Like I mentioned Wednesday, before I received my samples of OPI Shrek Forever After, I was working on swatching and reviewing the new Nina Ultra Pro collection, Hard Candies. My NP ADD kicked in and I had to stop and review the OPIs, but I didn’t want to wait too much longer to review the Ninas, so here goes…
I stopped in my local Sally Beauty on Wednesday to pick up French mani guides and I walked out with 9 new polishes… this new collection and 3 new Fingerpaints glitters, that I will review in the next few days. So much for restraint. ;) Does it help if I mention they were Buy 2 Get 1 Free? LOL.
As soon as I saw this collection, I was immediately drawn to it. The bottle colors are absolutely amazing and really do remind you of hard candies. And the colors on the nail are just as awesome. Unfortunately, the opacity in the bottle does not translate to the nail, but let me show you the swatches before I get too ahead of myself.
Guava is a juicy orange shimmer. All the colors in this collection are named after various types of fruits, save for one. Anyway, the color on this one is so pretty. Like I mentioned, it’s an orange shimmer, though it would need more red it in to be a true guava color. Compared to another recent sheer orange I reviewed, CC Turn the Other Chic, I like this color, though it didn’t necessarily work with my skin. This pic is 3 coats and I still have VNL, so it is rather sheer.
Dragon Berry is a bright reddish purple shimmer. The shimmer in this one is more silver than tonal. Also, this one has more of a metallic appearance in the bottle, though it is still definitely a shimmer, which is what gives it a slight frosty appearance on the nail. Right after I put this one on, I didn’t really like it. Then I left it on while I typed my review and it started to grow on me. This pic is 3 coats and it did reach opacity, although there are faint VNLs in bright light. This one could definitely be worn without layering, however.
Tutti Frutti is a bright pink shimmer with a hint of coral. Unless I’m mistaken, outside of children’s programming, there is not a “Tutti Frutt”, so this is the only one not named after a real life fruit. :P Of the 6 of these, this is the one that really reminds me the most of ChG’s 2009 summer collection, Summer Days. This picture is 3 coats and I do still have VNLs, though it’s not nearly as pronounced as with Guava or Star Fruit, so IMO, if VNLs don’t make you completely OCD, you could wear this one alone.
Soursop is a sheer turquoise blue with blue, green, and purple shimmer. When I googled “soursop”, because I had no clue what it was, I found pictures of a weird bumpy green fruit with white flesh, so I have no idea why they put that name with this polish color. :S Anyway, the color on this one is beautiful and the shimmer is mesmerizing. But you'd have to put on a gazillion coats to get bottle color, unfortunately. And while it’s the prettiest of the lot, IMO, it’s also the sheerest (though it looks amazing layered - see below). Pic is 3 coats.
Pomegranate is a magenta shimmer and like Dragon Berry, it has more of a metallic appearance. The shimmer is purple, pink, and silver. Also like Dragon Berry, this is one of the more opaque colors in this collection and could definitely be worn without layering. This pic is 3 coats.
Star Fruit is a bright yellow lime shimmer. Like Guava, this one looks very "juicy". This one is also sheer and like Guava did not work with my skintone. Pic is 3 coats.
While the sheerness may send you running in the other direction, IMO, the beauty in this collection is in the layering. I layered it over 2 coats of white and over one coat of black.
This is two coats of each of the four sheerest polishes in this collection over white (ChG White Out).
L-R: Guava, Tutti Frutti, Soursop, and Star Fruit. (FYI, Tutti Frutti was not streaky IRL, not sure what happened w/ the pic).
And the same 4 colors over black (Zoya Raven)
L-R: Guava, Tutti Frutti, Soursop(sigh), and Star Fruit.
And for continuity’s sake, though it's not as necessary, here are the other 2, Dragon Berry and Pomegranate, over white and black.
L-R: Dragon Berry over white, over black, Pomegranate over white, over black
Okay, I like them over white. I think it really makes the color pop, and I especially like Dragon Berry and Pomegranate over white. It really takes the frostiness out of the finish. That said, I looooove them over black. My favorite has got to be Soursop over black. It looks very close (I will have to do a comp post in the next few days).
Like I mentioned above, the finish, save for Dragon Berry and Pomegranate is very similar to the ChG glass-fleck polishes And other than being super sheer, for the most part, I had no application issues.
When I first swatched this collection, I was disappointed. The colors on the nail just did not live up to expectations when you saw them in the bottle. However, if you like to layer, I definitely think it’s worth picking these up. Guava, Tutti Frutti, Soursop, and Star Fruit are so beautiful over black. Right now, these are B2G1F at Sally Beauty and with a Sally’s card, they are $3.79 each. I haven’t seen the collection online, either through Sally’s or another e-tailer, and there is no contact information either on the bottle or online. So it looks like these are in-store only for right now.