China Glaze Liquid Leather Swatches & Review

Flash China Glaze Black Nail Polish Swatches & ReviewChina Glaze Liquid Leather is the black polish I often turn to when I make pupils for nail art.

Although I don’t typically wear an all-black manicure, when I do, I really enjoy it. And since October 31st isn’t far away, maybe some of you will also sport it to compliment your gothic costume.

Liquid Leather is not for the faint of heart. It’s moody times a googolplex. What I love about it is that it’s exceptionally glossy. I mean, just look at my swatches of it – so shiny…and guess what? I’m not wearing a top coat in any of these photos!

Although it’s very dramatic, I actually prefer an intense black over a near-black hue. Sometimes those near-black polishes look pretty much like black on me that it’s annoying. Go big or go home!

Yes, I understand that some people prefer near-blacks because it’s less harsh. But I’m all for polish that’s bold, so I have no problem with wearing black polish even when it’s not Hallowe’en. 🙂

China Glaze Liquid Leather Picture

China Glaze Liquid Leather Pictures

China Glaze Liquid Leather Ingredients

China Glaze Liquid Leather Ingredients

China Glaze Liquid Leather Swatches

All swatches have:

Flash China Glaze Black Nail Polish Swatches & Review


Flash China Glaze Black Polish Swatches & Review Liquid Leather


Flash Liquid Leather by China Glaze Black Polish Swatch & Review


Sunlight Liquid Leather by China Glaze Swatches & Review

Direct Sunlight

Sunlight China Glaze Liquid Leather Review & Swatches

Direct Sunlight

Sunlight China Glaze Liquid Leather Review & Swatch

Direct Sunlight

Sunlight Liquid Leather China Glaze Swatches & Review

Direct Sunlight

Natural Light China Glaze Liquid Leather Swatches & Review

Natural Light

Natural Light China Glaze Liquid Leather Swatch & Review

Natural Light

Natural Light China Glaze Swatches Liquid Leather Review

Natural Light

Flash Liquid Leather Swatch China Glaze Swatches & Review


Sunlight Liquid Leather Swatch China Glaze Nail Polish Pictures

Direct Sunlight

Natural Light Liquid Leather China Glaze Swatch & Review

Natural Light



√ Black

Key Notes

China Glaze Liquid Leather Review


While Liquid Leather is a black polish, it definitely isn’t the darkest. However, the effect it gives provides a lot of drama because of its depth.

You can use this for pupils in your nail art like I do and for all-black manicures. However, if you’re looking for a black polish that’s opaque in 1 coat (or even 2 coats), your hunt continues.


There’s something special about Liquid Leather. It doesn’t seem flat and boring like a regular black lacquer. I think it’s a combination of a creme and a jelly, which is why it dries super shiny.

Application & Formula

Applying Liquid Leather by China Glaze was so easy because the polish wasn’t thick at all. It was on the thin side, but I was able to manipulate it with the brush to get it where I wanted it to go.

Since this has a little bit of a jelly finish, it takes more coats to achieve opacity – it took me 3 coats. The first coat was a streaky mess. The second coat was better, but you could still easily see parts that weren’t as black as others. It really needs a minimum of 3 coats. But look at the shine on it! I didn’t even use a top coat!

When using this black for pupils, the pupils appear very black – there’s no streakiness because it’s a small spot.

If you need a 1-coater to just provide a colour base for your layering experiments, I wouldn’t recommend using this.

Dry Time

I’ve heard some people say that this takes a long time to dry. I can’t verify that because I pretty much always use a top coat. The only reason I didn’t use a top coat for the photos in this post was because I wanted to show you how shiny it is by itself. Also, right after I took those photos, I continued painting a nail-art design, and then I ended up sealing everything with a top coat.


  • No Formaldehyde, Toluene, or DBP
  • Exceptionally glossy (even without a top coat)
  • Smooth formula that’s easy to apply
  • Intriguing jellyish quality that sets it apart from your standard black creme
  • Easy to find

  • Contains Formaldehyde Resin
  • Requires 3 coats for full opacity

Final Verdict: 9/10

Every time I’ve ever worn Liquid Leather as a full manicure, I’ve always been really impressed by how it looks. And since the formula doesn’t get goopy, that’s why I tend to use it for pupils in my nail art a lot.

