Professor X’s favorite nail polish brand

Recently, I received some Formula X products in the mail in exchange for my honest review. It was a perfect little manicure set – a nail polish remover, 2 primers and a gel top coat, and a bright coral nail polish color.

I have recently begun transitioning to a cruelty-free lifestyle, which has been a PROCESS – I’ll likely blog on that later. It’s tough because so many of my holy grail products are from large name brands who have been doing animal testing for decades. One particularly tough product to find a cruelty-free version of is nail polish. Formula X, thankfully, is a PETA-certified cruelty-free brand.

After playing around with my new Formula X kit for a few weeks (and a few different ways), I have lots of opinions.

Now let’s get down to it…

Delete All – 5 Finger Nail Polish Remover

Retail Price: $15.00

This is one of those sponges soaked in nail polish remover, with little holes to stick each of your fingers in. Upon receiving it, I put my Essie-polished nails in, expecting no results, and BOOM, my fingers were completely clean. I might have to stick one or two nails in a second time, but I blame that on my manicuring skills than on the product itself.

This is a totally reasonable price for a product that will last you. I have had my full-size one for a few weeks an it shows no sign of wear and tear.

However, there is totally NO way to stick your toes in here. You’ll need to keep a separate bottle of nail polish remover for your toes, and if you have that, well, just use that for both. Bonus: Using a regular nail polish remover with a cotton ball will not dry the pads of your fingers, that do not have nail polish on them and do not need to be soaked in nail polish remover. Con: This obviously creates more waste with the cotton balls.

I’m mostly indifferent about this product. It works, but is it worth the price when I’ve never spent more than a few bucks on a nail polish remover? Probably not.


The System XCEL™ -Customizable Gel-Like Nail Polish Set

Retail Price: $32.00

Again, the price is actually pretty reasonable. 3 bottles of nail polish for $30 – a drugstore nail polish is usually around $5-$11, so it’s very comparable. But is it different than the regular base and top coat setup?

Well…no. But! It does have an addition – the cleanse coat. You start off with a coat of their cleansing oil before you begin, and it seems like an effective idea. It helps pick off any dust or cotton ball fluff that was left on your nails after the initial process of prepping your nails to be painted. I can’t particularly tell a difference once my nails have been polished with this, but it feels like it’s doing something. I just don’t have any proof that it did.

The prime coat is a base coat. It’s the same as every base coat I’ve ever used. Nothing special. But it’s a decent one, I have nothing bad to say about it. I just have nothing particularly interesting to say about it either.

The ‘Shine’ top coat excited me. I love my Essie Gel Setting Top Coat (NOT cruelty free) and I wanted a comparable product that did not do animal testing. This was similar, but honestly – the Essie coat lasted longer at just 1 step and $10. It did help the nail polish last slightly longer than it would have without any sort of protective top coat, but it only lasted between 3-4 days without chipping, same as the Essie top coat.

Formula X The Colors – Nail Polish

Retail Price: $10.50


This is a great price overall for a nail polish that works and is free of animal testing. But the color I was given – TGIF – was definitely not a color I would have reached for on my own. It is very bright and might not be flattering on some skin tones and as it was shipped to arrive in the later portion of August, I was slightly disappointed – I wanted a FALL nail polish color.. It perfectly matches a pair of shoes I own, so that’s a certain plus.

I used this color for around 4 days before it started to chip, and it worked quite well! If there is something I will give Formula X credit for – it is their basic nail polish. The color payoff is exactly what you would expect (where other bottles give a slightly different hue when painted on) and the double cap on the bottle helps keep the formula from drying out quickly. The colors are vibrant and the formula is very creamy and consistent.

The System XCEL seemed to prefer working with this formula, it sat flat and happy on my nails. I tried using non-Formula X nail polishes (OPI and Essie) to see if it made any difference. It did not create as flat and polished a polish, but held for about the same amount of time.

I will definitely be interested in buying more Formula X nail polishes in the future. I might use my own base and top coats – I’m still looking for a holy grail there – but I will DEFINITELY be looking to Formula X for cruelty free colors. Perhaps I’ll pick myself up some black, white, or glitter polish in their formula in the near future!

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