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OPI has just recently launched their limited edition Fifty Shades of Grey Collection (CAN $11.50/each) in collaboration with the movie of the same name that comes out in theatres this Valentine’s Day. While the book that inspired the movie (that also spawned a billion other Fifty Shades-related marketable items) left me unmoved (check out my original ‘Fifty Shades of Grey’ post here for a much better read in this genre), I happen to have a major weakness for the colour grey, so for that reason alone I would have fallen for this collection anyway.
And while not exactly all 50 shades (thank God, or I’d probably still be swatching), the five greys shown here are all luscious & gorgeous representatives of this somewhat ephemeral colour, all grounded by that one sensual red note for even more visceral appeal.
OPI | Fifty Shades of Grey Collection
OPI | Fifty Shades of Grey Collection
Cement the Deal | With its blueish undertones in the base hue, Cement the Deal can appear either concrete grey or more of a softer dove grey hue. The formula is simply superb: a hybrid crème/jelly that applies in a self-levelling way, finishes ultra-glossy, and displays an excellent opacity. Coats applied: 2, plus top coat
Embrace the Gray | With a formula that is basically identical to the one above, the main difference here is that Embrace the Gray falls a few degrees darker in tone, making this more of a sealskin grey. Coats applied: 2, plus top coat
Dark Side of the Mood | At first glance, this appears as just another blackish hue, but it is well named, for it has a slightly moody nature. Dark Side of the Mood is a deeply smoked charcoal colour with tiny, sparse silver flecks throughout that make occasional appearances. The formula is jelly-like in texture and semi sheer at the first coat, but becomes completely opaque with the second layer. There’s a subtle moiré pattern you can see at some angles – total LOVE. Coats applied: 2, plus top coat
My Silk Tie | An utterly brilliant white-based silver foil/metallic hue. Not as quick drying as other metallic shades (which works in the formula’s favour), you do need a steady hand in application to minimize any visible brush strokes – although they do seem to level out on their own to some degree. My Silk Tie comes to a fully opaque gleaming finish at 2 coats
TIP: for the smoothest finish, start with base coat followed by your first coat of polish, then apply a layer of matte top coat, finishing with your second coat of polish. For a foil/metallic texture like this, top coat is optional, as it only adds protection and no extra shine factor (in fact, it may even dull the natural brilliance).
Shine for Me | Complex doesn’t even begin to cover this; Shine for Me is a semi-sheer pearlized base hue with navy coloured fine and ultra-fine hexagonal glitter bits. The formula is another surprise, with an excellent density that means it will stay exactly where placed (no pooling into cuticles or running along the sides of nails) and while 2 coats are more than sufficient to reach full opacity on shorter nails, longer lengths might need a third layer (or simply left at 2 coats for a different take altogether). Relatively smooth to the touch with a top coat, an extra plus is that no major effort is needed for removal either (at least, not compared to other glitter polishes). Coats applied: 3 (thin), plus top coat
OPI Fifty Shades of Grey Collection | Shine for Me (detail)
Romantically Involved | Let me begin by saying that OPI sure knows how to do red. With its balance of both blue and brown undertones in the base of this crème/jelly hybrid formula, Romantically Involved appears rather cool-leaning with the first coat, but then takes on a much warmer tone with the application of a second layer. Lush, seductive, and somewhat carnal (which is what OPI was definitely going for, I’m guessing), the best part is that this shade is 100% non-staining upon removal. And absolutely, ridiculously glossy. Coats applied: 2, plus top coat
Shine for Me & My Silk Tie nail art | A simple, yet effective nail art look (especially if you’re nail art-challenged like me): Start by applying 2 coats of My Silk Tie and letting that dry completely. Take Shine for Me and wipe of most of the excess off the brush, and starting at the cuticle end of the nails, apply in a downward motion, feathering & fading it out as you go (leave the nail edges free of any glitter). Repeat with slightly more at the top for added depth. Finish with top coat to seal everything in and smooth out any delineation marks.
