Friday, 10 August 2012

Linear vs scattered holographic nail polishes

Why not?! ANOTHER post about holos! ;)

I've noticed that there is some confusion regarding what linear and scattered holo really is. I'm definitely no expert but I have done A LOT of research on this subject lately. Here's what I've found out and maybe not everyone agrees but this is what agrees with me ;)

First of all, the terms linear and scattered are, as far as I know, only used by us lacquer heads and not by the producers. They don't even often say holographic but call it things like diamond dust or diamond shimmer.

Even the distributors ( for example) seem to have different criteria and use the terms differently. Let's look at what we're talking about, shall we? :)

This is a linear holo due to the small, almost tiny, holo particles and the strong prism in which you clearly can see different colours like in a rainbow.

A linear holo is also known to be quite dull in indoor light which I think this one is.

This is a scattered holo. The holo particles are bigger and more all over the nail and there is no real clear prism.

In indoor light the scattered holos are still slightly visible and if not still shimmery and with a certain depth.

Then we have all those polishes which is absolutely packed with holo glitter. What should we call them? Holo glitter polishes? Or are they too scattered holo polishes?
The holo effect is scattered with no real prism...

...and in indoor light it's still shimmery with depth... To me that sounds like a scattered holo :)

And what about this one? What do we call this one...?
It has the qualities of both a scattered holo (bigger holo particles with holo effect all over the nail) AND the qualities of a linear holo (clear and strong visible prism in multiple colours).
I think we should call it a linear scattered holo OR a scattered holo with a linear effect.

And what about this one? The web shop call it linear even though the holo particles are bigger and the prism is more dispersed. I would call it a linear scattered holo. :)

And this one? OPI calls it a polish packed with "diamond dust". I would call it a linear scattered holo. :)
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Of what I have seen and read on lots and lots of blogs, some of you will probably disagree with me but I know some of you will agree with me too. ;) I've seen that some of you (even long term established bloggers) use the same words as I ;)

Let's just face it though, even if we disagree on the words - we all love those gorgeous holo polishes! <3

Feel free to comment this post with your thoughts though ;)

Is this a Swedish thing maybe...?
Should we just call all holos just holos instead to make thing easier...?


  1. Vad gör jag kl 8 en lördag morgon?

    Jo, jag målar naglar med Nfu Oh 61 !!
    Och det är pga dig och ditt senaste bloggande om holo lack! :P
    Tack för att du gör mej ännu mera beroende


  2. Alltid trevligt med jämförelser :)
    Lacken med stora holo-glitter brukar gå under beteckningen "prismatiskt glitter". Men jag kan hålla med, ibland hade det varit lättare att bara kalla allting för holo och så var det bra så :p

  3. It's simple. A linear holo is one where you can see the outline of the holo effect surrounding it as sharp "lines". Hence the term "linear". In a scattered holo, you just see multicolored prismatic reflections off the glittery particles, pretty much all over the nail and not in a sharply demarcated fashion. Your first, seventh and eighth pictures are linear holos, and your third, fifth and sixth pictures are scattered holos.

  4. I pretty much agree with your definitions of each. I saw one indie polish maker call her scattered linear holo "scattered+linear" which I really think makes sense in a way that's easy to understand. I don't think we should just call them all holos and leave it at that; we definitely need the distinction between the 3. For instance, I like almost any holo, but scattered are my least favorite and use this kind very seldom. Scattered+linears are OK, but still not very preferred because of the scattered attribute. I think linears are the prettiest and prefer these most. Definitely need the distinction! :)

  5. The best post I found about it! I'm preparing a blogpost featuring a scattered holo and I would like to ask you if I may put a link this post as reference?

    1. Thanks! Yes, you can if you link back to this post. Please send me the link to your post when you are ready! It would be great to read it!

  6. You and your cat are crazy adorable.

    On an unrelated nail note, we have a new TV program here in the US called "Welcome to Sweden" Have you seen it or heard of it? It is about a guy who leaves his successful job in the US to move to Sweden to be with his girlfriend and her slightly nutty family. It is an absolute riot--I am loving it.

    Thanks for clearing up linear holo for me. I had seen the term but was not quite sure what it meant.


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