Friday, March 23, 2012

OPI NYC Ballet Soft Shades Collection Spring 2012 Swatches and Review

OPI's Soft Shades collection this year is inspired by the New York City Ballet. It's an assortment of five light, sheer shades (beige, lilac, soft white, grey, peach-pink), plus a sparkly layering glitter that can be worn alone or layered over any of the soft shades. This collection surprised me. I thought they were just going to be boring/plain sheers based on the promo pictures, but when I got them on my nails, I suddenly realized they weren't. They're JELLIES.


OPI Barre My Soul. A light white-based soft beige. It has a some peach in it so it doesn't look straight beige and flat, instead it looks more like a very light fleshy color with dimension to it from the jelly finish.


OPI Care To Danse? This one is a very, very pale lilac. It also appears white-based when it's on the nail, but not stark or chalky. It looks a little more pink-colored in real life, but it seems more purple in the bottle.


OPI Don't Touch My Tutu!. This is a soft white jelly. It doesn't seem to have that subtle blue undertone in it that Essie Cloud Nine has, but it still has a similar brightening effect. This is such a dreamy white. It looks like fluffy clouds and marshmallows.


OPI My Pointe Exactly. Now there's something different. A grey jelly. This grey is blue toned, and in some lights it looks more like a slate blue than a pure grey. You would think that a sheer grey would just look murky and dirty, but it doesn't. It actually looks really good and that lovely jelly finish gives it depth that opaque cremes don't have.


OPI Pirouette My Whistle. This is a very fine light silver glitter and a small pearl white hexagon glitter in a clear base. This is a sheer glitter that's perfect for layering (not so dense that it covers the base color too much, not so sheer that you need multiple coats for it to show up), but I think it actually looks nice alone. The glitter is very delicate and twinkly, reminds me of those very old OPI holiday glitter topcoats like Yule Love This Silver and Nutcracker Sweet with that superfine sparkly type of glitter.


OPI You Callin' Me A Lyre? This one is a peachy pink. It has a little more color to it than your typical OPI Bubble Bath / Essie Ballet Slippers type of shade to keep it from looking too corpse-y. I normally don't like these nearly-white pinks because it makes it look like I've lost all the blood flow to my fingers. You Callin' Me A Lyre looks a little more lively than that.

The formula on these was also a surprise for me. With these types of colors, I usually expect them to be streaky, watery, or uneven in some way. These apply like a dream, streak-free and self leveling. At one coat they look like a sheer, streak-free color gloss and it actually looks really nice; soft and clean. The white base and jelly finish in the shades gives this blurring/softening creamy effect. Here's how they look at one coat:

OPI Barre My Soul (one coat).


OPI Care To Danse? (one coat).


OPI Don't Touch My Tutu! (one coat).


OPI My Pointe Exactly (one coat).


OPI You Callin' Me A Lyre? (one coat).


Since they're not streaky, you can wear as many coats as you'd like. They look like a subtle creamy gloss at one, slightly more opaque at two (but the jelly finish becomes more apparent), and perfectly jelly-like at three:

Don't Touch My Tutu! - one coat.


Don't Touch My Tutu! - two coats.


Don't Touch My Tutu! - three coats.

To make the already nice polishes even nicer, you can layer them with a coat of Pirouette My Whistle. Horrible name, fantastic color.

In the bottle, Pirouette My Whistle looks like it might be chunky. It has some small but substantial looking hex glitter and also some near-microglitter sized silver flecks. Luckily, this glitter is so light that it lies completely flat and smooth on the nail and it doesn't do that annoying thing where the glitter sinks into the wet polish and leaves little divots near every particle. Reminds me of Nubar White Polka Dot, but not an exact match. Here's how each shade looks layered with Pirouette My Whistle:


OPI Pirouette My Whistle (one coat) over Barre My Soul.


OPI Pirouette My Whistle (one coat) over Care To Danse?.


