Friday, March 22, 2013

China Glaze Ombre Collections Review + Gradient Swatches

Hi everyone!

Today I want to discuss the release of the new Ombre Collections by China Glaze.

There are three collections in total, each containing four FULL size polishes, ten porous sponges and directions to achieving the gradient effect.

First, I want to mention that I chose not include individual swatches for every color. Why? Every color is a pre-released shade and a part of the permanent collection. There are some great staple China Glaze colors here and some cult favorites such as Aquadelic, Grape Pop, and the holy grail of China Glaze colors: For Audrey.

You can google search any of the included colors and come up with dozens of swatches from other polished lovelies, so I'll skip that step here.

I have turned my attention towards the curation of the shades . How well do the colors go together? How do the finishes of each polish effect the gradients? 
If you're wondering the same thing, keep on reading!

The Sweet Sensations Kit

The Sweet Sensations collection includes the following the shades:

Angel's Breath: A semi-sheer off white with pink undertones, originally from the United in Purpose (Breast Cancer Awareness) 2012 Collection .
Something Sweet: A pale baby pink creme, originally from the Up & Away Spring 2010 Collection.
Dance Baby: A bubble gum pink with purple undertones, originally from the Electropop Spring 2012 Collection.
Make An Entrance: A classic medium pink with blue undertones, originally from The Creme Couture 2004 Collection! Most likely reformulated, since it's original release was before CG went "big 3 free."

This kit gave me the most trouble creating the gradient for two reasons.

I put the blame partially on Angel's Breath. It applies much thinner than the other shades in this kit, so it's blending impact is severely reduced.

The other reason, and more importantly is that the value of Make an Entrance varies too far from the others. It's much darker. While I seemed to have worked for my middle finger, four times out of five I just couldn't get it to "mesh" with the lighter shades.

The Wait Teal You See! Kit

The Wait Til You See! kit contains the following shades:

White on White: A great basic bright white creme a  part of the Core Collection.
For Audrey: You've seen it everywhere. The true Tiffany-inspired turquoise from the Something Blue 2007 Collection. A nail junkie's must-have.
Aquadelic: An aqua blue creme with a slight green tint. Almost the same as For Audrey, but not quite. Originally from the Electropop Spring 2012 Collection.
Turned Up Turquoise: a satin-finish bright turquoise with micro-shimmer, originally from the Wow Factor/Nervy Neons Summer 2006 Collection.

Yeah, I nailed this one. Oddly enough I was expecting this one to give me the most trouble, but it gave no trouble at all.

I assumed the middle "section" would be too prominent because Aquadelic and For Audrey are so similar. I was wrong. Sometimes three color values are all you really need. The shades in this kit all had the exact same formula and blended perfectly, with minimal sponge markings I like to refer to as "static."

I was hesitant to even use Turned U Turquoise due to the presence of the micro-shimmer. I assumed it wouldn't blend properly and you'd really notice where the shimmer began. CG got me again. The shimmer is nearly non-existent in person just as it is in the picture above.

The Grape Expectations Kit

The Grape Expectations kit contains the following shades:

Sweet Hook: A light pastel lilac creme originally from the Electropop Spring 2012 Collection.
Spontaneous: A classic purple creme, originally from the Flirt 2010 Collection
Grape Pop: A warm toned violet creme with blue undertones. Does that make sense? Originally from the Up & Away Spring 2010 Collection.
Crimson: A blackened-out, vampy purple creme, originally from the Haunting Halloween 2011 Collection.

I have mixed feelings about the curation of this kit. While the difference in shades isn't quite as severe as the Sweet Sensations set, there is still a stark contract between the lightest and darkest shade.

Crimson is so incredibly dark that any "static" is immediately emphasized, which is why I think the gradient wasn't as smooth as the other two.

Also, I have one point I'd like to mention concerning Sweet Hook. It is a lilac, not a lavender. While it's seems to have hidden its pinky undertones in the picture above, in some lighting I just couldn't look past it. While a pink to purple gradient is pretty too, these kits are advertised as "ombre" shades, meaning they are corresponding values of the same color. In short, it needs to be purple...not pink.

The Sponges

Also included inside each box are ten hexagonal flat sponges to assist you with the gradients.

I don't really have much to say about the included sponges, because I didn't use them. Honestly, it's just because I were forgot they were in the box.

You will noticed that they are much more porous compared to the sponges I used, which are barely porous at all. Many polished lovelies prefer more porous sponges, claiming it creates a better gradient. I'll have to try it next time to know for sure, but unfortunately outside of these kits I have a hard time locating any sponges other than the dense ones pictured above.
If you know where to find them, let me know!


The question is here is not whether or not you should buy these sets. Of course you should. $12.99 for four full-size CG polishes + sponges? You do the math. That's a steal. Even if you own some of the colors as I did, they are great staples colors that won't hurt to have backups of.

The question is how they perform as an all-in-on gradient set. As an ombre set, sure. You'd get away with one color on each nail easily. When attempting the gradient, Try experimenting with your combinations and switching out either the darkest or lightest shades in either the Sweet Sensations or Grape Expectations kit. The Wait Til You See kit on the other hand, is a complete success.

Did you pick up any of these sets? Which one is your favorite? What do you think of the gradient trend?

Let me know in the comments below or share you thoughts with me on my facebook or twitter.

Oh and TGIF!



  1. Great post! I bought all of these as well and found it really difficult to get all four shades on my nail. I also had a lot of trouble with Angel's Breath, as it needed 3 coats just to be close to opaque, so I wasn't happy with that. It definitely didn't blend well either. I think it would be lovely as a very sheer base for a french manicure, but I'm not sure how I liked the gradient effect.

    I actually also found the sponges very hard to use. If I picked up the polish from a paper and squished down a bit, it bled through the sponge badly and schmucked up my other nails. I was not impressed at all. Also, I found that there was way too much "dotting" and not enough smooth blending that I didn't like it as much. I'll have to try the makeup sponges I think.

  2. Great point! I forgot to mention that Angel's Breath as a base took three coats, and even then it wasn't fully opaque. Glad you brought it up. I agree about it's use for a french manicure.

    Glad I dodged the bullet on the little stop-sign sponges.
    I'll still keep them around I think. You never know when they'll be useful.

    Have you tried painting the polish directly onto the sponge? When using the makeup sponges, I skip painting the polish on paper first and paint the strips directly on to the thin tip of the sponge. The sponges I used are so dense they don't bleed through at all. Hope that helps!

  3. Really good post, this is something that I would try and I agree that the blue came out the best.

  4. I'll have to try painting them on the sponge sometime and see how that works, maybe try with max three colours since I have shorter nails.

  5. apparently they have come out with new "Ombre" color kits. Wave Runner goes from white-lime green-emerald-royal blue and Chasing the Sun goes from white-yellow gold-red-purple. Yes, they are actually gradients. I'm curious how they would work.

    1. I saw them on the website! I went to purchase them in-store but the sales associates said they didn't have them yet. I expect the neons to be harder to blend together.

  6. what is your ranking from favorite to least favorite set? Aquedelic and For Audrey look really similar, do they appear very similar on the nail?


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...