Category Archives: jelly

OPI Color Paints Mini Set — complete review

Disclosure:  These OPI polishes were supplied by LALacquer for review.

Before I get started, a shout out — big thanks to LALacquer,, for supplying me with this awesome OPI mini set.  I didn’t even ask for them; no, LALacquer (who is in Iowa, not L.A.) saw my post mentioning the polishes and offered them to me.  Thanks, Lyn, for the great set and for reading The Silver Nail and realizing that we women of a certain age LOVE our polish and buy lots!

I first talked about the OPI Color Paints here.  As swatches started appearing in the past few weeks, I saw that these polishes are sheer jellies that are more opaque that last year’s Sheer Tints from OPI.  The Sheer Tints had four colors:  violet, yellow, pink, and blue.   I kept meaning to buy them but never did.  Polish pennies were frittered away elsewhere.

But when I saw the Color Paints I thought, “Want.”  More colors and less translucence sounded good to me:  yellow, pink, magenta/red, orange, green, blue, turquoise, and purple, plus a silver base coat.

Some bloggers have shown what happens when you use several coats of the Color Paints alone and try for opacity.  As you might guess, the darker colors are more successfully used this way.  For some great swatches, see The PolishAholic.

But I’m not interested in trying for opacity.  Personally I’d rather wear the Color Paints is as a top coat over various colors.  This way you can get more mileage out of your other polishes.  The Color Paints are being marketed as great for nail art too — swirling combos over white, used with striping tape or a dotting tool, layered, you name it.

OPI color paints mini set

The Color Paints set contains ultra-mini size bottles (usual for OPI minis) of 1/8 oz. or 3.75 mL.  Polishes included are:

  • Silver Canvas base color
  • Primarily Yellow
  • Chromatic Orange
  • Pen & Pink (love that punny name)
  • Purple Perspective
  • Turquoise Aesthetic

OPI CP bottles

Other colors in the line, but not included in the mini set are:

  • Magenta Muse
  • Indigo Motif
  • Landscape Artist (grass green)

Silver Canvas is a shiny silver chrome that shows brushstrokes a bit more than I prefer.  Still, it’s fun to try the sheers over it and I have plenty of other silvers I can use when this little bottle runs out.  Two coats under indirect bright sunshine:

OPI CP silver

It really is bright all by itself, practically luminous.  With the flash:

OPI CP silver flash

The sheer colors are streaky on the first coat but look good with two coats.  Over Silver Canvas, left to right, the purple, pink, orange, and yellow.

OPI CP sheers over silver

By itself since my thumbnail is out of commission and I have no extra fingers on this hand, the turquoise over Silver Canvas, sorry the lighting is not right:

OPI CP turq over silver

Let’s try something else.  Say you’ve been wearing another polish for a few days and want to freshen your manicure.  Add some Color Paints!  Here’s a subtle, light-medium warm pink creme, Flora from Zoya.  It looks a bit streaky here and if I was going to wear it alone I would’ve added a third coat:

OPI CP flora base

And now one coat of the purple, pink, orange, and yellow Color Paints as a top coat:


Cool !  I prefer the Color Paints over this creme as opposed to over the chrome.  Looks shinier and less streaky, and only needed one coat.  Let’s compare.

OPI CP sheers comparison

You can really see a difference in how the yellow looks over the silver vs. the pink.

OPI CP turq comparison

As would be the case any time you put one color over a completely different one, be careful not to have any edges of the first color showing.  Also, darker colors are more likely to obscure whatever is underneath them.

Disclosure:  These OPI polishes were supplied by LALacquer for review.


Update on another OPI collection I mentioned here, the Coca-Cola 100th Anniversary of its contoured signature bottle.  It’s out, and LALacquer has it!  I’m going to buy the mini set, along with a few other polishes I’ve been coveting.

Reader request — Layering with pink Zoyas

Intrepid reader L. had a request to show some Zoya glitters layered over some Zoya cremes.  All polishes are from two Zoya collections last summer called Tickled and Bubbly.  See those linked posts for many pictures of the colors swatched on their own.

Kitridge, Rooney, and Wendy are cremes; Harper and Binx are jelly-like glitters.  All are various shades of pink.

5forcomp 5 polishes

A nice thing about layering or using a glitter top coat is that (a) the “undies,” or underlying base color, doesn’t have to be as neat or as opaque as when you wear it on its own, and (b) the glitter top coat doesn’t need as many coats as when you wear it solo.  All photos are under indirect outdoor light with no additional top coat.

Binx over Kitridge:

5forcomp Binx over Kitridge

Harper over Rooney:

5forcomp Harper over Rooney

Harper over Wendy:

5forcomp Harper over Wendy

All are very pretty; I think it just depends on whether you want a cooler pink or a warmer one.  Both glitters, Binx and Harper, are cool-toned.

And just for yucks, because I’m curious that way, I switched the polishes around.

