I Left My Heart in San Francisco and Put the OPI San Francisco Collection on My Nails

Published in: Collections, Nails, OPI, Product Reviews

The OPI San Francisco Collection, New for Fall/Winter 2013

The OPI San Francisco Collection, New for Fall/Winter 2013

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.

The clouds above San Francisco…

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!).

Walking along the Embarcadero…

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.

One of the city’s many piers with Angel Island on the right…

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. 🙂

OPI A-Piers to Be Tan

A-Piers to Be Tan

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.

OPI Dining al Frisco

Dining al Frisco

Dining al Frisco, a super smooth, non-streaky medium blue with shimmer, exactly matches the color of the Bay on a sunny day.

OPI Haven't the Foggiest

Haven’t the Foggiest

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!

OPI Peace & Love & OPI

Peace & Love & OPI

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.

OPI Incognito in Sausalito

Incognito in Sausalito

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.

OPI Incognito in Sausalito

Incognito in Sausalito

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.

OPI Lost on Lombard

Lost on Lombard

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.

OPI I Knead Sour Dough

I Knead Sour Dough

Ha! This one’s name. 🙂 I Knead Sour-Dough, an understated, elegant golden plum, borrows a page from Chanel’s book.

OPI Muir Muir on the Wall

Muir Muir on the Wall

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.

OPI In the Cable Car-pool Lane

In the Cable Car-pool Lane

In the Cable Car-pool Lane is another ode to traffic, but it looks like a glass of Cabernet. Yum.

OPI Embarca-Dare Ya!

Embarca-Dare Ya!

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.

OPI First Date at the Golden Gate

First Date at the Golden Gate

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.

OPI It's All San Andreas Fault

It’s All San Andreas Fault Liquid Sand

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.

OPI Wharf Wharf Wharf Liquid Sand

Wharf Wharf Wharf Liquid Sand

OPI Alcatraz...Rocks

Alcatraz…Rocks Liquid Sand

But glittery Alcatraz…Rocks is off the hook! Glittery, sparkly and just really fun. If a polish looks like something Beyoncé 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

Your friendly neighborhood beauty addict,



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So far, 54 people have commented on this article. How cool is that?

  1. I don’t think I’m one for textured polish but Alcatraz…Rocks Liquid Sand is gorgeous!
    Ankita@corallista recently posted … Beauty Tag : Shop Your Stash!

    • Karen says:

      Hi Ankita,

      It’s even cooler in person. When you see the glitter sparkling and shimmering in the light it’s hypnotizing. 🙂

      What are you currently wearing on your nails right now?

  2. Monica says:

    I love this! Thanks for the detailed review.

    I am in my mid-30’s and recently moved to the Outer Richmond after living in the crazy Mission District for 7 years.

    Not sure why I didn’t move sooner. I love being so close to Golden Gate Park, Lands End, Ocean Beach, Baker Beach and Sea Cliff!

    My husband and I sometimes think about moving to Marin. Maybe someday we will join you out there on the other side!

    • Karen says:

      Hi Monica,

      You’re welcome. And woo hoo from one Bay Area girl to another!

      Isn’t the Outer Richmond the best? I lived right within walking distance to Walgreens, Legion of Honor, Lands End and Balboa Theater. I used to love going to the Mechanical Museum when it was out there too. And of course, there’s Ocean Beach.

      It took a while for Marin to feel like home, but now I love it, especially Novato. It’s not really that far from SF and I enjoy the warm weather. If you ever need info on areas up here let met know! Tabs and I are happy to throw in our two cents. 😀

  3. Rachel says:

    I love these! I’m surprised they haven’t done a San Francisco collection sooner, it seems like they have done every other city!

  4. Laure says:

    Whoa, out of the regular polishes, I love pretty much all of them except Embarca-Dare Ya!. I’m less crazy about the Liquid Sands though. I only like Alcatraz…Rocks.

    • Karen says:

      Hi Laure,

      Yeah, I feel the same way about the Liquid Sands. The blue and taupe kinda freak me out. Do you plan on picking anything up?

      • Laure says:

        Liquid Sands without glitter kind of remind me of textured wallpaper. Not really my thing.

        I’m hoping for a Liquid Sand that looks like black diamonds on your nails. Or maybe a black Liquid Sand with gold glitter. That would be very glam.

