I’ve swatched and rounded up some pink and red nail polishes to try for Valentine’s Day! OPI is one of my favorite brands for nail polish and they just launched their new Hollywood Collection. I received a few press samples to try but the ones that stood out to me were the lighter shades so I ordered them from Ulta (also available at Amazon). I decided to swatch of the new ones alongside a few of their classics. Colors I have swatched are all with two coats. I found they applied smoothly – I tend to prefer the opaque colors anyways!
It has been ages since I did a nail polish wheel swatch! I thought it might be helpful to do a side by side with a few other shades mixed in for reference:
You can find the new Hollywood shades available at Ulta Beauty and Amazon. Other classic colors are more widely available. Do you like pinks or reds for nails? What are your favorites? (I’ve linked a few of my favorite base and top coats below as well.)
Shop the Post:
Press samples include OPI Princesses Rule, I’m Really an Actress, 15 Minutes of Flame. All others purchased by me.
By popular request I’m sharing my top five most worn neutral nail polishes. I’ve done a few rounds of my favorite neutrals in past years and these days I feel like it’s all I want to wear on my fingers. I’m constantly asked for neutral polish recommendations every single week! There are so many different definitions and variations of “nude” for polish. When someone asks me for a good everyday nude polish they can mean so many different things. Some think of a pale off white neutral, others a pink neutral, some envision a camel beige, neutral beige, pink beige, brown pink, mauve nude etc. What neutral looks like also depends on skin tone and how well the color matches or contrasts with your skin tone.
I like something that is lighter or a lot lighter than my skin tone. Something that matches exactly ends up looking like mannequin hands which is not a good look on me. These are my current top five nude nail polishes I wear the most and also always get compliments or questions on.
Top 5 Neutral Nail Polishes for Sabrina
Smith and Cult Peaceful Paranoia is a neutral creamy neutral cool beige-pink that flashes iridescent pink. It is one that matches my skin tone fairly close but has enough contrast to give a polished look. Marc Jacobs Flourescent Beige is similar but something about the mauve-grey base didn’t go well with my skintone. More swatches of Peaceful Paranoia here.
OPI Machu Peach-U is the most perfect neutral nude peach ever made. I’m so sad it appears to be limited-edition. If you can locate it buy it immediately. It’s part of the Peru Collection and I think it should be made permanent! I was able to find some at my local Ulta even though it’s not online. You can still find it on Amazon.
OPI Tiramisu for Two has been a go-to neutral beige pink for years. I love that it has full smooth coverage and doesn’t turn or look yellowish on the hands. It has a tiny bit of pink/cool undertone to prevent it from looking too beige. It’s the perfect everyday neutral. OPI has so many great neutrals but a lot of them are sheer. This one is opaque which makes it a winner in my book.
OPI Samoan Sand is one of the sheer ones but it’s not as sheer as Bubble Bath. I still need 3 coats for full coverage but for a beige it’s really so perfect I don’t mind. Finding a good beige nude is hard because of the yellow undertone in so many. It ends up making my skin look sallow. This has enough peachy undertone to make for the perfect sheer beige nude.
I wanted to add one more swatch for you since so many of you sent me Direct Messages about the spring colors from Chanel. I was pretty let down by the offerings this season (and last season too) so I only bought 2 of the spring nail polishes. Neither made my heart sing even though I really tried to love them. This Instagram post I did about the Bleached Mauve Le Vernis was one of my most liked posts on Instagram this year though which means it might be right up your alley! It matches two of their Rouge Coco Glosses which I love in 714 and 716 so I thought it would be perfect, but I’m sad to report that it did not work for me. It’s too brown/warm but maybe my skintone isn’t the right shade to go well with this. I feel like OPI’s Dulce de Leche is close but has a tiny bit more pink to make it more wearable. I do think the new Pierres de Lumiere polish colors look absolutely stunning based on stock photos. The entire collection just launched online.
I’ve accumulated quite a few polishes over the years. My 2017 favorites linked here. I’ve since found myself wearing the same neutrals more often on the fingers. Recent pink polish colors have been from the OPI Tokyo Collection which I’ll review soon (Rice Rice Baby and Another Ramen-Tic Evening are perfect!). On the toes I often do nudes or bright corals. I don’t have any go-to rule about mixing or matching nails on tips and toes, I feel like you can really do anything your mood calls for!
