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OPI Holiday Wishes Collection Swatches & Review

By on November 3, 2009
in Blue, Brown, Holiday 2009, OPI, Orange, Purple with 47 Comments
Is it just me or does OPI reserve their most interesting nail polish shades for the holiday season? 2003′s Holiday On Broadway brought us the beloved La Boheme. 2006′s Kick Up Your Heels collection included a slew of home run hitters. I Get A Kick Out of Gold and Opening Night Champagne are still faves of both my mom and I and we RARELY agree. Not to mention the range of winners from Holiday In Toyland and Holiday in Hollywood. On that note, this year’s Holiday Wishes collection is doing its predecessors proud.

I was happy to see a nod to the “flakies” trend in this collection. Flakies, a nickname for irregularly shaped glitter particles, have been popular in the nail fanatic community for some time now. It’s nice to see mainstream brands, like OPI, acknowledging that. Check out Holiday Wishes after the jump!


It seems the OPIs I gravitate to most often come from holiday collections, with a few exceptions of course. Espresso Your Style is a usual pedicure shade and Hollywood Blonde is one of the few pale semi-sheer shades I’ll wear. Though OPI, I have one small complaint. Where did the glitter top coats go? Gold Lang Syne, Sugarplum Yum and Paris Couture For Sure are treasured favorites amongst OPI enthusiasts. I’d love to see a return.

Oh and since I’m complaining, can we talk about the formula? While I love the majority of these shades, dark colors are expected to be well pigmented. For me, these missed the mark. All except Ginger Bells required three coats over a ridge filler to be truly opaque. I get that glitters require a semi-sheer base but that doesn’t explain the cremes. Ever since the India collection, I’ve come to expect more from OPI . Regardless of the opacity some of these shades just bowled me over.

Sapphire In The Snow instantly drew me in. The vibrant, burple (bluish-purple) shade just beckoned me. On the nail it dries a bit darker, which is to be expected, and in low light it can look somewhat blackened but it’s still full on love.

Holiday Glow is another standout for me. The rich dark chocolate base with its sugar crystal-like, gold glitter feels chic and glam.

Ginger Bells is an unexpected winner. In the bottle it looked like dried pumpkin pie filling. The glass bottle does it no favors. Applied, it takes on a richer, more vivid tone like a piece of pumpkin hued earthenware.

Thank you OPI for continuing to give us unique purples a la Who Are You Wearing? Merry Midnight is a special flower indeed. Granted it’s semi-sheer but the red-grape jellyish base is the perfect medium for the blue/purple shimmer and red flakes of glitter.

All A-Bordeaux The Sled is a berry-based, browned, wine creme. It comes across as a warm chocolate. Much warmer than Holiday Glow above. It’s nothing we haven’t seen before and considering the opacity issues, this one is a “pass” for me.

I am at a loss when it comes Shim-merry Chic. Is it supposed to be a metallic, a brushed chrome or what? All I know is that next to my skin tone it’s a fail. The tan base color takes on a slightly greenish cast from the green micro-shimmer and whereas the red particles worked in Merry Midnight, it doesn’t in Shim-merry Chic.
The OPI Holiday Wishes collection is on sale now and includes 6 reds in a finish range from creme to glitter. You can find OPI at salons nationwide and online at some of my favorite e-tailers (see sidebar).

What do we think of the OPI holiday colors Fanatics? Are you on the “flakies” bandwagon? Who want to counter my Shim-merry Chic dislike with a tale of how fab it is? Let’s hear it!

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  1. Ava says:

    Kind of unrelated, but do you do cleanup after polishing or are you just reaaaaaaallllllly good at application? Your swatches are always flawless! What's the secret???

  2. All Lacquered Up says:

    Ava – Well thank you for the compliment. I've definitely gotten better at application over the years and doing it so often helps. Try resting the arm holding the brush on a table to steady it. Place the brush deliberately without too much wiggle and smoothly swipe it up the middle of the nail. Curve each side from the base of the first stroke to create a smooth rounded edge along the cuticle.

    I don't do much cleanup for pictures though I always keep an orange wood stick handy in case I get some on my skin. Or I use my thumbnail. Unfortunately there's no easy rule, just practice practice practice.

