Monday, January 21, 2013

OPI Gelcolor in "Tomorrow Never Dies"

I feel like it's been a long time since I did a plain old review, but today I come bearing one for OPI's "Tomorrow Never Dies" Gelcolor, from the recent Skyfall collection.  Unfortunately it is one of OPI's trickier colors, but through browsing some forums and fellow blogs, I picked up some tricks to help out when OPI gelcolors have a lackluster application:
  • Warm the polish up.  Don't stick it in the microwave or anything! Just warm it up with a hot pack, between your hands for a few minutes, stand it in a bowl of hot water, put it under your leg, etc...
  • Shake it really well. Although that would seem to be unhelpful as it would create bubbles, OPI's bottle even tells you to shake it! Let it sit for a little bit AFTER you shake it to let the bubbles separate, but make sure you do shake it well to reincorporate any pigments that might have settled.
This doesn't fix all the application issues, but it does make the color look a little darker and more vibrant compared to my initial swatches.  Tomorrow Never Dies still suffers issues with "shrink-back" or the color trying to "shrink" away from the sides and free edges of your nails prior to being cured.  You can try to minimize that with a combination of "dry brushing"--or using a dry brush to scrub the previous layer of cured gel polish before applying Tomorrow Never Dies--curing only two or so fingers at a time, and applying thicker coats than normal.  I got away with two coats for this, although some edges are kind of blah looking because of these issues.  The shrinking issue still changes the look of the finished manicure up close, and may cause wear issues, although I haven't encountered this yet.

Anyway, as for the color of Tomorrow Never Dies: It's a complex mid-tone or even darker purple with a warmer purple base and lots and lots of blue micro-shimmer.  It comes off very cool, even blue-ish in some lights due to all this shimmer!  It does include some scattered silver and magenta/red microshimmers, but you have to look very closely for those.  I tried to play with the lighting and camera settings to pick these undertones up, but as you'll see... I need to perfect my camera work much more! Again, I used two thick coats for these pictures, which you can always click to make bigger if you desire.

Natural light:

Inside with flash--funnily it looks much more metallic here than it does naturally, even in sunlight:

Yellow lighting:

And more very yellow lighting to show the undertones... you can kind of see the silver and red shimmers here, mostly on my pinky  (I need to work on my macro camera work, sorry!):

EDIT TO ADD: One much, much better macro photo to show the blue and red glitter reflects and the warm tones the polish carries, taken in natural light:

Now, to compare the Gelcolor to the original regular nail polish?  Personally, I think the Gelcolor looks less metallic and more shimmery, whereas, from what I've seen online, the nail polish has a metallic base that shines more silver in direct light.  The Polishaholic's swatches look so metallic you can see brush strokes! So do the swatches over at Lucy's Stash, but her swatches also capture the same glowy-goodness that the Gelcolor has, as well.  NailXchange's swatches look very close to how my gel appears, however, and they were taken outside with no sun.

I also did a video review of this Gelcolor--although I'm rambling for a while, you can get a good view of how the polish moves as well as a comparison to my original swatch:


  1. You know how I feel about this color :) lol Stunning swatches, and I always dig your ombre accent nails. Thanks for your videos as well, they always capture the "gel experience"

    1. Thanks!

      I almost forgot about your own post on this color! You have awesome swatches as well; yours captures the different colored shimmers even better than mine. I'm going to do an "update" post on this color, and I think I'll probably include a link to your post as another good source for a swatch.