Clarins 230 Swatches & Review (Layering ‘Unicorn Pee’ over Orly Sapphire Silk)

Clarins 230 Swatches & ReviewClarins 230 nail polish is a page out of a makeup fanatic’s fairy tale. Heck, it’s even known as Unicorn Pee!

This shimmery rainbow in a bottle is so unique that people are willing to pay an obscene amount of money to own. And others lucky enough to have nail buddies are swapping for it.

Clarins 230 is highly sought after and is quite possibly the hardest to find nail polish because it’s been discontinued for several years.

Is Clarins out of its mind? The story goes that the sparkly multichrome pigment used for Unicorn Pee doesn’t exist anymore and can’t be recreated yet. No pigment? No polish!

My bottle photos turned out decent – I was able to capture the rainbow and shimmery goodness. But I was really disappointed with how my Clarins 230 swatches turned out. This polish really didn’t want to show its true beauty in the swatches even though I literally took hundreds of photos in all different lighting!

Most bloggers show Unicorn Pee swatches where they layered Clarins 230 over a purple polish. While it’s truly a mesmerizing combination, I took a different route and experimented with a dusty-blue base color – Orly Sapphire Silk (from the Spring 2011 Collection).

Despite my lackluster swatches, I hope that you can still get a glimpse into the wonder that is this polish. I tried to show you, but really, Clarins 230 is a polish you really have to see in person to experience the magic (as cheesy as that sounds).

Warning: This post is picture heavy!

Clarins 230 Pictures

230 by Clarins

Clarins 230 Review & Swatches

Unicorn Pee Swatches

Clarins 230 Nail Polish

Unicorn Pee Polish

Clarins 230 Polish

Clarins 230 Swatches

All swatches have:

Unicorn Pee Review & Swatches

Natural Light

Unicorn Pee Nail Polish

Natural Light

Clarins 230 Swatches

Sunlight

Clarins 230 Unicorn Pee Review

Sunlight

Clarins 230 Swatches Unicorn Pee Swatches

Sunlight

Clarins 230 Nail Polish Swatches

Artificial Light

Unicorn Pee Swatches & Review

Artificial Light

Clarins 230 Green Polish

Artificial Light

Clarins 230 Swatches & Review

Artificial Light

Clarins 230 & Orly Sapphire Silk Swatches

Artificial Light

Unicorn Pee Clarins 230 Swatches

Artificial Light

Clarins 230 Unicorn Pee Swatch

Sunlight

Unicorn Pee Swatch

Artificial Light

Clarins Polish 230 Swatches

Artificial Light

Unicorn Pee Review & Swatch

Sunlight

Clarins 230 Purple Swatch

Flash

Clarins 230 Purple Swatches

Natural Light

Clarins 230 Polish Swatches

Artificial Light

Clarins 230 Unicorn Pee Swatches

Sunlight

Swatches of Clarins 230 Polish

Artificial Light

Clarins 230 Red Swatches

Artificial Light

Claims: Couldn’t find any, but Product: TRUSTED

Key Notes

  • Name: Clarins 230
  • Amount: 12 mL (0.4 fl. oz.)
  • What I Paid: $52.68 CAD (Yes, it’s obscene!)
  • Where to Buy: eBay

Clarins 230 Review

Color

Unicorn Pee has acute Dissociative Identity Disorder (aka Multiple Personality Disorder)! I had to take a bazillion photos because with every slight different angle, the color changes. You may think that all the above photos are of different polishes but, nope, they’re all of Clarins 230!

Unicorn Pee polish is meant to be worn over a base color. Sure, you could wear it by itself, but it’s extremely sheer, and to build up opacity, you’d probably have to wear 4-5 coats! Who wants to waste this liquid gold by doing that? Plus, when you layer it over another color, it adds depth.

Most times (and by itself), Clarins 230 looks like a sheer purple with red-ruby shimmer. In sunlight, the red shimmer is the most dominant. But in artificial light, the shimmer shifts from red to green to orange to yellow to pink to purple.

Each time you move your nails, you see different colors. It’s like wearing several different nail polishes all at once! So fun to wear!

Finish

Clarins 230 polish is incredibly sparkly! Even in dim light, the shimmer looks fiery and gives it that ‘lit from within’ look.

