Probably one of the most anticipated drugstore beauty debuts of the past few years (that I can recall), Flower by Drew Barrymore is now at Walmart (click here for more details). I ordered an assortment of Flower cosmetics online, which I will be reviewing in the weeks to come, so I thought I'd kick things off with the one nail polish I ordered.
Since this is a completely new brand, I'm going to be a little bit more detailed in my review than I would be for an established brand, just to give you as much detail as possible. So let's get started:
Flower Nail Lacquer in April Showers
(retail: $4.98, 0.4 oz)
Per the labels of everything I purchased, Flower cosmetics are "Proudly made in the USA" and they "never test on animals."
Keep reading for my full review...
I wanted to call attention to the fact that Flower indicates that they "never test on animals" on their packaging because I had heard that no such statement was visible on the packaging. This is untrue:
I realize that "we never test on animals" does not necessarily mean that a brand itself is, or is not, 100% cruelty-free, because certain ingredients may, or may not, have undergone animal testing by third party suppliers, etc. I also realize that there's the belief that a brand can only be "100% cruelty-free" if they're also 100% vegan (no animal or animal by-products of any kind), but I'm not here to debate this topic. I'm just trying to bring you as much information as I possibly can. The only things I'm seeing online (as of the time of this post) are press-release-type articles that indicate that the brand IS cruelty-free. But since I have not personally spoken with anyone affiliated with this brand (the brand itself or PR working on behalf of the brand), I cannot confirm or deny that Flower is cruelty-free, inclusive of its third party suppliers.
When you remove the safety-seal/sticker from the bottle, you don't have to worry that you've removed the only piece of info on the bottle that contains the shade name. There is a clear sticker on the bottom of the bottle that indicates the shade name, although it's a bit difficult to read against the dark color of April Showers.
Inside the safety-seal, there is a second layer that you can peel apart to reveal directions and ingredients:
This formula is Big Three Free and claims to have a "super-short dry time, smooth application" and a "premium glossy shine" (more on those claims in a minute).
The brush, in my opinion, is great. It's not too long, not too short, not too narrow and not too wide. Those who prefer super-wide brushes like those in the Sally Hansen Complete Salon Manicure polishes might find this brush too narrow, but if you prefer old-school brushes, I think you'll be happy with this one. Also, the tip of this brush was cut pretty cleanly--it's not jagged or uneven (in my pic below you can see a tiny imperfection but keep in mind this is an extreme close-up. While using this brush, the edge felt clean and even).
I would describe April Showers as a blackened teal that has a dusty, grayed-out quality to it, making it seem like more of a steel blue-gray with just a hint of teal when on the nail.
I tried my best to capture what this polish looks like in person, and this photo (which I blasted with lots of light), does the best job of it:
(Two coats of April Showers, no top coat and no base coat)
Looking at the pic above, notice how the polish looks like it has a bit of teal to it in the bottle? On the nail, the steel blue-gray quality is more apparent and the overall color only has a whisper of teal to it.
In low light, this polish looks more like a black polish with a hint of blue-gray to it:
I know that the pic above makes this polish look black, but I'm looking at it right now on my hands, in low-lighting, and it does not look black. You can tell that there's a tiny bit of something else going. It's like a blackened steel-gray with some blue to it and literally just a whisper of teal.
Application and Consistency: Smooth as butter. When cremes (or jelly-cremes as in the case of this polish) are done right, I think there's no better polish in the world to apply to your nails. It's like this polish paints itself. It flows beautifully with no drag, no pooling, no patchiness. Also, it self-levels perfectly. The brush is extremely easy to work with (per the brush details I mentioned earlier).
Shine, finish and opacity: I think my swatches speak for themselves. I didn't use a top coat and the shine is pretty fantastic. I'm about 2-1/2 days into my manicure now and the shine is still there. As for the finish, I would call this polish a jelly-creme. This polish is almost a one-coater (you could probably get away with one coat if you laid it on thicker than I did--I'm always paranoid about bubbling if I use too thick of a coat). At any rate, two regular coats yield 100% opacity.
Dry time and staying power: Per its claims, I found this polish to dry more quickly than other drugstore polishes I own. I don't think it's up there with Seche Vite or anything like that, but put it this way: you won't be sitting and waiting for this one to dry for an excessive amount of time, and you'll probably be surprised to discover that it's dry a little bit earlier than you'd expect. Like I mentioned, I'm about 2-1/2 days into my manicure (without top coat or base coat) and I don't have any chips and only very minor tip-wear on my dominant hand. This polish hasn't started peeling off in sheets or anything crazy like that, but I will certainly update this post if anything crazy happens on the third or fourth day.
Removal: Before I gave myself a "real" manicure, I painted all of the fingers on one hand with two coats of polish (again, no top coat or base coat), waited about three hours, and then promptly removed the polish. I can confirm that...drumroll please...no Smurf hands! In fact, no staining of any kind. I have to admit I was scared, considering the color of this polish and the fact that I didn't use base coat, but I didn't have any problems at all with removal. But I do want to note that I use a remover that's 100% acetone, so I can't confirm how this polish will remove with other types of removers. I also want to note that I did see a tiny bit of residue on my cuticles after removal, although a second pass with acetone on a clean cotton pad completely removed the residue.
FINAL VERDICT: April Showers lived up to all of its claims. Short dry time? Check. Smooth application? Check. Glossy shine? Check. It's also got a great brush and consistency, making it a dream to apply. The color is beautiful--yes, its dark and in certain lights you might think it's black, but inside my home (in the daytime and nighttime) I can tell that there's a little bit more going on with this polish. It has a lovely blackened steel blue-gray look to it and I don't think I have anything quite like April Showers in my collection. I obviously can't speak for the other shades in this range, but April Showers didn't disappoint.
You can purchase this polish, as well as the entire line of Flower by Drew Barrymore cosmetics online here. Flower by Drew Barrymore is exclusive to Walmart. As of the time of this post, the full range of products in the Flower line have not yet hit Walmart stores, but you might be able to find partial displays like this in your area now, with a full, permanent display to come in the near future.
Please stay tuned for more reviews of Flower cosmetics in the near future, including eye, lip and face cosmetics.