China Glaze Twinkle Lights Swatches & Review

Sunlight China Glaze Twinkle Lights Swatches & Review Let It Snow Collection 2011If you’ve ever seen China Glaze Party Hearty, you’ll know that it’s Christmas in a nail-polish bottle. I love it so much!

Although this year I didn’t get around to wearing it, I did manage to try out China Glaze Twinkle Lights, which is a new festive nail polish from this year’s Let It Snow Collection.

As you can see, it’s a blinged-out glittertastic lacquer with red, green, and gold.

I was very excited to wear it for the first time, but when it was on my nails, I felt extremely disappointed. This is going to sound strange, but I felt like this polish was missing something to take it from alright to mind-blowing.

There’s nothing inherently wrong with this polish, but because the red and green took a back seat to the gold glitter, I felt like Twinkle Lights wasn’t as Christmasy as Party Hearty. (And I was wearing this for a Christmasy feel.)

I ended up doing New Year’s Eve nail art on top to make it more my style.

(I know that I’m running out of time, but I’ll try my hardest to get up the nail-art tutorial for it tomorrow in case any of you want to actually wear the design on the 31st. It’s a really simple look that’s fast to create and that can be easily customized.)

China Glaze Twinkle Lights Pictures

China Glaze Twinkle Lights Review & Pictures


China Glaze Twinkle Lights Review & Pics

Natural Light

Twinkle Lights by China Glaze Review & Pictures

Natural Light China Glaze Let It Snow Collection Swatch Twinkle Lights Review

China Glaze Twinkle Lights Ingredients

China Glaze Twinkle Lights Ingredients & Review

China Glaze Twinkle Lights Swatches

All swatches have:

Sunlight China Glaze Twinkle Lights Swatches & Review Let It Snow Collection 2011


Sunlight China Glaze Twinkle Lights Review & Swatches Let It Snow Pictures


Sunlight China Glaze Twinkle Lights Review & Swatches Let It Snow Holiday Collection 2011


Sunlight Twinkle Lights China Glaze Swatches & Review Holiday 2011 Let It Snow Collection


Flash China Glaze Twinkle Lights Review & Swatch


Flash China Glaze Twinkle Lights Swatch & Review


Flash China Glaze Twinkle Lights Swatches & Review


Flash Twinkle Lights China Glaze Swatches & Review


Natural Light China Glaze Let It Snow Holiday Collection Twinkle Lights Swatch & Review

Natural Light

Natural Light Twinkle Lights China Glaze Let It Snow Collection 2011 Swatches & Review

Natural Light

Natural Light China Glaze Let It Snow Collection Swatches Twinkle Lights Review

Natural Light

Natural Light China Glaze Twinkle Lights Swatch & Review Let It Snow Holiday Collection

Natural Light

Sunlight China Glaze Twinkle Lights Review & Swatch Let It Snow Collection


Flash Twinkle Lights China Glaze Swatch & Review


Natural Light China Glaze Let It Snow Twinkle Lights Swatch & Review

Natural Light


√ A mix of glittery shades to emblemize twinkling tree lights

Key Notes

  • Name: China Glaze Twinkle Lights
  • Collection: China Glaze Let It Snow (Holiday 2011)
  • Colours Available in the China Glaze Let It Snow Collection: Glittering Garland, Twinkle Lights, Champagne Bubbles, Holly Day, Velvet Bow, Winter Berry, Ring in the Red, Poinsettia, Blue Year’s Eve, Tinsel Town, Icicle & Snow Globe
  • Amount: 14 mL (0.5 fl. oz.)
  • What I Paid: $2.95 USD
  • Where to Buy: NailPolishCanada8ty8BeautyHead2ToeTrans DesignNailsuppliesVictoria Nail Supply & some Sally Beauty Supply stores

China Glaze Twinkle Lights Review


Twinkle Lights by China Glaze reminds me a lot of my elementary-school days. Every December, the class would always do some holiday arts and crafts. Usually that called for gold, red, and green glitter in those little cylindrical bottles.