OPI Pirouette My Whistle (one coat) over Don't Touch My Tutu!.


OPI Pirouette My Whistle (one coat) over My Pointe Exactly.


OPI Pirouette My Whistle (one coat) over You Callin' Me A Lyre?


The formula on these was perfect. The texture was thicker than the average watery sheer and that prevented the running/pooling problem I usually have with these types of colors. They weren't streaky as long as I paid attention to how hard I was pressing the brush, and they seem to self-level really well if I did apply them unevenly in some areas. They're sheer, but at three coats (what I'm wearing in the photos) they look like a perfect creamy jelly on me. They dry very fast and every shade dries to a glossy finish (even the glitter) without added topcoat.

You know, as much as I normally hate sheers and soft shades, I have to admit that I actually like these. It's that milky jelly finish. I love jellies, and when they have that added milky look, forget it. Instant like. It looks so squishy and soft and dreamy, like clouds and marshmallows and fluffy bunnies... They're so cute that it's almost sickening. The softness and depth of the milky jelly finish makes the nails look clean and well groomed, not dead and lifeless, and the formula is perfect. Adding the delicate glitter on top just takes it to the next level of cute. I'm also impressed with how shiny/bright/twinkly the glitter is without it being chunky or gritty or hard to remove.

All in all, while I don't normally "do" sheers (especially sheer pinks, ugh), the milky jelly finish on these is really appealing to me. I just can't help myself, they're too cute not to love. I'll likely only wear the lilac and grey with any regularity, but I've been wearing Barre My Soul with Pirouette My Whistle since last night and I have no desire to take it off yet...

The OPI NYC Ballet Soft Shades collection officially launches in April, but they are already available in some stores.

(This was sent for review.)

92 comments:

  1. Oh I love jellies too! Normally I refuse to buy sheers, I don't like to see my nail line. But I am smitten with Don't Touch My Tutu! Thanks for the review.

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    1. I can't wear them when my nails are longer, but at this short length I almost don't mind the nail line! As long as my nails aren't horrifically stained, that is... lol

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  2. I'm impressed with these- I expected them to be a streak-fest. They look gorgeous. I don't think I could rock these though- my nails are super stained right now. Would you say they are opaque enough at three coats to cover bad staining?

    Also: what the heck can I do to combat staining? I don't really want to buff the heck out of them and weaken them. Anyways, if you have any advice for me, I'd appreciate it!

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    1. They are shockingly nice, not what I expected AT ALL.

      They aren't opaque enough if your nails are *super* stained, but mine are pretty stained and I almost can't tell at all after three coats, so I'd say no at one coat, yes at three coats.

      As for staining, it's somewhat inevitable, but there are a few tricks. One, a good basecoat can prevent *some* staining (I had best results for stain prevention with Nubar NuNail), but not all of it.

      You can buff, but I don't recommend it unless they're really bad. What works for me is weird- try cleaning or showering without polish on. It takes about a day but when I do that, most of my staining seems to disappear. There's also a few products that help, like Dr. G's Whiter Nail or a mild bleach solution (a few drops of bleach in a bowl of water).

      Also- one of my favorite secret tricks- Color Club Milky White French Manicure basecoat! It has a blue-violet tint that counteracts the yellow and makes your nails look super white. I always have it on hand, it's amazing and dirt cheap!

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    2. THANK YOU. This is exactly the info I've been needing as my nails are miserable looking without polish now and anything sheer just comes out looking gross. I'll have to give you tricks a try!

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    3. Thanks, Scrangie! I'll try the cleaning and showering trick, and I'm definitely going to pick up some CC Milky White French Manicure base coat!

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    4. Anytime, guys! Hope my tricks work for you! I'd normally advise against getting your nails wet without polish on (can lead to breaks if you're not careful), but I always notice that my staining disappears after I do that, so thought I'd mention it!

