Thursday, June 24, 2010


About a month ago, somebody showed me a pic of Cetuem 191.

I freaked. Must. Have.

But I couldn't really find much ~out there~ on the brand. A small handful of blog posts. No where were there extensive swatches or extensive reviews.

I went to the Cetuem website and went nuts. At one point there were over 20 polishes I wanted. They had such gorgeous colors! But they were so hard to see in those tiny bottle pics (I ended up finding larger ones on I posted on MUA looking for input, a few of us went back and forth excitedly. I know at least 3 people ended up doing fairly substantial hauls.

I was one of them. They were $15 bucks a pop and I bought 7, but at least shipping was free (shipped from the UK)... it's not anymore.

I got them in my hot little hands soon after and was slightly disappointed by the reality of the colors (as opposed to what I imagined them to be). But still optimistic. 191 looked insane in the membrane.

Since then, over the past month, I have tried them all as NOTDs. Today I share swatches (and quick reviews).

Overall? For the money, they fucking suck. Sorry. Sawree. Forgive Me.

Do you like polishes to be well pigmented? Yes? Don't buy Cetuems.
Do you like nice brushes (or at least ones that spread out well when pressed against your nail)? Yes? Don't buy Cetuems.
Do you care if something is B3F? Yes? Don't buy Cetuems.
Do you like your polishes to have longevity? Yes? Don't buy Cetuems.
Does it drive you crazy when the square brush cap doesn't line up with the bottle? Yes? Don't buy Cetuems.
Do you prefer polishes that have ballz in them? Yes? Don't buy Cetuems.

Ok to be fair, a plus - The dry time for all but one of these was pretty good. So there you go. Further, their duochrome really is very impressive.


(4 coats)

Look at the bottle. See how it looks pinker half way down? That's the pigment sinking to the bottom (after several rounds of vigorous shakes). Not a big deal if these pricey polishes came with ballz. But they don't. And a couple of them separated pretty badly in a matter of weeks.

The duochrome here is a magenta-rust-olive. Pretty strong and impressive effect. If you like duochromes a lot (and own the very necessary ballz), then you would do well to pick up a couple. They have many duochrome-y options.


(2 coats)

This is a vampy red with gold shimmer. Probably one of the classiest colors I own lol. Despite requiring the least number of coats, this one was the most irritating. It had 0 longevity. It wouldn't dry and had already worn off my tips before I got to work.

That photo was taken the morning after I painted my nails! WTF, did I type a novel in my sleep? It was dentable all day too. Beh.


(3 coats)

The best formula of the bunch was this creme. It wasn't the color I was expecting, unfortunately. It applied very smoothly and had that jelly/creme finish thing going on where it needs multiple coats but looks wonderfully glossy. It dried lightening fast too. I don't hate this one.


(3 coats)

Having learned my lesson w/ 119, I wrapped my tips. Still no dice. It actually looks like it might be tip pull on the top finger (which wouldn't necessarily be the polishes fault). But the ring (center) finger is distinctly suffering from tip wear and we're not even 10 hours away from application, and I slept for most of that time.


(4 coats)

I so wanted this one to be awesome. The description on the website said it was metallic. A metallic teal?? Heavens!

Sadly it wasn't metallic, it was just really shimmer-y (and needed an absurd number of coats given the type of polish).


(2 coats)

To get this one to apply well you have to use super thick coats (the hexes are suspended in a gel). If they're too thin, the glitter gets caught on itself and you get a bare nail with an ugly clump of glitter. Sadly, this means you can't get this one to build to opacity. Even two thick-ass coats was really pushing it.

Color is awesome on this one though.


(4 coats)

Look at all that gold shimmer hanging out at the bottom of the bottle! That is after vigorous shaking.

This one was the only one that ended up not disappointing me in some way. In fact, I complain about the separation, but with less gold shimmer interspersed throughout, I think it looks even better than when I first wore it as a mani.

It's an awesome blue jelly, with gold and green shimmer. Pretty neat effect but very see-through. Would definitely layer with this one.

Sighhh that's it. No more. Probably never again.

Like this? Click below to let us know!


jaljen said...

Thank you!!!
I have seen these and they look classy on the website.
Sort-of severe and restrained and maybe sophisticated.
But you have put me RIGHT OFF!!!

191 IS TRULY lovely but I don't think I'll bother just for 1 polish.

Jessica said...

The bottles pics do look stunning! I'm glad you gave us a good honest review that they aren't worth that outrageous price tag! They do look great on you. I'm sorry you got all excited all these new pretties and then they didn't pan out, thats the pits. But I'm sure there is another WOW polish just around the corner :)

Deez Nailz ~ where the CANADIAN Bloggers at ? said...

Oh my goodness, these were $15.00!!!! While several of them are very pretty, and you did an amazing job with them = those are disappointingly overpriced.

By using the F-word you have definitely cemented their crappy-ness for the world and I hope you prevent others form investing in them. What a ballzy company to charge more than 3 bucks for these.....DANG!

You do an amazing job with your nails and hopefully after this diss-appointment, a thoughtful and compassionate polish company will rain down free-bees for you to swatch for us for many, many years♥♥♥

tasha~ said...

Wow! What a let-down. Thanks for the honest reviews~~~!!!!