Wouldn’t this look make for a spectacular ‘Ice Queen’ mani?
The book, Fifty Shades of Grey, may have had me reeling in laughter (true story: I ultimately committed the most blasphemous thing a book-lover can do; I actually ∗gasp∗ threw away all 3 books of this series), but OPI’s Fifty Shades of Grey Collection has me ooh-ing and ahh-ing in appreciation … redemption. An entire collection of grey lacquers may have turned out, well, rather boring – but the little twists & turns of this grouping is a winning combination, in my opinion. Go ahead: surrender to this collection. You know you want to.
Available for a limited time through fine salons and spas nation wide. Visit www.opi.com for more brand information
press samples provided for my unbiased consideration
Last Friday, I had the privilege of attending the launch of OPI’s Spring/Summer 2015 Hawaii Collection, held at Mildred’s Temple Kitchen, Toronto. This occasion marked the finale of a whirlwind 2 days of events that began with the Elizabeth Arden Spring/Summer 2015 launches, followed by the Nicole by OPI Spring/Summer 2015 launch.
Upon arriving, I was greeted with gorgeous island-themed displays featuring the collection – a welcoming sight indeed, considering how gloomy the weather was that day. After quickly reconnecting with several familiar faces and some who were only names to me up until that day, I headed to the manicure stations where I chose That’s Hula-rious! – a fresh mint hue – as my mani du jour, a shade that turned out to be overwhelmingly popular with several attendees, from what I later noticed.
The tempo really picked up once VP and Artistic Director of OPI, Suzi Weiss-Fischmann, arrived and after welcoming us all to the luncheon, we sat down for a delectable Hawaiian-themed meal (which unfortunately I barely did any justice to, as I was hit with the migraine to end all migraines — still not sure how I survived the flight back home a few hours later). Capping off the day, I was able to sit down once again (see my previous interview here) with Suzi for a quick interview and to get the scoop directly from her on what we can expect to see from OPI.
I hope you enjoy the preview photos and interview.
Thank you to my wonderful hosts for inviting me to be part of such an incredible event
Welcome! Tell me about this latest collection
What was I going to do for Spring? I alluded to it when I spoke earlier and mentioned how women have arrived – we want to be more relaxed and comfortable, a common theme I also noticed from the Spring runway shows. Hawaii was the perfect inspiration; it’s an exotic locale and makes you feel wonderfully relaxed and alive at the same time – from the climate, the people, the food, the music and the colours.
As seen all over the various fashion shows, neutrals were once again dominating but with a twist; the new ‘midi’ look was shown where you leave the moon of the nail bare. Another way to wear neutrals is with a differently coloured free edge, or even applied as just one graphic line down the nail. The 70’s free-spirit vibe is represented by a mauve hue, a shade OPI hasn’t featured for quite some time, mint – very on trend and a perfect representation of Spring/Summer, the lavenders, purples, corals and pink – must have a pink, of course! Gold which I’ve also shown for the Holiday 2014 Collection, and metallics – which I’ll be showing more for Fall 2015. Rounding the collection out, are a lot of classics such as crèmes – which also happens to be the trend that I’m seeing coming up for future collections.
How do you go about selecting a country/city for a collection?
It usually begins with predictions/trend books from Milan and Paris, that look at the direction of colour in fashion, which in fact begins on the streets by observing people – a type of historical summary of colours and fashion, if you will. Then it’s up to the individual to translate this information to their own application, whether it’s in furniture, fashion, package design, colour cosmetics, or nail colour.
How does this process differ from celebrity collaborations?
To begin with, selecting a celebrity to collaborate with is not trend-driven, but more of my own personal choice. With Gwen Stefani, for example, she’s very much a part of the entire process and she personally chose the colours and finishes for the collection, even going as far as selecting individual glitter shapes from an assortment presented before her, for the creation of some shades.
The OPI shade names – how do you go about creating them?
