Tag Archives: best purple nail polishes

OPI Parlez-Vous OPI nail polish review

My last nail polish post saw me declaring China Glaze’s Sea Spray as the perfect grey-blue. Well, strike me down if I’ve not just found the perfect grey-purple too. Step (or should that be nonchalantly stroll) forward OPI’s Parlez-Vous OPI.

As part of Fall 2008’s France Collection, it’s an oldie but a goodie, but one that feels especially current since the fashion world went gaga for grunged-out grey hybrids all last year, thanks to Chanel’s Particuliere (see OPI’s Over The Taupe and Zoya’s Kelly for further details). Parlez-Vous OPI is pretty much the most grey a purple can go whilst still remaining obviously and very much purple – which, for me, makes it the loveliest ‘grurple’ I’ve come across so far.

As a result, it’s a muddied muddled lavender but one that feels soft and lush as opposed to resembling the dregs of a dirty puddle. I’m pretty certain I used to own a cashmere jumper this colour, which of course, makes Parlez-Vous OPI an instant winner.

This was also one of the best formulas of OPI I’ve used so far – creamily consistent and opaque in two easy coats. For once, I didn’t find their trademark fat brush too cumbersome (whether this older brush was indeed slightly different or I’ve just got used to it remains to be seen!) and, clearly on a roll from their other star performer Miami Beet, it dried relatively quickly and didn’t chip too easily either.

But back to the colour, which is too insouciantly dreamy not to write more about. As befits a member of the France Collection, there is something quietly chic about Parlez-Vous OPI and it’s one of those perennially flattering shades that seems to go with just about everything and work for just about every situation. My purple obsession has been well documented but this may just be my favourite yet.

Pretty but edgy, soft but grown-up, perfectly purple and yet so much more… Parlez-Vous OPI will be my ‘It Colour’ for several seasons to come!

Looks good with: everything (but I may be biased)
Drying time: 3 mins
Coats required: 2
Chips: +5 days

OPI Parlez-Vous OPI? nail polish, Fall 2008 France Collection, $90, Cher2

Gosh Gasoline nail polish review

After the various trials and tribulations involved in getting my mitts on Gosh’s Gasoline nail polish, it didn’t have much choice other than to be bloody brilliant. Thankfully, it was.

An amazing glittering true purple that manages to be bright but deep at the same time, I can honestly say it’s become one of my favourites. Partly because purple is lucky enough to be my favourite colour full-stop, but mostly on the grounds of Gasoline’s merits alone.

However, in addition to the hard slog that was getting the nail polish itself, application wasn’t exactly a breeze either. As a girl used to salon-quality nail varnish in the forms of OPI, Essie, China Glaze and Zoya, the ridiculously sheer first coat was a bit of a shock. On seeing the initial pale watery fuchsia colour, I wondered if I’d be building up coats quicker than mattresses in The Princess & The Pea in order to get the bottle colour. It took four coats and a long fraught drying time of tackiness, but I finally got there – and it was totally worth it.

Chock-a-block with flecks of multi-coloured glitter, Gasoline is a hypnotising mesmerising shade of purple that was just about everything I wanted but failed to get from Essie’s Sexy Divide. It’s that pitch-perfect purple smack bang in the middle of the spectrum between pastel and midnight. Neither too pink nor too blue, it’s basically the colour I’d conjure up in my head if you asked me to envisage my ideal purple. Eye-catching and still obviously purple in all types of lighting, it especially comes alive against black.

What with the vivid purple colour and the glittery sparkliness, it’s the kind of nail varnish I’d imagine my all-time favourite cosmetics company, Urban Decay, coming out with. In fact, it’s pretty much the polish equivalent of their brilliant shimmering 24/7 eyeliner in Lust. [Gasoline is such an Urban Decay name too.] Then again, it’s also the polish equivalent of the Purple One in a box of Quality Streets too.

A rocky vibrant shade with a gleaming cosmic depth provided by those swirls of glitter, Gasoline had me utterly spellbound. Thank God Treg’s Luck didn’t strike again!

Looks good with: black, love of purple, Urban Decay make-up
Drying time: +10 mins
Coats required: 3-4
Chips: +7 days

Gosh Gasoline nail polish, $78, selected Watsons

OPI Suede Lincoln Park After Dark nail polish review

I’ve found ‘it’. The elusive colour you put on and know is you all over. Hello OPI Suede in Lincoln Park After Dark.

