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ALU’s 365 of Untrieds – OPI Big Hair… Big Nails

opi-big-hair-big-nails-swatch-texas-sorbet-nail-polish-365-untrieds 365 of Untrieds is my personal challenge to weed through the polishes in the ALU stash that I’ve been wanting to try but just haven’t gotten around to.

I’ve received a few questions lately regarding “jelly” polishes. About what makes a polish a jelly and more specifically about the OPI “sorbet-like” finish nail polishes from the Texas collection and if/how they are different from a jelly. I found a great reference picture on Tumblr that helps explain jellies better.

Today a follower on Twitter asked for a spring nail polish recommendation and stated that she is a loyal OPI Bubble Bath user but is looking to branch out into brighter colors.  My suggestion was to try one of the sorbet-like polishes, like OPI Big Hair… Big Nails, since they are less in-your-face than a traditional bright. It makes for an easier transition from pale neutrals.

Formula & Application: OPI nail polishes are now 4-Free (including formaldehyde resin) and free of camphor, which can be an irritant. This is a new development as OPI’s pre-Texas were only 3-Free. I just wish OPI had changed the color of the print on the labels so buyers can identify 4-Free polishes like they did when they made the switch to 3-Free.

The OPI Pro Wide Brush is flat, wide and medium in length. It’s of average stiffness and easily spreads out on the nail when pressed. The only downside to the Pro Wide brush is that it can be too wide for slim fingers or little toes.

OPI’s “sorbet-like” finish is for all intents and purposes a jelly. It’s just their name for it, the same way they call their crackle polish “shatter.” Of course they claim this type of finish is “new” but we know better. Anyway, for those unfamiliar with the jelly concept, think of them as lip gloss for the nails.  They are semi-sheer polishes with a squishy texture that dries super glossy. They have a lucite appearance or as I like to think of it, it’s as though you coated your nails in Jello.  The color is rich and vibrant but translucent.

OPI Big Hair… Big Nails was described by OPI as a rosy peach but I think of it as a coral.  It’s red with a lot of pink undertones.  I applied two coats and as you can see, the coverage is pretty good and not at all streaky.  Because I intended to apply a third coat, iI didn’t use top coat which is why the polish isn’t as glossy as it should be.

What this photo also reveals is why I don’t wear sheer polish. Even though my nails are short, they are so detached that my free edge is SUPER thick and fake looking. What I wouldn’t give for long nail beds!


With a third coat we are getting close to opaque. The color is also much more intense. The camera picks up on my smile line more than the naked eye so even though it looks somewhat transparent here, the VNL (visible nail line) is minimal.


For those of you who love the texture and finish of jelly/sorbet polishes but hate the dreaded VNL, lay down a coat or two of white nail polish as a base. I used CND Brilliant White and two coats of Big Hair… Big Nails. Now while the color looked pretty even with just two coats, my photo clearly shows some patchiness. I threw on a third coat later and it’s utter perfection. It can be tricky to layer over white so I suggest polishing just inside the lines with your base color to avoid any white peeking out from underneath.


Bottom Line: If you love jelly polishes, you’ll dig the “sorbet-like” colors from the Texas line. Jellies can be fun for layering or for a sheer wash of color if you’re a bit too timid for full-on bright cremes. Personally I would have loved to see a wider range of colors in the Texas sorbets. A bright green jelly along the lines of Lippmann’s Rehab would have been fabulous. I would trade Don’t Mess With OPI for a “sorbet-like” version.

365 of Untrieds Stash/Share Verdict: Since I really like how it looks over white and I can be a sucker for corals in the spring/summer, I’m going to hold on to this one. STASH!

OPI Big Hair… Big Nails is available now as part of the OPI Texas Collection which can be found at salons and spas nationwide including chains like Beauty Brands, Beauty First, Chatters, Dillard’s, JCPenney, Pure Beauty, Regis, Trade Secret, and ULTA. Online shoppers can purchase OPI at OPI nail polishes retail for $8.50/ea for a .5oz bottle.

Are  you a jelly polish fan? What do you think of OPI’s version of jelly? Thoughts on Big Hair… Big Nails? Do you prefer to wear jellies on their own or layered?  If alone, do you layer them til they are opaque or let  your nail show through?

Disclosure: A product sample was provided by OPI. For more info view my Disclosure Policy.

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There Are 34 Brilliant Comments

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  1. AkashaGermaine says:

    I love the “sorbets” from this line. But on a side note, I noticed that Skull & Glossbones from the POTC collection still has formaldehyde resin while the others don’t. Do you know what the reason for that is?

  2. I didn’t expect to like these “sorbets” but I surprisingly really love them. I just wish the Texas collection invoked more “Texas-ness”.

  3. Jennicure says:

    I LOVE LOVE LOVE the “sorbets” in the Texas Collection! I am not the most experienced manicurist–I have been doing my nails occasionally for decades, but until my recent discovery of the quick-dry powers of Seche Vite, I never had the patience to do my nails much. I now change my polish a couple times a week. That is, except when I have used OPI’s “sorbets”. Their lasting power is amazing! I can keep the color for a week if I slip on another layer of Seche a couple days in! Anyway, as I am a bit of a newb, what are some other good brands/colors of jellies? Thanks!

    Jenn :)

  4. Kelsey says:

    Ooh! I’ve been waiting for you to post the second half of the OPI Texas collection. Does this mean that we’ll see swatches of the rest of the jellies soon? :)

    My nails are just like yours, with very short nail beds and detached whites. I don’t like wearing sheer or jelly polishes either, although I am a sucker for coral shades on my toes.

    Having now seen your swatch, though, I think that I’ll pass on this one.

  5. Katie says:

    I love guessing everyday if you are going to stash or share! LOL

  6. Amarysso says:

    I actually never thought of putting the white under see through colors! What a great idea. I loved that color Big Hair.. Big Nails but didn’t like the “sorbets” too much. Thanks for the great idea.

    I do wonder how on earth do you find out what the formula contains?

    • All Lacquered Up says:

      I read the ingredient lists on the bottles or search for them on the manufacturer’s website.

  7. I love this color on you and on me – lol! It’s definitely a keeper. BTW, from your pics, your thumb is the most opaque of the bunch. Is this the one you based with white? I’m definitely gonna try this tip. I always forget about this when dealing with jellies. :)

  8. Mary says:

    This is a nice colour, but I’m not usually into reds – way more into greens and purples.

    When I’m feelin’ red, I go for glitter like China Glaze Ruby Pumps, a vampy red like China Glaze Branding Iron, or a creme red like OPI Vodka & Caviar.

    Love jelly finishes, though! And this color looks good on you.

  9. Sarah says:

    I love the sorbets from this collection too. They are really fun to wear.

  10. love4lacquer says:

    absolutely stunning with the white underneath!!!

    cannot wait to try this on mine!

  11. Cathy says:

    Probably you already knew this, but ONLY the Texas Collection is 4-Free, other collections released after that are still 3-free : ) I LOVE layering them Sorbets over white, whith some of them, it makes them take on a neon effect! My favorite is “Too Hot Pink To Hold ‘Em”… it is AMAZING over white and really POPS! Also, I love doing the “Candy Mani” with these Sorbets. You do two coats of a heavy glitter (think Burlesques) and then one coat of a Sorbet… it’s AMAZING!

    • All Lacquered Up says:

      Hi Cathy. I checked the labels on the Serena Williams polishes and they are 4-Free. I can’t think of a reason why OPI would go through the process of changing their formula for one collection only.

  12. MelissaKC1a says:

    Finally, someone publicly admits/addresses the large free nail, long nailbed challenged!! WE SHALL OVERCOME!!

    I just hate that most of your untrieds are already discounted and hard to find. Shame on you for stashing so long!! :)

    Long time voyeur, first time poster!

    Love your blogs, tips and quips!!

    • All Lacquered Up says:

      Hi Melissa! Thanks for coming out from lurkerville to comment. I’m sure my years of nail biting are to blame for my detached nails. That’s what I get for having such a nasty habit.

      Though most of my untrieds aren’t hard-to-find. With a few exceptions I’m able to link you to a place online to purchase. I know it’s frustrating when something isn’t available but unfortunately as part of my challenge that will be the case with some of my posts.

  13. Sheila says:

    I have “Do You Think I’m Tex-y” and I like it, but for me it takes FOREVER to dry. I don’t use Seche Vite because it peels off in sheets for me the next day and I kept hearing about how fast dry these were, but that has not been my experience at all. What is your take?

  14. meme says:

    Ok. I bought 2 of the sorbets and only have swatched them thus far. I need after reading this to try. I have the 2 pink/coral ones thinking I would mix the two (one coat of each). Glad to know the trick of the white as that will work better for mine to use on toes. The jelly/sorbet look is just not my thing for toes.

  15. Gwen says:

    I think it is an amazing colour! Great for summer :)

  16. sb_sweetie says:

    I wore “Big Hair…Big Nails” and got tons of compliments on it. I think I have similar nails to you. I like to wear sheerer brights when my nails are short (to minimize VNL). The sorbets are soooo glossy and vivid & easy to apply. Love them!

  17. Cat says:

    I have Houston We Have a Purple, which applied really nicely, but unfortunately was not as purple as I wish it was (ie, what it looks like in the bottle). So far I have sucked majorly at applying sheer/jelly-ish polishes over white, but I might try again with these “sorbets”. I really like Big Hair, Big Nails and Too Hot Pink to Hold ‘Em so I might have to pick those up to experiment with.

    • meme says:

      I went in to purchase Houston WE Have a Purple – love the name and I love purples too. But I had the same feeling as you when I tried that shade on my scotch tape. It just was not purple enough – looked more redish than what the bottle looks like. I need to find somewhere there is an on line swatch of it. I just did not want to spend $ on it cold turkey that way with that impression. So I went with the 2 pink/red shades and just in playing they look good one over the other total of 2 coats of sorbet only. Maybe someone will come out with a good jelly/sorbet in purple that ‘we’ like!

  18. Andrea says:

    I don’t understand what you mean by large free nail? Does this mean that your nail looks like it kind of pops off your fingers, like fake nails look?

    I don’t think that yours do, but I think I *might* know what you mean by this because I used to be a huuuge nail biter for years and years and a lot of people ask me now if my nails are fake because they are almost slightly above the nail beds. Does that make any sense?

    • All Lacquered Up says:

      I call it have detached nails but basically my nails aren’t attached to the skin close to the tip of my finger. So even though my nails are filed short, they have pretty thick whites. I attribute it to my nail biting but it could also just be genetics. My nails are pretty flat instead of having a nice curve to them.

      • meme says:

        Is that the sort of curved up look at the end of your nail I see in some photos? Being in medicine, I would hazard a guess that is genetic vs. environmental (which would include nail biting). You might have some product or medications that can cause things like this sometimes. We see it with nail ridges often being medication induced. Usually if you stop something like picking your nails into pealing or nail biting, you nails will grow out to a more normal type nail. I always think us with shorter nails look best if we keep them filed rounded like yours are vs. trying to leave them squared off. Just MHO!

  19. julie says:

    Love, love, love the jelly/sorbet formula. I too would too see more colors! Thanks for swatching!

    • meme says:

      Me too, me too! I would love to see the other shades swatched in the TX collection.

  20. Mary says:

    Wow, I think you have the most beautifully shaped nails ever! I didn’t even realize your nails were “short” because the tips make them look long. Mine break easily but I’d be ok with short nails if they looked like yours! This color is awesome!

  21. meme says:

    I forgot, that I had won an eBay auction on Houston We have a Purple – it came today in the mail along with a few others that were both on my want list and a few impulse purchases. I just swatched HWHAP on paper and scotch tape. But the sorbets really defy that as a method for me to eval them well. So I am pulling off what’s on my toes now after having done 2 fingernail in HWHAP with 2 (ready now for 3rd coat)and liking it I think better than I thought. I am starting to think OPI has a good formula on their sorbets over a # of the jellies I have tried. Have to admit, due to the lack of opacity in jellies I was not a fan. That impression is starting to change now I think with the OPI formula. But wonder if it will last or be a passing phase for OPI. Guess it depends on sales. Curious if the rest of you think this is a passing phase with regard to sorbets/jellies?

  22. emma says:

    I have a very long nailbed and I’m not happy with it at all! I wish I had your nailbed. When I cut my nails right down to the nailbed, they are still longer than my finger. And here comes the downside: I’m a med student and you have to use your middle finger and hand to “percuss” (abdomen, lungs, etc). This is done with the tip of your middle finger tapping onto the tip of your other middle finger (right below the cuticle). So if the nail isn’t short, it’ll hurt. And it ALWAYS hurts me, no matter how short my nails are! Very annoying!

  23. Isy says:

    Love the sorbets in this line. My first was Guy Meets Galveston. I love it, but was looking for more of a pink under that orange/coral. Layered over Too Hot Pink to Holdem (?) makes for a perfect coral AND you have two great colours on their own! Thanks for introducing this line– would’ve never gone to look otherwise!

  24. steph says:

    hey fyi transdesign doesn’t have opi anymore! booo! i just got one of these jellies and tried it today and i’m in love. so i decided to look up what other colors you might have swatched, etc blah blah blah long story. no opi on trans design.