I was given Sparkle & Co’s holiday collection in exchange for an honest review, and I was a little nervous. Again. Not because I have an issue with the powders, but because I just couldn’t seem to wrap my head around creatively and cohesively using colors that seemed so contrived like Christmas red, green and white. I can honestly say the pictures I’ve seen truly don’t do these colors justice!
But first, let’s start with packaging and presentation, right? These dips came in a bubble mailer like 99% of all other dips that I’ve ever gotten. Inside that was a red satin bag (cute touch!) that held separately bubble wrapped swatches on a swatch ring and 6 mini dips. They were packaged securely, everything arrived intact and jars were closed tightly but not sealed, since Sparkle doesn’t seal jars. Even though everything was tightly closed, there was probably 1/4 tsp of glitter scattered inside the bubble wrap…which makes me wonder what kind of craft herpes filled lives the Sparkle Fairies lead. I mean, they have to be completely covered by the time they leave at night and I’m sure they probably all have at least three pieces of glitter adhered to their foreheads in random spots at all times. You know the ones, when you don’t see them head on in the mirror but everyone is always exclaiming “you have glitter on your xyz” at random times because the light hits it just right.
Anyway, I happened to need a swatch ring and swatches don’t normally come with them so that little detail thoroughly tickled me. I’m honestly not sure if swatches are included with this collection normally or not.
The dips themselves, though? I was a little blown away and I wasn’t expecting that. You can tell in looking at them closely that they were all made to work together, and I’m here for that. Elsa’s Castle was very last on my list until I saw it up close and I almost combined it (and its green shimmers) with But First, Let Me Take an Elfie and Christmas Queen. Almost. I stared at the swatches for a long time and at the last minute my thoughts shifted.
This one is for all you dark, drunk elves out there. Lit as a Christmas Tree and Christmas Queen in all their glory! This black is such a beautiful and unexpected base for the glitter that stands out so well. And yes, there’s green, red and blue in this one as well! If you look at the chunky glitter, you can see the same combination with specks of black and blue, and somehow it just works.
These dips are all glitter, by the way, so if you don’t like having to vacuum your workstation you may want to just walk on by this set. That said, they were extremely easy to work with! The fine glitters don’t need any manipulation when the liquids are done with a light hand. I barely needed to break out the file just to clean up the edges, but the dip itself was incredibly fine and laid flat. I did swatches of the other dips as well and had the same experience. I do shake my dips right before I open them, and that usually makes more compressed dips easy to handle so I recommend you start if you’re not already doing so! It’s just something I noticed dipping immediately after a package arrives vs. months later of settling.
The two thicker glitters are CHONKY and that makes my heart smile. I’m a sucker for some chunk. These were decently easy, and laid pretty flat with a little tap or two in some spots. I lay my nail flat on the powder rather than dipping into it, and that seems to make chunky glitter shine the best. For my middle I used two layers and only encapsulated with a layer of base. It’s mostly smooth, but there is one spot that the glitter layered a bit more. I used a single layer on my index with a layer of clear over top, and it’s definitely more subtle. I placed a few pieces of glitter for a more lush look using an orange stick prior to doing the final layer of clear. I like the smoothness, but it doesn’t quite pop like the hot mess express on my middle. I love that crazy shine when you’re not really sure what you’re trying to focus on, but your brain just screams GLITTERRRRR.
If I were to do this over, I would most likely use a layer or two of base on top of the fine glitter as well. Even though it is incredibly fine, a little bit of texture is still visible through the top coat and seems to dull the shine a smidge. I think a layer of clear dip would be overkill, and completely unnecessary.
Overall, I think this set is a gorgeous and decently unique addition to an already extensive collection. I can see at least four separate combinations cohesively combining to make beautiful manicures. At $35 for the 6 minis (they overfilled, so I’m going to call that $2.33 per tsp), it’s a really great deal even without a sale. They are having 20% off sitewide for Black Friday though, which is pretty epic (code HolidayMagic20)! And if you sign up for a $29.99 and up sub bag by 12/1, you’ll get an additional code for a total of 40% off!! There’s another set that’s being sold for the sale as well (11/28-12/3) that comes with the liquids I used for this manicure and three exclusive mini dips, below, for $54. PLUS it comes with an $18 coupon to be used at a later time.
Let’s math. You could get a set of liquids and three minis for $32 after the 40% off and still have $18 to use later on. Which really makes it $14. Aaaaand I think I just talked myself into it. **It goes live on 11/28- Turkey Day- at 6 pm CST and your last chance to snag the deal is 12/3 at 10 am CST.**
I really need to know, though. Does anyone else feel cheated when they don’t get to swatch their own dip? I like seeing the combos right up front but I just feel incomplete until I dip a swatch into every single jar. And then what on earth do I do with double swatches? The struggle is real y’all.
Anyway, if you succumb to the Sparkle madness and sign up for a sub bag just for this deal, don’t forget to add the name of someone who inspired you as a reference so you’ll both get $18 back to use in store! And if you’re making your first purchase, even if it’s not for a sub bag, name a reference and you’ll both get $9 credit. And if you miss the sale (how on earth could you do that, unless you found this blog after 12/3?!), use code Melanie15 for 15% off everything except the sub bag.
And y’all? I’m not a sub bag member, but I considered it after the last review I did for Sparkle. And I’m considering it harder with all the math that’s happening and every beautiful dip I see. Should I do it?