I have been waiting to write this article since last September, ever since I heard that OPI was doing a nail polish collaboration with one of my idols, Gwen Stefani. If there was ever a celebrity nail collaboration that actually makes sense, this is it.
After relentlessly stalking OPI’s publicist for the last four months, and I’m talking hiding-in-the-bushes level stalking, the collection finally showed up at my door step. So, yes, comment section, I got it for free. Actually, that same weekend, a friend of mine (who has Gwen Stefani tattooed on his arm, no less) walked into the bar and dropped a bag full of the collection onto my lap. So I got it for free twice! THANKS, UNIVERSE.
I have idolized Gwen Stefani my entire life. No Doubt achieved mainstream success in 1995 when I was still in the single digits, but in my mind, she’s always been around, being perfect. She’s never had to reinvent herself to stay current or “on-trend” because her unmistakable personal style has always kept her look both timeless and way ahead of anyone else’s. She's a rockstar, a successful designer, and an all around icon.
Gwen's love for houndstooth is where my own love for houndstooth stems from. Well, Gwen and my mom, also an icon.
It should come as no surprise that her collaboration with OPI is, um, perfect. It’s a great mix of Gwen’s classic meets punk aesthetic, with OPI’s top shelf quality and innovative approach to finishes and textures.
One of the most exciting parts of the Gwen line is that OPI is debuting their new satin finish on two of the colors. The polish needs no top coat and dries down with an almost matte finish that I really, really love. The first satin finish is a classic black, 4 In The Morning.
It’s simple, edgy, and classic all at the same time, much like Gwen.
The second is Love.Angel.Music.Baby, a satin gold.
I thought I wouldn’t be that crazy about this color, but once it hit my nails, I was very pleasantly surprised. The satin gold is gorgeous and definitely something I’m going to wear again. It makes me think "casual elegance." (SORRY, it’s awards season, blame Giuliana.)
Let’s talk about matte nails for a quick minute. What matte top coat do you use? Tell me in the comments. I love the matte look and I love that it’s finally everywhere, but I find that matte top coats either:
- Make the tips of the polish wear down faster, exposing your nail line in a couple of days.
- Leave mysterious white flakes on your nails that you can do nothing about, ruining your manicure from the jump.
- It’s like they actually sink down into the polish, changing the composition of the polish, making regular polish chip faster than it normally would.
I am happy to report that even without a top coat, none of that happens to the satins. They do stay tacky for maybe a minute or two longer than if you had topped them off, which is to be expected, but once they’re done, you’re good to go, baby.
Moving right along, the crèmes. I love crèmes.
Hey Baby is a bright, flamingo pink that showcases Gwen’s girlier side.
I Sing In Color is a deep, black cherry red (I refuse to say “vampy,” I just wouldn’t do that to you guys) that is one of those great colors that is almooost black, but isn’t.
I'm worried that my picture actually robs the polish of its rich color, so here's OPI's photo of the bottle, which shows more of the color:
It’s like Lincoln Park After Dark’s punk rock twin. OPI loves their darks, and I wouldn’t be surprised if they made this a part of their permanent collection.
It wouldn’t be an OPI collab without a great glitter, and “In True Stefani Fashion” doesn’t disappoint.
The formula isn't to thick to work with, and the glitter is dense enough that you could probably get full coverage without too much fuss.
I’m actually sort of surprised that they didn’t take the opportunity to get even crazier with the glitters, like the ones that we saw from their “Oz, The Great And Powerful” collection, but the silver holographic glitter is a great compliment to the rest of the collection.
NOW for the two special editions.
Over And Over A-Gwen is a true red, inspired by Gwen’s signature shade of red lipstick.
I wonder if Jane hates reading about nail polish since every single polish name is a pun.
This retails for a little more than the rest of the collection because it comes with Swarovski crystals and nail studs of all shapes and sizes along with nail glue so you can create your own custom nail art.
I love that! A pair of tweezers and a little patience and BLAW, everyone is complimenting your nails and worshiping you. It’s that easy.
The final standout is Push and Shove, a metallic silver that is the closest thing you’re going to get to brushed metal or mirrored chrome nails without cheating with nail stickers or press-ons. It comes with its own base coat called Lay Down The Base (get it?) that must be used with the polish to achieve the desired effect, and again, without a top coat.
I LOVE this polish. I wore it to my friend’s birthday party because I was feeling extra festive and I got a ton of compliments. And the thing is, you can totally wear it for more than one night. I left it on for five days and only had minimal wear at the very edges, which is understandable, no top coat and all, but it was hardly noticeable because everyone was too distracted by the polish itself.
Marianne told me that she's been wearing it WITH a topcoat for the last week, and has reported that it mutes the intense chrome a bit, but increases the overall wearability. She remains too down.
What do you think of the Gwen Stefani collection? What are your favorite nail polish finishes? Favorite matte top coats? Who would YOU love to see OPI collaborate with? Spill it all in the comments.
Tynan loves Gwen and nail polish on Twitter: @TynanBuck.