Before I met El Hub and moved across the Golden Gate Bridge from the city to Marin County (oh, the things we do for love!), I called San Francisco’s Outer Richmond district my home.
I lived in an apartment at the corner of 36th and Geary, about five minutes from the often foggy beach. At night, the 38 Geary Bus would rumble past my window as low fog horns from the Bay lulled me to sleep.
I was in my 20s then, savoring life in the city right at the height of the dot-com boom. I loved the excitement and everything the city had to offer, but truth be told, the experience also kicked my @ss…in a good way though.
I learned a lot — about myself, about what I wanted out of life, what I didn’t want, and even after a decade removed from the city, I’m still awestruck every time I cross the Golden Gate and see the city skyline.
I love that town.
Needless to say, I’ve been hella freakin’ over the moon about the new OPI San Francisco collection.
And, yes, I said hella. Because that’s how we do it here, babe.
The 15-piece release, new for fall/winter 2013, feels authentic to me, like OPI did their research. It’s like they took postcards of some of the city’s most iconic places and spaces and poured them into the bottles.
May I be your tour guide? I’d love to show you around San Francisco by OPI
For starters, I think it’s fitting that OPI chose fall for a San Francisco collection, seeing as how it’s such a wonderful season around here. Generally sunnier, warmer and less crowded than summer (yup, it’s the micro-climates here). September through early- to mid-November is my favorite time of year in the city.
Very much like a song sung about SF, the collection embodies the urban aspects of SF — sure, it’s a city — but it also has some very beautiful parks and lush outdoor areas, like the greens of Golden Gate Park and Land’s End (could you imagine a shade of green inspired by the Wild Parrots of Telegraph Hill?? I die!).
Instead of going that route, though, OPI chose something more street chic, with nautical blues, sandy taupes, foggy grays, Golden Gate/Chinatown reds, burgundies and browns. It’s not urban in an industrial way. More like a hike up and down steep city streets surrounded by epic views and high-rise buildings.
The collection features 12 shades in OPI’s regular polish formula, encompassing a mix of creams and shimmers, as well as three textured Liquid Sand shades, and the entire color palette is meant to go with fall’s fashion trends, specifically looks with military details and winter whites.
For me, most of the polishes require two coats, although some of the more glittery shades, like Haven’t the Foggiest and Alcatraz…Rocks, work well with one. They all boast OPI’s signature bad-@ss brush, which is nice and full and wide and makes it very easy to cover an entire nail evenly in two or three swipes.
Hop aboard this cable car with me, and let’s take a look.
A-Piers To Be Tan is a creamy orange-brown. Call me cat lady, but it reminds of Tabs’ tum more than anything else. It’s one of my least favorite shades here, but I do like the way it contrasts with the rest of the colors in the collection.
Dining al Frisco, a super smooth, non-streaky medium blue with shimmer, exactly matches the color of the Bay on a sunny day.
There’s a spot near Sausalito on the 101 highway going south toward San Francisco where you pass through a wall of fog spilling dramatically over the hilltops. Haven’t the Foggiest, an intense, glittery gray, looks just like that. It’s a stunning one-coater!
Holographic Peace & Love & OPI is like MAC Club eyeshadow’s nail polish cousin, flashing from teal to purple to gray in the light.
I LOVE it! — and if I had to pick a favorite from the collection, this would be it.
Keeping Suzi at Bay, a navy blue, is a shout-out to OPI Executive VP and Artistic Director Suzi Weiss-Fischmann. It’s creamy and smooth like buttah.
Ironically, I’ve actually been Incognito in Sausalito, another of the colors from the release, exploring the seaside town with my stunna shades, LOL! One of the standouts for me, this creamy, dark blueish black shade looks like calligraphy ink.
Lost on Lombard probably should have been named, “Stuck in Traffic on Lombard,” because that’s usually what happens to me on this famous street. Maybe if I wore this dark creamy garnet on my paws, it would make those traffic jams more bearable.
Ha! This one’s name. I Knead Sour-Dough, an understated, elegant golden plum, borrows a page from Chanel’s book.
If you feel like donning knee-high boots, a turtle neck and tweed when you wear Muir Muir on the Wall, you’re not the only one. This dark shimmery plum is a classic fall shade.
In the Cable Car-pool Lane is another ode to traffic, but it looks like a glass of Cabernet. Yum.
Gold rush! If you look closely, you can see little nuggets of shimmery golden glitter swimming in magenta Embarca-Dare Ya! — a play on one of the city’s waterfront thoroughfares, the Embarcadero.
I’ve driven, walked or ran across the Golden Gate Bridge many times, and it never ceases to amaze. I think First Date at the Golden Gate gets the color right. At times, it’s uncanny how closely it resembles the Golden Gate’s orange-red shade.
The last three pieces from the collection are textured. The Liquid Sand polishes, with their gritty finish, are something you’ll probably either love or hate.
If applied with a base coat, then two coats of polish but without a top coat, they dry to a bumpy texture that looks like you dipped wet nails in the sand.
I feel alright about taupe It’s All San Andreas Fault and blue Wharf! Wharf! Wharf! They remind me of alien eggs…which freaks me out a little.
But glittery Alcatraz…Rocks is off the hook! Glittery, sparkly and just really fun. If a polish looks like something BeyoncÃ© might wear on tour, I’m in, and I can see Bey flashing this on her claws while she does that bit with her hands from Put a Ring on It. If you crave adventurous nail colors, you’ll definitely want to try this.
The San Francisco by OPI collection arrives August 7 to salons, Pure Beauty and Ulta stores, and also online.
PRICE: $9 each
AVAILABILITY: Limited edition, and coming August 7 to salons, Pure Beauty and Ulta stores, and online
MAKEUP AND BEAUTY BLOG RATING: A-
Your friendly neighborhood beauty addict,