OPI ‘Summer Makes the Rules’ Summer 2023 Collection – Swatches & Review

OPI collection reviews are always the most popular posts for this blog. They’re always topping the stats, and clearly everyone else is just as interested in the newest OPI release as I am. After all, it was a couple of random OPI bottles hidden away in the corner of a drawer that truly started my nail polish collection, so I’ll always feel an emotional connection to my “roots”.

Which makes a bad collection from OPI hurt so much more.

Sorry, I’m jumping ahead here. Let’s start off by introducing this newest collection. Yes, it’s SUMMER here in nail world. (And maybe wherever you live too, it’s FINALLY getting consistently warmer over here in the windy city). And I always dive into the new seasons with the OPI release. For Summer 2023, OPI’s release is the ‘Summer Make the Rules’ collection. As always it features 12 shades that as OPI says “let your nails be as bright, bold and carefree as you feel this summer”. We’ve got names themed around laying around the beach, lounging in the sun, and just living your best summer life.

These shades range in a rainbow of pastel, yet bright shades, from bright pinks, to corals, teals and lilacs. We have 8 cream shades and 4 shades in a frosty, pearly shimmery finish. They were a little something different to normal shimmers, and I always love something new in a collection.

As always, these are available from my favorite polishpick.com, or also at beyondpolish.com (affiliate link). Now, as I hinted to up above, the colors are just so pretty, while the formulas for a majority just … aren’t pretty. I struggled with quite a few streaky creams here, and that’s so unusual for OPI. Things lift up a touch in the back half of the set, but it was quite the journey to get there. I’ll let the individual swatch photos and videos speak for themselves now, but I wanted to make sure you were starting this post with the right expectations. Let’s dive in.


There are 2 pinks in this collection, and yes, they are different – one being more cool-toned and one leaning more peachy – but they are definitely similar, so I question just a touch them being in the same release. If you’re not a collector like me, maybe you don’t need them both. Maybe I’m just being more critical overall because of the time I had with these formulas as well.

ANYWAYS. The first pink ‘Makeout-side’ is more cool-toned as I mentioned. It’s a medium pink, maybe with just the tiniest hint of lavender to it, and I do love pinks like this on my cooler undertones.

And whew, this is where our formula woes begin, right on the first shade. The beginning of our emotional rollercoaster. Well, not quite rollercoaster, more just going down, down, down, with tiny hills up for the metallics, and finally a climb up right in the last quarter. So okay, this formula was rough. I used 3 thin coats – 3 is always the most I’ll do for any swatch – and though it was mostly opaque, it was still streaky and uneven.

I do have very ridged nails that often cause me to add an extra coat. But I still expect any cream shade to be opaque and cover those with 3 coats. And I especially expect that for OPI. I’ve been swatching OPI collections regularly since 2017, and these formulas felt so much thinner and more runny than their normal. These just didn’t feel the same, and so because of that I’m going to be more harsh and critical. Because I know they can do better, and this wasn’t their best, and not even their good. I hope this was just a weird little fluke, but if it continues for the fall collections – which are always my favorites – then we’ll have to TALK.

Makeout-side – Live Swatch


Next up, we have ‘I Quit My Day Job’ (I wish that was a declaration, I WANT to just spend all my days playing with nail polish and blogging, but there’s a small thing of needing money to pay my rent.) This 2nd pink is much more warm-toned, with peachy undertones to it.

And if you couldn’t tell from above, we’re going to be negative for a lot of these shades, and you can just see the problems in the swatch photos. Again, 3 coats, and it was still so streaky, with my ridges peeking through. It felt so thin, and I was just so flabbergasted. There are much better pink creams from OPI, so skip out on this one.

I Quit My Day Job – Live Swatch


We’re moving right along the rainbow, and we arrive to our orange stop. This is ‘Flex on the Beach’ and it’s a lighter, almost pastel peachy-coral cream. I do normally love shades like this for sunnier days (but the sun will probably further illuminate the issues of this one, oops).

Again, my disappointment. You can see those streaks still peeking through 3 coats of this. The formula is just too thin and not offering normal coverage and I’m sad.

Flex on the Beach – Live Swatch


Now we get to our first metallic! Our first almost bright spot! All of the metallics have this super interesting almost frosty, pearly finish to them, and I loved it. These might not be for everyone, but I always love something different. They do somehow feel more summery than normal shimmer finishes.

And this first one is ‘Sanding in Stilettos’ (walking in heels on the beach, actually the hardest workout), and it’s a peachy creamsicle orange just filled with delicate silver shimmer, which gives it that frosty finish.

Still a touch of a thinner formula on this one even in a different finish, so I did build this up with 3 thin coats. After those 3 coats you might be able to see a tiiiiiiny bit of my ridges peeking through, but I feel like this shifty glowy formula cover those a little better. Since it is a shimmery shade, you do have a tiny bit of brushstrokes, but most level out nicely as it dries. And listen, I’m here to give more exceptions to a unique shade like this one. It’s definitely wearable and workable (and maybe I was just traumatized from those first 3 creams).

Sanding in Stilettos – Live Swatch


‘Stay Out All Bright’ is a bright lemon yellow cream shade. It leans to the more cool-toned yellow side, keeping us away from any orange tones.

I knew yellows were notoriously more finicky, and with the creams I had swatched so far, I was nervous for this one. And just look what they did to my boy. It’s rough. It’s 3 coats, and it’s very streaky, especially at the ends of my nails, where the polish can be pulled. Listen, maybe if you just float the polish on perfectly onto the smoothest nails, in thicker coats, while barely touching the nails, in as few strokes as possible, and don’t overwork it, you might just be set and have a nice opaque finish.