When I wear Twinkle Lights, it looks like I dipped my nails into that glitter, except the glitter pieces in the nail polish are smaller. The overall look is quite similar.

Although there are three colours of glitter suspended in clear polish, the gold is the diva that demands the spotlight. From a distance, it looks like a super-sparkly gold nail polish. But when you inspect it up close, you realize that there’s a sprinkling of red and green glitter.

This is a nice, festive polish, but I wanted the red and green to stand out more like in China Glaze Party Hearty, which (to this day) is still my number-one Christmas nail polish.

Twinkle Lights is way more subtle than Party Hearty, which is why it isn’t really my style. I have the most fun wearing bolder nail polishes. But, if you aren’t used to wearing loud colours and want a classier choice, Twinkle Lights may be perfect for you.

Getting a little distracted: I found it incredibly difficult to photograph this polish (or any polish with a bazillion small glitters). My hands are shaky (I don’t use a tripod), so even if my hand moves slightly, it makes each piece of glitter blur. Perhaps I should stop being so stubborn and actually use a tripod as well as play around with my camera’s shutter speed.


This is a blingtastic glitter polish. The downsides are that it dries gritty, and you will have to spend longer than usual to remove it. The upsides are that it dries very quickly even without a fast-drying top coat and it twinkles like crazy even under the dimmest light.

Applying a top coat makes this polish look better. And, since glitter polishes tend to eat up top coat (i.e. the next day, the polish feels gritty again), I decided to wear one coat of Milani Glosse Top Coat, wait a few minutes for that to dry slightly, and then I added one coat of my usual Seche Vite Dry Fast Top Coat for a smoother finish.

Application & Formula

A lot of times, glitter suspended in clear polishes like Twinkle Lights tend to require several layers to achieve full opacity or you have to layer them over another polish.

With Twinkle Lights, the glitter is so densely packed that you really only need 2 coats to cover your nail. And because it’s so densely packed, I actually think that if you want to use it as a layering polish, you’ll need to use a light hand since this polish covers!

The consistency of the polish was very easy to work with – not thick or gooey at all. It was easy to spread the glitter on my nails.

Before I applied my second coat, I waited about 8 minutes and I had no problems with cuticle drag or bald spots.


  • Super blingy glitter polish
  • Sparkles in even dim light
  • Easy to apply – great formula
  • Dries quickly
  • Dense glitter requires just 2 coats for full opacity

  • Dries gritty – requires a top coat for a smooth finish
  • More challenging to remove than a typical creme polish
  • Looks mainly gold (red & green glitter not as noticeable) – This is a con for me, but maybe it’s a plus for you. Depends on the look you’re going for!

Final Verdict: 7/10

I like how China Glaze Twinkle Lights really does twinkle like lights on a tree, but I wanted the red and green glitter to be more in-your-face. Gold glitter is pretty, but you know me and green glitter. If it’s in the bottle, I want to really see it on my nails because I have a soft spot for green polish!

Hmm…I jumped the gun. When I bought Twinkle Lights, I bought a back-up bottle right away since I was expecting to fall in love with it like China Glaze Party Hearty. Oops! Looks like I may give it to a friend or offer it as a blog giveaway prize since it’s highly unlikely that I’ll even finish a quarter of the first bottle and since I’m sure there are others out there who actually love the colour. I just wasn’t feeling it. Bah humbug! Haha! 😉

Which do you prefer: China Glaze Twinkle Lights or China Glaze Party Hearty? Do you wear gold nail polish? Do you buy back-up bottles?


28 thoughts on “China Glaze Twinkle Lights Swatches & Review

  1. Bev

    I layered one coat of Twinkle Lights over a coat of Ring In The Red (with City Siren from Metro collex as underwear). From an angle it was a shimmering deep red, but straight on it was pure sparkle, and red glitter showing through. It was pretty but no, not my style, either.

