OPI Color Paints Swatches and Review

Nail art has been on the rise. It’s more popular than ever these days! There’s nothing like the feeling of putting the extra work into one’s mani and gazing down at your beautiful creation. Whether it be adding a simple little touch to drawing an intricate design or character. I’m one of those simple touch kinda gals, have you seen my nail art posts? They speak for themselves. So, for the nail art-challenged, here’s a solution for you.

The OPI Color Paints are blendable nail lacquers. This means they can blend and layer into different designs and looks, so you can easily create your own art on your nails. They are designed so no matter what your skill level is, you will have no problems coming up with unique creations. This collection has 9 polishes in total. There are 8 semi-translucent lacquers that are buildable and cover the ROYGBIV spectrum (plus pink). The last is a silver that acts as a canvas for your works of art.

I purchased the mini set and will be showing how these lacquers work on their own, as well as over the silver base. Next week, I will be using these to try my hand at making my own designs.

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The full size bottles have a unique Color Paints design. Replacing the typical black cap is a white cap with a watercolor ink blot design of the color of the lacquer. I love the bottle design and I’ll probably be picking up the full size of some of the colors I liked in this set and the three missing from this mini set.

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The Silver Canvas Undercoat is a silver chrome. This dries really fast and you only need a thin layer. It shows every brush stoke, which is to be expected. That’s a downside to chromes.  It’s still pretty good and of course, you can wear it alone if you want to.

Is this different from any other silver? No, not really. If you want to purchase any of the Color Paints, you don’t need to get this specific one. I tried these lacquers over my favorite silver, China Glaze I’d Melt for You (Twinkle Collection, Winter 2014) and it gave me the same results.

Silver Canvas Undercoat- 1 coat, no top coat

Primarily Yellow is a pigmented jelly primary yellow. You remember in art class when you learned about the primary colors right? Yep, this is exactly that primary yellow color. When you hear jelly, you think watery and super sheer like the OPI Sheer Tints from last year, these are thicker and smooth over the nail without difficulty and are filled with pigment. What better way to explain it than with pictures though right?

Primarily Yellow- Index & Middle: 1 coat over white, R&P: 2 coats alone

Over a silver base, this yellow transforms into a metallic lemon lime twist. Word of advice: try not to work with the polish too much, it’ll pull the base underneath.

Primarily Yellow- 1 coat over Silver Canvas

This red toned hot orange jelly is Chromatic Orange. This has excellent coverage on its own but if you want to crank up the vibrancy, a white base dramatically changes the look.

Chromatic Orange- I&M: 2 coats over white, R&P: 2 coats alone

Over the silver base, this makes me think of a Fanta or Sunkist soda can. I like the way this look but I will be more likely to use this over white for that neon pop.

Chromatic Orange- 2 coats over Silver Canvas

Pen & Pink is a hot pink jelly that should be on your radar if you’re a lover of pinks. Even for me, I thought it was great. It had the same great formula as the other two and is even almost entirely opaque in two coats, and dries nice and squishy.


Here is one coat of Pen & Pink over Silver Canvas. The first coat applied a little streaky so I ended up using two coats. The silver base is less as strong, giving it a less metallic look because of the two coats of polish.

Pen & Pink- 2 coats over Silver Canvas

From the swatch, I thought this looked very similar to The Berry Thought of You from the new OPI Brights Collection (Summer 2015). Next to Pen & Pink, the berry tones of The Berry Thought of You come out more. There is a huge difference between the two. One is warmer and more neon, the other is cooler and less as bright.

I&R: Pen & Pink, M&P: The Berry Thought of You

Purple Perspective was a bit of a pain to apply. This eggplant jelly applies extremely patchy. If you want to get it even on its own, you’ll probably need 3-4 coats. At that point, this will look almost black unless in direct sunlight.The white base didn’t make a difference with this one. I would say that Purple Perspective is best used for nail art rather than on its own.

Purple Perspective- 2 coats alone

Purple Perspective didn’t look great over Silver Canvas. Below is a swatch with just one coat. When I tried two, the base was completely covered up and there was no trace of the metallic undercoat. I had high expectations for this since I’ve been looking for the perfect metallic purple. This one’s too pink and patchy so I guess I’m gonna have to keep looking…

Purple Perspective- 1 coat over Silver Canvas

I’m really torn about this next one. Turquoise Aesthetic is an amazing turquoise teal shade. On its own, it is patchy and uneven. A white base doesn’t make it any better either. For some reason, I don’t mind the patchiness. I guess the color is so amazing that it really doesn’t bother me. It only gets better over the silver. Look at that mermaid teal work its magic.

Turquoise Aesthetic- 2 coats

Turquoise Aesthetic- 2 coats over Silver Canvas

Why then am I torn over this? It’s a stainer. My fingers were intensely stained blue. So if you’re gonna use this one triple up the base coat! It went through my two coats like nothing and stained my skin too. I had Smurf fingers that whole day!

Alternative Method?

As I was trying these out, I had a question… Would this work just as well with a different jelly polish and another silver chrome?

I used Wild Cherry from Julie G’s new Candy Shoppe Colors Collection over my favorite silver chrome, China Glaze I’d Melt for You (Twinkle Collection winter 2014). It worked just as well. I picked Wild Cherry because it has a great smooth jelly formula. Plus, the jelly bean finish from Wild Cherry gave the look a brushed metallic type of feel. I really like it!

Julie G Wild Cherry over China Glaze I’d Melt for You

So basically, to get the same type of look as the Color Paints, you just need a silver chrome polish and some jelly polishes. That’s good news! If you don’t want to dish out the cash to try this new trend, find some jelly polishes and paint them over a silver chrome. I would recommend using more pigmented jelly polishes so they will show up more over the base.


I’m very happy I was able to try out so many polishes in this set. Almost all the polishes had great formulas. Purple Perspective and Turquoise Aesthetic have troublesome formulas but considering that these were created for nail art, that’s not too bad. I can’t wait to try my hand at creating works of art on my nails.

This whole concept is a great idea. You get great jelly polishes you can wear alone or layer them over a silver base so you can transform them into metallic versions. There’s also the option of using them to make an infinite number of designs. This is something new that I’m totally behind.

Formula X has a version of this named Infinite Ombre, they say it’ll create stained glass looks. Essie is also releasing a version and I believe it will only be available to the pros, sadly. If you looking to try this trend out, OPI’s your best bet to get them easily. If you do end up trying this out with the alternative method I described above with regular polishes, please do let me know how it goes!

You can purchase these polishes over on Ulta, they even have the mini set available too! Check back within the week to see my attempt at doing some fun nail art looks with these!


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