Swatch-a-Palooza Sunday: OPI Reds #1

Y’all!! It’s time to swatch my stash again. I have been thinking about doing this for a while, and I have mixed feelings on it. I am about equal parts totally excited and absolutely dreading it. This is going to be a long project/series. The last time I swatched though my entire OPI stash was back in 2017. I started my first “swatch my stash” with OPI Reds (because … logic — LOL) back on June 12, 2017. And I think, if my down-and-dirty blog search is correct, I finished up swatching my entire stash on March 2019. Overall, it hasn’t been a super long time since I did a series like this. But it has been quite some time since I rooted around in my OPI collection.

When I first swatched through my OPI reds back in 2017, I had a total of 10. BUT, that total included some polishes that didn’t land in my reds this time around. It happens. Polishes are often a combination of colors, and finishes can also affect the color’s appearance. This time around, I had one polish that felt more like a pink to me, one that felt more brown to me, and one that felt more black/neutral to me. I have a total of 19 OPI reds this time, and I will share the first 10 in this post.

In my last OPI reds swatch-a-palooza, I ended up destashing 1 polish. I don’t think I will be destashing any reds this time around.


A Little Guilt Under the Kilt released as part of the Fall 2019 Scotland Collection.


This is a really nice, bright, shimmery red. I like the depth of color it has, and I like the darkness on this polish. It almost seems to have a tiny bit of black in the undertone to my eye. It has a rich look in a finished manicure, and I like seeing this little pretty on my nails.


Cant-a-berry Have Some Fun released as part of the Fall/Winter 2002 European Collection.

This polish was not in my previous swatch-a-palooza because it was hidden in my nightstand behind a bunch of stuff. I became reacquainted with it last year when our impending move forced me to get off my butt and actually clean things out of my house. I am no domestic goddess, y’all!

I’m super happy I rediscovered this polish, though! It is just my kind of red. I like how it is dark and deep, and it seems to have a murky purple-brown thing going on in the undertone. It has also held up amazingly well. Just think about it: This polish is around 18 years old. And it still works great!


Can’t Read Without My Lipstick released as part of the Holiday 2016 Breakfast at Tiffany’s Collection.

This is a lovely and juicy red. I say “juicy” because it has a jelly look to my eye when it is all dry and done in a manicure. I like how it looks somewhat squishy once it is dried down and top coated. It is also somewhat vampy, and y’all know I love some vamp in a nail polish. Even so, I have gone back and forth on whether to keep this one in my stash. I think it’s because I would like it to be a little bit darker on my nails when I manicure with it. I always expect it to be darker than it is, and I tend to feel a little bit surprised when it dries. And yet, I continue to hang on to it. I’m going to keep it in my stash for now, but I really need to make an effort to wear this one more so I can make a final decision on it.


Cara Mia Crimson released as part of the Spring/Summer 2001 Italian Collection. This is another very old polish I have hoarded for ages and discovered last year when I cleared out for our move.

This one could fall under the pinks, but I decided to put it in with my reds. I think it leans more toward red, and it has “Crimson” in the name. So … that’s my logic for ‘ya. Ha! It was nice to reacquaint myself with this polish because I like seeing it on my nails. Granted, I don’t wear reds a lot. Y’all know this about me. But this is a nice one. I like the color against my skin tone. It has also held up well for its age.


Como Se Llama released as part of the Fall 2018 Peru Collection.

I’m a little heartbroken over this one. I loved this polish. I’m sure you guys remember how I was oddly fascinated/obsessed/in love with the entire Peru Collection. And this polish was no exception. I love the brick red color tone. I love how it has that hint of dustiness to it. And I overall love how this polish looks on my nails, both when they are short and when they are longer. Sadly, I no longer have this polish. I am pretty sure it got ruined during our move last year, when my polishes had to sit on the moving truck in 100+ degree heat for over a week. I want to cry just thinking about it.


First Date at the Golden Gate released as part of the Fall/Winter 2013 San Francisco Collection.

I think this one was with my oranges the last time I swatched through my stash. This time, it is here with the reds. Really, it could go either way. It is pretty much the definition of “red-orange”. I have an odd lovey-lust fascination with this polish. I love how it looks both in the bottle and on my nails. It has a “rusty” sort of quality to it, and I like seeing it against my skin tone. Unbeknownst to me, I accidentally had two bottles of this in my stash. That’s how much I like it: I bought it twice! I kept one bottle and passed the other along to one of my daughter’s friends.


