Picture Polish Solar Flare & Comparisons

Aussie brand Picture Polish recently released a LE collection of space-themed duochromes, all of which are sheer and intended to be layered over black to make the color shift really pop out.  I picked up a few of them, and while I love the idea of getting the color in the bottle, it's just too springtime for black nails.  Since there's plenty of swatches of these over black anyway, I wore Solar Flare on its own.

indoor CF lighting
In the bottle, Solar Flare is a gorgeous rich copper that shades into wine at the center and green to nearly blue at the edges, with a scattering of fine silvery holo glitter thrown in the mix.  I'm wearing 3 coats in all pictures here - as advertised, this is a very sheer polish.

indirect afternoon sunlight
Also as advertised, SF is super shifty, easily going all the way from wine to greenish bronze with a tilt of the fingers.  The holo glitter, though, usually appears silver in most lighting, only really flashing tiny rainbows in direct sunlight.  The wine color is really pretty (probably my fave of the possibilities)...

direct sunlight
And the copper color is really pretty...

direct sunlight
But, again, it's way sheer...and the base is a dusky grey color that doesn't at all compliment the fiery colors that it flashes.  In angled light, this color looked muddy.  Not too bad when the holo glitter was sparkling, but indoors or other non-holo situations, definitely less than awesome.

direct sunlight.  do not love the murky color here  :(
The wine & copper & holo flash reminded me a whole bunch of some other things in my stash, so I pulled out Darling Diva's Flash (from her Queen series of holographic multichromes, a definite 4* polish) and Ludurana's Fascinante (from the Brazilian brand's Aurora Boreal duochrome collection).  ILNP's Nostalgia is in the same ballpark, but is most definitely GREEN on the angles, and neither the bottle nor the swatch stick looked identical to this trio.

L-to-R: Fascinante, Flash, Solar Flare
As you can see in the bottle shots, all of them have a deeper heart of red wine that shifts to copper, then gold, then bronze-green and almost blue as you move to the edges.  The difference in bottle shape makes the colors look more or less intense, but I promise in real life, these colors were nearly identical in the bottle.

indoor CF lighting.  for all the comparisons:  pinky: SF over black, ring: Flash, middle: SF, index: Fascinante
In nearly every lighting I put them under, Flash and Solar Flare were identical for the color alone, though Flash didn't show any VNL with 2 coats, and the holo in it is a loose linear that rainbows more often than the silver bits in SF.  Fascinante is a holo-less and far more saturated version of the same color, ending up more richly pigmented in 2 coats than either of the other two, and showing a bit more wine in direct light.  The color pop in SF is indeed lovely over black, but in all these comparison pics, it's really obvious to me that i'm wearing BLACK nail polish - it's a much heavier look than the others, and just like I could see through all the shimmer to the grey base when I wore it alone, it was really easy to see through the shimmer to a basically black look at some angles.

check out my sophisticated white-balance tool (the back of a salad plate).  L-to-R: Fascinante, SF, Flash, SF over black.
In a lot of the pics I took, Flash looked lighter or more rosy than SF alone - I'm pretty sure this is the holo playing tricks on my camera.  They really did look to be the same color in real life.

 L-to-R: Fascinante, SF, Flash, SF over black
All of them shifted easily to that green-bronze, though Fascinante and SF over black did so more intensely.  Just in case some differences were due to finger angles or how curved each of my nails is, I got some outdoor shots of the swatch sticks.  Each of the swatches is 2 coats, with half of the SF swatch having a black base, and all of them are labeled by brand on the stick.

outdoor, sunset light
All of the swatches of course look more sheer than they would on your hands, since you can pretty much see through the plastic stick.  Fascinante is still more richly, smoothly pigmented, but the colors of all 3 are more obviously near-identical.  

catching that color shift in the sun
Because the finish of each of these 3 polishes is different, I'm not going to say we have a dupe of anything here.  But the colors are dead-on, so it's reasonable to say you probably don't need all 3 of them.  I like Flash's light holo a whole lot more than SF's (the holo particles were actually invisible in some lights, and looked like very fine silver glitter in others, and were only infrequently prismatic).  Flash also wears like a shimmer on me, while SF wears quickly like the jelly base that it is.  I like Fascinante's color saturation better than the other two.

Suzy loved SF when she got it, and my swooning over her bottle is what convinced me to snap one up.  As she pointed out, wearing it over a rich red or wine would give you the same color pop, with a less stark look than over black, so I may try it again in the fall or for a special occasion.  It's pretty, but probably going on my trade pile.

Rating:  3 of 5 stars.  Obviously, I love the color...I have 2 or 3 other versions of it!

Where to buy:  Picture Polish maintains a list of their international stockists on their webpage.

~Michelle

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