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When I spotted Catrice Ombre Top Coat, I knew I had to have it. I love ombre nails, and this top coat promises that you can easily turn all your pale creme polishes into ombre manicures with just the one bottle – none of the frankening and desperate scrambling through your Helmer to find the perfect polishes to get a consistent gradient. SOLD.
The polish itself is a thin, runny maroon colour, the consistency of a brand new base coat, which is both good and bad. Good, because it’s thin enough for you to build up a lot of layers without a super thick layer of polish, and dries reasonably quickly. Bad, because it makes it streaky as hell. The colour tends to run to the sides of the nail, and you can’t get away with one coat if you’re a perfectionist.
The 1, 2, 3 coats thing is also bald-faced lie – I ended up using 7-9 coats on my darkest nails in the manis below.
The other catch is that the colour has a definite reddish/purple tint, which means it really doesn’t work for all the colours it claims. Anything in the red/purple region is fine, but the further you go, the dodgier it looks.
With OPI Do You Lilac It – it gave the best results out of the ones I tried. If you look closely you can see the streakiness, though it’s not obvious in person. I used 2, 5 and 9 coats to get this look.
With Mckfresh First Light – not too bad, but it turns it red. The bare polish looks really out of place here. I used 2, 5 and 8 coats for this.
With Essie Absolutely Shore – here’s where it gets really dodgy. The contrasting green really shows up the streakiness, and the purple tone just doesn’t work. This was 2, 4 and 7 coats.
I think this idea is genius, but it falls short of my expectations though I’m not sure exactly how to improve it. A purely grey polish? A second ombre top coat for blues and greens? A less runny consistency? A stronger tint? I hope someone takes this idea and improves it!