Given that I hunt down nail varnish colours from music videos and rogue snapshots from years gone by, you know I’m a picky one. But Lincoln Park In The Dark Suede was almost enough to turn me into a one-colour woman.

It’s from OPI’s range of nail lacquers with a matte finish that they’ve rebranded as ‘Suedes’ – which, let’s face it, is a much more appealing term than matte, which sounds like a dullard DIY word. Instead, suede conjures up images of rich velvety colours perfect for wintry walks in the park and the OPI range more than justifies such plush fantasies.

Lincoln Park After Dark in its normal maroon guise is the furthest you can get to black without being black. But in its Suede incarnation, it’s a luxurious muted plum, packed to the hilt with a dense silver glitter. And I know my hostile thoughts on glitter have been previously well-documented but this liberal scatter of silver turns the shade into an expensive metallic shimmer, stopping it becoming a flat energy-zapper, like many other mattes I’ve seen on the market. It’s also ridiculously versatile – like the village tart, it just goes with everything!

Unfortunately, OPI weren’t joking when they say in their literature that Suede ‘does not wear as long as original OPI lacquer’. Count yourself lucky if your talons last 24 hours. Given that I’m currently sans employment and my most strenuous activity is deciding which side of my bed to sleep on, this stuff really does chip without the slightest provocation! At least OPI’s fantastic self-levelling properties ensure you can tidy up the chips relatively unobtrusively, although it’s a near Sisyphean task keeping them pristine for any great period of time. OPI also sternly tell you not to use hand cream if you’re wearing Suede but since my hands are still ravaged by a year of dealing with snotty kids, adhesives and constant disinfecting, I couldn’t not use lotion and can’t say I noticed any ill effects.

There are still plenty of pros. This is by far the quickest drying OPI polish I’ve come across, one coat provides excellent coverage and for once, I found the brush easy to work with, ensuring a solidly smooth finish (although it’s worth noticing that it can feel a little gritty to the touch, if that bothers you). And the colour really is beautiful – a grown-up metallic amethyst that’s totally striking without being attention-hogging. It also looks fantastic under different lighting (I’ve shown it with flash here to try and capture how under artificial light, it really looks like you’ve dipped your fingers into some mauve mercury) and, as I’ve mentioned, with any colour, any pattern, any time, anywhere.

The highest recommendation I can give to Lincoln Park After Dark Suede is that as soon as I’d applied it, I rushed out to buy the rest of the range. Apologies to your bank balance in advance… but one try and you may well find yourself doing the same!

Looks great with: possibly easier to say what it doesn’t look great with. In which case, let me know once you’ve found something!
Drying time: <1 min
Coats required: 1-2
Chips: 1 day

OPI Suede Lincoln Park After Dark nail polish, Fall 2009 Suede Collection, $70, Cher2

OPI Pamplona Purple nail polish review

If you thought my colour reference for Zoya’s Bekka nail polish was weird, be prepared for things to get even more neurotic. My purchase of OPI’s Pamplona Purple was inspired by this…

Yes, a rogue finger in a photograph. Back in the days when nail varnish barely registered on my radar, I actually commented on this photo on Facebook with ‘I like your nail polish!’ I liked that it was a pink-based rather than blue-based purple, that it popped without being garish and that it lay dead in the middle of the ‘light purple-dark purple’ spectrum. And Pamplona Purple is all those things and more!

It’s simply a delicious-looking aubergine, that manages the subtle trick of being bright but without blowing your socks off.

As I’ve got more used to painting my nails, OPI’s fat brush caused me fewer problems but it’s still my least favourite brush amongst the brands I’ve tried. Consistency, coverage and finish were amazing; I love the ultra-smooth, high-gloss effect that OPI specialises in. The colour was deep, rich and intense, with even one coat giving a slightly pinker magenta shade, building to the two coats shown in my photo. However, in my experience, although OPI polishes give by far the smoothest, most streak-less finishes that are impossible to scratch, dent or mark, they also chip the easiest. The pro to that con is that OPI’s are also the most self-levelling, allowing for the most painless of repair jobs to fill in the chips near-seamlessly.

Pamplona Purple feels modern and hip but without being enslaved to fashion and its ‘must-have’ shades. Simply, it’s just always been this cool – even as a blurry rogue finger in a photo!

Looks good with: denim, mini-skirts, grey, hipster style
Drying time: 5 mins
Coats required: 1-2
Chips: 2 days

OPI Pamplona Purple nail polish, Fall 2009 Spain Collection, $70, Cher2