Filed In: Glitter polishes

Nicole by OPI | Seize the Summer Collection 2014 (Limited Edition)

NOPI Seize the Summer opener


The latest capsule collection recently launched from Nicole by OPI, is called Seize the Summer, four limited edition lacquers in vivid, flirty, fun hues – and all perfectly curated to capture the essence of Summer.

Now as those of you who follow me probably already know, I consider myself something of a “colour purist” and that my nail art skills are pretty basic at best, but I just couldn’t help but let some creativity loose with these four beauties – it somehow seemed effortless.


NOPI Seize the Summer Collection

Nicole by OPI | Seize the Summer Collection


Lay it on the Lime – An almost retina-searing lime green hue with strong yellow undertones, in a crème formula that applies exceptionally easily: self-levelling, no pooling at the cuticles, and with a high gloss shine at the finish. Coats applied: 2, plus top coat


NOPI Lay it on the Lime swatch

Nicole by OPI | Lay it on the Lime


The Coral of the Story – A sizzling coral crème hue with pink undertones, in a formula that defines perfection: flow, opacity, and über-glossy at the finish. While this shade teeters on the edge of neon, it doesn’t quite cross over into that territory. Please note that as there could be some staining potential, do NOT skip base coat. Coats applied: 2, plus top coat


NOPI The Coral of the Story swatch

Nicole by OPI | The Coral of the Story


Leapink for Joy – A Barbie pink crème hue that’s neither too cool nor warm leaning, and which should suit a wide variety of skin tones. One of the most wearable pink shades I’ve come across in a while – especially considering that it’s quite electric-appearing. Another winning formula and with a super glossy finish. Coats applied: 2, plus top coat


NOPI Leapink for Joy swatch

Nicole by OPI | Leapink for Joy


Shaved Nice – Ultra fine silver & confetti glitter, filled with small white hexagonal pieces, along with medium-sized copper, purple & green hexagonal pieces. There’s a pretty decent opacity reached with 2 coats – especially on short nails, and while the finish bears a light grit feel and winds up semi-matte, there’s a strong reflective brilliance nonetheless. Coats applied: 3 (thin), no top coat

TIP: To eliminate the need for a difficult removal, I strongly recommend applying OPI’s Glitter Off Base Coat first.


NOPI Shaved Nice swatch

Nicole by OPI | Shaved Nice


NOPI Lay it on the Lime watermelon mani

Nicole by OPI | ‘Watermelon’ mani with Lay it on the Lime & The Coral of the Story


NOPI Leapink for Joy nail art

Nicole by OPI | Shaved Nice over Leapink for Joy


Maybe it’s in reaction to the hard Winter we just had, but I find myself strangely drawn to both neon and glitter polishes this year – they just make me smile. With colours as bold as the 3 crèmes of this collection, my personal preference is to wear them as pedi shades, although I’ll make an exception for The Coral of the Story – total love! A glitter bomb like Shaved Nice is taken to a whole other level with its uniquely textured finish and given a rather sophisticated turn at that, while retaining all of its eye-catching properties. Just remember, as with Summer, this collection won’t be around forever – better jump all over these while you can.

Available no, find more information via:


NOPI Seixe the Summer closer

*Disclosure: Product samples provided by the company/PR for my unbiased consideration

Coca-Cola by OPI (Limited Edition)

OPI Coca-Cola opener


Launching nationwide next month, Coca-Cola by OPI is a collection of limited edition shades, inspired by 9 of the best selling drinks from the iconic soda giant, and like most people, I confess to being rather puzzled with how the two would mesh. Beautifully, as it turns out and that I’m happy to report – and all in formulas that fall nothing short of superb. Or Amazing. Or Perfection. And fun….totally & exuberantly FUN.

For the record, I personally do not like soft drinks/soda, but this collection makes a strong case for a sugar-rush addiction. The best part? Your nails will look AH-MA-ZING, and with zero calories too!



The iconic Coca-Cola logo, recognizable the world over


Coca Cola lady in red ad

The Lady in Red ad from Brazil, 1950 (source) – and check out her nails!


