China Glaze Up & Away collection – review

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china glaze nail polish in various colors on counterphotos: we heart this

Dear Winter,
I’m done with you. You and your blustery wind, freezing temperatures and gloomy skies, while once welcome, have grown tiresome. I live in Texas for a reason. Please go away.
Hugs and Kisses,

Okay, while I can’t make winter go away by just the force of my will, I can bring a little of spring and summer’s fun into my life right now. I got to sample the nail polishes from the Up & Away collection by China Glaze and I can tell you that they are definitely a bright spot in the midst of winter’s gloom and doom. Creamy opaques and pastels that just scream balloons, birthday parties and fun.

If you’ve been to a salon recently, you of course recognize the name China Glaze. Its professional-grade nail polishes and treatments are used regularly and are highly prized due to its formula that resists thickening in the bottle. As their website states, China Glaze’s balance of resins and polymers create a product that hardens, resists chipping and gives great color with long wear. Plus, it’s DBP/Toulene and added-Formaldehyde free. Bonus! But the real star of China Glaze’s features is the array of colors. They’ve got sheers, crèmes, glitters, opaques, pastels, shimmers – you name it! It can also be found online for as low as $2.60 a bottle. That makes those of us who wince as we plunk down ten bucks a bottle on more upscale brands very happy.

woman with purple nails holding purple china glaze nail polishBefore I get to the shades I received to review, just a quick note. Grape Pop, you will be mine…(I agree, everyone needs this. Look how pretty! ~Stef)

Heli-yum is a deep raspberry pink; I used this color on my hands…and then spent the next few days happily glancing at my pretty pretty nails. I gravitate towards colors like this anyway, but this one is definitely my favorite. It’s bright, but still somehow grown-up and sexy. Like princess socks underneath your sensible shoes, this color is fun without being obnoxious.

Four Leaf Clover was fun, but not for me. I’ve seen it described as a creamy green-teal, but I think it leans more to the straight green side. It’s definitely creamy; it made me want to finger paint with it! I’ve got this one on my toes and while it’s fun, my coloring is too olive to make it work. When your husband asks, “What’s up with the witch’s toes?” you know you don’t have your right shade..

Both colors applied easily without gunking, with the drying time comparable to most polishes. They were also very saturated. I almost only needed one coat! It’s long-wearing, but I’m notorious for doing dishes without gloves and using my nails to open soda cans and scrap stickers off of things, so I did have some chipping. If you’re someone who actually takes CARE of their manicure, this is perfect for you.

china glaze nail polish in various colors on counter The 12 piece collection includes:
(top row)
Re-Fresh Mint (creamy light green)
High Hopes (bright coral/red)
Sugar High (bright bubblegum pink)
Grape Pop (bright, pure purple)
Four Leaf Clover
(bottom row)
Something Sweet (light pastel pink)
Lemon Fizz (creamy light yellow)
Flyin’ High (vivid turquoise)
Peachy Keen (light to medium apricot/peach)
Happy Go Lucky (vibrant banana yellow)
Light as Air (light lavender)

I definitely recommend trying any of the colors in the Up & Away collection to banish those winter blues. So, if it’s warm next week; you’re welcome. Review team; do you agree? And let’s here from the other China Glaze fans out there as well…

Disclosure: This review includes products that were provided by the manufacturer/PR firm for our consideration. It also contains an affiliate link, a link that gives us a small commission if you purchase the item. For more info, or any questions, please see our disclosure policy.


  • lyssachelle

    Alyssa is kinda geeky, kinda girly and all the way in love with her cowboy husband who can say words like, “ornery” with a straight face. She live in Texas and is working on her Masters, being a good cook and the art of looking cute in the morning AND being on time for work. skin tone: NC42 skin type: oily to normal favorite beauty product: nail polish and mascara

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  1. O/T: Alyssa, I like that you married a cowboy who says words like ornery with a straight face. Kind of romance novel-y. :-)

    I love my China Glaze nail polish. I received the coral-y pink color High Hopes. It has been very cold, snowy, and gray the past three months in NYC so I’m for any thing that is bright and can remind me of Easter candy. I painted my fingers and toes, and I thought the color complimented my brown skin perfectly.

