I was so excited about these Tokidoki glitter polishes when they came out at Sephora that I rushed out and bought two of them without seeing any reviews or swatches. Then I tried them and HATED both of them. The brushes were tiny, the formula clumpy and too quick to dry. Application was a mess, with dragging and unevenness- and they dried gritty and matte. Blech! I cringed at having spent $10 each on them and threw them in my rejects bin. This was in the early stages of my nail polish obsession, and I wasn't used to wrangling with pain in the ass glitters so I just thought these were terrible polishes.
I rediscovered them recently and my first thought was: "wow, what was I thinking?"
What a difference a couple months of experience makes. The formula certainly isn't the easiest to work with, but I had no trouble with them this time around. The key to applying fast drying glitters is to work very quickly to spread the polish on each nail in as few strokes as possible, and then make sure to let each layer dry before doing additional coats (otherwise the brush will stick to partially dry polish, and you end up with clumped areas of glitter and bald spots.) Knowing how to work with them makes all the difference.
Unfortunately the realization came a little late- these polishes have since been put on clearance and are completely sold out (at least online.) But I figured I might as well post my review- maybe they'll pop up on ebay or something in the future, or are still available in some Sephora stores. So, onward!
Tokidoki Ciao Ciao
Ciao Ciao was described simply as: "fine magenta glitter" but on closer inspection you can see that it is actually made up of a mix of red and purpley magenta glitter, giving it almost a duochrome quality that shifts from reddish to purplish in different lights:
I swatched one coat over two coats of Illamasqua Stance, to bring out the magenta tones. This has one coat of one of those watery topcoats, and you can see how the glitter just eats it right up.
And then here's three coats by themselves, topped with a thick coat of Seche Vite to bring out the depth and sparkle.
You can see what almost looks like tip wear in that last photo- that's just the glitter not being fine enough to fill in the tiniest gaps. I think you would get the best result from these if you did one coat of a base color, three coats of glitter, and several coats of SV (or a coat of Gelous, if you've got it... I need to get my hands on some if I'm going to keep buying glitters like these.) Though I do like the comparatively subtle sparkle you get with one coat over a base color (I'd just use more layers of top coat next time!)
Donutella was described as "fine red glitter with gold confetti" which sounds pretty enough. But it's so much more than that. LOOK at this:
Do the people writing these descriptions even look at the polishes first? I see tiny red glitter, tiny holographic (not gold!) bar glitter... and a flash of magenta/purple in certain lights which turns out to be itty bitty magenta bar glitter. Guhhhh...
Excuse me, I need to wipe the drool off of my face.
Okay, there. Where was I?
Here's one coat over two coats of Essie Really Red, once again with one coat of watery top coat.
And three coats by themselves, with a thick coat of Seche Vite.
Now, bar glitter is one of those things you either love or hate. It's either "yay, confetti!" or "ew, hairs!" I think the first swatches, with just one coat of glitter, do look a little "hairy." I wouldn't wear this particular polish that way again. But the three-coat swatches really do have that confetti look to them, and I have to say I'm a fan.
If you are too, you're in luck- while Donutella is discontinued and sold out, it is apparently IDENTICAL to Zoya Kissey, which even costs less ($8!) So much for unique, huh?