Posts Tagged OPI

OPI Venice collection for Fall 2015 {swatches & review}

Ok, here’s the post I’ve been promising for weeks, finally! For those who have been waiting, I’m genuinely sorry – what with the move, and the upheaval in Elena’s schedule (due to the move), carving out any time for the blog has been nearly impossible, as she naps for maybe 30 minutes at a time, tops. Nap time = mama’s productive time, therefore: no nap time = nothing accomplished. On top of that, Elena was sick with some kind of virus since Thursday and pretty much slept or snuggled on her mama for 4 days straight. I didn’t really mind – love the chance for extra cuddles! – but it was anxiety-inducing as the first time she’s been sick, and again I got a whole lot of nuthin’ done.

Anywho. She’s currently napping for who knows how long and I just can’t wait any more! May I present to you the OPI Venice collection for fall 2015!

OPI Venice collection fall 2015 OPI Venice collection fall 2015

Since time is a tickin’ I’m going to get right to it! Let’s start off with my favorite shade from the collection:

Tiramisu for Two

OPI Tiramisu for Two swatch

Yep, it’s a ‘plain’ ‘ol nude (described as a ‘sweet coffee cream’) – but let me assure you, this nude is anything but boring! It is SO creamy and pigmented and the perfect mix of neutral tones that makes it stupidly flattering, at least on my skintone. And the application is great too, just 2 easy coats with no drag or streaks to be found. Probably the current fave nude in my collection!

OPI Tiramisu for Two swatch comparison

It looks a lot more pink here in this swatch but it’s just the lighting – it’s more beige in person. However, this photo does serve to show how it compares to another neutral, Dior Incognito. I’ve always found that Incognito is actually almost too pink and deep to be a true nude on me, whereas Tiramisu for Two is several tones lighter and therefore better. That’s right, I said it – an OPI is better than a Dior.

O Suzi Mio

OPI O Suzi Mio swatch

My second favourite in the collection. I absolutely ADORE the plummy tones of this polish and it’s high-shine crelly texture. So perfect for fall! Here I’m wearing it with 2 coats because I like the slight sheerness which helps retain the eggplant tone, but three will make it completely opaque.

OPI O Suzi Mio swatch comparison

Another reason I love this shade is that it doesn’t have that ‘almost black’ feeling about it which I really don’t favour. Here I’ve compared it to Zoya Anja which I always want to love but don’t quite because it’s just too dark. O Suzi Mio as you can see still looks purple, not black (especially when compared to the actual black shade above it).

Purple Palazzo Pants

OPI Purple Palazzo Pants swatch

Another winner here for me, though I don’t exactly feel fall-ish when I look at it. This shade was a gorgeous formula as well – 2 coats and loads of shine all on it’s own. These types of purple-pink shades I find quite flattering on me as well.

OPI Purple Palazzo Pants swatch comparison

The sad part about this shade is that it’s pretty similar to Chanel Sweet Lilac, which means I probably have to let it go (the OPI, not the Chanel {god forbid!}). I haven’t done it yet because I think I might wear it for one full manicure first…it’s clearly not an exact dupe but it’s close enough that in my purging state I can’t justify keeping both!

My Gondola or Yours? 

OPI My Gondola or Yours? swatchOPI My Gondola or Yours? swatch

This was a surprise to me in two ways: 1) it contains shimmer, which you can see in direct sunlight, and 2) I really liked it on me! I’m not a fan of black polish on my nails, it always looks too harsh or something, but I really loved the effect of this shade. I don’t know if it was the shimmer that did it (it’s not very noticeable in the shade or indoors), or the subtle crelly finish, but whatever it is it’s working for me! This does require 3 coats for opacity but they weren’t fussy to apply at all. I don’t have any shades to compare to this as I don’t own black polish!

It’s a Piazza Cake

OPI It’s a Piazza Cake swatch OPI It’s a Piazza Cake swatch

Another complete surprise was how much I enjoyed this shade, a devout non-orange wearer! Orange has never looked good on me IMO, but the burnt tones of this shade (which you see more in the first photo) make this quite wearable and absolutely the most perfect fall-ish shade! I’m wearing this as a full manicure right now (check it out on my Instagram) and it’s one of those shades I keep staring at, which is how I know it’s a keeper. SO pretty and different. And guys – this is a 1-coater! Here I’m wearing 2, but today I only did 1 (time of the essence, etc. etc. etc.). Fabulous! I also have nothing like this.

A Great Opera-tunity

OPI A Great Opera-tunity swatch

Yet another shade that I initially thought I wouldn’t like but ended up enjoying! It was a *bit* strange-looking on my hands as it made any redness stand out, but on toes – oh YES. I feel like I should be wandering around a fabulous resort with this shade on. It’s described as a melon and I’d say that’s accurate – it’s actually kind of perfect for the transition between summer and fall. Love this! Note that it is a little on the thick side so be careful in your application to ensure a smooth finish.

OPI A Great Opera-tunity swatch comparison

Compared to Chanel Inattendu, which is a peach-nude, this has more pink/red in it’s base. I like it’s uniqueness.

Venice the Party?

OPI Venice the Party? (LE) swatch

Ok, now we’ve reached the shades I was more ‘meh’ about. Though this is gorgeous in the bottle and probably lovely on the right skintone (it positively glows!), I didn’t like it on me at all. It also doesn’t make me think of fall very much – maybe if it were a bit deeper in tone. This is 1 of 3 LE shades in the collection so if you love it you need to snap it up sooner rather than later. Application was good, 2 easy coats, but beware that it does stain slightly. I also noticed chipping after 2 days with this one (I wore it as a full mani). I don’t really wear these kinds of colors so I have no comparison swatches for you, sorry!


I paired this with A Great Opera-unity for a mani/pedi combo…I wasn’t that into it, to be honest. Venice the Party? was too shimmery I think to suit it. Oh well!

Gimme a Lido Kiss


I had my fabulous assistant help me with these next two colors – she was getting bored the day I needed to take these shots so I occupied her with some of the bottles lol. She does good work, eh?

OPI Gimme a Lido Kiss swatch

Gimme a Lido Kiss is a red shimmer that I found kind of dull, to be honest. The glow on this one isn’t all that fabulous, and it leads more orange than blue so on me I wasn’t wild about how it looks. Great formula though, thin but pigmented; you could almost make this a 1 coater but I’d go with 2 to be safe.

OPI Gimme a Lido Kiss swatch comparison

I thought Misa’s Red Pumps at the Nordstrom might be comparable to Gimme a Lido Kiss, but the former leans cooler and has that glow that the latter is lacking. I won’t be replacing that one, that’s for sure!


