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Saturday, January 19, 2013

Review and Swatches: Flower by Drew Barrymore Nail Lacquer in April Showers

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.

Moving on!

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 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.


  1. Ah! Great! That was the one color of the nail polishes that stood out to me! I bought one of the lip butters and I'm eager to try more of the line!

  2. Yay! & the price isn't bad either. I may pick up one or two.
    Will you be doing reviews for rest of the collection? :)

    1. Yep! I mentioned at the very bottom of this post that I'll be reviewing some eye, lip and face products. Please check back in the weeks to come! :)

  3. as a makeup noob,...what are the "big three"?

    1. Here you go:

  4. I have 2 of Flower colors, one I am wearing right now, Eye of the Tiger-Lily. It is really jellyish and I used about 5 coats, it did dry fast. If I remember I'll send a pic, although it is a little sloppy. I really love the color tho and got compliments on it. I also bought a lipstick, Rose Bud, so once again I'll send a pic of that too. I will say I was really impressed with the lipstick. It wasn't that ugly mauve rose color, it was deep rose bud red. Love this brand so far! :)

  5. I impulse-bought this the other day and haven't tried it, but now I'm definitely glad I got it! I actually didn't know these were coming out, so my reaction was basically "Nail polish line I don't know? MUST BUY ONE. THAT ONE LOOKS GOOD."

  6. still haven't seen the flower line at my walmart :( but please review more from the line, everything looks so cute! :D

  7. While I'm enjoying my indie glitters right now. You hit it on the nail about the perfect creme. I was just thinking about how I wanted to use a nice creme om my nails and got excited about applying it. Lol.

  8. I am thrilled to see a good first review of the flower line!
    I hope u didn't just "get lucky", and you find some more gems from this new brand!

    So excited!

  9. I can't wait to read more of your reviews. I bought this in Nectar but haven't tried it yet. I also bought the BB cream in shade 1 which I wore yesterday. I have to say I am in complete love. It is thicker than almost all of the other BB I have tried. I was in a hurry and used nothing underneath it and no concealer and it went on smoothly and covered up everything without looking like a mask. It didn't leave me looking greasy or oily in an hour and stayed the day. The color also matched my casper-like skin. The only caveat I have is that I don't think it contains SPF of any kind so one will be required underneath if this is the case. I can't find a full ingredient list anywhere and it doesn't say so on the package (I no longer have the outer package).

  10. Wow, cruelty free, inexpensive, and Made in the USA? That's not a common combination. I don't love the packaging, but if the product quality is there, I'm totally in.

  11. Awesome! I can't wait to try these polishes. I'm happy for Drew to have the opportunity to create her own line. How exciting!!!

  12. I had no clue she was even coming out with a line till about a week ago. I am excited to try some stuff though and liking this color you chose!

  13. Hmmm. Now I'm curious. Next time I'm in a good Walmart I'll have to look for these. I do like that they're made in the USA. And two coats for a dark polish is pretty amazing. More reviews, please!

  14. I bought this polish in Venus Fly Trap yesterday! Wow! It went on so smooth and dried ridiculously quick. Being a dark red it took two coats for a nice solid color. I put it on about an hour before I went to bed and was so please that there were no hair or sheet marks in it this morning! lol I've since washed my face and done laundry & so far no chips. Dying to see how it holds up after I go to work.

  15. Thank you for your thorough review! I haven't tried this brand, but I am wanting to order one to pick up at Walmart for a giveaway this month. I was nervous since the reviews on this polish are so mixed online. Thanks again!

  16. Did anyone have any issues with their hands going numb after painting?


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