Saturday, May 4, 2013

L.A. Girl 4 Piece Nail Polish DIY Nail Art Kit Review Part One (Swatches and Review)

Hi everyone!

Today begins a very special multi-post event here at the Manicured Amateur. The lovely ladies over at Beauty21 Cosmetics (who make L.A. Girl and L.A. Colors Polishes) were generous enough to send me the new DIY Nail Art Kit to review for you all.

This brand has a special place in my heart, as one of the first reviews I ever did was on their DIY Ombre Sets that were a Valentine's Day gift from my boyfriend. If you're interested in those sets and seeing the early days of the amateur, you can read the full review here.

Not only do I have individual swatches for you all, but am I going to have fully illustrated tutorials on how to create five basic nail art looks that can be achieved with this kit alone.

Before we get to that, let's take a look at the kit and the colors included.

The Kit

The L.A. Girl DIY Nail Art Kit is an all-in-one product that contains four mini (4.5mL/0.15 fl.oz.) polishes, a small nail art brush, chevron nail stickers and instructions to create a total of five different nail art looks.

There are four different versions of the nail art kit available but the one I have for you today is the "Flashy" set, a collection a four neon colors. 

The names are not printed anywhere, but I have an educated guess as to their full size matches from the "Brites" Collection:

Pink - Heatwave. Could possibly be Flare Up, but Heatwave has warmer undertones.
Orange - Electrocute. Could possibly be Fierce Rays, but FR seems a bit darker.
Yellow - Glow
Blue - Flash Freeze

Pricing and Availability

The DIY Nail Art Kit is currently not available for purchase on the L.A. Girl website but it is available for just $5.00 on cherryculture.com, along with the other three sets. For what you get I think this is a great price.

I have not seen this in stores as of yet, but if you have let me know so I can pass it along!

The Colors

Flash Freeze (?) is a bright blue creme.

L.A. Girl "Flash Freeze" - lightbox

This is the only one out of the four that has a completely opaque formula. It fully covers the nail in just one coat, and is just the perfect consistency. It's a very basic color, but for how easy it is to work with it's not bad to have around.

L.A. Girl "Flash Freeze" - lightbox

Note: If you follow me on Facebook or Twitter, then you already know I had a lot of trouble taking pictures this week.

Before I show you the rest, I have to apologize for including very different swatches of the same polishes. I originally photographed all of these outside, but it was and will be overcast for the next week. The end result left me with ghostly hands and the blue couldn't even be captured, so I delayed posting until I could retake the photos with my new lightbox. 

The results are very different, but necessary for you to see the transformation from indoor to outdoor lighting conditions.

Glow (?) is neon, highlighter yellow semi-sheer creme.
L.A. Girl "Glow" - lightbox

Like most other bright yellow polishes, application of this one is troublesome. It's not quite the consistency  of a jelly, but it is definitely difficult to build up. 

The formula is sheer enough that streaks and unevenness cannot be avoided. On the first coat it will literally look as if you colored your nails with a highlighter (and let's admit it, who didn't try it at least once as a child.). To reach full opacity it takes three to four coats, but even then the nail line still peeks through. It still applies streaky up until the last layer, but top coat will smooth most everything out.

On the plus side it dries extremely fast, so the layering doesn't take too much extra effort. It's still not a color I would prefer to wear alone, but it can definitely serves its purpose in specific nail art looks.

L.A. Girl "Glow" - lightbox

In the overcast shot you can easily see the green undertones.

L.A. Girl "Glow" - overcast

Electrocute (or Fierce Rays?) is a bright neon orange semi-sheer creme.

L.A. Girl "Heat Wave" - lightbox

When I say neon, I mean it. My camera nearly exploded try to take a picture of this color. It's much brighter in real life, but this was all that even my Nikon could handle. The formula is much improved from Glow. It applies evenly, but will still require three coats for full coverage. The nail line will still be a tad visible, but just barely. 

I actually quite liked this one as is. It's funny how my opinion of orange polishes has taken a 180 degree turn. This is basic and bright, and will be making frequent appearances on my toes come summer!

L.A. Girl "Electrocute" - lightbox

I did have better look capturing the the neon effect in the overcast weather.

Heatwave (or Flare Up?) is hot hot hot, might-as-well-be-on-fire, neon pink semi-sheer creme.

L.A. Girl "Heatwave" - lightbox

My camera literally quit on this one. The shutter speed got slower and slower, and the auto focus eventually gave up. It's the truest shade to a hot Barbie pink if I've ever seen one. It looks so plastic it still amazes me.

This shade only needed two coats to achieve the same results as Glow and Electrocute. The nail line just barely shines through in direct lighting.

L.A. Girl "Heatwave" - lightbox

In the overcast shot you really can see what I mean by plastic. It's crazy.

L.A. Girl "Heatwave" - overcast

BAM! Even in the dreary weather it's still this bright. Mind blown.


I've said it before and I'll say it again. L.A. Girl is an underrated brand in my opinion. They have been doing some great things lately, as we have seen with the 3D Effect holographic polishes (one of which I reviewed here). I only wish they were more widely accessible. I know you can find them in Rite-Aid and other drugstores, but availability is really hit-or miss. The Ombre sets were actually the first I saw of the brand outside of the dollar store.

The shades in this particular kit may be pretty basic, but they sure do pack a punch for the price. If you wanted to purchase these full-size, I'd definitely recommend the pink and orange as staple neons to add to your stash. The yellow needs some improvement, but it's a pattern I've noticed with similar shades from different brands, so I'm not sure what the solution is. The blue doesn't wow me either, but if you need a backup basic blue, give it a shot!

What do you think of these shades? 
Do you love or hate the neon look on your nails?

Let me know in the comments below, and don't forget to check out the looks can be created with these mini marvels by clicking each image below!


And to see all the L.A. Girl line has to offer, visit their website at lagirlusa.com and give them some love on Facebook and Twitter.

Thanks for reading!


*The products in this post were provided for my honest review. Any material provided does not influence my opinions in any way. Gotta keep it real!


  1. That neon pink looks pretty darn awesome.

  2. Awesome review. It makes me want to go out any buy it.

  3. OMG! All the colors are lovely. But I think “Heartwave” is my favorite.
    ~Pauline @Aveeno Philippines


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