I don’t know what it is – fall, maybe? – but I keep seeing searches in my blog for Fifty Shades of Grey nail colour collection by OPI. I mean, fall seems to bring those darker and moodier shades with it every time it comes, right? And grey is a perfect example. It’s like not too dark, not black of even off black, still, it’s a darker shade, definitely, not a colourful and vibrant shade, not a pastel shade, not a nude shade… Also, Fifty Shades Darker movie is coming out in 2017, maybe, it boosted a new surge of interest for this collection by OPI devoted to the first movie. I don’t know. What I know is that there are still people out there seemingly wondering about these shades and, probably, debating with themselves trying to figure out whether they really want any of those or not.
And as those thoughts about grey manicure and what makes it so popular and what is it about it keep spinning in my head, I’m going to pull Fifty Shades of Grey collection by OPI out of my stash and swatch it here. Maybe, when I take another look at it, I’ll be able to fully grasp this grey manicure phenomenon 🙂 Remember, how like ten years ago grey manicure wasn’t really on anyone’s radar? And then like three years ago or so it suddenly kicked in big time, grey manicure hit the catwalks, photo sessions and all and everyone’s nails were painted grey all of a sudden? I remember that very vividly, because just about that time I was going – wha? what? grey nail colour? really? where’s this coming from? why? I tried to process it though and even wrote a post called Fifty shades of grey… nail polish
So, when grey manicure was ever so hot and trendy, I couldn’t really come to like it. I couldn’t stop wondering though – what makes people paint their nails grey? What makes it so appealing? Grey of all colours? If anything, grey seems to be a pretty artsy choice, if our starting point is that red, pink, white and whatever is manicure classic. So, what is it about grey? Here’s what I think. It’s artsy, yes, it is, dark, yes, dark, still it’s not as artsy and not as dark as black. Grey is easier to process and come to like for those of us who don’t like black manicure. At the same time it’s a fresh and exciting option for those of us who love black manicure but are kind of fed up with it by now. Grey is rather elegant and understated. Still, there’s this artsy edge lingering somewhere there in the background about this nail colour, because it’s so new in manicure world.
Grey is universal. Almost as universal as black. What I’m saying here is – name a colour that doesn’t match grey? Blue? White? Red? Black? Purple? Green? Black? It works almost always. Almost is the key word here though 🙂 I was already pondering over how grey manicure fits into my wardrobe and what clothes it really matches here What nail colour matches your outfit. And we all know that sometimes we just need the kind of manicure that is not this one time-big accent-this particular outfit kind of thing but a more solid thing that can land on your nails and be with you for a while, on various occasions and go with different outfits. Something that’s easy and not too much of a thinker.
Here’s my last argument for grey on your nails. It’s so versatile. When we think grey we often think black and black substitute. But is it really? Well, yes, it is, but is it that simple? I don’t think so. Not really. Grey is one of those colours that has an immense number of shades wrapped in it, hidden in it, ready to come out and make your day. I’ve shown some of them in my Fifty shades of grey… nail polish post, so you can take a quick look, if you’d like. But, honestly, even without it, grey can be so light it’s nude or almost nude. So, if you like nude manicure, you could put grey to some good use. Grey can be pearly and silvery and special occasion like. Grey can be… pastel, believe it or not, if it’s lighter, really light and is not metallic, that is, has no pearl in it, just colour. So, it’s only up to you what your grey is going to be like tomorrow.
Ok, Ok, I’m back to Fifty Shades of Grey nail colour collection by OPI here. It includes six shades. Five are grey and one is an odd man out. I like odd men out. They are surprising, exciting and imagination stirring. And when done right, they bring out the best in the rest of the shades that are all united by one and the same theme. Contrast is a powerful thing that can showcase the benefits of whatever it is you’re looking at there better than when this something is surrounded by similar things that tend to make it all look the same and smooth the rough edges that can be rather fun depending on the situation. So, to dilute the five grey shades OPI included one red in this collection. Hot red makes total sense here, as far as I’m concerned. And it provides that perfect contrast for all the grey there’s out there adding that special touch and that zest I always appreciate.
