Saturday, August 27, 2011

The OPI Serena Williams Grand Slam Duos: A Retrospective

Starting early this year, OPI teamed up with Serena Williams to release sets of polishes called Grand Slam! duos to be released in conjunction with the major tennis matches this year. As you probably know, Serena is also a nail tech/polish enthusiast, so this is a pretty cool idea in theory. This month, the final duo of this series was released. I got most of these duos during my blogging hiatus, so I decided to finally swatch them all for this retrospective post. Swatches of all of them in one place! I loved this series. It was obviously a smart collaboration with someone who loves polish. It was a little heavy on the Shatter polishes, but with the exception of one set, I liked the pairings. Here we go!

First, around March and to coincide with the Australian Open, came the first set: Simply Smash-ing! and Black Shatter.
Simply Smashing, 3 coats. A pretty tennis-ball yellow-green. I like it much more on the nail than in the bottle.

Excuse my application of Black Shatter here, the pinky went well, but the other 4 fingers did weird things. I had just thinned it, so maybe that's why. No top coat here.

Then, later this spring, came the France duos for the French Open, which consisted of 2 different sets: Rally Pretty Pink with Red Shatter and Spark de Triomphe with White Shatter.
Rally Pretty Pink, 3 coats. 

RPP with Red Shatter on top. The shatter look strange because there's no top coat. I apologize. This is the one pairing that I'm not crazy about.

Spark de Triompe, 3 coats. Silver and gold glitter. I love this and I bought a backup.

SdT with White Shatter on top. This one does not crack a lot, but it looks pretty neat with the gorgeous glittery veins peeking through. Again, no topcoat so ignore the texture.

Next, we have the England sets, which were released at the beginning of the summer to coincide with Wimbledon. There were also two sets in this release: Grape...Set...Match! with Servin' Up Sparkle and Your Royal Shine-ness with Servin' Up Sparkle.
Grape... Set... Match! 2 coats. This polish is much, much prettier in person. So shimmery, with lots of red and blue flecks happening. 

GSM with Servin' Up Sparkle on top. Very pretty, though the large hex glitter is pretty sparse. Sorry, my camera is a glitter-phobe lately.

Your Royal Shine-ness, 2 coats. I feel like this one is totally underrated. I totally completely disagree with anyone that says this is just a silver foil. It reminds me of pencil lead (but with much finer shimmer than Chanel Graphite). It's silver but got some brown/gold/pewter tones. Very, very pretty.

YRS with Servin' Up Sparkle. It was kind of a dumb idea on OPI's part to release two duos for the England sets with the same layering polish. I think most people bought one or the other, but not both. This could have easily been paired with Navy Shatter (looks gorgeous) or another darker glitter. SUS looks really cool on top, don't get me wrong, I just don't think it was great marketing.

And finally, in August, the US Open duo: Love is a Racket and Pros & Bronze. I know y'all saw these recently, but deal with it! Here they are again. 
Love is a Racket, 3 coats.

Pros & Bronze, 3 coats.

I don't feel like it's been mentioned much, but on the back of this set, OPI recommends layering these two polishes. Since that was the purpose of all the other duos, I guess it makes sense, but Pros & Bronze doesn't much strike me as a layering polish. It goes a bit haywire over Love is a Racket, but they definitely go together and create quite a blingy look (the kind my camera hates). If you want more in depth reviews of these colors you can check here and here.

So, let's break it down. You can create a lot of looks with these polishes. On the whole, they're unique and gorgeous, there's a variety of finishes, and pretty much something for everyone. Like I said before, clearly imagined up with someone who enjoys polish. However: most of the shimmer are very similar to that Orly Cosmic FX-Zoya Sparkle finish we've been seeing a lot of, and there's a lot of Shatters going on, which the market is also over-saturated with. And, as I mentioned, there are two duos with the same layering polish, which is pretty lame. A smarter idea would have been to create a trio for the England set, with both polishes and the glitter.

My favorite polishes in the sets: Spark de Triomphe, Simply Smash-ing, Your Royal Shine-ness and Grape Set Match. My favorite overall set is the Spark de Triomphe/White Shatter duo, and my least favorite is the Rally Pretty Pink/Red Shatter duo. In all honesty, a lot of these polishes are available individually on eBay, so it may be your best bet to pick and choose what you love and just grab those (I did this with Simply Smash-ing because I already had Black Shatter from the Katy Perry release, and I should have done it with Your Royal Shine-ness so I didn't end up with two Servin' Up Sparkles). 

All in all: this was a great job, I thought. What did you think? Did you grab any and/or all of these? 

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