Remember in my first nail varnish reviews, how I revealed my disdain for glittery nail polishes? Well, it’s only taken six months or so, but this contempt has been well and truly left in dust – and what better way to celebrate than with one of the sparkliest, shiniest, glitteriest polishes on the block, OPI Sparkle-licious.
OPI are renowned for their fun names yet Sparkle-licious could not be any more accurate unless it involved copious amounts of exclamation marks. It’s a veritable Mardi-Gras on the nails – large showy particles of gold, pink, blue and purple all joining together for a riot right on your fingertips.
One of my previous objections to glitter polishes was that they tend to look like a pre-schooler ran riot in the art cupboard, with pots of glitter just dumped haphazardly on the nails. And Sparkle-licious looks pretty much exactly like that – the mixed-up multi-coloured bags of glitter you’re left with once kindergarten kids have got a bit too enthusiastic with your craft supplies. Although the bottle makes it look like purple might be the predominant colour, once it’s on the nails it seems to burst into a brighter golden glow. So whether you love it or loathe it, this look is a difficult one to ignore!
If only getting this intense sparkle showdown was as easy as letting a child run amok with some PVA glue and a wild imagination. Unlike another recent OPI glitter polish, Teenage Dream, which had a coloured base, the particles in Sparkle-licious are suspended in a clear liquid, so I had to go four coats to get full coverage. I also found Sparkle-licious’ formula to be gloopy and very runny, meaning (in true kindergarten style) that I got glitter absolutely everywhere.
However, it didn’t have the overly gritty feeling of glitter polishes of yore, even if it’s obviously not an entirely smooth surface without a top coat. And, despite the four coats, it generally didn’t feel too thick or heavy either. The downside of this pure glitter hit that required plentiful coats? Brittle nail polish that chipped off in chunks sooner rather than later.
Another memory of glitter polishes that did unfortunately prove correct – they’re hell to remove. Don’t even bother trying a non-acetone remover with Sparkle-licious, as it merely laughs in its face and stays sparkling steadfastly into the night. The best way of putting out the party on your nails is to employ the foil method, which entails wrapping nail polish remover-soaked cotton wool around the nail, then wrapping foil around the whole fingertip and leaving it a few air-starved minutes to do its work. This removes the glitter in a fuss-free fashion but thanks to the acetone – the magic ingredient that does most of the removing but certainly doesn’t go about it quietly – your fingers will probably sting, tingle and remain highly sensitive for a while afterwards (and be prepared for a lot of wincing if you have any cuts!).
Sparkle-licious is an ostentatious glamorous glitterbomb that’s not for the faint-hearted or vanilla-loving amongst us. I also tried it as a top coat over The Show Must Go On and it didn’t seem too happy to share the spotlight – frankly, I found it a bit too busy and overpowering to work with just one colour as its backing singer (shown below, although I think it looks better in the picture than it did in real life!).
Whether you look at Sparkle-licious and think ‘Too Much!’ or ‘Not Enough!’ rather depends on your feelings about glitter as a whole; honestly, for me, it was just too much for wearing round the house doing nothing more exciting than the washing-up. This baby packs more bling than the brightest Bollywood musical and more glitter than the wardrobe department for a beauty pageant. Be prepared for the term Sparkle-licious to sound like an understatement!
Looks good with: parties, more bling, your inner diva
Drying time: 3-5mins
Coats required: 3-4
Chips: 2 days
OPI Sparkle-icious nail polish, Winter 2010 Burlesque Collection, $132, selected Mannings