

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  25. God, I just adore really good holos. I only with they weren't so pricey. Love them!

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  26. awesome swatches! :) i love ocean rush, its also beautiful!

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  27. I have ocean rush coming in the mail any day. I am super excited.

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  28. OMG I want them all! They are so pretty!

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  29. Btw, an aqua base and topcoat (Seche Vite and Wicked Fast both work well without dulling the rainbow AT ALL) make the wear time MUCH longer. I've had it one for 4-5 days before with no chipping or tipwear!

    Flash Black has become my #1 favorite polish of all time :o)

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  30. If it's of any consolation they are just as expensive here in Italy :(

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  31. I bought Ocean Rush and Flash Black! I can't wait to try them! Lovely review on them!

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  32. I have 7 of the 8 colors. I just removed ultra violet and retro pink. I use a base coat and top coat and had them on for 2 weeks with minor tipwear and just got a chip last night.. which is why I removed.

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  33. I have 7 out of the 8 colors. I just removed ultra violet and retro pink. I put them on with base and top coats and i had them on for 2 weeks. I had minor tipwear and just ended up with a chip last night which is why i redid my nails.

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  34. I love the Layla holos!!! They are the best holo polishes I have in my small collection.
    Layla will soon be releasing 8 new colours!!! I sent you an email with some more information =D

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  35. Additional 8 new colors are going to be released soon :) I really can't wait to see them, there's gonna be a red holo! I got pretty good wear results with Flash Black, I used Aqua base and Seche, wore it for 3 days with only slight tip wear :) They are super cool but I only got 2 of them, I just wish the colors were brighter...

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    1. Omg, 8 more?? So exciting!! I'm hoping for darker colored holos.

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  36. They all look amazing! Even when you compare Mercury Twilight with two China Glaze holos, the Layla one jumps out!

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  37. I was so hoping you wouldn't swatch them because your swatches always make me change my mind. Why do I have such weak willpower? :D
    (btw: really, REALLY awesome pics. And I have never seen the sally hansen holo before!)

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  38. Very pretty, but at that price I too will have to pass. The green is my favorite.

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  39. I've got Mermaid Spell and Flash Black. I found that putting a few coats of Layla, then a coat of Seche Vite followed by one more coat of Layla helped with wear time without dulling the holographic effect (3 days with some tip wear).

    If I didn't use the top coat, I had major chipping after washing my hair. One day of wear just won't cut it for me, but they are really pretty on.

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  40. Gahhh I love these so much. I picked up four of them. I like the chunkier holo particles and Im happy a brand listened to my nail polish prayers about a completely holo collection! I've had some problems with application and wear but I too found that waiting and being patient between coats was helpful! They look great on you :)

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  41. I love these polishes, but they do chip ridiculously quickly! The first time I wore Mercury Twilight, it literally fell off my nails after a couple of hours. -_- They're so pretty though!

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    1. The same thing happened to me with that one, I prepped as directed and it was amazingly gorgeous!!! But it was a total wreck within a couple of hours - SO SAD!

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  42. Today I learned that there is a polish called Sexagon, and that I must have it.

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  43. You can get these at Ulta but they're still $15 they r soooo prety but I dont want to pay that much for a nail polish :(

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  44. I just saw these at the store but I can't remember which one! Atleast now I know I should pick it up next time!

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  45. I'm curious about this whole "aqua base" thing... What makes it different than other base coats?

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  46. I like these, but I hate how the chrome on the bottle caps nicks and flakes so easily. Cheap!

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  47. I first tried Mermaid Spell and applied as directed with the nail buffer and it barely lasted a day. The next one I tried was Flash Black, which I am currently wearing.I read on another blog that if you applied it over SV it works really well. I ended up using a coat of Orly Bonder, a coat of CG Liquid Leather and then a coat of SV. Then I did two coats of Flash Black and another coat of SV and they are holding up great! I might try Mermaid Spell again using the same method but with a matching blue base to eliminate any patchiness.

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  48. I saw these at Ulta and wanted to pick one up, but that price... man. I can't justify it, even if it's an amazing holo :(

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  49. I saw somewhere that there are MORE in this collection. But I can't find any information, really, on it, other than there are more to it and the colors are pretty too. I picked up some of this part of the collection you have highlighted on this page, yesterday. Expensive! =\ And the bottles are small. The holo is pretty, like the OMG collection and Nfu. I prefer linear holos. I am still trying to find a topcoat that doesn't diminish the holo. I have used Seche Vite and that's good, and Sally Hansen quick dry in that red bottle, that's good too. And the Essie, good to go and that's ok too. But they each seem to take just a tiny bit of the holo with them. Also, the Orly rubbery bonder stuff works good at a base coat. And from what I understand, it's the same as the Nfu aqua base.

    Anyway, has anyone seen the new ones out? At Ulta? Online? I looked at Zappos. They only have this first line of them. ?

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  50. Still no word on the newest line of these? I am wanting them! =)

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  51. So no new news of the latest part of this collection coming out? Anybody? =(

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  52. Hi. I've just found your blog/review of the Layla holos... I bought the Black Flash on the weekend and LOVE it, but it chips soooo easily. I'm really disappointed with that. Today is only Tuesday and I've already painted them twice. I did use a Top Coat, which made them nice & shiny, but I'm tempted to try a base coat, only because my fingernails feel very flimsy and to try and get some adhesion to the nail & the polish, rather than it flaking off...

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  53. Hi. I've just found your blog/review of the Layla holos... I bought the Black Flash on the weekend and LOVE it, but it chips soooo easily. I'm really disappointed with that. Today is only Tuesday and I've already painted them twice. I did use a Top Coat, which made them nice & shiny, but I'm tempted to try a base coat, only because my fingernails feel very flimsy and to try and get some adhesion to the nail & the polish, rather than it flaking off...

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  54. The new holo's are available on Layla's website. I have been checking Ulta and they are not there yet. Well, last I checked was one week ago. I did not order any for 2 reasons: Layla's website is in Italian and while I get the gist, I want to be sure of what I'm getting! Second, I am waiting for Scrangie swatches! She has the best!

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  55. Hiya, I've got three of the Layla Holos and have noticed that with Seche Vite or Nails Inc Kensington Caviar Top Coats they chip unbelievably quickly! Do you have any tips for making them longer lasting? :) x

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  56. omg I love holos! :D I have one from NFU Oh :)

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  57. Did any of these stain without the base coat? I'm about to put one on and I know I'll feel so naked without a base coat haha!

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  58. Layla vs. Nfu Oh? Which should be my first holo?

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  59. Wow when did sally Hansen do holo??? How did I miss them!!!

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  60. Wow when did sally Hansen do holo??? How did I miss them!!!

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