Hope you found this helpful for my top 5 most-worn neutrals! Would love to hear about yours and what your definition of nude polish is!
By popular request I’m going to start covering some of my favorite budget beauty tries and buys! For my beauty blogging life I’ve primarily focused on mid to high-end luxury brands but every week I get questions about more affordable options or dupes. I’ve been experimenting more with different brands based on feedback and started testing things I think look interesting. I have some budget beauty items to share with you today of items I feel are worth trying. Prices vary depending on retailer and promos you can find, but at the full retail price, everything is under $20.
1. L’Oreal Voluminous Lash Paradise Waterproof Mascara is hands down my favorite drugstore mascara. It lengthens, volumizes, defines, holds the curl and does not smudge on me. I’ve gone through quite a few tubes of this! Several of you have commented it’s prone to clumping after a few uses. To solve this I take the wand once every other week and run it through a folded piece of paper in the crease to clean it. It does waste a lot of product but I do this with most of my mascaras but it’s the only way I can remove buildup. I have actually tried both the non-waterproof and waterproof versions. I think both are really good. Given the fact that I live in Florida where the humidity is intense, I prefer the waterproof version as a better smudge-proof option.
2. After the success I had with the mascara, I bought the L’Oreal Voluminous Lash Paradise Primer as soon as it launched with high hopes. It was a hit! It works well to prime and condition the lashes. It’s pink tinted so you can see how much you’ve actually applied. The trick with this is to not let it dry down all the way before you add mascara. I apply a coat of mascara almost immediately after I apply the primer and it works like a charm. If I let it dry completely it almost becomes crunchy and mascara doesn’t adhere well.
2. OPI Nail Polishes are my go-to for favorite affordable nail polish brand. I know many others love Essie or Zoya, but for me OPI is the best for lasting power and color. My favorite neutrals are from OPI including Tiramisu for Two, Samoan Sand, Let Me Bayou a Drink and more. I’m going to be putting together an updated neutral nail polish post, but you can see my Favorite Neutrals in this roundup here. I also really like the Natural Nail Base Coat to help protect the nails, prime them for polish and prevent yellowing.
4. L’Oreal Color Riche Shine Lipsticks are a close dupe for the YSL Rouge Volupte Shine Oil in Stick. When I read others claiming this I was skeptical. I did not think it was possible! I bought a few shades and really like them. I was then sent the entire lineup for review. After testing them I do not think they are 100% identical but they make for an impressive cheaper alternative. The L’Oreal Color Riche Shine Lipsticks have the same balmy feel, comfortable wear and nice shine. I actually like them a little bit more because there’s less slip to them so they adhere better to the lips. They do have a completely different scent, the L’Oreal ones have that super sweet candy like scent. There are a couple colors that apply patchy because of how pale they are in comparison to my natural lip color, but most of them are solid wins. The only two iffy colors are Shining Peach and Dewey Petal for me – they run really pale.
5. L’Oreal True Match Lumi Glotion is something I would call a dupe for the Charlotte Tilbury Flawless Filter. This comes in four color options, Fair Glow, Light Glow, Medium Glow and Deep Glow. This is similar in concept to the Charlotte Tilbury product because the Lumi Glotion can also be worn alone, under makeup, to highlight or bronze. It has a subtle luminous glow that you can see on the skin but it’s not overly shimmery or frosted. I do think the color range differs for the deeper shades. If you’re fair to medium the colors are close. I like either Light or Medium to highlight and Deep works as a slightly deeper bronze shimmer.
That wraps up my first Budget Beauty Buys and Tries roundup! I’ll be incorporating 1-2 roundups per month. Let me know in the comments if you’ve tried any of these and what your thoughts were. I’d love to hear your thoughts. Also if you have any dupe requests please leave a note in the comments and I’ll try to do some research for the next round.
I buy these brands primarily at Target, Ulta Beauty or CVS. If you have a go-to destination for budget beauty shopping I’d love to hear in the comments!
L’Oreal True Match Lumi Glotion and Color Riche Shines provided as press samples. L’Oreal Lash Paradise initially provided as a sample, but I’ve since repurchased it on my own many times.