    I don't have the steadiest hand in the world. My penmanship is atrocious as a result and when I first got into polish it looked like a 3yr old painted my nails. So those of you who think you're horrid at application, believe me when I say it will get easier.

  3. gildedangel says:

    Merry Midnight will be my first flakie. My boyfriend just picked it up for me and I can't wait to try it out!

  4. Isabelle says:

    I'm not going to lie. I'm going to have to go buy that Sapphire colored one, it's gorgeous!

  5. alexa - cleveland's a plum says:

    oh. my. gosh.

    these shades are delicious!

    i'm in total agreement with you that this collection is doing its predecessors proud.

    i'm normally not a sparkles or "flakies" type but i'm willing to try some of these out.

  6. Karen says:

    oh my goddddddddd i need this entire collection NOW! i literally OH!'ed out loud at like every colorrrr!!!!!

  7. Anonymous says:

    Oh my lord. I need that Sapphire in the Snow…that is simply gorgeous. I have a feeling I'll be wearing that often this winter.

  8. Nicki says:

    I was thinking of just getting Sapphire/Snow and Ginger Bells, but now I HAVE to get Merry Midnight and All A'bordeaux the Sleigh as well. I can't believe how much I'm loving Sapphire!!

    Do you think Bordeaux is close/dupey to Suzi Says Dah? Or is it more burgundy than brown?

  9. Caitlin says:

    This is the first OPI collection in what seems like forever, that I've actually liked more than two or three of the colors. I'm loving all of the ones that you've swatched.

    Also, is Sapphire In The Snow true to color in your swatch? I've seen a few swatches of it already, and they all seem to be a navyish blue. But I like the burple looking Sapphire In The Snow much better!

  10. Fiona says:

    Sapphire in the Snow looks gorgeous but I'm confused with your swatches versus other nail polish bloggers. From Scrangie's blog (http://www.scrangie.com/2009/08/opi-holiday-wishes-collection.html) the swatched looked very blue but yours looks very purple. I guess this will be one polish that I need to see first hand to see if I want it.

    P.S. I prefer the colour outcome of your swatch much more.

  11. MissyPrissy says:

    Thank you so much for posting swatches. Every picture I have seen of Sapphire in the Snow has been way too blue but your pics are completely accurate :-) I purchased Sapphire in the Snow, Holiday Glow, Shim-merry Chic, Merry Midnight, and Dear Santa about a couple of weeks ago. I'm in love! I happened to have a positive experience with Shim-merry Chic, and it was the first polish I wore from this collection. I had to apply three coats for it to be opaque, but I think it looked great. I also got a lot of compliments.

  12. Tuli says:

    I just love Holiday Glow and Merry Midnight – they're so special ! OPI did such a great job with their latest collections :-)

  13. Ruthlessrocks says:

    Oddly enough Shimmerry Chic was the one I came home with. It looks great in the bottle but not so hot on. I'll be getting that glitter one though, Holiday whatevers.

  14. amy says:

    I actually really like all the colours you have swatch, especially Sapphire in the Snow.

  15. Polish Makes Perfect says:

    Wow, I cant wait to get back to the states to grab some of these, hopefully before they are all gone!!

    Ginger Bells seems like it might be similar to butter London's Minger, maybe Minger is a bit more true orange?? Guess I'll have to wait until I have have them both next to eachother!!

  16. Vanessa says:

    I'm in love with Sapphire In The Snow and Merry Midnight – gorgeous!

  17. sdpfeiffy says:

    Even though I already own a dozen deep purple shades, I'm sure I'll add Sapphire in the Snow to my transdesign order since I'm still looking for the perfect Vikings purple. And I'm willing to give Holiday Glow a shot, simply because your photo is gorgeous! Thanks for reviewing these :)

  18. Regalness says:

    I guess I am going to have to place another order. I need Ginger Bells and Holiday Glow. I ordered All A-Bordeaux the Sled! and Shim-mery Chic. Thanks for posting these swatches.

  19. avroys says:

    Holiday Glow: brown with silver – how unique! It looks like a brown that might work with my pale, cool-toned skin. As if I don't have enough purples I might need to add Merry Midnight AND Sapphire in the Snow to my purchases! Thanx for great swatches and reviews!!!

