About Face: Favorite nail polishes for summer 2014—and a farewell

NailPolishRoundup4 ChesapeakeFamilyAboutFaceAs I sign off from About Face, let’s end where it all started: nail polish. Summer nail polishes from OPI, Nicole by OPI, Laqa and Co., and more will sparkle up your fingers and toes this summer.

By Roxana Hadadi

Dear About Face readers, thank you so much for the past three years. Since this blog launched with Chesapeake Family magazine in 2011, I’ve appreciated your attention and your feedback, and as we wrap up About Face this week—this column is the last for About Face—I want to thank you. I hope my reviews, swatches, and recommendations each week have been helpful to you, and I’m so grateful to have connected with you in this way. Again, thank you, thank you.

And for the final installment of About Face, I wanted to return to where this whole thing started: nail polish. It was my near-fanatical passion with nail polish that got this blog started, and it only makes sense to end it where it began. So, here goes: my favorite nail polish picks for this summer, from brands like OPI, Nicole by OPI, and Nails Inc. So much glitter! I make no apologies for that.

As one final salute, I raise my nail polish bottle to you, dear readers. For my choices, read on!

Nail polish picks from OPI

NailPolishRoundup7 ChesapeakeFamilyAboutFaceFirst picture, left to right: OPI MLB collection: Love Athletes in Cleats, Umpires Come Out at Night, Orange You Going to the Game?

Second picture, left to right: OPI Spotlight on Glitter collection: You Pink Too Much, Blush Hour, I Reached My Gold!

Third picture, left to right: OPI Muppets Most Wanted collection: Let's Do Anything We Want!, Miss Piggy's Big Number, Gaining Mole-mentum

OPI has been rolling out various collections all spring and summer long, and there’s a huge variety to choose from, but some of my favorites are in the OPI MLB, Spotlight on Glitter, and Muppets Most Wanted collections.

The partnerships OPI has with, well, practically everyone isn’t new, but the collaboration with Major League Baseball is certainly interesting. Of the seven shades in the collection (which aren’t named after specific teams, but are heavy on the reds and blues in terms of shades), my favorites are Love Athletes in Cleats, Umpires Come Out at Night, and Orange You Going to the Game? Both Love Athletes in Cleats and Orange You Going to the Game? have some very pretty hidden shimmer, and the strong red and orange will work well for a manicure or pedicure. And the deep blue crème of Umpires Come Out at Night looks practically black inside but is clearly navy in direct sunlight, and I always like those almost-black shades. Formula-wise, all three of these were great—typical OPI quality.

NailPolishRoundup6 ChesapeakeFamilyAboutFaceOPI also branched out with their glitter selection in the Spotlight on Glitter collection. Of the six shades released in this collection, my favorites are You Pink Too Much, Blush Hour, and I Reached My Gold! You Pink Too Much and I Reached My Gold! will work as topcoats—the former with variously shaped pink glitter, the latter with large hexagon gold glitter pieces—but Blush Hour could probably be worn on its own. It’s a crazy dense mélange of pink, fuchsia, and purple glitter pieces, and the pink base builds up in opacity after a few layers. It’s an explosion of glitter, and I love it.

And finally there’s the OPI collection with the film Muppets Most Wanted, an eight-piece collection with shimmers, glitters, and crèmes. My choices are Let's Do Anything We Want!, Miss Piggy's Big Number, and Gaining Mole-mentum. Let's Do Anything We Want! and Gaining Mole-mentum are two of the collection’s glitter shades: I like the mix of pink and white glitter of the former, and the avalanche of shredded gold glitter in the latter. And although I would never associate blue with Miss Piggy, I like the metallic feel of Miss Piggy's Big Number—very unexpected, but done very well.

AVAILABILITY: $9 each for OPI MLB collection, OPI Spotlight on Glitter collection, OPI Muppets Most Wanted collection, at professional salons and stores like Ulta and Dillard’s. 

