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Friday, June 1, 2012

Review: Revlon Nail Art Frenchmix Nail Enamel in Kiss & Tell

I picked up two of the new Revlon Nail Art Frenchmix duos a little while ago, and today I'd like to share with you the first of them (stay tuned for the second review next week). The concept of the Frenchmix duos is simple: they're double-sided polishes in coordinating colors (some more bold and daring in terms of color pairings than others). Kiss & Tell contains two shades that naturally go together: yellow and orange. 

You can use these duos in a variety of ways: for a traditional French manicure, a half-moon manicure, a reverse half-moon manicure (AKA ruffian manicure) or anything else where two shades might come in handy. And of course you can also wear each shade on its own.

Revlon Nail Art Frenchmix Nail Enamel in Kiss & Tell
(retail: around $8.99, 0.26 oz)

A traditional bottle of Revlon nail enamel contains 0.5 oz of product, whereas these contain 0.26 oz. Since these are almost double the price of a traditional Revlon polish (at Rite Aid, traditional Revlon polishes retail for $4.99), what you're really paying for is the color combo and the convenience of having two polishes in one bottle (well, ok, it's technically two bottles but you know what I mean).

The orange polish reminds me of orange juice, sort of like Wet n Wild Sunny Side Up, only with gold and silver shimmer:

 The yellow polish is sort of a cross between a lemon yellow and a butter yellow. This polish contains a peachy-pink shimmer:

The brushes are about 1/8 of an inch shorter than the brushes in the traditional Revlon nail polishes, but they're identical in terms of width:

 I wanted to show you what these two colors looked like used both on the nail bed and the tip, so I alternated on each finger:

Let me first tell you that what you see in the above photos was my SIXTH attempt at creating a French manicure with these polishes. I won't bore you with all the things that went wrong during application, but I can sum it up like this:

1) These polishes are both sheer AND streaky. What you see above is after two coats to my nail bed and one (thick) coat on my tips. You can see the streaks best on my pinky nail (far left), but in person it's more apparent on all of my nails. I know that I could have used a white creme base color underneath these polishes to make them more opaque, but I really wanted you to see what these polishes look like in their "natural" state.

2) To achieve a streak-free look (with either color) you absolutely need three or more more coats. The problem with that? Well, these are French manicure polishes, which means they're supposedly designed to create a French manicure, right? I don't know about you, but I'm not great at free-handing French tips, so I must use nail guides (like these). But when I applied three coats of polish and THEN tried to use a nail guide, the polish was so thick on my nails that when I removed the guide, it lifted the polish right along with it. I tried to wait longer to let the polish dry, but even after three hours, I had a problem (see my index finger on the far right above). Even after three hours, the nail guide lifted the polish right off my nail. can either paint your nails and wait half a day to apply a nail guide, or use one coat of polish (sheer and very streaky) and use a nail guide without any issues. If you're good at free-handing your tips, then this obviously isn't going to a problem for you and you can disregard this paragraph completely.

3) When painting the tips of my nails, I didn't want to mess around with two coats because that would mean the nail guides would have to sit for a longer period of time on my nails. So I decided to use a thicker coat for my tips, and that does provide a more opaque look. BUT, that also creates bubbling. You can see the bubbles on my two middle fingers in the above photo if you look at the tips.

FINAL VERDICT: For $8.99, I was hoping that the polishes in Kiss & Tell would be opaque and easy to use for a French mani. Unfortunately, I found them to be the exact opposite. I can think of several yellow and orange polishes already in my collection that I could use to achieve a similar look and get much better results. What I really love about these two colors is that gorgeous hidden shimmer, which is why I won't be returning this product to the drugstore. I'm hoping I can wear these colors on their own, but I will definitely need to apply a white creme polish as a base coat first because they're just so streaky. I'm really sad that these didn't work for their intended use, and I certainly hope that the other duo I purchased gives me better results. If you're thinking about buying Kiss & Tell to use for a French mani (or any other variation of a French mani), I would say skip it and try another duo instead. These polishes just aren't the ideal consistency to use in that capacity, unless you don't mind applying three coats and waiting a long time before you can use a nail guide. If you're good at free-hand French manis, then you might be able to get Kiss & Tell to work for you and hopefully you won't experience the issues that I experienced (fingers crossed!).

