I’ve been dipping my toes on into a few indie brands now (but I’ll still be reviewing mainly mainstream collections as it’s easier for me to buy those on a discount). I knew of KB Shimmer and had seen them around the Instagram community, and had their name in the back of my brain, just waiting for just the right collection. And when they released the promos and when I saw all of these shades together, I just couldn’t resist, and added them to my little cart. I mean, I’m sure you’ll feel the same once you see the polishes. It’s just been so gray and cold here, I had to treat myself with some nail polish, what else is new.
This is the ‘Northern Exposure’ collection and it features 9 gorgeous sparkly and shifty shades in more rich and moody colors. We have 3 shimmery multichromes, 2 magnetics and 4 reflective glitter shades, so you’re not getting any boring creams in this set. (I say that as a joke, I love cream polishes so dang much, but every so often I’m here to switch it up).
It’s available on the KB Shimmer website as well as on the Beyond Polish website.
These are all absolutely stunning, so let’s get right into the swatches already!
To dive in, we’re starting with our 3 super shifty shimmer shades. (Say that 3 times fast). I gave you so many photos of each of these, twisting my fingers and nails all around so you can see the shifts you’ll get on your own nails. Especially in different lighting, these polishes will look different at every angle!
First up we have ‘Yes We Cran’. This one is a deeper berry pink base color with bright golden orange shimmer all throughout. You can see in the following photos that that shimmer shifts from the orange you see, over to a bright green all the way through to a deep purple. It’s so gorgeous, and so mesmerizing to have on the nails. I was just staring at it.
Formula wise it was lovely as well! A smooth 2 coat formula thats so easy to paint on, especially with KB’s wider brushes. The 2nd coat really layers up the shimmer and brings out those shifts.
Next up we have the namesake of the collection, and what a namesake it is! ‘Northern Exposure’ is a deep purple shimmer base with multichrome shifts and larger scattered holographic glitter. The shimmer shifts from a bright red-orange to gold, to a bright lime green, all the way over to a bright teal in lower lighting. Again, so incredibly shifty and so mesmerizing once you have it on the nails.
And again another easy formula here. It has a great 1st coat with a tiny bit of sheerness peeking through that a 2nd coat easily covers. It’s a thicker formula, but that makes it incredibly smooth and easy to control, even with thicker coats. Love it all around.
Northern Exposure – Live Swatch
Our final shimmer is ‘Paired Up’. This one is a bright, warm purple shimmery base with larger scattered holographic sparkles. It shifts from this deeper, almost cool-toned purple shade to a bright pink, all the way to an orange-gold and even a yellow green in certain angles and lower lighting. Of course, the same thoughts here: it’s just gorgeous.
And again, same as the others it’s an easy and smooth 2 coat formula. So nice with the wider brush, and no complaints!
Now for our next formula, we have the two magnetic shades! If y’all haven’t heard of magnetic polishes, it means there are magnetic pigments within the shade, and using a magnet, you pull those pigments into more of a pattern and “freeze” it as the polish dries, for an even more mesmerizing effect.
This is ‘Let’s Hang’ and it’s a deep forest green jelly base with gorgeous bright green magnetic pigments and larger iridescent flakes all throughout.
With this collection KB Shimmer also came out with a little zig-zag magnetic wand, so I used that for my first two fingers, and then a regular magnetic wand for the other 2 nails. And Y’ALL I absolutely LOVED the zig-zag wand and the effect it gave on my nails. Again I wanted to give you 1800 photos to show those shifts and just how magical it was on the nails. Absolutely gorgeous and so cool!
Formula wise this polish is rich and very pigmented, especially with that darker green base, and was an easy 2 coat to opaque. It is thicker which makes it very easy to control even with thicker coats. For the magnet effect, I laid my nails on top of the magnet for the ring and pinky fingers, and let them sit for a minute or two. For the zig-zag, I did need to hold the magnet close above the nails and keep it there for a minute or 2 as well. Easy enough to do to just create this fantastic finish!