    1. Mary Post author

      Hey Bev!

      Your combination sounds really exciting – I can picture it now! 😀 Gotta try that sometime to at least give Twinkle Lights another chance to wow me.

    1. Mary Post author

      Hey PinkGlitter!

      Let’s keep our fingers crossed for China Glaze’s holiday collection next year! 😀 (I really love how they put out Christmasy polishes. Wonder what they’ll come up with next.)

  2. Marta

    Mary I bought this polish too… And hoped that the green glitter wouldn’t be too “noticeable” (ducks from flying tree ornaments aimed at my head and claws 😉 ).
    I actually love the fact that it is gold from many angles, with a subtle Christmas touch 🙂
    BUUUUT, ever since your giveaway “Party Hearty” has been stalking me everywhere I look and I NEED a bottle of it in my Helmer 🙂
    I wonder what would happen if you layered one coat of Party hearty OVER this polish 🙂
    I hope you get the tutorial up; I’d love to see it 🙂

    You do look GREAT with gold on your strikingly lovely nails
    Marta recently posted: Cult Nails Blackout

    1. Mary Post author

      Hey Marta!

      Hahaha, I wouldn’t throw a tree ornament at you! Baseballs are so much more effective. 😛

      Party Hearty over Twinkle Lights? It would make Twinkle Lights waaaaay better. Hehe, but I think anything’s better with Party Hearty over it…like apple pie for instance. Oh, wait…I don’t feel so well. Gotta run! 😛

      (My simple little New Year’s Eve nail-art tutorial will go live on the blog tomorrow. 😀 I was able to put together the post last night.)

  3. Pam

    I too did a single coat of Twinkle Lights (but over 2 coats of Ring In The Red) and liked it very much. Then, I did 2 coats of Twinkle Lights as French tips over Glittering Garland and the number of compliments I got blew my mind! To OTT the whole thing, I next did the French tips over 2 coats of Butter London Dosh and I swear every human being I encountered while wearing that mani went absolutely nutso over my nails. Try a little change-up!

  4. Vivian

    This is my least favorite polish out of the collection.. From far away, it just looks like a blende of bronze. I too prefer party hearty over this for a christmas feel. Let us at the red and green!!

    1. Mary Post author

      Hey Ashesela!

      Oh, I don’t see any holographic glitter in this at all. I think what you’re noticing in my photos is the light hitting certain little pieces of glitter at weird angles that make them flash purple. In real life, to the naked eye, I can’t see any holographic goodness.

  5. maddy

    I have a medium sized bottle of this but I never tried it on. When I saw your swatched I agree that the red and green don’t stand out much because I wanted them to have equal parts of each color. I’m excited to see your tutorial.

    1. Mary Post author

      Hey maddy!

      I will have to try layering China Glaze Party Hearty over Twinkle Lights like Marta suggested. That’ll probably make me love it more.

      It’s a suppppperrrr easy nail-art design. (Hope you won’t be disappointed!) I wanted to do something that would be really quick and easy for people to whip up even if they don’t have lots of nail polish at their disposal. And I think it’s also a good way to refresh a Christmas manicure and turn it into one suitable for New Year’s Eve. (Please let me know what you think when you see it.) 🙂

  6. karen

    I got this one for the same reason that you did…and was somewhat let down for the same reason. It seemed to do well over Holly Day–at least it made the green and red glitters a bit more noticable.

    Have you ever tried wrapping your nails to take off glitter? It takes a bit of dexterity, but it really works amazingly well. I take foil triangles, place a cotton pad in the middle, saturate the pad with remover, and wrap the whole shebang around my fingertip with the pad resting on the nail. Leave it on for a couple of minutes and it takes almost everything off when you slip it off the end of your finger.

    1. Mary Post author

      Hey karen!

      I’ll try it again over a dark green! Thanks!

      Yes, I’ve tried the foil method a few times, and it works well. Hehe, but I usually just end up scrubbing it off.