Today’s post is another one by popular request. It seems like neutral nail polishes are what a lot of you need recommendations for and I totally understand the pain of finding a good one. There are so many neutral options but many are that either too sheer, too light, too pink or really beige and if you’re like me you’ll go to the store, look at all the OPI or Essie options and think hmmm a lot of these look really similar. I’ve found that something with a bit of pink and nude mixed together works best for my olive skintone. I’m still on the hunt for the perfect light nude peach that isn’t too yellow, too orange or beige. I love the look of OPI Samoan Sand on others but on me it’s a bit too dark and a bit too peachy. I did a similar post back in 2014 of my Favorite Nude Pink Polishes. Today I have an updated version although a few of them will be on repeat because I just haven’t found anything better.
If you see me wearing a nude polish, there is a really good chance that it’s either Tom Ford Sugar Dune, Essie Topless and Barefoot or Burberry Nude Pink. All three are very similar – the difference is slight in undertone but pigment and wear time is also different. Many times you just don’t know what a color will look like until you try it on your hands. Something that looks incredibly boring in the bottle like Tom Ford Sugar Dune ends up being one of the prettiest soft nude pinks ever. If you think all these look the same you’re right but I’ll add descriptions on what makes them each unique so you can find the right one for you.
Lineup in natural light:
Descriptions as I see them and notes on how many coats it takes for full coverage:
Essie Spin the Bottle is a nude pink with slight warmth to it, it’s one of the few ones that has a bit of beige and peach that I can wear, this one takes two coats for full coverage and the best way to make it last is with Seche Vite top coat, although many of you have recommended the Essie No Chips Ahead
Essie Topless and Barefoot is one of my most-worn polishes, it’s a nude pink and has more pink than Spin the Bottle, this one unfortunately almost always gets tip wear on me within 7 hours to 1 day no matter what top coat I use, but I still love the color so with this one I’m going to try it with the Essie top coat once I have a chance to go pick one up, this one always need 3 to 4 coats for me
Louboutin Tutulle (all 10 of the nudes swatched and reviewed here) is one of the best nude beige pink polishes I’ve tried, all the Louboutin nudes are just flawless, it has smooth shiny coverage and only takes 2 coats and usually lasts a minimum of 7 days without chipping or tip wear
Tom Ford Sugar Dune is a light powdery looking cool pink, on the hands it gives the most polished elegant look I’ve seen, I get full coverage with two coats but there are times I need three
Chanel Organdi (reviewed here) is another great neutral, this is one of the darker colors but it’s still light enough in color that it gives the hands the look of being lighter and brighter, this has medium coverage in texture but you can get full coverage with two thin coats
OPI Mimosas for Mr and Mrs is one of the sheerest neutrals I own and takes a minimum of 3 coats, the result is a clean looking light pink neutral though so sometimes when I have patience I’m ok with the extra work it takes
OPI Be There in a Prosecco (application shown here) is one of the lightest polishes I have that isn’t a pure white but pretty close, it has a bit of cream in it without being yellow, this gives the effect of white polish but it’s not as harsh on the skin, this one has full coverage with two coats, the first coat will be streaky but it will even out with the second
Dior Incognito is a classic neutral pink with warmth, for me this looks better when I have a tan, but I love that it’s semi sheer but still incredibly smooth with a flawless high shine finish, I need two coats with this one
Burberry Nude Pink (also reviewed here) is another classic, it’s lasted over two years and is still just as good as when I bought it, many of mine last for years, it’s a great opaque neutral nude pink, full coverage achieved with two coats
Nails Inc. Bond Street Passage is a new one to me, it’s not really one I’d consider in the neutral category because it looks more like a mauve pink in the bottle, on the hands it pulls more like a neutral with a pink kick, this is a one coat wonder but I still prefer it with two coats to get a more cushiony look, I haven’t tried much from this line, so far only 3 polishes, but every time I do I’m really just blown away by the pigment in their polishes!
