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.
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:
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)
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.
(This was sent for review.)