Hint: Come back really soon. I’ll be showing you a Hallowe’en nail-art design I came up with using this polish.

Do you ever wear all-black manicures? What’s your favourite black polish? Will you be wearing black on your nails this Hallowe’en?


26 thoughts on “China Glaze Liquid Leather Swatches & Review

  1. Marta

    I like me a black for sure!!! I even sport it in the summer 🙂 I think black can be sexey 😉
    I like it a LOT on your nailshape.
    I own this polish and get a little frustrated with the need for three coats BUT as you say it doesn’t get goopy and it is easy to apply 🙂

    However, in the black polish world Zoya’s Raven has my heart!!! It has that slight shimmer while still staying pitch black. Sigh 🙂
    Marta recently posted: Tuesdays With Trisha

    1. Mary Post author

      Hey Marta!

      Yes, black can be really sexy, especially when it’s super shiny!

      Oh yeah! I remember your post on Zoya Raven – it looks sooooo good on your nails, and you finally were able to find the type of black with shimmer that you were craving. 😀

      Haha, you should’ve seen the time I tried to file my nails into a square/squoval shape. My fingers looked so weird, and I kept scratching myself with the corners (even though I filed them to be smooth). Somehow, square/squoval nails are dangerous on me and they didn’t look quite right. So I admire them from afar and am gradually learning to accept my naturally oval nails more.

    1. Mary Post author

      Hey Carmela!

      Excellent choice for Hallowe’en. You’re going to love it! 😀

      A few years ago when I dressed up as an all-black fallen angel, I wore OPI My Private Jet (the black version, not the brown one). It’s also holographic. Another great polish that isn’t a typical black lacquer.

    1. Mary Post author

      Hey Fingers!

      Hehe, when I said “Hey Fingers!”, it made me giggle…because, yes, that’s apparently how mature I am. 😉

      Welcome to Swatch And Learn, and thank you so much for leaving a comment and for following! I hope that you’ll stick around and say hey again. I love interacting with my readers, whether or not we agree on something! 🙂

  2. LimitedAddictionNails

    I wanted to get Liquid Leather too, since I wanted a good black color. For some reason I was like; China Glaze = Amazing polish, so Liquid Leather could be used as a stamping polish.
    But then I found out you need more than one coat to get it opaque, so I was like nah… So I got Color Club Black which does work for stamping. It’s not as shiny as this one though

    My answers to your questions;
    1. Maybe I will in winter, but I love the near black Crimson, so maybe I’ll choose that one over black 🙂
    2. My favorite black polish is Black from Color Club
    3. Halloween is not celebrated in my country so, nope 😛
    LimitedAddictionNails recently posted: Nubar – Jewel

    1. Mary Post author

      Hey LimitedAddictionNails!

      Glad that Color Club Black is working out for your stamping needs. Yeah, China Glaze Liquid Leather is way too jellyish for stamping. But by itself for a full manicure, WOW!

      Aww…I would miss Hallowe’en if I couldn’t celebrate it. Is there another holiday/festivity that’s celebrated in October in your country instead?

    1. Mary Post author

      Hey Emily!

      Oh, I’ve heard that the Wet ‘n’ Wild polish you mentioned is great for stamping. I don’t have it, but when my Konad one runs out, I’ll grab that instead (it’s more economical).

      YAY, it feels good knowing that I’m not the only person who likes black nails. 🙂

  3. rae

    so strange!! i literally just bought this on saturday. i’ve had essie’s licorice as my black for a couple of years but i just plain don’t like it. looking forward to trying the liquid leather, especially after this review!
    rae recently posted: The Daily Nail: Bad Hearts

    1. Mary Post author

      Hey rae!

      Wow, talk about perfect timing. 🙂 You’ll love China Glaze Liquid Leather as long as you don’t mind it taking 3 coats to completely cover your nail. Otherwise, it’s a total win! Hope you think so, too.

