Monday, February 3, 2014

Manicure Monday: Gwen Stefani for OPI

A few weeks ago, I shared an ULTA haul where I told you I purchased the new Gwen Stefani for OPI nail polish collection. As a big No Doubt and Gwen Stefani fan, I was stoked to finally get my hands on it. I purchased every polish in the collection, save for the signature polish Over and Over A Gwen.

When I first saw the colors in the collection, I was a bit surprised. I thought we might get a bit more bold color from a Gwen collection.  I knew we'd have a red and a pink from her, and black and gold weren't much of a surprise. But for some reason I was thinking we'd get at least another bright color. Maybe a chartreuse. Instead, it seems that the fun and edgy factor came in the form of nail art and polish finish.

Of the seven polishes two are satin finish, one glitter, one chrome, and three creme. Over and Over A Gwen, the collection's signature shade, was sold in a kit that included studs and crystals for nail art.

For the most part, I liked the collection. The various finishes were a nice change, since these were my first set of satin polishes. In my opinion the satin polishes were the stars here, lending a cool look to two otherwise rather common colors. The creme colors were pretty but not necessarily unique, and the glitter was absolutely fabulous -- super sparkly. All in all, I'd say the polish selection rings pretty true to Gwen. They're all colors and styles I could see her wearing. You know, because in my imagination, we're friends.

Gwen Stefani for OPI, 4 In The Morning #nailpolish
OPI Nail Envy base coat, OPI 4 In The Morning (2 coats) - satin finish (no top coat)

Since I'd never had a satin polish, I decided to try those out first. When I first saw 4 In the Morning in the bottle, I wasn't all that excited. I thought it might just be another darkcharcoal grey polish until I noticed it was a satin finish. I was curious to see how it would turn out. I totally loved it. It reminds me of the Mercedes S500 I saw on the showroom floor that was painted in the same finish. I may not be able to afford that car, but I can admire the finish on my tips. I mean, there are worse things my nails can remind me of with this polish on, right? 

4 In the Morning is a blackened charcoal grey with a subtle silver shimmer. It's a bit sheer on first coat, but goes totally opaque after the second. It goes on smoothly and looks like a combination of a metallic polish with a matte finish. It has an in-between quality to it -- not quite matte, but not totally glossy. It's a semi-matte, so to speak. It has just enough sheen to make you look, while keeping that I'm-cool-without-trying edge.  It's one of my favorite polishes in the collection. 

Gwen Stefani for OPI, Love Angel Music Baby #nailpolish
OPI Nail Envy base coat, OPI Love Angel Music Baby (2 coats) - satin finish (no top coat)

Up next, we have Love. Angel. Music. Baby. (LAMB) a shimmery gold polish that might be better suited for a holiday collection if it weren't for the satin finish. That finish gives this particular color the look of a glittery textured polish without the grit. It has a nice smooth surface and is quite pretty to look at. I couldn't decide which I liked better LAMB or 4 In the Morning.

LAMB also goes on really smoothly, no streaks, no pulling. It's opaque on first coat, but the second coat imparts the extra shimmer that will catch your eye. When you first apply it, it looks really glossy, but then it dries down and looks totally different -- in a good way.  It still sparkles, but now it's more like gold dust. It glistens. You'll catch yourself admiring it.

The only bad part about these two polishes is that without a top coat, they'll show wear a little quicker. I liked these two colors enough that I wasn't fazed by it.

Gwen Stefani for OPI, Hey Baby #nailpolish
 OPI Nail Envy base coat, OPI Hey Baby (2 coats), Seche Vite top coat

Alright, we already know I have an insatiable obsession with pink (especially bright pink) nail polish. So, you just know I was excited about Hey Baby. As you can see from the photo, it's a bright pink creme and it's absolutely gorgeous. Unfortunately, it looks a lot like some of the pinks already in my collection.That being said, I'd still get it (clearly), given my penchant for bright pink polish. Even if you have something just like it, chances are you'll like the polish too.

This one was easy to apply for me. It had a nice consistency and the polish went on smoothly. It has the pretty candy finish that draws me to bright pink polish. One coat was relatively opaque, but two coats sealed the deal.

