Category Archives: Nail Polish Swatches

OPI Nail Envy Review & Pictures

OPI Nail Envy ReviewWhile I’m normally a law-abiding citizen, sometimes I realize that certain rules are meant to be broken. Such is the case when it comes to base coats!

I’ve tried nearly every mainstream base coat under the sun, beyond the dark side of the mood, and around the corner.

You name it, since 2008, if it’s a popular base coat, I gave it a run for its money.

I can’t remember the exact date when OPI Nail Envy waltzed into my life with its cummerbund, but I know that it should’ve been sooner!

If you’ve followed Swatch And Learn for a while, you know that for pretty much every single nail-polish review, my base coat of choice is, well, not a base coat! It’s OPI Nail Envy, which is classified as a nail strengthener.

My natural nails are very strong like Hercules. (Thank my mom and dad for that because I don’t do anything special, and I’m always using my nails to pick at labels and other things that will make a nailphile cringe. I’m extremely rough on my nails, and I’m constantly typing on the keyboard at my full-time job. Then, I come home and work on my blog – haha, more keyboard typing!)

So…it’s understandable that I used to steer clear of nail strengtheners. But, so many readers kept raving about OPI Nail Envy, and, like any nailphile, my curiosity got the better of me. I had to see if it was worth the hype or not.

Well, I’m so glad that I was curious like a cat because my search for a Holy Grail base coat came to an end the day I tried OPI Nail Envy (the original formula)!

I use it as a base coat, so this review is only judging it that way. (I can’t judge how well it strengthens nails, as my nails aren’t weak, thin, or peeling. Plus when I used this, I didn’t notice any difference in terms of nail strength.)

For those with nails that need to get buff, you’ll be happy to know that this is a maximum-strength formula with hydrolyzed protein and calcium. This combination helps nails grow harder, longer, and stronger, while resisting peeling, cracking, and splitting, according to the official OPI website.

Read this review to learn why I’m no longer looking for a great base coat. I’ve found it!

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Essie Petal Pushers Swatches & Review

Essie Petal Pushers Swatches & ReviewEssie Petal Pushers from the Spring 2015 Collection isn’t the colour I’m normally drawn to first, but I enjoy trying out a whole smorgasbord of colours because when you venture to new territory, it could open up doors.

This grey nail polish has a smidgeon of purple mixed in, which is more evident when you see the polish in person and in certain lighting.

Although it can slightly shift based on the lighting, it is predominantly a grey-based nail polish. But I wouldn’t say that it’s a concrete-slab grey because the purple undertone gives it that little extra.

P.S. Did you see yesterday’s second blog post that I snuck in here in the evening? ;) Check it out! It features makeup, nails, and fashion looks from Mikhael Kale’s show during World MasterCard Fashion Week in Toronto.

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Zoya Tiana Swatches & Review

Zoya Tiana Swatches & ReviewThere are plenty of mint-green nail polishes on the market.

Many pastel greens are streaky or need to be babied to get smooth results, but not so with Zoya Tiana from the Delight Collection! (It doesn’t streak. It keeps its clothes on!) ;)

This is a polish that I wore several weeks ago. Finally, today it gets the spotlight on the blog!

(I did reader-requested green comparison posts in 2013 and this year, which illustrated the different nuances of some popular picks: here and here. This was before Zoya Tiana found its way to Swatch And Learn’s headquarters.)

I was extremely impressed by its opacity and smooth coverage. (I only used two coats to achieve the opaque coverage you see in my photos in this post!)

Zoya Tiana has climbed the nail-polish ladder, and it’s one of my all-time favourite light greens.

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Zoya Eden Swatches & Review

Zoya Eden Swatches & ReviewZoya Eden from the Delight Collection that I did a Quick Look post on earlier is nothing short of bubbly and cute!

It’s a bright bubblegum pink that makes nails smile with springtime cheer.

When I was a child, pink was my favourite colour, and this is exactly the kind of pink that I was drawn to like a moth to a flame.

If you’re looking for a pink that Elle Woods would approve of or a great polish to sport for an On Wednesdays We Wear Pink manicure, Zoya Eden is a fantastic choice!

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INGLOT O2M Breathable Nail Enamel 682 Swatches & Review

INGLOT-O2M-Breathable-Nail-Enamel-682-Swatches-&-ReviewSince I first heard that breathable nail polish existed, I’ve been itching to try out the INGLOT O2M breathable nail polishes!

They have so many colours, and I drooled over all of them since I attended a blogger event last year and met INGLOT’s two Canadian presidents! (I swear that I left a puddle from all the drool, so if you see some wet nail-polish bottles in the Toronto store at Yonge-Dundas Square, it was from me.) ;)

It was a difficult task choosing a few shades, but INGLOT O2M Breathable Nail Enamel 682 jumped into my loving nailphile arms as quick as a wink because it’s a wonderful Marsala shade, which is Pantone’s Colour of the Year!

(Not long ago, I had the pleasure of spending a snow day with this lovely INGLOT nail polish, which you may remember from that post where I took it for an outdoor photoshoot.)

After making snow angels, enjoying a warm cup of cocoa, and telling ghost stories late at night by the fireside, INGLOT O2M Breathable Nail Enamel 682 agreed to let me snap it for a typical Swatch And Learn photoshoot. ;)

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Essie Garden Variety Swatches & Review

Essie-Garden-Variety-Swatches-&-Review Essie Garden Variety is the type of teal that pretty much everyone can pull off because this flattering shade provides a great contrast against many skin tones from the fairest to the richest.

It’s from the Essie Spring 2015 Collection, which I did a Quick Look post on back in early February to give you a sneak peek with swatches of all the colours.

In person, Essie Garden Variety is more green and less blue than my photos in this post would suggest.

(The day I photographed this was overcast and dark, so the quality of the pictures isn’t optimal. But I’m still showing you it because at least it gives you an idea of the polish. Thank goodness that these days, the sun is coming out more!)

I also found that in real life, this polish is more vibrant and not as muted as it translated on camera. So please keep all this in mind as you read my review.

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Essie Flowerista Swatches & Review

Essie Flowerista Swatches & ReviewWeeks ago, I wore Essie Flowerista, which comes from the Essie Spring 2015 Collection!

Let me tell you – I’ve had enough of winter and couldn’t be more excited about spring officially coming in a few days.

This pink-based purple is just what my nails needed back when winter had dreary mornings.

Thankfully, the mornings lately have been full of sunshine, which is like Mother Nature’s pep talk to begin the day! :)

Essie Flowerista is a great way to introduce colour to your nails – it’s easy to wear, but it adds a fun pop of colour to satisfy the craving.

P.S. Today is Friday the 13th, but it’s going to be a nailphile’s lucky day. It’s your last chance to enter my OPI Hawaii Collection Giveaway (open to Canadian and US residents) – Ends tonight at 11:59 pm EDT!

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