Max Factor Fantasy Fire Swatches & Review (Layered over China Glaze Liquid Leather)

Max Factor Fantasy Fire Swatches & ReviewMax Factor Fantasy Fire is a multichromatic nail polish that’s very hard to get hold of because word has spread that it’s similar to the very-hard-to-find lacquer, Clarins 230 (aka Unicorn Pee).

It’s a sheer, shimmery polish that’s a rainbow in a bottle. It’s meant to be layered over other polishes instead of worn solo.

Well, I never thought that I’d ever see this in person. But a very generous and thoughtful Swatch And Learn reader offered to send me her bottle.

It was my lucky day! I was squealing, jumping up and down, and acting like a complete and utter fool! 😀

If you’re reading this, Beth, thank you again for sending this to me as well as one of the cutest cards I’ve ever received. I fell in lust with it, and you made this dream a reality. Your random act of kindness is immensely appreciated! 😀

Warning: This post is verrrrrry picture heavy! (My polish reviews usually have lots of photos, but, haha, when you see how many are in this post, you’ll agree that it’s pretty ridiculous. I had to include so many to show off its many personalities.)

Max Factor Fantasy Fire Pictures

Max Factor Fantasy Fire Swatches & Review




Fantasy Fire by Max Facter Swatch & Review


Max Factor Fantasy Fire Swatches & Picture


Fantasy Fire by Max Factor

Natural Light



Fantasy Fire Max Factor Swatches & Review




Max Factor Fantasy Fire Review & Swatches


Multichromatic Nail Polish

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Multichrome Nail Polish

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What does Max Factor Fantasy Fire look like

Max Factor Fantasy Fire Swatches

All swatches have:

Sunlight Photos

Max Factor Fantasy Fire Swatches and Review

Max Factor Fantasy Fire Swatches


Max Factor Fantasy Fire Swatch

Fantasy Fire Nail Polish

Fantasy Fire Max Factor Nail Polishes

Fantasy Fire Nailpolish

Fantasy Fire Nailpolish Swatch

Max Factor Fantasy Fire Max Effect Mini Nail Polish

Fantasy Fire Max Factor Nail Polish

Fantasy Fire Max Factor Nailpolish

Fantasy Fire Max Factor Pictures

Fantasy Fire Nail Polish Swatches

Max Factor Fantasy Fire Photos

Max Factor Fantasy Fire Pictures

Max Factor Max Effect Mini Nail Polish Fantasy Fire

Max Factor Nail Polish Fantasy Fire


Fantasy Fire by Max Factor

Fantasy Fire Max Factor Review

Fantasy Fire Max Factor Review & Swatches

Fantasy Fire Max Factor Swatch




Fantasy Fire

Fantasy Fire Max Factor

Max Factor Fantasy Fire


Fantasy Fire Max Factor Swatch & Review


Flash Photos


Max Factor Fantasy Fire Swatch & Review

Fantasy Fire by Max Factor

Max Factor Fantasy Fire Review & Pictures



Max Factor Fantasy Fire Swatches & Review

Natural Light Photos

Max Factor Fantasy Fire Swatches & Review

Max Factor Fantasy Fire Review & Pictures

Fantasy Fire

Duochrome Nailpolish

Max Factor Fantasy Fire Review & Swatch

Max Factor Fantasy Fire Review & Swatches

Multichrome Nailpolish


Nail polish (Haha, I didn’t see any claims on the bottle & I’ve never seen any press releases or official information about this particular polish…)

Key Notes

  • Name: Max Factor Max Effect Fantasy Fire Mini Nail Polish
  • Amount: 4.5 mL
  • What I Paid: Nothing! (One of my generous & thoughtful readers sent it to me!)
  • Where to Buy: Some stores in the UK. Other than that vague source, I’m not sure where you can get it other than eBay maybe (for no doubt jacked-up prices). Listen, if you ever find this in a store for a reasonable price, don’t think! Buy it immediately! 😉

Max Factor Fantasy Fire Review


When you look at the bottle, you’ll see a rainbow – red, orange, yellow, green, blue, and purple. The center is mainly red and orange, and then at the edges, you see the other colours.

On the nail, Fantasy Fire by Max Factor has multiple personalities! 🙂 In sunlight or flash straight on, you’ll see the ‘fire’ because of the red, orange, and bronze that comes through loud and proud.