Swatches on the nail wheel, all of these have two coats with the exception of OPI Mimosas for Mr. and Mrs. which has 4 and Essie Topless and Barefoot which has 3:
Swatches in natural lighting for each of these polishes, OPI Be There in a Prosecco (Ulta Beauty), two coats:
Another look of the polishes lined up in sunlight with flash:
You definitely do not need all of these, but I hope this helps compare colors in a side by side and swatch manner. I’ve accumulated many polishes over the past few years and these are my favorite neutrals that you can still find today. A few other favorites have been limited-editions from Dior and you can’t find them anymore so I didn’t want to include those in the roundup. As many of you have asked for recommendations that are in the more affordable price range I included Essie and OPI to the mix. I usually consider myself a lover of brighter or bold shades for the fingers like Chanel Camelia or Louboutin Miss Mars, but I really like the clean and almost brightening look of neutral nails.
My top three favorites of the moment: Tom Ford Sugar Dune, Louboutin Tutulle and Chanel Organdi.
Do you have any neutral favorites? I know the word “neutral” can mean something different to everyone, but I’d love to hear what yours are! They don’t have to be nude pinks like the ones I featured, let me know what has worked for you and if you can share your skintone that would be super helpful as well 🙂
I’ve been on a natural nude-pink nail polish kick ever since Tom Ford Sugar Dune was released for spring. I’ve since been wearing a lot of light and neutral pinks on the nails. For me light pink is a bit difficult to find, most are either too pale, too sheer or apply unevenly. I’ve still managed to find quite a few variations of light and nude pink with great formulas, application and wear. The colors that made my top picks:
Rescue Beauty Lounge Thank You ($20) is a nude pink with light pearl particles. It flashes blue and pink for a cool-toned sheen but has a nude pink base to prevent it from looking too pale. This color looks good on everyone I’ve seen it on. It’s shown below with two coats.
Tom Ford Sugar Dune ($32) is my ultimate perfect nude pink. As discussed in my review a few months ago, application can be a bit time consuming, it is one of the higher maintenance nudes but once applied is a clean polished neutral light pink. It is limited-edition so if you’re interested I suggest you try to track one down sooner than later.
Burberry Nude Pink and Ash Rose ($21 each) both beautiful polished clean neutrals. Scroll down through the archives (last couple weeks) to see a more detailed review on each shade.
OPI My Very First Knockwurst can be found at a number of retailers. I either purchase my OPI from Drugstore.com or Ulta. I found this to be the most difficult to apply and it required three coats. However the price of OPI is much more affordable compared to high end brands. Most of the time OPI applies just as well (sometimes better) than other luxury nail polishes. In this case, this one was a bit of a nightmare to apply. It required three coats but I love the color of this shade.
Chanel Rose Cache ($27) is a classic sheer natural pink. It has that secret-shimmer in the bottle that disappears once applied on the nail. It looks different on everyone I’ve seen but is a universally flatting easy to wear/go with everything kind of nail polish.
Dior Incognito ($24) is my favorite classic nude pink. It’s not too dark and not too pale. Just the right in between. Do note this one is coming out in the gel formula (have not tried yet). You may want to wait for that color to be released in stores near you. But for now I’ve been a huge fan of all Dior’s nail polish formulas. The application is smooth and flawless with very good lasting power. Everything from the formula to brush design of Dior’s nail colors makes application very easy.
Zoya Rue ($9) is a classic nude pink with a hint of cool-mauve. I haven’t had much experience with Zoya but the brand has performed well for me on the occasions I have tried it. Rue was part of a recent nude collection. It’s a lovely natural pink cream. Below is Rue shown with three coats.
On my nails right now: OPI Wonderous Star from the holiday OPI + Mariah Carey collaboration. I just checked out the collection at my local Ulta even though the collection was released several months ago (see swatches on Beauty Geeks and Makeup and Beauty Blog). Wonderous Star is a glorious champagne gold sparkle infused with chunks of black glitter. The base is clear making the finish slightly transparent. I applied it with two coats and was impressed that the finish was very smooth even though it was loaded with glitters and sparkle. I haven’t seen anything like it. It’s definitely one of a kind.
Swatched with two coats:
I definitely recommend checking it out sooner than later before it’s gone. What do you have on your nails right now?
Due to the shimmer and neon quality of the pinks in these colors I found it a bit difficult to photograph accurately. I found Tom Ford Trophy Wife to be most similar to Chanel Rouge Carat. The difference is very slight from arm’s length. The Tom Ford is more pink. Chanel is more red and more frosted.