Review & Swatches: OPI Mariah Carey Collection

For January 2013, OPI introduces an 8-piece nail lacquer collection inspired by iconic Grammy Award-winning songstress, Mariah Carey. Mariah Carey by OPI also marks the introduction of a new polish finish for OPI—Liquid Sand.

Liquid Sand is a unique matte nail polish with a textured finish, infused with plenty of sparkle. I have a feeling this is just the start of mass-market availability of one-step textured polish finishes, so keep an eye out! Half of the Mariah Carey by OPI collection features the Liquid Sand finish (“Stage Shades”), while the remaining four shades (“Studio Shades”) feature traditional polish finishes—so don’t worry! If texture just isn’t your thing, there’s something else for you to choose from. Ready for a closer look?

 Mariah Carey by OPI

“OPI is extremely excited to work with Mariah,” says Suzi Weiss-Fischmann, OPI Executive VP & Artistic Director. “She’s very passionate about beauty and her nails in particular. Her music, which includes 18 Billboard No. 1 singles, served as a wonderful inspiration for glamorous, sultry, vibrant colors.

“To pay homage to her iconic status, we wanted to launch her collection with something completely new and exciting. OPI Liquid Sand nail lacquer offers a never-before-seen look with a pebbled finish that lightly shimmers with fine glitter particles. Worn without top coat, Liquid Sand lacquer gives nails a unique textured matte finish worthy of a superstar.”

See more photos, swatches, and details…

Studio Shades — Pink Yet Lavender, A Butterfly Moment, Sprung, Anti-Bleak

Stage Shades — Get Your Number, Can’t Let Go, The Impossible, Stay the Night


A Butterfly Moment immediately became my favorite of the bunch. It’s a super sophisticated frosty nude that I could totally see Mariah rocking up against her glowing skin. It gave great coverage for me in two coats, and showed a minimal amount of brush strokes for a frost.

Pink Yet Lavender has medium-size hexagonal pink glitter with small lavender glitter in a translucent base. As shown, it’s with two coats—so it wasn’t terribly hard to get the pieces to “stick”. Sometimes with glitters like these, I have a hard time getting the pieces to adhere, and wind up doing several coats.

Sprung is a shimmering copper win tons of glimmering particles. It’s more stunning than even the camera could pick up, so this is one that you’ll have to see in-person to fully appreciate. My only problem with Sprung, was that it wasn’t as opaque as I would have liked. As shown, it’s with a thin third coat.

Anti-Bleak is a deep purple creme that reminds me of Casino Royale from the Skyfall Collection. Perhaps Casino Royale is a tad redder/more plum, but the two shades are very similar. It’s still a gorgeous shade, but I was curious why there would be such close shades in nearly back-to-back collections.

Get Your Number (Liquid Sand) is a matte medium blue with plenty of glimmer, glitter, and shimmer! The secret with Liquid Sand shades, is that you don’t use a top coat, and the magic comes alive once they are completely dry. For complete opacity, you may wish to use a third coat with them as well. As shown, Get Your Number was worn with three coats.

Can’t Let Go (Liquid Sand) is a matte amethyst sparkle that looked best with three coats.

The Impossible (Liquid Sand) is a matte hot pink with glitter and star confetti. I had a hard time coaxing the star confetti out of the bottle, hopefully you’ll have better luck!

Stay the Night (Liquid Sand) is a matte black with red glitter. The black had a jelly-like finish for me after two coats, so I used three.

Bottom Line…

While I don’t think Liquid Sand will be for everyone, it will satisfy those who want to try out the texture trend, but don’t want to adhere beads to their nails, or do anything that requires another step. I absolutely adore A Butterfly Moment and find it pretty wearable in just about any situation—I highly recommend it!

Price & Availability…

January 2013; professional salons, including Beauty Brands, Beauty First, Chatters, Dillard’s, JCPenney, Pure Beauty, Regis, Trade Secret, and ULTA, for $9.00 suggested retail for each nail lacquer.

  • Sandra D

    I absolutely love SPRUNG!

  • Anne Lee

    all the colors are so beautiful! love the swatches of the purple creme; it looks stunning
    i agree that the nude is definitely one of the best colors of this collection though

  • Sam

    If normal glitter is hard to get off, I can only imagine how hard Liquid Sand is going to be.

  • Amber Brooks

    I saw these at ULTA the other day. They are SO gorgeous! I’m kicking myself for not picking up the mini kit!!

  • Ann

    At first glance, I thought these were nothing special, but – wow – the swatches are amazing! Thanks for the swatches. I think a butterfly moment is beautiful. It’s neutral, but not boring – that’s hard to pull off!

  • Amber

    Luckily, it’s not overly terrible–I don’t have to use the foil method. But I do let the soaked cotton pads sit for a bit–like 30 seconds to a minute.

  • Amber

    I know…it’s a very surprising collection!

  • Amber

    I know exactly what you mean!

  • moxiereviews

    These are so gorgeous! Will have to definitely check out A Butterfly Moment since you recommend it!

  • Rodica Stanciulescu

    I love your swatches!!!! Can u please tell me what camera you’re using? I want to buy one to use for good swatches. Thx

  • Amber

    Thank you! It’s just a Canon point & shoot :)