Monday, October 17, 2011

China Glaze It's Alive

You know those little jelly cups that sometimes have bits of fruit inside them? I love those so much that I can finish a tub in one sitting. Almost (but not quite) as much as I love chocolate. I also prefer jelly instead of tapioca in my bubble tea. So it comes as no surprise that I have a thing for jelly finish nail polish. I used to be on a creme kick but once I put on a jelly, there was no turning back. It's easily one of my favorite finishes just because it looks so squishy and it's crazy shiny...really, what's not to like? But you know what's even better than a jelly? A jelly with glitter! Revlon Facets of Fuschia was such a hit that I knew I had to get more of these wonderful jelly glitters. So when I saw the 4pc China Glaze Haunting collection on sale at Sally Beauty, it was practically a no brainer. The star of the set?

china glaze it's alive swatch
China Glaze It's Alive in all it's jelly glitter awesomeness.

The Quick Take

Brand/Name: China Glaze It's Alive
Color: Olive green with pale green, almost golden glitter
Formula: Olive green jelly base filled with pale green hexagonal glitter and micro glitter
Finish: Glitter
Price: $6.49 CDN for 15mL or part of 4pc Haunting set for $14.99 CDN
Seen at: Sally Beauty, Trade Secrets, Nail Polish Canada
Note(s): Part of the Haunting Collection for Halloween 2011 so it might be limited edition.

The Fun Facts


All this time I thought it was a flame. D'oh.

Serial at the base

Good sized brush with a plastic handle.

Yummy glitter!

This glitter polish is amazing. I know I probably rave too much here, but it's true! The olive green jelly base isn't your average jelly; it's pretty opaque compared to the usual jelly polish so it needs less coats for full coverage. Less coats = win! It also helps that the glitter is very, very dense with this one. Usually, you'd want to move glitter around on the nail to make it look more even. No such need for this lovely. Covers wonderfully, with a fairly even distribution of hexagonal and micro glitter. This one dries less shiny than you'd expect. Don't get me wrong, the glitter is still eye catching but finish without top coat is almost satin. It's a little on the gritty side as well, but it's not in the range of your usual glitter. Definitely has texture but not sandpaper-ish at all. As with most glitters, this one eats top coat like there's no tomorrow. You could do with maybe a couple coats to get it all nice, smoothened out and very shiny.
***All nail swatches were done with Orly Bonder Base Coat and two coats of China Glaze It's Alive unless stated.

Natural light/No top coat/No flash
I was doing a swatching marathon and didn't realize I had a bit of cuticle drag on the ring fingernail. :S

Natural light/No top coat/Flash
See? Still shiny!

Sunlight/No top coat/No flash
Definitely some texture in there.

I lucked out: the bottle I got had a fantastic consistency. Very happy it's not a miss (I find China Glaze's formula isn't as consistent as I want it to be. Some polishes I have are on the thicker side, while others are on the thinner side of the spectrum.)! Not too thick at all, considering it's a glitter. The brush actually made it very easy to apply. I love brushes that are not too wide and pliable enough to fan out. Like I mentioned, this one had great coverage in two coats. Best to wait a bit to make sure the first coat is dry so you don't get any cuticle drag like I did. (Impatient, impatient!) It actually dries quite fast though. By the time I was done with one hand, the first nail I painted was already dry to the touch. Impressive!

green jelly with glitter nail polish swatch
Natural light/Top coat/No flash
That's more like it. Isn't it pretty?

Natural light/Top coat/Flash
Hammie says: I really like how the base compliments the glitters so well!

Sunlight/Top coat/No Flash
Hammie says: Oooooh.

With Black Mesh on top. It somehow makes me think "zombie" so I guess it's a win for Halloween!

Top coat just made the glitter shine even more! It added that depth to the polish so it looks a bit like a jelly sandwich without having to do the sandwich part. (Or a candy manicure as OPI likes to put it.)

The Lowdown

This is one unique color of polish. I have never seen anything quite like it. It's a perfect Fall sort of green as it has that murkiness to it that says swamp chic. Okay, so maybe we don't want to associate this with 'gators, but it's one of those ugly/pretty polishes that manages to look edgy and girly at the same time. Since it's part of the Halloween 2011 collection, this might be limited edition but I haven't confirmed that yet.

