Friday, February 3, 2012

Nicole by OPI City-Pretty Rose ushers in the month of Love

How is it February already? Last week, I was just playing with my über adorable niece and now the house feels so strangely quiet with just us two (three, if you count Hammie) again. It's so eerie that I've even taken to leaving the TV on for ambient noise. (Is that weird?) Anyway, things are slowly going back to normal so expect the Indulge without the Splurge posts to be back up by next week. I'll also try to mix things up a bit in an effort to diversify with various beauty products that I've accumulated over the holidays and have been dying to write a review on. Now, while that will definitely be something to look forward to, rest assured that the nail polish posts will keep rolling out as usual. For the entire month of February, I thought it would be fun to feature Valentine-esque colors all month long: pinks, reds, metallics and maybe a Tiffany blue. To get the ball rolling, I busted out one of my absolute favorite pinks:

A happy, cheerful pink to get you out of your winter rut!

The Quick Take

Brand/Name: Nicole by OPI City-Pretty Rose
Color: Deep pink
Finish: Creme
Price: $8.99 CDN for 15mL
Seen at: WalMart, Shoppers Drug Mart and wherever Nicole by OPI is sold
Note(s): This shade is part of the core collection and should be easy to find where the brand is sold. I purchased my bottle when it was on sale for $6.99 at Shoppers Drug Mart.

The Fun Facts

Not a huge fan of the bottle as it takes up so much space!

Back of the bottle.

Older brush. A whole lot thinner than your standard Nicole by OPI brush.

Serial at the base.

Ingredients. Notice how it has both Formaldehyde Resin and Camphor.

A straightforward deep pink.

This is a fairly easy color to describe. It's a deep pink that perfectly matches #FF1439 on my monitor. A cheery shade of pink that I feel can be worn by both warm and cool toned ladies out there. See, if I compare it to a full on cool toned pink, it looks considerably warmer. But if I compare it to a definite warm toned pink, even a cooler toned coral, City-Pretty Rose looks a whole lot cooler. I'd hazard a guess and say that this sits somewhere in the middle of the warm and cool pink color spectrum. That's fantastic news as it makes for a versatile pink that will cater to a lot of skintones. The creme finish is shiny enough on its own but will definitely require some top coat to reach its full glossy potential.
***All nail swatches were done with Orly Bonder Base Coat and three coats of Nicole by OPI City-Pretty Rose unless stated.

Natural light/No top coat/No flash
Here it is looking deceptively coral. Oy, such a pain to photograph this one!

Natural light/No top coat/Flash
The flash photos are the only ones that came out color accurate.

Sunlight/No top coat/No flash
I swear it was opaque to the naked eye but for some reason, sunlight brings out the visible nail line.

Can I just say that I wish they'd bring back these old school brushes? I find application to be so much easier and way more precise with these thinner brushes. While I'm generally not a fan of the tallness of this bottle when it comes to storage, I do enjoy the longer handle during application. It can easily be held like a pen and with the thinner brush that fans out well, it allows for a smooth and precise application. No clean up necessary with this one! The formula itself is self leveling so that no brushstrokes are visible upon drying. It is a bit on the thin/watery side so you have to be careful about pooling or flooding your cuticles with too much polish. Thin coats are better with this sort of formula. Dry time is a bit longer than average, mostly because of the multiple coats needed to get full opacity.

Natural light/Top coat/No flash
The warmer tones always seem to show up in the no flash photos.

Natural light/Top coat/Flash
Hammie says: How dainty and cheerful it looks!

Sunlight/Top coat/No Flash
Hammie sings: "Never let it rain on the heart of the pretty pink rose.."

You might be able to get away without using top coat if you put this pink on in a hurry. But to have it at its glossiest, some top coat lovin' definitely won't hurt.

The Lowdown

There are a whole lot of pinks out there so the question remains: is this a unique sort of pink? Honestly, it's hard to say. It takes a keen eye to really spot the differences between pinks that would otherwise look the same to the uninitiated. Off hand, I really can't think of a full on dupe. It's really hard to judge based on other people's photos as well so I searched my own collection to see what the closest matches would be. I came up with these possibilities:

I super-sized the photo so it's easy to see. All four are definitely not matches for each other. City-Pretty Rose is paler and warmer than Never Say Never. I honestly thought Status Symbol would be a match but it leans warmer. Harlequin is obviously darker, as well as warmer than City-Pretty Rose. See what I mean about it not looking particularly unique but how hard it is to find an actual dupe? If you think of anything, please do enlighten me in the comments.

As for availability, to my knowledge, City-Pretty Rose is part of the core collection. This should be fairly easy to spot. But do you really need this pink among all your other pinks? I honestly think so. I've used this cheerful pink far more often than any of the other three that I used in my color comparison. But if you're put off by the need for 3 or more coats, you can easily pass on this pink. Generally, I think Nicole by OPI polishes are a great value for money in that you get the great OPI formula for less $$$. The fact that I got my bottle on sale makes it an even better deal. Bottomline: if you have way too many pinks, you really don't need City-Pretty Rose. But if you're still searching for THE pink, please do give this one a shot and you might end up liking it as much as I do.

Hammie enjoys happy colors and this one is no different. He says it brings to mind fun memories of summer and makes him look forward all the more to the coming warmer months. As for it fitting the Valentine theme, he vigorously nodded his cute little head in agreement. But impatient as he is, he didn't enjoy the fact that it needed extra coats for full opacity that lead to a longer dry time. He also wished it was shinier so that he can go without top coat if needed, never mind that he got to let out his inner Bowie. The formaldehyde resin and camphor in the formula are a bigger no-no, though. His score?

9 Hammie Points!

Happy Friday! Yay for the weekend! What's your favorite/go-to pink polish? What colors put you in a cheerful mood? Any big plans for V-day?


  1. This is a really pretty shade! Definitely my kind of color ;0). Looking forward to what other V-day inspired colors you have in store!

  2. Hello Carmela,

    The color is really pretty, but I don't like fomaldehyde on my nails, so I will have to search a dupe...
    I have a tag for you over on my blog! I hope you enjoy it :)

  3. I thought you'd like it. ;) Do you already have it in your stash? Otherwise, I can easily throw this in before I send you your package! :D Thanks, Marisa!

  4. Hi Sophie!

    I understand. Formaldehyde is usually a big no-no for me but the color is so pretty I couldn't resist. ;) If you do find something similar, I hope you let me know. I'd definitely appreciate it! :)

    Oh, cool! Thanks so much, Sophie! :D

  5. That's so sweet of you. No, I don't have it.

  6. Lovely pink on you, Carmela! :) It reminds me of the summer, and I'm so looking forward to warm weather again.

    Thanks for the comparison swatches, too. That really helps me get a better understanding of this exact shade of pink.

  7. Thanks, Mary! Definitely! Whenever I need a picker upper, this is one of my go-tos. :) You're welcome. It was so hard for me to describe what makes it so different that I figured the best way to show it is with a color comparison. :)

    How's your search for the perfect pink going for you? Any luck yet?

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