Holographic Nail Polish: 10 Best Colors of 2018

holographic nail polish

The only thing better than nail polish is sparkly nail polish. And the only thing better than sparkly nail polish is holographic nail polish.

It’s no secret that I have a glitter addiction. I don’t joke around with my shiny objects. If only you knew the kind of time, agonizing, and drooling I put into my Top 20 Best Glitter Nail Polish Shades. This is the stuff I love.

Holographic nail polish is all the rage, but there are loads of “holographic” nail polishes out there that are absolutely not holographic. It’s a word that’s being thrown around recently to describe anything shimmery, sparkly, or color-shifting. But holographic is a very specific kind of sparkly. It’s the kind of sparkle that looks like rainbows are flying out of your nails.

Anything can be reflective: metal, glass, even water–but it takes something really special to create rainbows. Okay, water makes rainbows too, but listen: rainbows. Do you not want your nails to create rainbows? Of course you do. Why choose one or two colors to wear on your fingernails when you can have them all.

So how do holographic nail polishes work?

Regular sparkly glitter reflects light which is very pretty but holographics refract light. When light hits a holo nail polish, it doesn’t just bounce the beam of light back, it bends it, fracturing the light into all the wavelengths of color that make up white light.

That’s exactly how rainbows are created. So are you super ready to start painting your nails in holo yet?

There are three main types of holo nail polish you’re going to come across: holo glitter, scattered holo, and linear holo.

Holographic glitter polishes are tiny specks of holographic material suspended in a clear or colored nail polish base. Generally the multicolored spangles these polishes produce are large and irregular, like your nails being covered in diamonds.

Scattered holo is like holographic glitter, only much smaller. Scattered holo polishes go on smooth like non-glitter lacquers and don’t have large, distinguishable shapes that you could point out as being the holographic parts. They’re called scattered because the rainbow effect is irregular, like sunlight dancing over the surface of the ocean.

Linear holo might be my favorite. (It’s so hard to pick!) These lacquers go on smooth like scattered holo but the holographics slot in together like puzzle pieces forming a fully covered holographic surface.

Because they are so lined up and close together, all the little rainbows work together to create a larger rainbow. When you move linear holo in the light, you can see the bands of a rainbow moving over your nails.

Check out this video clip for examples of holo glitter, linear holo, and scattered holo nail polish.

But remember, not everything that changes color is holographic. Duo-chrome or multi-chrome polishes shift their colors in the light but they don’t make rainbows. Iridescent polishes can look like they’re full of many colors, but don’t actually refract light. The best way to experience holo is in motion so be sure to check out the swatch videos below.

Let’s look at the best holo nail polishes out right now and bask in the rainbows.

1. Mega S by ILNP

Image of silver holographic nail polish in bottle and on nails


ILNP has had several versions of their Mega holographic polishes, improving as they go, and this is ILNP’s most holographic nail polish to date. It looks like a plain, silver shimmer in dull lighting but once the light hits it, Mega S turns into a rainbow-creating prism on your nails.

It’s a liner holographic so as you move your nails in the light you can see that band of color, almost like a candle flame.

The formula is easy to work with and thick enough that it won’t pool in your cuticles or look streaky. It’s wearable at two coats, but needs three coats to be fully opaque. The brightness of the sparkle hides any visible nail.

I like that even after three coats, it doesn’t feel overly thick and doesn’t dry to a gritty texture. ILNP lacquers tend to stay chip-free for around a week for me which is fantastic.

Price: $10

Buy Mega S by ILNP here.


  • Intensely holographic
  • Three free
  • Easy to apply formula
  • Really only needs two coats
  • Cruelty-free and vegan


  • Needs good lighting to shine

Find more Mega S by ILNP information and reviews here.

2. Run! It’s the Coppers! by KBShimmer

Image of copper holographic nail polish in bottle


KBShimmer has some of my favorite punny nail polish nails and Run! It’s the Coppers is one of the truly great ones. This is a copper-tinted linear holographic polish that is opaque in three coats.

