Cirque Colors – Alchemy Collection pt. 2

Cirque Alchemy pt 2 opener


The following is taken from the Merriam-Webster dictionary:


noun \ˈal-kə-mē\

  1. a science that was used in the Middle Ages with the goal of changing ordinary metals into gold
  2. a power or process that changes or transforms something in a mysterious or impressive way
  • a medieval chemical science and speculative philosophy aiming to achieve the transmutation of the base metals into gold, the discovery of a universal cure for disease, and the discovery of a means of indefinitely prolonging life
  • a power or process of transforming something common into something special
  • an inexplicable or mysterious transmuting

I don’t know about you, but I found that all of the above definitions eerily accurate as far as these beauties are concerned. Whereas the first part of the Cirque Colors Alchemy Collection (reviewed here) focused on more ‘sleight of hand’ type of shades, this second half is nothing short of spectacular. Colour shifting, brilliant glitters, and textured finishes define these 5 lacquers and I was captivated by each and every one.


Cirque Alchemy pt 2

Cirque Colors – Alchemy Collection

Cirque Alchemy pt 2 B

Cirque Colors – Alchemy Collection

Cirque Alchemy pt 2 C

Cirque Colors – Alchemy Collection


Lichen – A perfect example of “alchemy“, this shade bears a charcoal base (surprised?), filled with mossy green, olive & bronze ultra-fine shimmer. The ‘gasoline’ effect is strongest in the bottle, but I do catch glimpses of it on the nails in certain lights. I recommend that you mix the contents thoroughly to avoid any separation and/or patchy coats – otherwise, the application is awesome. Self-levelling and with a brilliant (but not glossy) finish, Lichen has incredibly depth. Coats applied: 2, plus top coat

Cirque Lichen swatch

Cirque Colors – Lichen

Cirque Lichen swatch 2

Cirque Colors – Lichen


Stella – A clear base loaded with rose gold (a totally trending colour this season) glitter in a variety of shapes and sizes – all the way from ground, ultra-fine, and fine. Easily layered over a matching base, opacity is quite good even on its own, giving good coverage by the second coat. An effortless application and high-watt finish, Stella has a naturally soft-grit texture that becomes completely smooth once top coat is layered over. Coats applied: 2 (top coat added for final swatch only)

Cirque Stella swatch

Cirque Colors – Stella

Cirque Stella swatch 2

Cirque Colors – Stella

Cirque Stella swatch with TC

Cirque Colors – Stella (top coat added)


Ica Valley – The golden version of Stella, in terms of application and formula, but in a cool gold tone, that should suit all skin tones – from the fairest to the darkest … like magic? (sorry – it was too perfect to resist). Be prepared for some glitter migration upon removal. Coats applied: 2 (top coat added for final swatch only)

Cirque Ica Valley swatch

Cirque Colors – Ica Valley

Cirque Ica Valley swatch 2

Cirque Colors – Ica Valley

Cirque Ica Valley swatch with TC

Cirque Colors – Ica Valley (top coat added)


Chainmail – Is it just me, or does anyone else think this name is über-sexy? A light grey base filled with ground and fine steely blue glitter, along with fine prismatic particles and more random black specks thrown in for good measure. The formula is the thinnest of the glittery shades shown here, and while layering Chainmail over a matching base is always an option, I love the more complex look on its own. Coats applied: 3, thin (top coat added for final swatch only)

Cirque Chainmail swatch

Cirque Colors – Chainmail

Cirque Chainmail swatch flash

Cirque Colors – Chainmail (taken with flash)

Cirque Chainmail swatch with TC

Cirque Colors – Chainmail (top coat added)


Vectors – Meant to be a “topper” (as in, applied over the base of your choice), this is a clear base filled with black bar, small round, medium & larger hexagonal, and diamond shaped glitter, with the addition of finely ground holographic glitter throughout. Each brush stroke yields a good variety of glitter, with no “fishing” necessary – although you may need to nudge some of the bar pieces into place, especially if they fall near the nail sides or free edge.

I’ve opted to show Vectors two ways: over a light base such as CHANEL’s Eastern Light (previously reviewed here), the white backdrop serves to enhance every detail, while layered over the more intricate look of Magnum Opus (from the Alchemy Collection pt. 1, previously reviewed here) the entire look seems to take on a more 3D tone. The options are literally limitless with this topper.

CIrque Vectors swatch over Chanel Eastern Light

Cirque Colors – Vectors (over CHANEL’s Eastern Light, previously reviewed here)

Cirque Vectors swatch over Eastern Light 2

Cirque Colors – Vectors (over CHANEL’s Eastern Light)

Cirque Vectors swatch over Magnum Opus

Cirque Colors – Vectors (over Magnum Opus, previously reviewed here)

Cirque Vectors swatch over Magnum Opus 2

Cirque Colors – Vectors (over Magnum Opus, taken with flash)


I can’t say it often enough: for all nail-philes out there, Cirque Colors is a brand that you need to sit up and take notice of. The originality, formula, and detail that goes into every single bottle of lacquer, is undeniable. From this second half of the Alchemy Collection, I am hard-pressed to choose a favourite, as I found something to love about them all, but I confess that Chainmail has my number. Considering that I’m not glitter’s biggest fan, I found that I couldn’t stop staring at my nails when wearing both Stella and Ica Valley, and while top coat does all kinds of wonderful to these hues, I love the edgier look without – adding a tactile sensation to polish brings it to a whole other level, in my opinion.

The Alchemy Collection is available now – find more information via website/twitter/facebook

About Cirque
Cirque is an artisanal line of hand-blended nail polish made in New York. The name Cirque, meaning ring or circle, represents the color wheel and the endless color possibilities in the continuum. Creator, Annie Pham, sought to develop colors that transcend those of conventional brands by experimenting with unique pigments and raw materials. Cirque nail polish is 3-free, which means it does not contain toluene, formaldehyde and dibutyl phthalate.

Cirque Alchemy pt 2 closer

*Disclosure: Product samples provided by the company/PR for my unbiased consideration

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