Paying homage to the only U.S. state comprised entirely of islands, the OPI Hawaii Collection for Spring/Summer 2015 is set to hit stores on February 4.
I’ve never been to Hawaii, but after attending the OPI Hawaii Collection Media Launch on October 31, 2014, I got a taste of it, and let me tell you, it’s every bit the dreamy oasis that you can imagine!
Aside from Egypt and anywhere in Spain, Hawaii is one of the places that I hope to visit because of the tropical climate and scenic views. It seems like such a romantic destination that is full of soul.
During the OPI Hawaii Collection media launch, I was honoured to preview all 12 shades in the collection and be, once again, in the presence of the First Lady of Nails, Suzi Weiss-Fischmann, who is the Co-Founder, Artistic Director, Executive VP, and Brand Ambassador of OPI.
(If you’ve dropped by Swatch And Learn before, you know that I’ve had the pleasure of meeting Suzi Weiss-Fischmann on several occasions. If you’re new to my blog, I wish you a warm welcome. Feel free to check out my previous recap posts on those events: the first time, second time, and third time.)
Also, if you are mainly interested in seeing OPI Hawaii Collection swatches, bottle shots, and the official press release, click that link to see the post I published shortly after the media launch.
Although this post focuses on the OPI Hawaii Collection, I will also show you lots of photos I took throughout the event of the gorgeous displays, the long stretch-limo-esque seating area, Suzi Weiss-Fischmann, as well as share my commentary on everything from the venue to the food.
It was a novel experience for me. I’m not usually invited to attend such grand events on a regular basis, so when I get to go, I soak everything up like a sea sponge nudged closer to a pool of water.
In essence, I want this post to make you feel like you were there with me and see everything that I did.
One of the things I enjoy the most about blogging is sharing experiences. I love hearing from thoughtful readers like you, too, so that we can get excited together and unite based on our passion. I consider my readers like my friends because I’m very fortunate to have such support from you, and it’s very encouraging for a blogger to have that degree of interaction. (Thank you!)
I want to extend a huge thank you to Langton Communications, the PR firm that formerly represented OPI in Canada and currently represents many other beauty, health, and lifestyle brands that are household names! Their tight-knit, dedicated team is hard-working, and they were among the first major PR firms that I began collaborating with about a year after I started my blog. Collaborating with all the smart women at the PR firm has not only been a pleasure, but also really exciting!
Additionally, I would like to put the spotlight on the incredible staff at Mildred’s Temple Kitchen, where the event was held. Mildred’s Temple Kitchen is located in Toronto at 85 Hanna Avenue.
The entire restaurant was closed to the public, so that the staff could cater to the needs of the private OPI Hawaii Collection media launch! (Very VIP!) 🙂 The service was impeccable!
Plus a shout-out to Chef Michael Leary, the Chef de Cuisine there. I gobbled up every one of his dishes. (Photos of those later in this post!)
I took Friday October 31st off work, so that I could attend the event, which commenced at 11:00 am.
It was a rainy morning, and the sky was overcast, but my heart was full of sunshine because I was very much looking forward to the experience ahead of me!
I found the location very easily, and since I was early, I ended up ducking into a Kitchen Stuff Plus store that was just a few steps away. (Haha, and I ended up buying a few things. Ahh, you can’t take the shopper out of this one!)
When it was closer to ‘show time’, I made my way to Mildred’s Temple Kitchen.
After having my coat kindly hung up (along with my umbrella and bag with new Kitchen Stuff Plus purchases), I walked through this doorway. (This is a photo from the back view.)
Rewind a few steps.
When I first arrived, I immediately noticed that these little guys greeted me. Well, hello there! 😉 I couldn’t resist snapping a photo of them.
On two elegant, white, oval plates were pretty flowers. Each was attached to a clip, so you could wear it on your hair!
As you can see, they dived right into the Hawaiian theme upon entrance. Nice!
Here’s a closer look at some of the flowers.
By the way, the flowers were real, not plastic! I thought that was a fun touch!
Walking past that, I couldn’t help but notice the cool lighting fixtures!
Little fact about me: I tend to check out ceilings a lot wherever I go. Some of the most beautiful artistry can be found when you look up. And even when I’m outdoors, I tend to look up and try to find pictures in the clouds (as you may remember from this old post).
On the right side when I walked into the restaurant was this lovely scene. Look at all those gorgeous OPI swag bags!
