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Monday, June 11, 2012

Review: Layla Hologram Effect Nail Polish in Jade Groove

One of my favorite drugstore holographic polishes is Milani Cyberspace. I love icy pastel blues, but the thing about Cyberspace is that it's a scattered holo (larger, fragmented holographic pieces) not a linear holo (tiny holo pieces that blend together to create one cohesive holographic effect on the nail). To my knowledge, there are no drugstore polishes currently on the market that will give you a linear holo effect on the nail. Sally Hansen made some years ago and I was lucky enough to grab one of them at Dollar Tree a while back, but that Nail Prism doesn't have as strong of a linear holo effect as some of today's holos. So when I saw the Layla Hologram Effect polish display at my local Ulta a few weeks ago, I bit the bullet and finally purchased one.

Quick note: I blame (love) Scrangie for this one. It was her blog post about these Layla polishes (she swatches five of the eight shades in the range) that first created a lemming for me, so Scrangie, this one's all your fault!

 Layla Hologram Effect Nail Polish in Jade Groove
(retail: $15.50, 0.33 oz)

Layla polishes are made in Italy and they're free of toluene, camphor, formaldehyde and DBP. In addition to finding them at Ulta, they're also on Zappos (free shipping, of course). I will be the first to admit that $15.50 for a bottle of nail polish is pricey, and if I didn't want a linear holo so badly, I would have continued to wait impatiently for a drugstore brand to FINALLY release a linear holo collection (come on guys, what's taking you so long??).

What's the saying? With great beauty comes great pain? Well, this polish didn't really cause me pain, but it was a pain in the butt to apply. It's very sheer and streaky, so it required three coats, applied with the hands of a surgeon, to get this streak-free and opaque. But boy was it worth it:

Three coats of Jade Groove, in various forms of lighting:

As you can see, the linear holo effect is more pronounced in certain forms of lighting than others. But there is never an occasion when you CAN'T see that holo goodness. It's just stronger in brighter light.

IMPORTANT: in Scrangie's review, she talks about how these polishes come with an accompanying nail buffer (sold separately).  It is suggested that you buff the nails before application, and I am SO glad I read Scrangie's review first, because she saved me the money of having to buy their "special" nail buffer. Any standard nail buffer will do, so if you already have one, don't waste your money (thanks again for that tip, Scrangie!).

I did not apply a base coat, because I've read on many blogs that base coat makes application of holo polishes even more streaky (which would explain why Layla wants you to buff your nails first, creating a smoother base for application).

As for the finish, this is not a shiny polish by any means. However, due to the holo effect, I find you really don't need any extra shine. After a day of wear WITHOUT a top coat, I decided to experiment and apply Seche Vite to just my ring finger:

Not really much of a difference, to be honest. Yes, the surface is more shiny, but your eye goes to the holo effect, not the shine, of this polish, making a shiny top coat pretty unnecessary.

Looking closely at the pic above, you can see that, after a day of wear, I had some tip-wear on my index finger and a chip near my cuticle on my pinky finger. I was hoping that Seche Vite might control this, but I have heard from several sources that quick-dry top coats can diminish the holographic effect of these types of polishes.

Well, I actually didn't notice any diminished effect to the holographic effect after applying Seche Vite (yay!), but something else did happen:

A few hours after applying Seche Vite to my ring finger, I noticed that just my ring finger was starting to peel and lift. Sure enough, I was able to easily peel away the polish on just that finger:

Since it was so easy to peel away the polish on my ring finger, I decided to actively try to peel away the polish on my other fingers. After picking/peeling/chipping away as hard as I could on all of the other fingers, you can see that the core of my nail bed is still intact on all of the nails where I did NOT apply Seche Vite. This polish really clings to smooth nails and only wants to chip near the tips and cuticles. Therefore, I do NOT recommend applying a top coat like Seche Vite because it will peel right off the nail rather easily. I think your best bet is to go base-coat and top-coat free with this polish.

Removal: this is the easiest polish I have ever removed from my nails. No joke: using my 100% acetone polish remover, I barely had to apply pressure with my cotton pad and this polish was GONE. It probably took me under one minute to remove this polish from all ten fingers, with no lingering particles on the skin around my nails.

FINAL VERDICT: Is Layla Hologram Effect Nail Polish worth its $15.50 price tag? I think it really depends on how badly you want a true, linear holographic nail look. If your answer is "Very badly!" then I think, with all of its high maintenance demands (buffed nails, three coats, no base coat or top coat), you'll be happy with the final outcome. This is a true linear polish that dances in the light like no other polish in my collection. If you're not a hardcore holo polish devotee, you might find that the demands (and price) of this polish don't justify the final effect. That's entirely up to you, of course, but since I'm a holo freak, I'm happy I made the purchase.

If you're interested in purchasing a Layla Hologram Effect Nail Polish, check your local Ulta for a counter display (where I found mine) or order from Zappos to take advantage of their free shipping policy.

Do you own any Layla Hologram Effect Nail Polishes? Do you own any other brands of linear holo polishes? Thoughts?


  1. I have some Layla and Nfu oh holos and they are very similar, but nfu-oh are cheaper ($12.5) and 18ml. I used them with nfu oh aqua base, wich is special for holos and application was easy as any regular polish. I read that using seche vite as a base coat also helps, so maybe you can try it next time!!
    I love holos, even with the extra work!

  2. I bought a polish about a month ago from Ulta and used the coupon.

  3. I've never used the holo polish, but with my experience with Seche Vite, when you apply it to polish that's already dry, it causes the polish to shrink making it peel. Maybe try using a normal glossy top coat, not a quick dry one.