I Love You Just Be-Cusco released as part of the Fall 2018 Peru Collection.

This is another rusty, orangey red that I love. It looks rich and pretty fabulous on the nails, and I like seeing this color against my skin tone. I don’t wear this polish a lot, but I think about it a lot. I know that sounds completely crazy, but I bet my fellow polish-hoarding sisters and brothers know exactly what I’m talking about when I say this.


And I’m sure y’all are looking at these pictures and thinking that First Date and Be-Cusco look a lot alike. So I thought I would toss in a comparison photo for them. I did this picture back when I first swatched through the Peru Collection.

They are similar. They can even look almost like dupes in the right lighting or at the right angle. See on my index and middle fingers in this photo? To me, they look nearly identical there. But I think you get a more accurate comparison between my ring finger and pinky. Overall, I think First Date is slightly brighter and has more of an orange-brown undertone to it. Be-Cusco is darker and more of a true “brick” red to my eye.


I’m Not Really a Waitress released as part of the Fall/Winter 1999 Hollywood Collection. My bottle is not from 1999. This is part of OPI’s core line, and I added this polish to my stash maybe 3 years ago or so.


This polish is iconic. It is one of those polishes that Everyone seems to know about. It is one of those polishes that continues to be popular and talked about. It is one of those polishes that, for many people, represents a “perfect” red. And I can totally see why! This is a gorgeously deep, vampy, blackened red. It has the perfect amount of shimmer to it. And it looks incredible worn at any time of the year. I also love this polish in nail art. It looks amazing as a base for stamping. And it also works as a stamping polish!


Here’s a comparison of A Little Guilt Under the Kilt (which was at the beginning of this post) and I’m Not Really a Waitress. I did this photo when I first swatched the Scotland Collection. In the bottle, these polishes look nearly identical to me. On my nails, it is a different story. Guilt is lighter in color tone than Waitress. I think Waitress has a lot more depth and darkness.


In a Holidaze released as part of the Holiday 2014 Gwen Stefani Collection. This is a perfect, perfect “holiday” red to me. I think it’s a color that can easily cross seasons and be worn all year long, but I tend to gravitate toward this polish around Christmas and New Year. I love the vibrancy and depth of color on this polish. It is a jelly finish, which gives the prettiest “squish” on the nail. Even at 3 coats, I can still see nail line with this polish, but I don’t mind.


Let Your Love Shine released as part of the Holiday 2015 Starlight Collection.


Y’all! This red!! Ugh. I freaking love this one. And you know what? I have hardly worn it. I feel a little bit sad thinking about this, even though I know it’s one of the hazards of having a huge and ever-growing stash. This is so, so, so pretty on the nail. I love the different depths and dimensions of color you can see through every layer of manicure with this polish. It is subtly sparkly and shimmery. I feel like this one is elegant and glamorous, all at the same time.


So this concludes my first OPI reds Swatch-a-Palooza 2020. And my first post in this current series. It will be the first of many, which is terrifying. But you will see. I wonder if I will manage to finish the entire series out more quickly than I did last time. Hmmm. Again, we shall see.

I realize having 19 reds just from OPI seems like a lot. Actually, it is a lot. I was surprised, when I went through my swatch photos and compared them to the actual bottles, to find I had this many OPI reds. In comparison to how many reds OPI releases in a year or has released over all the years, this is a tiny tiny fraction. This brand puts out a crap ton of red nail polish!

I’m still feeling my way through the best way to handle this series. I like doing this because it gives me a chance to re-visit my whole collection. I feel the same way about my Friday Favorites series, but swatching through my entire collection gives me an even more comprehensive look at what I have hoarded away. This is good and bad. It’s good because it reminds me of things I love and want to wear. It’s bad because it makes me realize I have a nail polish problem — ha, ha!

2 thoughts on “Swatch-a-Palooza Sunday: OPI Reds #1

    1. Oooh! I will have to check out that red online. The great thing about OPI is that they have so many beautiful reds. It’s hard to pick just one favorite! I started out swatching my stash in 2017, like around June or so. And I finished in early 2019. Granted, I missed weeks here and there when I didn’t get a swatch-my-stash post put up. But the photos took a long time for me back then. They still take a long time. Now, though, I feel like my swatch photos have improved. So I’ve been trying to go back through and get newer, better photos for everything. I guess the fun never ends! Ha, ha!


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