• Emily de Molly

    No Love Lost
  • High Elbow

    Crummock Water
  • Dots!

  • Pocket Money Polishes - I Want Candy

  • Pocket Money Polishes Magic

    Gradient: Chanel Paradoxal and Dior Waterlily
  • Emily de Molly - Serenity

  • Fellrunning

    Dryburn Moor
  • Elevation Polish - Opal

  • Darling Diva Polish - Serendipity

  • Derwentwater

  • Pocket Money Polishes - Summertime

  • Nail Lacquer UK

    Eat My Cake
  • Scofflaw - Whiskey Tango Foxtrot

  • Hodge

  • Chanel - Taboo and Peridot

  • Chanel - Bel-Argus and Azure

Sunday, 10 March 2013

Cirque Dark Horse - the first textured polish???

Cirque Dark Horse
Cirque Dark Horse without topcoat

I've been enjoying this season's new textured polishes and out of the blue I remembered this beauty! Cirque Dark Horse! It's one of the hungriest glitter polishes I know. But it looks fantastic WITHOUT topcoat!

Cirque Dark Horse is a clear base packed with tiny microglitters - mostly black ones, but with other glitters in a whole rainbow of colours which give it a stunning multi-coloured shimmer effect. In the bottle, and from a distance on the nail, it looks like it might be a black polish with multi-coloured glitters, but it's much more complex and beautiful than that.

Cirque Dark Horse

Cirque Dark Horse
Cirque Dark Horse without topcoat

You can almost feel the texture from the pictures! I've included a couple with the nails increasingly blurry to show the coloured sparkles - under a lamp the polish really sparks different colours. The finish is very smooth and even, without any shininess like the rather doubtful Nails Inc Concrete collection, and I probably prefer it to the Barry M Texture Effects polishes, which I think are great. I've not tried any of the OPI Liquid Sands - none of the colours appeal to me enough to want to buy one - and although I'm very interested in the Zoya Pixie Dust collection, Zoya polishes are quite hard to track down in the UK.

The pictures above are three coats of Cirque Dark Horse, with basecoat. As you can see if you look closely, my edges are a bit messy, and there's no way I can wrap my tips with the glitter, so next time I wear this I'll probably use either Manglaze Matte is Murder or Fuggen Ugly as a base so I can be a bit neater. I still love the mani though!

Of course the Dark Horse is stunning shiny as well - here it is with two coats of Gelous and a thick coat of Seche Vite:

Cirque Dark Horse

Cirque Dark Horse

Cirque Dark Horse
Cirque Dark Horse with topcoat

You can see how the coloured glitters sparkle, and it's more obvious in the glossy version that the whole thing is a suspension of glitter rather than a few coloured glitters in a black base. In case anybody is wondering, I think Cirque Dark Horse knocks the socks off the superficially similar Butter London The Black Knight - which is a suspension of  various coloured microglitter in a black jelly base. Just for completeness, here's a pic of The Black Knight from last summer, my nails were a bit longer then - that's the shape I'm aiming for now :)

Butter London The Black Knight
Butter London The Black Knight

One final thing I want to say about Cirque Dark Horse is that when I was applying the polish, I noticed it smelled really nice - almost like lavender, and that smell stayed on my nails for hours afterwards. When I had a look at Cirque's website, lo and behold, their polishes contain natural lavender and clary sage oils! Normally I'd only buy a scented polish if I really like the colour - here I'm thinking about Anna Sui and Peripera, which I can just about tolerate the smell of. I remember buying a Revlon scented polish a couple of years ago that stank so foul I wasn't comfortable even giving it away! But the natural oils in Cirque polishes seem like a great addition.

I received my Dark Horse in a swap, but you can purchase Dark Horse direct from Cirque's website, or in the UK Sally Magpies stocks Cirque polishes.


  1. I love it with the top coat! I'd probably pick it off if it didn't have one ;)

    1. Lol! I have to say, I find it hard to resist stroking my nails with any textured polish on. I haven't been tempted to pick any off though!

  2. I haven't tried any textured polish yet, I'm not sure if I'd wear them often but I do think this one is pretty, especially with the top coat.

    Also, I LOVE that it contains lavender & clary sage - will have to find out if this brand is cruelty free/vegan!

    1. You should give something textured a go, most of them are versatile enough to look good with topcoat if you don't like the rough finish. I'm all for trying out the new trends!

      I honestly don't know about animal testing / ingredients on this brand, I just had a look at their website and couldn't find anything. oops, I should have checked this out, I avoid brands that I know test on animals.

  3. Hee--Liquid Sand before it was a thing. :)