Picture fluffy white snow with strong sunlight blazing on it. Y’know how it glitters so much that the sparkles seem to ‘dance’ or twinkle? That’s exactly Unicorn Pee’s personality. The shimmer catches the light (even in low light) and is so bright and sharp!

Formula

It’s very thin and easy to work with – goes exactly where you want it to. No clumps. No stringiness. No streakiness. Flows like absolute perfection. And it dried in the same time as a typical polish.

Price

I can’t talk about Clarins 230 without complaining about the price. Just last year on eBay, it was going for even $100 (and upward) per bottle! And, yes, people were buying it.

Then this year I took a look and found the prices were around the $50-70 CAD mark. Still astronomically expensive, but it was a price that a nailphile like me was willing to drop. I see this as history in a bottle since the pigment isn’t around anymore. This is by far my most coveted polish. And I doubt that I’d ever drop this kind of cash on any other color. It’s a once-in-a-lifetime type of splurge for me.

Not everyone wants to pay the hefty price no matter how beautiful Unicorn Pee is. Some people have swapped with other nail-polish lovers on forums for it. And some others are even luckier and have found it in discount polish lots or even garage sales!

Layering

Most people like to layer this over a purple to bring out the purple shimmer more and so the red shimmer will really pop. But I chose a dusty blue base because I wanted to coax more blue and green shimmer.

I’ll definitely wear this again over another base color. Can’t wait to experiment with purples, greens, and reds!

Dupes

After doing extensive research, I found that the only spot-on dupe is Liquid Euphoria Bliss (which totally sounds like a drug…haha!). But that’s as elusive as Clarins 230.

Some people have also said that the Nfu-Oh flakie polish #51 is a dupe. It’s not. Clarins 230 doesn’t have any flakies. It has shimmer. You get a completely different effect. The only similarity that these two have is that they’re both rainbows in a bottle with the same base purple. So if you’re lemming Unicorn Pee, Nfu-Oh is your more affordable bet (although it can be difficult to get hold of, too!).

 

Pros

  • True shimmery rainbow in a bottle
  • Unique color
  • Can be layered over different base colors to achieve new looks
  • Thin, easy-to-work-with formula
  • Sparkles brilliantly even in low light
Cons

  • Insanely expensive
  • Ridiculously hard to find (discontinued because the pigment no longer exists)
  • Very sheer (meant to be layered over a base color)

Final Verdict: 10/10

Clarins 230 (Unicorn Pee) is the most stunning and chameleon-like polish I have ever seen, and I’m very grateful to have it in my collection.

If you are willing to part with a small fortune for this, do it! This is a purchase you won’t regret – it looks waaaaay better in person!

Do you think I’ve lost control of my faculties by purchasing this? What’s the most you would ever pay for a single bottle of polish?

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43 thoughts on “Clarins 230 Swatches & Review (Layering ‘Unicorn Pee’ over Orly Sapphire Silk)

  1. Kee

    Oh my word.

    Huge huge want. HUGE! HUGE!

    Well…not enough though to pay my life’s savings and my parent’s life savings. But still…want.

    But oh so gorgeouuuuus. *drool*

    Reply
    1. Mary Post author

      That’s exactly what I thought. Had a long internal debate whether or not I should buy it. Then I caved. Then I felt buyer’s remorse. But then it arrived, and I thought, “I should’ve bought a back-up bottle!” Haha

      Reply
      1. Kee

        LoL Mary you crack me up! I think I would cry if I caved and bought it just cuz i get my other polishes for so cheap.

        I caved and ordered NFU-Oh holos and I winced at the price even though it’s really not that expensive for an HTF holo. I’m just a cheapo. LOL!
        Kee recently posted: Youre a Tree Hugger Im Sew Psyched!!

        Reply
        1. Mary Post author

          And when you say cry, you mean cry for JOY, right? Hahahaha!

          Kee: “It’s so beautiful!” *sob* *sob* “I love it!” *sob* *sob* “It’s mine!” *sob* *sob*

          Reply
          1. Kee

            Mary you’re hilarious!

            I would be half with joy, half with disbelief that I would spend $50 on a bottle of polish!!

            Me: *sob**sob*”It’s mine, all mine! *sob**sob* “OMG, I can’t believe I spent that much money on this!” *sob**sob* “I have THE unicorn pee!!!” *sob**sob* “I’m so broke!” *sob**sob*
            Kee recently posted: Youre a Tree Hugger Im Sew Psyched!!

