Archive for category OPI

Swatching ain’t what it used to be: OPI Hawaii Spring 2015 Collection

A day after returning from the hospital with my beautiful baby girl in tow, the new Hawaii-themed spring collection from OPI landed on my doorstep. Equal parts excitement and anxiety flooded me – I mean, HOORAY! for new, fun nail polish to play with; but OHMAGERD how in the EFF am I going to swatch all these with a new babe to look after 24/7?

Basically, you swatch one shade a day until you get through ‘em all.

OPI hawaii spring 2015 collection

I must say, once I finished I felt inordinately pleased with myself. NEW MOM, WHAT!?! However, its not perfection – my cuticles and hands are sort of a wreck, leftover from washing my hands 20 times a day in the NICU and then having no time to do damage control once we got home. Meh. Guess I can’t do everything.

Ok, less talky, more showy (time is a luxury, after all!).

OPI do you take lei away swatch

Starting with my favorite from the collection, Do You Take Lei Away? is a ‘creamy nude’ that applies very well for this kind of shade, smooth and even in 2 coats, and is neutral enough (not too warm or cool) that I think it will flatter most skintones.

IMG_0323Left to right: Tom Ford Toasted Sugar, OPI Do You Take Lei Away?, OPI Maintaining My Sand-ity, Essie Jazz

I was unsurprised when I started pulling similar shades to compare against ‘Lei Away’ and discovered the closest match was a much-loved favorite, Essie Jazz. The OPI shade is just a hint more pink and less grey than Jazz and as such it looks a bit better against my skintone. My bottle of Jazz is halfway done (which means its almost finished, in polish terms), so I’m pleased to have a  sort of newer, better version to take it’s place.

OPI that's hula-rious! swatch

‘Pastel mint green’ That’s Hula-rious! is the kind of shade that I love in theory but which doesn’t always compliment my skintone. As is common with pastels, the formula is a bit streaky and needed 3 coats. The swatch above portrays it more vividly than it is – this shade was swatched during a snowstorm (one of many!!) so the natural light is much more dim and I had to overcompensate when taking the photo. The comparison photo below gives a more accurate indication of the shade.

OPI that's hula-rious! swatch comparisonLeft to right: China Glaze Re-fresh Mint, OPI That’s Hula-rious!, butter London Bossy Boots

China Glaze Re-fresh Mint is very similar, but is a smidgen lighter and less green, and the formula for it was atrocious. I far prefer this version.

OPI lost my bikini in molokini swatch

A ‘reef-inspired purple’, Lost My Bikini in Molokini feels like the perfect shade for spring – its vibrant and playful but not too bright. 2 coats were required to achieve opacity; the formula is good but not perfect and needs a tiny bit of attention to avoid streaking. This polish stained my nails a tad when I removed it, so keep that in mind.

OPI lost my bikini in molokinii swatch comparisonLeft: OPI Lost My Bikini in Molokini; Right: Rescue Beauty Lounge Mismas

I thought that RBL’s Mismas would be a close dupe to this color, but in fact it’s a few shades darker. I think I like the lighter tones of the OPI shade actually – I really like wearing colors according to seasons (so sue me) and Mismas doesn’t seem to fit into any of them, in my view.

OPI just lanai-ing around swatch

Described as a dark, creamy mauve, Just Lanai-ing Around is one of those midtone shades that I’m not a fan of – I prefer a strong contrast against my skintone. Personal preferences aside, the formula on this color is excellent and only required 2 easy coats to reach opacity.

OPI just lanai-ing around swatch comparisonLeft to right: OPI No Spain, No Gain, OPI Just Lanai-ing Around, OPI Diva of Geneva

In my mind, ‘Lanai-ing‘ was very similar to OPI No Spain, No Gain (another midtone shade I dislike), but it’s much lighter. OPI Diva of Geneva is a shimmer, of course, and in any case it’s also much darker and richer in tone.

