OPI Neo-Pearl Nail Lacquer Collection – Swatches & Review

We’re in the middle of a lovely thunderstorm here right now, and it’s just so warm and cozy listening to it! Thunderstorms are my favorite things when I can just sit and listen too them. Taking any positives I can get right now! What’s your favorite kind of weather?

And the perfect thing for thunderstorms is reading reviews, right? Today we’re looking at the 2nd “half” of the OPI Neo-Pearl collection. This is in the regular lacquer (you can find the Infinite Shine review here). These shades have the more traditional pearl finish that you were picturing with the collection name, and it’s 6 shades of lighter pearly goodness! Just like the other half I purchased these from polishpick.com!

For this collection, I’m showing the polish swatched on its own, and then I also showed the polish with a sponged on final coat! This smooths out the brushstrokes if you don’t want them on the nails. I like to always show the polish how it’ll show on most normal people, but for this collection I knew I wanted to try out the sponging technique since it’s often recommended for pearls! So look for that after each normal swatch!

So I sponged on a final shade, and then topped it with a glossy top coat, as sponging gives it a more matte finish. And for sponging, after doing 2-3 regular coats – I use makeup wedges, paint a layer of polish onto the sponge, and then dab it onto the nail until it’s nice and smooth! It was super easy and quick.

Now into the actual colors!

Up first we have our classic white pearl shade, ‘Shellabrate Good Times’. Listen, if anything the names in this collection are incredible.

It had a streaky and uneven first coat, which I do expect with most pearl finishes. It does start to build up well in a 2nd coat. I had some nail line and patches peeking through, so I added a 3rd and it was fully opaque. I think because this is the lightest shade the brushstrokes are going to be the most noticeable. But it’s a lovely classic pearl shade!


And here it is sponged on and topped with a glossy top coat! I’m so glad I decided to sponge on these swatches as well, because it gives a completely different look to the polish! You can see the shimmer just pop and it’s absolutely GORGEOUS. This has definitely swayed me to the side of pearl shades!

OPI – Shellabrate Good Times (Sponged On + Top Coat)


‘Pretty in Pearl’ is a soft golden-orange pearl. This had a touch smoother 1st coat than ‘Shellabrate Good Times’ above. It builds up well with a 2nd coat. There was some nail line still peeking through, so I topped it with a 3rd and it was fully opaque.

There are still some brushstrokes on this one, but I found they disappear a touch as it dries, and are a little less noticeable than the 1st one. And obviously, brushstrokes are going to be way more highlighted in my super bright lighting – it’s not going to be as pronounced in day-to-day life and daylight, something to keep in mind.

OPI – Pretty in Pearl

And now, sponged on + top coat! And OMG just look at how pretty this one is! I love how much the shimmer just pops out when it’s sponged on. This is such a pretty twist on a nice soft neutral shade.

OPI – Pretty in Pearl (Sponged On)

Who would have thought I would be here gushing about pearl finishes? NOT ME.

OPI – Pretty in Pearl (Sponged On)


‘Shellmates Forever’ is a soft light pink shade with just a hint of purple to it. This was a little more sheer than the other shades on the 1st coat. But it’s still smooth so it can be a sheer “1 coat nail look”. I did 3 coats here, and it’s pretty well opaque. I will say if you have super bright visible nail line it might be visible even through a 3rd coat. It’s definitely more sheer and subtle than the others.

Again, some brushstrokes, but they’ll be less noticeable in normal lighting. I was honestly expecting more brushstrokes with these, so I was honestly pleased with how they were on their own!

OPI – Shellmates Forever

Annnnd sponged on + top coat. Again, that gorgeous shimmer just pops when it’s sponged on. It’s a lovely soft look.

OPI – Shellmates Forever (Sponged On + Top Coat)

And in this angle, especially on the pinky, you can see there’s the slightest hint of my nail line peeking through, so keep that in mind with your own nails as well!