            Reply
            1. Mary Post author

              Hahaha! If we shop together, not only will we enable each other to bankruptcy, but we’ll be laughing like maniacs the whole time.

              Reply
    1. Mary Post author

      Hahaha! Yeah, it’s ridiculously expensive. But I’ll wear it still because beautiful colors are meant to be worn and enjoyed. :) I’m wearing it right now and love it. I’d wear it anywhere – doesn’t have to be a special occasion. Can’t wait to try it layered over other base colors.

      Reply
  2. Jessi (Lacquered, Painted, Polished)

    After seeing this sell for over $100 for a few years, $60 seems like a bargain! Haha, isn’t that sad? I’m at the point in my nail polish collection where I pretty much have all the colors and finishes that are readily available. Now I’m starting to buy more HTF polishes. It’s a big change going from spending 50 bucks and getting 10 to 15 polishes to spending $50 and only getting 1 to 3. Clarins 230 has been on my wishlist forever but i think now is the time. Thanks so much for the swatches!
    Jessi (Lacquered, Painted, Polished) recently posted: Flaky Jelly Goodness- Barielle Elles Spell Nail Polish

    Reply
    1. Mary Post author

      Hey Jessi!

      Yeah, it is sad how it seems like a bargain. Once I saw it going for $230! That’s just plain robbery if anyone bought it for that price.

      Do you know approximately how many bottles you have in your collection? Also, do you keep a record of the ones you have? Do you have a single most-cherished hard-to-find polish? I’d love to know what it is. (As if another expensive lemming is what I need right now…haha)

      Hehe, I have an Excel document with the names – sorted alphabetically and by brand. However, I got lazy and stopped updating it. Since then I’ve probably added another 80-100 new polishes to my collection. Gotta update it to, y’know, keep inventory. :P Haha!

      Reply
  3. Gabrielle K

    If it makes you feel any better, here in Australia we pay AU$19.95 for OPI polishes, AU$24.95 for OPI Designer Series and the RRP for Nfu Oh polishes is AU$32.95!

    So just think of all those Australian women daily forking out that amount to buy ordinary polishes from department stores and salons! Hope that eases your conscience!

    At least that’s what I keep telling myself as I’ve just paid US$59.99 plus s&h for a Clarins 230 on eBay…

    Reply
    1. Mary Post author

      Hey Gabrielle!

      Wow, that’s steep. If I lived in Australia, I’d be broke solely because of my polish addiction. Perhaps Australia is where recovering polish junkies should go. Hehe…but who would want to recover when it’s so much fun? :P

      Woo hoo – you got Clarins 230, too! Remember, we’re in this together. “Hello. My name’s Mary, and I’m a nail-polish addict.”

      Reply
      1. Gabrielle K

        Mary,

        I AM broke…

        But happily so, when I look fondly on all my babies…

        “My Precious…” I whisper, to each and every one of them….

        Reply
    1. Mary Post author

      Hey Beauty Addict!

      The price definitely makes a person think twice about getting it. Such a shame because more people should be able to enjoy it. There’s something about a pretty polish that brightens your mood.

      Once I saw a blogger host a Clarins 230 giveaway. That was incredibly generous of her, and whoever got it for free must’ve been jumping up and down! Imagine the feeling!

      It would be nice if Clarins figured out a new way to recreate the pigment and brought back Clarins 230 version 2.0 and sold it for a reasonable price. We can dream, right? But, hey, sometimes dreams do come true!

      Reply
  4. Andii

    Hello! :D I was lucky enough to get the Clarins 230 at a 2 for 1 sale on Ebay (it actually worked out to 50.00 per bottle). Even so I am trying to franken it as well with limited success, lol (still trying to figure out how to get that green aspect).
    I REALLY DO wish that if Clarins can’t reproduce it that someone else would dupe or near-dupe it…50.00 a bottle is just plain crazy O.O

    Reply
    1. Mary Post author

      Hey Andii!

      Wow, that’s a great deal – lucky you!

      If you figure out how to franken it, you must share your amazing discovery with us! Aside from the green part, were you able to figure out the base color and main shimmer? I’m curious as to what you’ve been using so far.