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  3. Squeeeeeee! I was so excited to see this post pop up on blogger dashboard. I am crazy looking forward to these, and you always have such wonderful swatches. But I am very happy to see that they are not streaky. They are just so pretty. I just can't decide which I want most. :-) x

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  4. When I saw this collection, I couldn't believe how much I liked them! Totally out of my normal "type" and yet I feel like I REALLY want them all!

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    1. Exactly! Same here. Usually I'm all "sheers, boooooring, do not want!", but this time I'm like... oooh jelly.... do want...

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    2. When the OPI Pirates collection came out, I had been REALLY hoping that Skull and Glossbones was a jelly. It was just a creme, so I frankened it with clear and I love it so much more now!

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  5. I keep swooning over the lilac and grey- can't wait to get my hands on them! :)

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    1. They're very different, glad OPI included those two colors instead of all pink!

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    1. Not usually mine, either. I can't help loving how nice they looked on my nails for once!

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  7. I can't believe I'm tempted by even one of these hues, let alone wishlisting the whole collection (except for maybe Lyre; it looks like it might clash with my skintone). The jelly finish adds a hip touch that will make it easier for me to concede to wearing a neutral polish when certain life circumstances call for it. I can see Barre, Pointe, and Danse finding a place in my collection in the future!

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    1. My Pointe Exactly is the one shade I'd say you definitely have to check out- I don't think I've ever seen anything quite like it. It's weird but pretty, I would have never thought that sheer milky grey would be nice, lol

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  8. Barre My Soul will be mine..

    Thanks for the swatches! Have a lovely day! :)

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    1. So finally I bought Barre My soul and the mini kit with 4 shades! LOL I needed 4 coats for Don't Touch My Tutu! though.. so I was wondering which base coat you are using?

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    2. I didn't use any base coat for my swatches, but if you're having problems with the polish being too sheer, you could always try a ridge filler basecoat, the kind that are a little bit cloudy/milky looking.

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    3. Thank you, will try that! :)

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  9. Hey Scrangie!

    You know, I've seen these swatches by others before, and the colours did nothing much for me. Then I saw your swatches! How do you manage to make every polish look incredible? Seriously...how? ;)

    Haha, and I laughed at what you wrote: "They're so cute that it's almost sickening." Hehehe, I like your sense of humour, Scrangie.

    These polishes don't look as streaky in your photos like they do in other people's swatches. Now I'm considering the grey one.

    And I really love how the glitter looks layered on top.

    Hope you're having a good Friday so far! :)

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    1. Awe, thanks Mary! I haven't seen any other swatches yet, but I can see how they'd get streaky if you pressed too hard on the brush. I used a soft, gentle pushing-off motion (in one or two strokes) instead of a painting-on motion when I applied these and they went on perfectly!

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  10. This collection looks AMAZING on your nails! I'm currently in LOVE with this collection!! :)

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  11. These are gorgeous, I especially love them with the glitter topcoat over them! WANT WANT WANT WANT WANT... :)

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    1. I love this glitter so much. Is it possible for a subtle glitter to exist? It's not in-your-face or chunky but it's still shiny and twinkly, it's amazing.

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  12. Ok will speak for the internet when I say we were dying for some Scrangie swatches of these!! Tyy for showing all the layers to wearing these! LOVE this collection

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  13. I've been looking for sheer nude colours, we're not allowed nail varnish in school but i feel so weird without nail varnish and it seems to make me more confident in exams. Its odd but it works so these are ideal :)
    I was going 'oooh' at every colour.

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    1. These would be good for that! No one would probably notice that you're wearing polish, but your nails would look glossy and clean :)

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  14. I think they look great! I like the glitter one, I am thinking I need a soft glitter like that :) Overall lovely post!

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    1. The glitter is really nice. Very smooth and the pieces are so delicate!

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  15. Hey scrangie!
    great post as always...you said that the soft glitter reminded you of Nubar White Polka Dot...I own that and wanted to know if I needed both. How are they different? thank you for all that you do!! :)

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    1. That's so nice, thank you!!

