China Glaze ‘Hey Sugar!’ Spring 2023 Collection – Swatches & Review

We’re continuing right along with the spring posts with the BRIGHTEST and PUNCHIEST offering this season. This is from China Glaze, and their ‘Hey Sugar!’ collection. We have sweet themed names and shades for these 6 cream polishes. There are rich pinks, oranges and a yellow here to really brighten up your nails and it’s quite the change from the previous muted and vampy winter shades we’ve all been holding on to. It’s SPRING, time to let them GO.

With a name including “sugar”, I did also originally wonder if these might be textured, to mimic some sugary nails, but these are straight, smooth creams. No worries for you texture-haters out there. (I’m a texture-lover so I would have been on board, but fine, I get it).

As always, I purchased this set from my favorite, Especially for China Glaze, they have amazing prices and I won’t ever be paying full price for a bottle.

Okay, I know those beautiful colors above are calling to you, and you’re anxious for swatches, so let’s dive in!


Now listen, China Glaze’s previous cream releases – specifically the Coffee collection and the Halloween collections did disappoint me. They just felt so much thinner and runny than previous China Glaze creams. THey were streaky and still not fully smooth and opaque even after 3 coats. I was worried that that was going to be the permanent cream formula we would have to stick with. So seeing these brighter and more white-based shades come out, I was nervous. It could have been bad.

BUT I’m so happy to say that even from first opening and just looking at the polish on the brush, I knew we were in for a much better time. That might be a spoiler and not a great way to make you read the rest of the post, but I was just too excited about it okay!! I had to note that right at the beginning in case you had been burned by their previous cream shades as well. Alright, onto the COLORS.

I love to go in a rainbow order, so we’re starting right out with our pinks, transitioning through the oranges and corals and ending right on that bright yellow.


So let’s start right out with ‘Here for the Candy’. This is a light, basically pastel ballet pink. Maybe, one might call it a bubblegum pink. It’s that perfect light pink that makes anyone look more tan.

And you’ll be able to see in these live swatch videos, just the absolute improvement in formulas. We’re back to a good China Glaze cream formula, thank GOD. Super white-based shades like this can be tricky, so I was nervous but I was able to get it pretty well opaque with just 2 coats. Now, I did add a 3rd on some nails for my super ridged nails, but unless you got the ridges too, you’ll be set with just 2 coats. These are so much thicker (but not too thick of course) than previous runny formulas we had, and so they’re smooth and easy to control and paint onto the nails. I love it and I’m so glad to see it.

I will say China Glaze brushes do collect a lot of polish, so they can run down the stems and flood the cuticles if you’re not paying attention – my tip is just be sure to really wipe off the brush, and watch out for around the stem. Make sure you’re in control of the amount of polish before painting. It’s nothing crazy, I just wanted to warn you about the little dribbles to set you up with the best polish painting experience.

Here for the Candy – Live Swatch


Since we still had some snow deciding to pop in here in the Windy City, I NEEDED this next pink in my soul. This is ‘Sugar Junkie’ and it truly brightened up my nails, my room, my life. I’m in love. This one is a bright fuchsia, with some purple tones to it. It’s almost neon and it’ll be just gorgeous for the summer.

This one has the best formula of the whole collection, probably because of the deeper and richer color. You can see in that live swatch, it just gliiiiides on so well, and it’s an easy 2 coat formula, ridges and all. This is definitely a thicker formula, but that just makes it so easy to control on the nail and so smooth with color.

The one interesting thing I noticed with this one was that on that 1st coat it dried an almost bright pink, with so much less purple to it. It did become deeper and eventually match the bottle more after the 2nd coat, but just a heads up for that odd moment. It must be something with the pigments used.

Sugar Junkie – Live Swatch


Next up we’re heading to our corals. This is ‘Kid in a Candy Store’, and it’s a bright pink-coral shade. I always describe coral as right in between orange and pink – it would look more orange next to a true pink and definitely pink next to an orange (for example comparing it to the next shade). It’s got that warmth to it.

This was another that was pretty well opaque in just 2 coats for me. Again with my super ridged nails, I did use a 3rd to cover any patches peeking out, but for most you’ll be set with just 2 coats. It was so pigmented and lovely to control. (Can you tell I’m just so giddy about these formulas.)

Kid in a Candy Store – Live Swatch


Now it’s time for some ORANGES.

This is ‘Sweeta Than Suga’ and we have another coral, but this time it’s orange but with strong pink tones to it. Above was a pink coral, this one is an orange coral, it’s just about which color the base is leaning more towards. (I’m sorry if I made that confusing, it makes sense to me.) There’s some peachy-ness to this as well, and it just feels juicy and so summery on the nails.

Just like the previous shade, I did add a 3rd coat for the ridges in my nails, but most people will be good with just 2 coats. I was being picky and particular and knew my nails would be photographed up close and added that 3rd – if you’re just in daily life, you’ll be set with 2 for all of these shades.

Sweeta Than Suga – Live Swatch


Next up we have ‘Gimme Suga’, and this one is a lovely peachy creamsicle orange. It’s much lighter and more pastel than the previous shade but they have the same base colors. We do still have those pink tones to it, and that essential warmth it brings to the nails.

Y’all know the drill – this was pretty well opaque in just 2 coats, though I did add a 3rd for my ridged nails. I know it seems like a lot of 3 coaters in this collection, but really that’s just my own nails and of course, white-based and almost neon shades like these will take more coats. (And that I’m peering at them very zoomed in). I promise, these are pigmented and so smooth and so lovely on the nails and a great cream formula.

Gimme Suga – Live Swatch


And last but certainly not least, we have ‘Holy Sugar!’. Yes ‘Holy Sugar!’ in the ‘Hey Sugar!’ collection, sugar, sugar, sugar. We’re rounding out the set of colors with this BRIGHT yellow shade – it’s definitely more cool toned, a yellow that leans more green than orange on the yellow spectrum.

This one was the true test – yellows, especially BRIGHT yellows like this can be tricky to formulate. But China Glaze came THROUGH. No white base needed here, and with smoother nails you’ll be set with just 2 coats. I barely needed a 3rd, and it’s so sunny and warm on the nails.

Holy Sugar! – Live Swatch


And that’s the set! Can you tell I loved these a lot? Listen, am I gushing more because their previous cream formulas disappointed me? Maybe! But I do think these are truly fantastic cream formulas we have here, especially for the almost neon hues. They stand well on their own and they’re perfect for warmer weather coming up.

Please take my 3 coat application with a grain of salt – I have very ridged nails that’ll peek through and make things patchy and require another coat for most polish formulas. It’s just something I know for myself, and something I always point out in each of my reviews – it’s my own personal painting experience and I think it’ll still help you out even if you do have smoother nails. These are gorgeous and pigmented cream shades, and you’ll be happy with any of them! Bless China Glaze for bringing back their superior cream formula and I can only hope it stays around for each subsequent collection.


Upcoming Posts
Orly x NASA Collection • Essie Cyber Society Collection • Essie Feel the Fizzle Spring 2023 • Glam Polish Songbird Trio • Zoya Daydreaming Spring 2023 • Mooncat Lost in a Folktale collection


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