This past year I’ve been dipping my toe into brands outside of the mainstream label, just ever so slightly swimming into the shallow end of indie polish. Now don’t be expecting me to dive DEEP into the indie polish game – there are SO many amazing brands, and as much as I would love to blow my grocery budget on trying everything, I must have some restraint. There are amazing swatchers and bloggers out there that are exclusively indie based so I’ll let them continue to do their great work. BUT I’m so grateful and privileged to be trying a few brands that have caught my eye this year. I’m already buying so many mainstream brands, but every so often there’s a little wiggle room to try something else.
And one of them has been Mooncat! If y’all weren’t aware, this brand used to be named Live Love Polish. They rebranded and renamed and I’ve been watching out for their releases ever since I saw Instagram friends posting about them (those bottles and caps were just so cool). And well, this release of an absolute sparkle-fest just hooked me in.
This is the ‘Medusa Unleashed’ collection, and it features 6 super sparkly dense shimmer shades that are all packed with scattered holo sparkle, and have a gorgeous shift to them – and include Medusa themed names. What more could we want in a polish?
I grabbed these from the Mooncat website – as far as I know that’s the only place they’re sold so far, as they’re more of an indie brand. They retail for $14 each, or if you buy the bundled set you get a touch of a discount. I understand they’re more expensive than mainstream shades, but they are an indie brand and offer different finishes and formulas than you’ll normally see in the mainstream game. I’ve enjoyed trying out these new brands and adding some sparkle to my ever-growing collection!
So let’s get into the swatches already!
As mentioned above, these all have the same finish and formula. They’re more of a super dense shimmer formula just packed with glitter, so they do swatch a touch more sheer but can be built up! I noted more about each shade in each individual description.
Starting right in we have ‘Heart of Stone’. This one is a more slate-brown base that shifts to a bright pink, just jam packed with that holographic glitter. This photo is in my bright lighting, but without flash at all, so you can absolutely see how much that holo sparkle just SHINES. In the sun these will be insane.
This was a thinner formula overall – more like a dense shimmer, so I chose to build it up with 3 thin coats. I think most will be good with just 2 coats, but I was being picky and looking at my nails very close up, so I added a 3rd to cover any last patches at the end of my nails. It had the tiniest bit of grit at the end, nothing super textured, but a coat of top coat will fully smooth it all out. I had no issues with removal, with the glitter sticking to the nail, but I did end up with glitter just everywhere after so keep that in mind!
Next up we have ‘Spawn of Medusa’, and this one is really fitting the snake theme. This is a more dusty, almost gray base with a strong bright green shift as well as, of course, the dense holographic sparkles all throughout. You can barely see the gray base with this green shift, but it’s there, I swear it.
Again, an almost dense shimmer formula so it was a touch more sheer. Most will be good with just 2 coats, but I added a 3rd for some visible nail line and patches. A touch textured at the end, but one coat of top coat will smooth it out. And prepare for some shimmery fingers after your removal, just glitter everywhere.
Now this next one just might be my favorite of the set for obvious reasons. This is ‘Snake Charmer’, and it’s a shimmery base that shifts between an almost bright blue to a bright turquoise shade, all packed with that same holographic shimmer.
This one was more pigmented with that deeper color, so it was most definitely opaque in just 2 coats. Even though they can be more sheer, I did notice these formulas to feel thicker because of that dense shimmer all throughout. But I was still able to easily paint them on and smooth them on, they weren’t uneven or unmanageable at all. You know the drill, a tiny bit textured as it dries and watch out for those glitter fingers after removal.
Now we have our two purples of the collection. This first one is ‘Serpent’s Tongue’, and it’s the lighter of the 2 purples, being a light lilac toned base that shifts to a bright minty green, all packed with that holographic shimmer.
Broken record here, it’s the same thing for all the shades – with the dense shimmer formula, it can feel more thick when painting onto the nail, but it’s still easy to control and paint on. It was a touch more sheer but easily built up in just 2 coats, with the tiniest bit of texture at the end.
The 2nd purple is ‘Sealed with a Hiss’, being a deeper, more warm toned purple that shifts to a bright cobalt blue. This formula felt even a touch thicker than the others, but again more sheer, being a dense shimmer. It was pretty well opaque in just 2 coats, though I did add a 3rd to cover any last patches I was seeing at the end of my nails.
I did notice the shimmer could distribute onto the nails a bit unevenly, so I chose to swipe with the brush a couple times on each coat to deposit more, and really smooth it out. Super gorgeous and sparkly like all the others!
And last but certainly not least, we have ‘Antivenom’. This was truly the shade I was most interested in during all of the promos, and I can say I was NOT disappointed. There’s just something about an off-white shimmer.
As mentioned, this has an off-white, gray toned base with an absolutely stunning bright green shift to it. For formula, just like the others, I built this up in 3 thinner coats. If you’re going thicker, you can get away with just 2, but with this dense shimmer formula I preferred to go thinner as it can easily feel thicker and goopy on the nails. Otherwise it was smooth and easy to paint on, just so sparkly.
And that’s the set! Honestly I loved the finish of these shades, and that mega-sparkly look. If you’re not into glitter and shimmer, obviously this set won’t be for you, but if you’re ready to commit to full sparkle hands, they’re gorgeous. I’ve been really enjoying Mooncat’s releases lately, and I can’t wait to see what they continue to put out! I always love when a brand picks one finish and release a full set of colors with it for a full collection.
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