Harper over Kitridge:

5forcomp Harper over Kitridge

Binx over Rooney:

5forcomp Binx over Rooney

Binx over Wendy:

5forcomp Binx over Wendy

All six looks together for easier comparison, click on this photo for a much larger picture:

5forcomp 6 looks

Sometimes subtle differences can be the most fun!

What can you do with sheer top coats?

Yesterday I posted about a new set of four sheer top coats from OPI called Sheer Tints.  They come in violet, yellow, pink, and blue.

Some may think, “So what?,” and I was reminded that I already have some tinted top coats which I rarely use.  So I thought I’d trot them out today and show you what they look like.  You can put these over bare nails or any kind of polish.

Remember one of the new Magical PixieDusts from Zoya called Cosmo?  I reviewed the MPDs last month and really liked Cosmo.  Here’s what it looks like with no top coat.

Now let’s bring out three jellies from Zoya that were released as the Gloss Collection in 2012.


Here’s how they look over Cosmo.  Left to right on my nails:  Paloma, Frida, Katherine.

Cosmo w 3 sheer top coats

My middle finger nail (left-most) is not in very good shape, and I needed two coats of Katherine and just one of Paloma and Frida, but you get the idea.  I especially like Frida, the teal.  Katherine is muddier looking than I would prefer for a purple, which is why I want the new violet from OPI, and I’d also like a bright blue.  Don’t need another pink and don’t think I’d use a yellow.

Maybe you’d wear a manicure of one polish plain for a few days and then want a new look without doing a full mani.  Brush a tinted top coat on and voilà!

Strung Out

Strung Out is both the great polish I’ll be showing you and also how I’m feeling the last few days.  It’s holiday crunch time, company is arriving tomorrow, and my house isn’t clean yet and the gifts aren’t wrapped.  I’ll be taking about a week or so off from blogging to spend time hanging, remora-like, on my son whom I haven’t seen in months and months.

But first, Strung Out!  It’s the third polish I got from KBShimmer.  I’ve shown you Candy Cane Crush and Snow Flaking Way.

Strung Out is a sheer black jelly base with lots of large and medium circle glitter in silver, gold, red, blue, and green.  As I’ve mentioned before, KBShimmer’s bottles are full-sized or 0.5 oz/15 ml, and have a nice sturdy feel.  Handle and brush are average-good.  I used two coats of Strung Out over a black opaque polish on my little finger and over a red opaque polish on my ring finger.  Both are topped with a clear shiny top coat.  This photo is under indirect dull outdoor light.

Strung Out

All circle glitter, no hex glitter — love it!  It really does look like little lights on your fingertips.  My photo is not that good, though, and I’d recommend looking more closely at the pictures of Strung Out on KBShimmer’s site that I linked to above.

I think it looks much better over black polish.  Since the base of Strung Out is sheer black it tends to muddy any other colors underneath it.  I think I’d get more use out of a polish that had the same mix of glitter but in a clear base .  KBShimmer has a polish called Kringle All the Way that seems to have red, green, and silver circle glitter in a clear base.

Merry Christmas to you all and may you have fun and find nail goodies in your stockings!

Snow Flaking Way!

I played with one of my holiday polishes from indie maker KBShimmer a few weeks ago and loved Candy Cane Crush.  Now I want to show you Snow Flaking Way.

Snow Flaking Way is a sheer blue-toned purple jelly with lots of different glitter.  There’s large circle, medium hex, small hex, micro, and small bar glitter, plus even tiny snowflakes, all mostly silver with some blue.

The KBShimmer bottles are full-sized, sturdy, and stable.  Handle and brush are average-good.  Let me show you Snow Flaking Way first and then discuss it.  This photo is under indirect bright outdoor light.  I have one coat of it on my little finger to show you how sheer it is, three coats of it on my ring finger, and two coats of it over a purple-blue opaque creme on my middle (left-most) finger.  I put a clear shiny top coat on my ring and middle fingers.

Snow Flaking Way

It’s a fun, different polish for sure.  I found I had to fish for the snowflakes (KBShimmer is very up-front about this on their web site) and somewhat had to fish for the large circle glitter.  Three coats of Snow Flaking Way seemed a bit lumpy and I prefer the look of it over the opaque creme.

If and when I wear this as a full manicure, I’d apply it more carefully and wouldn’t place any snowflakes until my last coat before the clear top coat.  The snowflake on my ring fingernail was in the first coat, and its look is slightly obscured by subsequent coats.

Snow Flaking Way isn’t only a holiday polish — you could wear it for a winter look later, or even year-round if you wanted to leave off any of the snowflakes.  Would be pretty as one coat over blue or black, too.  If you’d like something snowy-looking yet lighter in color, take a gander at Snow Much Fun.  work/play/polish has gorgeous swatches here.  Now I’m kinda sorry I didn’t buy Snow Much Fun too!