      As for the difference between White Polka Dot and Pirouette, the White Polka dot is all white pearl glitter (both the large and the small), whereas Pirouette's small glitter is silver. I get better coverage with the hex glitter in Pirouette but I have a hard time getting enough on my nails with White Polka Dot. Pirouette is also thinner in texture and dries faster, so there's a little difference in formula as well as color.

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  16. I didn't like the look of this collection at first either, seemed boring. But the more swatches I see the more I want them! You've sent me over the edge here, Scrangie, I need this collection in my life!
    Great post! xoxo

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    1. Thank you! In my opinion, they're in a class of their own as far as sheers are concerned. I hate streaky, watery sheers but these went on so nice and smooth... Good job, OPI!

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  17. Jellies.I love them! Oh how I love these,and especially My Pointe Exactly even though I am not sure gray will look good on me,but if it's sheer maybe.That glitter is so pretty! Once again,your swatches blow me away,Scrangie. I actually heard OPI was calling these "sorbets." Maybe I was misinformed.

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    1. OPI definitely calls them Sorbets, you're right on there. I think it's silly though, it seems like they're trying to convince us that they invented a new finish :)

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    2. ITA,Sorbets is just another name OPI can call their own. They're jellies,though,and that makes me happy! :-)

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  18. (Trying again, darn livejournal login!)

    How do you do this? Collections come along that I think I won't need; you post swatches, and poof. Instant lemming. :)

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    1. Wow-I love the fact that they're jelly pastels. This is crazy!! Gotta get 'em all.

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  19. Thanks for the awesome swatches. I wasn't very interested in this collection, but I like them a little more now. I have to wear neutrals for work, so I think these wold fit in nicely in my work-friendly list. I appreciate the layering pictures. Sometimes the swatches are nice, but it's nice to know how they look at one coat, two coats, etc. that way we're not surprised when it takes seven coats to get the same effect as the pictures!

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  20. These are gorgeous, really like them.

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  21. Best swatches I have seen yet of this collection - thanks so much. I have not been excited over an OPI soft collection since back when the first Bridal collections came out and we were all about Fr. and Am. manis!

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  22. Amazing swatches, I don't think I've ever felt like I needed an entire collection of sheers until this very moment. I love how the glitter looks with all of them too, OPI really hit it out of the park with this soft shades collection.

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    1. I feel the same exact way. I figured I had several of these shades in my stash, but nope. They're gorgeous ***

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  23. Absolutely beautiful polishes. I don't love OPI, but I am definitely curious about these shades :)

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  24. I was feeling rather meh about this collection after seeing another blogger's swatches, they looked like a streaky mess. However, (shameless fangirling ahead) you did a fantastic job. These look so milky beautiful I am going to have to pick up at least two. Will be sort of palate cleansing after the glitter holo bomb kick I have been on recently. Thanks for the great pics.

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  25. Have ordered the set off eBay - can't wait to get them. They look beautiful:)

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  26. I ordered these off eBay last week - can't wait for them to arrive, although some buffing will be required because stained nails are not gonna look good under such light, sheer shades:). Thank you for the post xx

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  27. Been wearing Don't Touch My Tutu for the whole week right now :) No chips and I still don't want to take it off!! I'm not crazy about sheers but I really was happy this collection came out when it did because I was "craving" for it.

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  28. Pirouette My Whistle? Oh brother.

    Gorgeous collection, though. I'm usually not a fan of the soft shades but these are really impressive!

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  29. Thanks for the beautiful swatches! I wanted to buy the wholr collection but I was afraid there would be some dupes of other sheers (like funny bunny, samoansand, bubble bath)..,, but now i' m decided! I love soft shades and I just move to new york= I need them all!!l

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  30. Corpse-y... I like that word. It is EXACTLY how I think My Point Exactly looks In every swatch I've seen. Just like you dug up some skeleton from the grave. So, I just can't understand the fuss over this color - because I think every one of the people I've seen who have shown swatches of it are all gaga over it. I'm at a complete loss.