OPI go with the lava flow swatch OPI go with the lava flow swatch

Go With the Lava Flow is a ‘golden red’ that leans coral and has a slight orange flash, which you can see only at the right angle. Normally this type of color isn’t my bag, but looking at these swatches makes me want to give it another go – it’s kind of intriguing, no? It took 3 coats to get the opacity I desired, but the polish applied well with no issues. I don’t have any shades comparable to this.

OPI aloha from opi swatch

Aloha From OPI is a ‘bright creamy coral’ that has just enough pink to keep it from being a true red. It’s been so long since I’ve worn a bright like this, it gets me in the mood for warmer weather! Though its a cream, it applied a touch streaky and I needed 3 coats to even it out to my liking. I don’t find this shade particularly unique, but it’s pretty nonetheless.

OPI hawaii spring 2015 swatch comparisons - Version 2Left: OPI Aloha From OPI; Right: Essie Come Here

A very close dupe for this shade is Essie’s Come Here, a favourite of mine. Essie’s version is ever so slightly more pink, but to me they’re essentially the same. Come Here has it’s own application issues, but I think I’d keep it over Aloha From OPI simply because I like square bottles better ;)

OPI hawaii spring 2015 collection

Halfway through, guys. At this point I was on day 7 and getting better at painting my nails between one feed, and then stealthily putting Elena down long enough to take photos between another. Swatches over showers, oh YEA.

OPI pineapples have peelings too swatch

Pineapples Have Peelings Too is…well, it’s just bizarre, what can I say? A ‘gold shimmer with colorful sparkle,’ when I pulled this shade out for the first time I was like ‘What the…?’  It is NOT pretty, you guys. Whoever thought up this shade was reaching, big time (though the name is perfect, I think). As the gold base is quite sheer, it required 3 coats to build up opacity. Interestingly enough, I actually quite like the base color, and I’m very picky about my golds (if you recall…). But the glitter bits are garish and the base covers over their sparkle to make it all look dull and blah. ME NO LIKEY (does anyone?). Obviously, this is a one-of-a-kind shade.

OPI is mai tai crooked? swatch

Is Mai Tai Crooked?, an ‘orange crème’, is one of those polarizing shades I think. Though it’s base isn’t too yellow, which can go terribly wrong on some people (like myself), it’s still not a flattering color on me. I do love the name though ;) 3 coats are needed to help even out patchiness, though if you were really careful you could probably get away with 2. Patchiness seems to plague most of the cream shades in this collection I find.

OPI is mai tai crooked? swatch comparisonLeft: OPI Is Mai Tai Crooked?; Right: Essie Resort Fling

The comparison above is a perfect example of the small nuances that can make or break a shade on my skintone. Essie Resort Fling is more peach than orange, of course, but the pink-leaning base versus the yellow-leaning one makes all the difference for me.

IMG_0387

Suzy Shops & Island Hops…oh how I love the look of this shade! Described as a ‘light and happy pink,’ I find this color super-flattering on my skintone. But of course, pastel shades often come with issues, and this shade needed 3 coats to even out the patchiness. But I don’t mind TOO much, because PRETTY.

OPI suzi shops & island hops swatch comparison

I must be having a pink moment, because I also love RBL’s Oh Slap!, which is close to ‘Suzy Shops’ though without as much white in the base. I’m tempted to only keep the RBL, but I really love the way the OPI looks so despite it being kind of a PITA to apply, I’ll hang on to it for a while, anyway.

OPI hello hawaii ya? swatch

Hello Hawaii Ya? is a ‘dusky purple’ and the type of color that used to appeal to me, for whatever reason. But though it works with my skintone, it’s kind of drab, and I prefer bright and punchy for spring shades. Surprisingly (or unsurprisingly, for this collection), the formula wasn’t great and I needed 3 coats to smooth out patchiness, which still didn’t fully even things out. I think this color would be lovely on a lighter or darker skintone than mine, but it veers into that ‘midtone’ territory and I have too many other polishes in which to devote my time.