      Reply
  5. Andii

    Hi Mary! :D

    I have been experimenting with the Sally Hansen Amber ruby and Scarlet Ruby in a clear base with a tad of Sally Hansen Lacquer Shine Flair (makes it a bit too purple)..I was going to throw some SH Turquoise Opal in it to see if i can get the green aspect, but I want to get a backup bottle of that before I do it. The problem is, that the polishes I am using to try to franken the 230 have themselves been discontinued :( A really good base with the exact shimmer/colour formulation is Maybelline Colorama Frosty Pink (although the color/shimmer is a little less saturated) but that has also been discontinued.
    I’m going to keep plugging away at it, though..in the meantime I just finished writing an impassioned email to Milani asking them if they could come out with some polishes that have the same color/shimmer formulation as the Clarins 230. Milani is a large company but seems like they are still willing to take some chances. I impressed upon them that they stood to make a lot of money and all the proof they need is to see how much the 230 is going for on Ebay, lol

    Reply
    1. Mary Post author

      Hey Andii!

      Wow, I’m impressed with your dedication to frankening Clarins 230! You’ll probably figure it out before another company takes up your challenge.

      Those old Sally Hansen Nail Prisms are absolutely gorgeous – need to get my hands on them. Once I was at a discount beauty store, and stupid me put the bottle back in the bin – and there was only one! $1-something, too! What was I thinking?

      Even if you don’t get it spot on, I’d love to see swatches of whatever you come up with that’s even remotely similar to Unicorn Pee!

      Reply
      1. Andii

        Hello Mary ! :D I totally forgot abou this but another really good polish to attempt a franken of 230 with (and its still relatively available) is OPI Movin’ Out – only thing is that is has a lot of what I call “background noise” (pink shimmer) in it. It definitely has the change in colour although the glitter seems a bit finer.
        I can’t help but feel that if us Nailphiles make enough noise, that someone is going to suprise us with something similar to 230 – there is too much potential for profit.
        *Sigh* I just don’t understand these companies… if I had a product like 230 that I knew was a big seller, I’d make it until people absolutely got sick of it, lol

        Reply
        1. Mary Post author

          Hey Andii!

          Oh, people wouldn’t get sick of it…haha! If they did, I really don’t know what the nail-polish world is coming to! It’s Armageddon….*gasp*

          C’mon everyone…make some noise. WE WANT A CLARINS 230 DUPE! NO, NO! WE WON’T GO! Everyone, say it with me! :D Hello? Where is everyone? Guess I scared them away.

          Reply
  6. Andii

    Also, I have a hrd time believing that the pigment doesn’t exist anymore because there are flakie polishes out there that have the same multichromatic hues in them right down to the green aspect (see Nfu Oh 51 and Barielle Elle’s Spell). Near as I can tell, the only difference between the glitter/shimmer formation in the 230 and the flakies in the aforementioned polishes is the size of the glitter..one is a flake consistency and the other is a microfine glitter. I can’t help but wonder whether it has to do more with $$ than anything.
    I look at it this way..if I’m willing to pay 50.00 for a bottle of polish, then what’s an extra buck or two tacked on to what would normally be a 4.00 polish?
    Just sayin, lol

    Reply
    1. Mary Post author

      I want to believe that the pigment doesn’t exist anymore for nail-polish companies to use. Because if it does, it’ll drive me crazy. Why no Unicorn Pee? Why, why, WHYYYY? See? Descent into madness!

      Maybe they can take those multichrome flakies and crush them up finely. Even if there are pieces bigger than the microshimmer and there are pieces of glitter, I think it’s safe to say that a lot of Clarins 230 lovers will be pleased.

      And I agree with you – a higher price wouldn’t deter me from buying it, either. But I think the companies want to target the ‘average nail-polish shopper’ who aren’t willing to spend a ridiculous amount on one bottle and not polish fiends like us…hehe!

      Reply
      1. Andii

        I can understand them wanting to target the average shopper, but it’s the Nailphiles that will buy 10 bottles at once, lol. Those chemists are miracle workers..somebody will figure something out.
        In the meantime I will continue to beg to whatever company that will listen to please make a dupe/near dupe of 230 and try to franken it howsoever I can….