Ping said...

That's disappointing, especially since they're $15 each. 191 looks pretty cool though. Thanks for the review, now I won't be tempted to get this brand.

Kimberly said...

$15 a bottle for these sucky polishes? Sounds like a bait and switch. OMG! They look cool in the bottle but not worth the trouble, or expense.

I agree with others, I am glad you gave an honest review. No thank you to these.

Piff said...

Jaljen - My pleasure, I have to say - I wish I had gotten more of their cremes based on the one I have. And I wish that creme was a color I could wear. Oh well!

Jessica - Absolutely. The great thing about polish is that for every disappointment, there are 5 wowers!

Deez - (lol do I detect sarcasm? lolol.) The thing that really shocked me was the lack of ballz. REALLY for $15 bucks you can't swing a ball in the polish??? Jesus, strangebeautiful gives you like 5 a bottle! I can't get ONE up in this bitch???! Sadly, I fear reviews like these will make other companies less likely to share their goods other than more. That's ok! I buy anyway.

Tasha - My pleasure. I hope it helps someone in the future.

Ping - 191 is very cool but what can you do. $15+ shipping = not at all worth it.

Kimberly - That's how they get you. All they post are tiny, tiny pr bottle pics so your imagination runs WILD.

polishsis said...

Your swayches and bottlepics are amazing! Thank you for a honest review, thats what nailpolis-blogging should be all about: showing pretty polishes and sharing honest opinions

rmcandlelight *I'm wearing China Glaze Stella* said...

These are all so gorgeous! Duochromes are my weakness. They are lovely on you :D

Adrienne said...

They ARE pretty, but I think there are better alternatives esp since they cost $15...

B.Stone said...

Okay, squee! I've been in your place, searching and searching for info on this brand. Not like anyone would have been around to read it, but one of my first blog posts was about them. I had actually emailed them and they had agreed to send me swatches. Hahahha that never happened. But I went through that gorgeous site of theirs time and time again, and I have really settled on the 136 and 198. I love duochromes, but Nubar appears to have much cheaper, and apparently much ballzier matches, and the other polishes I wanted were deep red or purple jellies, and I already have some of those >.>

Anonymous said...

that is SO disappointing! all of those colors look so cool in the bottles! i can't believe you spent $15 a pop on each one and they were so bad.

Anonymous said... lemmings here after reading your review. 191 looks a lot like NYX jungle...I paid 5 dollars for that, and it was worth every penny. I appreciate your honesty, and I hope that the polish companies actually read the review.

And LOL at "type a novel in my sleep"!

Anonymous said...

To me no polish is worth $15 a bottle when there are so many great polishes you can buy for $5 or less. There's always the Franken if you don't want to spend the $15. Sorry, but to me spending $15-$20 on a polish is crazy. Just my opinion. :)

Anonymous said...

When I'm frakening and the polish looks like it does in your pics(two different colors lurking..), I grab a Q-Tip(or a cuticle pusher..just a stick of some type, but I prefer a Q-tip) and put that in there and swirl it around. It does waste a tiny bit of polish, however it seems to mix the polish well. Then again, why the eff would you have to do that for such expensive polishes? LAME. They are pretty though..

aniploish said...

D, I <3 U!
Saved me a shitload of money after ogling these for donkey's years ("hey, 10 pounds each may be cheaper than illa or b/m opi, it's still Money")
for that money a NP should be all that AND a familly size bag of chips PLUS an overnight 20 lb. weight loss. Which they are not.
Now I can blow the cash on SB#4 and ditch those antropologie abominations!

Piff said...

Polishsis - thanks so much! I think our honesty has gotten us in trouble in the past, but it's our calling card :P

rmc - If you really love duochromes, it may be worth it to pick up one or two.

Adrienne - that's how a feel about it. NO BALLZ! REALLY.

B.Stone - Omg that site just sucks you in!!! And you ~imagine~ all those amazing colors. Hopefully, I helped ya.

Death - It was disappointing! I was REALLY excited. Oh well.

Melli - Yes 191 looks like NYX Jungle and Bloom Bianca I believe.

Schone - What about $30 on a polish? :P

Giggling - OMG!!! GREAT TIP. THANK YOU!!! THANK YOU! Will do when I next pull out 191.

Ani - UGH! Those 2-sets are the worst!!!! OMG. Just sell them like NORMAL god. And SB4 is the best one yet... eep!!!

Recessionista! said...

Wow. I am so sorry these were such a huge disappointed, especially after spending so much money on them. :( But think of all the people you've helped with this post, right? :)

PS: That duochrome is pretty freaking gorgeous though. haha!

Piff said...

Recession - It is quite pretty. If I liked duochromes more, I might not be so generally disappointed.

tasha~ said...

I think reviews like this will force companies to step up and make GOOD products! That's what we are all looking for anyways- not freebies! Nice job ;)

Arrianne said...

191 looks like NYX Jungle, so I'll stick with that one. What a bummer, these looked cool!

SaintBella said...


Is 191 really 191? Isn't it not 161?
I wonder because on Cetuem's website 191 looks green, while 161 is blue and more like this.
I'd appriciate your answer, since we sell it at Nailmail this month and want to give the customers some proper swatches (I hope it's okay that we link to your blog?).

Best regards,

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