OPI hello hawaii ya? swatch comparisonLeft: OPI Hello Hawaii Ya? Right: OPI Parlez Vous OPI?

I think the reason I thought I’d like this shade is because when I first got my hands on OPI Parlez Vous OPI?, I adored the way it looked on me. But my tastes have changed over the years, and now I find it looks dull and muddy. These are clearly not dupes but they’re definitely distant relatives.

OPI this color's making waves swatch

This Color’s Making Waves should look familiar… This ‘shimmery, lagoon blue’ is a pretty marine shade makes me long for summer in a big way! It’s kind of a pain though, as it needed 4 coats to reach this opacity. It’s quite thin and watery, and as it’s not terribly unique I am less than enamoured by it. I have a very close dupe in…

OPI this color's making waves swatch comparison

Chanel’s Azure. Obviously. For the nitpicky among you, they aren’t exactly the same – Azure has more green in it, and OPI’s version has tiny silver flecks of shimmer running through it to set it apart. Both have a duo chrome flash, but Azure’s is more teal-blue-green, whereas ‘Making Waves’ is more teal-blue-purple. Meh. To me they’re damn near identical, and Azure only requires 2 coats (and, um, it’s Chanel), so it’s the winner in my books!

OPI my gecko does tricks swatch IMG_1934

Finalement. My Gecko Does Tricks. A ‘bright and pearly green’ that has a sort-of orange flash in the right light (as seen in the second photo, which I took with my phone and I previewed on Instagram). I’m not a fan of green polishes generally, which I’ve mentioned on several occasions. Though I probably won’t wear this much if at all (except St. Patty’s Day and maybe Christmas), it kind of grew on me a bit – it isn’t too yellowed (blech)/saturated (due to the shimmer)/dark (and therefore murky) to turn me off, I guess. It’s almost…flattering, if you like greens. It did need 3 coats however, so there’s that.

OPI hawaii spring 2015 collection

Overall, the collection was a mixed bag in terms of formula and shades. Many of the polishes were somewhat subpar in terms of performance and some of the shades weren’t to my taste (that’s just my opinion though!). I did have some favorites though, namely Do You Take Lei Away?, Lost My Bikini in Molokini, Go With the Lava Flow, and Suzi Shops & Island Hops (despite the crappy formula).

The Hawaii Collection by OPI is available now in both nail lacquer and GelColor formulas, at professional salons nationwide as well as ULTA and Nail Polish Canada.

*Product samples were provided for my unbiased consideration.

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10 Comments

Polish Combo: Dior Spring Ball & OPI Catch Me In Your Net

Summer is slowly winding itself down here on the East Coast – while the days are still sunny and hot for the most part (which, by the way – is AWESOME), the nights have cooled considerably and I can feel fall right around the corner.  I know for some of you, you want to hold on to summer tooth and nail, and for my comments I apologize – but personally, I feel ready for the change in season and excited to switch things up (which always means = beauty first)!

Dior Spring Ball

However, the sunny season isn’t over yet, and I still have a few polish combos to show you.  Last week I wore Dior’s Spring Ball only for the second time, as I wore it once as a manicure and was less than enamoured with it – when I tried it on at Sephora, it looked lighter and reminiscent of Chanel’s Miami Peach, a polish I’ve been lemming for ages.  However, as I’ve come to note, it looked quite pretty on my toes, and I think when I lose my tan it might look nice on fingers again as well.  We shall see.  Its my first Dior polish, and regardless of how I think about the shade, the formula is lovely and the brush TO DIE FOR (makes application a snap!) so I’m confident there will be many more shades in my future.

