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OPI Color Paints Swatches, Review & Nail Art

OPI Color Paints swatches and review via @alllacqueredup

OPI Color Paints review

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 Chromatic Orange swatch - Color Paints via @alllacqueredup

OPI Chromatic Orange

 via @alllacqueredup

OPI Chromatic Orange swatch

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 Indigo Motif swatch - Color Paints via @alllacqueredup

OPI Indigo Motif

OPI Indigo Motif swatch - Color Paints via @alllacqueredup

OPI Indigo Motif swatch

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 Landscape Artist swatch - Color Paints via @alllacqueredup

OPI Landscape Artist

OPI Landscape Artist swatch - Color Paints via @alllacqueredup

OPI Landscape Artist swatch

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 Magenta Muse swatch - Color Paints via @alllacqueredup

OPI Magenta Muse

OPI Magenta Muse swatch - Color Paints via @alllacqueredup

OPI Magenta Muse swatch

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 Pen & Pink swatch - Color Paints via @alllacqueredup

OPI Pen & Pink

OPI Pen & Pink swatch - Color Paints via @alllacqueredup

OPI Pen & Pink swatch

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 Primarily Yellow swatch - Color Paints via @alllacqueredup

OPI Primarily Yellow

OPI Primarily Yellow swatch - Color Paints via @alllacqueredup

OPI Primarily Yellow swatch

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 Purple Perspective swatch - Color Paints via @alllacqueredup

OPI Purple Perspective

OPI Purple Perspective swatch - Color Paints via @alllacqueredup

OPI Purple Perspective swatch

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 Turquoise Aesthetic swatch - Color Paints via @alllacqueredup

OPI Turquoise Aesthetic

OPI Turquoise Aesthetic swatch - Color Paints via @alllacqueredup

OPI Turquoise Aesthetic swatch

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.

OPI Color Paints Nail Art via @alllacqueredup

OPI Color Paints Nail Art

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.

OPI Color Paints - Glass Fleck layering via @alllacqueredup

OPI Color Paints – Glass Fleck layering with CND Sugar Sparkle

OPI Color Paints swatches via @alllacqueredup

OPI Color Paints swatches

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.

OPI Color Paints are available now at salons and mass retailers nationwide. You can find them online at and OPI Color Paints retail for $9.50/ea. For more info, visit

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
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There Are 40 Brilliant Comments

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  1. Lisa N. says:

    Nice swatches and review of it!

  2. Hooray for pond manis! Yours is beautiful. And I learned about DIY glass fleck which makes me happy!

  3. kelliegonzo says:

    I love how you sandwiched the glass fleck glitter in between these! Glass flecks 4 lyfe!

  4. sara says:

    Love the glitter jelly sandwich idea, really pretty! I think there could be tons of options with all the glitters I have :D

  5. Titeju says:

    Can you swatche a jelly like these over an OPI sand effect, just to see if it works ? Thank you so much. I always look your swatches before buying any nail polish they are so beautiful and usefull!! you are the best !

  6. Sarah says:

    Definitely purchasing these tomorrow… I seriously can’t wait to play. Jellies are my favorite!

  7. Heather says:

    I love these polishes, and that nail art is so pretty!

  8. I wish the jellies were just a tad less sheer because I adore the colors. But I love your solution with the white polka dot sandwich. Genius

  9. AlisonWonderland says:

    I don’t see these at yet. Are they really out already? I want them all!

  10. I was so curious about these and happy to see your through review! I LOVE the layered polka dot mani you did as well as the glass fleck sandwich, but I don’t like them on their own.

    • They’re definitely better layered. I don’t like my naked nails, so I’m not really into highlighting how detached my tips are by wearing sheers.

  11. MarciaF says:

    I love that you put them over the silver. What a beautiful difference that makes.

  12. OOoh, I love the pond mani and the jelly-fleck sandwiches you made. Bummer that the purple is such a problem child – it’s the only one whose color is so gorgeous I am tempted to wear it alone. I do love how they all look over the silver, though. Who knew?

  13. Jelly finishes are so fun to play with so these are super exciting. So many fun things to do! I like how they look over the chrome and I think that gives a different look rather than throwing it over a coat of white. Very cool

  14. Honeygirlk says:

    The colors on these polishes really have a statement. I love the packaging too – so pretty.

  15. Randy says:

    I’m kinda curious… How do these relate to the OPI sheer tints? Do they have a similar finish?

    • Hi Randy! These are formulated differently, since the Sheer Tints were top coats, not regular polish. The Color Paints are thinner and don’t get stringy, like the Sheer Tints. Also, these are much more pigmented.

  16. Aprill says:

    I like indigo and the turquoise shades the most. They are really pretty over the silver polish. Too bad I dont do nail art enough or I would really try to play with these. Thanks for the swatches!

  17. Delilah says:

    The problem with this review is the OPI Color Paints collection was not applied correctly. The ‘lone traditional’ Silver Canvas is the base coat for the collection, not at all meant to be used on its own. Use this collection correctly, you get the vibrant colours popping. Not the translucent gummie look. Which you can get from cheap other brands.

    • With all due respect, I did not apply the polishes incorrectly. Silver Canvas is one option for how to use them, but not the only way. If you put any translucent polish over silver, they will pop. That is not exclusive to this collection.

  18. Paris says:

    I really appreciate your post! All of the colors are so pretty!

    I bought every color in this collection, and they all came with a tag that read they were supposed to be layered over the silver and not be applied alone. I like how you showed that you shouldn’t skip the silver (or could choose some other bright base) to get the true colors. I also like how you showed you can use the colors in other ways through layering. Thanks!

  19. Melissa says:

    I saw these in store last week and decided to look up some reviews and landed upon your blog. I already have “Your Royal Shine-ness” from the OPI Sarena Williams Collection. Would you say that this would work rather than purchasing another bottle of silver polish? It’s quite metallic as well.

  20. Anastasya says:

    Thank you for review and swatches!)