China Glaze Branding Iron Swatches & Review

China Glaze Branding Iron Swatches & ReviewDuring the holidays, you may feel the strong urge to sport a red manicure, but a bright red nail polish might not be your thing.

You can still be festive and join the red bandwagon without sacrificing your love for vampy hues when you sport China Glaze Branding Iron!

This came out in the 2008 China Glaze Rodeo Diva Collection, which I consider to be one of the brand’s best releases. A lot of the colours were saturated and had a perfect formula. Branding Iron is no exception!

In fact, ever since I bought it when it first came out, this is the number-one red that I find myself always recommending. And everyone I know who has tried it loves it, too.

P.S. Stay tuned for tomorrow’s post. I did simple Christmas nail art with Branding Iron.

China Glaze Branding Iron Pictures

China Glaze Branding Iron Review & Swatch

Branding Iron China Glaze Swatches & Review

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China Glaze Branding Iron Ingredients

China Glaze Branding Iron Ingredients

China Glaze Branding Iron Swatches

All swatches have:

China Glaze Branding Iron Swatches & Review

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Flash Branding Iron by China Glaze Swatches & Review

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Flash China Glaze Branding Iron Review & Swatches

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Flash China Glaze Branding Iron Swatch & Review

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Flash China Glaze Branding Iron Swatches & Review

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Natural Light China Glaze Branding Iron Swatches & Review

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Natural Light China Glaze Branding Iron Review & Swatches

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Natural Light China Glaze Branding Iron Review & Swatch

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Natural Light China Glaze Rodeo Diva Collection 2008 Swatches & Review Branding Iron

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Flash Branding Iron China Glaze Swatches & Review

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Natural Light Branding Iron China Glaze Swatches & Review

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Claim: TRUSTED

√ Vampy red

Key Notes

  • Name: China Glaze Branding Iron
  • Collection: China Glaze Rodeo Diva Collection (2008)
  • Colours Available in the China Glaze Rodeo Diva Collection: Branding Iron, Cowgirl Up, Red Stallion, Gussied Up Green, Wagon Trail, Midnight Ride, Rodeo Fantatic, Side Saddle, Lasso My Heart, Yee-Haw!, Prize Winning Mare & Golden Spurs
  • Amount: 14 mL (0.5 fl. oz.)
  • What I Paid: $2.75 USD
  • Where to Buy: Maybe eBay (This colour’s hard to find, and looks like a lot of the usual etailers are sold out!)

China Glaze Branding Iron Review

Colour

I’m really intrigued by reds like Branding Iron by China Glaze because they’re vampy, sexy, and really mysterious. In dim light, it can take on a brownish hue, but when there’s more light, you can clearly see that it’s a deep burgundy.

What I love about this is that it has that lit-from-within look. Y’know how the middle of your nail looks lighter and the edges are darkened? That’s what I’m talkin’ about!

Finish

This has a shimmer finish, which is what allows it to catch the light and seem to almost ‘glow’.

Application & Formula

The formula is perfection! I like to think of Branding Iron by China Glaze as training wheels for someone learning how to ride a bike.

You see, even if you aren’t the best at painting your nails, this shade will make your nails look like a million bucks! How does it do that? Well, the formula is very forgiving – it self-levels well. When it smooths itself out, you’re left with a perfect finish. Combine that with the decadent colour, and you can see why I’m smitten with it.

Accessibility

Unfortunately, because this is from an older collection, it can be tricky to track down. For those who are having a hard time finding it in physical stores and/or online, see if you can find OPI Royal Rajah Ruby. It has a similar effect.

Pros

  • Vampy red looks like it’s lit from within
  • Excellent, self-levelling formula is easy-to-use
Cons

  • Can be difficult to track down because it’s from an older collection

Final Verdict: 10/10

If you’re able to find this, I suggest you grab it! This totally fills the void for those days when you want to wear something dark on your tips without going the straight-up black route.

When you wear a vampy nail polish, what shade do you normally reach for? Are you a fan of lit-from-within polishes?

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29 thoughts on “China Glaze Branding Iron Swatches & Review

  1. Kvacka

    Wow, it looks sooo amazing on your nails! =) This one reminds me on Short and Sassy from Retro Diva collection, because it has the same lit-from-within look and I love that so much!
    And the price is just amazing… Here where I live they sell China Glazes for about 9 or 10 $, it’s just crazy… 🙁
    Kvacka recently posted: Absolutely Alice effect

    Reply
    1. Mary Post author

      Hey Kvacka!

      Haha, the price is amazing because I bought it when it first came out, and I bought it from an etailer that always heavily discounts China Glaze. 🙂 Here in Canada, if you were lucky enough to find new collections in physical stores, they’re rarely that cheap.

      China Glaze is a GREAT nail-polish brand, so I think even at $9-$10, they’d be worth it. They offer such a huge selection of colours, and they aren’t afraid to take some risks.

