American Apparel Glitter Nail Polish Review

While I'm not a fan of shimmer in polishes, I do love glitter (go figure) - so I was excited to try some of American Apparel's glitter polishes. I couldn't find any reviews of them so I just went ahead and ordered the three colorful glitters from the collection: Light Year, Galaxy, and Supernova. There's also a silver bar glitter and a gold chunky shard glitter, but after my experience with these, I don't think I'll be trying any others.

American Apparel Glitter Nail Polish Review

American Apparel Glitter Polishes - Light Year, Galaxy, Supernova

American Apparel Glitter Nail Polish review

Like all American Apparel polishes, they come in a slim rectangular bottle, which I really like. They're compact and easy to store, and I wish more brands would use this style of bottle. The polishes themselves,  however,  were hit and miss- so let's break it down: the good, the bad, and the ugly.

The Good: Light Year

American Apparel Light Year Glitter Nail Polish Review

Light Year is a medium sized holographic hex glitter in a clear base. The formula applied well but like most chunky glitter, it's helpful to kind of dab the glitter on vs. swiping the brush across the nail. This is two coats.

American Apparel Light Year Glitter Swatch

As you can see this one is going to be most useful as a top coat- I doubt you could ever get it opaque. But I totally want to rock this over a bright teal or something, or maybe layered with a milky white. I'm pretty sure this is identical to Sephora by OPI's Beam Me Up Hottie, but this one is only $6 (vs $9.50) and comes without the moronic name. So, score!

The Bad: Supernova

American Apparel Supernova Glitter Nail Polish Review

Okay, so this one's not really bad; it's just nothing special- and it's got some issues. Supernova is yet another rainbow glitter mix a la Deborah Lippmann Happy Birthday. A mix of medium and small multicolored hex glitter, along with fine green glitter that appears to be round (too small to tell.)

American Apparel Supernova Glitter Nail Polish Swatch

I was hoping this would either be an exact Happy Birthday dupe (which would be very exciting since it's $12 cheaper) or different in an interesting and special way. Unfortunately, it's neither.

American Apparel Supernova vs. Deborah Lippmann Happy Birthday - Comparison

This is Happy Birthday on the left and Supernova on the right, two coats of each. I didn't really care for the tiny green glitter in Supernova- it detracts from the speckled/confetti quality. But the biggest issue is with the medium sized glitter- at least 50% of it was curled instead of flat (aka taco glitter.) This is a flaw that has something to do with a glitter being incompatible with the nail polish base. As you can see, it ruins the reflective quality of the glitter- instead of perfect little sequins that catch the light, the light only hits part of each glitter particle at once. The whole point of chunky glitter is to get those big flashes of sparkle, and this doesn't have that. Not to mention- the curled up glitter pieces do not lay flat on the nail, giving the polish a bumpy texture (this is even more of an issue with the next one.)

With as many versions of this color that are available right now, there's no reason to waste your money on one that's defective. This one is a fail, as far as I'm concerned.

The Ugly: Galaxy

American Apparek Galaxy Glitter Review Nail Polish

This is the one I was most excited about, and it was the most disappointing. Galaxy is a mix of large multicolor hex glitter. I was expecting an explosion of rainbow confetti and what I got was... tacos. I've never seen a polish with so much curled glitter. Additionally, the base was so thick and gloppy that it was impossible to spread on the nail. The result:

American Apparek Galaxy Glitter Nail Polish Swatch

I didn't put all that glitter in one spot- the curled up glitter pieces were all locked together and it just wouldn't budge. It's completely unusable. I mean- look at this:

American Apparel Galaxy Glitter

This is very very wrong. No nail polish should look like this. This is the result of a glitter and nail polish base incompatibility and frankly I am shocked and disappointed that American Apparel would sell something of such poor quality. I know others have had the same problems and they have been notified of this issue- and yet they're still selling these. You expect to see this occasionally from indie nail polish sellers who haven't adequately tested their products for compatibility and long term storage- but not from a big company with the resources to ensure that this doesn't happen. Very disappointing.

American Apparel Glitter Nail Polish Review- Light Year, Supernova, Galaxy

I know their creme polishes are universally loved, but I'm a little hesitant to purchase any American Apparel nail polish after this. They seem to have some issues with quality control, and I don't like gambling with my money. I'll definitely be avoiding their glitters in the future.


  1. I just read about this polish like a half hour ago. I had no idea American Apparel had nail polish. So I went out at lunch and bought Galaxy, Light Years and Meteor Shower. I'm pretty excited to swatch Metor Shower because it looks like gold leaf.
    That's too bad that Glaxy didn't work out. I bought that one especially to try making a 'jelly sandwich'(which I also just heard about).
    I'm new to all this nail art and blogging stuff and its burning a hole in my pocket!
    Great review!

  2. I've got Meteor Shower coming in the mail next week (along with all of the Sheers... eeee!) so I look forward to seeing your swatches!

  3. I thought about buying these. Now after reading your post... so so gald I did not. Thanks.