China Glaze Phat Santa Swatches & Review

China Glaze Phat Santa Swatches & ReviewA poor red polish has to put in a lot of effort to keep my attention because I have a bad case of Wandering Eyes – I just love playing the colour field! πŸ˜‰ And if a swampy-green looker passes by, you can bet that I’ll give it a double-take!

But when China Glaze Phat Santa flosses its bottle and shows me what a smooth operator its formula is, I become putty.

This is one of the best simple, classic, and festive red jelly polishes on the market.Β And you know me – I rarely rave about a red. But this is like liquid euphoria.

Every time I’ve worn this, I seriously swoon. It’s so glossy and vibrant!

If you aren’t looking for lots of bells and whistles and just want a clean, sleek red, this is a top contender to land that spot in your heart this Christmas.

China Glaze Phat Santa Pictures

China Glaze Phat Santa Bottle Pictures

China Glaze Phat Santa Red Nail Polish Review & Swatches

China Glaze Phat Santa Ingredients

China Glaze Phat Santa Swatches

All swatches have:

China Glaze Phat Santa Swatches & Review

Natural Light

Natural Light China Glaze Phat Santa Review & Swatch

Natural Light

Natural Light China Glaze Phat Santa Swatch & Review

Natural Light

Natural Light China Glaze Phat Santa Swatches & Review

Natural Light

Flash Phat Santa China Glaze Review & Swatch


Flash Phat Santa China Glaze Review & Swatches


Flash Phat Santa China Glaze Swatch & Review


Natural Light China Glaze Phat Santa Review & Swatches

Natural Light

Flash Phat Santa China Glaze Swatches & Review





Key Notes

  • Name: China Glaze Phat Santa
  • Collection: China Glaze ‘Tis the Season Collection
  • Colours Available in the China Glaze ‘Tis the Season Collection: Mistletoe Kisses,Β Party Hearty,Β Peace on Earth, Phat Santa, Ruby Deer, Snow, Sugar Plums, Cheers to You, Frosty, Jingle Bells, Mrs. Claus, Jolly Holly, Little Drummer Boy, Midnight Kiss, Mommy Kissing Santa & Naughty and Nice
  • Amount: 14 mL (0.5 fl. oz.)
  • What I Paid: $3 USD
  • Where to Buy: 8ty8Beauty, Head2Toe &Β Victoria Nail Supply

China Glaze Phat Santa Review


This is a saturated red that reminds you of holly berries and Santa’s suit. During the holidays, whenever I wear a colour like this, it always puts me in a great mood.

So, if you know a bah-humbug-type Scrooge, try to convince him to paint his nails this shade for a quick pick-me-up minus the Ghosts of Christmas Past, Present, and Future…hehe! And while you have his fingers there, you may as well give him a fun Konadicure, too. As L’il Wayne said in his Hands Up song, “ball ’til we fall.” πŸ˜‰


China Glaze promoted Phat Santa as having a creme finish, but I think it actually seems like it has a more pigmented jelly finish. You get that squishy kind of look, and the result is really glossy. You can see your reflection in your nails like it’s your Mirror Mirror on the Wall…

Application & Formula

The formula of China Glaze Phat Santa is heavenly. It’s thin, very smooth, and really easy to work with.

I used 2 coats and there was some visible nail line. You could go for another to reduce it, but really, visible nail line comes with the jelly territory. You could layer it over a creme polish, but I think you’d lose a lot of the depth. And I love the depth too much – that’s what makes a red jelly polish stand apart in the sea of generic reds.

  • Simple & classy red
  • Jelly finish
  • Applies so easily & perfectly


  • Visible nail line
  • Can be tricky to track down if you can’t order it online

Final Verdict: 9/10

Although pretty much everyone wears red nail polish during this time of year and although I like my nails to stand out, I really do love wearing this kind of red in December! πŸ˜€

Edit: Check out the Santa Claus nail art I did using China Glaze Phat Santa!