Each polish is $8.75 for a full-sized 0.5 oz/15 ml bottle, and shipping is free on orders $50 and over.  KBShimmer only ships within the U.S. but refers international buyers to Harlow & Co.


Something new on my nails today!  It’s Dotty from Maybelline’s Color Show Polka Dots line.

Dotty is a sheer-to-milky orange jelly-like base with small and medium black and white hex glitter.  Unlike some polishes where the glitter is so sparse you have to fish it out with the brush, Dotty had plenty of glitter, so much so that in spots it bunched up and I had to tease it into place.  I used three coats, and with any chunky glitter I think a clear top coat is a must to smooth things out.

It cost $2.97 at Walmart but you only get 0.23 oz/7 ml, or about half as much as a regular bottle of polish.  For a glitter that I won’t wear all that much though, that’s plenty.

Under indirect bright sunshine and then with the flash:

Dotty outd

Dotty flash

I rarely wear orange polish but think this is a fun one for summer or fall.  The glitter’s so thick, however, that I think I might have liked it better as a top coat over, say, an orange or white creme polish.

There are four other polishes in the line — pink, clear, jade green, and blue — all with black & white glitter, so I might try one of them as a top coat and see how that looks.

Lets compare: PixieDusts plus others, Part II

Disclosure:  Some products in this post were sent by Zoya for review.

So glad that many of you found my comparisons yesterday helpful!  More today.  LOTS more.

First of all, here are three polishes that I’ve swatched in the past but will not be comparison swatching today because they aren’t even remotely similar like I thought at first:

3 gold bottles

(l to r) Solange, Ziv, and Piaf, all from Zoya.  Solange is a yellow-gold matte textured PixieDust, Ziv is a metallic true gold foil, and Piaf is a very light yellow shimmer.

Let’s look at dark oranges:

4 dark orange bottles

(l to r) Zoya Milla, Zoya Myrta, JulieG/Jesse’s Girl Sugar Rush, and Zoya Destiny.

Milla is a coral-pink-orange jelly with some gold flakes, Myrta is a medium-dark orange foil from last year’s fabulous Surf Collection, and Sugar Rush and Destiny are matte textured polishes.

All photos are under indirect outdoor light, and again, I’m holding a bottle of Zoya’s Raven for contrast.

4 dark oranges

I’d consider Sugar Rush and Destiny duplicates.  Their formula (excellent), color, and finish are all so close I don’t think I could tell them apart.  Myrta is a great foil and Milla is a pretty polish that doesn’t get near the love I think it deserves.  You could do a jelly sandwich manicure with it.

Now, silvery lavenders:

5 purple bottles

(l to r) Zoya Julie, Milani Hi-Res, JulieG Crushed Candy, and Zoya Stevie.  OPI Can’t Let Go is hovering in the upper right corner only because it’s another purple matte textured polish, but as you can see, it’s much darker and more blue-toned than the others and I won’t be swatching it today.  You can see my swatches of it here, and I like it a lot, but it is quite dark.

Julie is a light shimmer, Hi-Res is a very glossy holographic glitter (unfortunately discontinued but I see it for sale online occasionally), and Crushed Candy and Stevie are matte textures.

4 lavenders

No dupes.  Crushed Candy is more pink and has larger glitter than Stevie.  Julie and Hi-Res have completely different finishes.

Since we’re looking at these, let’s bring back Miranda from yesterday.  I turned these bottles — Miranda, Crushed Candy, and Stevie — sideways so you could see more of the polish.

3 pink-purple bottles

Crushed Candy seems to be a color in between the pink of Miranda and the lavender of Stevie.  I LOVE all three.

Miranda CC Stevie

Let’s move from pink to red:

3 pink-red bottles

(l to r) Zoya Miranda, JulieG Hot Cinnamon, and Zoya Chyna.

Miranda HC Chyna

No duplicates.  All are pretty; Chyna has more of a ruby tone.

Even though I showed blue ones yesterday, I want to revisit Zoya Liberty and compare it to JulieG Blueberry Fizz and Zoya Nyx:

3 blue bottles

Liberty BF Nyx

Gee, why did I even show Liberty again?  Not even close.  Blueberry Fizz and Nyx are similar but not dupes — Blueberry Fizz is more of a sky blue and has larger silver glitter, and Nyx is thinner and more steel blue.

Finally, just because I can, here are JulieG Rock Candy and Zoya Vespa compared to each other:

2 green bottles

Rock Candy and Vespa

Not close.  Rock Candy is thicker, more of a teal green, and has larger silver glitter, while Vespa is thinner and a light gray-green.

Whew!  Hope I haven’t overwhelmed you with samples and comparisons.  Of all the polishes today the only true duplicates in my opinion are JulieG’s Sugar Rush and Zoya’s Destiny.  Both are excellent polishes from great companies.  The JulieG polish is less expensive but the bottles are smaller as well.

Disclosure:  Some products in this post were sent by Zoya for review.


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