Up next ladies {and gents!}, we have St. Mark’s the Spot!

OPI St. Mark’s the Spot (LE) swatch

A ‘royal blue pearl,’ this shade has a lot of depth to it and is kind of mesmerizing to look at, no? That said, it’s not for me – shimmer polishes in strong colors just turn me off for some reason. This has a good formula as well, 2 easy coats, and it’s another LE shade so snap it up if you want it! Though I have a ton of blue shades, I don’t have any with an intense shimmer/metallic like this one.


I wore it with Gimme a Lido Kiss which I think was a better match than the previous pairing. Feels kind of US Patriotic now that I think about it!

Amore at the Grand Canal

OPI Amore at the Grand Canal swatch

I was eager to wear this shade because I love a deep red, and it is quite nice, though it looks brighter here than in person (and could probably use a top coat to really make it polished). It’s definitely pretty, but not terribly original. Good formula, 2 coats and no fuss.

OPI Amore at the Grand Canal swatch comparison

I knew when I saw ‘Amore’ that it would be similar to other shades in my collection: Tom Ford Bordeaux Lust and Essie Limited Addiction. It’s kind of a hybrid of the two, and while it’s nice I am definitely not keeping it over the other two. I wear red polish so rarely as it is I don’t need to add another to the mix anyway!

Worth a Pretty Penne

OPI Worth a Pretty Penne swatch

When I first laid eyes on this shade I was sure I was going to love it, but turns out it’s just too close to my skintone to be anything stand-out. That being said, this is a great polish with visual interest from the flecks of dark and light copper, and it could be a 1-coater if desired. It also has zero brushstrokes so if you’re a fan of metallic polishes you’ll like this one! I personally don’t love metallics so I have nothing to compare to this.


I paired Amore at the Grand  Canal with Worth a Pretty Penne, and again I was kind of ‘meh’ about it. Looks nice enough and goes well together but it seems kind of ho-hum to me. Maybe I’m just fussy!

Gelato My Mind

OPI Gelato on My Mind swatch

This was another shade that did not say ‘fall’ to me in the least, but sometimes I think brands are just trying to do something unexpected so it doesn’t bother me when they include shades like this. This is a beautiful color to be sure, so vibrant – but the formula was not so great. The 1st coat was streaky and consecutive coats can become disastrous if not applied quickly, as this polish is prone to dragging.

OPI Gelato on My Mind swatch comparison

Though I have several aqua shades, the only one Gelato My Mind is truly similar to is another OPI, Eternally Turquoise, the latter being a bit more muted and a hint less green. Due to the formula, I won’t even be entertaining the idea of keeping ‘Gelato’ – there’s no room for crappy polish anymore, no matter how pretty it is!

Be There in a Prosecco

OPI Be There in a Prosecco swatch

This is an opaque cream shade, and while I do love pale tones lately, I wasn’t wild about this. Aside from the formula, which is a bit streaky but not terrible (especially for such a light shade), there is echoes of Zoya Cho about this that turn me off – I think it’s the more warm, yellowish leaning about it that doesn’t work for me. It’s like a dirty white.

OPI Be There in a Prosecco swatch comparison

Once again, the comparison shot shows it much different in tone than it is IRL. The closest shade I have to it is OPI The Beige of Reason; however, that is a sheer so they end up looking quite different when worn – and ‘Beige‘ is lighter in tone, anyway.

Baroque…But Still Shopping!

OPI Baroque…But Still Shopping! (LE) swatch

This is the last of the 3 LE shades! I love the name of this one…actually I enjoy the names of a lot of these for once! I was really stoked for this shade and though it was going to be a winner, but….no. Just no. The tone of it isn’t great on my skin for one, which doesn’t make for a bad polish – just bad on me – but aside from that, it’s got those horrible glitter bits in it that just don’t work in an opaque polish! Remember Pineapples Have Peelings Too and how ugly that was? I thought at first this would be sheer, with all that glitter, but when I went to layer it, it just wasn’t happening – way too much pigmentation. Bleh. I don’t like this at all (but the formula is good, 2 quick coats to opacity). I have nothing to compare this to.

I Cannoli Wear OPI

OPI I Cannoli Wear OPI swatch

Last but not least! Historically I don’t like pale grey tones one me as they usually lean too bluish and just don’t look cute. I feel the same about this shade, sadly, though I recognize my skintone doesn’t represent most, so this probably would look great on a lot of people! It’s got a thin formula that builds up nicely in 2 coats – it’s a touch fussy but less so than ‘Gelato‘ so if you like this shade it’s worth it to pick it up. As I don’t enjoy these shades I don’t have any comparisons for it.

There you have it – a timely review for a seasonal collection, hurrah! Hopefully the LE shades are still available if any of you are interested in those. Overall I quite liked this collection; while there were a few duds, even the shades I didn’t like on me I could appreciate being flattering on someone else. Considering fall is my favourite month I’m pleased OPI nailed this release!


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OPI Infinite Shine Summer 2015 Collection: Part II {swatches & review}

[This post features press samples]

Ha. Ha ha ha. This post is like, a month after Part I but ya know…life happens. And, in truth, the biggest reason I delayed this post is because I only liked two of these shades (and one of these I liked A LOT, but not enough to make up for the rest). Anyway, let’s just get this over and done with, shall we?

OPI Infinite Shine Summer 2015 Collection

Enter the Golden Era

OPI Enter the Golden Era swatch

While not the worst shade of gold on my skintone, Enter the Golden Era is a bit brushstroke-y, has a less-than-stellar formula application wise and is just not really my bag. I think you can find better gold options out there.

OPI Enter the Golden Era swatch comparisonLeft to right: OPI Enter the Golden Era, OPI Dazzled by Gold

As I rarely wear gold polish, I only really had one shade to compare it to (OPI Dazzled by Gold, sadly LE) and Golden Era pales SO much in comparison to the fabulousness of that shade. On my skintone I NEED that richness of color and depth for gold to be interesting.

Bee Mine Forever

OPI Bee Mine Forever swatch

Although I like yellow polish in theory, I’ve only ever found one that really DID it for me (and MAN I do love that shade!). Though this is a nice yellow as they go, the formula was

OPI Bee Mine Forever swatch comparisonLeft to right: OPI Bee Mine Forever, butter London Jasper, OPI Life Gave Me Lemons

Bee Mine Forever is quite similar in color to butter London’s Jasper, but the latter is a bit more buttery (both apply like crap though). Life Gave Me Lemons is way more saturated.