Does red nail polish bore you to tears? Do you sport more red polish during December than any other time of year? Why is Santa so ‘phat’? Have you been good or bad this year?


25 thoughts on “China Glaze Phat Santa Swatches & Review

  1. Kimberly

    Bore me to tears?! Never!!! It’s my go-to for playing a vamp! Or, throwing around a look of power. I love red and before blogging I wear it a lot. When I used to work in an office, my first day on the job and any time I had meetings or a difficult client to see, I wore my red power suit. πŸ™‚

    Santa just isn’t a guy that I find HAUTE, if you know what I mean. :/

    This red is great on you. Perfect for you for this time of year.
    Kimberly recently posted: Christmas Dance Nail Stickers

    1. Mary Post author

      Hey Kimberly!

      GOOD! Hehe, I like how you put that – “throwing around a look of power”. Great description because I really do feel powerful when I wear this colour, now that you mention it. And I love how your power suit is red nail polish! πŸ˜€

      Haha, yeah, Santa isn’t haute! He’s a traditional guy who doesn’t like swaying with the trends. πŸ˜‰ And he eats all my cookies.

      Thanks! I did a little nail art with this colour as the base. I’m going to try posting it next week.

    1. Mary Post author

      Hey Ashesela!

      Thank you SO MUCH on that HUGE compliment on my writing. I really take that to heart because even though I’m passionate about nail polish, my first love is writing! (You made my day!) πŸ˜€

  2. Emma

    I love wearing a red nail and lip at this time of year, I pretty much always wear a red nail on Christmas day – it does feel right if I don’t lol! I am really impressed by the shine on this one πŸ™‚

    1. Mary Post author

      Hey Emma!

      I want to wear a bright red lipstick, but I’m a bit confused about which to go for – there are soooo many reds, and I haven’t tried too many. A bold red on others really gets my attention, and it’s so festive during this time of year. I may spring for one…maybe one of the Revlon Lip Butters when they come to Canada. πŸ™‚

    1. Mary Post author

      Hey Nicole!

      Hehe, Phat Santa has it goin’ on! πŸ˜‰ He’s getting all the ladies, even those who aren’t big on red. Gotta give the guy kudos for that!

    1. Mary Post author

      Hey Lady Bug Nail Polish Holder!

      Reminds me of the time I did lady bug nail art – it came out better than I thought yet it was one of the easiest designs to do. πŸ™‚ So fun!

  3. maddy

    I love this red! It’s so bright and shiny. Is it also really shiny without a topcoat? I don’t wear much reds alone because I usually add glitter to it. This definitely reminds me of Santa’s big red suit. Great review.

    1. Mary Post author

      Hey maddy!

      Yes, it’s really shiny without a top coat, but I always love using the Seche Vite one because it adds a protective layer and it dries my manicure so fast. This last part is especially important to me because I tend to polish my nails at night, so this prevents sheet marks. πŸ™‚ I can literally go to bed after 20 minutes of applying the top coat, and the next morning, my nails won’t be messed up from the bedsheets.

  4. Jessica

    This looks like a great basis for nail art–maybe little Christmas trees, wreaths, or ornaments! Oooh, or candy cane art! Haha πŸ™‚ Like you, though, reds really have to impress me if I want to wear them since there are SO MANY out there. I like the looks of Phat Santa, but I think I’m sticking with OPI Vodka and Caviar for my classic red holiday manicure.

    1. Mary Post author

      Hey Jessica!

      It’s funny that you mention how it’s a good base for nail art. I actually did a little festive design on top of this. πŸ˜‰ I’ll be posting the look and the tutorial for it next week.

      OPI Vodka & Caviar is BEAUTIFUL – I got the same “WOW” from it that I did from Phat Santa. Great choice! πŸ™‚

  5. karen

    Pretty! How cool is it that it’s so shiny you can see the details of the window reflected in it?