Here are our six shades.
And here’s all the info there’s on the back of the package for the curious among us. As curious as I am, I have to admit I tend to skip this reasonable step 🙂 and cut straight to the product, especially when it’s about brands I know, and I do know OPI.
I’m going to say here up front, that in terms of quality all shades in this collection worked well, even though I’m usually afraid of these small bottles. The brush in them is so miniature it sometimes hinders the application. Well, luckily, this time around it wasn’t the case. All six shades in this collection went on easily, they shone and lasted and didn’t damage my nails, given that I used the base and top coat with them that I’m comfortable with right now, and this base and top coat aren’t OPI 🙂
So, six shades.
One. My Silk Tie
My Silk Tie is a classically silver grey shade. To make it all really simple and clear, let’s say it’s just silver 🙂 Medium, that is not too light and not too dark, but somewhere in the middle.
I’ve told you already that all shades performed well for me. But this is a metallic shade, and you know how metallics are oftentimes. Difficult 🙂 Capricious 🙂 Hard to apply.
I’m happy to tell you this shade was pretty easy though when I applied it. It didn’t get streaky or too streaky, because metallic shades always, yes, always get a little streaky 🙂 And if you use a top coat with it, you’ll be all good there.
What I like about this shade – very much – is that it’s pearly without being too pearly. Metallic without being too metallic. Silvery without being too silvery. It’s silver grey. And it’s nice.
When there’s too much pearl in pearly nail shades, they can be and look and feel over the top. While I think that here OPI hit the right balance of grey, silver and pearl to make this shade very classy.
As it is, it’s a perfect silver grey shade. Elegant. Sophisticated. Chic. The kind of shade you can wear with your jeans or with an evening gown. It will look appropriate and beautiful with either.
Two. Dark Side of the Mood
The darkest of the batch. Its name seems to indicate that. And the closest to an off black shade. The shade that can step in for black nail colour and work for you in the situations when black manicure does.
At the same time, it’s not black. That is, if you do like dark manicure colours but shun black, because you think it’s just too dark, this grey by OPI is right up your alley. Try it.
This shade is dark grey done right. It’s very nice and very becoming. All dark and moody and mysterious. And hot the way darker nail shades usually are. There’s something really appealing about this shade.
As dark as it is though, I love that it’s still markedly grey. That is, it doesn’t slide head first into black and lose all the qualities that grey nail colour has to it and black nail colour doesn’t.
Dark Side of the Mood has everything to it that darker nail shades have and that so many people around the world love them for. They are sexy, womanly and funky in a way.
So, how and when is dark grey great? I think, it’s great with black sometimes. And then it’s even better with white and blue outfits. And it’s very chic to wear it with lighter grey clothes.
Three. Romantically Involved
Uh. Here’s our odd man out. Red. If you pictured hot and blazing red, the ultimate sexy red nail colour, guess what, you’re wrong. I know, it makes sense that you’d picture that though 🙂
I do love the fact that it’s something different. That OPI didn’t fall into the trap of doing something way too obvious here. I like to be surprised. And this here is a pleasant surprise.
So, this red is darker and has a little bit of a cherry red quality to it and a touch of orange in it, even if it’s a distant one. I do like this red. And I think more people can wear it than this ultimate super bright red nail colour.
Romantically Involved as this shade name is a little misleading to me. When I see ‘romantic’ in any form in a nail shade name, I immediately picture all the pinks and other romantic colours.
Well, this shade is not romantic at all. It’s more of an ‘involved’ shade 🙂 What I mean by that is that this red is a pretty hot manicure option, you know. So, keep in mind, that it’s much more involved than romantic.
The best news about this red is that it’s a bright nail shade that can be a good accent in your look. At the same time, this red is darker and muted in a way that makes it very womanly and very elegant.
Four. Embrace the Gray
This darker but not too dark grey nail shade has a little bit of a blue undertone to it that I, personally, find very flattering in grey manicure colours. Blue undertone becomes grey nail shades.
This grey is like a step – or a couple of steps – down from that really dark grey nail colour Dark Side of the Mood. It’s grey without any trimmings, without shine or sparkle. Grey for those who like grey on their nails.
