OPI – Nicki Minaj Collection (swatches & review)
Definitely one of the most highly anticipated collaborations in the vast world of nail lacquer, can be none other than that between OPI and Onika Tanya Maraj, or Trinidadian-born Nicki Minaj, as we know her! Set to launch this January 2012, the world’s reigning hip-hop princess has teamed up with mega brand OPI to create the ‘Nicki Minaj Collection’, a selection of five over-the-top glamourous shades complete with a shimmering shatter, all named after several of her hit tunes. The following swatches are all with Deborah Lippmann’s 2-Second Nail Primer, OPI’s Natural Nail Base Coat and OPI’s Start to Finish Base & Top Coat.
*On a side note, I was recently involved in – and lost – a really malicious “pillow plumping” incident, which should explain my really short pinkie nail!
Nicki Minaj sporting her very own ‘Did It On ‘Em’ look…even with everything else she’s got going on, you still focus only on her nails!
‘Super Bass Shatter’ is a blue based purple-magenta effects polish, made so much more unique by its scintillating shimmery formula. Depending on the look you wish to create, I found that its application was very easy to work with, with a thinner layer resulting in a finer pattern of cracks, while a thicker layer yields less variation, leaving behind more of “fault line” effect. Remember that your base colour needs to be rather dry before applying the shatter on top, and you should definitely add a layer of top coat to not only seal in the look, but to really bring out the delicate shimmer of ‘Super Bass’.
‘Pink Friday’ is what all little girls and princesses are made of! An opaque bubblegum pink hue, it seems to have a slight muted quality to it that lends it a fresh new kick and keeps it from looking too grade school. The formula, while a touch on the thicker side, was easy to apply and left no streaks behind…surprising for a pastel shade. You can definitely get away with two coats, however I applied three here for swatching purposes, and even without a top coat added, the glossy shine left behind was superb.
Sunlight gives this shade more of a creamy “eraser pink” tone, looking deceptively sweet & innocent…but we know better!
Indirect light cools ‘Pink Friday’ down and brings out its dustier candy-pink qualities.
Shaded light appears to bring out a hint of peach found in its base, and spotlights that über-gloss….no top coat here, my beauties!
A final view taken with flash adds a sugary touch to this shade…cupcakes, anyone?!
Seen in sunlight, the base colour compliments ‘Super Bass’ without competing for attention, and sets your focus on its subtle shimmer.
Indirect light casts a deeper, more adult look to this girly combo.
Shaded light appears to almost fuse the two shades together, making ‘Super Bass’ less the focus, but rather a willing partner.
A final view taken with flash draws your attention to the subtle shimmer of the shatter…so pretty!
‘Did It On ‘Em’ is the standout shade of this collection, mainly due to it’s uniquely original colour, yet totally in context with this artist’s vivid expression of style. A funky chartreuse hue, with a slightly dusty overcast tone to it, the formula was exceptionally easy to apply, flowing freely across the nails with an excellent self-levelling finish and ultra glossy shine at the end. Two coats are all that are needed to reach full opacity, and I was surprised by how much it actually appealed to me…who knew?!
While sunlight may add a retina-searing quality to this shade, it also serves to bring out the yellow in its base, imparting a generous warmth.
Indirect light lends ‘Did It On ‘Em’ a true lime semblance, looking all tart & juicy!
Shaded light once more highlights the yellower side of this shade, while adding an interesting depth of colour.
A final view taken with flash gives you an idea of how vivid, yet totally creamy, this shade truly is.
Sunlight is the best medium to enjoy this opposing yet completely complimentary duo, while also highlighting ‘Super Bass’ red-violet sparkle.
Indirect light not only throws a misty filter over this look, but darkens the shatter to a more raisin-like hue.
Shaded light, while deepening the overall tone of both lacquers, also helps ‘Super Bass’ really stand out.
A final view taken with flash lightens the base shade, and brings out every glimmering feature of the shatter effect.
‘Fly’ is PERFECTION!! An electric azure shade of blue, it bears an incredibly smooth formula of medium opacity, that not only levels itself, but leaves behind an ultra glassy finish. An interesting paradox is that while at first glance this colour may appear as too bright, once applied, you realize that there seems to be a slightly muted cast to it, making it so appealing. With two coats, complete opacity is reached, giving excellent coverage and I found that the dry time was definitely on the quick side. Bonus: no staining left behind at all.
Sunlight helps to bring out a slight turquoise nature to this shade, drawing forth any green tint in its base.