Tilt your nails a bit, and the orange and bronze dominate. Tilt them more, and that’s when you’ll see it go from a swampy green to a full-on forest green!

Mind you, this is what I saw when I layered the polish over China Glaze Liquid Leather, a black jelly polish.

I chose to layer it over black because I’ve seen lots of swatches of this over purple, and I was curious to see it over black instead.

If you layer over a purple that’s similar to the base of Fantasy Fire, you may be able to see blue.


This is a very shimmery multichromatic nail polish. The shimmer is fierce – it’s the kind that twinkles and dances on your nails like pixie dust…or like how snow in the sunlight sparkles as I like to say.

Application & Formula

The formula is thin, watery, and sheer, but it’s very easy to control, and it applies extremely smoothly.


Since Fantasy Fire by Max Factor is so sheer, it’s meant to be layered over another polish to achieve the best results. Also, I wouldn’t waste it by using it solo for a manicure because you’d need 2-4 coats to achieve full opacity, and this bottle is extremely small, so I feel like it would be a waste.

In fact, I’m such a Scrooge when it comes to this polish. I’m so sorry, but I just couldn’t bring myself to layer it over several colours on a nail wheel for swatches. I felt like that would be sacrilegious! (When I did that with Clarins 230, it was different because the bottle was bigger.)

Is Max Factor Fantasy Fire a Dupe of Clarins 230 (aka Unicorn Pee)?

Even though I now own both, I can’t say for certain because it’s been quite some time since I last wore Clarins 230. They do look similar to each other because they both have that intense shimmery finish and multichromatic nature. But I think that Fantasy Fire looks more purple and Clarins 230 looks more red.

(Please take a look at my review and swatches of it in the above link to compare. Although, in that post, I layered it over a dusty teal/blue and not a black like I did here. Still, it may be helpful.)

What Does Max Factor Fantasy Fire Look Solo?

Here’s what it looks like on its own. I painted 2 coats over a white nail-wheel tip.

Fantasy Fire by Max Factor Nail Polish


Max Factor Fantasy Fire Review & Pics

Natural Light


  • Multichromatic, shimmery polish
  • Highly original (even though it’s similar to the rare Clarins 230)
  • Applies smoothly
  • Versatile polish can be layered over other polishes to completely transform them

  • Extremely tiny 4.5 mL bottle
  • Insanely difficult to get hold of (especially if you don’t live in the UK)

Final Verdict: 10/10

You knew that I’d give Fantasy Fire by Max Factor a perfect score, right? Duh, it was a no-brainer! 😉

As you can probably tell, I’m completely smitten by it. Just look at how many photos of it that I posted! Wearing this polish made me as vain as a peacock! I couldn’t help but look at my nails all the time to see the colours shifting and shimmering. (I’m not even exaggerating. Seriously! I would look at my nails in the elevator, on the bus, in the subway, walking on the street, at the office, etc.)

And one of my co-workers was intrigued by it because she noticed that the colour kept shifting. Haha, this polish is like a rattlesnake. Its rattle is multichromatic. 😉

It’s too late for me. I’ve already been bitten. You still have time to save yourself! Hahahahahah!

Do you have any multichromes in your collection? Have you ever been on the receiving end of a random act of kindness? Do you think I included enough photos? (Haha!)

P.S. I want to take this opportunity to apologize about not posting a review yesterday. I feel badly about it because, in over a year, Swatch And Learn has never skipped a day. It feels so wrong. Hopefully that won’t happen again…


22 thoughts on “Max Factor Fantasy Fire Swatches & Review (Layered over China Glaze Liquid Leather)

  1. Meredith

    Oh my that polish is nothing short of amazing! I love it and want it! Beautiful photos-I think you caught every possible angle! Well done!
    Meredith recently posted: Born to Style!

    1. Mary Post author

      Hey Meredith!

      It is, isn’t it? If only they came out with a regular full-size bottle of it and made it easily accessible everywhere. Then I’m sure we’d all be stocking up, and then perhaps the price for Clarins 230 would go down. More people would be able to enjoy a quality multichrome that’s affordable!