Dior Spring Ball pedicure (2)

Because Spring Ball has got some glass-like shimmer to it, I thought it best to pair it with another polish with a similar finish.  OPI’s Catch Me In Your Net was HUGE back when it was released, but was a shade I passed up until the following year, when I snagged a mini bottle of the sparkling teal-blue shade just to see what all the hype was about.  I really have come to notice how my tastes are continuously evolving, as when I bought it I wasn’t all that thrilled, but this time around I liked it a lot better.  Perhaps the stars aligned or something ;)

Dior Spring Ball pedicureDior Spring Ball pedicure (3)

I’m starting to think about evolving my mani/pedi’s to encompass sort of ‘end-of-summer’ tones that work both for this season and the next, without getting to fall/wintery.  Think Chanel Peridot, RBL Piu Mosso…essentially shades with a hint of gold somewhere in the mix.  While I’ve really come around to brights so much more than ever before, I do so love my mysterious, complex shades as well.  THIS is why the change of seasons is allll good in my book!

Did you get on the CMIYN train when it came through?  What do you think of Dior’s polish brush?  When do you start changing up your makeup/polish shades (if you do)?

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17 Comments

YOU GUYS I FOUND A GOLD NAIL POLISH I LIKE IT IS A HAPPY HAPPY DAY

My apologies for my apparent screaming at you, no one likes all caps coming at them, but YOU GUYS.  Do you even have any idea how long I’ve been looking for MY gold nail polish?  Not just one that I like, because there are a handful of gorgeous gold polishes out there, but one that looks DAMN GOOD on my skintone.  Do you remember this?  Blah.  And this?  Aggressive!  And how about my Chanel debacle (who would have ever though a Chanel polish would let me down)?

Well, NO MORE.  YES, I am making a grand sweeping statement and STILL USING CAPS to exclaim that I have found it.  The One.  MY PRECIOUS.

OPI Dazzled by Gold (9)

OPI’s Dazzled by Gold.  There are no words (or there are lots, but I am going to stop yelling now).

And let me just say – I totally knew that if I ever got my hands on this (it was an Ulta exclusive from Holiday 2009), it would end my search for the ultimate gold polish (see, no yelling :)  I could just *tell* that this glorious glittering shade would just right.  It doesn’t lean too warm (for a gold) nor too cool; it’s not bronze rather than gold; it’s not too yellow, too pale, too dark, too orange….it is PERFECT (sorry…but it is!).

You want to see some swatches now, right?  Or…maybe you don’t, since it’s not available anymore, and it’s pretty hard to come by.  I stalked it on Makeup Alley for months, possibly years, and there were only about three people offering it up – and they were not letting it go easy.  Then, of course, as things go – once I stopped looking, there it was.

OPI Dazzled by GoldOPI Dazzled by Gold (3)

I had messaged a gal on the site to ask for her Ambering Rose blush by MAC (I’m on a big MAC kick as well as a swap kick, but more on that another time *soon*).  She was interested in my NARS Habanera Duo (which I’ve been struggling with to make work for years), which was great except it was a bit uneven.  When I browsed through the rest of her list, BAM!!  Dazzled by Gold.  Really!?!?  I couldn’t believe my luck.

OPI Dazzled by Gold (2) OPI Dazzled by Gold (4)

The deal was made, and earlier this week my package came.  I eagerly ripped off the bubble wrap and immediately tried it on.  And well – you’re seeing the results!  Is it not absolutely amazing!?!?!?!?!?!?!

OPI Dazzled by Gold (5)

The polish, as you can see, has little flecks of silver in there too, which is probably why it looks flattering on me – I wear silver jewelry much better than gold.  It reminds me a bit of Warm & Fozzie from OPI’s Muppets collection, but again – that one was too bronze and not what I was looking for.  The formula of Dazzled by Gold is a bit thin, so this is four coats – but who the heck cares with this fabulosity!?!  And this is without top coat, so it’s really that shiny all on it’s own.  Dazzled, indeed.