Along the back, you’ll see that there’s an artistic background. There are long, wave-like strips in frosted and shiny glass-like sculptures, held together with steel poles. This gave the space an elegant, artistic appearance.
I also liked the pendant lighting with a sophisticated and minimalist design.
I nearly gasped when I caught a glimpse of the lunch setting! It’s so elegant and bright. Plus look at those little lights – I imagined that they were little stars in the sky!
Here’s a closer shot with a different perspective. Now you’ll know why I described it in my Instagram video as being like a stretch limo, except with chairs! 😉
Also, on the left, there was a long line of lounge sofas, so before the lunch, we could chit chat and relax.
Up the stairs, which you’ll see on the right in the photos below, there was a manicure station where we could have our nails done. This time, I opted not to schedule a manicure appointment because I always end up denting my nails and ruining their hard work when I’m at these events. This is because I’m constantly reaching for my camera or my smartphone, and when I eat, I’m all about the food and completely forget about just-done nails.
Apparently, manicures only stand a chance on me when I paint them myself at night. 😉
The friendly staff at Mildred’s Temple Kitchen offered us wine or a special Hawaiian-inspired cocktail (which I forgot to take a photo of – *tsk tsk*). I enjoyed both, haha, obviously not at the same time! 😉
You may remember me posting the below photo on Instagram:
Look at the photo below. See the chef in the background? That’s Chef Michael Leary, the talented Chef de Cuisine at Mildred’s Temple Kitchen!
Although we weren’t formally introduced to him, he deserves a lot of recognition because he crafted a unique menu especially for this occasion. It’s so inspiring that he began working in kitchens when he was younger to pay for school. That’s when he discovered his true passion and appreciated hands-on work. (Yes, I did some online research. I love learning more about people who inspire me.)
[I don’t enjoy cooking (even though I can cook a lot of diverse things), but I enjoy eating, especially cuisine that’s more complicated and that I can’t make myself. In fact, years ago, I contemplated starting a secondary blog based solely on Toronto restaurant reviews! And although I don’t watch much TV, some of the shows I absolutely love are MasterChef, MasterChef Junior, Hell’s Kitchen, Chopped, and anything with Jamie Oliver in it.]
With every dish that came out, I could see (and taste) Chef Michael Leary’s exquisite attention to detail. Each one was an edible work of art.
This was the menu, which I posted on Instagram:
The appetizer was pineapple-Hawaiian style slaw with green papaya, crunchy cabbage, smoked pineapple, toasted macadamia, and citrus soy vinaigrette!
While it took Chef Michael Leary lots of thought, preparation, and time to come up with this, I gobbled it up piggy-style in under a minute. And I enjoyed every bit of it! *Oink Oink* Eat your heart out, Wilbur!
The smoked pineapple with macadamia and citrus soy vinaigrette was a combination I’ve never tried before, so my palate was soaring through taste-bud heaven!
We got three options for the entree, and I chose Beef and Pineapple. It was Hawaiian-style beef short rib with Poi (mashed taro root), ginger and garlic braised kale, and pineapple vinaigrette.
So delicious! And you know me, I’m crazy about kale, so when I saw it on the menu, I was thrilled!
To close, the dessert was the decadent Coconut Haupia (Hawaiian coconut pudding) with fresh papaya, taro chips, and rum syrup.
I’m not usually crazy about coconut, but this dessert opened my eyes to a combination that made me rethink that. It was delicious, and I just wish we could have seconds and thirds and fourths and…you get the picture! *Oink Oink*
This was sweet and satisfying! Plus how cute is it that the dessert was served in small mason jars?
That was a little glimpse at my manicure.
I dedicated an entire post to my Hallowe’en 2014 manicure with lots of photos. Click on the link or the below image, if you wish to see it.
I layered the following nail polishes to achieve this look. (Click on the links to the polishes to see in-depth reviews on each with tons of swatches.)
- Pretty Serious Swatch And Learn (This is the shade I designed.)
- OPI Who Are You Calling Bossy?!? (Provided by PR.)
- OPI Where’s My Blanket??? (Provided by PR.)
Here’s another quick photo of it:
Before we dived into delicious food, though, we got an inspiring and colourful presentation on the TVs showing flashes of Hawaiian scenes. It was accompanied with the appropriate music, and it was like going on a mini vacation!