    I DO love the glitter in this collection, though. I will be picking that one up, but I can't see me getting any of the others.

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  31. I'm always on a lookout for sheers/nude for work. It's actually difficult cos there are so many out there and u don't really know until you've tried it.

    These however, are AMAZING!! I'm definitely getting them. Thanks for the wonderful swatches!

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  32. I love the lilac and the grey, though some of these look a little too sheer for my liking. Pirouette My Whistle looks really pretty on all of those shades. Thanks for your always immaculate and detailed swatches :)

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  33. I haven't liked these up until now; none of the swatches I've seen were 3 coats. But now that I've seen them with 3 coats? I want ALL of them! They look so squishy and pretty. Thanks for these amazing pics.

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  34. these disappointed me until i saw you layer them with pirouette my whistle, now I'm in love all over again!
    abbi x

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  35. I'm still kind of new to nailpolish, and I don't really understand the jellies thing. I looked around and didn't find a good explanation of it, so if someone has a link to one or feels like trying to enlighten me, I'd appreciate it. Thanks!

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    1. Jelly is a translucent type of finish. It's not completely opaque like most creme polishes, but it's also not totally sheer. They have more coverage than a true sheer but let light through like an opaque finish can't so they have lots of depth to them!

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  36. Have you ever tried the baking soda and lemon trick to remove stains... insanely easy and fun because it goes all bubbly... IT WORKS TOO!
    just letting you know :)
    I think its awesome lol
    I LOVE THESE JELLIES.. :D

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  37. These look so streaky in other swatches I have seen, even at three coats, so I don't trust myself to be able to get them looking as nice as these swatches. The glitter topcoat does help with the streakiness but I think I will still pass. These swatches are lovely though!

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  38. I really like the look of these, surprisingly enough.

    Oh, and I just wanted to say, I like your nails like this, not too long, and I love how you take the photo's, with lots of dept. <3

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  39. I usually don't like jellies but these are all so pretty! I need Pirouette My Whistle now.

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  40. Thanks for the in depth review on these! I was going to pass, but I think I need a few, they seem really lovely.

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  41. Such a comprehensive review...I will start checking my Ulta tonight because I am hooked. Thank you :-)

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  42. these are all gorgeous! your reviews are always great, but this one is so good, totally comprehensive and makes me want them all!

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  43. Bought the gray, white and glitter today, swatched immediately, fell completely in love!

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  44. You definitely did some magic with these swatches- nobody else in the blogging community manages to make these look so even and opaque without a sickening number of coats! How did you do this? You said something about a "gentle pushing-off motion" which I don't quite understand? Is this some secret polish voodoo trick that I haven't figured out yet? haha, either way, thanks for this review! As much as I love your swatches, I'm not convinced I'd be able to replicate the beauty you found in them and probably won't get any :(

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    1. Haha, no magic or voodoo here! It's all in the application technique! The key with sheers is to apply as little pressure to the brush as you possibly can. The harder you press on the brush, the more likely you'll get streaks. Start with a large drop of polish on the brush, place it just before where you want the polish to end at your cuticle, and very gently push the polish across the nail in a fluid motion. Don't do painting strokes- just glide the drop of polish over the surface of the nail. The fewer strokes, the better when it comes to sheers.

      It takes a little practice to get a feel for it, but that's what works for me! Just gentle, even, broad stokes, don't push down on the brush very much or do lots of little strokes. Some sheers are just streaky no matter what I do, but these really worked great for me, I was surprised because OPI sheers tend to be some of the streakiest ones!

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    2. Also, forgot to add- let them set for a minute or two in between coats! If you do the coats back to back and they're still too wet, you run the risk of wiping off some of the previous coat which can also create streaks.

