Monday, December 5, 2011

Nubar Prize is a win to any sparkle fiend

The weather forecast calls for some cooling temperatures, especially at the start of the week. I doubt that'll make any grumpy, Monday-hating anyone do a 180. In fact, I'd think they'd feel vindicated. "See, I told you so." But I've never been one to wallow in bad thoughts. That's just not the best way to go about life. So I figured, why not start the week with some holographic awesomeness from Nubar to perk things up?

Scattered holo makes Monday blahs go bye-bye.

The Quick Take

Brand/Name: Nubar Prize
Color: Pinky red with fine holographic glitter
Formula: Pinky red semi-sheer base with lots of holographic glitter
Finish: Scattered Holographic/Glitter
Price: $4.50 to $10.25 CDN for 15mL
Seen at:, Fernanda's Beauty Supply, Nail Polish Canada (but only 2 polishes from the Prisms Collection and other international retailers 
Note(s): Part of the Prisms Collection that was first released in Holiday 2009. You can still find the set at Fernanda's Beauty Supply (online or in store) although unfortunately, you can't purchase individual polishes from said collection. Nubar is a vegan and cruelty free brand with their nail polish formula 3-Free long before all the other big names were.

The Fun Facts

Don't you just love a sexy bottle?

Serial at the base.

Good brush with an awesome, ergonomic handle.

Scattered rainbow awesomeness!

This is a semi-sheer pinky red mixed with holographic glitter to add some bling to the party. It's a very scattered holographic effect so don't expect to see full on rainbows like other noteworthy holographic polishes like those from the China Glaze OMG Collection and OPI Designer Series. The effect almost seems like a sheer pinky red polish that has been layered with fine holographic glitter. I can definitely see this being a good polish to use in a jelly sandwich or candy manicure (a way of layering where a base polish color is layered with glitter and topped with a jelly polish). To be fair, the sheerness isn't much of an issue as this color builds up wonderfully after three coats. I left it at two though as I really didn't notice the visible nail line till I saw the photos. The finish can be a tad gritty as is expected from glitter polishes but definitely nothing that a good layer of top coat can't fix.
***All nail swatches were done with Orly Bonder Base Coat and two coats of  Nubar Prize unless stated.

Natural light/No top coat/No flash
No rainbow yet, but an awesome glitter speckled look.

Natural light/No top coat/Flash
A bit of rainbow now...

Sunlight/No top coat/No flash
..but more pronounced in the sun!

The Nubar brush handle is one of the best out there. I really do appreciate the bottom part that slightly flares out as it works as a finger-rest of sorts that allows me to hold the brush as I would a pen. That easily makes for greater control. The brush itself is made of good, pliable bristles that fan out well for a nice, even coat. The formula is a bit on the watery side although nothing so bad as to cause flooding at the cuticles. This does flow better than most, but being on the watery side, it can be tricky to control if you have too much on the brush. It does level itself nicely upon drying which takes about the average time most polishes dry. Being a glitter polish, removal was strangely painless, especially if using the foil method (where you place a polish remover/acetone soaked cotton ball/pad on the nail and wrap it with foil).

Natural light/Top coat/No flash
Amp up the shine!

Natural light/Top coat/Flash
Hammie says: That's the way (uh-huh, uh-huh) I like it!

Sunlight/Top coat/No Flash
Hammie says: Rainbows everywhere!

I really like how top coat added that extra shine to make Prize look even more prize-winning. I might even go so far as saying it really helped the holographic particles sparkle and stand out even more.

The Lowdown

The closest dupe I could find is an OPI Designer Series polish called Divine. I'm not entirely certain if Divine is one of those hard to find polishes (I just found out that one particular blue stunner is going for $50 on eBay! Crazy, isn't it??) but between the two, Divine is easily the more holographic one. The base color for both, while both possessing that pinky red tone, aren't a perfect match either. Divine has a more muted reddish pink look to it while Prize is distinctly a brighter pinkish red. I really do prefer Prize over Divine as the base color wins me over every time. Such a cheerful red, how can you resist its happy vibes?

Value for price is pretty top notch. I got this bottle from Fernanda's where they were running a promotion of buy 6, get 1 free. I wasn't even supposed to get this lovely as I wanted the other colors (particularly Gem and Jewel) from the Prisms collection more than I did Prize. But like I mentioned in the notes earlier, they only sell the collection as a whole and I wasn't sure if I wanted the whole set. The lady at the counter was extremely nice about it though and pulled out Prize from the back stockroom when she saw how much I really wanted the others. Apparently, it was the last one they had that wasn't part of any set! It ended up being the free polish as I got 6 others. While the means by which I got Prize was somewhat serendipitous (gosh, I've been wanting to use that word in ages! :D), it was definitely one of those "meant to be" moments.

Hammie thinks this is just the sparkly red needed to combat those Monday blues. He's a bit more particular about the sheerness of the formula as he really dislikes visible nail line. I countered that another coat would've made it as opaque as he wanted but he also pointed out  how he expected more rainbow awesomeness from a polish touted as holographic.  He  was feeling generous though and only ended up docking a point from Prize's score which is:

9 Hammie Points!

How's your Monday coming along? What's your cure for Monday blues? Do you think Nubar Prize deserves a prize?


  1. So pretty! I love holos, and anything that is not pastel. It looks great on you!

  2. Thanks, Mary! :) I agree that pastel holos aren't all that amazing. The contrast with a darker base definitely brings out that magical quality that pastels just can't do.


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