I think some people would say this grey is not as much dark as it’s medium, really. Plus that blue undertone. To me, it’s one of the most appealing grey manicure options. See how it is to you.
As almost all grey nail shades out there, this one is multi purpose. You can treat it as a dark nail shade. You can say it’s artsy and in the day. And if you wear it so that it matches your clothes or works as a counterpoint to them, it can be elegant.
As much as I like this darker grey with blue undertone in it, I’ve got to warn you that if your skin tone is pale, blue and bluish undertones might not be your thing, so try and look closely before you buy.
When I think how I would wear this grey shade, the first three colours that come to mind are white, grey and blue, of course. If you’re about to wear a blue outfit, this shade will look most sophisticated with it.
Five. Shine for Me
Now that I come to think of it, not only Romantically Involved red is an odd man out colour in this batch. This shade is sort of an odd man out too. Not colourwise. Texturewise rather.
It’s not that it’s not grey, although it’s more silver than grey in all honesty, it’s just that it’s glitter. The only one in the collection. The shade name is a telltale one, obviously.
Here’s what this shade is. It’s light pearly silvery, it’s sheer, and then there’s dark grey glitter in it and holographic silver glitter that shines with different colours depending on the angle.
I’m not a fan of sheer nail colour, as you might know already, but this shade is cute. I like it. I like the combo of dark grey and holographic silver glitter. And I like that the finish – given that I used top coat – is smooth. I don’t like harsh nail colour finish on my nails.
Shine for Me is a more dress up kind of shade than the rest of the shades in the collection because of all the glitter in it. Still, it’s more of a pretty thing than a big statement thing, so if you love it, you can probably wear it to most places.
The coolest thing about this shade – Ok, two coolest things – is that it’s not transparent and shiny, but silvery instead. The second cool thing is this contrast of dark grey and silvery glitter and then the fact that the silver glitter is actually holographic, so it has a burst of colours enveloped in its shine.
Six. Cement the Deal
Did you hear that? Cement. That’s a good hint of what this shade is like. If we go into construction details and specifics though, which we won’t 🙂 , it’s more like wet cement before it dries and settles.
This grey nail colour is the ultimate grey nail shade, the way I see it. It’s somewhere in the middle of the range in terms of intensity and darkness and lightness, so it’s what most people imagine when they hear ‘grey’.
This grey has no blue undertone in it and is lighter than Embrace the Gray, in case you’re wondering how those two are different. I can’t say it’s very much lighter though. Some 🙂
This grey is the kind of grey that you’d wear on your nails to create the muted manicure effect, the kind of manicure that’s more of a background, that doesn’t stand out in any way within your look.
To me, that’s the ultimate appeal of this grey nail shade – for others, I might say, because it’s not my personal favourite – that it’s universal, more or less, and matches most existing styles and colours.
I prefer grey with blue undertone making it so elegant and pretty in my eyes. Cement the Deal is more of a pure and clear grey though, so if you’re looking for grey proper, take a good look at this one.
That’s it. Fifty Shades of Grey by OPI. The best thing about them is that this collection once again made me think about grey manicure in general, on a bigger scale and in wider context. What is grey manicure to us? A pleasant distraction? An everyday alternative to nudes, or beiges, to be more precise? A way to go darker in manicure without tipping into black? It depends. It depends on what you are and who you are, depends on what you like and how you spend your time. To me, grey nail colour is more of a throw something in the rotation kind of thing, when I’m tired of everything else. Or a go to shade, when I’m about to travel, and with the clothes I have, grey seems to be the colour that can match all of those and be a link for all the colours and styles I’m bringing with me. See what grey manicure is for you. I’m sure your answer is different than mine 🙂
P.S. Those greys by OPI are good. I do like the darker Dark Side of the Mood, the silver My Silk Tie, the blue grey Embrace the Gray. Also, those two odd men out are nice. The well grounded red Romantically Involved and the sparkly exquisite Shine for Me. Cement the Deal is not necessarily my cup of tea, it’s good though.