Swatched: RBL Polishes


When I first started buying polish (…like a junkie), RBL polishes were everywhere and I thought I would never own them thanks to the excessively high price point (US$20 a bottle) and that you have to spend $200 to get free international shipping! But here I am almost two years later and my common sense flies out of the window far too often when it comes to polish and now I’m the owner of three RBL polishes I have to show you today.

I was lucky enough to get in on a group buy with some other lovely Australian women so between us we managed to hit the free shipping limit which eased the pain of the cost of these polishes a little but they still hold the record for the most I’ve ever spent on a polish! I should probably preface all of this though with the fact that I won’t be a repeat customer. All three of these polishes are meant to have subtle shimmer which is quite clear in the bottle and almost invisible on the nail which I’m massively disappointed with.


The first polish up is Piu Mosso which is a gorgeous dark navy blue, there is a copper shimmer in there and scarily this is the most prominent of the three polishes when it comes to it’s shimmer. You can see in the bottle that the shimmer is quite prominent but on the nail it mostly just adds a slightly dusty appearance to the polish. Having said that, the polish does have an amazing formula. It’s probably one of the few polishes I own that I really want to describe as buttery in it’s consistency and I had perfect opacity in two coats. A word of warning, don’t flood your cuticles with this polish! The pigmentation is so strong that it’s a nightmare to get completely clean.



Second I have Jane which I admit I picked up in a blog sale for a bargain $5 (I did offer more for it but the previous owner was adamant she just wanted to rehome it to someone else that would love it!). I’m a sucker a for a good nude polish so despite the gold shimmer not showing in this polish, it’s my favourite of the three. Again two coats were all I needed to get perfect coverage.



Aqua Lily has a cult following and I have to admit I completely bought into it. Some of you may remember I actually did a post months ago where I “faked” Aqua Lily thinking that this polish would never be mine. This was part of the most recent Fan collection where the ideas for the polishes are submitted by the public and the most popular four are made into polishes. Every time it would go on sale it would sell out in no time so when it was available for pre-order when I participated in a group order, it was the polish that made me say yes!

This is the polish I’m most sorely disappointed with because the pink shimmer in this is virtually invisible. I have to go and stand my a window and flex my nails all different ways just to catch a glimpse of it. I don’t think you would even know it exists in my photos. If you look at the bottle between my middle and pointer fingers in the second picture there is the tiniest glimpse of pink. Polishes like this make me sad because I really pride myself on capturing the best of a polish in my photos but there wasn’t a snowball’s chance in hell that I was getting that pink to show in my photos.


So the basic summary of all this is that I have some RBL polishes, they all needed two coats and applied beautifully but I had built them up way too much and they didn’t live up to it. Oh the square bottles are a bitch to take photos with too! These are going to be polishes that I love more for being pretty in my Helmer than actually on my nails, that is for sure. Moral of the story is keep your head on and don’t let common sense run out the window at the words “group buy”!

6 thoughts on “Swatched: RBL Polishes

  1. I have had the same struggle with Piu Mosso and it was truly the one RBL I was willing to throw down money for. All I wanted was a deep blue/purple with copper shimmer.

    What I’ve learned from wearing it a handful of times now is that all the shimmer disappears on the second coat. However, the shimmer is very prevalent on one coat but I still can’t prevent it from being streaky despite how pigmented it is. . So what I’ve done now is worn Piu Mosso over my Essie “No More Film” (because the only closest dark dusty blurple I have). NMF is a bit lighter…but one coat of NMF gives my nail full coverage and then one coat of RBL PM makes the shimmer come out of hiding.

    Ah. Sorry such a longwinded explanation. It’s just nice to read a nailblog that actually expresses the same impressions I had with it. All the other blogs I’ve seen have managed to photograph RBL PM in full glory and that was what I expected when I bought it.

    • Good to hear I’m not alone. If I didn’t have the same issue with all three I would think I just got a bad batch. I will definitely try layering them.

  2. I had the very same reaction about Aqua Lily as you. I was able to get it during its first release and was soo excited, then let down a little by the vanishing shimmer :/ I do love it for the base color and formula though so I kept it and put a coat of CND Violet shimmer on top to give me that pop of color I wanted. (I had seen online that someone had layered over Zoya Wednesday it to make a pretty spot on dupe!)

  3. I rarely leave comments on nail polish site but want to say that appreciate your honesty. I’ve read too many raving reviews and seen too many amazing photos where the polish glows with shimmer etc and that’s just not even close in real life (and not talking about any specific brand). So nice to see someone look at something with eyes wide open and telling as it is.

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