As for availability, it might be tricky to spot in brick and mortar stores, although I got my bottle from Sally Beauty. If there's one close to you, I suggest to just pick it up from there. However, Nail Polish Canada does carry it for $1.25 more but if you're getting it with a bulk order to qualify for free shipping, that's not so bad either. Or you can opt for the 4 piece set for $25 to get the bottle cost down to $6.25 which is actually cheaper than the usual Sally Beauty price for China Glaze at $6.49. Since I got mine in a set of 4 for a sale price of $14.99 the one bottle ended up costing me just $3.75. That makes it an incredible deal for the price!

I really liked this shade. I found I've been more drawn to greens lately so this is one of my newer polishes that's getting a lot of mileage. The one thing I hated about it was the removal process. I refrain from using acetone as it kills my cuticles like no other so I need a bit of elbow grease to get this one off. It helps immensely when I layer this over another green polish like Fingerpaints Military Green or Nina Ultra Pro in Mossy Britches. The uniqueness of the finish and color makes this one must have material.

Hammie agreed it was very "swamp chic" although he's not as fond of 'gators nor is he of removing glitter. As much as I argued with him that this deserved a higher score, the little guy put his foot down and said:

9 Hammie Points!

Do you agree with how Hammie scored this polish? What's your experience with China Glaze formulas, especially with their consistency? Would the removal process keep you from wearing a polish?


  1. Great swatches and a wonderful review as always, Carmela!

    This is my new favourite green polish - I loved everything about it except, well, removal...but the colour was definitely worth it. I think it looks great on you, and I appreciated how you showed what it looks like under Black Mesh.

    I rarely drink bubble tea, but the few times I do, I also like the jelly rather than the tapioca balls. Actually, you mentioning it made me want one just now. The last time I had one was...hmm...maybe 8 years ago. WOW!

    I remember the first time my best friend in high school and I went for bubble tea. She didn't really know what it was, but wanted to try it. I warned her about the gummy balls, but I don't think she was paying attention because when she took her first sip, she nearly choked on one of the balls and screamed, "What the heck was that?" (Okay, I'm paraphrasing because she swore like a sailor.) It never dawned on her why the straws were so large...haha! She thought she had swallowed a bug. :P

  2. Thanks, Mary! I can definitely see why you like this one so much. I didn't want to take it off when I was swatching it! But you know..duty calls and all that. As much as I like it alone, I thought it also looked great over Black Mesh, which is interesting since I'm really not a fan of black crackle. To me it just looked dirty with other colors.

    What's your favorite flavor? Mr. J always likes to try the new ones but I stick to my tried and tested avocado or taro. Great, now I'm craving them too! 8 years is too long to go without a bubble tea fix..!

    Oh my goodness, that's such a funny story! :D I was laughing my head off while reading your comment. I'm guessing the big straws just reminded her of slushie straws (you know the ones that have that spoon like end?) so she didn't think much of it. It must've been grosser when you think about how "slimy" those tapioca balls can feel. :D

  3. Incredible swatches! I see this polish on other blogs, and here on yours, and it looks so pretty and glittery... And yet I don't think I'm daring enough to sport it... :(
    What I would reach for, however is some jelly filled bubble tea! Yuuuuum!

  4. Thanks, Marta! I think this shade would look just as awesome (if not better) on your pretty nails. I'd be excited to see what sort of nail art you'd come up with it!

    Oooh, jelly filled bubble tea? Now I can second that! :D

  5. Hmm...haven't tried too many flavours, but I like the fruity ones like mango. I guess they're more like bubble juice rather than bubble tea. Never tried avocado bubble tea - sounds interesting! I love the way avocados taste, so now I'm curious.

  6. Avocado is divine. I can't even begin to tell you how awesome it is. :D It's actually more of a shake but sooo good. :D

  7. Two of your photos are unavailable?

  8. Uh-oh. Thanks for letting us know! We'll fix it in a jiffy. :)


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