China Glaze Nail Lacquer in Free Bear Hugs

China Glaze — Free Bear Hugs (Nail Lacquer) Swatch & Review

Collection: China Glaze 2015 Fall, The Great Outdoors

Welp, my low-buy’s not going that great! I spotted a slew of colors from China Glaze’s new fall collection, The Great Outdoors, at Winners and decided to pick up…several. This is the first China Glaze collection I’ve been wowed by for some time now! I got Cabin Fever, Check Out the Silver Fox, Free Bear Hugs, Pondering, Sleeping Under the Stars, and Wood You Wanna?

Free Bear Hugs (82714) is an intensely deep blood red cream with a browned-berry tone. It has a jelly formula, and reminds me of Essie Clutch Me If You Can in both color and consistency.

I actually expected this polish to be more brown, as that’s how it looked to me in the store’s lighting. But at home, I realized that it’s actually a super deep oxblood that has a surprising berry color when applied as a single coat. I didn’t want to tinker too much with the photo, but my camera insisted the color is darker than it appears. It’s a bit more berry-toned than it looks here:

China Glaze Nail Lacquer in Free Bear Hugs, swatch, 1 coat

A second coat gets it much deeper, though you can clearly see that it is still a bit uneven, and that it’s tricky with the bald spots (Essie’s Clutch Me is the same way) due to the dark color in jelly format:

China Glaze Nail Lacquer in Free Bear Hugs, swatch, 2 coats

Here it finally is with 3 coats (plus a little extra to cover the odd, stubborn bald spot):

China Glaze Nail Lacquer in Free Bear Hugs, swatch, 3 coats

You can see that the color is super-pigmented, because there’s a little polish on my cuticles from my first attempt at applying this (I failed and removed it, but not everything came off successfully). This polish stains like crazy.

As a vampy lover, however, I adore this color. It’s the perfect deep, vampy red, with just the right balance of red, brown and plum. It’s probably a tad dark, as it does look just about black in dim light, but oh my gosh that jelly formula makes the polish so, so glossy even after it dries!

Is it worth the effort? Only you can decide. I think the final result is beautiful, and probably worth struggling a little to achieve.

China Glaze Nail Lacquer retails for US$7.50 and is 0.5 US fl oz / 14 mL. China Glaze nail polishes are free of toluene, added formaldehyde, and dibutyl phthalate (DBP), and are made in the USA.

China Glaze is part of American International Industries (who also own brands like Seche, EzFlow and Ardell), a private company based in Los Angeles, CA, USA.


21 thoughts on “China Glaze — Free Bear Hugs (Nail Lacquer) Swatch & Review

  1. Haha starting a Low-Buy going into Fall / Holiday season is just asking for trouble if you ask me! 😛
    Hrm not feeling this 3 coater vampy colour. It’s too much hassle in my opinion! I’d do a 3 coater for a sheer but not for a vamp. I’ve got my limits, ya know. 😀

    Liked by 2 people

    • I only thought of that problem a week after I decided on the low-buy. Rookie mistake 😦

      Haha, priorities! I’d much rather do 3+ coats for a vampy than for a sheer.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Pretty color – this came in my set of minis, so I will let you know how it performs for me! I’ll be sure to have my nail polish remover and fine tipped brush handy to prevent as little staining as possible around my cuticles!!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Some common salon shades that are similar would be Essie Clutch Me If You Can, China Glaze Ravishing Dahling (less blackened red), Essie Wicked (very dark, not jelly). Hope you find one you love!


  3. Hahaha right before I read “this polish stains like crazy”, I was thinking that! I have a dark jelly like this, it’s Devilish by Revlon, the glossy shine is jaw-dropping! The look of super dark shiny polish is so elegant to me

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Argh, I almost got that shade ages ago, but decided against it because I didn’t think it would look all that great in the end. Now I’m regretting it a bit! I guess it’s fair, since the formula seems kinda rotten… beautiful shade though, especially with your colouring. ❤


  5. I liked the way how you have represented one colour as three different shades as the first one looks like a sheer vamp red and then followed by a deep reddish brown and then, finished off lastly with the deepest brown out of all. Gorgeous!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Lovely colour. I’d love to see the berry tones in it. With nail polishes that stain, what tricks and base coats do you use to reduce staining?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi! (Just based off your handle, do I perhaps know you from somewhere?)

      I have never really been able to prevent staining with a base coat (Orly Bonder is what I use), but I feel that it helps to 1) let the base coat dry before applying polish, and 2) using a single thin coat of polish first, and letting it dry before adding additional coats. I might just be imagining things, but I think those steps help!


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