First, I create the shades and then there are about 6 of us – from Nicole by OPI, Creative, Marketing, Purchasing, even Customer Service, basically the same team for many years now, that get together. We gather in a room with food representative of the country/city the collection is themed after, and then we brainstorm. The process can take an entire day and is very democratic; we all need to agree on the final name, but we also have fun with it.
I can just imagine the names that do NOT make the final cut!
That’s for off-camera! The blooper reel! We’ve have many good laughs over the years, believe me!
Can you briefly tell me about the creative process behind bringing forth a collection?
Taking the Hawaii Collection, for example, the entire process was very personal for me as it’s a place I’ve visited many times with my family. I was inspired by the ocean, the hula skirts, even the smells of the island that evoke images and which spark colour ideas in my mind. I also have to factor in which shades/colours the consumer will be attracted to as well as make sure it works in harmony with the current fashion styles. Don’t ask me to try to pin it down exactly; all I know, is that for 25 years this method has just worked for me.
This continued success and longevity just confirms that you’re doing something right!
[laughs] I hope so!
What territory, with regards to nail polish, has OPI not yet explored?
Definitely China, as I believe Chinese women are starting to explore and embrace beauty much more. With India, and while we previously released an Indian-themed collection, there’s a new middle class that is becoming more interested in – along with buying – beauty products as well. Another country is Brazil – latin women love and indulge in beauty products, and outside of North America and Europe, I feel that we need to venture out and include these women who have made beauty such a huge part of their everyday lives.
As a woman whose talent, drive and creativity is so highly admired in the industry, can you tell me what trend(s) you forecast next?
I continue to see textures; you’re going to see some new mattes from OPI for next year, as well as a continuation of this classic theme – such as crème hues. Shades such as mauve will be making a comeback and you’ll be seeing new shades in our Fall 2015 collection that have not been shown from OPI – or other brands – for a long time now. Nail colour continues to be important in women’s lives and it always amazes me how a bottle of nail polish can engineer a feeling of empowerment with women. Not everyone can afford a designer wardrobe, but a shade inspired from luxury fashion makes you feel a part of the entire experience.
Finally, do the rumours of a ’50 Shades of Grey’ collaboration have any truth to them?
Yes! The movie is being released on Valentine’s Day 2015, and the collection will include 6 shades – and not all grey, but a beautiful collection just the same! As with other collaborations, the author of the book was very hands on in the development and creation of these shades. This movie is not so much about sexuality, as it is about exploring our emotions and in the case of the collection, it also ties in with how colour affects our emotions as well.
I thank Suzi Weiss-Fischmann for taking the time to speak with me – it’s always such a pleasure!
BEAUTY SCOOP! So, you heard it here first and directly from Suzi Weiss-Fischmann herself: get ready for a 6-bottle 50 Shades of Grey Collection collaboration (and not all grey!), new textures and mattes for next year, as well as retro shades making a comeback for Fall 2015.
fuel to start my day: Belgian waffles with fruit compote & lemon cream … and plenty of coffee
my look: Banana Republic cream vegan leather skirt, Denim & Supply bone oversized cowl-neck sweater, black over-the-knee socks, black Prada suede high-heeled boots and my beloved Theory moto jacket
the gorgeous Autumnal display in the lobby of The Thompson Hotel, Toronto
the venue: Mildred’s Temple Kitchen, Toronto
Introducing: the OPI Hawaii Collection
what’s an event without the ubiquitous candy bar?!
it’s not easy for me to sit back and have someone else to do my nails #controlfreak
the shade I chose: That’s Hula-rious! (the name, right?!)
Welcome speech given by Suzi Weiss-Fischmann
Pineapple-Hawaiian style slaw
chillin’ with my friendly neighbourhood mani-geek, Karen
matching tips with Marta of ChitChatNails
ignore my frown face – I swear that I was really enjoying the conversation
Apparently our hosts all got Suzi’s memo and wore coordinating outfits!