OPI Coca-Cola

Coca-Cola by OPI


OPI Coca-Cola 2

Coca-Cola by OPI


OPI Coca-Cola 3

Coca-Cola by OPI


OPI Coca-Cola 4

Coca-Cola by OPI



Coca Cola Red – (Inspired by Coca-Cola) No one does red like OPI, and this shade perfectly captures the iconic hue of the Coca-Cola brand. With a formula that’s nothing short of perfection in flow, opacity, pigmentation and glossiness, I suggest you do not skip applying base coat, to avoid any potential light staining. Coats applied: 2, plus top coat


OPI Coca-Cola Red swatch

Coca-Cola by OPI ♦ Coca-Cola Red


Green on the Runway – (Inspired by Sprite) An emerald green shimmery hue, with duo chrome brown flashes seen in some lights (but it actually reminds me more of the classic brown colour of Coke, as seen through the original green glass bottles). Flowing easily along the nails with minimal visible brush strokes, the brown flashes are much more visible in direct sunlight, while a more intense green is seen in other light – absolutely GORGEOUS! Coats applied: 2, plus top coat


OPI Green on the Runway swatch

Coca-Cola by OPI ♦ Green on the Runway


OPI Green on the Runway swatch 2

Coca-Cola by OPI ♦ Green on the Runway (in sunlight)


You’re So Vain-illa – (Inspired by Vanilla Coke) A super creamy café au lait tinted white hue that almost applies itself – totally self-levelling, non-streaky and bearing excellent coverage and pigmentation (and so perfect for my white/off white nail colour addiction) Coats applied: 2, plus top coat


OPI You're So Vain-illa swatch

Coca-Cola by OPI ♦ You’re So Vain-illa


Get Cherried Away – (Inspired by Cherry Coke) A lush berry crème hue with blue undertones in the base, with yet another superb formula (pigmentation, flow, opacity, self-levelling & super glossy at the finish). Bonus: non-staining upon removal. Coats applied: 2, plus top coat


OPI Get Cherried Away swatch

Coca-Cola by OPI ♦ Get Cherried Away


Today I Accomplished Zero – (Inspired by Coke Zero) A mid-sheer charcoal base filled with red fine and ultra fine glitter pieces that seem suspended at the surface level of the nails. There’s a ‘banked embers’ look to this shade and totally stare-worthy; pictures do not do this justice – you really need to see it in person. Applying a matte top coat ups the uniqueness factor even more, by making each glitter piece stand out in high relief. An absolute MUST-HAVE from the collection. Coats applied: 2, with both top coat and matte top coat (second swatch only)


OPI Today I Accomplished Zero swatch

Coca-Cola by OPI ♦ Today I Accomplished Zero


OPI Today I Accomplished Zero swatch matte

Coca-Cola by OPI ♦ Today I Accomplished Zero, matte


My Signature is “DC” – (Inspired by Diet Coke) This is as close to silver foil perfection, as you’ll find. Relatively brush stroke-free in application (this lacquer seems to level out and gleam even more as it sets), you do need to work fast, as it is quick drying. Coats applied: 2, NO top coat (totally unnecessary)

TIP: start by applying a matte top coat to bare nails & letting that dry, then go in with a regular top coat before applying the actual polish – this way, any imperfections in the nails are minimized and filled in, making the final look incredibly smooth and as even as possible.


OPI My Signature is DC swatch

Coca-Cola by OPI ♦ My Signature is “DC”


OPI My Signature is DC swatch 2

Coca-Cola by OPI ♦ My Signature is “DC”


Sorry I’m Fizzy Today – (Inspired by Vanilla Coke) Ok, I admit that I don’t get the inspiration for this shade *shrugs*. A sweet, carnation pink shade that seems to lean more warm than cool (possible peachy undertones?), in the same easy formula as the other crèmes of this collection – über glossy at the finish. Coats applied: 2, plus top coat


OPI Sorry I'm Fizzy Today swatch

Coca-Cola by OPI ♦ Sorry I’m Fizzy Today


OPI Sorry I'm Fizzy Today nail art

Coca-Cola by OPI ♦ Sorry I’m Fizzy Today with My Signature is “DC” polka dots


A Grape Affair – (Inspired by Fanta Grape) A deeply intense and true purple crème hue in a ridiculously easy formula to apply (self-levelling, colour-saturated, high gloss finish) that seems to straddle the line between cool & warm leaning, making it universally flattering for all skin tones. Bonus: non-staining upon removal. Coats applied: 2, plus top coat


OPI A Grape Affair swatch

Coca-Cola by OPI ♦ A Grape Affair


Orange You Fantastic! – (Inspired by Fanta Orange) A sheer yellow base filled with gold, red and orange hexagonal glitter pieces in fine, small & medium sizes. There is plenty of glitter to be had per brush-stroke and while 2 coats would probably be enough for short nails, longer nails can use an extra coat for more complete coverage. Don’t be fooled by any greenish tints seen in the photos (an oxidized reflection from the gold glitter); this glitter bomb shade is a spot-on representation of Fanta Orange – like wearing a bubbly drink along your nails! Coats applied: 3 (thin), plus top coat

TIP: apply a peel-off base coat (such as OPI’s Glitter Off) to make removal a breeze. As the natural finish of this shade is highly reflective and brilliant, top coat is almost superfluous, so be warned that you’ll need between 2-3 coats of a thick top coat for a smooth glassy finish.