It’s a gorgeous warm metallic color that shows a really crisp, distinct line of rainbows that you’ll get addicted to staring at. It’s a good formula that is long lasting as well as three free. This is a great color for summer and fall, or any time of year you can admire your pretty holo nails in the sun. (So basically any month but February here in New Hampshire.)

Price: $10

Buy Run! It’s the Coppers! by KBShimmer here.


  • Great formula
  • Strong linear holographic
  • Three free
  • Good fall color


  • Needs three coats to be opaque

Find more Run! It’s the Coppers! by KBShimmer information and reviews here.

3. Ocean Rush by Layla

Image of blue nail polish bottle with label reading Hologram Effect


The photo of this bottle absolutely does not do this polish justice so you need to check out this video below. This linear holo from Layla’s Hologram Effect line is richly pigmented and has beautiful slick lines of rainbow.

How bold the holographic effect will be with this polish is heavily dependent on how smooth your nails are. When the holo bits can all lay flat, the effect is its most dramatic. You can buff your nails for this effect, but buffing isn’t a great option for those of us with thin or weak nails. Instead use a ridge-filling base coat to even out your nail surface. Read my article on the best base coats to find the right one for your nail type.

If that still isn’t smooth enough, throw a top coat on your base coat before applying your polish, but that could effect the longevity of your manicure. But honestly, with how dramatic the holo can be with Ocean Rush, I don’t even care.

Price: $9.91

Buy Ocean Rush by Layla here.


  • Intense holographic effect
  • Rich blue pigment
  • Covers in two coats
  • Formaldehyde free


  • Needs a smooth surface
  • Not super long lasting

Find more Ocean Rush by Layla information and reviews here.

4. Halo Graphic by Color Club

Image of pink holographic nail polish in square bottle


Halo Graphic is a linear holo by Color Club. It can look like a soft dusty pink in low lighting, but once you get in the sun, the holographics look like fire. It actually looks like there are candle flames on your nails.

The linear holo creates a shape with a red outside transitioning to a deep blue in the center. Watch the video. They haven’t invented the words yet to describe this holo.

Color Club is one of the big names in holo polishes and for good reason. This lacquer is three free, vegan, and cruelty-free.

Price: $9.98

Buy Halo Graphic by Color Club here.


  • Intense, flame-like holographic effect
  • Three free
  • Vegan and cruelty-free


  • Needs a good top coat to really deliver

Find more Halo Graphic by Color Club information and reviews here.

5. Hologram Diamond by LeChat

Image of open bottle of holographic glitter polish


We’ve had a lot of creamier holo polishes, but here we have an intense holographic glitter polish with blinding flash in a clear nail polish. Hologram Diamond is a clear base loaded with holographic glitter.

I want to tell you what shape the glitter is, but it’s so darn shiny I can’t tell. This works as a glitter topper and is opaque in two coats if worn alone. For truly blinding shine, you can use the glitter sponge trick.

It’s called diamond and it really does throw around tiny rainbows like a diamond. This one is a gel polish which needs to be cured under UV/LED light but the same shade in regular nail polish is also available.

Price: $13.21 (17 percent off MSRP)

Buy the Hologram Diamond by LeChat here.


  • Dense holographic glitter
  • Choice of gel or regular polish
  • Opaque in two coats


  • Formula is a little thick

Find more Hologram Diamond by LeChat information and reviews here.

6. #12 by Born Pretty

Image of small square green nail polish  bottle


The name sounds a little bland, but the holographics in this are gorgeous. It’s a deep emerald, green that isn’t overly memorable in the shade, but in the sun its linear holographics are dazzling.

The green and the bright color-shifting remind me of peacock feathers. You need two to three coats for #12 to be opaque, but the formula is thick and easy to work with. It’s from BORN PRETTY so you know this polish will work great for nail art so get artistic with it. This one reminds me of wet rain forests and iridescent insect wings.

Price: $6.99 (56 percent off MSRP)

Buy #12 by Born Pretty here.


  • Peacock linear holographic
  • Great for nail art
  • Great formula


  • Not an impressive color in the shade
  • Small bottle

Find more #12 by Born Pretty information and reviews here.

