As you may know, OPI recently came out with their Hello Kitty Collection. Now although I'm personally too old to have grown up with Hello Kitty (I'm 24 people!!!), I think this Collection has less to do with nostalgia and more to do with embracing your childish side (also the Japanese cuteness factor is hard to miss, kawaii!!!). I really love all the pink hues of this Collection, but if that's not your thing they also have some unique shades to recreate the iconic kitty in all her glory as nail art (red, blue, yellow and black). However, I just picked up the pinks...forgive me!
As a side note, I also tried to get Small + Cute = <3 (I know an emoji in a name! First time for everything) but due to the restrictive UK postage laws I wasn't able to have it sent from the UK to Belgium. But after seeing exactly which colours were on offer in places like Selfridges (John Lewis has yet to receive the Collection), this shade doesn't seem to be part of the "UK" bunch anyway (nor the blue one), so I think it's okay if I just show you the ones I did manage to get a hold of (THANK YOU BeautyBay!!!): Look at My Bow!, Super Cute in Pink and Spoken from the Heart.
P.S. If you live in the UK, don't worry, you can get the whole Hello Kitty Collection from OPI UK's online store - it just doesn't seem to be widely available in actual stores. However if you live in Belgium then I can tell you Planet Parfum did not receive this Collection nor the Starlight Collection for that matter! So I would highly suggest BeautyBay for those polish needs, since you can pay in euros and there are no postage restrictions!
The New Orleans Collection has however made its way to Belgium, so you can look forward to that post coming up soon (just waiting for my nails to grow acceptably long again).
OPI - Look at My Bow! (Hello Kitty Collection)
First up, one of the "baby pinks" of the Collection; Let's Be Friends is a very white toned pink, think Essie's Fiji (the European one) and Small + Cute = <3 is more of a true "baby pink", albeit a bit more peachy toned. Look at My Bow! however is a light pink cream, it is just the slightest bit too blue toned to be the perfect "baby pink". Although in some lights this polish does look more like an orange toned pink, a true chameleon if you ask me, this one! Basically, if Essie's Lovie Dovie and OPI's Purple Palazzo Pants had a baby it would be Look at My Bow! (comparison swatches below).
- 3 coats on top of Orly's glue basecoat (One Night Stand) in the photo, for easy swatch removal. I did try this one as a full manicure and it is also currently on my toes, but I did have to use 3 coats over my Essie basecoat (Grow Stronger) for those ones too.
Very much like Purple Palazzo Pants, this polish applies with a thin but opaque formula. It doesn't pool like Purple Palazzo Pants however, but you do get the same streaking effect, where only 3 coats gives the desired smooth and lovely, shiny gel-like finish.
As I did wear this one as a full manicure I can attest that it sadly chipped the next day (I apply my polish before bed), but I think this could be a fluke, since it only chipped on one finger, and I did wash hair that day (I use my nails for that activity) and the other nails survived no problem. Plus, my toe manicure is still intact even after wearing my boots that usually rub off any manicure on my feet. So it needs further testing really; either way a top coat is sure to extends its longevity! :)
Like any other creme nail polish, super easy removal.
OPI - Super Cute in Pink (Hello Kitty Collection)
As the name would suggest and not what the bottle would make you believe, this polish is in fact a pink! Which when you expect the more purple hue from the bottle on your nails, it is a slight disappointment! But it's a lovely colour nonetheless, so I will forgive the slightly misleading bottle. Very similar to Essie's Splash of Grenadine, almost a dupe for it in fact! You can see me wearing it in my Clinique Pansy Pop post and there is also a comparison swatch below. Along with Essie's Sittin' Pretty, Splash of Grenadine was pretty much all I wore on my nails last year. Super Cute in Pink is a gorgeous bright fuchsia colour (purple toned pink) and I'm sure I'll be wearing this colour again just as much this year (closer to spring/summer time).
- 3 coats on top of Orly's glue basecoat for easy swatch removal.
This polish performs very much like the formula in Essie's Splash of Grenadine, that is to say it has a very jelly-like consistency! Streakiness is not an issue but visible nail line is, hence the 3 coats (I also need 3 coats with Splash of Grenadine).
I have yet to test this one as a full manicure, but if Essie's Splash of Grenadine is anything to go by, I think I would easily get 4-5 days chip-free with this formula.
Like any crelly (creme/jelly hybrid) super easy removal.
OPI - Spoken from the Heart (Hello Kitty Collection)
This is a beautiful bright pinky red crelly. I initially thought this might be a dupe for Maybelline's Forever Strong nail polish in 490 Hot Salsa but it is way more pinky in tone compared to that rather orangey toned red (comparison below). This polish colour would go gorgeously with Sephora's Cream Lip Stain in 03 Strawberry Kissed, and I'm sure that's exactly what I'll be pairing it with when I do wear it as a full manicure!
- 3 coats on top of Orly's glue basecoat for easy swatch removal.
This polish performs exactly like Super Cute in Pink, i.e. another very jelly-like formula! No streakiness, but visible nail line, hence it needs 3 coats for full opacity. There is still a very slight visible nail line after 3 coats but nothing too noticeable, except maybe under direct sunlight or a macro-zoom lens :P
Again I think this would perform like Splash of Grenadine, 4-5 day wear...to be verified!
Super easy removal even as a "red" which are notoriously difficult to remove from stained cuticles. Even if I did use the easy Orly peel off basecoat and have yet to test it out as a full manicure, some polish did bleed onto my cuticles (since I do tend to flood them when applying polish), but I had no difficulty in removing the excess with a cotton bud and nail polish remover.
So there you have it, my top picks from the Hello Kitty Collection, can't wait to get Small + Cute = <3 when I go to the UK in April (wasn't going to make you guys wait that long). My overall thoughts for this Collection...kawaii!!! Couldn't resist! :)
If you're into pinks then definitely check this Collection out (and the more unusual colours, if that's your thing). Now I'm off to practice drawing Hello Kitty on my nails...disaster waiting to happen I'm sure (but if it even remotely looks like a cat, I'll be happy!) :P
What is your favourite colour from this Collection?
What's your all time favourite baby pink?
What would feature in your ideal nostalgia Collection?...Spice Girls anybody?!
P.S. If you want to get your hands on the gorgeous bows you see in the photos (not the yellow ones, that was just knotted ribbon) then I can highly suggest this eBay seller. Be careful though when selecting your bows as some have a brooch pin on their back and others have a pin curl pin, which I personally found the easiest to slide into the hair just above an elastic or a kirby grip (also known as a bobby pin, in case my American peeps have no idea what I'm talking about).