Nail Varnish Review – OPI Alcatraz… Rocks

Nail Varnish Review

OPI – Alcatraz… Rocks

I wasn’t really going to call this a review. It’s just my thoughts an opinions on this varnish from when I wore it the other day but I suppose that is what a review is.

Alcatraz… Rocks is from OPI’s new San Francisco collection and is one of three liquid sand varnishes from the collection. With it being a liquid sand nail varnish it dries to a textured finish.

OPI Alcatraz... Rocks

I’m just going to come out and say it straight: I don’t like textured nail varnish. It’s a trend I simply haven’t got. I don’t see the appeal of a nail varnish which dries to feel gritty on the nails. But despite my dislike of textured nail varnish, it didn’t stop me from buying Alcatraz… Rocks, currently the only nail varnish I have bought from the San Francisco collection.

One of the first things that attracted me to this nail varnish was the name and I will admit to being quite disappointed when I found out it was a liquid sand varnish. I read a load of nail varnish blogs though, and watch a lot of videos on YouTube and many people stated that you needed this nail varnish even is you didn’t like the textures effect and that it also looked great with top coat. The photos and live swatches I saw also made this varnish look so incredibly pretty, so I decided to give it a go.

Like the majority of my OPI nail varnishes, I bought this one on ebay. I can occasionally find OPI nail varnishes at places like T K Maxx or T J Hughes  over here in England, but not very often and never any up-to-date collections. Although I was very happy to find You Don’t Know Jacques a couple of months ago, but that’s another story.

Alcatraz… Rocks is a deep blue colour, possibly boarding onto the purple side of things, with loads of micro glitter. From what I could personally see that micro glitter seemed to shift from silver and gold to purple.

When this varnish arrived I firstly swatched it on  one of my nail wheels and it did look stunning when it dried. I did run my finger over the texture but couldn’t decide at that point whether I liked the feeling of it or not. I’d caved in and bought it, despite it being a textured nail varnish, when people mentioned that China Glaze’s I Herd That and I’m Not Lion could have been considered to start the glitter textured nail varnish trend. Now, I love those two glitters, although I do end up wearing two or three layers of top coat with them.

It would probably be about a week after I swatched it that I first wore Alcatraz… Rocks on my nails. It took three thin coats for me to build the colour up to what I wanted. And I think I lasted about twenty minutes at most before I had to put a topcoat on. It had always been my intention to wear it with a topcoat anyway, but I was curious to see what it was like without it. But nope, I still like my nail varnish to feel smooth on my nails when I wear it. Even when I do nail art I often use several layers of topcoat so I can’t feel the slight bumps where parts of my nail have more layers of colours on it then other parts.

I think overall I probably put around four layers of topcoat on with Alcatraz… Rocks and that didn’t make the varnish completely smooth. I could still feel some of the texture when I touched my nails, but for me it was wearable. Although I have heard it mentioned that with glitters if you put a matte topcoat on before your normal topcoat that should stop you needed as many layers. So I think I’ll try that the next time I wear this.

And that last sentence gives me away. I wouldn’t say that Alcatraz… Rocks has changed my opinion of textured nail varnish but it is a stunningly pretty glitter nail varnish with so much dimension it is really hard to describe. I will wear this nail varnish again, but for me, I’ll always wear it with a topcaot.


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