Monday, November 11, 2013

Salon Perfect Studio FX and Avon Cosmic Holographic Swatches

Today is another installment in my Better Late Than Never series; this time I have swatches two holographic collections that I was pretty excited about when I bought them but then kind of forgot about while waiting for sunshine and swatching time to coincide. I know some people are very dismissive of lightbox swatches, but if it weren't for my lightbox, I would hardly ever get any decent photos for this blog (and this blog is one of the main ways I justify having such a large stash, so I value this blog very much). But much as I like my lightbox, I haven't figured out how to use it to get the most rainbows out of holographic polishes, so sometimes I do need to wait for Mr. Sun to grace me with his presence on a day I'm not working. In the interests of making swatches while the sun shined, I went with Skittles (though my attention span tends to be short enough that I rather doubt I would have done whole hand swatches of seventeen colors in one session regardless of whether I needed to get them done before sundown).

First up, I have the Salon Perfect Studio FX Holographic collection, seven colors that were released in WalMart stores late this past summer. I was excited about these because they were less expensive than a lot of the holos that had come before ($5.98 for a 14ml bottle versus the suggested retail of $14 for China Glaze Hologlam). Left to right below: Pixel Pink, Leading Lady, Silver Screen, Fade Out, Green Room, Spot Light, and Starlet (or Startlet, if you take the label at its word).

Indoors in indirect light, these are just shimmery, with not really any rainbows to be seen. Left to right below: Pixel Pink (actually pink, which is almost surprising what with the way polishes seemed to get named at random), Leading Lady (plum), Silver Screen (pewter-leaning silver), and Fade Out (charcoal).

Outside in direct sun, rainbows do appear. They're not as crazy linear as Layla Hologram Effect to be sure, but I didn't pay Layla money for these either.

It's the same story with the other colors; no rainbows inside. Top to bottom below: Green Room (green), Spot Light (gold), Starlet (navy), Green Room (I chose it to go twice because I don't have many green holos).

As I mentioned earlier, my bottle of Starlet is dubbed "Startlet" on the label.

In the sun, there were some rainbows.

Some say blurry, I say artistic:

There's a reason I mentioned China Glaze Hologlam above when I was comparing prices; five of the seven the Studio FX are dupes for the China Glaze. There's a great comparison post on Oh Three Oh Four showing how they match up.

The Avon Cosmic collection, which came out this past summer but was still available on the website when I checked this morning, has ten colors in it. These are also reasonably priced, at $6 a 12 ml bottle.

There are five warm colors: Radiant, Starlight, Saturn, Super Nova, and Starburst.

And five cool colors: Moonbeam, Celestial, Galaxy, Aurora, and Eclipse.

I paired Radiant (gold) and Moonbeam (silver). Indoors in my lightbox, there were no rainbows but there was shimmer. The shimmer here leaned more toward microglitter than the Salon Perfect had.

Outside in the sun, some scattered rainbows showed up.

Next, I tried Starlight (every so slightly green-leaning yellow), Saturn (orange), Super Nova (orangish red), and Starburst (pinkish red).

Here are the juicy warm Cosmic colors in the sun:

I finished off the collection with Celestial (pale greenish blue), Galaxy (turquoise-leaning blue), Aurora (warmish purple), and Eclipse (almost black teal).

And in the sunshine:

For all of these colors, Salon Perfect and Avon, I used my regular base coat (Salon Sciences Instant Artificials) to smooth out my nails and then applied two coats of color. For Avon Eclipse, I could have probably done only one coat. I didn't use topcoat; the Avon were more shiny than the Salon Perfect.

My favorites of all of these are Salon Perfect Green Room, Avon Celestial, and Avon Eclipse. There's nothing wrong with the others, just I have similar colors in my stash that I like as well or more than these.


  1. You and I are in the same boat when it comes to swatching and sunlight happening at the same time. Daylight savings and 2 kids isn't helping either. ;) I would love to know what your artificial lighting set up is. I have yet to find one I love.

    1. Amber, my lightbox setup is nothing fancy; it's a basically plastic box and two knock off Ott Lites I bought at JoAnn Fabrics. When I first set it up, I used some white fabric as a lining but have since switched to thin white poster board because it doesn't pick up lint and doesn't wrinkle (I also use my lightbox for yarn stash photos, though it's been a while). There's a pic of it early on here:

    2. Thanks so much! So the Ott Lites are better than a daylight bulb? That's what I have and it's really not that great at all for getting a decent photo.

    3. Amber, I've never used a daylight bulb so can't compare based on personal experience. I went for these Ott Lite knockoffs based on recommendations from people whose yarn photos I admired and they've worked well for me. Someday maybe I'll upgrade to real OttLites, but so far these are holding up fine.

      The other tip I got from someone who has a similar camera as mine was to set white balance to the daylight setting and colors to neutral. I'm still learning but those two changes made a lot of difference for me.

    4. I'm going to have to try the Ott Lights. Winter is totally killing my flexibility to swatch because I like to use natural sunlight for my pics. Thanks again for the tips!

  2. Beautiful swatches! I love the outdoor pictures!

  3. Great swatches! I was curious about those Avon ones, thanks!

  4. Nice post, I wanted the Avon ones but I am hooked on JADE holographic polish and CG Hologlam just left me wanting more; you are right the Salon Perfect is a subsidiary of CG

  5. I have the ones from Avon. I passed on the Salon Perfect ones cause I already have all of the China Glaze holos. Looks like a good thing I did.

  6. I haven't seen those SP holo's but have the ChG's so I'm happy with that!

  7. I have got four of the Avons, and I really like them. I don't have access to Salon Perfect, but Leading Lady would probably have found her way home with me if I had :)

  8. This is a great post and lovely swatches as always!

  9. I love the Avon holos and I was super lucky to have someone buying them for me!
    And I agree, that's not blurred, it's artistic!

  10. Ah sweet sunshine. :) If I see the SP ones I'll probably pick up a few. The hard part would be waiting for summer to see what they can really do. lol

  11. Starlight, Saturn, Super Nova, and Starburst are absolutely my favourite!!! *__*

  12. We didn't have Avon holos in Ukraine :(, we had a collection of 4 sheer jellies with flakie kind of glitter instead (called Celestial Blue, Starry Night, Fiery Sky and Cosmic Trip)

  13. I still haven't found Avon holos, but I will because they are beautiful! :-)


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