The first nail-focused beauty blog

ALU’s 365 of Untrieds – Cult Nails Living Water

By on June 27, 2011
in 365 of Untrieds, Cult Nails, Teal
cult nails living water nail polish 365 of Untrieds is my personal challenge to weed through the polishes in the ALU stash that I’ve been wanting to try but just haven’t gotten around to.

I first learned of Cult Nails from my friend and fellow Ohioan, Styrch from Pretty In Dayton. The brand intrigued me but being that I didn’t know the founder, Maria from R3Daily, I was a bit skeptical. As we’ve learned, some brands rely on private label companies to throw together a nail polish line using stock colors that can be easily found at a much lower cost.

What convinced me to give Cult Nails a try is Maria herself. Learning about her passion for nails and desire to cultivate the brand by building slowly with custom colors is truly inspiring. I was thrilled to put her formula and colors to the test and I’m starting with Cult Nails Living Water.

Formula & Application: Cult Nails nail polish is 4-Free (including formaldehyde resin) and free of camphor, which can be an irritant. The bottle is pretty plain in that it looks like the empty bottles I buy for frankening from beauty supply stores. I’m sure creating a custom bottle is pricey but I hope that the success of the brand will bring a more unique bottle shape.

The big round plastic cap houses a brush that is clearly of Maria’s choosing. It is a round brush of average length and noticeable girth. The bristles are nice and flexible so they fan out easily across the nail plate without causing any dragging. In short, I love the brush. It is definitely in contention for my favorite nail polish brush.

The consistency of Living Water is that of a watery, squishy, jelly. The first coat applies a bit patchy, and I found that if you don’t wait a minute between coats, you end up with dragging near the cuticle and pooling near the tip. With two medium coats or three thin coats you get full coverage. My only real disappointment is in how it dries. The glitter gives it quite a bit of texture and even though the base is jelly it dries a bit flat. I found that using a coat of Gelous between the polish and the top coat resolves that as Gelous acts like spackle to fill in the bumpy spots.

Cult Nails Living Water is a blackened teal jelly with blue and green micro-glitter. It was created by a nail blogger, as part of a contest run by Cult Nails, who hoped to find a color that mimics phosphorescence in the water. Being a boater, I knew this had to be the first color I tried from the line and it lived up to all my expectations. The base color reminds me a LOT of one of my all time favorite polishes, CND NFS, though it’s not quite as blackened.

cult nails living water nail polish swatch

Since Styrch has mentioned that Cult Nails polishes “wear like iron” I wanted to see for myself. I put Living Water to the test, keeping it on my nails for seven days with Gelous base coat and Out The Door top coat. With the exception of a minute chip on my index finger and some slight tip wear, it looked flawless. Note: I did this wear test without the Gelous buffer between the polish and top coat and as you can see, the surface has texture and isn’t as glossy as the swatch above.


Bottom Line: Cult Nails puts out a quality product and Living Water is an interesting and gorgeous color so I suggest you get involved. Outside of the texture issue, my only real gripe is the bottle design as that cap and generic bottle shape do a serious disservice to what is clearly a unique brand.

365 of Untrieds Stash/Share Verdict: STASH, duh!

Cult Nails Living Water is available online at Cult Nails polishes retail for $10/ea for a .5oz bottle though you can buy it as part of the Inaugural Collection ($35) or Cult Convert Pack ($70) at a discount. Also, I suggest you follow @CultNails on Twitter as Maria has offered discount codes to followers in the past.

Have you heard of Cult Nails before? What do you think of Living Water? Are you planning to make a purchase from the brand in the future? If you’ve tried Cult Nails, what is your favorite shade from the line?

Disclosure: A product sample was provided by Cult Nails. For more info view my Disclosure Policy.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...


If you enjoyed this article, subscribe now to receive more just like it.

There Are 27 Brilliant Comments

Trackback URL

  1. Susie says:


  2. I love it! It’s mesmerizing

  3. Melinda says:

    What a pretty colour! I would of looked straight past that bottle until seeing this swatch.

    I just tried my first Cult Nails polish recently – Let Me Fly.
    I love it and will definitely buy more!


  4. Living Water is my favorite Cult Nails polish. :D

  5. Brooke says:

    that is freaking GORGEOUS

  6. Tara Melissa says:

    I love the color! Gorgeous and unique.