Our other magnetic is ‘How Polarizing’ (and I highly doubt this would at all be polarizing, I’m only feeling love for this shade). This one is a deep navy blue jelly base with a bright blue-purple magnetic pigment that shifts from blue to purple to even pink at times. Again, I used that zig-zag for the first two nails, and then the regular magnetic wand for the ring and pinky nails. The magnetic effect on this one looks a touch more subtle than ‘Let’s Hang’ above, but I think it’s more from less contrast between the magnetic pigments and the base.
Otherwise the formula is the same as ‘Let’s Hang’ above. Easy and smooth 2 coats, and a little thicker feeling overall so it’s very easy to control and paint on!
And now for these final 4 shades, there are filled with reflective glitters! If you haven’t heard of reflective glitters at this point – they are still fairly new – they’re larger glitter pieces that reflect the light just right for a brighter sparkle and almost flash on the nails. You may have even see the videos where it’s a bright, white insane flash on the nails. That is very cool, however you’re only able to see that on iPhone videos with the flash on, not in real life. In real life though it is still cool to see and definitely a brighter sparkle than normal glitter. Alright, let’s get into the shades.
‘Slush Fund’ is a yellow-gold toned base filled with bright orange shimmer and those scattered reflective glitters.
I was able to get this pretty well opaque with just 2 coats – but depending on your own application and the thickness of coats, you might want a 3rd to fill in any last gaps. Reflective glitters do automatically make for a thicker formula, I think just because of their larger size, but it doesn’t make it hard to paint on or anything, just make sure there’s enough polish on the brush to avoid any skipping on the nail. Also with those larger glitters, it does dry with a touch of texture on the nail. A good coat or two of top coat will help to smooth that out as well as really bring out that sparkle.
Next up is ‘Logging Off’. This is a deep forest green sparklefest. The reflective glitters in this one really contrast against that darker base and remind me of snow sparkling against a pine tree.
As mentioned, any reflective glitter formula will be thicker, and this one is no exception. Again I recommend thicker coats to make sure the polish isn’t skipping – especially on a 2nd or 3rd coat as you’re filling in the spaces around previous layers of glitter. But overall this was still an easy 2 coat formula for me, and the thicker formula makes it very easy to control and place onto the nails. Tiny bit of texture, but a coat or two of top coat will smooth that all out.
The last of the full coverage reflective glitter shades is ‘Chill Out’. This is a lighter sky blue base filled with silver reflective glitters and gorgeous multichrome pigments. Those pigments pick up as red and orange and gold and even green at some angles. So colorful and fun!
Again, all of the same notes I had with the formulas above: it’s a thicker but easy to control formula, thicker coats to make sure it doesn’t skip, 2 coats to opacity, and some texture that can be smoothed out with a top coat.
And last but certainly not least, we have ‘Out of Sequins’. This isn’t a polish with it’s own base color and reflective sparkles added, but rather a clear reflective glitter topper. It just adds the most delicate little scattering of sparkles over any base shade, and especially over a darker base, it adds a gorgeous little touch. It can amp up any cream you have, and I really enjoyed it! It’s easy to paint on and distribute on a base without it getting too thick.
And that’s the set! These shades were so gorgeous and I absolutely loved the different finishes and formulas in this release! I loved all of the shifty colors and shades, and it definitely feels wintery, but also mesmerizing and fantastical. I had no complaints with any formulas, so I’m sure you’ll be satisfied with any shade you pick up! I’ll definitely be looking out for their future collections!
Do any of these catch your eye?
These shades are also available at Beyond Polish. (Use code GINGERLYPOLISHED for 10% off any regular priced items – does not work for the discounted bundles. This is an affiliate link/code, so I will earn a small commission from each purchase).
China Glaze Drippin’ in Glitz Winter 2022 • Essie Unguilty Pleasures collection • Glam Polish Nevermore collection • Holo Taco Magnetics collection • Essie Valentine’s Day 2022 collection • Color Club Lunar Eclipse collection
Beyond Polish: GINGERLYPOLISHED for 10% off (affiliate code/link)
One thought on “KB Shimmer ‘Northern Exposure’ Collection – Swatches & Review”
These are so pretty!!
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