Review & Swatches: China Glaze Haunting Halloween Collection 2011

As soon as I saw the China Glaze Haunting Halloween 2011 Collection I knew I had to have it! It's not every day you get a mix of crackle, glitter, and glowing polish all in one swoop ;)  I actually purchased 2 of the 4-piece sets that were released with this collection so that I could give 1 away in my Ghoulishly Glam Nail Polish Giveaway, which is going on right now! You can enter until September 30, 2011 HERE.

Anyway, I wanted to do a post on this set because it's so fun and perfect for Halloween or any day where you want a little something different on your nails! I'm going to break this set down by polish with a short review after to keep things organized.

It's Alive
It's Alive has a mostly sheer olive colored base (I wouldn't say it's very jelly-ish) with a mix of micro- and slightly chunkier glitter of a lighter olive color. It almost reminds me of a sparkly camo. 

Application:  It's Alive is a glitter polish. My first coat left me skeptical because it applied unevenly. It seemed to stick to my base coat for some reason even though it was completely dry. The 2nd coat, however, was perfection. It left my nail looking evenly coated in olive green glitter.

Feel: I find that glitter polish often bothers me. I hate when it feels gritty even under a top coat. This is definitely slightly course feeling, but with a top coat it seems to be slightly uneven but less scratchy.

2 Coats China Glaze It's Alive

Ghoulishly Glow
Ghoulishly Glow 1 Coat
Ghoulishly Glow is a glow-in-the-dark top coat! This isn't completely clear, there is a slight, light green milkiness. I don't know how this would affect other polishes, but I think it beautifully complements It's Alive. I was actually super pleased with the pairing of these two.

Application: Applying Ghoulishly Glow was super easy and seemed to go on evenly with each coat. The 1st coat slightly softened the overall look of the glitter polish. I thought this was nice.

The 2nd coat of Ghoulishly Glow was also easy to apply and went on evenly. This 2nd coat really softened the overall look and left it looking a bit more sophisticated in my opinion. I really, really liked the way this looked! 
Ghoulishly Glow 2 Coats

Glowing Effect: I wondered how much Ghoulishly Glow top coat would actually glow. I knew that it glowed in the bottle just from shutting my desk lamp off, but I'm always skeptical as to how things will compare from bottle to nail. You'll be happy to know that Ghoulishly Glow does glow on your nail! It did take 2 coats for it to be noticeable. A 3rd and maybe 4th coat might make it even stronger. If you follow my blog you know I have a 2-coat rule for any polish/top coat, etc. I would say that the glow on your nail lasts just a minute or two from my experience.

It was very hard to capture the "glow", but you can see it here. As you can sort of tell from the picture, with 2 coats you can see the glitter a bit through the glowing in the dark.

Bottle v. Nail Glow
The glow of this polish in the bottle is definitely stronger than it is on your nail, it also lasts longer. Again, if you want to try a 3rd and maybe 4th coat that may make a big difference.
Nail v. Bottle Glow. As you can see, the bottle is pretty nuts and the nail is more subtle.

Black Mesh Crackle
Black Mesh is China Glaze's black crackle polish. I've tried a few different black crackles and so far the ones I've tried have skewed between looking like black leather and dull black plastic. It doesn't bother me that the black has more of a flat than gloss finish, but I'm not a fan of the crackles that are super dull black. A semi-gloss or eggshell-like finish would be my preference.

Application: I haven't had as much trouble with crackles/shatters (*knock on wood*) as some other polish lovers I know and China Glaze's Black Mesh Crackle is great in my opinion! It dries quickly, so definitely apply it quickly. Also, I tend to be lighter-handed with my crackles, which sometimes works with different formulas. This one worked well with less polish on the brush as opposed to applying it thick.

Crackle Effect: I thought this resulted in a very obvious crackle effect that spread far enough apart that you could see the polish underneath fairly well!
I think that's a pretty great black crackle polish!

It's Alive + Ghoulishly Glow + Black Mesh
I wanted to capture how these polishes all look together. It was kind of challenging, but at least it gives you some idea. You can sort of see the Ghoulishly Glow peaking out from behind the Black Mesh in the dark.

The 4th polish included in this set is the Fast Forward Top Coat. I didn't use this for this post, but when I do I'll definitely post about how effective it is.

What do you think? I love it!

I've seen this vary between $13-$20 depending on where you purchase it.

Where to Buy
You can purchase this from different beauty supply stores as well as from online stores like You can view it on Amazon HERE.  

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