  20. Janelle says:

    My nail tech. told me that OPI made this collection to pair shades together. For example you would pair Sapphire in the Snow with Merry Midnight, and that is why the formulas are different. The glittery shades are more like top coats.

  21. Tiff says:

    Holiday Glow is frikkin awesome!
    I have already used sapphires in the snow and it is GORGEOUS!
    time to head to the beauty supply :)

    and your applications are fabulous..I have always thought so..I have the WORST time applying my own polish..

  22. Guy with painted toes says:

    Ginger Bells is fantastic

  23. C.L. Coons says:

    Holiday Glow will definitely be coming home with me!

  24. Stef says:

    I usually think that OPI colors tend to be a little "old." Like something my Mom would, and does, wear. But I'm kinda digging these colors. I won't buy them because I don't like the application, but at least OPI is putting out colors that I would actually wear!

  25. All Lacquered Up says:

    Gildedangel – Congrats! I hope you like it. And how sweet of your boyfriend to get it for you.

    Isabelle – It's definitely a must-have in my book.

    Alexa – Glad you like them. I haven't really worn a lot of "flakies" myself but they're growing on me.

    Karen – Ha, you know it's good when you're willing to react out loud.

    Anon – I have a feeling I will too

    Nicki – Suzi Says Da is definitely more brown than Bordeaux. Suzi's not as dark either.

    Caitlin – My swatch is accurate to my eye. The problem with purples is they photograph blue. If you don't color correct the image, it won't look right.

    Fiona – I looked at the link you posted and I read in Scrangie's review that she says her swatch isn't accurate. Like I said to Caitlin above, purples don't photograph well so you have edit your images.

  26. All Lacquered Up says:

    MissyPrissy – I'm glad Shim-merry Chic worked for you. It just goes to show how different a polish can look depending on the person's skin tone. What works for me won't work for everyone. I'm happy to hear that my Sapphire in the Snow swatch looks right to you. Thanks!

    Tuli – I agree. This one and the grays from last year are among my faves

    Ruthlessrocks – Yeah I had high hopes for Shim-merry Chic based on the bottle but it just didn't mesh with my skin.

    Amy – I'm glad you like them. Thanks!

    Polish Makes Perfect – Minger is definitely more of a true orange compared to Ginger Bells. Ginger has that fall-ish warmth. Like the crayola crayon "burnt sienna"

    Vanessa – I share your love. It's a great collection

    Sdpfeiffy – You're welcome. You can never have enough purples.

    Regalness – Of course, I'm happy they're helpful. Sorry you have to place another order though. Paying shipping sucks.

    Avroys – I'm sorry. I realized, thanks to your comment, that I made a mistake when I typed "silver" glitter. It's actually gold. I had a total brain fart moment when I typed that. I didn't mean to mislead you. Though the base color is definitely cool toned.

    Janelle – Do you happen to know where she heard that? None of the materials I have say anything about that. The colors seem too pigmented to be used in that way. In the past when OPI has released glitter top coats, they've named as such.

    CL Coons – Well I hope you love it as much as I do.

    Stef – See I've always felt that way about Essie. That the colors cater to an older more conservative crowd. I think that's why I tend to love China Glaze above all others. They fit my personal nail style.

  27. Anonymous says:

    I've been stalking my ulta waiting for these! No luck yet. I'm getting both of the flakies-merry midnight and shimmery chic. I might get holiday glow too. I totally agree with you regarding the holiday collex OPIs…they are always the best of the year. One of my very favorties came from last years Holiday in toyland….Don't Toy with me.

  28. Sarah says:

    Wow, they are beautiful!! Thank you so much for posting them. I agree that the holiday collections are usually great. I'm addicted to Don't Toy With Me and Glamour Game from last year, and I'm sure some of these will be obsessions as well.

    I don't mean to sound greedy or ungrateful for these swatches, but I would LOVE to see the reds too. Pretty please?

  29. Miss Fig says:

    That's great to know. For my pedi this weekend, I put 2 coats of Merry Midnight over Sapphires in the Snow. I like it fine, but I have to say, Sapphire was gorgeous on it's own. I may try that next. Not so wild about the flakies.

  30. Anonymous says:

    This collection does nothing for me, which makes me sad because I usually love the OPI holiday collections. Oh well, money saved!