OPI – Shellmates Forever (Sponged On + Top Coat)


‘Did You See Those Mussels?’ is a bright, light blue pearl. As with all the others, it was a sheer 1st coat. The 2nd coat smooths it out more, though I did still have some visible nail line so I topped it with a 3rd. This is another that you almost could see a -touch- of nail line if you have super white nail tips, but overall it’s pretty well opaque.

OPI – Did You See Those Mussels?

And sponged on + top coat! Broken record here, but I really enjoyed the result and how it looked with all of these being sponged on. (And I accidentally ordered like 200 sponges from Amazon, so I’ll just be sponging everything from now on). This is one of the brightest and most pearly shades of the group, and I think it’ll be so fun for spring.

OPI – Did You See Those Mussels? (Sponged On + Top Coat)


My favorite name of the group, we have ‘Just a Hint of Pearl-ple’. Yes, take your time just saying that out loud and struggling a little but learning to love it. It’s a nice cool toned purple pearl.

As with all the others it has a sheer 1st coat, but it builds up to opaque in a 2nd thicker coat! (Or 3 thinner ones). This one was definitely the most pigmented of the bunch so it built up super easily.

OPI – Just a Hint of Pearl-ple

And then sponged and top coated! We love that shimmer.

OPI – Just a Hint of Pearl-ple (Sponged On + Top Coat)
OPI – Just a Hint of Pearl-ple (Sponged On + Top Coat)


Lastly we have ‘Two Pearls in a Pod’. This is a steel gray pearl shade. This one feels thinner and more sheer & watery than the others. The first coat was smooth though, so it can be worn as a 1 coat nail look. It starts to build up with a 2nd coat, though there was a touch of nail line, so I gave it a 3rd to make it fully opaque. Since it’s a darker color the brushstrokes are a touch more noticeable in it.

OPI – Two Pearls in a Pod

And sponged + top coat. Again, it brings out that beautiful shimmer in it! Nothing else to say here, and just letting the polish and pictures do the talking!


OPI – Two Pearls in a Pod (Sponged On + Top Coat)


And that’s the collection! Overall I did prefer the sponged version of all of these shades, but I wanted to show both looks in case!

And of course, it can depend on your painting style and technique whether you’ll have more or less brushstrokes. I tried to just float the polish on and use as few strokes as I can. It also helps to try to paint as straight as possible in case you do have some more visible brushstrokes.

But in the end, it’s all going to depend on your preference. I know pearl finishes can be dividing overall, and people either love them or hate them. I know I was one of those people who didn’t love them myself, so I’m glad I was able to try the sponging technique as it makes such a difference! But fully understandable if you don’t want to go through extra steps to make a polish “work”. As always, it’s up to you in the end whether you’ll buy or not!

What do you think of these??

Be sure to also check out the Infinite Shine companion collection review and swatches as well!
OPI Neo-Pearl Infinite Shine Collection – Swatches & Review


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6 thoughts on “OPI Neo-Pearl Nail Lacquer Collection – Swatches & Review

  1. We actually just had a thunderstorm today, it was too short for me, haha! I like them as long as there is lots of rain accompanying it, Southern Oregon is very prone to wildfires and we happen to be in a drought this year, yay.

    I love that they went for some more untraditional pearly shades, I ended up getting the last 3! They all look amazing sponged on. For some reason, whenever I wear a really brushstroke-y polish I almost never sponge it the first time I wear it because for some reason I feel like I need to “experience” the polish as is. I need to get over that, am clearly missing out on some more stunning manis!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I definitely feel the same way, like if it’s going to storm, make it a whole event! Obviously catching up on al the comments – but we recently had a storm that got all deep and dark, and then it lasted for like 5 min and stopped. What a letdown! 😂

      I totally get that! Especially with swatching I always want to show polishes “as is” and how they’ll look right out of the bottle. So I def make sure to include that at first, although now I’ve fallen in love with sponging. It’s so easy and just transforms pearl shades.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I tried out the Shellabrate Good Times gel today. Thank you for posting the “sponging” technique because I am ready to toss it in the garbage due to the unevenness. Maybe it can be improved! I’ll try it again.

    Liked by 1 person

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