Monday, December 26, 2011

Orly Sweet Tart whets your appetite for more holiday sweets.

How was your Christmas? I hope it was as happy and wonderful as can be! It's actually still Christmas as I write this post while watching the NBA Christmas Special (MIA vs. DAL and if you're curious I'm rooting for the Mavs because Nowitzki >>> LeBron; nevermind that MIA is now 30 points ahead, boo) in the background. So if I seem strangely disjointed as you read through the post, you now know why. (P.S. I haven't been on Twitter lately either as it's been one party after the other and I had to sneak away to write this post so we'll keep this short and sweet-ish.)

Moving on, if you're still craving more sweets after all the Christmas treats you've, no doubt, stuffed your face with, today's polish will only serve to whet your appetite.

Sweet Tart for my sweet!

The Quick Take

Brand/Name: Orly Sweet Tart
Color: Pinky red/ bright berry red
Finish: Jelly/Sheer
Price: $6.99 - $9.50 CDN for 18mL
Seen at: Trade Secrets, Sally Beauty, Nail Polish Canada, Glowing Beauty, some Winners and other various retailers
Note(s): Sweet Tart is part of the Orly core collection.

The Fun Facts

Token bottle shot. (The level of polish left is after a mere 2 uses.)

Serial at the base.

If I could, I'd change most of the brush caps out there to Orly's rubberized wonder.

Neon-esque but not quite.

Sweet Tart is a lovely blue based red. I've seen it described as a bright berry and that seems fairly accurate. Think strawberries on steroids (because of the shine). As it's a jelly finish, it requires more polish coats than usual to get it to look fairly opaque. I pegged my swatches at 4 coats but even then, the nail line is still quite visible. That usually bothers me but with the gel-like and ultra glossy finish of Sweet Tart, it's easy to overlook it. In fact, it looks very much like a layer of jello on your nails. Squishy, shiny and strawberry red. What's not to like?
***All nail swatches were done with Orly Bonder Base Coat and four coats of Orly Sweet Tart unless stated.

Natural light/No top coat/No flash
Check out that shine!

Natural light/No top coat/Flash
VNL (aka visible nail line) is forgivable with how ridiculously shiny this is.

Sunlight/No top coat/No flash
Jelly finishes = <3

The sheer formula is a bit on the runny side but not so much that it's difficult to work with. I think its good that it is so that you're not tempted to glob on the polish and do thick coats to maximize opacity with less coats as possible. So instead, you're left to do thin to medium coats with more layers. That works fine by me as it allows for more control with how much coverage I would want to end up with. Be warned that if you're expecting 100% coverage, you'll definitely have to work for it. It's a good thing then that the brush you'll work with has one of the better handles out on the market. I really do appreciate the rubberized grip and the length of the handle that's fairly similar to the Nubar handle in that I can easily hold it as I would a pen. This, in turn, gives me more control and makes application smooth and easy. As you'd expect with the amount of layers you'll be dealing with, dry time will be on the longer end of the spectrum. But even then, that's nothing that a fast drying top coat and some drying drops won't fix.

Apart from warning you about the number coats you'll need for better opacity, I also have to mention that I got horrible staining from this polish. I haven't used it with any other base coat, but with Orly Bonder and 2-3 days of wear time, I ended up with nasty orange nails after removal. I'm not sure whether I should have used two coats of the Bonder base coat or if I had used my go-to Nail Tek base coat I'd still get the same degree of staining. I'll update this post once I wear it again and experiment with other base coats.

Natural light/Top coat/No flash
In desperate times (or just complete vanity), these could probably double as a mirror.

Natural light/Top coat/Flash
Hammie says: Magical!

Sunlight/Top coat/No Flash
Hammie says: It's like strawberry jell-o polish...!

You know how I always say top coat makes everything better? Well, in this case, I doubt it's applicable as you can't even really see any difference with it! Regardless, you should always, always put top coat on to guard against chipping.

The Lowdown

As far as I know, I haven't seen any duplicates of this red jelly. That's not a bad thing when you consider how easy it would be to get your hands on this polish as it's part of the core collection. All you'd have to do is find someplace that sells Orly nail polish and you should be able to snag yourself a bottle (or two) of Sweet Tart easily enough. Value for price, Orly is still a whole lot less pricier (per bottle) than your OPI polish and you get 3mL more, to boot. Sure, 3mL might not be a lot but that might just be the difference between having a complete manicure or realizing you don't have enough left to do the last 3 fingers. (Or maybe not. I've never really finished a bottle of polish as of yet so think of that last statement as a thought experiment/hypothesis of sorts.)

But would I recommend this polish? I say both yes and no. See, I really did enjoy sporting this red jelly with its super shine and squishy-ness. Even Mr. J said that it was one of his favorite polishes on me (that's huge!). He liked it so much he'd randomly grab my hand and look at my nails. Seriously. So in that respect, it's a loud, resounding yes. BUT, it stained my nails horribly and it can be a pain to tediously apply extra coats for greater opacity. And then there's the visible nail line. So if any of those are deal breakers for you, then it would be a definite no.

Hammie is still in a generous mood. I doubt he'll feel the same once the eggnog loses it's effect but he's been doubling up on peppermint white hot chocolate laced with some Grand Marnier liquer so I doubt that will be any time soon. He kept wanting to take a bite out of the "jell-o nails" and asking if it tasted as sweet as it looked. He says the staining doesn't really bother him (easy for him to say; they weren't his nails!) and the visible nail line just adds to the gel-like illusion the polish creates. His final score?

10 Hammie Points!

Merry Christmas! Happy Boxing Day! Do you agree with how Hammie scored Sweet Tart (or do you think we should suspend him from his scoring duties till he sobers up)? What was the best present you got this year? Are you looking to get anything for Boxing Day?


  1. I love these types of reds!! Thanks for sharing ;0)

  2. So here is me and jelly polishes... I love how they look on others (their squishy nature) and I can't keep my claws off of jelly gummy bears...
    but when it comes to jelly formulas on my nails I get a little icky about it... They always look like they are missing one or two extra coats to be fully opaque... or they just look like my nails are stained! :(
    Maybe it is my nail shape (come to think of it)... because you are ROCKING this shade Girl!!!!

  3. They are gorgeous! Do you have a lot like this shade, Marisa? I'm looking to get more and would love to know what you'd recommend! :)

  4. Oh, Marta. You sure know how to make a girl blush. *blushes profusely*

    I think your nail shape is fab! You can totally rock this, too! :) The squishy nature is really what drew me in. Plus that gorgeous shine. Can't go wrong with that! Well, the sheerness of it can be very off-putting. I used to hate sheers a lot, too, but I found they look great with a flakie top coat so I've come to terms with them. ;) Maybe you just need to experiment with these jellies a bit more to find the perfect fit for you.

    And don't tell me you can't rock them because you sure can!!! :D


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