Tag Archives: Suede collection

OPI Suede You Don’t Know Jacques nail polish review

The only problem with OPI’s Suede Collection? Once you wear one, you’ll never want to take it off. And such was the case with You Don’t Know Jacques.

A soft velvety take on mink with that trademark matte micro-glitter finish, You Don’t Know Jacques in Suede is yet another winner from the collection. C’mon OPI – this 100% hit rate is getting boring! It’s a tawny taupe transformed into a muted muddied copper thanks to that dense shimmer effect, and it’s the perfect matte take on the whole greige trend. I absolutely adore it.

This is the third Suede I’ve reviewed now (following the stunning Lincoln Park After Dark and Ink) and all the pros and cons are still exactly the same. Super speedy drying, excellent coverage from just one coat, a fat brush that is impossible to use on my pinkie and more chips than you’ll find in the deep-fat fryer at McDonalds. Seriously, it’s ridiculous. 12 hours spent lying flat in bed and you’ll probably still have some chips to show for your efforts.

Of all the drawbacks to have, chipping quicker than an Olympics 100m race is a pretty big one, but somehow OPI Suedes still have me coming back for more. You Don’t Know Jacques is no different – it’s a really subtle soft but sophisticated shade, highly versatile and a contender for a different take on work-wear nails. It looks really dreamy matched with pastel pinks, greys and creams yet also looks ultra-haute against black. I’m going goo-goo eyed even thinking about it.

There’s just something about that suede finish that is, as my good friend Alex Perry would say (with strong Aussie accent for best effect), ‘expensive’. You Don’t Know Jacques might just be the most expensive of the lot.

Looks great with: soft pastels and neutrals, workwear, luxury
Drying time: <1 min
Coats required: 1
Chips: <24 hours

OPI You Don’t Know Jacques nail polish, Fall 2009 Suede Collection, $70, Cher2

OPI Suede Ink nail polish review

So here’s the rub of falling in love with a nail polish (OPI’s Lincoln Park After Dark Suede for those who’ve forgotten) – you feel compelled to buy the whole damn collection!

As soon as I’d fallen for the rich velvety finish and gorgeous glitter effect of Lincoln Park After Dark Suede, I found myself in Cher2 snapping up the rest of the set quicker than the varnish dries in the first place!

If Lincoln Park After Dark was the awesome amethyst in Suede’s crown, than Ink is the sparkling sapphire. If as a child you wondered exactly what indigo was and why this strange colour that was neither blue nor purple somehow deserved a place in the rainbow over pink, Ink is your answer. The exact in-between of those two colours (in a way that doesn’t quite come across in photos, where it looks much more blue), it’s practically the living definition of the shade.

A cloudy steel blue mixed with a deep royal purple, it’s another sophisticated yet stunning addition to the Suede collection. The muted metallic matte effect combined with the shot of shimmer makes it glitter with a grown-up glamour. Although I didn’t fall as instantly in love with it as I did with Lincoln Park, the interesting indigo shade subtly sucked me in over a few days of wear.

The same pros (quick-drying, great consistency, easy application) and the same cons (chips quicker than a Primark teacup) are still evident and, in common with many blues and indeed many glitters, it took a bit more elbow grease to remove.

As a more unusual colour, Ink may be a little difficult to match with other colours but you get your just rewards when it hits direct light. This mysterious murky indigo suddenly transforms into a sparkling night sky studded with silver stars and the results are dazzling. Twinkle, twinkle, indeed!

Looks great with: muted shades, tweed, glamour
Drying time: <1 mins
Coats required: 1
Chips: 1 day

OPI Suede Ink, Fall 2009 Suede Collection, $70, Cher2

Zoya Brizia nail polish review

‘It’s a full-on Monet… From far away, it’s OK, but up close, it’s a big old mess.’

The above quote is from Clueless, a film I have dedicated unhealthy amounts of my time to learning the script for. I have been dying to use this particular zinger in real-life for similarly unhealthy amounts of time and finally I get the chance to… on Zoya’s Brizia nail polish.

Why? Well if you can bear clicking the photos for enlargements of my battered hands, you’ll see that what, from far away, looks like a nicely neutral nail-elongating shade is actually, up close, a streaky ‘big old mess’.

Despite this, Brizia is a lovely nuanced colour that queens of neutral, Essie, would no doubt die to get their (perfectly-manicured) mitts on. It’s a soft cloudy coffee created way before the current vogue for putty and greige hues arrived. But there are also hints of pearly pink, cool lavender and subtle silver shimmer. Tilt it into the shadows and it’s muted taupe, under natural light it’s a silky mauve, let it hit the sun and it’s a lustrous seashell pink; it would also look great as an irridescent topcoat over other colours. [Pictured, top to bottom: pearly pink in bright sunlight, soft lavender in natural light, cloudy taupe in low lighting.] It’s a lush multi-tasking neutral that’s highly wearable and unobtrusively pretty. Yet it’s not for me.

Firstly, I think it’s just too close to my own skintone. Admittedly, I’d give the Cullens a run for their money in the pale skin stakes, but from some angles, this just seemed to blend in with my fingers. Not a good look.

Secondly, it’s the first and so far, only Zoya lacquer where I wasn’t impressed with the formula. Although application with Zoya’s ‘just right’ brush was a breeze as usual, it went on very sheer, requiring at least three coats to get some semblance of opacity. It was also very streaky, a problem I never managed to fix entirely, and I had particular problems getting an even colour at the tips of the nails, where it pooled oddly, leading to even more streaks. Hence why I’m branding Brizia a full-on Monet!

It could have just been a dodgy bottle, it could just be that I’m not as willing to look past Brizia’s Monet properties because I wasn’t sold on the colour, it could even be that I was too desperate to get to use that line from Clueless – either way, Brizia isn’t one of my must-have shades. But what I am certain of is that, with its subtle kaleidoscope of different looks, it will definitely be on plenty of other people’s hit lists. Indeed, I am reliably informed that it’s one of Cher2’s biggest sellers.

So if you’re after a versatile nude with more bang for your buck, or if you’re another Clueless fanatic dying to give the Monet line an airing, Brizia might just be the nail polish for you. Like… whatever! I’m outie!

Looks good with: office-wear, ladylike cool, the Impressionist movement
Drying time: 3 mins
Coats required: 3-4
Chips: +7 days

Zoya Brizia nail polish, Suede Collection, $80, Cher2

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