Do you own any Revlon Nail Art Frenchmix duos? If so, PLEASE let us know what colors you own and how they're working for you. Are you able to easily create a French manicure with the duo you own?


  1. I purchased All The Rage but haven't used it as a mani yet. I tested them out on a nail wheel and both colors are opaque (purple and green). I also did a french tip and its fairly easy, but that was on a nail wheel. When it comes to free handing a french tip on my right hand its a different story. I planned on using them separately or one as an accent nail anyways because I like the colors a lot on their own.

    1. Correcting myself...the green is on the sheer side, but not extremely sheer. If its meant as a french tip, then yes it is way too sheer for that. The purple is extremely opaque though.

    2. Correcting myself...the green is on the sheer side, but not extremely sheer. If its meant as a french tip, then yes it is way too sheer for that. The purple is extremely opaque though

  2. I bought Moonstruck (the purple one) and I didn't even attempt a french manicure. I needed four coats of each, they are streaky and way too sheer. Revlon was smoking something when they formulated these.

  3. That's too bad! You'd think that since they're intended for French manicures, they'd be opaque enough with one coat (maybe two). The colors are lovely though.

  4. I know you can use them however you want but Revlon is marketing these to be used to create french manicures, so I'm curious if Revlon expecting the average consumer to be able to freehand a french manicure? Is that why they didn't include any kind of guides or stencils?

  5. I know you can use them however you want but Revlon is marketing these to be used to create french manicures, so I'm curious if Revlon expecting the average consumer to be able to freehand a french manicure? Is that why they didn't include any kind of guides or stencils?

  6. Too bad these didn't work out however I think the Colorado are really pretty with the shimmer. I thinking will get a combine because it is so pretty and use it somehow differently. Thanks for the info G.!

  7. To bad there not opaque enough. The colors are pretty though.

  8. Your reviews this week have been FABULOUS. So nice to know when a product doesn't meet expectations, so I can save my $$, or still buy it if it's a factor I don't care about.
    I can do decent freehand french manis (great to freshen up a mani when I feel lazy!), but never with a sheer polish - that's where my one coaters come out to play...

  9. The colors remind me of an orange julius, that's really too bad they didn't work out. I love the little $1 Sally Beauty polishes, they're so cheap and cute!

  10. *sigh* just another overpriced drugstore gimmick.

  11. I own a yellow nailpolish from H&M that is very similar to this and I have no problem with streaking :( Shame on you, Revlon! H&M nail polishes are awesome and very cheap, have you tried them?

    Regards x

  12. Thanks for the review! I think I'll be passing on these.

  13. Great review! Theres no way I can do a french mani free hand.

  14. I was worried I might have made a mistake passing on these but honestly...I just didn't see anything I liked! Glad I passed now.

  15. G., you have saved me a ton of time; thank you.

    I bought this duo, plus a few more. But I haven't had time because right after I bought them, some of my nails started peeling very badly. The only remedy was to cut them all super-low, almost painfully low, and "start fresh". Therefore, I didn't have any length AT ALL to attempt any kind of french mani. So these have been sitting in a drawer, waiting to get used.

    Now I know that I am going to use a white undercoat from the get-go. Since I am not blogging for the public, I can just cut to the chase. And maybe I still won't be able to use these for tip/accent colors, but at least now I will adjust my expectations. I'm like you; I like these colors enough as solid colors, so I will keep them.

    I agree with others above that you have been giving us such thorough reviews, and I am impressed and grateful. Cheers!

  16. I bought Post Modern on sale at $4.99 at Rite Aid. It's composed of a pastel flower-petal-pink and a pearlescent white. I shook it up really good before using. The first coat of the pink was streaky but a second coat made it pretty smooth. I'm sure a third would make it perfect, but I'm not really too game on the time it would take to dry. I did have to make sure I had plenty of lacquer on the brush, however, too much and it will be goopy. It dried super quick, which was wonderful.

    The other side, clearly the tip, for it had a narrow nail art brush instead of the standard on that side, went on fairly easily, too. I'm pretty adept at free-handing french tips so I don't know how well the guides work with the polish. I found out one thick coat makes it opaque but rather unsightly on the tips. It's raised and uneven looking. The second time I did the tips, I used two thin coats. This worked wonderfully.

    Honestly, I'd purchase the polish duo again for the right price. I really love the colors. They're perfect if you want something understated and classic with a twist.


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