    I didn’t use a base coat or a top coat, since I never have enough time for all those steps with my little ones around. Even without a top or base coat, my fingernails didn’t show signs of wear until the third day but it wasn’t until the 5th day that it started to look rough. My pedicure, ten days later, still looks great. The best part? I only had to use 1 stroke to get an opaque covering. China Glaze deserves all the hype that it has received.

  2. I tried the Happy Go Lucky, and it did apply really nicely. Even for such a bright (yellow) color, there was very little streaking, but it did take two heavy coats to apply. I think I’m right up there on the brutal scale with a manicure because mine was chipping by the end of the second day. As for the color – I don’t really feel like it fit the collection too well. It’s a fun, bright color, very reminiscent of summer, but I think that for spring the muted pastels and the corals might be a bit better-suited.

    Overall, I am very impressed with the quality of the polish!

  3. Great review Alyssa! I received Sugar High and I’ll admit, I was slightly taken aback by how bright it was in the bottle. I usually stay away from SUPER bright pink polish, but once it was on I fell head over heels in love with it! You nailed it when you said that the color is bright but still grown up and sexy. I’ve gotten a lot of compliments on what a great shade of pink it is.

    Good coverage and I totally agree that it’s the perfect pop of fun in the middle of dreary winter (and living in Minnesnowta, any hint of bright color is definitely needed). I’m also rough on my hands so I did get some chipping, but overall it’s faring pretty well.

    I’ll definitely be using the pink again and I’ve got my eye on Heli-Yum and Grape Pop. 5 stars!

  4. I really love China Glaze. It is a great brand with amazing colors! This year I have really become a polish fiend. I feel like it is a relatively inexpensive way to indulge in something trendy. Beautiful colors can also really boost your mood. I am dying to try Flyin’High. It looks like such a gorgeous blue. And I just read that teal will be the color of 2010. Last night I put on OPI’s Jade is the New Black. It is such a bright and happy green. Makes me feel like maybe it is not below zero out with snow up to my knees.

  5. Welcome to wht Alyssa! Good job on your first post.

    As the picture shows, I could not resist Grape Pop. It’s just too pretty! It reminds me of a purple crayon. Actually, the whole collection has a crayola vibe to me. Especially when they’re all together. I had the sense you did when you were a kid, which crayon do you pick first? They’re all so pretty! Incidentally enough, I always picked purple.

    I’m so impressed with the formula. It’s so NOT thick! I didn’t want to say thin, cause it doesn’t seem like a compliment. But Alyssa is right, the formula is one of the most “non-gunking” polishes I’ve ever used. I hate a thick polish.

    And like Rakisha, I didn’t show signs of wear till the 3rd day either (Top coat/pretty rough on my nails). Which is miraculous for me. I usually get a chip the first day!

    Finally, I so agree with you Kellie. Nail Polish is the best way to try out something trendy. It’s cheap and keeps up with what’s hot now (meaning, you’re not trying a trend 1 year later, you’re trying it while it’s happening.) Plus, I think regardless of age, you can try nail trends. I feel perfectly fine with green nails. Way more so then I would with something written on the butt of my sweatpants. You know what I mean?

    5 big stars for the China Glaze Up & Away collection!
    .-= stef´s last blog ..My mortifying first period story =-.

  6. I tried Peachy Keen, a pretty peach/coral colure. I really liked it in the bottle. It was a nice subdued color that I thought would be good to wear everyday and would match a lot of my clothes. It went on smooth but I did have to use two coats before it coated my nail all over. However, I don’t think it’s the right color for my skin. It is too close to the same color and it made my fingers look funny, like I didn’t have finger nails, It freaked me out. haha. But I do like the smoothness and I did get through 3 days with no chips. (I used a base and top coat on my nails)

    I’m really liking Grape Pop and Four Leaf Clover! I think I’m going to have to get those to try out. :)

  7. I love China Glaze! They have colors for the office, a night out, and your inner wild child. I love the thickness (or, rather, not so thickness) of the formula but it does require a few coats to get a true color. However, if you only have time for one coat or you want a sheerer version of the color it goes on beautifully and doesn’t look streaky or incomplete!

    I love the colors in this collection, so pretty and making me long for Spring big time!