      Reply
    1. Mary Post author

      Hey preciouspearl!

      You and I are in the same boat – sigh…these colours always get me! 🙂

      And…you’re welcome. I was happy to share this one with everyone.

      Reply
  2. maddy

    This color looks amzing (especially on you)! I love these types of reds because they are classy and festive. It looks so glossy and shimmery. They sell China Glaze for about 5-7 dollars where I live so they’re not bad but still a bit pricy. I don’t think I’ll find this color. 🙁

    Reply
    1. Mary Post author

      Hey maddy!

      Haha, no, no, no – this colour would look equally amazing on EVERYONE! Seriously, this is one of those colours that’s a no-brainer. You know that it’ll look fantastic even if you’re in a pinch and have to rush through applying it. The perfect formula is so dreamy to work with!

      Yeah, that’s roughly the same price here. I only got mine for way cheaper because I bought it when it first came out online. etailers have massive markdowns, but the flip side is that you have to order more bottles to make it worth the shipping (since they ship to Canada, but it comes from the States). If I could find them in physical stores in Canada, I would rather buy it from there…

      Reply
  3. mellinail

    I love Branding Iron, and pretty much all the polishes from the Rodeo Diva collection. That was one of my favourite China Glaze collections of all time. All the polishes had a lot of depth of colour and they were all lovely. This looks amazing on you!
    mellinail recently posted: Gingerbread!

    Reply
    1. Mary Post author

      Hey mellinail!

      It was such a wonderful collection. When China Glaze gets it right, they get it sooooo right! (I agree, the colours had such depth to them.)

      Thanks – I can see this looking really amazing on you, too! Even though I’ve said it many times, you really rock the vampy shades well.

      Reply
  4. Vivian

    It’s a very lovely red. Perfect amount of glitter, and not too dramatic. I agree with you on the bright red polish. Sometimes it’s just too much. I wonder what nail art you’re going to do this time… you already did santa, snowflakes and a turkey….is it RUDOLF?

    Reply
    1. Mary Post author

      Hey Vivian!

      Well, I’d consider this to be more of a shimmer than a glitter. It is super smooth on the nail (no grittiness), and it comes off like a creme polish, too.

      Hehe, you’ll see. 🙂 This time, I went with something realllllllly simple. 😉 (And I have another nail-art post coming up, too. But the one that I’ll post later after tomorrow’s is a bit more elaborate.)

      Reply
    1. Mary Post author

      Hey Ashesela!

      Sometimes bright reds can look flat (unless they’re jellies), so a vampy shimmer like this is the depth I end up craving during the holidays!

      Reply
  5. CupK8

    I’m going to have to go back online and get this one now too. I have three of this collection and am a fan of them all. 🙂

    Reply
    1. Mary Post author

      Hey CupK8!

      Which other colours do you have? Have you tried Rodeo Fanatic (the blue)? It’s incredible! Wagon Trail is another favourite. I just love so many from this collection!

      Reply
      1. CupK8

        I actually do have both of those, as well as Cowgirl Up! I hear great things about the entire line, so I don’t doubt they will all eventually make their way into my life. Those three are definitely GORGEOUS.

        Reply
        1. Mary Post author

          Cowgirl Up is amazing, too! 🙂 I’m sure that if China Glaze re-released this collection, it would be a winner all over again!

          Reply
  6. Carmela

    I am sooo happy you recommended this to me! It’s one of the polishes I’ve been reaching for a lot. I find I’ve been gravitating to vampier shades lately and this has definitely gotten a lot of use. I love how it glows in certain lights and how unbelievably sexy it is (hubby approved!). 😀 Now, if I can find a polish that sits somewhere between Rimmel Lava Red and China Glaze Branding Iron, I’ll be in polish heaven. 😀

    BTW, I got my bottle from Nail Polish Canada. It was a bit pricey at $7.75 but I was lemming this so bad I needed to get it. 😛 Just in case anyone’s as desperate as I was to get their hands on this pretty. 🙂
    Carmela recently posted: Nail Art Wednesday: Gift Wrapped Nails

    Reply
    1. Mary Post author

      Hey Carmela!

      You’re welcome – I’m thrilled that you’ve been enjoying it so much! 🙂 And I think it’s worth the higher price tag just because the formula is spot-on.

      Reply
    1. Mary Post author

      Hey Conni!

      It’s really good contrast, too, so you don’t get bored of what’s on your fingernails like if you’re constantly wearing, say, all greens, and then need a palette cleanser.

      Reply
  7. Maya

    I know I’m many years late to the “branding Iron” party, haha, but I just wanted to thank you for so thoughtfully posting the ingredients on this shade. It’s very hard to find cosmetic ingredients lists online, especially for polishes, and like to get a toxicity score on the EWG’s Skin Deep before buying something. Turns out this polish is less toxic, by the way, than one of its dupes (Illamasqua’s Scarab).

    Reply

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