While indirect light takes ‘Fly’ to a more cerulean shade of blue, it also appears to lend it a slivery glow as well.
Shaded light not only darkens this hue, but really serves to direct your focus on its rich and creamy depth.
A final view taken with flash lightens ‘Fly’ to a more sky blue tone…a mesmerizing hue to be sure and one purported to bring good luck!
This combination is FIERCE! Something about the blue base really helps ‘Super Bass’ stand tall and spotlights its regal purple hue.
Indirect light deepens the overall look, and makes the shatter appear definitely more prominent.
While shaded light casts an overall darker look to this duo, interestingly enough it’s the base polish that seems to stand out.
A final view taken with flash and…ahhhh….is this look not just totally electric?! I love this!
‘Save Me’ is one of the most totally unique 3D lacquers I’ve seen! A clear suspension-thick base, loaded with very fine silver micro glitter and holographic bar glitter pieces, it’s rather a chameleon-like shade; with one coat, you achieve a subtle and almost ladylike glow (a look I really loved, by the way). At two coats, while certainly denser in appearance, the bling factor was still behaving itself – but at three coats (which I applied here), it almost defies description! As the bar glitter can have a tendency to want to wander, I would advise you to wait at least a couple of minutes between coats to avoid any clumping and the straying of any pieces that may be along the nail edge, easily nudged back in line to avoid overhang. Bonus: surprisingly easy removal…a plus!
Sunlight does amazing things to the bar glitter, calling forth every prismatic shade these holographic pieces have to offer.
Indirect light now brings the focus onto the multitude of micro glitter swirling throughout the base, casting a more wintry appearance.
Shaded light appears to draw forth the bluer side of the bar glitter, and makes ‘Save Me’ look all the world like a party explosion!
A final view taken with flash, and the diamond-like effect of this lacquer is unmistakeable…and just as luxurious!
You’d think that adding a layer of ‘Super Bass’ over ‘Save Me’ might be overkill, but sunlight shows how well the two work together.
Indirect light obviously tamps down the brilliance factor of this combo, giving just sneak peeks of what’s going on beneath the shatter.
In shaded light, ‘Super Bass’ deepens in tone and its shimmer melts into the background, while ‘Save Me’s’ bar glitter takes the stage.
A final view taken with flash gives ‘Super Bass’ an edgy feminine vibe and really brings out its shimmer filled intensity.
‘Metallic 4 Life’ surprised me; what appears to be an midnight dark lacquer in the bottle, is actually a rather sheer charcoal base, filled to capacity with micro and hexagonal mid-sized silver glitter particles. The formula itself appeared to be of a more medium-viscosity than ‘Save Me’, and while two coats will give pretty good coverage, I actually preferred this shade at three coats (which I applied here), for a truly dense look. I recommend at least a couple of minute’s wait time between coats to produce a more evenly spaced look of the glitter, and it should be noted that removal needs a touch more elbow grease as well…but so worth it!
Sunlight gives this shade a cosmically-charged look, with the silver looking like an entire galaxy of stars across your nails.
I love how indirect lights throws a more ombré effect over this shade, shrouding the tips of the nails in dark mystery.
Shaded light serves to emphasize ‘Metallic 4 Life’s’ varying shapes of glitter, with the larger hexagonal pieces really standing out.
A final view taken with flash, and it’s like diamond-studded carbon has been painted across the nails…gothic luxury!
When seen in sunlight, I love how ‘Metallic 4 Life’s’ steely gleam peeks shyly through the shatter on top.
Indirect light combines the two shades in such a way, that it becomes slightly difficult to tell where one begins and the other ends.
Shaded light serves to pick out the many silvery flecks of the base shade, while lending ‘Super Bass’ a deep aubergine hue.
A final view taken with flash and the true purple of ‘Super Bass’ reigns supreme, over the pewter like gleam of the base hue.
Final thoughts: I personally love how this collection completely captures the eclectic, and so incredibly talented persona that is one Nicki Minaj! Each lacquer offers yet another glimpse into the young diva’s life, from “in-your-face” girliness (‘Pink Friday’), to seductive vamp (‘Metallic 4 Life’), with oodles of fun thrown over that in between…while the inclusion of the ‘Super Bass’ shatter gives an individualized look to every mani (or pedi!) one can create. As this will be a limited edition collection, and one I’m sure to go down as yet another of Nicki’s “hits” (*obvious cheesy musical reference*!!), set your sights for the new year release!
*Disclaimer: Product samples were provided by the company/PR for my unbiased consideration