OPI Orange You Fantastic! swatch

Coca-Cola by OPI ♦ Orange You Fantastic!


OPI Orange You Fantastic! swatch macro

Coca-Cola by OPI ♦ Orange You Fantastic!


I am in love with every single one of these shades of the Coca-Cola by OPI collection – something I so totally did not expect. While the majority of the crème hues shown here are nothing we haven’t all see before (with You’re so Vain-illa being a standout nonetheless), the difference is in the formula/application and that’s enough to make them unique for me. Glitter and I do not always see eye to eye, but I’ll make an exception for the total fun-factor of Orange You Fantastic! (especially now that there’s OPI’s amazing Glitter Off Base Coat to make for a painless removal). Green on the Runway has shimmer, duo chrome, and iridescence all wrapped in one, while the mysteriously seductive look of Today I Accomplished Zero is almost hypnotic (I dare you to look away). Finally, there’s the mirror-like brilliance of My Signature is “DC” – in a word: unbelievable. So, yeah … to reiterate my opening line: I am in love with every single one of these shades.

The Coca-Cola by OPI shades (CAN $10.95 each) will be available beginning June 2014 (in GelColor formula as well, through select salons). Find more information via:


OPI Coca-Cola closer

*Disclosure: product samples provided by the company/PR for my unbiased consideration

a-england Excalibur Renaissance

a-england Hurt No Living Thing & Excalibur Renaissance opener


To explore the world of a-england, is to not only have the opportunity to wear some of the most incredible lacquers, but to soak in a bit of history, culture, and art as well. When Adina Bodana, founder and creative force behind the brand, launched her first collection – The Mythicals (click on the a-england tab in the sidebar for swatches & reviews of all shades), the romanticism and concept behind these varnishes instantly captured the attention of polish lovers worldwide. When the original version of Excalibur from that first collection seemed to fall out of favour, it was replaced by a variation of the shade (Excalibur reissued/reborn): still bearing the gleaming silver tone of the legendary sword for which it is named, but with a more 3-dimensional overall feel.

But as with most legends, this tale took another turn as well …

In bringing back the original silver of Excalibur – with an improved brilliance, I might add – Adina has shown that she listens to her fans, in particular those who so strongly requested this shade’s return. Excalibur Renaissance proudly joins The Mythicals collection, a gleaming addition with a long-standing pedigree.


a-england Excalbur Renaissance

Excalibur Renaissance – A true metallic silver foil, in a medium-thick formula and excellent pigmentation as to almost make it a 1-coater. Fairly quick drying, you need to not only work quickly in your application, but to also maintain a steady hand in order to keep any potential visible brush strokes to a minimum, although expect some levelling off which also goes a long way in presenting a smooth appearance. Incredible brilliance (almost mirror-like) at the finish, making a top coat basically superfluous. Coats applied: 2, no top coat


a-england Excalbur Renaissance swatch

a-england ♦ Excalibur Renaissance


a-england Excalibur trio

a-england ♦ Excalibur trio


a-england Excalibur trio 2

The original version of Excalibur from a-england’s première collection, The Mythicals (reviewed here), bears a few differences worth noting from this latest Excalibur launch:

  • slightly thinner flowing formula
  • a few degrees paler in tone
  • not as brilliant/gleaming
  • glossier natural finish

The reissued version of Excalibur (reviewed here), has obvious differences from the other two as well:

  • shimmer foil metallic with bronze glitter flecks/scales
  • the most intense brilliant finish of the three
  • nor risk of visible brush strokes with this formula


a-england Excalibur trio 3

a-england ♦ Excalibur trio


a-england Excalibur trio 4

a-england ♦ Excalibur trio


a-england Excalibur original swatch

a-england ♦ Excalibur (original)


a-england Excalibur reissue swatch

a-england ♦ Excalibur (reissue)


a-england Excalibur trio swatches

a-england ♦ Excalibur collection


What makes Excalibur Renaissance such a stand out, is that it respects what the original shade stood for, but with subtle overall improvements. Different enough from the reissued version to merit owning both, this shade is spectacular whether worn alone as an elegant attention-getter, or as a counterpart for stamping and nail art enthusiasts (skills that sadly elude me). For fans of metallics as well as those who never picked up the original shade, here’s your chance to remedy that oversight. The people have spoken, and Adina has listened: Excalibur lives again.