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  45. Thank you for the review. It was your review that sold me on this beautiful collection. I don't have any sheer colors, or I should say I didn't have. I got my collection in the mail today. Now, I'm impatiently waiting on a nail to chip. CHIP, CHIP, CHIP. Love your blog SO much.

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  46. It's seriously SO pretty. I just bought Pirouette My Whistle today! :D

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  47. Initially, when I saw this line advertised, I thought 'how boring' the colors seemed. Just last week, I needed to rush a manicure and tried light colors just because they're easier for me to get right than say, the color 'Fly' by OPI. I layered 'Altar Ego' over 'Steady as She Rose' and instantly my mind was changed about light colors. OPI posted a link to your blog with swatches from this collection and I clicked because I love your blog--you've inspired many purchases. Again, my mind has totally been changed. These colors are gorgeous!

    I did have one question? Do you think I could get away with layering 'Servin' up Sparkle', the Serena Williams color, and achieve the same/ or similar look and Pirouette My Whistle? I'm on a budget and I have that sparkle. =)

    Thanks so much.

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    1. Hi there! Sorry I missed this comment!

      Servin Up Sparkle is more opaque and has bigger glitter, so it won't give you the exact same look. It won't be as delicate, but it might be similar enough that you won't need both :)

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  48. Love these swatches....made me buy the whole collection since I love shades like these. I had to use 5 coats to get your opacity though, and I'm pretty good at applying nail polish. Wish mine came out as nice as yours with three coats! They are perfect jellies though, love them although they do require some effort. Perfect french manicure base colors.

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  49. these colours look so lovely! but I always find it a pain to apply them - mine always comes out in streaks and each coat takes agess to dry :(

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  50. What is a jelly polish? I have never heard of it!

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  51. I love your swatches and every time you post something up, I end up wanting to get it all. But I did get Barre My Soul (Love), My Pointe exactly (which I am conflicted about), and Piroutte My Whistle (also Love). But my question is this: how do you get your cuticles so clean? What products do you use? They always look so clean in your picture.

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  52. Pirouette over My Pointe is gorgeous. I did 3 coates of Pointe. Latest favorite is Whisper from Sally Hansen Smooth Perfect. It's a lilac jelly with gold shimmer.

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  53. My mom was convinced that Barre My Soul would be really ugly, so I ended up not getting it. But the color I really wanted was the You Callin' Me a Lyre one, but the ULTA I was at didn't have them! In a fit of impatience I ended up buying the Bubble Bath color. Was this not a good decision?

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  54. I had to buy all of these because I'm ballet-obsessed. My mom talked me out of buying Barre My Soul. (Though now I wish I had) and the ULTA I bought them from didn't have any of the You Callin' Me a Lyre. Actually, there wasn't much of anything. I think people ran there in excitement when these came out. :D Anyways, I ended up buying the bubble bath color because I was too impatient. Was this a bad idea? From your review, I gather that this is a better pink than the bubble bath one is.

    I just put on two other colors I bought from OPI, so I will have to wait a while before I try these out.

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    1. I personally don't care for Bubble Bath, I think it looks too washed out and like I've lost all the blood circulation in my hands (corpsey! lol), but it is one of OPI's best selling shades, so it's probably just me who doesn't like it :)

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  55. Beautiful swatches! You have inspired me to buy them all. Also thanks for the application tips, will be trying that out. :)

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  56. This Collection is simply amaizing! I love every jelly, but "Pirouette my whistle" is something special! I just used it over two coats of "I have a herring problem" - and it looks fantastic! Your swatches are gorgeous, but "Pirouette my whistle" looks way better in real life! It's so sparkly and sophisticated at the same time. I think, I've got my favorite glitter.

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  57. I found "Pirouette My Whistle" at my local Publix so I had to Google it. As always, Scrangie, you have the complete collection and a great review. I'm not a big fan of sheers, but your swatches & commentaries making me want to go back & see how much of the collection they have. Thank you for your great blog.

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