      Haha, thanks! I took about 200 more photos that didn’t make the cut. I’m like a nail paparazzi. 😉

  2. Frosso

    Wow, thats a lot of fingers! Haha 🙂 Isn’t FF insaaaaaane?! I don’t have Clarins, and I have accepted the fact that I never will so I was dying to get my hands on FF. I even bid on it a bunch on Ebay at one point but backed away when it was going past $30. No freaking way for a super tiny bottle of anything. Luckily I also had a generous act of kindness bestowed upon me as well and Viktoria from sent me FF along with a few other polishes I wanted that she could get in the UK. I am forever in debt to her 🙂 It made my life lol.
    Frosso recently posted: Orly Flash Glam FX

    1. Mary Post author

      Hey Frosso!

      Yes, it’s so insane. I was skeptical about it having the beauty that Clarins 230 does, but…it actually didn’t disappoint or even pale in comparison. That’s a tough yard stick to measure up to, but Fantasy Fire really is appropriately named!

      This is the kind of polish that if I can find and buy a back-up, I’d get one for a giveaway because my readers NEEEEED this polish, especially if they’ve never tried any duochromes/multichromes.

      Hey, if Fantasy Fire becomes more accessible, perhaps Clarins 230 prices will drop significantly and you can get it then. Or…maybe you can wait for the price to drop naturally. When I got mine, it was closer to $50. But I’ve seen it for way more than that. Sometimes there’ll be a listing for a $50 one, but you have to be fast on the draw. With the popularity of it increasing, though, I’m afraid that eBay sellers know the value and are jacking up the price. Oh, I wish Clarins re-released it. The pigment can’t be extinct like they said because Fantasy Fire has such a similar look.

      Wow, yeah, I don’t blame you. Paying more than $30 for a 4.5 mL bottle is craziness…especially when you could get a 15 mL bottle of Clarins 230 for $50-ish sometimes. How nice of Viktoria to have sent you a bottle! 🙂 Love and polish make the world go round…hehehhehe!

  3. Melissa

    Hi Mary,
    Love this color. It looks like it would look great over a blue or purple. To bad it does not work on it’s own. Still I love to layer colors. Love the site. Have a great weekend. :~)

    1. Mary Post author

      Hey Melissa!

      Well, you could wear it alone, but you’d use far too many coats, and the effect isn’t the same so it’s be a waste. I’ve seen some people wearing it alone online, but I think the WOW factor comes when it’s layered. 🙂

      Yes, layered over a blue or purple would help to give you the bottle colour more.

      Have a lovely weekend! 🙂 (Thanks for becoming a regular commenter. I look forward to reading your thoughts!)

  4. Sophie

    Fantasy Fire looks great over black! I only ever wear it over blues or purples – it takes on a completely different personality over a darker colour. I’ll have to try this combination myself.

    I was lucky enough to find four bottles of FF in my local drugstore…yes, I bought all of them! I figured it was the sort of polish I needed multiple back-ups of. XD
    Sophie recently posted: Nina Ultra Pro Punki Pink

    1. Mary Post author

      Hey Sophie!

      Yes, do try it. Also, I’m curious to see what this will look like over a green!

      WOW, you found FOUR? Amazing! And good call on snatching them all up. It’s definitely back-up worthy.

  5. Pat

    Anyone wanting an almost exact dupe of Clarins 230 should have a look at ‘Lucky You’ on my Etsy shop (Enkelini). I couldn’t bear the thought of never having a supply of it, so I recreated my version of it 🙂

    1. Another Cristina

      Another good option for a Clarins 230 substitute is a recipe and franken available on the More Nail Polish blog. She even has the original to compare it to. You can search her blog and the April 26th post features a comparison of the 2 with Fantasy Fire.

  6. Another Cristina

    Wow, I have never seen Fantasy Fire over black before, it’s really amazing over it! (I’ve never seen Clarins 230 over it either for that matter.)

    I am holding off on getting my own bottle of FF. Although it’s definitely more affordable than Clarins, it’s still a bit pricey for us Americans. Also, I was lucky enough to have met fellow polish nut Sophie( through your blog, and I’m holding out hope that Fantasy Fire will show up in Gernany eventually and that we can exchange.

    PS- I am such an malevolent influence *insert evil laugh*. I was out shopping for polish with a friend who only recently got into nail polish when she showed me a shimmery polish and said it reminded her of “that unicorn stuff!” I think I can safely say I’ve turned her to the “dark side,” LOL!
    Another Cristina recently posted: China Glaze had Exotic Encounters Last Friday Night!

    1. Mary Post author

      Hey Another Cristina!

      YAY – I’m always so pleased to hear readers reaching out to other readers. 🙂 One of my goals for this blog was to turn it into a community of sorts so that people could feel free to make nail friends in a safe environment. 😀 So you just made me SO HAPPY! Thank you!