S-ageless Beauty

OPI S-ageless Beauty swatch

Sorry the color is so intense on this, it was super-sunny when I took it and I couldn’t seem to color adjust enough to fix it. In person, S-ageless Beauty is a bit more muted and a hint more green. As a non-green lover I actually didn’t hate this…but I didn’t love it enough to keep it either. And the formula was quite thick; you can see on my index finger it smudged because it took a while to dry.

OPI S-ageless Beauty swatch comparisonLeft to right: OPI S-ageless Beauty, butter London Bossy Boots, OPI That’s Hula-rious!, China Glaze Re-fresh Mint

Here is a better representation of the color. It’s more yellow-leaning like butter London Bossy Boots but not as dusty, which works in it’s favour (on my skintone anyway). The other two, OPI That’s Hula-rious! and China Glaze Re-fresh Mint are more blue-leaning.

Silver on Ice

OPI Silver on Ice swatch

BLERGH. Brushstroke DISASTER of a formula. DISLIKE! The actual tone of Silver on Ice isn’t bad on my skin, but it’s nowhere near good enough to bother trying to smooth out the application. ICK.

OPI Silver on Ice swatch comparisonLeft to right: OPI Silver on Ice, Revlon Sterling, OPI Centennial Celebration, OPI This Silver’s Mine!

I can’t get over how much more I like OPI Centennial Celebration than any other silver I’ve encountered – it’s the sparkliness, I think. Silver on Ice is very similar in tone to Revlon Sterling, but even the cheapy drugstore option applies miles better. OPI This Silver’s Mine! has that pinkish hue that sets it apart from them all.

…To Be Continued

OPI To Be Continued swatch

I live for periwinkle shades like this! I kind of want to own ever one I come across, but I resist (which I think it’s pretty damn amazing, considering). …To Be Continued has a good formula that’s fairly easy to apply but does require 3 coats to ensure everything is perfect. And with a shade like this, you want it to look perfect, yes? *As a side note, this length of nail is my absolute favourite on me, just hitting the tips of my fingers. I find it makes every polish look so much nicer!

OPI To Be Continued swatch comparisonLeft to right: OPI …To Be Continued, Essie Bikini So Teeny

I thought this was going to be exactly the same as Essie Bikini So Teeny, and it IS quite close, but it’s a bit lighter and less blue leaning than the former. I was SO tempted to keep both, but I decided that I had to choose a favourite *pale periwinkle* since owning two to similar goes against my attempts at streamlining my collection. I kept the Essie, only because I’d rather give away a full bottle of polish rather than a 3/4 full one. They’re both awesome.

Wild Blue Yonder

OPI Wild Blue Yonder swatch

I also quite like blue shades like Wild Blue Yonder – they’re so punchy and fun! This has a great formula, 2 quick coats, no issues at all. I don’t find these as pretty as periwinkle’s like …To Be Continued, but I still like these for spring/summer.


I paired this with Bee Min Forever, and while it was nice enough, it wasn’t my favourite pairing – probably would have looked softer and more complimentary with …To Be Continued (clearly I have a major bias for that shade, huh?).

OPI Wild Blue Yonder swatch comparisonLeft to right: OPI Wild Blue Yonder, Zoya Robyn, YSL Bleu Majorelle

When I first saw Wild Blue Yonder, I thought it’d be identical to Zoya Robyn, but once again I was foiled! Robyn is lighter and has a touch of green in it. Bleu Majorelle really isn’t a contender either but I wanted to show it for comparison purposes. Again, I felt like I had to choose between Wild Blue and Robyn to fulfill my bright mid-tone blue quota…I haven’t ben able to choose just yet. I will though, I promise!


And that, as they say, is that! I debated even bothering to post these at all as the weeks past and it seemed like posting about a summer collection was silly at this point, but I feel better about doing so now regardless. I think these are all still available so if you’re keen to pick any up you still have the chance (though really only …To Be Continued and Wild Blue Yonder are worth it in my opinion).

You’ll be happy to hear though that I have all my swatches done for the OPI Fall/Winter Venice collection (which is mostly excellent), so I hope to have those up this week! I’m determined to do so, as we’re moving this weekend and I don’t know how much posting I’ll be able to get done for a few weeks after that. But THEN….once we’re settled in the new place I’m going to be able to do SO much more! A real house, guys!!!!! I can’t freakin’ WAIT :D :D :D :D

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OPI Infinite Shine Soft Shades 2015 {swatches}

[This post features press samples]

I’ve been feeling majorly bogged down by outstanding posts I need to write so I’m putting my butt in gear to get them all out in the next week. Most of these are PR samples I’ve received, so I feel particularly guilty that I haven’t posted on them yet; though I feel no compulsion to write GOOD reviews, I do feel a responsibility to WRITE a review when I receive products for ‘free,’ at least as much as possible. I don’t have to, but I just think that it’s good practice to do so.

OPI Infinite Shine Soft Shades spring 2015

So, today I bring you OPI’s Infinite Shine Soft Shades spring release, which I received back in July (which is after spring as it is, so I don’t feel TOO bad). I’m not going to write too much about these, as if you were interested in them in the first place you probably bought them already! – but they’re still available for purchase, and neutral shades like these are season-less, really, so just in case you missed them, here they are!

OPI Non-Stop White swatch OPI Non-Stop White swatchOPI Non-Stop White

Non-Stop White. For a white polish, this is actually pretty good – after three thin coats your good to go, with not too much hassle, and the shine is high. I wore this as a full mani and surprisingly liked it a lot – I was never keen on stark white on me but this one somehow worked. It’s almost exactly the same as Essie Blanc though, color-wise and also application (though the brushes are different, so you may prefer one over the other), so if you have that one you can skip this.

OPI Beyond the Pale Pink swatchOPI Beyond the Pale Pink

Beyond the Pale Pink. I thought I’d really like this after falling for the pale tones in the OPI Infinite Shine summer collection, but for some reason I didn’t feel the same way about this. Still a pretty shade, but maybe too close to white to make it stand out? It also was a tad streaky even after several coats.

OPI Pearl of Wisdom swatchOPI Pearl of Wisdom

Pearl of Wisdom. Nope, not a fan of this one – streak city, even after 3 coats. I really hoped this would be great, I’m forever looking for a good shimmering white shade, but this like all the others I’ve tried fell flat for me. It’s very similar to China Glaze Dandy Lyin’ Around (including it’s streakiness) except it’s slightly cooler.