    Love love love this holo polish, though! The taupe one has my eye on it. I wonder if the $3.50 off of $10 is applicable on these? They ARE on the "cheaper" side of the store!

  4. Seche Vite and completely dry polish don't mix well in my experience, so that could be the problem there. It would be interesting to know whether this same peeling occurs if you use Seche right after applying the Layla though. I have a few non-holo polishes in my stash that are prone to peeling off in sheets with Seche (even when applied immediately) but I use it on my OPI DS holo polish without incident.

  5. I find that a lot of my polishes have the problem of peeling off really easily when I use Seche Vite :(

  6. I have Ultra Violet and Flash Black from this line. I have also used Nfu Oh holos as well. Usually I just apply normal top and base coat to maximize wear time. Application isn't great with either brand but the holographic effect is amazing. I've heard that the aqua base from Nfu Oh works very well. However, Nfu Oh sometimes has different versions of their silver (61) holographic. When I ordered mine I got the dull version. :( Love these from Layla though!

  7. I'm so in love with these polishes. Don't know if it's worth the price though. Thanks for the awesome review!

  8. i agree with the others about Seche Vite & dry polish. It works best when applied over fresh, still-wet polish. I always think of SV as my topcoat diva. Like a true diva, it's dang good at what it does (dries lightning fast with gorgeous glass-like shine)-but it is VERY demanding & if you don't treat it the way it prefers, it turns into a total b***h!!

    1. I am revisiting this thread today because I just bought some of this polish at Ulta today, and I wanted to remind myself of all the tips and hints.

      I had to give you an "LOL" to for this comment, Mama Glam. Funny and true. :)

      Wish me luck, this will be my first holo. experience!

      G., as always, your posts are invaluable to me!

  9. I bought the Ocean Rush one and It's a big love/hate feast. Love the color it gives, hate everything else about it. If I had a buying do over. I personally wouldn't buy it.

  10. I have the same issue with Seche Vite, no matter when I use it, or with what polish! I have 2 of the Layla holos, in the blue and the grey, and adore them, they're so pretty!! No base coat is a must though, I made the mistake the first time of using a base coat like normal before realizing that really made it streak badly. I used Zoya Armor as a top coat on mine (my holy grail of top coats), and that worked fine for me!

  11. If you really want a linear holo, you might want to get Nubar Reclaim. You can get it easily on amazon for about $8 and it's really easy to apply. I think I did two or possibly three coats, but the formula was just fine to work with, and it really does look AMAZING. You don't need a special base coat either. I think I used Gelous. And I used that NYC topcoat rather than Seche Vite, since I'm usually irritated at Seche for thickening so quickly. I seriously recommend Reclaim.

  12. This is so pretty! I agree with the other comments about Seche Vite. If I use it a couple days after I paint my nails it gets gross and gummy and starts to lift. I never have any problems when I use it over fresh polish though!

  13. This is so pretty! I agree with the other comments about Seche Vite. If I use it a couple days after I paint my nails it gets gross and gummy and starts to lift. I never have any problems when I use it over fresh polish though!

  14. Wow, the holographic effect looks so cool! I like it! But I don't like it enough for that price and those demands...

    I think or hope that some drugstore brands will release some linear holo polishes. I'm not familiar with many holo polishes.

  15. I have Flash Black and I looooove it. I use three coats, no base or top coat, but I have no trouble with streaking or anything.

    Seche Vite ALWAYS peels on me. I don't use it anymore. But- for what it's worth, if you do like it, it should only ever be applied over wet polish, never dry polish.

  16. So pretty and so pricey!!! : I need a base coat to keep my nails from breaking/splitting so I think I will be passing on this one! For all you ladies who want it, wait till you get an Ulta coupon in the mail! 20% may ease the pain a bit!

  17. I wish I'd read your review prior to use. I used a base coat and the polish wouldn't stay still. I ended up with black marks in the polish. It also didn't wear well. But with your guidance I'll try again, no base coat and no top coat. They are beautiful but also a pain to use.

  18. Wow! Thank you all so much for the fantastic tips!! I've never really had issues with SV making my polishes peel when I apply it to dry polishes (I guess i'm a freak!) but I will DEFINITELY try using another TC with this, making sure I apply when still wet.

    Also,.thanks for the tips about using SV as a base for this. I never would have thought to do it, but i'm for sure going to give it a whirl!!

    Thanks again, ladies! You're the BEST! :)

  19. Thank you so much for doing a review on this, G!

    I too, read Scrangie's review on this and it has been on the back of my mind ever since but wasn't sure about forking over that much money for this.

    You decided it for me in your final verdict when you reminded us of this polish's high maintenance demands. I hardly ever reach for a polish no matter how pretty if it is difficult to apply. And if I do manage to reach for it, chances are I'd like it to go for a few days without much wear.

  20. If you are willing to pay this much for a holographic polish (my friends think I am crazy) I would get Glitter Gal or HITS. Tons of colors to chose from. They both have gone on great for me over any base coat and top coat does not affect the holo. (I've used Poshe and Sally Hansen.) After I read about the application issues with Layla I didn't even want to try it. The US reseller I order from, Llarowe, also has 2 other brands of holos I haven't tried yet.
    And, yeah, when are we going to get a drugstore brand holo again?

  21. I think the price tag of 15.50 for this is a little steep but I remember about 9 years ago that Sally Hansen has THE BEST holographic nail polish called DIAMONDS and I noticed it was going to discontinue so I went around town and bought all I could find. Sally Hansen has a new DIAMONDS but it is no comparison.


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