Essie Belugaria

As I expected, my Christmas nails chipped horribly without Orly Bonder, so I changed things up early this week. :]

I’ve been dying to try out Essie Belugaria since I first saw it. It’s from Essie’s Encrusted Treasures collection for winter this year, the one that surprised me by how unusual it turned out to be. Belugaria is the most out-there polish in the collection, I think: it’s a black jelly packed with round beads reminiscent of caviar, as well as large holographic silver hex glitters. From a quick look around the blogosphere, it seemed to inspire either love or hate in people, which instantly intrigued me.

Day two, two coats of Belugaria in sunlight, no top coat:


The rainbows are much more prominent in person than in these photos. It was kind of hard to capture.

As you can probably guess from my photos, application was a tad tricky, and the huge beads made it challenging to get a smooth curve above the cuticle. Then again, I think the super chunky texture makes unevenness a bit more forgivable, since it’s not super obvious in person. The polish initially dried pretty shiny but became semi-matte a few hours later.

Day one in indoor fluorescent lighting (man, it makes me look so yellow!):

I remember some bloggers mentioning that the glitter was covered up by the black base when they tried this polish, but I didn’t have that problem, myself. I’m not sure if it was my application method or what, but just in case, this is how I did it: I swiped on a first coat, which was pretty patchy and gross-looking (to be honest), then dabbed on a second coat the way I typically use glitter polishes, to fill in the bald patches and place the “caviar” and glitter in the less covered spots.

I wasn’t sure if I liked Belugaria at first, but it grew on me as I got used to it, and after a few hours of wear, I decided I do love it. :] The gritty (literally and figuratively) punk-rock look mixed with a dash of flashy rainbow and classy black is a winning combination in my book. It also looks kind of like space, but with a fun craggy texture. It’s hard to explain the appeal exactly, but suffice it to say that it manages to combine a lot of features I like into one polish.

I can definitely understand why it doesn’t appeal to everyone. Textured polishes don’t seem to do it for everyone,  for one, and Belugaria is way more textured than most, e.g., Zoya Pixie Dust or OPI Liquid Sand polishes. In fact, it’s downright scratchy (without topcoat), like concrete with sharp bits (the glitter) in it. This means it’s not the most comfortable thing rubbing against your skin – which is bound to happen all day long, since it’s on your hands. Because of the chunkiness, it also has a tendency to catch on stuff and chip off (I had a lot of chipped tips within a couple hours), and the beads, it turns out, are white on the inside and don’t look great against the black polish when chipped open. Also, as I mentioned previously, application can be a bit challenging and may require some patience!

Then again, it’s super easy to touch up because a fresh dab of polish blends in invisibly, due to the texture effect, and Belugaria seriously dries super fast without a fast-dry top coat or anything. It also looks different and super cool without being obviously flamboyant, and it can match with just about everything. On the whole, I’m a fan.

So, what do you think of Belugaria? Yea or nay?


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