China Glaze Holiday 2018: The Grinch

I have been trying so hard to wait until the beginning of December to start posting holiday collections. So. HARD!! And here I am, absolutely failing, because I just can’t wait any longer to share this China Glaze holiday collection with you guys. Besides, I’ve been in a perpetually bad mood for the last several months. I need some holiday cheer and jolliness in my life! I NEEDSSSSS IT!!!


China Glaze’s Holiday 2018 collection is, as the name suggests, themed after the newest Grinch-shaped movie, which is called Dr. Seuss’s The Grinch. It released in early November, and it is a somewhat updated version of the original animated film. The Grinch is an 8-piece collection. Each bottle in the collection has a cute, and very green, Grinch image on the cap. I love this little detail. I think it’s adorable, although I don’t love that the images are printed right onto the cap. I have used some of these in nail art already, and I made the mistake of opening the bottles when I had a little cuticle oil on my hands. So some of the cap images in my set are wearing off a little bit. Sad panda. And — even more exciting than the cute grinch caps — this collection comes with the new, wider China Glaze brush. Woo Hoo!! Color me excited as heck about this!

Let’s jump into the colors!! I’m going to have a few comparisons at the end, too.


Deliciously Wicked is a silvery blue base with silver and holographic glitter. This has a good formula. It is easy to work onto the nail, and it builds up well. But the base color is sheer. I was happy with it in 2 coats on some nails and 3 on others.


I … don’t know how I feel about this polish. At first glance, I figured I would be all in for this one. It is right up my alley with both the color and the glittery components. It is gorgeous in the bottle. On the nail, it has a pearly sheen or finish that surprised me. It’s not fully frosty or pearlescent, but I think it definitely heads into that territory. Although it looks nicely blue in my photos, I thought it was more silvery in real life. It is really sparkly, which is a huge plus!

So, yeah. I don’t feel like I can give this one a ringing endorsement. But I also don’t hate it. I think I need to spend a little more time with it to make a final decision. I haven’t used this one in a manicure yet, so that will probably solidify my opinion one way or the other.


Grinchworthy is a yellow-green base with green glitter. This has a fantastic formula. It was beautifully opaque in 2 easy coats, and nearly opaque in 1!


Oh my gosh … I LOVE this one. This green is vibrant and bright with just the right touch of yellow and gold in it. You guys know how I love a yellow-toned green. I like that this polish is a little bit tart and sassy on the nail, which seems fitting for its namesake. This is a sparkle fest on the nails, too! It’s a great green for the holidays, but I think this one would also work nicely for Spring or Summer because of the brightness.


Ho! Ho! No. is a warm-toned crimson red base with gold glitter. It has a great formula that was nearly opaque for me in 1 coat, and fully opaque in 2. They were easy coats, too!


This is so, so, so PRETTY!! When I first saw pictures online, I thought it was too similar to Ruby Pumps, which is, inevitably, the sparkly red to which I compare all others. I originally thought I would take a pass on it. I probably would have done exactly that, but Sally’s had a Buy 1 Get 1 sale. So, yeah. That’s why I got the whole collection. Now that I’ve seen this polish in person, I feel it is different in color and texture. I’m super happy I got this one!

This red is pretty. It is bright but also warm, and the gold glitters are a perfect counterpart to the base color. It has a delicate sparkle on the nail, and I love how you can even see some pops of pink here and there as light plays across the nail. This polish has a bit of heft or texture to it, which surprised me. It is thick going onto the nail, although not overly so. And it has a sandy or gritty look as you apply it. I would say it is somewhere between a Zoya Pixie Dust and an OPI Liquid Sand. I’m not sure the texture was intentional. It is slightly textured once it dries, but a thick coat of glossy top coat smooths everything out easily.

Also, not for nothing … But the name of this polish cracks me up.


Lukewarm Wishes is a clear or slightly tinted pearlescent base with iridescent shimmer. This has a good formula. It can be fairly opaque on its own at 3 coats, and it works well as a topper at 1 coat. I thought the formula felt very “liquid” as I applied it. It wasn’t really thin, but I felt like it might run away on me and flood my cuticles or sidewalls at any moment. But it never did. Application was easy, overall.


This is so, so pretty and delicate. I am a fan of polishes like this. I like them as toppers, but I also love wearing them alone, either in a full manicure or as a base for nail art. I enjoy the airy and ethereal look they have on the nail. In particular, I love, love, LOVE the blue shimmer in here. It really pops over a darker color. I think I swatched this over China Glaze, Wicked Liquid because that polish was sitting on my desk when I did these swatches. I was wowed by how much the blue popped over that bronzey, murky green-gold.


Merry Whatever is a gold base with gold and holographic glitter. It has a good formula that applies easily and builds up well. It was nicely opaque for me in 2 coats.


You guys know I love a gold polish. And this is a good one! I like the color tone of the gold in here. It is nicely bright without being brassy. The glitters give a nice bit of glitz and sparkle to this polish, too. I get an antique or vintage feel from the combination of this base color and these glitters, and I like that a LOT. I feel like this looks textured in my photos, but it isn’t. It is nicely smooth on the nail once it dries. (Not that it matters much to me, since I glossy top coat EVERYTHING! Rawr!)


Resting Grinch Face is a clear base with blue, red, gold, and green metallic hexes and micro glitter. This has a good formula. It is not base-heavy, and it has a good glitter pay out even when you brush it onto the nails. It is pretty much opaque on its own at 3 coats, and it works well as a topper at 1 coat. I topped it over Lukewarm Wishes in my photograph.


Oh my gosh!! Look at this. LOOOOOOOOKKKKKK!!!