OPI Dazzled by Gold (6) OPI Dazzled by Gold (7)

I’m sorry to post about an LE item, but I just had to share this with you guys!!  And I’m willing to bet you’ve all found ‘your’ gold shade anyway, no one else seems to have trouble with gold polish like I do.  So now I can join you and be happy :P  If you DO love it, well – I highly recommend trying to find it, if you can – keep your eyes open!  You just never know when it may fall into your lap :)

OPI Dazzled by Gold (8)

Anyone else have any beauty success stories like this one to share??  Do tell!  And – what’s your favorite gold polish?

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26 Comments

Royal Rajah Ruby, Take Two (I Take It All Back)

Remember when I swatched OPI’s Royal Rajah Ruby and expressed that while it technically worked well with my skintone,  I just couldn’t get into the shade?  Well, color me mistaken.  Check it out as a pedi shade!!!!

Worn with Chanel’s Peridot on hands

Look how it glows!

I had another shade that I felt similarly about, Deborah Lippmann’s Nefertiti - a gold flecked with bits of pewter – and the lovely Eugenia of Ommorphia Beauty Bar had a suggestion to try it out as a pedicure shade before dismissing it altogether.  Though it didn’t work either way (and just last week I unloaded it, along with about 20 other polishes, on the perfectly polished Sparkled Beauty), ever since I’ve been giving any polish shades that just don’t float my boat a second chance on my tootsies.  Royal Rajah Ruby was a resounding success!!!  I absolutely adore this on my toes and I literally had to be careful not to walk into walls while wearing it, because I kept admiring my feet :P

Especially with these sandals, I just love love loved it!  So, moral of the story – play around a bit before you completely give up on an item.  I’m so thankful I did, as I’ve just found my fall pedi shade!

It’s just a quickie post today – I have two products that I’m insanely delinquent in showing you, but honestly – I’m just not sure I love them all that much!  I’ve worn them both only once and have had them for over a month…I just don’t know how I feel about them, and without actually giving them a real chance, I can’t feel good about discussing them.  But I plan to wear them again this week and I will finally make a decision.  Could be that they’re just like the polish – I just haven’t found THE way to wear ‘em yet! :)

What do you do with products you’re unsure of?  Do you play around with them and figure out ways to wear them, or do you just decide they’re not for you and return them (or give them away!)?  And also – do you wear polish on your toes during the cooler months??

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16 Comments

Fall’s Sexiest Nail Polish Shade – OPI’s Every Month is Oktoberfest

I’m sure you’ve all seen this shade over and over again, but OPI’s ‘Every Month is Oktoberfest’ from their Germany 2012 collection is so fabulous it really deserves yet another mention.  I know I’ve said this before, but I really mean it this time – I’m gonna keep the words to a minimum and let the pictures do the talking.

Bottle shot

And lest you think I’m only showing you the best side of the polish with all the sunshine shots, here are a few pictures taken indoors – the glowy awesomeness is more subtle, but still visible!

What else needs to be said, right?  SO.  GORGEOUS.  Two coats of easy flowing perfection.  The sunlight shots are without top coat; pics in artificial light with.  I want to wear this every day for the rest of my life.  Or at least all fall/winter long.  It’s just such a pretty yet vampy shade, ahhh!!!  It’s 100% absolute LOVE.

Continuing with the minimal verbage – thoughts?

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23 Comments

Mani-Pedi Combo with SpaRitual’s Aurum

I’ve sort of fell off the wagon with the Summer combo’s – I’d hoped to do one every week this season but although I’ve picked up a few new shades, I don’t have as many that you haven’t seen as I did last year!

One half of the duo I’m going to show you today IS new however, so I figured I ‘d have to take what I can get.  I picked up SpaRitual’s Aurum back in May – it’s a glowing strong yellow-gold tone that has some major sparkle capacity.  After the disappointment I had with Chanel’s Delight, which I though for SURE was going to be my go-to golden polish, I got it in my head that I had to find *something* to fill the gap.  I only have one other gold – Deb Lippmann’s Nefertiti, which just doesn’t satisfy my needs.  Aurum is much, much warmer and more of a true gold, and I hoped it would fit the bill.