        Reply
        1. Mary Post author

          Only 10 bottles? Heck, I’d stockpile Unicorn Pee to last me until I’m 90 and into the afterlife. Hahahah!

          I hope someone takes you up on the challenge, Andii. Whichever company it is will become rich, rich, rich!

          Reply
  7. SarahV

    I’ve heard that the reason polishes like unicorn pee aren’t being duped anymore is because this type of duochrome-y effect cannot be achieved with the more healthy big 3-free formulas many companies have switched to!

    Reply
    1. Mary Post author

      Hey SarahV!

      Interesting! I hadn’t heard of this explanation before. I’m sure that a lot of nailphiles would risk a non-big-3-free formula if they brought it back. But, c’mon nail-polish companies, keep trying to make it big-3-free! You’d make a killing when you release it.

      Hehe, I love how there are lots of reasons floating around about why no one’s duping Unicorn Pee. It really makes the polish take on a mythical nature, doesn’t it?

      Reply
      1. Andii

        It makes me want to start my own nail polish company but I don’t have the foggiest notion how to begin, lol.
        For Clarins to stop making 230 and create all these Lemmings is just…well…wrong :(
        But who knows? There might be a company who is at this moment trying to create the finish that is in 230 – we can only hope :)

        Reply
        1. Mary Post author

          Yes, I agree with you. Clarins has a moral obligation (:D) to at least give us something to ease the lemming. Perhaps a Clarins 230 version 2.0? It doesn’t have to be spot-on if they can’t recreate it, but I’d take something that’s very similar at least. Just…throw us a bone! Something!

          Reply
    1. Mary Post author

      Thanks! Next time I wear it, I may have to layer it over a purple. That seems to be the popular choice when I Googled it.

      Looks pretty over anything…well, except for this yellow I tried on a nail wheel. It ended up looking like urine unfortunately…but sparkly urine (not that it’s any better).

      Reply
    1. Mary Post author

      Last year, I said the same thing you just did. Hehe, so you never know! Sometimes a lemming is just too strong to resist! :P

      Reply
  8. Melissa

    This is the most unique looking polish I’ve seen before and the fact that it’s very hard to find, makes it even more special in my opinion. I’ve been to Ebay several times just for prices alone to get an idea at how expensive it can be and some of the prices seem almost ridiculous. Even today I checked and the cheapest someone was asking for was about $50. I can’t say I’d never buy it, because maybe one day I’ll have enough money to be able to make a splurge like that, but right now it’s a definite no. Once I get a job and am making money, it wouldn’t be out of the question. I’d still probably feel a tad ridiculous/bad for buying a nail polish at that price when I know I could be buying lots of bottles at that price. But it’s so pretty, so I think I’d be able to get over it quickly. I’ve heard Nfu Oh 51 is pretty similar, so that’s always an option too.

    Reply
    1. Mary Post author

      Hey Melissa!

      Nfu Oh 51 is a flakie polish, though, whereas Clarins 230 is shimmery. Some people actually prefer the flakie version. I like the look of both, but Unicorn Pee holds a special place in my heart because it’s so hard to come by.

      Wouldn’t it be great if a nail-polish company came out with a dupe for it? It would satisfy a lot of cravings for it.

      Let me know if you end up getting it. And I wish you all the best in your job hunting! Hope you find something you love doing and that helps you grow professionally and personally. :)

      Reply
  9. Joyce

    A comment to a very old post, but I figured you might be interested in knowing that Fantasy Fire by Max Factor could be a dupe for Clarins 230 as well.
    I don’t have Clarins 230 but I do have Fantasy Fire and it looks an awful lot like your swatches.

    Reply
      1. Mary Post author

        Hey Joyce!

        Hehe, yeah, I’m SOOOO happy that Fantasy Fire came out because it gives more people a chance to enjoy such an incredible polish! (Actually, some people have said that Fantasy Fire is even BETTER than Clarins 230! I wore both, and I liked both – don’t think I could pick a clear winner.)

        Reply
  10. Linda

    I’m sure by now at this late date that everyone knows that Nail Pattern Boldness has come out with an amazing dupe for Clarins 230/Max Factor Fantasy Fire “Boop-oop-a-dupe!”. Llarowe sells it exclusively but it’s a full size bottle for $8 – Woo Hoo! Take a look if you haven’t seen it already,

    Reply

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