      Oh, what didn’t you like about Essie Licorice? Was it too thick to apply well?

  4. Vivian

    I love blacks, especially layering glitter over it. Liquid leather looks sooo glossy compared to the black I have (OPI onyx). It’s so hard to find china glaze in canada! 🙁

    lately I’ve stopped wearing dark colors because of the staining. I use the Seche crystal clear coat. Perhaps I need to try a new base polish? Have you noticed any major staining with liquid leather?

    1. Vivian

      btw I’m so happy you like the graphic! Thanks for saying so many nice things about it. you deserve to be showered with gifts after spending so much effort on this blog for your readers! You’re so nice and definitely my favorite blogger. I hope you continue to do this for a long time!

      1. Mary Post author

        Thanks for surprising me with it. It really is so pretty, and I think it was perfect for the “About” page. 🙂

        Haha, I don’t know about showered with gifts, but I do appreciate the support you’ve given me by leaving comments. Even getting to interact with readers means so much to me. Plus, from everyone’s feedback, it helps me decide what kind of posts I should do more of because you like them more.

        I’m going to do my best to keep Swatch And Learn going for as long as I can. When I start a project, I don’t like to abandon it.

    2. Mary Post author

      Hey Vivian!

      I also have OPI Black Onyx and agree, it’s not nearly as glossy as Liquid Leather. Hmm…but if you want to layer glitter over it, Liquid Leather may not be the best choice because even with 2 coats, you get streaks. So if you do 3 coats and then a coat of glitter, and you’re fine with using so many coats, then I guess it’s okay.

      Yeah, the only place I’ve seen China Glaze at are Sally Beauty Supply, Winners (the rare time), and some random beauty-supply stores. Liquid Leather should be easy to find at Sally Beauty Supply, but for new China Glaze collections, yeah, I just order them online.

      I’ve only tried that Seche base coat a few times and wasn’t too impressed. But that was maybe 3 years ago, and I haven’t tried it since. I didn’t notice any staining from Liquid Leather. Don’t think I’ve ever had any staining problems with any black polishes. But, just in case, you may want to test out a new base coat.

      1. Vivian

        Everytime I’ve visited Sally, their CG black has been sold out. They don’t seem to restock very often.. It also doesn’t help that the only two stores in BC are an hour away. They should really add a store to downtown. I guess I’ll get a bottle when the time comes. My glitters will cover up this gorgeous shine anyways.

        I find the seche base prolongs the wear quite well, but am undecided on whether it prevents stains though. I’m dying to try Poshe base and top coats but I was told by Sally that they don’t sell Poshe at all in Canada?? 🙁 Boohoo, I’ve seen so many good reviews for it.

        1. Mary Post author

          Oh, maybe it’s sold out because it’s closer to Hallowe’en. Makes sense. Whenever I went to Sally Beauty Supply, it was never in October, and they always had plenty in stock.

          Do you think they would order it in for you or do one of those ship-to-store deliveries if you asked? It’s worth a shot.

          Actually, I didn’t even know Posche had a base coat. I’ve only ever tried their top coat. It was okay – thinner than Seche and Posche is also big-3-free.

          Hmm…I bought my Posche years ago (again online), although I thought I saw it at this one random beauty-supply store, but they had it behind the counter. That place was kind of shady, though. I had a suspicion that they just bulk ordered from online stores and then sold stuff in their store.

    1. Mary Post author

      Hey Amber!

      It’d be nice to find a shiny black that’s also opaque in just a single coat.

      Really? China Glaze usually lasts a long time on me. Have you tried changing your base and/or top coat to see if that makes a difference?

        1. Mary Post author

          That’s really too bad. Hmm…and it seems like you’ve tried Big-3-Free as well as non-big-3-free formulas, too. The only other thing I can suggest is wiping your nails with nail-polish remover right before applying nail polish. I’ve heard some people say doing this makes their polish last longer because it removes any oil on the nails and helps the polish adhere better.

    1. Mary Post author

      Hey mellinail!

      Yes, I agree. It has become a classy neutral. Funny how before it was associated with goths. So mainstream now.


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