NailPolishRoundup4 ChesapeakeFamilyAboutFace

Nail polish picks from Nicole by OPI

NailPolishRoundup3 ChesapeakeFamilyAboutFaceFirst picture, left to right: Nicole by OPI Roughles collection: Sand in My Shoe and On What Grounds?

Second picture, left to right: Nicole by OPI Special K: Challenge Red-y, My Sol Shines Brighter, Live in the Momentum

The sister brand to OPI Nicole by OPI released fewer collections this spring, but if you’re looking for texture, it doesn’t get much better than the four-shade Roughles collection. Pastel matte glitters, these multicolored shades are cute enough to be in your rotation far past Easter. Of the four, my favorites are the yellow and orange Sand in My Shoe and the mint green and light blue On What Grounds? I wore the latter to work and received lots of compliments, so I think the sandpaper-like texture is certainly an attention-grabber.

And then there’s the Nicole by OPI collaboration with Special K; this is the second year of their partnership, but Challenge Red-y is the only repeat color in the bunch. Aside from the crème red, there’s also the bright coral crème shade My Sol Shines Brighter and the cobalt blue crème Live in the Momentum. All three are very pigmented and straightforward colors for spring. These shades were available if you signed up for Special K’s rewards program, and I don’t think it would hurt to sign up in advance for next year—perhaps the collection will get another update next spring, too.

NailPolishRoundup5 ChesapeakeFamilyAboutFaceAVAILABILITY: $8 each for Nicole by OPI Roughles collection at stores like Ulta and Dillard’s; Nicole by OPI Special K polishes were available with membership into the Kellogg’s Family Rewards program.

Nail polish picks from Nails Inc. and Laqa and Co.

NailPolishRoundup1 ChesapeakeFamilyAboutFaceFirst picture, left to right: Nails Inc. new 2014 shades: Marylebone Road, Kensington Square, Sheraton Street

Second picture, left to right: Laqa and Co. shades Legit and Newfangled

And finally, let’s look at some brands that you won’t find at your local salon, but should still keep an eye out for.

British brand Nails Inc. launches a few new “trend” shades every season, and this spring they released spring green Marylebone Road, baby pink Kensington Square, and light minty blue Sheraton Street. I particularly like the brightness of Marylebone Road, and I think it’s a cute pedicure shade.

If you want something dustier, consider the Laqa and Co. shades Legit and Newfangled. The former is a dusty rose pink and the latter a murky mint blue, and they’re a little more muted than the typically neon shades you see in the summer. Gryffandor could especially work for the office, but Newfangled is pretty, too.

The only downside of Laqa and Co. is that they don’t print the nail polish names on the bottles themselves, so you have to hold onto the packaging to know what you have in your stash.

NailPolishRoundup2 ChesapeakeFamilyAboutFaceAVAILABILITY: $9.50 for Nails Inc. shades at NailsInc.com or Sephora.com; $11 for Laqa and Co. shades at LaqaandCo.com.

EDITORIAL NOTE: The products featured in this post were provided to Chesapeake Family’s About Face blog by the manufacturer or their public relations company for review. Chesapeake Family’s About Face blog posts are inspired by personal experience and opinion, and are not paid for or influenced by the manufacturer, PR company, or any other organization unless mentioned.

Photos by Roxana Hadadi.

Roxana Hadadi headshotIn middle school, Roxana Hadadi was a cosmetics-scorning tomboy; in high school, a glitter eye shadow- and black nail polish-loving trend kid; in college, obsessively committed to dying her hair unruly colors that upset her mom. Now a bit older and a bit more mature, she’s trying to figure out what hair, body and cosmetics products will work for her, you and your family in About Face, Chesapeake Family’s new beauty blog — and she’ll leave the sparkle makeup and neon highlights in the past. Roxana also writes movie reviews for Chesapeake Family’s Popcorn Parents blog.