May 30, 2014

Formula X Press Pods Review

Happy Friday! Today I have a little review of the Press Pods from Formula X to share with you. I saw these online a while back and my initial thought was those are weird...and expensive. I ended up stopping by Sephora over the weekend and saw them in store and well curiosity got the best of me and they ended up coming home with me.

Press Pods are tiny 1 use "pods" of Formula X polish. They would be perfect for taking along on a trip, that's most likely what I'll end up using them for. They are so small that it would be good if you're traveling with only a carry on and have limited space in your bag for liquids.There is enough polish in each pod for a full mani and pedi....if you have extra long nails I'm not sure that you would be able to get both a mani & pedi, but for me I was able to and I had polish left over.

Below is what the package looks like, it contains 24 Press Pods in a variety of colors and finishes. It's a really nice sampling of the range of shades that Formula X offers. On the back of the box is instructions for how to use the pods. 

This is how the tray looks once you take it out of the box. The plastic is not one you have to cut open and it seals back up so you can just take the 1 you want out then put this back in the box if that's how you wanted to store these.

Below is the pod, as you can see it has a little twisty top on the end. You twist that off and it reveals the brush used to apply the polish. When I posted the set on Instagram the other day Laura suggested on twitter that I massage the brush before using it because that makes it easier to work with. The brush is a little stiff so that was a great...and helpful suggestion that I would definitely say is a "must" if you get these.

On the bottom of each pod is the name of the polish. I like that they did this, it's nice if you decide you like the color enough to pick it up in full size. The polish I used for this post was Unmistakable.

Here is the brush once you twist off the top. Like I said before it's a little stiff so massaging it does help. It's still not the easiest brush to use but I can't say that I really expected it to be given how small it is.

Here is my mani with the pod, as you can probably tell, the color the polish looked in the pod isn't actually how it looked on the nail. I don't know if that will be the case with all the pods or if I just happened to get the 1 that looks different pod to nail. I've actually swatched this shade before (see that post here) and in the full size bottle the polish translates to the nail as it looks in the bottle.

I did have some issues with application...there is a learning curve with these. You have to squeeze out more polish than you think you actually need or else the brush drags it off because of how stiff it is. I found that led to getting the polish all pooled at my cuticles...easy enough to clean up but I don't imagine a normal consumer is going to A. know that "clean up" is a thing and B. will want to take the time since they will probably be using a product like this on the go or on vacation.

I ended up using 3 coats to get the polish even, in comparison to the 2 coats I needed with the regular full sized bottle of this polish. The photo below is in natural sunlight. Check out the post I linked above for a better swatch of this shade.

Overall I'm kind of torn on these. I think they are great for travel and I will definitely be using the other 23 for that somewhere down the road. However, I find that they are a little hard to use and if given the choice I'd use my regular sized polish before grabbing for these. I actually don't think the price is that bad for these, $39 for 24 pods...considering you can get a full mani and pedi out of a pod the price doesn't seem too crazy to me. Would I buy these probably not, but they might be great for other people. I don't think someone like me with a bajillion bottles of polish is really who Formula X is trying to reach with these to be honest. Lets face it, I would sacrifice other liquids to fit a bottle of nail polish into my carry on if it came down to it lol!

The Formula X Press Pods set is available at Sephora and on for $39
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  1. Jade Bishop @ Life in LacquerMay 30, 2014 at 5:26 AM

    I havent seen these before. I like the concept but I never travel lol So i dont think I would need them. I do love the shade you used though

  2. Thanks for reviewing these, I'd been wondering just how practical these actually were, and I think I'll probably still end up passing, they sound like more work than they're worth!

    I do have a question though: did it feel like you had enough polish to work with or did you feel like you might be running out?

  3. There was definitely enough to work with...even when I was doing my toes I didn't feel like I was running out!

  4. Thanks for the comprehensive review - I saw when you posted them earlier, and I was curious about how they actually worked. I think if I was going on vacation and taking a plane, I would either (a) pack one or two minis, (b) take something like Incoco's wraps, or (c) put my polish in my checked bag. The brush looks pretty poor on these and I feel like I would just make a mess of them.

