Review + swatches: Clinique A Different Nail Enamel


Swatches from left to right: Splish Splash, Strappy Sandals, Summer in the City, Grape Ice, Juiced Up, Pinkini, 70 degrees & Sunny, and Hula Skirt

(Click on the photos for high resolution images via Flickr)

I am super excited to review this for you because I haven’t felt so excited about a nail polish in AGES. You all know my obsession with Chanel’s Le Vernis and Dior Vernis, both of which are at the top of my favourite nail polish brands. Clinique is coming out with a new line of nail polish called A Different Nail Enamel, which they claim to be hypoallergenic and great for even the most sensitive of skins. I’ve never felt any sensitivity or had any reactions with any of the nail polishes I’ve tried, so I won’t comment on that part of the claims.

Released in May 2013, the new collection includes 12 permanent shades, as well as 9 limited edition shades, and a top/base coat. All of the shades I received are limited edition for Summer 2013. To be completely honest, I don’t find any of the colours original in any way, and as a nail polish lover, I probably have dupes of these in my collection, but the thing that has impressed me the most is the application and finish of Clinique’s nail polishes.

The application is very easy and low maintenance. The consistency is a little on the thicker side; not thick enough so that it is gloppy, but thick enough so that it evens itself out during application. The finish is very smooth and high shine, almost like a gel polish. It is nearly opaque in one coat, but I did two coats just for maximum pop of colour. I applied two medium to thick coats and there was zero bubbling on any of my nails. It also dried relatively quickly so that the time of waiting between each coat was minimized. I also love the minimalist and sleek bottle design that looks great on any vanity.

As with most things, there are downsides. The polishes are priced at USD $18 for just 9mL of product. While the likeliness of finishing up a bottle of nail polish is slim, I would have liked to see more dollar for value. Also, while I liked that the brushes were flat, some of them were a little uneven at the tip, which meant the application near the cuticles were a little uneven and required a bit more work to even them out.

The shade that I tried on my fingers was “Summer in the City,” a beautiful watermelon pink. I absolutely love this colour and I think it is aptly named as it is a great colour for the summer. The BEST thing is that it is a super cool jelly-creme finish. When I saw how it turned out after it had fully dried, it reminded me of some of Guerlain’s new nail polishes that were also recently released. You can see Temptalia’s review of Guerlain polish here.

Summer in the City lasted a full 7 days of wear and tear on my nails, with just minor tip wear. There were no chips or anything after 7 days… impressive, I must say!


Would I recommend? Despite some of its shortcomings, I LOVE THIS NAIL POLISH FORMULA!! I think Clinique has a solid product here with a good combination of fun colours as well as office-appropriate ones. Look for it at Clinique counters and online at in May.

More swatches:


Left to right: Splish Splash, 70 degrees & Sunny, and Pinkini


Left to right: Summer in the City, Strappy Sandals, and Grape Ice


Left to right: Hula Skirt and Juiced Up



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