The X Factor is That It's Not Full of Lies
When Sephora gave their in-house nail polish brand a makeover and reintroduced it at "Formula X," I was nonplussed. I mean, it's nail polish. Big whoop. Sure, some people swear by a certain brand or have their own signature shade, but I always felt, at the end of the day, most nail polish was created equal. Base coat, two layers of color, and top coat, it looks lovely for three days, significantly chips around seven, and you start the process all over again. There are certain formulas that go on easier, or brands that have better brushes, or the brand that has THE color that you swear by (OPI's Lincoln Park After Dark - further proof that Midwest is Best). But when nail polish brands tout no chipping for anything longer than five days, I'm incredibly skeptical. The "10 days without chips" promise is the nail polish equivalent of mascara ads where the models are clearly, clearly wearing two sets of false lashes.
It's evident that while I love nail polish, and I wear it constantly, I have no illusions about my manicure lasting very long. That is, until Sephora sent me a bottle of Formula X when my VIB Rouge status renewed. The VIB exclusive shade, which is described as a "classic candy apple red," wasn't my usual color choice, but it was the holiday season and I decided to attempt being festive. The color was fine (gorgeous, but not something I'd normally choose for myself), but what knocked my socks off was the way it stayed on my nails. That polish was completely chip-free for at least 10 days. Maybe closer to two weeks. When I eventually changed polish colors, it wasn't because the Formula X had chipped, but rather because I was getting a little sick of seeing the same shade for so long.
I eventually dragged myself to Sephora to see about getting another shade of Formula X, one that I'd wear a lot more often than a classic red. There are a million and one colors in the Formula X line, but I chose A+, a raspberry shade that I thought was close enough to my usual go-to of oxblood/merlot/Lincoln Park After Dark, but brighter and cheerier and different enough that I could justify buying it. Lord knows I've reached the point where I can't really get away with buying yet another dark purpley-red nail polish.
A+ convinced me that my first experience with Formula X was not a fluke. I started wearing it all the time, partly because I loved the color, but mostly because I love wearing nail polish but am also lazy about maintaining a manicure. My next purchase was Gray Matter, which is a charcoal color that is more "me" than a CW show of questionable quality. In other words...
How many times have I redone my nails, only to take off Gray Matter and reapply it? So, so many. It's reached LPAD status in my Nail Polish Hall of Fame. Speaking of Lincoln Park After Dark, I decided I might be interested in biting the bullet and buying an almost identical shade in Formula X. It was then that I came across "The X Look: Holiday Edition," a small set of four Formula X nail polishes that was sold during the holidays, but was now on sale. I kept it on my shopping list for quite some time, and when Sephora sent me a 15% off coupon I added this set to my online order. The colors aren't necessarily holiday-centric, and in fact I'm wearing the pinky-gray color right now. The bottles are around 1/3 the size of a regular Formula X nail polish, which makes them great for trying out a color, or taking on a trip or keeping in you handbag for touchups. Not that you'll need it - Formula X has some serious staying power.