Saturday, 20 June 2015

OPI Color Paints!

Ever since I first saw the press release for these, aaaaages ago, I have wanted the OPI Color Paints polishes! They're described as "blendable nail lacquer" colours that can be combined for all sorts of artistic effects. Officially, these aren't on sale in the UK until July 1st, and will only be available in Selfridges. However, they are available on Amazon from lots of different sellers. I bought a set of the minis, as I couldn't decide on what colours I wanted, and didn't want to spend a fortune buying several and then be disappointed. 

This set has Silver Canvas, the 'undercoat' polish, and then 5 of the 8 colours: Primarily Yellow, Chromatic Orange, Pen & Pink, Purple Perspective, and Turquoise Aesthetic. 

How sheer are they?

They're sheer, but very pigmented, so they're nowhere near as sheer as polishes like the Sheer Tints.  Depending on the colour, some are more sheer than others. They are beautiful, glossy and pigmented jellies.

Here are, left to right, Primarily Yellow, Chromatic Orange, Pen & Pink, and Purple Perspective with one coat each.

Here they are with two coats each.The yellow is obviously more sheer than the others. The purple in particular is almost opaque. But I love how juicy and glossy they all are!

Do I need the silver base?
Well, it's going to be up to you. You probably don't need this specific silver base. Do you need a silver base? No, but it does do something different to the polishes. 

Here is Turquoise Aesthetic left to right over the silver base, no base, and a white base.  As you can see, the polish is less streaky over the silver base, and the colour pops much more. On its own, you have the sheer effect and less colour-pop, and over white you get the colour-pop but have some streakiness. Which you prefer is going to be a matter of personal taste.

How does the silver compare to other silvers?

Left to right, I used Models Own Chrome Silver, Barry M Silver Foil, OPI Silver Canvas, and OPI Push and Shove.  These are all one coat, except the Models Own, which is two. 

The Models Own Chrome Silver is good for stamping, but I find it hard to use as a polish on its own as it is quite thin, and drags a bit on application, so ends up streaky unless you're really careful. As you can see, it's a bit uneven in application. The Barry M Silver Foil is excellent for stamping, but nothing special to wear on its own.  Silver Canvas is nice and even. OPI Push and Shove is really nice as a shiny chrome, and is definitely shinier than the others here. I found the two OPIs very similar in application, although Push and Shove is more of a mirror-shine. Silver Canvas is really nice to apply, and isn't nearly as brush-strokey as many metallic polishes are. If you already have a silver chrome/metallic that you like, then you probably don't need Silver Canvas too. 

I tried  the Color Paints over all the silvers. As you can see, they're much of a muchness, so if you already have a silver you like, I wouldn't buy another just to use with the Color Paints.

How do they compare to the OPI Sheer Tints?

Very well! I was really excited when the OPI Sheer Tints came out, but they were so disappointing. Formula was gloopy and thick, and the colour was far more sheer than I'd hoped for. The Color Paints are what I hoped the Sheer Tints would be. 

Here I've compared Purple Perspective and Don't Violet Me Down from the Sheer Tints range. Left to right is one coat of Don't Violet Me Down over silver and on its own, then Purple Perspective over silver and on its own. This is typical of the difference - the Sheer Tints are very pale, just a hint of colour, where the Color Paints are very pigmented. The formula of the Sheer Tints is also really difficult to work with as it's so thick and sticky.  The Color Paints have a much better formula - it's much less thick, and not at all gloopy. It seems strange to me that the formula can be so much thicker on the Sheer Tints, and yet the colour less visible, but I suppose that was what they were going for. Anyway, Color Paints beat Sheer Tints hands down for me.  

Do they water marble?

Yes. I struggled to get the mini bottles to drip well, which meant that the colours dried more quickly than I could work with, but the actual spread is really good, and they look really zingy. 

Left is over silver, right is over white. I think my issue was only because the mini bottles are so small that you need to be careful with the brush, so the dripping takes longer and leaves time for the polish to dry on the surface of the water. With full size bottles, I think this would be fine. 

Do they stain?

Generally, no. But you probably need to be very careful with Turquoise Aesthetic!

Can you stamp with them?

No. But you can stamp with black over a base, and then use them for leadlighting. This is my next mani plan for these - I'll add a link here when I've tried this!

What can you do with them?

Lots of things! Here are two designs I did. 

This ruffian design uses the Silver Canvas base. I then painted on Chromatic Orange and Purple Perspective on alternate nails. I also added a stripe of another colour over the original - Primarily Yellow over the orange (which doesn't show) and Pen & Pink over the purple (which does!). 

I wore these for a day, and loved how glowy they were. 

My second design was this freehand flower art, which I did using all the colours and a fine paintbrush. I don't have the green one, so I used yellow and turquoise together. 

I love how this looks! 

It really glows in the evening sunshine!

What's the formula like?
It's good. Even and smooth, and not too thick and gloopy like the Sheer Tints, but not so runny that it floods the cuticles. Application is nice and easy, and drying time is normal.   

Overall, I LOVE this collection. I am definitely going to buy the red one in a full size, although I'm not sure I need the darker blue or the green. I may well also buy some of these mini colours in the full size, although I need to wait til after pay day!



  1. Great review, I like them very much. You created awesome designs, my favourite is this floral one.

    1. Thank you! Yes, that was mine too. I'm sure I'll be doing more with these over the next few posts!

  2. Thank you for such a comprehensive run down. It's great seeing just what they'll do and your manis are gorgeous.
    I've not tried the sheer tints but have been curious and even more so about these. They strike me as jellies, a little thicker than the tints. Does that seem right to you?

    1. Thank you - glad you enjoyed it!

      They are jellies, yes, and much more pigmented than the tints. Not thicker in consistency though, as the tints were ridiculously thick! I'll go back and edit that a bit now, I think.

  3. I must admit I was quite interested in these. But I got the Sheer Tints and not used them yet so I didn't bother getting these ones! Now I'm tempted though ;-)

    1. It depends what you want from them I suppose, but I really dislike the Sheer Tints, and really REALLY like these!

  4. That's it. You've sold me. I am totally getting this set.


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