Find more more information on a-england products (as well as a complete list of international stockists):


a-england Hurt No Living Thing & Excalibur Renaissance closer

*Disclosure: Product samples provided by the company/PR for my unbiased consideration

Butter London – Boho Rock Collection Nail Lacquer

Butter London Boho Rock opener


The Boho Rock Collection from Butter London, is a collection of 6 neutrals infused with sensuality, some texture and a whole of lot possibilities. With nude shades trending hot this season, I love that these aren’t the same old – same old, but a fresh & modern spin on classic hues: wearable, yet still funky enough to suit your inner Bohemian princess.

All swatches were done using Butter London’s new Patent-Gel Base and Top Coats (except where top coat was omitted, as stated) – and after playing with this duo for some time now, I’m ready to include in my list of Holy Grail favourites.


Butter London Boho Rock Collection

Butter London – Boho Rock Collection


Keen – a warm leaning doll-skin pink (Band-Aid pink?) hue in a formula that’s a touch patchy with the first coat, but then levels off nicely by the second. Super glossy at the finish, I was take by complete surprise in finding myself strangely drawn to this shade – so not my usual colour, but there you have it. Coats applied: 3 (thin, which gives the best coverage), plus top coat


Butter London Keen swatch

Butter London – Keen


Trallop – a camel-nude shade given warmth by the yellow undertones in its base, in a formula that can best be summed up as SPECTACULAR: amazing opacity even by the 1st coat, self-levelling, easy flow & application and a high gloss finish. The perfect nude? Possibly. Coats applied: 2, plus top coat


Butter London Trallop swatch

Butter London – Trallop

Butter London Lushington over Trallop swatch

Butter London – Lushington over Trallop


Goss – a stunning rose-gold foil (metallic) hue in a quick drying formula and which applies in a very opaque way even by the 1st coat. TIP: I suggest loading up your brush with polish, as this type of formula is not tolerant of touch-ups (going back in with your brush to correct anything). Some brush strokes may be evident upon initial application (much less visible in person, believe me), but within a few seconds it begins to level off and give a wonderfully smooth, foil-like finish. Those with less than even nails might want to apply a ridge-filling base coat first. I also found that this shade definitely looks best as is – a top coat somehow takes away from the finish and can make it look dated. Bonus: ridiculously easy removal. Coats applied: 2 (no top coat)


Butter London Goss swatch

Butter London – Goss


Trifle – what looks like a chocolatey/bronze hue is actually so much more complex than that; this bears a plum/raisin base colour that’s filled with an oxidized bronze metallic shimmer. At times it can look like wood-grain, at others I catch a slight flash of gold – very rich, unique and rather Rococo-looking, no? Coats applied: 2, plus top coat


Butter London Trifle swatch

Butter London – Trifle


Lucy in the Sky – *the Beatles version of this song gets stuck in my head every time I say this name* This shade is INSANE. A blush/taupe base that’s loaded with small prismatic glitter in a slightly thicker flowing formula than the rest, but nonetheless super easy to work with. I have seriously NEVER seen anything like this – reminds me of haute couture nude gowns with artfully applied sequins, or even mermaid skin – gorgeous and I absolutely LOVE it! The finish is lightly textured – think suede, not grit and unless you first apply a peel-off base coat (like OPI’s amazing new Glitter Off), then be prepared for some effort to remove it (so worth it, though!). The final sparkle is nothing short of brilliant (not glossy like a crème). Coats applied: 2 (surprisingly opaque at 2)


Butter London Lucy in the Sky swatch

 Butter London – Lucy in the Sky


Butter London Lucy in the Sky with TC swatch

Butter London – Lucy in the Sky (with top coat) 


Lushington – a cloudy ivory base with tons of ultra-fine gold glitter. Easily layered over any other colour, this shade seems to work well with both dark & light hues. Worn alone, you’ll definitely need at least 3 coats to make it almost opaque and again, I strongly recommend a peel-off base coat under to avoid removal issues later on. I love how the tiny size of the glitter and the cooler tone of the gold gives this a more modern & sophisticated vibe. Coats applied: 3 (thin, plus top coat)


