Worth Every Penny?: Jin Soon Nail Polishes

Thursday, March 28, 2013

This post was supposed to be my March Favorites, but I'm in Philadelphia now visiting the world's cutest puppy (more on that later), and I'm not equipped for that. I am, however, ready to discuss a much talked-about line of nail polishes, and since they'll be in Sephora soon, figured it'd be a good time.

When the news that famed manicurist Jin Soon Choi was launching her own nail polish line, it was inescapable knowledge on every beauty website. She claimed, 
"A high-gloss, long-lasting nail lacquer with a chip-proof finish and a rapid drying time. This double-patented formula delivers a long-lasting manicure with a rich and lustrous color payoff in a single coat." 
I was sold, even before I saw the gorgeous range of colors. They're nothing unique, but they're beautiful, flattering colors that appear to only come in creme finishes--very fitting with the kind of refined simplicity Jin is known for. One of the colors I've chosen is part of the original line, Auspicious, and the other is from the new spring A La Mode collection, Coral Peony.

I'm not quite sure if it's fair to judge a whole line based on two colors, but these are two of the most well-known shades, and I made sure to include one from the classic line and another from the new one.


Auspicious was the one I tried first, and right off the bat, I knew it wasn't going to be opaque in a single coat. Application was a bit streaky, but this is one of those polishes that can even itself out--even if it goes on streaky, it'll look smooth in the end. Streakiness is one thing, but splotchiness is another. The problem with this polish is that it's on the sheer side, which means having to layer it on for full opacity. That, combined with a bit of streakiness creates some patchiness and uneven color. It was mainly a problem with the second coat, which is why I had to do three, but even the final result has some unevenness. You can't tell under normal lighting, but when I do my "hold nails up to the light" test, I can still see some problem areas.

Coral Peony was stronger in pigment, but I still needed three coats to get fully opaque nails. If you're not as anal as I am, you might be able to stop at two, but for anyone looking for full saturation of color, you'll need three layers. That, of course, creates build-up around the cuticle, but as the formula isn't especially thick, it's not too noticeable.

Coral Peony

While pigmentation is not this range's strong suit, Jin absolutely nails the formula's finish. Both polishes were almost outrageously shiny to the point where I felt like I didn't even need a top coat. It wears fairly well, lasting a bit longer than the average polish, and I'm pleased to say that when it does go, it wears rather than chips.

But are they really worth $18 apiece? Obviously, a major element is the color of the polish itself. If you stumble across a Jin Soon shade you adore, that completely changes how you feel about the price--and Jin has some lovely, if not unusual colors. But if we're talking strictly based on formula, I don't really think it's worth it. The finish and shine are gorgeous, but three coats (especially from a woman who promised one would be enough!) feels like too much work at such a price tag. 

It's not outrageous, though, and I can see how people would still buy the polishes. I'm just annoyed that Jin's claims fell so flat, and as her colors are nothing un-dupeable, I don't feel they're worth the money. If I'm going to spend around the $20 mark for a nail polish, I don't want to struggle to get it to look good--not when so many cheaper brands do it better.

Now, about that dog...

Can you even stand the adorableness?!

My cousin and her spinone are trying to win a cute pet contest on Facebook to help them out with dog-walking expenses. Please "like" this picture and support that sweet face! (Bonus points if you comment that I sent you!)

Hope you're well!

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