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