Above: Two coats, indoor lighting

Below: Three coats, sunlight

Aurum is fairly sheer – notice the difference between two and three coats (the latter which I prefer to intensify the density).  However, the sheerness isn’t the only issue – I find Aurum on my skintone almost garish; it’s SUPER-blingy, and really would only be something I’d wear for a special occasion or the holidays.  I’m going to try it as a  pedi soon to see how it fares, but overall its yet another gold polish that has let me down.  However, if you like this type of shade, the formula was pretty good – applied very easily with a thinner consistency, and had no application issues at all.  And in the bottle – woo!  It’s one stunner of a shade.

The pedi shade I picked to go with Aurum was OPI’s A Roll in the Hague, a bright reddish orange.  I liked them together OK, but I think when I wear Aurum as a pedi I’m going to match it with a more vampy shade – I’m thinking Zoya’s Anja, a deep dark plummy red.  I’ll be sure to post photos!

What do you think of Aurum?  I’m wide open for suggestions on a great gold polish, so please feel free to share (taking my skintone into consideration)! 

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17 Comments

Tangerine Tango Nail Polish: Quickie Comparison Post

Good day to you all :)  Residual birthday party-fun-time has left me with little time to dedicate to the blog (though, I have been taking photos galore, so I’m not at a loss for content!) – so please forgive me for being kind of a lamer lately!  Today I have a quick comparison post of a few orange-red nail polishes I have that are quite similar; after Chanel’s Holiday came out, which I rebuffed because I felt I had shades that were very comparable, I started thinking about just how many polishes I had that ran along the same vein.  Surprizingly, I have three – which makes me that much more thankful now that I saved the $27 on Holiday.

Essie Meet Me At Sunset, Essence Get the Fever, OPI A Roll in the Hague

The 3 shades in question are Essie’s Meet Me At Sunset, from last year’s Summer collection; OPI’s A Roll in the Hague from Spring’s Holland collection; and a random mini shade ($1.99 – you can’t beat that!) from Essence called Get the Fever, which I picked up last year when I decided I MUST HAVE an orange polish (at which point I found MMAS and was satiated).

Essie Meet Me At Sunset, Essence Get the Fever, OPI A Roll in the Hague

In some light, the three shades look very close in color – differences are minute and probably only noticeable if you’re aware they’re different.  However, upon closer inspection, they are NOT dupes, each with their own distinguishing feature.

Essie Meet Me At Sunset, Essence Get the Fever, OPI A Roll in the Hague

Essie’s MMAS is clearly the most red-toned out of the 3, those this is more apparent in the bottle than on the nail.  Get the Fever is more of a muted orange-red, versus the juicy vibrancy of A Roll in the Hague.  It trumps ‘Fever’ as the more ~orange~ shade with it’s richly pigmented hue.  ‘Hague’ is also insanely glossy, which also puts it above Essence’s shade – though if you missed ‘Hague,’ Get the Fever is still a great substitute.

Essie Meet Me At Sunset, Essence Get the Fever, OPI A Roll in the Hague

However, despite the closeness in shade between ‘Hague’ and ‘Fever’, I can also seem the resemblances between ‘Fever’ and MMAS – there’s a common red tone to these two that places Get the Fever squarely between MMAS and ‘Hague.’  For the cheapness in price, ‘Fever’ performs quite well and would be a great choice for anyone looking for an orange-red shade but hoping to save about $10 or so!

Since orange is in it’s glory right now, I hope showing these 3 shades helps you can an idea of what choices you have out there!  It really can’t be beat for a Summer color – and these tones in particular work with both pre-tan and post-tan skin, so you can rock it pretty much any time!

What other orange polishes should I keep an eye out for (that have greater variances than the shades I’ve shown above)?  Would you have bought Holiday, even if it had a close dupe in your stash?

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