Sephora's New, Single-Use Nail Polish Pods Are Here!

Are the Press Pods as great as the rest of the Formula X line? I found out!
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Natacha Medeiros
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Are the Press Pods as great as the rest of the Formula X line? I found out!
Sephora Formula X Press Pods

Have I mentioned how much I love Formula X, Sephora’s in-house nail polish line?  Yes, yes I have. But to repeat: it's really, really great. Their colours and, er, formulas (hehe) are always spot on. So when I heard they were coming out with these mystical, magical Press Pod things, I was all kinds of intrigued. But did I love them like I love everything else Formula X? Keep reading to find out!

Sephora Nail Pods (1)

So what's a Press Pod, anyway? Essentially, they are teeny-tiny, single-use polish capsules that hold just enough for two coats of polish. The set comes with 24 bestselling shades, ranging from glitters to metallics to creams, in bright to more everyday neutral colours, so there’s something bound to catch everyone’s eye. They retail for $47 ($39 in the U.S.), which comes out to roughly $1.95 per pod (or even cheaper, $1.60 per pod, for Americans). So basically, under $2 per wear.

If you’re a bit confused as to how these work, here’s a little explanation. (Go to 0:46 for how to use them.)

I chose to test out a really pretty pink shade (which I now want to buy the full size of), called Potent. As you can see below, all the mini capsules have polish names written below the pod, so you can easily pick up the full size from the regular Formula X line if you wish.

Sephora Nail Pods (2)

I twisted off the cap, relaxed the bristles as told and squeezed.

Sephora Nail Pods (3)

The polish was really quick to come out and didn’t take much effort at all. So I started painting, but noticed that the polish was more on the thick side than anything else—and the actual brush isn’t the best quality, but that’s kind of expected.

After my first coat, this is what my nails looked like. Basically a hot mess. Also, please excuse the general hand/cuticle dryness:

Sephora Nail Pods (4)

I thought to myself, there is no way I am keeping this mani on after I'm done swatching. The first coat was just terrible.

On to the second… and it wasn’t that much better. The brush would wipe off the polish and leave streaky brush strokes, so I found the best way to apply it was to really squeeze enough polish onto the nail first. That way, you don’t have to drag the brush and squeeze the polish out at the same time, know what I mean? Here’s how it looked after coat two:

Sephora Nail Pods (5)

After evaluating how much polish was left in the teeny pod, I figured I might just have enough to squeeze out a third coat, so I took a walk on the wild side and went for it.

The third application really evened everything out, but I still wasn’t super-impressed. The polish was gloppy and didn’t go on as smoothly as I wished it would. I got three coats on all 10 fingers, but by the time I got to my ring finger on my second hand, it was getting tough to get product out. Strangely enough, there was still a lot left in the pod after I was done, as you can see below, but it just wasn’t coming out easily. So three coats is pretty much tops.

Sephora Nail Pods (6)

The end result managed to be a pretty decent set of painted nails, but it wasn’t perfect. Here’s what I ended up with after clean-up and some much needed cuticle oil:

Sephora Nail Pods (7)

Not bad, right? I ended up sporting this colour for a good three days, which is a long time in my polish-obsessed world!

The Bottom Line

This product is absolutely ingenious for travelling. I love the idea that you can pop three or four of these (or even all 24!) in your makeup bag, and change your mani as you go with ease. They’re ridiculously lightweight, shatter-proof and so easy to pack. The Press Pods are also so smart for those girls who don’t paint their nails often, and don’t want to spend the money on a bunch of different colours they’re only going to wear once or twice. With Press Pods, you get a bunch of colours for testing!

But of course, the downside is that once these are opened, that’s pretty much the end of it for you and that colour. There’s no fixing chips or touching up, as the polish dries out once opened and unused.

I also find the price tag a little steep. I don’t think I’d pay $2 for these individually either, so it’s a little hard to justify the price if you’re someone who just wants to test these out. Plus, on the environmental side, when you really think about it, these are little pods of wasted plastic.

Lastly, the application is pretty easy, but like I showed you above, there are some streakiness issues, and it can get pretty tricky to squeeze the pod and apply the polish with wet nails. I somewhere managed to smudge my mani with all three coats because it just wasn’t working out.

If you have tons of polish already and just want to try these out for fun, I’d say skip it. You’re better off buying full sizes that you can keep stored away and be able to use for touching up or chips. But if you don’t wear polish often or you’re going on vacay soon, these little things are a total must-have.

Where to Buy

Find the Press Pods at Sephora:

Have Your Say

Have you checked out the Press Pods yet?
What do you think of this concept?