  5. I like the concept of these (well, not quite: nail polish innovation is just always exciting), but I hate how wasteful they are. I get that we nail polish fanatics are all investing in products that won't last forever, but these seem extra wasteful. I would prefer it if they'd come up with a way for the colour pods to be screwed into a single brush or something - it might mean the brush could be better, too. Anyway, thanks for giving in to your curiosity and reviewing these - I was really intrigued when I saw them online, too.

  6. This is such a good idea! I've always thought gel nails were the only way to go when travelling, but using nail wraps makes so much sense!

  7. I've been wondering about these since I first saw them, the concept was great but I wasn't convinced. After your post I think I'd rather buy mini bottles for travel than these pods. Thanks for posting this.

  8. I can see the novelty of this but, I think I would rather pick up a mini Orly for travel. But that is just me.

  9. Its a fun idea but I'm not sure if it would be something I would use.

  10. I don't think I'd ever use something like this. If I ever take a trip again (haha), I'd just buy something at my destination and then ship it to myself at home. LOL

  11. I was really curious when they announced these how the pods were going to be made, thanks for the review! I can't see myself buying these, though, as I tend to wear gels if I'm going on an extended trip.

  12. Thanks so much for the great review! They are too expensive for me, but they're a cute idea. I would buy these if they had a "choose your own pods" set of 3 or 6 to bring down the cost.

  13. Seems like they would be better if the colors came in duos or singles so you didn't have to get a giant set, of which you may like half (which you only get one use out of each) and then are stuck with the other half... Neat idea but not for me!

  14. This seems like it would be a great gift for someone tin addition to a Sephora gift card to buy full sized polishes later on. Almost like the sample perfume sets they sell with a coupon for one full sized. This might also be good to have in addition to regular nail stuff for a girl's slumber party/sleepover.

  15. I really like the idea of these because they're single use polishes & it's the perfect opportunity to try out the formula x line w/o fully committing to a $10-$12 bottle of polish. It's a great way to experiment w/ different colors you've always wanted to try too. But this product is targeted to the customer who wants to try out the brand, or for someone who travels as they're a compact size to throw in your makeup bag; not one who has the same colors of the brand, or similar colors from other (maybe better) brands, or one who changes their polish color constantly. Personally, I wouldn't buy it for myself bc I change my polish color & wouldn't be able to fully commit to a color to test out the brand further, but I'd buy it as a gift to give to someone who loves NP & wants to build up a collection :)

  16. I think these are a novel idea but like another reader, I would like to be able to choose a smaller set. For travel I had been using a polish topped with glitter that wore like iron, but in future I'm going to try nail wraps. They seem like the ticket. Super helpful review! Still not sure if I'll pick these up to try...there are so many I may not like.

  17. I looked at this in Sephora but I worried that the brush would be really hard to use. I'm happy to see a review of this but I won't end up being a customer of these. I like FormulaX polishes but I'll stick to single bottles for now.

  18. Yeah, I've only done my nails on vacation a handful of times. It's only a hassle to bring everything (polish remover, Q-tips, base coat, top coat, polish, nail files, etc.). The difference between this and a regular bottle of polish is not enough for me to want to use this. The only way I see this being useful is for touch-ups. Say you have a color you love that chips easily. This way you can touch up your nails on the go.

  19. Cristina ImpoverishedMay 31, 2014 at 9:21 PM

    I wanted to share a suggestion with you in case you want to try it with these pods in the future. I keep an empty polish bottle full of acetone on hand for any polish I try that has a problematic brush. I wipe the brush dry of acetone and use that brush rather than the problem one for application. Empty base coat or top coat bottles would work well for this purpose.

  20. I appreciate this review. I had been thinking about picking these up but I'm going to pass now.

  21. These are cute but I'd rather spend my money on normal polishes which I'd use and which would last...

  22. I saw your picture of this on Instagram, and noticed you have a MINI. Me too (a '13 Countryman)


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