OPI Mrs O’Leary’s BBQ

 

OPI Mrs O'Leary's BBQTwo coats, sunlight

This vampy creme is a classic from OPI, which was released as part of the Chicago collection. It’s a plummy-brown red creme. The balance between brown and purple and red is just perfect. When I saw this colour on my colleague for the very first time, I gasped. “What colour is this? I have to have it!” I first thought it looked like a beautiful brown-red on her but later when I had a chance to buy it, I noticed it looked more brown in certain light and more purple elsewhere.

OPI Mrs O'Leary's BBQ comparisonWith China Glaze Branding Iron

Sorry I know this is a terrible comparison but I don’t have another vampy red to compare with Mrs O’Leary’s. I don’t normally wear vampy colours so I was terribly pleased to find one that I loved. This is a lousy comparison with China Glaze Branding Iron, which is the closest to a “vampy” I could find in my cupboard. Apart from the obvious fact that Branding Iron has shimmer while Mrs O’Leary’s is a creme, I hope this photograph gives you some idea of the what it would like compared to a redder polish. Also, this is an instance when the polish looks more purple than brown when hit by direct sunlight.

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Nicole Glitz and Glisten

3 coats, sunlight

Nicole by OPI’s Glitz and Glisten is a clear base filled with purple micro glitter. It’s very sparkly and pretty but (to me) almost useless on its own. This was three coats and you still can see my nail. So what’s a girl to do in this situation? Layer of course!

I didn’t really put much thought into what polishes would match with this glitter. The only one that I knew would match was Nicole’s The Grape Debate as it came with Glitz and Glisten in a set when I purchased it from the US. True enough, it was the best combination. The purple glitter on the dark purple creme base looks really dazzling, almost like purple stars in the sky! My second favourite has to be the combination with China Glaze Sugar High.

In the end, I decided to go for a more subtle look using glitter just at the nail tips. Here is OPI Coney Island Cotton Candy as the sheer milky base; China Glaze Snow Globe as the first layer of glitter at the tips; Nicole Glitz and Glisten as the second layer of glitter; and finally, China Glaze White Cap as the overall wash covering the nail.

Random nail art

I have been too busy to do any swatching recently so here are some random nail art pictures. The lighting tends to be quite poor because we usually meet in the evenings to prettify our nails. Daylight pictures are hard to come by nowadays!

My favourite is the first picture. The pink and gold nails are very pretty but so tedious!

Alicia’s nails, China Glaze Something Sweet and China Glaze Sugar High

Emily’s nails, Zoya Moxie

China Glaze Refresh Mint and OPI Jade is the New Black

Alicia’s nails, no idea what these polishes are because she did them with a professional manicurist

OPI Dating a Royal

2 coats, sunlight

OPI Dating a Royal is a deep bright blue creme from the Mod About Brights collection. It has a semi-jelly texture which makes it incredibly shiny. You can spot the reflection of flats behind me in the second picture. The jelly texture also means that you have to be careful to cover all bald spots. Too light a brush stroke will easily leave you with patches of lighter blue. I recommend three coats to be perfect.

One reason why I am so enamoured with this polish is that it’s the colour of one of my favourite rocks the lapis lazuli, which is found mainly in the mines of Afghanistan. My lapis lazuli ring (pictured above) was bought from Montpellier, France, which sold lots of other nice gemstones as well. If you’re a Vampire Diaries fan, you would also know that Lapis Lazuli was worn by several vampires as protection against the sun.

With OPI Crown Me Already (silver glitter) and Nicole Glitz and Glisten (purple glitter), sunlight

Nubar 2010

1 coat of Nubar 2010 with NARS Midnight Express, sunlight

Nubar 2010 is a clear polish filled with multicoloured duochrome flakies. On a blue base, I see mainly green, orange and yellow, with the colours changing depending on the light. The different flake sizes also make it interesting. Some are big, others are smaller.

1 coat with OPI Nicole The Grape Debate, sunlight

On a dark purple base, I see a lot more orange than the other two colours. Overall, it’s an incredible polish for layering and an interesting twist to just plain glitter. I’m beginning to like Nubar a lot, seeing as how the two polishes I have from this line are incredible.

Nubar can be purchased off eBay to Singapore at a reasonable price.

OPI Pirates of the Carribean

So. Alicia got her hands on three polishes from the 2011 OPI Pirates of the Carribean collection. The colours all look great in the bottles and they were definitely not boring pastels. I totally get the ocean theme.

First up is Mermaid’s Tears, a dusty blue-green creme:

Alicia’s nails, 2 coats, sunlight

Emily’s nails, 2 coats, artificial light, iPhone picture

Liyen’s nails, 2 coats, indoor light

Next up is Skull and Glossbones, a pale grey creme:

Alicia’s nails, 2 coats, sunlight

Emily’s nails, 2 coats, sunlight, iPhone picture

The last is Steady as She Rose, which is a lilac-pink creme:

Alicia’s nails, 2 coats, sunlight

Emily’s nails, with China Glaze Sea Spray as French tips, iPhone photo

Alicia’s nails, with OPI Do You Think I’m Tex-y?, indoor lighting

My favourite out of these three is Skull and Glossbones, as pale neutral greys seem to be quite hard to come by. The formula on these three polishes were generally good and were very easy to apply. Apologies for the poor photo quality though. My regular camera wasn’t available and I used one that didn’t even have a macro mode. In the end, I used the “Flower” mode but it still couldn’t make up for the lack of macro.