It is so gaudy and holiday-esque and just nutty as heck. And I freaking LOVE it. I love the strong, bold glitter colors in here. I love that they are nice-sized hexes. And I love that all the glitter is metallic and shiny as heck. This polish gives me all kinds of “old fashioned” Christmas feels as it throws me right back to the Christmas holidays of my childhood.


Who Wonder is a vibrant fuchsia or magenta base with shimmer in the same color tone. It has a great formula that is opaque in 2 easy coats. It was nearly opaque in 1, but I could still see more VNL than I liked.


Wowza!! This is a nice, nice, NICE polish. I love the look of this on my nails. It is beautifully bright and vibrant. I love the sparkly shimmer. It is subtle but also easily visible on the nail. This polish feels very festive to me, but it is another polish that would work nicely across different seasons.


You’re a Mean One is a deep, rich eggplant base with a pink/red shimmer running throughout. This has a great formula that was opaque for me in 2 easy coats.


This polish is deep, dark, and mysterious. And I love it! I can see purples and blacks and bronzes in here, along with the hints of red and pink. This seems like a simple polish on the surface, but it has a lot of beautiful depth and detail to it. It is super, super pretty.


Of course, with any mainstream collection, comparisons tend to come to mind during the swatching process. For The Grinch Collection, I only had a few things in my stash that seemed similar or comparable. This was great because it means most of this collection was unique — for my stash, at least. It’s also great because it means I didn’t have too much trouble pulling this little section together.


My first comparison is for Ho! Ho! No. I compared it with China Glaze, Ruby Pumps (Of course! It had to happen!) and China Glaze, Santa’s Side Chick.

I am happy to report that, although these are all similar, they are not exactly alike. I feel like both Ruby Pumps and Side Chick are more of a cool-toned red base color. Ruby Pumps has a lot more glitter factor. It think the glitters in it are larger. Side Chick is a matte polish, although I topped it with a glossy top coat for this comparison. Once it is top coated, Side Chick looks most similar to Ruby Pumps, but, again, it has a smaller and more subtle shimmer. I feel like Ho! Ho! and Side Chick are the most similar in terms of the size of the glitter/shimmer.

So … I think you can see these are not dupes of each other. But they are similar enough that you might not want all of them, unless you are a fan of the sparkly reds. Personally, I adore Ruby Pumps. I would pick that one each and every day. Between Side Chick and Ho! Ho!, I would probably choose Ho! Ho! because I like the delicate hints of gold in it.


The next comparison is for Lukewarm Wishes. I compared it to China Glaze, Hay Girl, Hay and China Glaze, Queen Please. China Glaze has done several of these shimmery types of almost-topper polishes.

There are some similarities and possible dupes here! But I am happy to say Lukewarm Wishes is not similar to either of these polishes. To my eye, it couldn’t be more different. Lukewarm Wishes has a beautiful, cool-toned blue shimmer that really seems to stand out on the nail. In contrast, both Hay Girl and Queen are warm-toned with more of a golden, glowing shimmer to them. But I think Hay Girl and Queen are pretty much the same. I remember falling hard for Queen last Halloween and feeling disappointed to find it was so, so similar to Hay Girl. It was a Sad Panda moment.


I have two comparisons for You’re a Mean One. For the first one, I compared it to OPI, Feel the Chemis-Tree and OPI, Midnight in Moscow.

Let’s tackle the easy one first. Midnight and Mean One are really not at all alike. They both have a beautiful shimmer that seems to glow mysteriously down in the polish. But that’s where the similarities end.

But Chemis-Tree and Mean One … I think that is a different story. I do not think they are dupes for each other. Chemis-Tree is slightly lighter in color, and I think it has a stronger shimmer than Mean One. In contrast, Mean One is darker and looks much more mysterious or vampy on the nail. I also think it tends to have more of a red tone as opposed to the purple I see in Chemis-Tree. But … these two are so, so, so similar. If you already have Chemis-Tree, you might not feel the need to pick up Mean One.


The second comparison for You’re a Mean One is with OPI, Lincoln Park at Midnight and China Glaze, Fashion Forward.

Again, let’s tackle the easy comparison first. I think it’s obvious that Mean One and Fashion Forward are not at all alike, other than the fact that they both have purple in them. Fashion is lighter and also has some gold/orange and blue tones.

I think Midnight and Mean One are more similar, but still not dupes. Midnight has a similar type of shimmer, but it is silvery in comparison to Mean One’s red or pink. Midnight is darker and deeper in color tone, as well as looking more purple to me. In contrast, Mean One has more red tones in the purple base, and it is a little lighter and has more of a glow on the nail.


You guys!! I love this whole collection! I have some lingering doubts about the light, silvery blue, but I am willing to overlook them in favor of the love-vibes I feel for the rest of the polishes in this collection. I was so excited for these when I saw the first PR pictures online, and they did not disappoint. I also love the new brushes. I like the extra width and thickness, and I feel like the new brushes made application much easier for these polishes. At the same time, the brush isn’t TOO wide or thick. For me, it was comparable to an OPI brush, which felt pretty darn perfect.

These polishes feel traditional to me in terms of their color tones, but I love how they have different finishes. I love the glitz and glam in this collection. I love that there are some holographics in here, which is super fun to see coming from a mainstream brand. Overall, I think this collection is playful and just a ton of fun. I have already used combinations of these polishes in Christmas-themed nail art, and they worked beautifully.

I grew up watching the original animated, made-for-TV Grinch movie, so I had my doubts about the newest version, which came out earlier this month. I was on the fence over seeing it, but my daughter wanted to go. We ended up going as a family, and we all LOVED the new film. It felt like a throw-back to the Grinch of my childhood in many ways. And yet, it also felt more modern and updated and appropriate for today. I think this collection is perfect for the movie. I feel like China Glaze captured a good mix of old nostalgia and new memories in this collection. I am going to enjoy wearing it this holiday season — and for many more to come!


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