Stay Out All Bright – Live Swatch


Each time as the creams disappoint me, there’s then a metallic waiting to take me into its arms and tell me “it’s okay, we’ll make it through this”.

This is ‘Sunscreening My Calls’ (as a redhead in the sun, I feel like somehow this is me) and it’s a pale yellow pearly shimmer shade. The color almost reminds me of lemon desserts, which are my favorite.

Yes, I had better luck with the metallics, and with 3 coats I was able to get this fully opaque. If you have smoother nails, you’ll for sure be good with 2-3. They painted on smoothly, and any brushstrokes I had evened out nicely as it dried.

Sunscreening My Calls – Live Swatch


‘Summer Monday-Fridays’ is a bright yellow-toned lime green cream shade. And I swear it gets better after this one, endure this last bad formula, and then we’ll be onto brighter pastures (even if not brighter colors).

As you can see right in the photo, this was another streaky 3 coat cream. My ridges are peeking through, and it’s more of the same. Shame, as I always love lime greens like this, but alas, there are much better out there.

Summer Monday-Fridays – Live Swatch



This is ‘I’m Yacht Leaving’ and it’s a bright, saturated teal cream shade. My camera had an absolutely DOOZY of a time with this shade, as it does with any sort of teal or turquoise shades. It loves to take the green away from all of them and pull more blue – which does happen in the swatch video. So if the swatch photo itself looks strange at all, it was from me color correcting as best as I could – I wanted to get as close to the true color as I could, and I still couldn’t capture how rich and saturated it was!

And THANK GOD, the formula is better on this. It’s a slight step up on the downhill ride we’ve been on and I could only give a welcome sigh of relief. If you have smooth nails, you’ll absolutely be set with just 2 coats, which has been UNHEARD OF in this set of creams so far. I did add a 3rd to cover my ridges peeking through, but it was fully covered at that point, and I almost sang with happiness.

I’m Yacht Leaving – Live Swatch


Continuing right along, we get to ‘Surf Naked’, and oooh what a scandalous name there. This one is a bright aqua blue shimmer, and this feels so summery to me, like sparkling water on the nails.

And that better formula for these metallics, so I was able to get this pretty well opaque with 3 thin coats – again you might see the tiniest bit of my ridges at that point, so not absolutely perfect. If you’re working with smoother nails, you’ll absolutely be set with 2-3 coats, and overall this finish is so much more worth working with than a streaky cream.

Surf Naked – Live Swatch


WE HAVE ANOTHER CREAM AND I’M SO HAPPY TO REPORT WE CONTINUE WITH THE GOOD. The 2nd half of this collection is luckily bringing us to better places (I know I’m being dramatic, but it’s just fun).

This shade is ‘Charge it to Their Room’, and it’s a lovely periwinkle blue shade, with some purple tones to it. Like I said, these latter cream shades are a breath of fresh air. I got this opaque in just TWO coats, even on my ridged nails! That’s big! So okay yes, you can add this one back onto your wishlist, if the previous creams haven’t scared you away before you got this far into the review.

Charge it to Their Room – Live Swatch


And we get to the our last cream of the set. This is ‘Skate to the Party’, and this one is a warmer toned purple, with some pink tones to it.

I’m glad to report, we end on a good note for these creams! Some might even say saving the best for last. I was able to get this opaque in just 2 coats, and it felt like the normal OPI cream formula! This is all I wanted from you the whole time, OPI, I’m not asking for much!!

Skate to the Party – Live Swatch


LAST but CERTAINLY not least, we arrive to the final shade, and it all ends with one of those gorgeous metallic shimmers, and the one with the best formula to match. This is ‘Bikini Boardroom’, and it’s a gorgeous, bright lavender purple frosty shimmery shade. Again, this might not be for everyone, but I LOVED this finish.

This lovely purple was easily opaque with just 2 coats! So smooth to paint on and lovely. I had the tiniest bit of brushstrokes to it, but overall, they evened out as it dried. AND WHEW, WE MADE IT.

Bikini Boardroom – Live Swatch


IT’S OVER. IT’S OVER, MR. FRODO. What a JOURNEY. Like I said, of course I’m going to be more harsh on a brand when they release a product that is below their usual standard. They’ve done better before, and I’m just not sure what happened with these! I can theorize that the satin finish and quick dry element somehow messed with the formulas – and that quick drying formula wasn’t at all worth all of the streaks and issues I had with the first half of this set. There were some bad cream formulas here, and OPI has just released so much better before.

NOW, not all was lost, as I did really enjoy the metallic finishes in this set. I love the idea of matching color cream and shimmer duos, but at least those shimmers were much better in formula. A few were still a touch thin, but that shimmer helped cover more patches, and let’s be honest, I’m more willing to struggle for a more exciting finish.

Just absolutely pass on those first 5 creams, leave those streaky formulas behind, and focus on the latter half of the set. Those cooler toned colors had much better formulas, especially those ending blues and purples. Overall, we can hope this was a fluke from the OPI range, and that the next release brings us back to the formula we know and love. They can’t all be winners, and even the greats stumble at times.


Upcoming Posts
Starrily Noble Gas Neons collection • ILNP Something Sweet collection • Orly The Great Escape Summer 2023 • Glam Polish Eras collection • KB Shimmer Plant One on Me • China Glaze What’s the Scoop? Summer 2023


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