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Cult Nails Secret Collection Swatches & Review

By on January 5, 2015
in Blue, Cult Nails, Glitter, Gold, Green, Holiday 2014
Cult Nails Secret Collection swatches via @alllacqueredup

Cult Nails Secret Collection

On Christmas Eve, I was taken with this manicure posted on the Cult Nails Instagram page using the “Secret Collection.” The concept being that you didn’t know the contents during the pre-sale. Now that the pre-sale is over, the cat is out of the bag.

A quick jump over to and I spied this “mystery” collection on sale for half off. With a green and blue in the lineup, it was a no-brainer for me.

Formula & Application

Cult Nails nail polish is 5-Free (Fomaldehyde, Toluene, DBP, Formaldehyde Resin, Camphor) . The bottle is round with a round plastic cap that houses 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 one of my favorite nail polish brushes.

The polishes in this collection all vary in formula, finish and application so I’ll address them individually below.

Cult Nails Dazed is a cool denim with a light silvery blue metallic shimmer. The consistency is kind of thick so I found that my usual thin application wasn’t happening. Using a heaver hand with two coats gave a more even result with no brush marks but it took a few attempts to get the application just right.

Cult Nails Dazed swatch from the Secret Collection via @alllacqueredup

Cult Nails Dazed

Cult Nails Flash is a hunter green creme that dries with a satin/wax finish. Again, this polish is on the thicker side, leaning towards gloopy. I had to be careful to avoid pooling at my tips on my second coat. The major issue I had was that it doesn’t self level. While that’s fine if you are adding top coat (see below), if you desire that waxy appearance, it’s hard to get it smooth and even.

Cult Nails Flash swatch (satin) from the Secret Collection via @alllacqueredup

Cult Nails Flash (satin)

Cult Nails Flash swatch (glossy) from the Secret Collection via @alllacqueredup

Cult Nails Flash (glossy)

Cult Nails Lime Light is a clear-based glitter filled with party-ready shades of gold, turquoise and fuchsia. The glitter is very fine and while it disperses evenly on the nail, after three coats, it isn’t quite opaque. Makes me wonder how many coats the person who created the manicure linked above had to use.

Cult Nails Lime Light swatch from the Secret Collection via @alllacqueredup

Cult Nails Lime Light

Cult Nails Secret Collection swatches via @alllacqueredup

Cult Nails Secret Collection swatches

Bottom Line: I’m sad to say that I’m pretty bummed on this collection. I was all excited for Flash and Dazed and considered the glitter a bonus but, even at half the price, I wouldn’t recommend this set. Given the formula issues with the blue and green, I don’t see myself reaching for them anytime soon.

The Cult Nails Secret Collection is available now at for $36 for the set of three polishes.

****UPDATE: Sad news. Maria from Cult Nails has announced that she is closing the brand. You can read her blog post about it HERE. I had the pleasure of meeting Maria at Cosmoprof a few years ago and I have always admired her so it makes this post very bittersweet.

As part of the closing, all products are being liquidated at 60% OFF. No code necessary. Discount applied at checkout.

Disclosure: I purchased this collection. For more info view my Disclosure Policy
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There Are 19 Brilliant Comments

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  1. Lisa N. says:

    These are nice. Loving the green and glitter.

  2. Maria says:

    Uau, essas unhas ficaram realmente lindas! Amei o verde que você usou!

  3. suzanne says:

    I was totally excited, but was let down as well. Sad face…

  4. Loren Cappelson says:

    I think Lime Light is gorgeous, even if it doesn’t get quite opaque! But sadly, Cult Nails is liquidating now!!! I am pretty distraught over that actually, lol ;( Thanks for this review! Now we can see the secret polishes and pick them up before they go away for good! wah

  5. Jessica says:

    Bummer about the formula issues…but bigger bummer is that they are closing up shop. :(

    • Hi Jessica! I agree, it is sad. Maria is awesome and it’s a shame she couldn’t keep it going. Even more of a shame that my last review of her polishes isn’t a good one.

  6. Bummer about the formula. I have one color that dries satin (Sinful Colors “Dream On”) but none that dry with a waxy look, and that piques my interest. Ultimately it’s too rich for my blood, even on sale. The glitter is gorgeous–I suspect they used a thick top coat over it like SECHE Vite because it looks congealed as if the top coat infused all glitter layers.

  7. Kate says:

    Cult Nails just announced they are liquidating and everything is 60% off. I’m sad to see them go. They were first indie purchase.

  8. kel says:

    i’m with you. have seen these before and better.

  9. Nina says:

    Lovely colors but hate to here she is closing. :(

  10. Jammies says:

    I love the blue, but am also bummed by the closing.