9 Best Holographic Nail Polish: Your Buyer’s Guide (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.

Regular glitter reflects light which is very pretty but holographics refract light. When light hits 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 with rainbows yet? Why choose one or two colors to wear on your fingernails when you can have them all.

To learn more about the types of holographic effects head on down to the end of the article. But for now I’ve pulled together the best holo nail polishes out there in a range of colors so let’s bask in the rainbows.

What Are the Best Holographic Nail Polish Shades?

Silver holographic nail polish in bottle and on nails, ILNP, ILNP Mega S Amazon Customer Reviews
  • My top pick
  • Blinding holographics
  • Long-lasting
Price: $10.00 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
holographic nail polish, holo nail polish, holo glitter, holographic nails Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Striking linear holo
  • Pink to red to blue shift
  • Trusted holographic brand
Price: $9.96 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
Silver holographic chunky glitter nail polish Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Eye-catching glam rock look
  • Intense rhinestone sparkle
  • Can be used as a topper or alone
Price: $10.00 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
holographic nail polish, holo nail polish, holo glitter, holographic nails Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Ocean wave like effect
  • Opaque in two coats
  • Rich tint that doesn't cover the holo
Price: $9.85 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
holographic nail polish, holo nail polish, holo glitter, holographic nails Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Shifting sparkle like diamonds
  • Only needs two coats
  • Available in gel or regular polish
Price: $11.99 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
holographic nail polish, holo nail polish, holo glitter, holographic nails Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Linear and scattered holographic
  • Long-lasting
  • Supports American business
Price: $10.00 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
holographic nail polish, holo nail polish, holo glitter, holographic nails Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Opaque in two coats
  • Jelly base with holo glitter
  • Three free
Price: $10.00 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
holographic nail polish, holo nail polish, holo glitter, holographic nails Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Topper makes any polish holographic
  • Can be worn on its own
  • Cruelty-free
Price: $12.50 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
holographic nail polish, holo nail polish, holo glitter, holographic nails Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Can get away with one coat
  • Made in America
  • Green flash
Price: $9.99 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
Our Unbiased Reviews
  1. Mega S by ILNP

    • Intensely holographic
    • Three free
    • Easy to apply formula
    • Really only needs two coats
    • Cruelty-free and vegan
    • Needs good lighting to shine
    • Three coats to be fully opaque
    • Brush could be fuller

    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.

  2. Halo Graphic by Color Club

    • Intense, flame-like holographic effect
    • Three free
    • Vegan and cruelty-free
    • Pink to red to blue
    • Needs a good top coat to really deliver
    • Brush isn't great
    • Not as impressive in low light

    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.

  3. Hexy Bikini by KBShimmer

    • Can be used alone or as a topper
    • Stunning holographic sparkle
    • Unique high profile finish
    • Takes two to three coats to be opaque
    • Gritty textured finish
    • Large glitter can be chunky going on

    The only word I can think of when I see this polish is spangle. I have this shade I can tell you the pictures and video don't do it justice. I've even had someone over a skype call notice because the holographics were visible over a video call.

    When Hexy Bikini moves in the light, it looks like your nails are studded with rhinestones. Hexy Bikini is a clear base loaded down with silver micro-glitter and studded with small and medium holographic hexes of silver, pink, and teal. Because of the holographics, it looks like there are way more colors packed in there when the light hits it.

    It's a textured polish so expect a rough finish that can be smoothed over with a clear top coat, but it might take two coats to get it smooth. To be worn on its own without using a sponge method, I've needed two to three coats or it can be worn as a top coat over a base color. This is definitely one of my favorites.

  4. Ocean Rush by Layla

    • Intense holographic effect
    • Rich blue pigment
    • Covers in two coats
    • Formaldehyde free
    • Needs a smooth surface
    • Not super long lasting
    • Can show brushstrokes

    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.

  5. Hologram Diamond by LeChat

    • Dense holographic glitter
    • Choice of gel or regular polish
    • Opaque in two coats
    • Formula is a little thick
    • Brush is thin
    • Dense glitter can be hard to remove

    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.

  6. Beach House by ILNP

    • 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
    • Brush could be better

    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.

  7. Turning Pointe by KBShimmer

    • Scattered holo
    • Covers in two coats
    • Intense pinky sparkle
    • Three free
    • Doesn’t deliver linear rainbows
    • Dries to a gritty texture
    • Not every loves jelly formulas

    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.

  8. We Trippy by Cirque Colors

    • 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
    • Smaller bottle than average

    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.

  9. Just My Luck by Color Club

    • 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
    • Not everyone is wild about green
    • Brush could be better

    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.

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

Holographic glitter.

These 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.

Scattered is a type of 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.

This one 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.

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.

See Also:

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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