    I’m more drawn to greens and purples, but I do have several reds and might have to add this one to the family. Oh…who are we kidding? My favourite dealer on Amazon had it and it will be here in 3-5 days.

    Sigh…sometimes, I’m so weak!

    1. Mary Post author

      Hey karen!

      Haha, yeah! And when I was looking at my fingernails throughout the day, I could see the reflection of my face pretty clearly. I looooove polishes that are this shiny – they can almost double as a ‘mirror’…hahaha!

      You sound like me with your green-and-purple polish preference. πŸ˜‰ But, yes, this is a great polish worth owning if you don’t already have a red jelly polish!

  6. Carmela

    I’m actually a big fan of red nail polish. The vampier, the better. But I do like how the bright red cremes are such a classic look that you can sport it any time of the year. I have to ask, which red jelly is better, OPI Vodka and Caviar or China Glaze Phat Santa? πŸ˜€ Also, those photos are phenomenal! πŸ™‚
    Carmela recently posted: China Glaze Lighthouse

    1. Mary Post author

      Hey Carmela!

      I’d actually say that it’s a tie in terms of colour, finish, and formula.

      Phat Santa is cheaper if you don’t mind ordering online along with other polishes to make the shipping worthwhile. OPI Vodka & Caviar should be readily available at Trade Secrets (that’s where I got my bottle a couple of years ago), but it costs more. However, if you just want ONE bottle RIGHT NOW, then the OPI is your best bet…plus no shipping fees.

    1. Mary Post author

      Hey Amber!

      I’m still trying to find a good red lip colour. πŸ™‚ It’s a little scary since I don’t usually wear bold colours there – I save them for my nails. πŸ˜‰ Once the Revlon Lip Butters comes to Canada, I want to try them out.

  7. Marta

    Ooooh this IS quite the lovely! the closest thing I can think of to this shade (because I don’t own this one) is Zoya Sooki.
    Lol, love how you described the bottles flaunting and flexing to get your attention lol
    but now I am curious, how DOES a bottle ‘floss’ … are there cap sized flossers? What material is the floss made of? lol πŸ˜‰

    And just so you know I am officially storing “liquid euphoria” into my polish formula dictionary… I will soooo use that on the next bottle worthy of such a title! love it!
    Marta recently posted: A Week in Summary!

    1. Mary Post author

      Hey Marta!

      I don’t have Sooki, but I love the name – reminds me of Sookie (the chef at the inn) from Gilmore Girls, and I like her character!

      You know, most bottles don’t floss. And they rarely visit a dentist. That’s why sometimes their caps get stuck and become hard to open. It’s a polish’s version of gingivitis or excessive plaque. πŸ˜‰

  8. Helen

    Hi Mary,
    Wow! I love your review.. And that’s an awesome RED.
    but still.. I found it confused, which to choose, China Glaze Phat Santa, Or China Glaze Safari-Adventure-y, or maybe OPI-Vodka and Caviar. Which one darker?

    They look too similar, I just can’t decide πŸ™

    1. Mary Post author

      Hey Helen!

      Thank you! πŸ™‚ Yes, this red is a dream to apply.

      Let me try to help. Hmm…do you want a jelly red (i.e. a red that has a squishy, shiny look) or more of an opaque red? If you want an opaque red, China Glaze Adventure Red-y has a good formula.

      If you want a jelly finish (that may show a bit of nail line, but the finish is very shiny and squishy-looking), I recommend OPI Vodka and Caviar. Unfortunately, that shade has been discontinued, I think, so China Glaze Phat Santa (although also discontinued) may be easier to find.

      Out of all these reds, China Glaze Adventure Red-y is the darkest. But if you want to go with an even darker red, try Nicole by OPI Sealed With a Kris (I’ve reviewed it on here before, too, in case you’re interested).

      If you want a bright red, Phat Santa and Vodka and Caviar are better choices.

      Hope that helps!


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