Gwen Stefani for OPI, I Sing in Color #nailpolish
OPI Nail Envy base coat, OPI I Sing in Color (2 coats), Seche Vite top coat 

I was a little less excited over I Sing in Color. It's not that this color isn't pretty. It's just that it feels like any other vampy dark burgundy out there. It could have used a little Gwen pizzazz. Just a little something to help it stand out all on its own. If it hadn't come already included in the set, I may not have purchased it on its own. Not because it's not  pretty, but because I'm sure I have enough of this shade already.

When I swatched it, I was a bit dissapointed. It's pretty sheer on first coat and it streaked a lot. Thankfully, the second coat evened everything out. It has a nice glossy finish, which we all know by now -- I love. When indoors, this color can tend to look black, except for the red that peeks through around the edges and gives it away as burgundy.

Gwen Stefani for OPI, Push and Shove #nailpolish
 OPI Lay Down the Base base coat, OPI Push and Shove (2 coats), no top coat

Once I got to Push and Shove, I started feeling some type of way. Irritated, angry, and let down would all be adequate descriptors. This polish was a masterful fail. It's the most unflattering and unforgiving polish I've ever worked with. It shows every single flaw on your nail. It may work wonders for you, if you have completely smooth and perfect nails. My nails are currently in acrylic transition. I've buffed down the acrylic on my nail so that it's a very thin overlay as I grow it out. As you can see above, Push and Shove shows every single buff mark on my nail. It highlights every single imperfection. And there seemed to be no way around it. The photo above is the best of three attempts to remove and reapply this color. 

Push and Shove comes with a special base coat (Lay Down the Base) that helps impart the chrome finish. It's meant to have a mirror like look, but the imperfections on my nail made it look more like a brushed metal finish (not in a good way either). I've read from others that using a ridge filling base coat doesn't help either. 

To make matters worse, this polish is only supposed to last one day. So after all the hard work of trying to get it to apply perfectly (if you can), it'll basically chip/ruin/self destruct/turn into a pumpkin after 24 hours. Maybe less, the packaging explicitly says it's "intended for One Night Only wear."

Listen, I know I change my polish frequently. Heck, it's why I don't like gel manicures. I can't wear the same polish for 2 weeks, it drives  me batty. But even I think one day wear polish is a bit much. For $9 per bottle, I expect some longevity. Otherwise, I may as well just go spend $1 on one of those fast-chipping polishes we've all been known to toss. 

Thankfully, In True Stefani Fashion helped came to turn things around. I'm totally diggin' this glitter explosion top coat. As you can see below, this polish is like a party in a bottle. It's a fun mix of silver micro-glitter, holographic medium round glitter, and chunky holographic squares. It's like someone trapped a disco ball in there. 

Gwen Stefani for OPI, In True Stefani Fashion #nailpolish
 OPI In True Stefani Fashion macro

If you're a regular here, you know I've not been a huge glitter polish fanatic. I may be coming around. I still feel strongly that I'm too damn old to rock a full glitter mani on the regs. But I'm more more open to playing around with a glitter finish than I have been in the past. Lately, I find myself admiring the sparkle. 

Gwen Stefani for OPI, In True Stefani Fashion #nailpolish
OPI In True Stefani Fashio (2 coats)

In True Stefani Fashion can be worn on its own. I think three coats would bring it to full coverage. You get generous glitter pay off with one coat. And as you can see in the photos, two coats adds quite a bit of flair. 

I was pretty surprised that I didn't have to struggle much with removal either. But before you get too excited, it's still glitter, so you'll have to work harder than you would removing a creme. 

I really like the square glitter added into the mix too. When these catch the light, they really twinkle. 

Gwen Stefani for OPI, In True Stefani Fashion #nailpolish

Gwen Stefani for OPI, In True Stefani Fashion #nailpolish

Well there you have it. The anxiously anticipated Gwen Stefani collection. Overall I like it. I'm totally smitten with the satin polishes and love the girly glitzy flair of the glitter. While the cremes weren't necessarily stand out colors, they were still pretty and color's I'd wear. If we take Push and Shove out of the equation, I think OPI and Gwen did well.

What about you? What are your thoughts on this release? Comment below, let's chat!

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