OPI – Hey Baby

Companies like celebrity spokespersons and lacquer companies are no different.  But they usually end up confusing me.  Sure, sometimes they hit the nail (ha!) on the head, Wet n’ Wild’s Fergie collection is sparkly and cheap, not unlike Fergie herself.  The many Kardashian Kollections from Nicole by OPI?  Company’s second tier, less expensive product in goofy shaped bottles and geared toward teenagers and mainly available in supermarkets.

But these tend to be the exceptions.  NOPI had a Justin Bieber collection.  What?  How much varnish does the Biebs go through on the daily?  Probably not much, but I would assume those little Beliebers go through quite a bit.  Oh, geared toward teenagers and purchased at the supermarket.  I guess that one makes sense, too.

Aside Alert:  I’ve recently been informed that people like lots of pictures to interperse the walls of text on a blog post.  While I’m mostly a purist who only adds pictures that are relevant to the topic at hand, when in Rome….

Enjoy this cute picture of a kitten who may or may not be named Gwen... but who certainly looks like the type of gal who would enjoy OPI Hey Baby.

Enjoy this cute picture of a kitten who may or may not be named Gwen… but who certainly looks like the type of gal who would enjoy OPI Hey Baby.

But let’s take a look at a more top-drawer brand.  In recent memory OPI has had collections from Katy Perry, Nicki Minaj, Mariah Carey and Gwen Stefani.  I think that all of them, with the exception of the Carey and Stefani holiday collections, have had the polishes named after songs of the corresponding artist.  But the songs generally have nothing to do with the colors.  For instance, Mariah Carey’s were almost completely dull, boring granny shades.  Well, okay, maybe they didn’t fit the songs, but I guess they kinda fit the inspiration.

Then there’s Gwen.  And a lot of those made sense.  Obviously they had a clear, bright red called Over and Over A-Gwen (oh OPI you corny thing, never change!).  It might have even been my elusive, perfect red but it was a “special” addition that came with nail art and studs and a bunch of stuff that I didn’t feel like paying $15 for when I have approximately 48509433 other reds already.  The satin black shade? Four in the Morning.  Love Angel Music Baby, sparkly gold. See?  Those make sense!

Which brings us to Hey Baby.

Hey Baby

There’s really not a whole lot to say about this other than it’s pretty much perfect as far as its intended purpose.  Sure, there aren’t a lot of bells and/or whistles and it isn’t an incredible Holy Grail color.  Let’s face it, there are probably more shades of pink nail lacquer to choose from than any other color.  Whatever shade you’re looking for, chances are you’ll find several options without even trying too hard.

So, let’s go under the premise that we’re looking for a specific shade of pink in a creme nail varnish.  More subdued than a bubblegum, but still bold.  Nothing muted or dusty.  Darker than baby pink, but definitely an undeniable pink.  No mauves, soft reds or dark roses.

Now that we’ve narrowed down color, it must be a good creme nail varnish.  Not the slightest hint of shimmer or frost, but highly pigmented with enough depth to not be even close to a matte.  It must apply smoothly, cover easily and level flawlessly.  Above all, it must look clean, shiny and glossy enough that three days in you can still quickly glance at your nails and, for just a split second, think they’re still wet.

Which, once again, brings us to Hey Baby.

OPI Hey Baby

The color is showing more red on the nail than in person.  The bottle color is more accurate with the pink being a bit clearer even than that.

All you expect from a good OPI creme polish.  Great color, great formula, great wear.  Thanks, Gwen!

China Glaze – Angel’s Breath

Angel’s Breath was a polish that China Glaze put out a few years back in a Breast Cancer Awareness collection, but is now part of the permanent line.  It’s a very sheer white with a slight hint of pink to it.  The only reason I have it is because it was part of a gradient set I picked up about two years ago.  Although it’s not anything I would have purchased on its own I do have a few sheers, including a couple pinkish ones, so  I’m not opposed to the color itself.  It’s just not anything special that would catch my eye and tell me that I must have it.

All of that to say as a disclaimer of sorts that I wasn’t prejudiced against this one before I even tried it.  In fact, since my nails are in the awkward stage I was looking forward to a soft shade and wasn’t even opposed to a little VNL in the process.   What I wasn’t looking forward to was four (!) coats of runny, cuticle flooding, streaky mess that left both bald spots and globs at the same time.  And, although it doesn’t really show in the picture, the VNL was still really prominent after all those coats.  There’s not a top coat on it because I could not get this mess off fast enough, so I didn’t even do both hands.

Even this Queen of Rationalization on why to keep something can’t recommend it as an undercoat, because the number of coats (four!) to even get a semblance of smoothness is way too many when you haven’t even added your main color or topcoat, or for a french, because after all those coats (four!) it’s not sheer enough for the nail color and not opaque enough for the tip color.

Angels Breath

 

But, wait! (you might say), the picture doesn’t look all that bad…  If you have the intestinal fortitude to zoom the picture, you’ll see the blobs, the patchiness, the raggedy cuticle line and and the complete non-leveling action, even after (did I mention?) four (!) coats.  I suppose it could have evened and smoothed out at some point, I just gave up after four.  Go ahead, zoom in, just don’t say I didn’t warn you…

China Glaze – Escaping Reality

I think this might be the last one from my “old” batch of pictures before I cut all my nails down and went on hiatus.  But never fear, I’ve been busy making new ones!

Remember that movie Cirque du Soleil: Worlds Away that came out around Christmas of 2012?  Yeah, me neither.  But China Glaze apparently thought so highly of it that they did an entire full size collection devoted to it as a tie in.  Remember that 2012 holiday collection from China Glaze called Cirque du Soleil:  Worlds Away?  I do, but just barely and vaguely at that….

