2 March 2010

OPI Barefoot in Barcelona

So, my very first attempt at a swatch!  Did I do good?  I am unsure.  It's the best I could manage with a phone camera and a dim light!  I love OPI polishes.  They always, to my mind, have the best range of colours, the nicest brush and packaging, and a good, non-runny, formula that isn't too tricky to apply.  I have totally uncooperative nails when it comes to polishing and the like - they're quite wide (it takes three brush strokes to cover them) and when you look at them side on, they're pretty curved.  Even when they're at they're shortest, as they are in the picture above, the tip still protrudes (just) beyond my finger, and I think this is why I have problems keeping my nails chip-free for longer than about 10 minutes.  Over time, I have honed my application routine and technique, and would say I'm pretty good at it now - I file regularly, use cuticle oil and hand cream, do the base coat, two coat, top coat thing, and still, they're chipped within a day of finishing, usually less.

I have decided that it's my nails or me, not the varnish.  It would be unfair to post a review of every varnish that chips on me because that's all of them, and I know that other people don't have this trouble, so I shall take that out of the equation.

The polish in the photo is a recent-ish offering from OPI called Barefoot in Barcelona, from their Coleccion de Espana (which also features the TO DIE FOR Here Today Aragon Tomorrow which I am desperate for).  Barefoot in Barcelona is the perfect nude (for me).  I find that all OPI varnishes are pretty much the colour on the nail as they are in the bottle, which is great if you're purchasing online.  I got mine from hqhair.com where OPI varnishes go for £9.95 each.  I know some people will raise their expertly plucked brows at this price, but honestly, it's worth paying for.  For a start, a little goes a long way in terms of coverage (the above is only one coat) to achieve opacity.  Also, I am yet to come across a cheap (I would say sub-£5) that gives coverage, colour and finish as well as any other slightly more expensive range.  If you wear polish everyday, as I do, I don't think £9.95 is too much of an investment, especially for the more wearable day shades.  Fine, I probably wouldn't spend that on a jade or yellow shade if I was doing a nail for a particular occasion, but I've worn this shade everyday for the last 3 months, save a couple of flirtations with red, so cost per paint is super cheap!

My skin tone is fair/medium, so this shade works well as a nude, but a noticeable nude, if that makes sense.  It gives my hands a finished, professional appearance, and doesn't clash with any outfits at all given that it is totally neutral.  In terms of the chipping issue, to give it its due, it's only chipped on a couple of nails and that's because I type all day pretty much, so I wouldn't really expect any varnish to withstand constant tippety-tapping on a keyboard.  Even so, the chipping isn't that noticeable, another bonus of the nude shade.

I highly recommend this for anyone who wants a nude polish without succombing to a girly, sugary pink or something you can hardly see.  This is a beautiful, sophisticated alternative that I'm sure would suit anyone, short or long nails.

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