Butter London Lushington swatch

Butter London – Lushington


Butter London Lushington with TC swatch

Butter London – Lushington (with top coat)


If asked upon first receiving this collection, I would have probably said that 2 out of the 6 would most likely turn out to be favourites, but I’ve never been happier to say how wrong I would have been (and I hate admitting that I’m wrong). I found something to love about the entire Boho Rock Collection, and with Butter London’s amazing formula backing each shade, you seriously can’t go wrong with any. Then there’s Lucy in the Sky – have you EVER?! (and there goes that earworm again …)

Available now through The Bay (Canada) – find more information via:


Butter London Boho Rock closer

*Disclosure: Product samples provided by the company/PR for my unbiased consideration

L’Oréal Paris – Gold Dust Nail Color

L'Oreal Gold Dust opener


The L’Oréal Paris Gold Dust Collection (CAN $6.99 each), is comprised of 9 sparkling textured glitter lacquers – 5 of which I’m showing here today. What sets these apart from other textured polishes, is the incredibly complex & multi-dimensional brilliance they give off, as well as the surface feel which is almost suede-like and not chunky-glitter rough. I’ve mentioned often enough what a ‘colour purist’ I am when it comes to my nails, but wearing textured polish (like these) gives me that extra shot of sizzle when I want something more. Like Haute Couture nails, if you will.

As these lacquers are not meant to be worn with top coat, that’s how I’m showing them (my personal preference), although that option is always available – just be prepared to add several layers to get a smooth finish. I also noticed that upon removal, there’s a fine shimmer that can spread along the skin – nothing that an extra pass with remover can’t take care of, however.

L'Oreal Gold Dust Collection

L’Oréal Paris – Gold Dust Nail Color


#140 Diamond in the Rough – amethyst sparkle with amazing coverage even at the first coat. Tone on tone (the shimmer and larger hex glitter pieces are the same colour as the base hue), the formula has a medium-thick flow but very easy to work with. Coming to a soft textured finish (think: finest grit sandpaper), this shade displays a rich brilliance. Coats applied: 2

L'Oreal Diamond in the Rough swatch

L’Oréal Paris – Diamond in the Rough


#142 Pop the Bubbles – aqua sparkle in the same format (tone on tone) and application as the previous shade. I experienced some flooding of this polish at the cuticles, although I suspect that might have been due to the wonky brush (it happens), because other than that, the formula was fine. Coats applied: 2

L'Oreal Pop the Bubbles swatch

L’Oréal Paris – Pop the Bubbles


#136 Too Dimensional? – violet base hue with both tone on tone shimmer and larger hex glitter pieces, as well as oxidized gold crushed shimmer added to the mix. The formula, while slightly more sheer than the previous two, is simple to work with, becoming completely opaque by the second coat. There’s a hint of a duo-chrome quality to this shade which makes the overall appearance so complex – LOVE! Coats applied: 2

L'Oreal Too Dimensional swatch

L’Oréal Paris – Too Dimensional?


#141 Hidden Gems – a dark grey base hue with teal shimmer and silver large hex glitter pieces. The formula appears mid-sheer at initial application, but becomes magically opaque by the second coat and winds up in a moody, brilliant & utterly luxurious finish. Bonus: non-staining upon removal. On a side note, this was the shade I wore to usher in the New Year! Coats applied: 2

L'Oreal Hidden Gems swatch

L’Oréal Paris – HIdden Gems


#139 Rough Around the Edges – charcoal base hue filled with crushed diamond-like shimmer, in a semi-sheer formula that also has a jelly-like quality to it. Becoming totally opaque by the second coat, the finish appears to display a touch more glossiness than any of the others. A great alternative to wearing straight-up black, I was curious to see this matte (see second swatch); it looks like granite this way & very original. Coats applied: 2

L'Oreal Rough Around the Edges swatch

L’Oréal Paris – Rough Around the Edges

L'Oreal Rough Around the Edges swatch matte

L’Oréal Paris – Rough Around the Edges, mattified


If I had to choose favourites, I’d have to say it’s a toss-up between Too Dimensional? and Hidden Gems, with Rough Around the Edges a close third – but that’s based on personal colour preferences, and has nothing to do with the actual application/formula, as they’re all pretty amazing.

The L’Oréal Paris Gold Dust Nail Color Collection is available now. Find more information via:

L'Oreal Gold Dust closer

*Disclosure: Product samples provided by the company/PR for my unbiased consideration