When Sephora announced the Formula X Press Pods last year, all I could do was roll my eyes. 24 individual use .03 oz pods of polish for $39??? Are you serious? That’s $54 an ounce! To compare, Louboutin is $125/oz and you get that gorgeous bottle. OPI is $19/oz.
Then I saw all these raves on major beauty and fashion outlets for the product and it piqued my curiosity but not enough to buy them. Since that time, the price has dropped to $24 and they are currently on sale for $19.50. However, on Black Friday I was able to pick up a set of the Gift Tag Press Pods for $7.50 and, I was already placing and order so, I couldn’t resist.
If my post title didn’t clue you in to how my Press Pod test went, keep reading!
Now, I’m not so delusional that I don’t understand that mini packaging or individual packaging, like the Press Pods, would mean they cost more. We see that all the time. The larger the quantity you buy, the better the deal. I get that.
However, the point behind this product is that they claim to be portable, easy-to-use and carrying a mani/pedi’s worth of polish, which would be great for travel, and that’s mainly where my issue lies.
Formula & Application
Formula X Press Pods are 3-Free (Formaldehyde, Toluene, DBP). The .03 oz plastic pod has a twist-off plastic cap that keeps the polish fresh until you use it.
The stiff, round brush needs to be massaged to break an invisible barrier holding the bristles together. Being that the bristles are so stiff, they don’t easily spread out over the nail which results in a messy application.
The polish itself has the smooth feel I’m accustomed to with Formula X but, the brush seriously derails the application. You have to squeeze the pod to dispense the polish and instead of coming out at the tip, it bubbles near the top of the brush which is a real problem.
Not only that, if you squeeze too hard, you end up with a giant blob that is too much for one nail. If you squeeze too light, you don’t have enough polish to cover the nail so it streaks and lumps.
I ended up using three coats on each nail and it still looked awful. The brush makes it very hard to get a clean application and, if you’re traveling, you would need some serious clean-up supplies, which defeats the point. Not to mention, I was squeezing so hard near the end of painting my fifth nail, that I have no idea how I would do a full manicure, let alone a pedicure, with one pod.
Formula X Press Pods Swatches
Now I know it looks like a crime scene on my nails but I wanted to show you what the application was really like. You’ve seen my manicures in the past, you know I can polish my nails. I do very little clean-up on a regular basis. Yet, this was the result.
I’m sure, given enough time, I could get a decent looking manicure with them but, again, that’s not the point of this product. The learning curve should not be that big. I can’t even really review the colors because this is not a good representation.
Formula X Blazing
Formula X Pedal To The Metal
Bottom Line: I can not, in good conscience, recommend buying these. I’m just glad I’m only out $7.50. If it had been $39, when they first came out, you better believe I would have marched them straight back to Sephora. Press Pods… a big, fat NOPE!
I don’t enjoy writing negative reviews but seeing a slew of rave reviews from beauty editors has me confuzzled. Granted, maybe they are Press Pod wizards who can work them like a pro. Though, knowing what I do about the beauty industry, it makes me wonder if that is a result of not really testing the product or editors scratching PR’s back.
Yes, Press Pods are clever and a great concept but the execution was wrong. Based on the fact that they are on sale, I’m assuming Sephora agrees. I just wanted to put my experience out there before you get tempted by sale prices and waste your own cash.
Have you tried Formula X Press Pods? I’d love to hear your experiences with them.Disclosure: I purchased the Press Pods myself. For more info view my Disclosure Policy.