7. Turning Pointe by KBShimmer

Image of peachy holographic nail polish


Turning Pointe from KBShimmer’s 2016 Fall Collection is a scattered holographic chalk full of holographic micro-glitter. Unlike the linear polishes we’ve been looking at, Turning Pointe delivers a very different, more uniform sparkle look.

The holo in this looks less like the iridescence of water and more like shining a light into a rose quartz geode full of tiny crystals. The jelly base is a soft, ballet slipper pink.

It’s sheer in one coat and opaque in two which is no small feat for a glitter polish. Like all KBShimmer lacquers, Turning Pointe is three free and chip-resistant.

Price: $10

Buy Turning Pointe by KBShimmer here.


  • Scattered holo
  • Covers in two coats
  • Intense pinky sparkle
  • Three free


  • Doesn’t deliver linear rainbows
  • Dries to a gritty texture

Find more Turning Pointe by KBShimmer information and reviews here.

8. Beach House by ILNP

Image of teal holographic nail polish bottle with black cap


This one is my favorite of the list, but I love all things teal. Beach House is an Ultra Holo from ILNP’s Summer 2017 Collection. It’s a beachy aqua with a heavy load of holographic micro-glitter and flakies.

The formula is smooth and easy to work with. It’s very sheer on its first coat and while you can get away with two coats, I prefer three for a dense holo effect. The sun really sets this one on fire, like sunlight reflecting off shallow tropical waters.

This is a polish I was sent by ILNP (with no promise of a review) and I am extremely impressed by its staying power. When I first wore it, I was a terrible person and skipped my base coat and only had an old, thick topper on hand, but Beach House still lasted five days before my first chip.

This is one of my personal favorites to wear.

Price: $10

Buy Beach House by ILNP here.


  • Long lasting formula
  • Teal holographic sparkle
  • Three free
  • Cruelty-free and vegan


  • Heavy teal tint hides some of the sparkle
  • Three coats may feel thick for some

Find more Beach House by ILNP information and reviews here.

9. We Trippy by Cirque Colors

Image of silver holographic nail polish topper with black cap

We Trippy is a holographic top coat so you can turn any nail polish into a lacquer that spits out beautiful rainbows. It contains holographic microglitter and the base itself also adds a holographic shimmer.

The formula is “non-graying” so it won’t dull the colors of whatever polish you use it over. With one coat, it gives your polish a subtle sparkle. At two coats, it turns your polish into a full on holographic party.

We Trippy can also be worn on its own but you’re going to need three coats to get close to opaque coverage. This formula is four free, vegan, and cruelty-free.

Price: $14

Buy We Trippy by Cirque Colors here.


  • Can be used as a topper or on its own
  • Made in America
  • Turns any polish holo
  • Four free and cruelty-free


  • Needs at least three coats to be worn alone
  • Needing two coats for a top coat can be too thick for some

Find more We Trippy by Cirque Colors information and reviews here.

10. Just My Luck by Color Club

Image of pastel green holographic nail polish

Color Club

This is a very heavy glitter load and I love it. Just My Luck is a creamy holographic with silver holo micro-glitter. When it’s not in the sun, this one can look like a shiny silver polish which isn’t a bad thing at all.

Once the light hits it though, there’s a springy, minty green hue with an intense green flash from the holographics. It’s wearable at one coat, but two is really where you want to be for the full holo effect. The formula is perfect in terms of texture and ease of working with. This one is perfect for a subtle twist on the classic silver holo.

Price: $9.98

Buy Just My Luck by Color Club here.


  • Intense green flash
  • Only needs one to two coats
  • Three free
  • Made in America


  • Can come off as a simple silver polish in the wrong lighting

Find more Just My Luck by Color Club information and reviews here.

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Heavy, Inc. is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by linking to Amazon. Our product recommendations are guided solely by our editors. We have no relationship with manufacturers.

1 Comment

1 Comment

Polish Perfect

Great detailed review. I was about to order Color Club and KBShimmer and I decided to check out reviews about this two. Now I’m thinking of buying KBShimmer and Layla.

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