But, after brushing up on it in preparation for this post, it did have a couple of cool glitters that I liked.  But I find it physically impossible to pay full price for China Glaze (as reasonable as it is for a salon brand) and there were only a handful of cremes left when Sally finally got around to clearancing them.  So I ended up with two of them, a coral whose name escapes (ha!) me right now and this one.

Escaping Reality is a hot pink that borders on neon.  If it was a brighter or lighter shade it could very well go neon or fluorescent, but the pink is a darker blue leaning shade that saves it from being too loud and makes it much more wearable, rather than just being a “just for fun” choice.  I still classify it as a “hot” pink because it’s highly pigmented, plenty bright and not at all soft.

China Glaze Escaping Reality

As far as the formula goes, it was a bit on the runny side for a creme but I didn’t have a problem with any cuticle flooding.  It wasn’t even necessarily that patchy but since I like to do three coats anyway, that doesn’t really work against a polish for me.  Unless it’s one of those that you’ve still trying to even out half a dozen coats into the thing!  While it wasn’t exactly a matte, there wasn’t much shine to it, but a coating of my precious Seche Vite fixed that up and left my nails looking creamy smooth and ultra shiny.

I also added an atrocious attempt at some tiger stripes at some point before I removed it.

China Glaze Fingerpaints Charcoal

Although I’m far from the best nail artist in the world, I can usually do a pretty decent animal print, so I don’t know why this is 1.  so amateurish and 2.  why I took a picture of it.  Since I’m holding a FingerPaints striper in the picture, I’m pretty sure that I’d just gotten the stripers and….. wait!  I do remember!  Sally was having a B2G1 sale on FingerPaints stripers and I got those at the same time as the two China Glaze polishes!  Since it was the first time I’d gotten the FingerPaints brand of stripers I was testing one out while sitting on the couch with just a shaded lamp for a light source while chatting away with my sister.  Now that I remember the circumstance, that striping job turned out pretty well!

The striper was Ch-art-coal Black and is a really nice one.  Granted, my only other stripers are Salon Perfects that sell for a buck or two at the drug store but FingerPaints are definitely my favorites.  The brush is very narrow, but really long with flexible bristles and a nice point so you can get really thin lines as easily as thicker ones.  The polish itself is thin enough for a light touch and good control, but not so runny that it will drip and spread.  It’s pretty much like a nice fluid eyeliner, it goes where you put it and not where you don’t.

China Glaze – Sweet Hook

This color was first introduced in the Spring 2012 Electropop collection.  With a name like that you’d think bright, flourescent, maybe even neon, but  the majority of that collection was pastel creme and we will be re-visiting Electropop a few times during this journey, since I’ve got several of those cremes.

I was fairly certain that this was now in the permanent line.  I looked it up to make sure and, unless they’ve changed this color with it went stock, the shade that China Glaze shows for this one is really off.  It’s showing a medium-dark lavender and the original is a light, pink leaning lilac.

I’ve got a couple of really rough looking spots on this one (did I not even look at these before I uploaded them?), but the color does show true, so I’m going with it.  Just imagine that index nail had a meteorite fall on it just before the picture was taken.

China Glaze Sweet Hook

This shows my why (as I’ve mentioned before) I’m sort of meh on China Glaze.  Nice color but nothing spectacular.  Not a great formula, but not really awful.  And that’s pretty much China Glaze.  Not bad enough to avoid it like the plague, but not good enough to seek it out and reach for it over something else.  I’m probably somewhat spoiled, as I have a lot of OPI and Zoya, who are masters of creme formulas and colors.

But Sweet Hook does have something that makes it one of my favorites and has me overlook the formula being a bit thick.  This is one of the most complimented shades I wear, especially from the men.  You’d think they’d go for the sexy, vampy stuff, right?  Whether it’s just the shade itself or it just looks good with my skin tone, there’s something about this otherwise innocuous nail polish that makes people notice it and remark.  And, hey, who doesn’t like a little positive reinforcement when it comes to their manicure?

OPI – Strawberry Margarita

There are usually at least a couple polishes from OPI’s seasonal collections that really make a splash and are added to their open stock.  Strawberry Margarita was first introduced in the Mexico Collection way back in 2006, but then was awarded a spot in the permanent lineup.

A position that is well earned, as this is a really great pink and one of the best summer polishes you’ll find.  I wear this a lot in the summer, but I wore it to Ulta recently so I could compare it to the new Kiss Me I’m Brazilian shade from the spring collection.  Lots of times I see a color and fall in love with it and MUST HAVE IT!, then I get it home and realize I already have one or more colors almost just like it.   Since I already had it on, I decided to go ahead and get the review out of the way.

image

The picture shows it as more coral than it really is, in person it’s a dark pink that’s….well that’s pretty much the color of a strawberry margarita!  I’d call it a rose, with no orange and no leaning into red territory.  It’s a bright one, but not a glaring neon.  A shade that can really go anywhere but it shines in the summer sun.  Of which there isn’t any right now…

As OPI usual, the formula is a dream.  Smooth, creamy and excellent coverage in two coats.  I don’t have the bottle in the shot because it’s a mini, and if it had been a full size brush, one coat might have done it.  And topped with some Seche Vite, it’s one of those that look so squishy and juicy that you just want to bite into it (but I wouldn’t recommend doing so!).

In answer to the burning question of this post, Kiss Me I’m Brazilian and Strawberry Margarita aren’t even close.  KMIB is a much lighter pink, more of a bubblegum, but a little softer.  So did I get it?  Oh yeah, but I was good and just got the mini!