      Hahahahaha…I love how you’re a ‘bad’ influence on your friend. Soon, EVERYBODY will become nailphiles. 😉 *Mwhahahahaha*

  7. Marta

    Fantasy Fire was born and made to live in your collection! 😉 It looks lovely on you!!!!
    I too have a little bottle of this goodness and have pulled it out only once to play with so far… all the other times it, in the little bottle, stays put in the Helmer, boasting to its neighbors how it traveled all the way from the UK and is sooo ‘desired’ by all 😉

    I’m so happy that you have your bottle too 😀
    Marta recently posted: Cult Nails – Princess

    1. Mary Post author

      Hey Marta!

      Sometimes when I look at the Fantasy Fire bottle, the lyrics “Come on, baby, light my fire!” come to mind. 😉 This is certainly a polish that gets me going…haha!

      I’m glad that it also made it into your stash. 😀 You are the type of person who’d give it a good home!

      That comment about the swatches, coming from you especially, really made my heart soar!

  8. TeresaNC

    Love love this polish! Mine came today and it really is a tiny bottle. I think I’m going to splurge and swatch it on a wheel over wine, navy, purple, hot pink just to see how it shows, now that I’ve seen your black. I’ll post a picture on Twitter after I finish gazing and playing and actually get it on my nails, lol.

    1. Mary Post author

      Hey TeresaNC!

      Oh my! Okay, you MUST show me your swatches over those colours, okay? I’m curious to see how it’ll transform them!

    1. Mary Post author

      Hey MariJo!

      Haha, this polish is multiple-bottle back-up worthy! If I ever find it for a good price, I’ll stock up and then offer a few for a giveaway.

  9. Andria

    HEY 😀

    I live in Australia.

    I read a blog about 5-6 months ago, feat. MF “Fantasy Fire” & C “230” and decided then & there, that finding a bottle of either colour, was my new life’s mission!!

    I searched EVERY shop I knew stocked nail polish & even some random shops, just in case.
    I searched & searched for what was probably every day for a month, in Newcastle & in Sydney and couldn’t find ANYTHING. :'(

    I 99.9% gave up.
    I put it’s existance down to the fact that some awesome things just don’t get to Australia.
    It was hard, but I got over it.

    The other day, I was scouting for cheap NP finds in my local TARGET and I (WARNING) needed to pee :-/ so I quickly did a once over of all the brands along the wall and STOP!!

    THERE IT IS!! *so I nearly pee my pants* :-S lol
    “Fantasy Fire” sparkling it’s way into my once broken heart!!

    Eff the 12mL+ colours I’d found on sale!!
    I only had $10 on me, so I had to be frugal!

    It was AU$5.95.
    For Max Factor, that’s pretty cheap!

    There were 3 bottles.
    I get paid tomorrow…I don’t care what my Mum says, I’m going back to buy the others!! 😀 lol

    Never thought I’d find it…SOOO FREAKN HAPPY I DID!!!! XD


    I had actually given myself a set of fluro green glitter acrylics & one nail was a dark silver glitter acrylic.
    So when I got “Fantasy Fire” I couldn’t wait til I got home to remove the acrylics & paint my nails – so I opened the bottle in my car & painted the dark silver nail & OMFG?! IT LOOKED AMAZING!! Then, knowing of it’s layering purpose, I painted a fluro green nail & HOLY CRAP, DID IT LOOK COMPLETELY DIFFERENT!!
    The green glitter had an aroura borelis effect in it, so on a different angle, there was a pretty cyan/aqua blue. “Fantasy Fire” over this, picked up the blue & so the base colour was more like a jelly grey/blue, then the main shimmer was aqua blue & the sparkle was still quite red. SERIOUSLY, like nothing I’ve ever seen!

    So this one goes FREAKN AWESOMELY over glitters, too!! ;D



    I have over 400 bottles!! 😀
    LIKE my page on Facebook:
    “Gyto! (Get Your Tips Out!)”

    I’m a Professional Nail Artist.


    1. Mary Post author

      Hey Andria!

      Hehehe, I love the story you shared with me about how you were united with the nail polish of your dreams! 🙂 Don’t you just not looking and then your Holy Grail polish just shows up and says, “Hi there!”? 😉 I’m so happy for you, and your excitement is really contagious! 😀


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