Max Factor - Fantasy Fire

Gorgeous sheer purple/green duochrome and possible Clarins 230 dupe?  

I'm sure most of you have heard of and seen Max Factor's Max Effect Fantasy Fire 45 by now.  It's a newly released potential dupe to the elusive, HTF, Clarins 230 aka Unicorn Pee.

I have to say straight up that I don't have Clarins 230.  I've toyed with those ebay auctions but always managed to talk myself down from paying £50+ for a single polish.  So this won't be a comparison post, I'm just gonna bombard you with pics of Fantasy Fire because whether it's a dupe or not (and it's certainly similar) it's still totally gorgeous.

I picked up Fantasy Fire in in a tiny branch of Boots a couple of days ago.  There were several new colours including some interesting metallics. This afternoon the sun came out long enough for me to grab the following pics.  As the weather was pretty variable I didn't know how long the sunlight would stick around I just popped a couple of coats over my existing manicure, a-England's Elaine.  As it turned out it was a pretty excellent base coat for FF.  I'd already seen swatches of the polish alone on BeneBelles blog and knew it was super sheer and that layering was the way to go

So first up a couple of bottle shots

In the bottle it's predominantly a pinkish purple with lots of shimmer and a duochrome of blue and some green and maybe a hint of gold around the edges.

The bottle is tiny, just 5ml and they cost £3.99, pretty expensive for such a weeny amount of polish but in this case totally worth it!

All the following swatch shots are 2 coats of Fantasy Fire over my existing mani of a-England Elaine, a dusky purple.  Looking at the swatches now I wished I'd added a topcoat to really make the shimmer sing but never mind....

With all of these pics you can click for bigger versions.

 This was the only shot I got that just about showed all the different colours - I think 230 maybe more overtly duochrome.

Love how it looks like a gradient in this shot, just wish my ring finger had been at the same angle!

 One of the few times you can see the green strongly in the bottle.

I hope you can see the range of the duochrome in these shots which starts as a sheer purple with a red shimmer and then switches between gold shimmer and a strong green with a green/gold shimmer.

Out of the sunlight the shimmer is much redder and there's no hint of the duochrome.

These are both under electric light and IRL the shimmer is redder still.

It is totally gorgeous and to be honest it's close enough to 230 for me!

There doesn't seem to be any information about the new colours on the Max Factor site, they still only have the old colours up so I can't tell you if this is part of a collection or just a new release of colours.

So, what do you think?  Totally stunning or what?!


  1. absolutely stunning.. Im trying to find some one to get me a bottle..LOl great pictures. Your not alone with evilbay and clarin 230. as far as I get is keeping it on my watch list :-)

  2. I bought this in Boots yesterday too! It looks so gorgeous! I haven't tried mine on yet though.

  3. Awesome combination! I really hope this polish will be available here as well! Need to stalk my local drugstores ;)

  4. This is beautiful!! Really stunning! So far I haven´t found this in the Netherlands yet, but I guess I just have to wait for a while.

  5. Very pretty, I don't have Clarins 230 either....and i'm not succumbing to ebay for it either.

  6. I love it over a midnight blue but you can have it over so many for something extra unique

    Also, thanks for linking my blog in your post!

    1. I think I'll try it over blue next, or maybe a deep pinky red, so many possibilities! And no probs about the link, yours was one of the first to post so credit to you.

    2. I've tried it over a barry M pinky purple too. ( though not as keen on that tbh. Going to try some others!

  7. @Sabine & @Miranda - I haven't seen anything that says they're LE so hopefully they're just slow to launch in Europe.

    @Frosso - yup, I'd have even more trouble justifying 230 to myself now this is available

  8. This is gorgeous! I guess I've been under a rock because this is the first I've seen or heard of this gorgeous lacquer. I'm in the states so don't know if I'll ever see it in person but I love it.

  9. I've just put this on tonight, so I'm looking forward to seeing it in daylight to see how well the effects work on me.

    1. It's been sunny down south today so hopefully you got some too to check out the awesome!

  10. Gorgeous :D You got lots of great photos too - my camera just couldn't cope! A true gem in any collection!


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