We all know how much I adore Tom Ford Beauty. I have been a devotee since the original launch of his lipsticks, and the full launch of his ultra luxe cosmetics only made me that much more passionate about the products. The Viper nail polish has been on the top of my wish list for the past year. It is now the third Tom Ford nail polish to take its rightful place on my wall, and it looks every bit as sophisticated as I had anticipated. Please see my full review and photos after the jump!
Tom Ford nail polishes have a square lid that lifts off. A small black cap twists off and reveals a long, thin brush. I prefer a shorter, wider brush, but I find the longer style better compliments the more fluid formula of Viper.
Viper is a deep violet-black with a very glossy finish, so glossy that it nearly appears to be a jelly. I would categorize it a jelly-creme. With one coat, it looks to be a full-on violet berry color, no brown tones whatsoever. I wish I could wear it with just two coats so it would not appear so dark in fluorescent lighting, but alas, the formula looks a little too patchy at two coats for that. You can refer to London Makeup Girl's post with swatches of Viper at two coats HERE if you are interested. If the formula were more self-leveling, I might be able to wear the polish with two coats but four (as worn in all my swatches in this post) looked best. I prefer absolutely even coverage so four coats it is!
The saving grace of Viper is that it dries so quickly. It is one of the fastest drying nail polishes I own, and that observation is not just attributed to the thinner coats I used. I usually clean off my cuticles with acetone and a nail brush after painting each coat, but I found that it was staining by the time I was done painting each hand. That is a good and bad thing.. Good because the likelihood I will smudge the polish while it is drying is significantly reduced, bad because I will have to paint with more caution than I normally would. The good in this case, however, outweighs the bad. I generally wear 3 coats of polish, so adding an additional coat is not a deal breaker for me.
If you want a more affordable alternative, I recommend OPI's Lincoln Park After Dark. I owned it years ago when it first launched but as with many of my OPI polishes, was lost during the many moves during my college years. Lincoln Park After Dark is a smidgen deeper than Viper, appearing more black than Viper does. Viper remains a true violet with two coats, while Lincoln Park After Dark leans slightly brown. Both are glossy cremes, but from memory, Lincoln Park After Dark does not pool on the sides of the nails as much and 2 coats was sufficient for full coverage (3 for absolute coverage). Viper requires at least three thin coats. I recommend 4 thin coats for absolute coverage. Still, it is not as tricky to apply as last season's Silver Smoke polish which has a much thicker formula.
*None of the photos in this post were altered. Photo above ^ cut with Diptic, Bokeh from Picfx
I will end this post with a photo of Viper that shows the dualistic nature of the color. On the left, you see the deepness of the nearly black violet. On the right, you can see the violet light up (even with four coats). Beautiful and chic, isn't it? It would pair perfectly with the vampy lip which is so popular this fall. And for those that have been inquiring about it, I will review the Fall 2012 Nail Color in Dominatrix -- a shimmery purple that is the best applying of the three Tom Ford nail polishes I own -- next week here on the blog!
Bottom Line: I am willing to overlook the flaws of the formula because I love the color and drying time of Viper so much, and if I were ever to lose this, I would purchase a second bottle in a heartbeat!