        I wish… But OPI isn’t very readily available in my country and the places that do sell it are a little out of my budget, so I won’t be able to indulge my red nail polish fetish. ;D

  5. Heidi says:

    Ooh, I hope they do a set of minis from this collection! I like what I see!

  6. Maggie says:

    I love this! A San Franciscan talking about a San Francisco nail collection. I’ll have to pick up some of these.

    You should like, write up a San Francisco guide. I try to head there at least once a year to see friends/family and I would love to get ideas of what to do on my own downtime.

    • Karen says:

      Hi Maggie,

      That’s a great idea. I’ve done posts here and there of things to do, but maybe a round up posts of beauty spots?

      What time of year do you usually visit? I hope it’s the fall!

      • Maggie says:

        Yup. This year it’s looking to be fall. I’m supposedly heading down there in November but probably in August/September too. =)

      • Lorraine says:

        Yes, please! I love the idea. By the way, have you ever been to the San Jose nail supply stores? A must see beauty stop. Planning to scoop up some of the new OPIs there at bargain prices. what a lovely collection! Definitely need I Knead SourDough, Foggiest, Cable Car-pool, Incognito, Lost on Lombard and Muir Muir. Could even be tempted to take the liquid sand plunge with Alcatraz. OPI’s best fall collection since Russian collection, IMHO!

  7. megan says:

    Muir Muir on the Wall is pretty!
    Incognito in Sausalito is very nice too!!

  8. Danielle says:

    So excited for this! I think there are about 4 I really love. But I’m not a fan of the textured polish – it creeps me out.
    Danielle recently posted … Recipe: Cream of Cauliflower Soup

  9. Bree says:

    Such a pretty collection! My faves in order….1) Havn’t the foggiest (this reminds me of my mom she says that all the time) 2) Alcatraz…rocks 3) peace, love, & OPI 4) In the cable car pool lane! Definately need the first 3!

  10. BooBooNinja says:

    Karen, this is the best review of a nail polish collection I’ve read to date. Your love of San Francisco is evident in the personal references and joy you’ve shared with us.

    If writing can have such a thing as “a skip in your step”, that’s what I get from this post. I’m glad you’re seeing the brighter side of life again. *hug*

  11. Esme says:

    As a San Francisco native (Outer Sunset represent!), I am FREAKING OUT over this collection. Peace & Love & OPI is definitely my favorite–the weird psychedelic duochrome really does remind me of San Francisco. I also adore Muir Muir on the Wall, despite the corny name.

    • Karen says:

      Hi Esme,

      I lived in the Outer Sunset for a hot second and once dated a guy who lived out on Taraval. Girl, I was riding the L ALL THE TIME. I must’ve spent half of my early 20s on that train. Seriously!

      Do you ever go to Marco Polo? I love that place!

  12. Katie says:

    As a life-long Bay Area resident/S.F. lover and nail polish enthusiast, this is EVERYTHING.

    Great post, Karen. All the colors work well together, like you said, but I’m eyeing Peace & Love & OPI, Lost on Lombard (I can’t quit sexy reds, no matter how common they are), and Muir Muir On The Wall.

  13. Lauren says:

    :O These look perfect for fall! I can’t wait to get my hands on Incognito in Sausalito and In the Cable Car-pool Lane!

  14. camille says:

    Oh, Karen. This is a HELLLLA LOVELY post. It kind of almost brought me to tears, as I sit here in my air conditioned apartment…in the desert…desert heat. *sigh* 🙁 Although I’m not a Bay Area girl, I do have love and respect for The City. I’m a valley girl, but I’ll claim Nor*Cal all day, every day. 🙂

    I LOVE THEM ALL!!!! I can’t wait for these to be in the stores! I think I’ll behave and get Embarca-Dare Ya!, Lost on Lombard, and Peace & Love & OPI. I have to limit my purchases. 🙁

    Thanks for bringing a twinkle to my day. It was another scorcher for the day. And The Man had me workout with him…outside. Yeah, you’re right: the things we do for love. Thanks again. I look forward to the next post!

    • Karen says:

      Hi Camille,

      Good for you for working out in the heat! Hey, at least it’s a dry heat, right? What kind of exercises did you do? I really wanted to run today but ran out of time, le sigh.

