Tag Archives: OPI

OPI SoftShades Collection 2015

OPI SoftShades Collection 2015Got some nail news in my inbox yesterday regarding the OPI SoftShades Collection 2015!

As you know, OPI puts out a SoftShades Collection every year, and it usually features demure colours.

Definitely the OPI Color Paints, which I showed you swatches and bottle shots of yesterday are more my speed. (Bold, high-contrast hues make this nailphile’s heart race faster than Usain Bolt.)

That being said, it doesn’t mean that I turn a blind eye to sophisticated and more muted colours. There’s a time and a place for these.

If you look at the collection’s display, check out the model’s nails. She added a twist. I like it, and I may take a cue from that nail look. Using a soft shade as a base, you can easily jazz up a manicure with bolder shades for a funkier design.

Check out the official press release in this post, and see the promotional images of each colour.

Two of them stand out. I like how they have included Petal Soft, a glitter nail polish with daisy decals. That sounds like a lot of fun. Also, Make Light of the Situation sounds like it could take any of the softer shades to the next level with its iridescent goodness!

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OPI Color Paints Swatches & Bottle Shots

OPI Color Paints Collection PhotosYesterday, I had the pleasure of playing around with the new OPI Color Paints, which hit stores between the eyes in May.

(You probably remember the OPI Color Paints press release I posted on here earlier, and you may have seen the quick photo I uploaded yesterday on my Instagram and other social media accounts.)

Like you, I was curious like a cat watching a mouse hole.

Would the 2015 OPI Color Paints just revisit the OPI Sheer Tints from 2014 and expand the colour selection? Or would they be completely different?

In this post, not only do I directly address that, but I show you side-by-side swatches, so you can see that the OPI Color Paints are much more pigmented than their OPI Sheer Tints baby sister!

I’ve also included OPI Color Paints swatches on a nail wheel with one coat and then with two coats, so you can see that OPI’s claim about these being buildable is true.

The silver nail polish included in the OPI Color Paints Collection is intended to be used as a base to make the colours pop, although I liked how they looked solo as well. (They have an almost creme-jelly finish to them.)

You’ll see swatches of that alone, but also with what it looks like with a single layer of another OPI Color Paints shade on top.

These OPI Color Paints are really fun to play around with, and I tried blending them and layering different colours on top. They work very well that way, too. (I may do a post later with photos of how they blend and layer.)

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OPI Color Paints Blendable Nail Lacquer

OPI Color Paints Blendable Nail PolishLaunching in May are nine colours in the OPI Color Paints Blendable Nail Lacquer collection. They’re semi-translucent, buildable polishes that can be layered and blended to create unique nail art effects!

You can create your own shades with them or use them as is, which lends itself to a world of creative possibilities.

OPI has also included a silver, which is intended to be used as a base colour to enhance the pops of colour of what you put on top.

I think that there’s so much you can do with this nail concept, so I’m excited to try them out and to see what others come up with!

P.S. Did you see the second blog post that I sneaked in yesterday evening? It tells you all about OPI’s latest initiative of how you can “speak in colour”! (Plus I also tell you why I wanted to become an international spy when I was a child.)

Edit: Click here to see my new post with OPI Color Paints swatches, bottle shots, and an OPI Sheer Tints comparison!

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Speak in Colour with OPI’s New Universal Language

OPI Color is the Universal Language NYCHere’s a second post for Monday. :)

It introduces how you can Speak in Colour with OPI’s New Universal Language!

For each letter, A through Z, OPI has designated a pool of nail polish. This allows you to create fun and colourful messages that not only look artistic, but they can be deciphered easily.

Since we’re on the topic of ‘codes’, I want to share a little bit about myself that ties in and explains why this OPI campaign made me feel nostalgic! :)

When I was in elementary school, teachers would ask students what we wanted to be when we grew up.

My classmates threw around a wide variety of professions such as firefighter, doctor, and even princess!

After sitting patiently and listening to others share their dreams, it finally was my turn to speak up.

What did Little Mary want to be when she grew up?

The first dream job I ever wanted to pursue (since perhaps the age of 5 or 6) was an international spy. Everyone, even the teacher looked at me funny.

I definitely wasn’t a tomboy because I loved ‘playing house’, dressing up in pink dresses, and playing with dolls. However, what gave me the biggest thrill were stories where a person went on an adventure. There had to be an element of danger, and the only way to escape would be to think fast on your feet and outsmart the opponent.