  31. Grace says:

    I'm so glad I have these polish blogs to rely on. I saw ginger bells two days ago and was on the fence about it and then decided not to pick it up. Having seen a few swatches, I'm totally headed back for it. Sapphire in the snow is also gorgeous, and again, if it weren't for the swatches I would have assumed it was blue. I'm a cream polish person (I know, BORING, but as much as I love glitter in the bottle, I get it on my nails and I just can't do it.) I've been looking for a cream purple that's a bit lighter than Siberian Nights.

  32. mirta says:

    my sapphire in the snow doesn't look like this, its just very dark and more blue than purple :(

  33. Blueyez says:

    Sapphire in the Snow, Holiday Glow and Ginger Bells are pretty amazing. The other ones… meh, not so much.
    I'm not really feeling the flaky trend. I really wanted to like China Glaze Fortune Teller but I just couldn't come to terms with all that chunky glitter.
    But then I'm a matte junky and I know that gets mixed reviews too lol.
    I guess we all have our nail vices :P

  34. rosarita says:

    I bought Merry Midnight as soon as I saw it and am currently wearing it on my toes. I'm pretty much all for flakies, glitter, bring it! Your swatches look great, as usual. I'm thinking now I must have Holiday Glow.

  35. hgwrts4evr says:

    What do you think would be comparable to all a bordeaux the sled? Thanks!

  36. BunnyMasseuse says:

    When should we expect your Top Holiday Polish review for this year's Holiday season? I'm anxious to see some top pics PRIOR to December rolling through to far! Thanks! :)
    ——-(\(\———-
    ——-(-.-)———
    ——( (")(")——-

  37. Suzanne says:

    I'm in LOVE with Merry Midnight!

  38. Laura says:

    I have been looking for something like Ginger Bells FOREVER! That fall-hued orange in a creme finish? So much rarer than you'd think. Thank you thank you for posting it!

  39. Sylvette says:

    I'm pretty confused with your swatch of Holiday glow : it is gorgeous of course, but when I compare it to swatches of other bloggers, it seems much more brown with little glitter, while yours appears to me as a brown/gold version of OPI Baby it's "coal" outside, with bigger glitters…
    I wish I could see it on my own before ordering, but I can't (unfortunately from this point of view, I live in France, crap).
    Beside this, I really love your blog : love the love you put in it, and the wide range of nail polish I can discover through it. Thanks for that!

  40. virginiaisforluvrs says:

    I had dreams about Merry Midnight last night. I went to every Walgreens until I could find it. Of course, in reality, Walgreens doesn't carry OPI so this was a silly dream. But I can't wait to get it on my nails!

  41. Jen from Boston says:

    I have Sapphires in the Snow on right now, and I find it more purple than blue.
    Either way, it’s fabulous and definitely working it’s way into my top 10 of all time. I am in love!

  42. Chris says:

    I must say, your blog is an absolute godsend for a polish addict/product junkie/makeup artist like myself. The reviews are very helpful and have been instrumental in deciding which shades to blow my measly paycheck on. If I didn’t have this resource I would waste a lot of money. Keep up the great work!
    One request: can you do a review on RBL Moulin Rouge? I can’t seem to find any reviews on your blog or Polish Addict’s.

  43. Ashley says:

    I am in love with Ginger Bells! thanks for the swatch. I bought it and it is now my new favorite color. You are incredibly right about the bottle not doing it any favors. It looks almost like a rich toffee or butterscotch but kinda goes on the color of pumpkin pie. something different than a red.

  44. Ashley says:

    question: I picked up a bottle of holiday glow because I loved your swatch so much but it seems like it almost has a watery consistancy so it makes it very difficult to apply. I have never had this problem even with cheap nail polish so I was wondering if I just got a bad bottle or if the bottle you have did that.

  45. Jaimi says:

    i learned a trick of my own over year, i finally realized i just was not getting any better at application at all, so the secret is if you get polish on your skin don’t worry cuz when you get in the shower and your skin gets moist, scrape the nail polish off your skin, and vwala looks perfect!!!

  46. jackie says:

    any idea where i can find a bottle of Merry Midnight… used it at a nail salon recently and went back to buy it but the bottle was gone. i know its holiday 09 but i love it.

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