My box/bottle of OPI’s Don’t Speak 18k Gold Top Coat personally autographed by Suzi
This year, Ford Mustang celebrates its 50th Anniversary as well as an induction to a very exclusive club: vehicles in continuous production for 50 years. Inspired by the rich heritage behind one of North America’s original muscle cars, OPI has created the Ford Mustang by OPI Collection, 6 limited edition shades (CAN $11.50/each), with Race Red a signature vehicle colour that is still available to this day.
On a personal note, I love what this collection represents: fierce feminism, a concept that happens to resonate with who I am as well. After all, is there anything sexier than a woman who not only knows how to rip up the road in a car with this much horsepower, but can do so with perfectly manicured nails? (not to mention stiletto heels … and yes, that was me).
Ford Mustang Convertible
Ford’s iconic Mustang
OPI | Ford Mustang by OPI
OPI | Ford Mustang by OPI
50 Years of Style | A semi-sheer pale gold metallic hue with a subtle pink opalescent tinge in the base, that veers a bit towards the frosty side and which leans both cool & warm, making it easily wearable by a wide range of skin tones. A steady hand is definitely needed in application to avoid overly visible brush strokes. Coats applied: 2, plus top coat
Girls Love Ponies | An intensely colour saturated and vibrant – but still classy – fuchsia with blue undertones in the base, in a crème/jelly hybrid formula. Self-Levelling and with a super glossy shine at the the finish, amazing coverage is reached even with the first coat. Bonus: non-staining upon removal. Coats applied: 2, plus top coat
Angel with a Leadfoot | A brilliant white crème hue with cool undertones, which displays amazing coverage even by the first coat. Self-levelling, non-patchy and quite glossy at the finish, this may very well be the easiest and best white lacquer I’ve tried to date. Coats applied: 2, plus top coat
The Sky’s the Limit | A cerulean base hue filled with ultra fine glass-flecked bits in: green, bronze and copper. Self-levelling and with a brilliant (almost hypnotic) shine at the finish, the effect is like that of stars captured at the surface level of the polish shrugs (or a slightly bluer version of OPI’s cult shade Catch Me In Your Net). There’s a serious incandescent glow going on with this shade – love it! Relatively non-staining upon removal (but do NOT skip base coat). Coats applied: 2, plus top coat
OPI | The Sky’s the Limit
Race Red | A warm toned chilli pepper red hue with orange undertones in the base, in a hybrid crème/jelly formula. A superb application: self-levelling, high pigment concentration and über-glossy at the finish, it’s also relatively non-staining upon removal, provided you do not skip base coat first. Coats applied: 2, plus top coat
Queen of the Road | What appears as just another black shade at first glance is in fact incredibly complex; a semi-sheer charcoal base hue that oddly enough holds olive/khaki undertones. The crème formula displays some jelly-like characteristics in the glossy & plush finish, with the first coat appearing like a blackened khaki, but which then turns into a pearlized gunmetal by the second layer (think: black pearl). There’s this stunning, albeit subtle, moiré effect seen at the finish which I so did not expect (but absolutely love). Note: on longer nails, the tips may seem translucent at 2 coats, easily resolved by adding a 3rd coat. Coats applied: 3 (thin), plus top coat.
OPI | Queen of the Road
The sports/muscle car fiend in me loves the entire concept behind this collection, but the lacquer fiend in me is even more thrilled by the reality of these shades. With the exception of 50 Years of Style (not the best gold for my skin tone), I adore each and every hue – as well as the names. My love affair with white hues is still going strong, and Angel with a Leadfoot is beyond spectacular in this colour category. Naturally, Queen of the Road has my name all over it (car fiend, remember?), but I did expect to fall for Girls Love Ponies – and I never, ever, wear pink. The gorgeousness of The Sky’s the Limit is not to be missed – just giving you fair warning.
Available now, but for a limited time. Find more information via the website.
Press samples provided for my unbiased consideration