Orly Space Cadet

2 – 3 coats, sunlight

And I finally got my hands on Orly Space Cadet, the crown jewel of the Cosmic FX Fall 2010 collection! Containing a total of 6 polishes, each one of them flashes multiple glittery colours depending on how it catches the light. For Space Cadet, I see a lot of purple but there is also blue and green and pink as well. Three thin coats or two thick coats are needed to achieve opacity.

With Claire’s silver nail striper pen

Here are some silver stripes to make the manicure look more metallic and outer space-like. I’m digging this but it’s a little too crazy for work.

Liyen’s nails, iPhone picture

Liyen borrowed Space Cadet from me. A colleague said that her nails look like cockroaches!

Nicole The Grape Debate

Barbara’s nails, two coats, sunlight

The Grape Debate, from Nicole by OPI’s 2010 Holiday collection, is a dark plum creme. I like it because you can clearly tell it is purple even though it’s a dark shade, unlike one of those many near-black shades that look black most of the time (I’m looking at you, OPI Here Today, Aragorn Tomorrow).

I like this shade. I think it looks quite sophisticated and it’s definitely work appropriate.

Anna’s nails, with Nicole Glitz and Glisten

Nicole’s Glitz and Glisten came together with The Grape Debate when I purchased it in the US. The back of the box suggested that we use Glitz and Glisten as a French tip, so we tried that on one hand and it turned out quite well.

Urban Decay Hashbury

2 coats, sunlight

Hashbury, the third polish from the Urban Decay Summer of Love collection, looked good in the bottle but turned out looking quite cheap on my nails. In the bottle, you can see a rich glowing purple with blue shimmer. On my nails, you see blah.

With orange acrylic paint

My attempt to prettify Hashbury did not work as well because orange just looks bad with shimmery purple. In my defence, the paint tube said Vermilion and I didn’t know what the colour Vermilion was. It was only after I broke the seal did I realise that it was a shade of orange.

And one more picture of the manicure just because it features Pudding’s adorable paws.

Vintage half-moon manicure

Reinforcement rings are pretty much all you need for the vintage half-moon manicure. That, and a lot of patience. By a lot, I mean if you have at least two hours to spare.

It all started with an article in Urban newspaper talking about two-toned nails. Nail aficionados will know that the real name is called the vintage half-moon manicure, which consists of painting a small portion of your cuticle a different colour from the rest of your nail. It is also sometimes called the reverse French. How hard can it be? I thought.

Barbara’s nails, China Glaze Millenium (silver) + Orly Royal Navy (blue), low light

Well, the first attempt was pretty much a disaster. I didn’t know that you had to wait for the silver to dry completely before pasting on the reinforcement stickers. When I removed them, much of the silver paint came off as well. That aside, I must say that Orly Royal Navy is absolutely stunning.

Maggie’s nails, Essie Body Language (pale purple) + OPI Black Cherry Chutney (dark purple), sunlight

Maggie’s nails turned out a lot better because we had time on our side. I think this colour combination is fabulous; Black Cherry Chutney is a luxurious shimmery burgundy from the OPI India collection. But the lines separating the colours could be cleaner. Perhaps the reinforcement rings were too sticky?

This is what I mean by clean lines. Cheryl handed me this magazine photograph and asked if I could recreate the look. So here’s Attempt #3.

Cheryl’s nails, NARS Midnight Express (blue) + China Glaze Something Sweet (pink), flash

Major fail. Jagged lines galore. Her mom said that she looked diseased. We spent close to two hours painstakingly doing this and still we couldn’t achieve perfection. Can someone help? If you know the solution, it would be much appreciated.

NARS Zulu, 2 coats, sunlight

Determined to achieve the elusive clean lines and cut down on the drying time, I decided to free hand the damned moon. Here I started off with two coats of NARS Zulu. I love the way the jelly glows. It’s so shiny you can see my reflection in the nails.

NARS Zulu (green) + Orly Pointe Blanche (white)

Using Orly Pointe Blanche, which is a white polish meant specifically for French manicures, I drew a curve line near the cuticle first, then filled in the rest of the half moon. The index finger shows the curved line.

NARS Zulu (green) + Orly Pointe Blanche (white) + Elianto Platinum Pearl (white shimmer)

Et voila! The vintage half-moon manicure without use of stickers. It’s far from perfect but at least I didn’t have to spend hours on this.

Here is a closer look. My least favourite finger is the index because the white blob looks like a lump of coal.

Just noticed that Fann Wong has a half moon in one of her advertisements. It looks kind of weird actually. White half moon over a bare unpainted nail.

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