  7. Rosie

    Hey! I agree, it would be better if there wasn’t so much gold, still it’s pretty. Have you got any tips or tricks for getting glitter varnish off? Is it just a case of persevere and persevere with remover?
    I’m really looking forward to your New Year’s Eve tutorial.

    1. Mary Post author

      Hey Rosie!

      There are two tips for removing glitter. One is the foil method where you soak a cotton ball (one for each finger), wrap a piece of foil around each finger, and then tape it so it stays put. You leave that on for at least 5 minutes, but more if you want it to be more effective. When you remove it, the polish should slide off or at least be much easier to remove.

      Another way is to use really cheap non-fast-drying top coat on one nail at a time. Just wait a few seconds. It’ll soften up the glitter polish. Then use your acetone-based remover to get rid of the polish like usual.

      Hope that helps!

  8. Carmela

    I keep picking this up and putting this down. I keep thinking if I’ll really use it outside of Christmas manis (I decided I most probably wouldn’t). Good to know I’m not missing much! 😉 I was even tempted to pick up the set this came in with Holly-Day and a red (I’m not sure which one) that I saw on sale. I figured it would look fantastic as a (late?) holiday mani. Seeing as the holidays are well underway, it’s just as well that I don’t need it. And if it’s mostly gold glitter then I’m perfectly happy with Color Club Gingerbread (thanks again! :D).
    Carmela recently posted: Nail Art Wednesday: Red Jelly and Gold Glitter

    1. Mary Post author

      Hey Carmela!

      Although…some people have used it for gradient manicures and layering it over other polishes. Sounds like you could make it work any time of year because the gold is more dominant. I’ll need to try it layered to see if I like it more. (Hopefully – then I’ll feel better about buying a back-up bottle…haha!)

      Glad that you really like Color Club Gingerbread! 🙂 Oh, and I got Color Club Holiday Splendor for you. I’ll send it out to you in January.

  9. Nicole

    It’s funny because before I read your commentary, when I just saw the picture I was like “this polish is doing NOTHING for me…” and then I saw you felt about the same. I think it’s just that the glitter is so small with no variation so it all just kind of sits there and nothing really catches your eye. I can see how this would be a good base for nail art though. I bet it’s fairly smooth once it’s all sealed with tc because the glitter should all sit at the same level. Anyway, nice enough polish but nothing too stand-out. Oh well, they can’t all rock our socks off I guess, huh? 😉
    Nicole recently posted: Glitzy Gold Nails- Ready for New Year’s Eve!

    1. Mary Post author

      Hey Nicole!

      Yeah, and especially when you’re a nailphile and have access to sooooo many awesome polishes, this one seems lackluster. But I’m sure that there are people out there who LOVE this. Guess I only like certain kinds of golds.

  10. Katie

    I wanted this polish because I thought it could be as good as Party Hearty. Even though it seems a little disappointing, I’m excited to try out a layering combination with it thanks to commenters suggestions. I guess Party Hearty can’t be replaced but maybe that’s a good thing.
    Katie recently posted: My Christmas Manicure

    1. Mary Post author

      Hey Katie!

      That’s a good point you bring up – if Party Hearty were so easily replaced, it might not hold as special of a place in our hearts. 🙂

  11. Erica

    I love th is polish. I got it a couple weeks ago (yes I know it’s now summer time) but I’m glad I did because I just went back on where I purchased it from and it’s GONE! I am a Christmas person, and I tried this out over a green base colour and it brought the green glitter out more 🙂 I think this would look great as a french tip with green and red base colours 🙂 Can’t wait for Christmas to come so I can try it out! 😀

    1. Mary Post author

      Hey Erica!

      Oh, that’s quite alright. Wear whatever colours you love any season! 😀 Nail polish is supposed to make you happy.

      Cool – I’ll have to try it over a green. I bet I’d like it a LOT more layered than I did when I wore it by itself.


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