    I can’t stand the Scriptina font on the bottle, however. Maybe it’s the web designer in me :P

    • Cat says:

      I’m not a fan of the bottle shape, and I don’t care for the font either, but I suppose what’s inside is what matters, and I love Living Water. My Kind of Cool Aid is a great color too – the formula is perfect.

  7. Andrea says:


  8. Ariel says:

    Wow, that’s gorgeous! Do you think it would still have that bumpy texture using Seche Vite?

    • ruibberchick says:

      I just got this color last week and love it. For me, it took 2 coats of topcoat to get it looking nice & glossy, plus get rid of the bumpy texture and bring out the gorgeous glitter. I tried both Seche Vite and Out the Door topcoats. I haven’t tried her Gelous buffer trick yet, but I will now…thanks for the tip ALU!

  9. NailPolishFan says:

    Pretty color!

  10. ALY says:

    This is a gorgeous color on you!

  11. Liz says:

    Is there a secret to keeping on for 7 days? I can’t go more than two without a chip, no matter what I try!

    • Renee says:

      Have you tried cleaning off your nails with vinegar or alcohol before applying polish? I used to always have problems with chipping before I learned this trick. I mainly use vinegar because the alcohol is very drying.

  12. Meeka says:

    I’ve seen quite a few reviews of Maria’s polishes now and every one had great things to say, that has to be a good sign :) I keep hoping to get a couple, she’s got some great colors, but I haven’t had a chance yet. Iconic and Let Me Fly are the two that are for sure on my list!

  13. meme says:

    Sounds like a hassle – but thanks for the tip using Gelous. I have to use that for some of my stash that is watery to see if it helps before I give up on some of those. As far as phosphorescence, that is such an elusive color that happens in water, I am not surprised I am not seeing it in the photos here. I was born, raised and still live by the sea. Thus I am really a tune to the red algey bloom in the ocean that gives that amazing phosphorescence to the tips of the waves (and if the water is clean enough, you see the phosphorescence though the wave itself in parts). It’s pretty memorizing. This polish is pretty dark – the kind that looks good up close and when you get back from it, it’s a deep blackish something, something with a glint of this and that to it. I have enough polishes that do that. But the concept was good. It just needs time to cure probably and come into it’s own for manufacturing/branding.

  14. Laura says:

    Wow, that’s a really great color. If I’d wear it, I’d probably stare at for hours :D

  15. TheCaptain says:

    I actually love the bottle, but I am into the more simplistic bottles, this one, Nails Inc, RBL, the new CND. I personally hate garish bottles like Nfu Oh.

    I love the depth in this color. I just took Iconic off of my nails, and it is amazing as well. I really like the brush and formula too.

  16. SalvagedExpression says:

    Nail twins (for 12 hours)! Mine has been wearing so well that I had to layer (OPI Heart of Gold) over it to deal with my polish ADD.
    The nice thing about the texture is that it was almost matte so I used a slower top coat (3 coats Revlon Double Twist since it’s thin) which I think has been helping wear.
    I wonder which will give out first the polish or me!

  17. Chris says:

    I bought this and I LOVE it! I hope Maria makes more shades!

  18. Susan says:

    I just received my Cult Nail order today. I ordered the Converted pack, which has all their current 9 colours. Just tried Let Me Fly and I like how it applies and looks. Can’t wait to try the other colours! Oh, I like their glass nail file too. It’s pretty lightweight and a very efficient file.

  19. Amy says:

    This color looks VERY similar to Jessica’s Casablanca to me!

  20. My Kind of Cool Aid is my favorite. ANYONE can wear it as it’s gorgeous with ALL skin tones. It’s elegant and refined. Love it. It does wear like Iron. Liz – when you say you can’t go more than two, are you speaking of Cult Nails?

  21. Cat says:

    I just ordered the Convert pack from Cult Nails and should be getting it in the mail today! This color is gorgeous and thanks for the Gelous tip– I think I will pick up a bottle of that on my way home tonight.

  22. Nati says:

    I love this color!!
    Goes really well in any skin color!

  23. Jocelyn says:

    Wow, this is gorgeous! Wish it were a more accessible brand (I hate paying for shipping… but that might have to change because I love this one).

  24. gorgeous underwater color =)