I recorded this short Instagram video of only a small part of the clip we were shown. Click on the link or the photo below to watch it! (And yes, that’s the First Lady of Nails herself – Suzi Weiss-Fischmann!) 🙂
I snapped a few extra photos of Suzi Weiss-Fischmann with my smartphone as she explained the inspiration behind the OPI Hawaii Collection and some colour forecasts. (Apparently neutrals with a twist and cremes will be popular. Also, she said that OPI will be coming out with a new kind of textured polish!)
I recorded short Instagram videos when Suzi Weiss-Fischmann was talking about the collection and nail trends.
Click the below links to watch them:
We were able to sit anywhere we wanted at the table, so I chose near the middle.
Across me were Donna-Lee Langton (the founder of Langton Communications) and Suzi Weiss-Fischmann!
(Cosmetics Magazine rated Donna-Lee Langton in the top six public-relations professionals, based on Canadian beauty-media surveys.)
Also across from me was Jessica from Beautezine, who I’m so happy to have met for the first time! We have been following each other on Twitter and chit chatting here and there, so it was nice to finally meet her! (If you haven’t heard of her, I hope that you enjoy the rock you’re living under!) P.S. Jessica is the one wearing the polka-dot shirt above. 🙂
Now onto the actual nail polishes!
This was the gorgeous setup:
I was so excited to see a green nail polish featured prominently in an OPI poster! (They aren’t known for creating many greens, and well, you know that I’m a green fiend, so this was very promising!)
Below was my favourite poster out of the three. It’s sexy without being over-the-top! Oh yeah, and also because this poster features green nail polish! 😉
Sometimes I feel like the little touches can get lost in the grand scheme of things, so I made sure to do a close-up of the flowers elegantly displayed in the vase. Delicate and beautiful!
Although it was a rather gloomy, rainy, overcast day, the autumnal leaves outside really brightened up my mood! 🙂
In fact, while snapping photos of the above OPI nail polishes and posters, I had to stop and snap a photo of what it looked like outside. The windows framed Mother Nature beautifully!
Back to the nail polishes! 😉
Of course I fell in love with the two greens, but OPI Pineapples Have Peelings Too! caught my attention as well because it was so unusual. It’s gold with colourful glitter. At first glance, I thought it was like OPI Polka.com and a pineapple had a love child.
On a wall just outside the seating area was this funny scene!
(Try to find the whole fish, strawberry shortcake, and waffles with butter!) 😉
In front of the wall were tables beautifully and carefully decorated by Stephanie Beaudoin and Vanessa Ponti.
It was cute how it looked like those quaint candy shops. And hey, this event was held on Hallowe’en, so it was a fun touch!
Each container was filled with candies, and there was a scooper on top.
In the back, there was a cake stand with creative cake pops.
The blue ones below were my favourite!
How pretty are these cake pops?
When we left the event, we got to take a small bag and fill it with a cake pop and some candies! Trick or Treat, OPI style! 😉
I took the below photo of the cake pop I chose when I got home, and I devoured it immediately. It had a moist chocolate-cake inside that was so yummy, I wished that I had a second one…or heck, an entire cake of it! *Oink Oink*
Here’s the candy bag I filled. They had different colours, but of course I chose the green one. 😉 And I only took a few candies, as you can see.
The OPI Hawaii Collection was housed under a glass dome, so it looked like candy-shop sweets! Cute, right?
The OPI swag bags they gave each person upon leaving included the press release and a collectible box containing all 12 shades in the OPI Hawaii Collection! 🙂 Obviously, I treasure this exclusive gift!
They also included an OPI Infinite Shine gift plus swatch card.
They also gave us this, which shows all the beautiful shades:
I had a wonderful time, and it was a complete honour to be invited to experience the OPI Hawaii Collection media launch. Thank you to everyone who worked behind the scenes and in front. You all put together a fantastic and memorable event!
My dear readers, I hope that you enjoyed this blog post! I have a lot of fun preparing these types of posts because it’s like I’m bringing you along in my pocket, and we’re sharing the experience together in a way.
Have you ever been to Hawaii? If you could add an extra colour to this collection, what would it look like? What’s your favourite shade from this collection?
I posted swatches of the Green Dotticure I did using the two greens from this collection: OPI That’s Hula-rious! and OPI My Gecko Does Tricks, which you can see by clicking on the link.
If you would like me to do in-depth reviews on any of the shades in the OPI Hawaii Collection, let me know! 🙂
There are 12 colours in the OPI Hawaii Collection. As I do in-depth reviews with swatches for each, I’ll link them here: