OPI dipped their toe in the water of sheer, buildable color when they released the Sheer Tints Top Coats last year. While those were a good idea for layering, nail art, etc., the top coat formulation had its limitations, namely bubbling. Fast forward a year and we have the OPI Color Paints, a collection of eight intensely pigmented jelly polishes, and one silver chrome base color, that have a wide range of uses.
Formula & Application
OPI nail polish is 3-Free (Formaldehyde, Toluene, DBP) though it’s been brought to my attention that some colors contain Formaldehyde Resin, but not all. Since my sample bottles don’t come with retail labels, I have no idea of which shades may contain the allergen. It’s best to check the label in store before purchasing.
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.
All of the Color Paints have a thin, squishy texture, similar to most jelly polishes. They all have excellent pigmentation, though the four darkest shades (blue, green, purple & turquoise) can go on a bit streaky, while the other four are perfection. The color builds intensity as you layer it, though not necessarily coverage. I noticed that two coats are ideal with the Color Paints. When I tried three coats, I experienced some bubbling. This could be avoided by allowing more dry time between layers.
OPI Silver Canvas is the lone traditional polish in this collection. It is a frosty, silver chrome. It’s a bit patchy and thin, needing two coats, and suffers from brush stroke madness.
OPI Color Paints Swatches
Note: All nail swatches are with two coats. The swatches below are with one coat to show how the Silver Canvas base intensifies the color. I did not provide comparisons because I don’t own sheer jellies in all the colors represented.
OPI Chromatic Orange is a true color wheel orange. It’s beautifully pigmented, as my nail line is barely visible under two coats.
OPI Indigo Motif is a royal blue creme. As I mentioned above, it is one of the most pigmented Color Paints colors. It is a bit patchy and streaky so use caution when applying or build it up to opaque. This one really electrifies over silver.
OPI Landscape Artist is a yellow leaning, grass green. It’s too streaky to wear on its own, but layers well, as evidenced below. Am I the only one who thinks it looks a bit China Glaze Moonpool-esque over Silver Canvas? Sorry, Moooooooonpoooool.
OPI Magenta Muse looks like a cherry red in the bottle but on the nail, the pink comes shining through. It surprised me, actually, and ended up being on of my favorites. It’s like a perfect lip gloss for nails.
OPI Pen & Pink is a medium rosy pink creme. On the nail, it’s a little more mellow than the bottle color, but over Silver Canvas, it really pops! And it looks a lot cooler toned, more fuchsia.
OPI Primarily Yellow is a sunny, lemon creme. As much as I hate my naked nails, and avoid sheers because of that, I really like how this yellow looks on me, and that says a lot. Considering what a pain yellows are known to be, I was happy to find that this one has a flawless formula.
OPI Purple Perspective is a black cherry creme. This one is my problem child. It has the most bothersome formula and the most patchiness. Also, when I tried to use a third coat to even it out, bubble city. It may look decent below over Silver Canvas, but in person you can see the unevenness of the formula.
OPI Turquoise Aesthetic is a sea green creme. It looks more blue with one coat or over a cool-toned base, like Silver Canvas, but built up it is more green.
OPI Color Paints Nail Art and Uses
The options for using OPI Color Paints are limited solely by your imagination, but if you’re looking for inspiration, check out OPI’s Try It On YouTube video.
I was excited to use them for layered nail art and a glitter sandwich, so I combined them into one pinktastic manicure. I used OPI Pen & Pink to sandwich OPI In True Stefani Fashion on my ring finger, two coats of each.
On my other fingers, I put down a base of Pen & Pink and added a layer of white polka dots. I waited 15 minutes for the dots to dry and then added another layer of Pen & Pink, being careful not to let the brush drag the dots. I added a final layer of dots and topped it with one last coat of color. Because I used three coats of Pen & Pink I noticed a few tiny bubbles through my macro lens, but nothing that is noticeable to the naked eye. I love how it turned out. Gives such depth to the design.
It’s no secret that I love a glass-fleck finish. I can never have enough. A fun use of jelly polishes is to make your own glass-fleck. I layered CND Sugar Sparkle between layers of OPI Magenta Muse and Turquoise Aesthetic to make my own version of China Glaze Watermelon Rind and Wicked Stepsisters. I’m looking forward to mixing the colors in layering to see what new shades I can create as well.
Note: Purple Perspective and Indigo Motif are so pigmented that the effect is not as sparkly as seen below.
Looking at this now, it’s a bit Christmas-y, but on their own these colors will be fabulous for summer. ps If you can’t find a top coat with large crystal flecks, Essie Pure Pearlfection is a great alternative.
Bottom Line: If you like to get creative with your nail polish layering, nail art or enjoy a glitter jelly sandwich, you’ll want to get involved with OPI Color Paints. For the most part, they’re well made and vibrant with the yellow, red, pink and orange being my favorites. Purple Perspective is the only one that really disappointed me, along with Silver Canvas, which is really unnecessary because you can use any base under these, including white, to make them pop. Though the metallic does look good, I’m sure most people already have silver or gold at home.
Are you excited about these new jellies from OPI? Which ones do you plan to try? How will you use them? I’d love to hear your nail art/layering ideas.Disclosure: Product samples were provided by reps for OPI. Affiliate links appear in this post. When you purchase through an affiliate link, you help support this site. For more info view my Disclosure Policy.