  15. Sunny says:

    I love Peace & Love & OPI and Muir Muir on the Wall! Must feel nice when there’s a collection based on your city!
    Sunny recently posted … The Monolid Trilogy. Part 1: What You Might Need

  16. Linda says:

    Hella!!! I’m from the Bay area too!!! But further south on the peninsula… and each time I drive into the city i’m awestruck!! Those shades are lovely, and the names are sooo nostalgic! Alcatraz…Rocks is amaaaaze-ing! Gotta get it!

    • Karen says:

      Hi Linda,

      Yay, Bay Area! I love the Peninsula, too btw. Lots of great towns and shopping. 🙂 Have you lived here all your life? Or are you a transplant?

      • Linda says:

        Yeah! Stanford Mall is my fav place in the world… I can prob hit any highway and find my way there! LOL! No… I lived in the Bay Area for a few years and have relocated back to Singapore since 2008. Your post really made me nostalgic!!! xoxo

  17. Gowthami says:

    Needless to say, all shades are wow and Blue is my fav 🙂
    Gowthami recently posted … D.I.Y Mint Eye Pads

  18. Not loving every color but Muir Muir and the Burgundy color are really awesome – those sand shades… NOT loving at all!
    The Beauty Glow recently posted … July is a really impressive month for Birchbox!

  19. Zoe Gruss says:

    These look absolutely amazing! A few stand out shades: Peace & Love & OPI, Incognito in Sausalito, Muir Muir on the Wall and the most beautiful of all In the Cable Car-pool Lane. I really hope they stock the new collection internationally!

  20. Kim says:

    Fantastic names, as always, from OPI. And so many great color choices. There are about 5 I’d love to try but Incognito in Sausalito is probably my fave. I’m not a fan of the textures for my own nails but think they’re an awesome idea and would be super-cool on more adventurous nail folks!

  21. Oh my is Muir Muir on the Wall the new Every Month is Oktoberfest? Love those deep shimmers!
    Gotham Polish recently posted … On the Street: Cirque “Bejeweled”

  22. Michelle says:

    I ADORE almost all of these. There’s only one or two I won’t pick up. Seriously, I need them. I’m in love with San Francisco. Your pictures of the city are beautiful, Karen. If you put out a book of your San Fran photos, I would buy three copies.

  23. Sarah says:

    Agh! I am going crazy over this collection as well (and also used to live in San Fran and heart it big time). I am literally ordering Keeping Suzi at bay this MINUTE. this is the exact shade of navy blue polish that I have been looking for for SO LONG. Thank you for posting this!

    PS I discovered your blog only recently and I LOVE it. It is my favorite MU and beauty blog. You are an excellent writer

  24. Carmela says:

    Alcatraz…Rocks looks pretty! I like Haven’t the Foggiest next. Only those two.

    I love SFO, I always visit every year but I haven’t gone to all the places yet. I love it when you post about the place and the food (and about Tabs too)! And as mentioned in another comment, I hope to bump into you someday Karen, the brains behind this awesome blog!

  25. Vicki says:

    I just bought the whole collection, creepy textured polishes and all. I was born in SF and currently live further north of you, in Petaluma. I drive though your neck of the woods every day (in hella bad traffic :P)! I’m dying to coordinate my nails with the golden gate bridge… haha.

  26. Alison says:

    I love that city by the bay. I was just there on Wednesday seeing a punk show at Bottom of the Hill.

  27. Feircely Chic says:

    My favorite one is peace&love&OPI. I don’t really like the other colors. I do like the blues and the navy though. And I agree on the part about the textured nail polish…..great idea but it just doesn’t look good

  28. Hannah says:

    I am in love with this collection!!

  29. Claudette says:

    As a temporary SF exile, I was delighted to discover that the color I chose (based on color alone) for my pedicure was not only in the San Francisco collection but was named “I Knead Sourdough.” I am thrilled to discover the collection and will try a different color each time until I can find my way back HOME.

  30. Laura says:

    Hmmm, I definitely *need* Alcatraz…Rocks – it’s like a magical, glittery stone!

    I’m such a sucker for colors like Muir Muir on the Wall and In the Cable Car-pool Lane… I’m sure I own near-dupes of both, but they’ll probably come home with me someday.

    I’m on the fence about Peace & Love & OPI. It’s gorgeous, but I really don’t know if I’d wear it… #nailpolishproblems

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