When I was a kid, I read Choose Your Own Adventure books, and I had a crush on mullet-loving MacGyver (even though he was so much older). I also fantasized about being one of The Goonies. I wished that I had the special computerized ‘book’ from Inspector Gadget (the original cartoon). And I can’t forget watching the Indiana Jones movies for the first time. (I don’t believe in true perfection, but gosh, Indiana Jones comes pretty darn close!) *My eyes become hearts now*

At recess, the times when I didn’t feel like playing with my female friends and pretending that we were princesses, I used to run off with the guys in the grade above me. Our favourite game was to imagine that we were hunting down criminals and demonic spirits to uncover the twisted truth behind a well-kept mystery! As ‘spies’, we documented our observations in crumpled-up notebooks, collected ‘evidence’, and pieced together the puzzle in order to solve a case. (Oftentimes, our imagination was so wild, we ended up scaring ourselves and were glad when the bell rang and it was time to go back to class!) ;)

I wanted to read everything about spies, codes, and deciphering them. It got to the point where I was creating coding devices and teaching my friends how to use them, so we could pass notes in class with secret messages. And I also owned a spy book that had a strategically placed hole through all the pages, so you could ‘pretend’ to be reading when really you were spying on someone! (I still have it on my bookshelf!)

For years I was convinced that I wanted to be an international spy who traveled the world and called any new place home. (My parents would always laugh when I told them and wondered what ever put such an idea into my head.)

So, although this introduction was windy, I do have a point. :) It’s a sharp one, so please don’t sit on it!

When I first heard about the OPI ColorChat App and how it allowed you to create messages in, essentially, nail-polish ‘code’, it brought back some of my childhood memories of always wanting to write and crack coded messages. So, even though I’m in my 30s, it looks like Little Mary still lives on inside me. ;)

Check out the rest of this post to see more photos of the new OPI initiative, the OPI ColorChat App, and how it can be used to create personal products that allow you to express yourself in colour and in ‘code’.

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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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OPI Helps the Next Generation of Nail Techs with $25,000 in Beauty Industry Scholarships

I’m sneaking in a short blog post this evening because I received information about an OPI initiative that may be of interest to some of you.

Even though I’m not a nail technician or a nail professional by any means, I am a nail junkie, which means that I love promoting the nail industry and unique opportunities.

See below for the official press release to learn more about how you could earn an OPI scholarship!


OPI ScholarshipsTo support the future of beauty technicians, the OPI PRO Development Sector has made two $500 scholarships available each month to worthy students attending preferred* OPI Nail Technology or Cosmetology schools. Since 2004, two lucky winners have been chosen each month based on essays and personal recommendations. For students attending AACS Member Schools, nine $500 scholarships are available through www.beautyschools.org17 additional $500 scholarships are available through OPI various channels.

Last year, Charise Hunt, a student at the Grabber School of Design in St. Louis, MO, was one of the deserving OPI Scholarship winners for the month of February 2014. Charise graduated in April of 2014 and was licensed the very next month.  After 10 years of working in education helping children with special needs, she decided to turn her hobby of polishing nails into a full time career, and enrolled in cosmetology school. Charise explains, “While I love working on nails, I’ve also discovered that I truly enjoy the customer service aspect of the beauty business. It makes my day when customers leave feeling happy and good about themselves.”

Winning the OPI Scholarship helped support her journey from educator to nail professional. Charise says, “I never expected to win the scholarship. It was a complete confidence booster.  I wasn’t able to work while in school, so the scholarship provided financial assistance while also solidifying my decision to change careers.” Now Charise works at two salons—her sister’s full service salon, Essence of Beauty, as well as at Beauty Brands. Follow her budding career on Instagram at #ladylacquer_llc. To help turn your dreams into reality, like Charise, apply today through your OPI preferred* school or www.beautyschools.org.

*To qualify as a Preferred Nail Technology Program, every student must receive an OPI On the Go Nail Technology Kit as part of a Nail Technology/Manicuring Program.

*To qualify as a Preferred Cosmetology Program, every student must receive an OPI On the Go Nail Technology or Cosmetology Kit as part of a Cosmetology Program.


OPI Lost My Bikini in Molokini Swatches & Review

OPI Lost My Bikini in Molokini Swatches & Review*Trumpets blare* Guess what? With this review of OPI Lost My Bikini in Molokini, I’ve now finished reviewing every single one of the 12 shades in the OPI Hawaii Collection! :)

Although last, it’s certainly not least. OPI Lost My Bikini in Molokini is one of my favourites from the collection because it reminds me of when I first started seriously collecting nail polish back in 2008.

My first love was purple before it took a backseat to green. ;)

With the weather warming up and spring just a few days away, it’s great to look at a fun colour – reminds me of spring!

P.S. Don’t forget! You still have time to enter my OPI Hawaii Collection Giveaway for your chance to win all 12 colours! (Ends Friday March 13, 2015 at 11:59 pm EST. Open to Canada and US residents.)

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