OPI Eternally Turquoise swatchOPI Eternally Turquoise

Eternally Turquoise. Very pretty aqua shade that is perfect for late summer on tanned skin. The formula however was just OK – can you see how it weirdly showed a ridge in my big toe? This was 3 coats and more effort than I felt was necessary for a shade like this.

OPI Eternally Turquoise and Pearl of Wisdom swatch

I paired Pearl of Wisdom with Eternally Turquoise – ET stayed on my toes for a week+, but I took Pearl of Wisdom off the next day. Conor-wise a nice, ethereal combo though!

OPI The Beige of Reason swatchOPI The Beige of Reason

The Beige of Reason. This was a better sheer than most other sheers I’ve tried lately – not too streaky at all – but it didn’t do anything shade-wise for my hands IMO. See the small chip in the top of the bottle? I have another Infinite Shine shade that has a chip in the neck of it’s bottle – are they made of weird glass or something? Bizarre.

OPI Go to Grayt Lengths swatchOPI Go to Grayt Lengths, in sunshine.

OPI Go to Grayt Lengths swatchOPI Go to Grayt Lengths, in shade.

Go to Grayt Lengths. I knew I wasn’t going to be down with this shade, silver not being easy for me to wear, and this one is quite cool leaning (especially in the first photo). It’s also sort of a creme-shimmer hybrid somehow; it actually looks better in these swatches than I felt it did in person. Formula was good though, and it has a lot of natural shine.

You can probably tell, I wasn’t super wowed by this collection – I thought the color story was very appealing, but most of them fell flat for me for one reason or another. Probably another reason why I took so long to post about them! I do appreciate that these weren’t just a collection of stock-standard nudes (especially throwing in the pale aqua shade), but on the whole I actually prefer the regular formula of OPI to the Infinite Shine – I have better application with the original formula, strangely enough, and I don’t find that these wear loads longer either.

I have the fall Venice collection to show you guys in the next couple weeks (I hope) and so far I’m impressed, so don’t lose hope for OPI yet!

OPI Infinite Shine Soft Shades spring 2015

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OPI Infinite Shine Summer 2015 Collection: Part I {swatches & review}

Summa, summa, summa’time! How’s everyone’s summer going? It’s been kind of great for me, we had awesome weather for most of June, July was not bad – we had a long stretch of rain for a couple weeks which sucked (especially with a little one who loves the outdoors and needs constant stimulation!), and now August has been pretty grand, though it’s been hella hot here the past week. Today I took Elena on the ferry which was a nice way to enjoy the sun and keep cool…she seemed to dig it ;) I try and do water-related things with her most days as she was a fish in another life I swear! I *just* signed us up for parent & tot swimming lessons starting in September – should be fun!

OPI Infinite Shine Summer 2015 collection

Today I have half of the OPI Infinite Shine summer collection – honestly, I feel like all I do lately is swatch nail polish, which is my own fault as I have to request the samples when they’re available… Anyway, I quite liked a lot of these shades so I ended up wearing them for a few days each, instead of swatching them all at once, which means I’ve only gotten through the first handful (I also have the Infinite Shine 2015 Soft Shades to show you, of which I’m 2/3rd’s through – so I’ve actually done about 10 swatches total). I should probably quit wasting time and get to it, eh? All swatches are without top coat, FYI.

OPI Lavendurable swatch

Lavendurable is a super-pretty pale lilac creme that looks awesome with a tan. I’m actually a fan of wearing pastels at the height of summer, and wearing brights more toward the tail-end of spring/beginning of summer when I need to fake the illusion of sunkissed skin (yes, I know I’m always brown lol…but sometimes I’m a watered down milk chocolate and I need a little oomph, OK?). The tricky thing with pastels is that the white base can be streaky if you’re not careful in your application – I had to use a steady, quick hand and apply 3 medium-thick coats as it tended to get patchy otherwise. I don’t mind if a polish is finnicky though if it’s this lovely!

OPI Lavendurable swatch comparison OPI Lavendurable swatch comparisonOPI Lavendurable, Zoya Marley

You couldn’t see the differences in the first shot so I took a second at a different angle…you can see that Zoya Marley is a bit deeper in tone. Marley is a much-loved polish, but I think Lavendurable has it beat – I really love the way it’s both pale and bright! A bit less demure than Marley, shall we say.

OPI Patience Pays Off swatch

Patience Pays Off is another great pale shade, this time in a sort of soft pinky-clay hue that again looks awesome with a tan. As with Lavendurable, it required 3 quick coats but the finished product was totally worth it.

OPI Patience Pays Off swatch comparisonOPI Patience Pays Off, OPI Beyond the Pale, OPI The Beige of Reason, OPI Act Your Beige

I didn’t have a comparable shade to Patience – everything else was too beige or too light to be considered a contender.

OPI You're Blushing Again swatch

You’re Blushing Again is a bit deeper in tone, but this creamy pale peachy-pink is another stunner in my opinion. I think it’s really feminine and looks great with my skintone. Yet again, it required 3 coats to avoid patchiness, and yet again I don’t care! It has pretty great shine on it’s own too, eh?

OPI You're Blushing Again swatch comparison OPI You’re Blushing Again, Essie Muchi Muchi

The only remotely similar hue I could find was Essie Muchi Muchi, and it’s not even close. This is a really unique shade as it’s not peach and its not pink – I’m loving it!

OPI Follow Your Bliss swatch

Follow Your Bliss is kind of a pepto-pink shade that isn’t normally something I gravitate toward, yet I love the look of it in this swatch. It’s very girly, eh? This is 2 coats, but its still got a fair bit of white in it so I had to be careful when applying and I used thicker coats to avoid streaks/patchiness. The shine on this one was really something!

OPI Follow Your Bliss swatch comparisonOPI Follow Your Bliss, OPI Suzi Shops and Island Hops, RBL Oh Slap!, Chanel Sweet Lilac

This shade also didn’t have an equal in my stash, though Suzi Shops is close, just several shades lighter. I though Oh Slap! would be very similar but it’s not so vividly pink – I prefer the latter, as it’s more wearable, but man, every time I look at the swatch above I waver – it’s so fabulously in-your-face-PINK!

OPI The Sun Never Sets swatch

The Sun Never Sets is an orange cream-sicle kind of shade…the shine was killer on this one (it seems to be a bit of a jelly/creme hybrid?), but these yellow-based oranges clash hard with my skintone. The first coat was very patchy, but it leveled out well with a thicker second coat.

OPI The Sun Never Sets swatch comparison OPI The Sun Never Sets swatch comparisonOPI The Sun Never Sets, OPI Is Mai Tai Crooked?, Essie Resort Fling

This one was tricky to show shade differences – Is Mai Tai Crooked? looks quite similar in the first shot, but in the second you can see it’s even more yellow-toned and a hair lighter. Resort Fling is much more peach in comparison (and hence why I like it a lot more…has less yellow and more pink).

OPI Purpletual Emotion swatch

I swatched Purpletual Emotion on my right hand because I NEVER use my right hand for swatches and I just felt like it for once (plus, it meant I could do two swatches in quick succession lol). My right middle nail isn’t as nice as it is on my left hand (since I’m a righty), but my nails were super-long for these swatches so you can’t tell as much. This shade is a creme/jelly hybrid that was a cinch to apply – two easy flowing coats – and has shine for days! I’m not generally a fan of bold purple polishes, but the shine on this one and the intensity is kind of getting to me….I might have to keep this one!

OPI Purpletual Emotion swatch comparisonOPI Purpletual Emotion, OPI Dutch’ya Love OPI?, OPI Lost My Bikini in Molokini, RBL Mismas, OPI Hello Hawaii, Ya?

I thought for SURE that this shade was super-similar to Dutch’ya Love OPI?, but it’s not in the least! The latter is way darker (and that’s not even taking into account the shimmer). The other 3 shades are also nowhere near in tone – they’re all much cooler. Every single one of these purples I’ve passed along, but I might actually hang on to Purpletual…as long as I never have to say the name again (tongue-twister!).

OPI Infinite Shine Summer 2015 Collection

I was pleasantly surprised with this half of the summer collection, many of the OPI polishes I’ve received have been lacklustre for me, but I really liked almost all of these! I will say that though the shine on a lot of the Infinite Shine polishes is pretty good, I find a lot of them have application issues (patchiness mostly) which is a bummer. I’m applying them on the Infinite Shine base coat too so it’s not that. In any case, while I don’t like to mess around with polish too much I really didn’t mind much with these as they were so darn pretty. That’s saying something!

Have you tried the new(ish) Infinite Shine polishes? Will you tough it out for a shade you love, if the formula is subpar?





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Strengthen nails with new shades of OPI Nail Envy

More polish you say? No problem! I have a constant backlog of OPI polishes to swatch and review, which means I always have more polish comin’ at ya.

OPI Nail Envy polish shades

The original OPI Nail Envy is a translucent, maximum strength nail strengthener & fortifier that you can use on it’s own or as a base coat to help nails grow faster and stronger. The new Nail Envy polish shades are formulated with the same hydrolyzed wheat protein and calcium complex to help nails resist peeling, cracking and splitting, and come in 4 delicate OPI shades – 3 existing favorites (Bubble Bath, Samoan Sand and Hawaiian Orchid) and 1 new Nail Envy exclusive shade (Pink to Envy).

IMG_1251Left to right: Bubble Bath, Samoan Sand, Hawaiian Orchid and Pink to Envy

Bubble Bath is a sheer, feminine pink that makes nails look polished and clean (due to it’s blue-leaning tones). While I like those qualities in a sheer polish, it was somewhat streaky (often a problem with sheers) so you need careful application with this one. Thin coats and a quick hand, plus ample time to dry between coats is a must.

OPI Bubble Bath swatch

Bubble Bath isn’t a terribly unique shade, and I found a few similar polishes to compare it to: Essie Muchi Muchi, which is also streak-prone; OPI Put It In Neutral, which is a touch less pink; and Dior Incognito, which isn’t really very close as it’s opaque and more of a beige-pink.

OPI Nail Envy Bubble Bath comparison swatches OPI Nail Envy Bubble Bath comparison swatchesLeft to right: Essie Muchi Muchi, OPI Bubble Bath, OPI Put It In Neutral, OPI Do You Take Lei Away?

Samoan Sand is a polish that’s been on my radar for years, as I’m a sucker for a good nude and I read somewhere this is a great option for deeper skin tones like mine. Happily, it did not disappoint – this went on easily in two smooth coats, and was quite flattering with my skin tone, though I’d be curious to see if it’s still that way once my summer tan has faded (I prefer my nudes lighter than my skin tone, not matching like mannequin hands). In the swatch below I had been wearing it for several days, so please excuse the tip wear!

OPI Samoan Sand swatch

Being a collector of shades like these, I thought I might have a few dupes in my stash, but I actually didn’t (huzzah!). Dior Sunkissed is more peach, and Tom Ford Toasted Sugar (another fave nude -> which I realize I haven’t shown you guys yet! Shame on me) is darker.

OPI Nail Envy Samoan Sand comparison swatches OPI Nail Envy Samoan Sand comparison swatchesLeft to right: Dior Sunkissed, OPI Samoan Sand, Tom Ford Toasted Sugar

Finally, we have Hawaiian Orchid, a pretty dusty mauve-pink which I normally would never look at. It’s still not entirely my cup of tea, but there’s something about it that I like – could be its smooth, creamy shine! I think this would look great on more fair skin than mine thought – which is why I might try it out again once my tan has faded (for SCIENCE).

OPI Hawaiian Orchid swatch

Naturally, I didn’t have any really similar shades in my collection, but I pulled anything close just for the hell of it (continuity, ya know). RBL Poco a Poco has that same dusty quality, but it’s much more purple; RBL Oh Slap! is much lighter and a bit brighter but is in a similar color family; and Dior Incognito is once again more beige-y than pink.

OPI Nail Envy Hawaiian Orchid comparison swatches OPI Nail Envy Hawaiian Orchid comparison swatchesLeft to Right: RBL Poco a Poco, RBL Oh Slap!, OPI Hawaiian Orchid, Dior Incognito

I didn’t swatch Pink to Envy, because though it’s got that pink tint to it, for all intents and purposes it’s a clear polish – I didn’t even find that it gave my nails a brightening effect like the Dior Nail Glow polish. Not a big deal, just – no reason to add to the massive amount of swatches I need to do these days!

OPI Nail Envy polish shades

Do you use the original Nail Envy? Do you like when polishes have a treatment in them? What are your thoughts on neutral polishes?

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OPI Two to Celebrate Coca-Cola Polish Set {Review & Swatches}

Good day everyone! How’s life been treating you lately? Our summer weather-wise has been quite lovely here, with just enough rain to keep things lush. Elena has been keeping me très busy these days; she’s going through a sort of sleep regression and is napping for 30 minutes at most – and getting those naps has been hard work! I have a few review posts that have been waiting to be written though, so I’m just going to have to sneak in a bit of blog business here and there when I can. Today’s post should be relatively short and sweet as it’s only covering two nail polishes – the OPI Two to Celebrate polish set commemorating Coca Cola’s 100th year anniversary. I don’t know what’s up with OPI doing so many Coke collections – as a non-pop lover it really doesn’t grab me, but ~shrugs~ There must be a target audience out there somewhere!

OPI Two to Celebrate Coca ColaOPI Two to Celebrate Coca ColaLeft: OPI Centennial Celebration; Right: OPI Visions of Georgia Green

The two shades in the set are Visions of Georgia Green (a pearlescent green with subtle pink duo chrome and a hint of glitter) and Centennial Celebration (a rich shimmering pewter).

OPI Two to Celebrate Coca Cola

Visions of Georgia Green is not my kind of polish shade – at all. It was quite sheer (this is 3 coats and it could have used a 4th, IMO) and it just looks ghastly on my hands. It just seemed to have too much going on, with the sort of golden microglitter, duochrome (though barely visible) and pearl finish. Plus, it’s green, which I’m just not a fan of as a whole as far as polish goes. I layered it over black on my index finger to see if it would look better, but – no. It’s still awful. LOL!

OPI Visions of Georgia Green swatch OPI Visions of Georgia Green swatch

As always, comparison swatches were had. Since I’m not a green fan I didn’t have much to compare it to, only the recently released My Gecko Does Tricks from the OPI Hawaiian collection. They’re not even close.

OPI Visions of Georgia Green swatch comparison OPI Visions of Georgia Green swatch comparisonLeft: OPI My Gecko Does Tricks; Right: Visions of Georgia Green

Thankfully, this is not a complete disaster of a set (and to be fair, there are people who will probably LOVE Georgia Green) – though it easily could have been for me, as a person who isn’t fond of silver either. Happily, Centennial Celebration is FABULOUS.

OPI Two to Celebrate Coca Cola

Though it’s described as a pewter shade, I find it is more silver in tone – probably because it just GLEAMS. The shade is crisp and clean (not what I think of when I think of pewter, which to my mind is like a dirtied silver), and the perfect mix of metallic and shimmer – not too much of either, so it’s got zero brushstrokiness that you can get with a full-on metallic, and it’s not too shimmery for this confessed creme lover. It’s replaced my previous silver polish love, Revlon Sterling, which I merely didn’t hate; Centennial Celebration on the other hand, is pure LOVE.

OPI Centennial Celebration swatch OPI Centennial Celebration swatch

I have a handful of silver & silver-ish swatches in which to compare Centennial Celebration:

OPI Centennial Celebration swatch comparison OPI Centennial Celebration swatch comparisonLeft to right: Chanel Graphite, OPI Centennial Celebration, OPI This Silver’s Mine!, Revlon Sterling, Nicole by OPI DC Lover

The pewter quality of CC is more apparent here; next to decidedly pewter Chanel Graphite, you can see its very much in the same vein only much lighter. It’s clearly more pewter than OPI This Silver’s Mine, and next to Revlon Sterling, it looks positively yellowed (aka dirtied) in comparison to Sterling’s cool tone. It’s not at all similar (red micro glitter aside) to the base color of Nicole by OPI’s DC Lover, which almost has a pinkish hue to it – and I’m glad because I actually love that shade too (two silvers I love, what is the world coming to? Maybe one day I’ll find a green I like as well??).

So, another Coca Cola collection down. I don’t really care how many they do if the polishes are nice, but it seems a bit overkill eh?

Are you a Coke fan? And do you like green and/or silver polish? What do you think of this duo?

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OPI Brights summer 2015 collection {swatches & review}

[This post contains press samples] Happy second day of summer! We’ve been having a lovely June so far, with a ton of sun sprinkled with a few rainy days to keep everything lush and green. As such, I’ve been switching up my mani & pedi shades on the regular, which is also helping me pare down my collection as I go through shade after shade and determine whether it stays or goes. The OPI Brights summer collection for 2015 kept me busy for a while, but I’ve finished all the swatches and have them to show you today! The collection contains 3 existing shades from the core collection, plus 6 brand new shades – all in varying finishes to keep things interesting.

OPI Summer 2015 Brights Collection

I did a few mani/pedi pairings to easier facilitate the swatches, and also added comparison swatches for any shades that seemed to have close relatives in my existing collection. Let’s begin with the core shade Hotter than You Pink and new shade I Sea You Wear OPI:

OPI Hotter Than You Pink and OPI I Sea You Wear OPI swatches

Hotter than You Pink is described as a…’hot pink’, how novel. It’s a bright pink shade with a blue iridescent flash that I’m sure is a favourite for many. These kinds of colors aren’t my bag, but there’s absolutely nothing wrong with it – and the formula for this one is great, two coats to opacity and it flows easily on the nail with no drag.

I Sea You Wear OPI is yet another shimmering aqua confection from the brand, an iridescent metallic that is a classic come summer. This one is a bit sheer, like some other similar OPI shades, and requires 3 coats – even then, you can still see a bit of my nail line in certain lights (like above). It’s pretty though, and the formula otherwise is good with no patchiness.

Hotter than You Pink reminded me of the shade Hang Ten Toes from China Glaze’s Neon collection from 2012. Both that have blue flash, but CG’s polish is less shimmery and more cool-toned:

OPI Hotter than You Pink vs China Glaze Hang Ten Toes comparison swatchLeft: OPI Hotter Than You Pink; Right: China Glaze Hang Ten Toes

I figured I Sea You Wear OPI would be very similar to either the brand’s This Color’s Making Waves (recently reviewed) or Catch Me In Your Net, but it isn’t at all – it’s much more blue and shimmery (rather than metallic) than the former; and though similar in hue, it’s considerably lighter than CMIYN, with less depth.

OPI I Sea You Wear OPI comparison swatchesLeft to right: OPI This Color’s Making Waves, OPI I Sea You Wear OPI, OPI Catch Me in Your Net

Next, I paired Life Gave Me Lemons with I STOP for Red:

OPI I STOP for Red and OPI Life Gave Me Lemons swatches

Life Gave Me Lemons is a core shade, a ‘citrusy lemon-lime’ creme that is very cheerful-looking. It does have a bit of green in it, which for some might make it more wearable than just a straight yellow, which can be tricky on some skintones. While I don’t love yellow polishes on the whole, I actually didn’t mind this – it’s just so happy-looking! Also, for a yellow, the formula isn’t all that bad – it requires a bit of care when applying, but it wasn’t as fussy as other yellows I’ve come across. This is two coats.

I STOP for Red is a tomato red crelly (creme-jelly hybrid) that has the best squishy texture I’ve seen! Though the shade is nothing new, it’s the texture that really makes it stand out – it’s so juicy and delectable. On shorter nails, two coats will do, but on longer nails or if you prefer no VNL, I’d go with three.

The green tones in Life Gave Me Lemons is much more apparent when compared to other yellows:

OPI Life Gave Me Lemons comparison swatchesLeft to right: American Apparel Neon Yellow, OPI Life Gave Me Lemons, butter London Jasper

It’s much more dull (and more glossy) compared to American Apparel Neon Yellow (my fave yellow EVER and the only one I have kept in my collection), though both have that touch of green. butter London’s Jasper on the other hand, is more *ahem* butter-y, and more of a true yellow color.

OPI I STOP for Red comparison swatchesTop to bottom: Essie Meet Me at Sunset, OPI No Stopping Me Now, OPI I STOP for Red, OPI Aloha from OPI, Essie Come Here!

IT IS FREAKING IMPOSSIBLE TO PHOTOGRAPH REDS!!! Gah. The five shades above look identical, I’m sure, and though they are VERY close, they are not the same. Essie Come Here! is more pink, OPI No Stopping Me Now and Essie Meet Me at Sunset are both more orange, and OPI Aloha from OPI is more coral. Though the latter is closest in tone, it’s a straight creme and doesn’t have that glossy, squishy texture.

The last pairing I did was with My Car Has Navy-gation and Down to the Core-al:

OPI My Car Has Navy-gation and OPI Down to the Core-al

My Car Has Navy-gation is a gorgeous deep indigo blue that sadly is a bit of a disappointment once worn. It’s on the sheer side (this is three coats) and is streaky in it’s application. I think they were trying to achieve that crelly texture with this shade, too, but alas it didn’t translate properly in the final product. Let’s take a closer look:

OPI My Car Has Navy-gation swatch

The last of the core shades, Down to the Core-al is a ‘brilliant coral’ which has a touch of violet flash. This was quite pretty, a bit different than your standard summer coral, and easy to apply (this is two coats). Just the right hint of shimmer.

I own a fair number of blue polishes, but nothing was really like My Car Has Navy-gation:

OPI My Car Has Navy-gation comparison swatchesLeft to right: Deborah Lippmann I Know What Boys Like, OPI My Car Has Navy-gation, YSL Bleu Majorelle

Lippmann’s I Know What Boys Like is more purple and less vivid, and YSL’s Bleu Majorelle is much brighter and without ANY purple tone.

OPI Down to the Core-al swatch comparisonLeft: OPI Down to the Core-al; Right: OPI Go With the Lava Flow

Once again, I thought a shade from the recently released Hawaii-themed collection from the brand would be very similar to Down to the Core-al; Go With the Lava Flow is a coral shimmer polish as well, but it is more shimmery and darker, and with a more murky quality to it (which you can’t really see in the photo above).

Can’t Hear Myself Pink! is described as a ‘shimmering metallic pink’, but there’s more to it than that. Though it’s more obvious in the bottle than on the nail, there is a subtle orange duochrome that elevates this shade and makes it more unique. Alone, this shade is pretty enough, but a touch sheer and requires three coats. On my index finger, I layered Can’t Hear Myself Pink! over Down to the Core-al, and this brought out the duochrome and intensified the shade beautifully. I don’t own anything even close to this shade.

OPI Can't Hear Myself Pink! swatch OPI Can't Hear Myself Pink! swatch

My regular readers know I’m not a fan of glitter polishes, and hot pink glitter On Pinks and Needles is no exception. It’s fine, it’s cute, but not for me – here it is layered over Life Gave Me Lemons (on only one nail because glitter removal is a P.I.T.A.):


Finally, we have my favorite shade from the collection, The Berry Thought of You, a ‘delectable purple.’ It’s a beautiful purple-based berry that has a touch of that crelly texture and an uber-glossy finish. Two coats and you’re good to go.

OPI The Berry Thought Of You swatch

Dior’s Bloom polish, an LE shade from last spring I believe, is thisclose to The Berry Thought of You but a hint more pink. If it weren’t Dior, I’d get rid of it because I love the OPI shade more; as it is I’m keeping them both…for now. American Apparel’s Neon Violet has the same purple undertones but is more vivid (and matte, as neons tend to be); Nicole by OPI’s In Grape Demand looks straight-up purple in comparison.

OPI The Berry Thought Of You swatch comparisonsLeft to right: American Apparel Neon Violet, Dior Bloom, OPI The Berry Thought of You, Nicole by OPI In Grape Demand

Though I didn’t find many of these truly ‘bright,’ OPI suggests layering them over white to make them truly pop, and while I didn’t try that I suspect I would have gotten a better effect by doing so. Nonetheless, I liked most of these shades and I think it’s a solid summer collection with a variety of color and finishes from which to choose. I actually am keeping a few of these, namely: The Berry Thought of You (naturally), Can’t Hear Myself Pink! (for layering over similar shades), and I STOP for Red (dat texture, tho!). Hooray for summer!

OPI Summer 2015 Brights Collection

Has summer arrived where you are? Will you check out this year’s OPI Brights collection? What kind of shades do you gravitate toward in the summer?

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OPI Soft Shades 2015 Collection {swatches and review}

[This post contains press samples] Bah. Another delayed polish collection post – my bad! I’ve had these photos for ages, AGAIN, but these kind of posts seem to take me a while to address, for some reason. I guess because there’s not much personal about writing a review of a collection I was sent; I don’t have a good story to tell about how I acquired them, or why, and those kind of posts – psychology-heavy where I analyze my every move – is kind of my specialty, ya?

OPI Soft Shades Spring 2015

Anywho. As usual, OPI put out a collection of sheer, neutral, wearable-in-any-situation-type polishes for spring. I only can remember two past collections – the one that used the Wizard of Oz as it’s theme (I actually have two polishes from that one), and the one based on the NYC Ballet – but they’ve been doing these for a while I think. This year’s offering doesn’t have a theme as in past years. I like this type of collection for spring; it’s soft (duh) and kind of a palette cleanser after all the moody hues of winter.

First, we have Chiffon My Mind:

OPI Chiffon My Mind swatch

I was excited for this shade as I am dying to find a gorgeous translucent, ethereal white polish, but sadly this didn’t fit the bill. Though it’s unique, with blue and pink microsheen (which you can’t see here, sorry), it’s a bit streaky (which you can see – and this is 3 coats!), and somehow that floaty quality is lacking.

