OPI has long been one of my favorite brands of nail polish. I generally find their polish to be easy to apply and the wear time to be good. I remember a time when OPI was only available in salons, but it’s pretty much ubiquitous now. You can even buy OPI at Target, even though that’s not a sanctioned outlet (see here, under Diversion, where they ask you to report unauthorized retailers – yeah, I’ll get right on that). The best selection is still in salons, or a specialty beauty store like Ulta. OPI loves to do tie-in collections around movies and musicians. Some of their newer collections include the Gwen Stefani line and Fifty Shades of Grey, which thankfully doesn’t actually consist of fifty shades, and also has a red thrown in for good measure. (They apparently subscribe to the White House|Black Market theory of monochromatics.)
I’m docking points from OPI (and liking them a little less) for only being 3-free instead of 5-free (and also for not putting this highly relevant information anywhere on their website – I had to check my favorite nail polish blog to find the info). The brand is also now owned by Coty, Inc., and I tend to avoid large international conglomerates. OPI is supposedly not tested on animals, but they are not vegan or cruelty-free polishes.
I’m a little late to the Liquid Sand party – it’s been around for some time now, but hey, I’m not a professional blogger, and I don’t get free nail polish samples sent to me like they do. I buy all my products at the store like an average Jane. The Liquid Sand line’s hook is its textured matte finish and reflective particles. It really feels like sand on your nails! The brush is rather wide and fans out quite a bit. On my pinky fingers, there’s really only room for one stroke of the brush, that’s how wide it is.
I found a two-pack of Liquid Sand at Marshall’s (also definitely not an authorized retailer) for $7.99. The darker shade is called Vesper, and the lighter shade is Can’t Let Go. I tried Vesper first.
The first coat went on rather thin and streaky. I was somewhat alarmed at first, worried that the finished product was going to be a hot mess. But by the time I got to the second coat, the color had really filled in, and it was quite opaque. It still looked very weird while it was drying – like a lumpy manicure gone terribly wrong. But amazingly, it dried to a very cool, sand-textured, matte finish with a hint of sparkle. You can use a top coat with Liquid Sand, but that kind of defeats the purpose of using a textured polish.
The heavily textured finish can be problematic. My nails kept catching on the woven fabric covering our couch cushions. And I temporarily ruined my manicure by putting on my foundation in the morning. The foundation seeped into the grains and discolored the polish. By the end of the day, after many hand washings, it was back to what it had looked like before the foundation incident. But that’s something to be aware of when wearing Liquid Sand.
Can’t Let Go had more glitter to it than Vesper. It’s a bright blue-ish purple with hexagonal reflective pieces in it. It also was fully opaque after two coats. With both colors I didn’t really have problems with chips like you get with regular nail polish. These just kind of eroded away from the edge of my nail over a period of days. I got four solid days of wear. By day five, the polish was starting to be questionable, and by day six it was in really bad shape. Removal was difficult, which is to be expected with textured nail polish, but not as bad as it could have been. It took about three and a half minutes to remove polish from all 10 fingers, with acetone remover and significant scrubbing.
All in all, I like the Liquid Sand when I’m in the mood for something different. It doesn’t last quite as long as OPI’s non-textured polishes, but it’s fun. If you’re looking to mix things up a bit, I recommend this line.