  8. I’m glad everyone else loved China Glaze too! I’m still rockin’ my Heli-Yum nails and loving having candy-coated fingers!
    I used a base coat and top coat also, mostly because if I don’t I will inevitably accidentally scrape my nails on paperwork at work and leave streaks! (Doesn’t matter what polish I use, it will happen…)

    And Cori, I know exactly what you mean, I have that problem with taupe shades. I’ve heard it called mannequin hands! Some people like it because it makes your fingers look longer, but I just feel weird.

    @Rakisha – What’s even better is he says it like “On-REE.” Makes me swoon a bit, even when he’s calling me On-REE…

    Incidentally, I give China Glaze 5 stars, but accidentally clicked 4 when voting! I’m sorry, ladies!

  9. I got to try Re-Fresh Mint, which is the softest, prettiest shade of mint ever. It’s like mint chocolate chip ice cream without the chips. It’s very similar to a pale green shade that a certain cosmetic brand made popular several months ago, but where I had issues with the other polish for streakiness and the number of coats necessary for an even application, China Glaze’s Re-Fresh Mint got it right. It only took 2 coats for perfect coverage The other polish chipped after about a day and got thick very quickly(think 2-3 uses). This polish is thick, but in a good way. Longevity-wise, I’m a lazy nail painter, so I usually skip base coats unless it’s a dark color and only do a top coat about 1/2 of the time. I skipped base and top coats in this instance and I managed 2 days without chipping. I’m very hard on a manicure, though. I am constantly doing dishes and cleaning something or other and have a bite-happy puppy, so I put this polish through the wringer. I think a top coat could have given me an extra day or two. Overall, I think this pale, milky green is perfect for Spring and I will be checking out the Heli-Yum and Grape Pop polishes the next time I’m out :)

  10. I did not test these but always gravitate toward them for the color when in the nail salon. They do have such a wide selection of color and “saturated” is a great word to describe them – they do always seem to look like they’ve done the job with just one coat. Unfortunately my only experience with them is from the salon and they always seem to chip on me within a few days – maybe it’s the top coat the salon uses or that they’re watered down or something. I’ll have to give my own bottle a whirl to have a proper opinion, I suppose. This collection looks like a great place to start. I usually pick colors like Heli-Yum, but Grape Pop and Light as Air are calling me now!

  11. I didn’t test a China Glaze color in this collection, but I am a fan of the brand. They always seem to be introducing a new and more fabulous collection of colors. Plus, they are so reasonably priced with the formula (well pigmented and smooth) of a higher priced polish. I am a terrible at-home-manicurist (especially trying to paint my right hand using my left one) so I love the even and deep pigment of China Glaze. If I can get away with one coat and a clear topper, I am happy.
    .-= Tyna Werner´s last blog ..My mortifying first period story =-.

  12. China Glaze is awesome! I tried Lemon Fizz, but I also already a few of their polishes and I love them. The colors really POP and I’ve had good luck with them lasting for days! I also love how fast they dry.

    I’m a big fan of bright nails and every China Galze I’ve tried does not disappoint. I usually do a glittery top coat.. as I am addicted to glitter and I think maybe that helps them stay as a shimmery top coat. As of now I’m going on day 5 with one tiny chip!

    Five stars from me for all China Glaze..including my tested Lemon Fizz..a very pale soft yellow, really lovely for Spring time!!

  13. I’ve also used this brand at the salon and loved the results. This is my first time owning my own bottle and it definitely won’t be my last. I tried the light lavender color Light As Air. The color is a very light lavender…very pretty. Perfect for spring! This polish has great staying power and with a daily top coat lasted me a good 5 days without any major chips. Would love to get my hands on some of the other colors from this line…especially Heli-yum!

  14. I got the light pink “Something Sweet” and i have to say first of all it totally brought me back to 1996! I remember these light pastel colors being all the rage! Back then i totally was on the band wagon with my long silk wrapped nails. But i’m not into so much anymore. I tried. I put it on a few nails before i went to get my manicure. It was just too opaque for my hands. The coverage was excellent because the opaque colors are really hard to get on nicely. I’ll keep it on hand for sure for a pedicure but now that its cooler, my skin is way too light to carry a color like this off on my feet.

  15. Oh I just adore China Glaze. Always have, always will! And Grape Pop WILL be mine as well. That pic totally sold me. :)

  16. I just found tons of chine glaze polish on ebay and I can’t wait to try some colors! Goodbye winter blahs =)

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