OPI Act Your Beige swatch

Act Your Beige is a milky cream color, that I also had high hopes for – unfortunately, this was also streaky and required 3 coats (which I don’t mind, as long as it comes out even in the end). However, Michelle from All Lacquered Up didn’t find this streaky, so perhaps it’s just my application method. It’s certainly pretty and clean-looking, and it doesn’t look this streaky from a distance, but I guess I’m just fussy. I imagine sheer shades are hard to do.

OPI Put it in Neutral swatch

Sorry for the different lighting – this was taken with my iPhone. This is Put It In Neutral, which I quite liked. You can’t see it in this photo but it was a *touch* streaky, but less so than Act Your Beige (in my experience). It’s nothing exciting, but a good sheer is sometimes hard to find.

OPI Petal Soft & Make Light of the Situation swatches

Here we have Petal Soft, a glitter polish with smallish round and hexagonal shapes, as well as the odd large flower shape, and Make Light of the Situation, a shimmering confection with prismatic glitter bits (both worn over Put It In Neutral). The former is cute, and I wore it as an accent nail for my Easter manicure, but EHHH glitter removal is the WORST. And you kind of lose the point if you can’t fish out a flower piece (they’re tricky buggers). Make Light is quite pretty and looks especially lovely in sunlight with it’s rainbow quality.

OPI This Silver's Mine! swatch

Finally, we have This Silver’s Mine!, which I thought I would really like, as it’s less cold and hard like usual silvers (which I find hard to wear). It’s got a sort of rosegold-greenish hue in the right lighting too, which is neat. While the tone is spot on for me, it is brushstroke-y, and it highlights any imperfections in the nail. Again, this looks better in practice than close-up, but when you have a lot of polishes you start to get very discerning about which ones you keep and which ones you don’t.

And on that note – of these 6 polishes, I only kept one – Make Light of the Situation. I liked Put It In Neutral, but I have another sheer neutral I prefer (the one from the Wizard of Oz Soft Shade collection – called Glints of Glinda), and I don’t need two. I don’t wear that kind of polish often, and the new me can’t justify keeping everything just because I like it OK. It needs to have a real place in my collection, and it needs to actively make me happy. Otherwise? FUGGEDABOUTIT.


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OPI Infinite Shine {review and swatches}

Delinquent blogger alert – I’ve had these photos done for a month; I have to post about these polishes already! I just received the OPI Brights 2015 collection today so I really need to catch up (I also have OPI Soft Shades 2015 collection and Nicole by OPI Coca Cola collection photos / swatches ready too, sooo…yea. I’m a bit behind).

Today, however, we’re talking about the OPI Infinite Shine polishes, of which I have 3, plus the Primer base coat and Gloss top coat.

OPI Infinite Shine polishes

OPI released the new Infinite Shine formula back in the fall; it’s claim to fame is up to 10 days wear with a hi-def shine similar to gel nail treatments, but without the need of a light, nor the hassle of soaking off the polish. The 3 shades I received are: Maintaining My Sand-ityStaying Neutral and No Stopping Me Now. Let’s look at the swatches first (note that I’m wearing the Primer and Gloss base/top coats in each swatch) and then I’ll get to the formula and wear time.

OPI Maintaining My Sand-ity swatch

Maintaining My Sand-ity is a work-friendly, putty-toned nude that I thought I liked at first, but after wearing for a while found it’s slightly greenish hue made my hands look red. I think on the right skintone this would be a great, chic neutral shade but on me it’s just not entirely flattering. Formula was lovely with two smooth coats for opacity.

OPI Maintaining My Sand-ity comparison swatchLeft to right: OPI Maintaining My Sand-ity, Zoya Cho, OPI Glints of Glinda, OPI Do You Take Lei Away?

OPI Maintaining My Sand-ity comparison swatchLeft to right: OPI Glints of Glinda, Zoya Cho, OPI Maintaining My Sand-ity, OPI Do You Take Lei Away?

I have a few shades that compare with Maintaining My Sand-ity, but they’re either a touch too light (OPI Glints of Glinda [which is also a sheer], Zoya Cho) or a bit more pink (OPI Do You Take Lei Away? – which I prefer over this shade).

OPI Staying Neutral swatch

Staying Neutral is classic greige shade that is much more up my alley. It contrasts with my skintone just enough to make it stand out without being unflattering. Again, formula was stellar – two easy coats are shown above.

IMG_0615Left to right: Essie Master Plan, OPI Staying Neutral, Sally Hansen Commander in Chic

It looks a bit cool-toned in the hand swatch above, but in the comparison swatches, particularly against Essie Master Plan, you can see that it’s actually got a bit of warmth to it so it doesn’t look too stark against the skin. I thought it would be really close to Sally Hansen Commander in Chic, but it’s much lighter, which I actually prefer as well.

OPI No Stopping Me Now swatch

Finally, No Stopping Me Now is a bold orange-red that isn’t quite as searingly bright in the swatch above. It almost has a touch of coral to it as well – truly, a perfect tropical shade. I feel colors like this look good on almost anyone because they’re such a chameleon and can lean one way or another depending on the lighting/skintone/wardrobe etc. Formula, like the other two, was essentially perfect.

OPI No Stopping Me Now comparison swatchLeft to right: Essie Meet Me At Sunset, OPI No Stopping Me Now, Essie Come Here!

Shades like this are SO EFFING HARD TO PHOTOGRAPH. It was impossible for me to clearly photograph the differences in tone between these 3 shades. Essie’s Meet Me At Sunset is more orange (absolutely no coral/pink at all), while Essie Come Here! is decidedly more pink. NOT THAT YOU CAN TELL IN THESE PHOTOS, though. Damn.

So, the long-wear, über-shine claims. I wore Staying Neutral for a full mani, employing the 3 steps by using the Primer (step 1) as my base, followed by 2 coats of color (step 2), topped with a coat of the Gloss (step 3). I had high hopes as a long-wearing glossy mani is hella-appreciated at this stage in my life; unfortunately, my nails chipped within a few days, and I didn’t particularly feel like the glossiness has retained it’s full-power shine. I read a great review of these polishes by Beauty Geeks, in which Karen notes that these polishes still likely require several minutes to ‘cure’ in natural UV light (aka THE SUN) for them to be truly long-wearing. I haven’t had a chance to try this, but I intend to – normally I could care less about long wearing shades as I tend to change my polish frequently, but I could really benefit from not having to worry about chipped nails for a week plus.


Ultimately, I’m more about the shades than the wear with polishes, so no matter what the case I’d still try more of these shades, especially if they all have formulas like these – smooth, glossy and oh-so-easy to apply.

Is wear time a factor for you when choosing a nail polish? 

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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.


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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