OPI Bond... James Bond

Yes, polish junkies, I know that magnetic nail art is so last year, but I had a hankering for snake-print nails that wasn't gonna be denied.  Besides, a magnetic polish is about the easiest nail art you can do, and the effect still looks plenty cool.

A couple of years ago, OPI released a whole slew of James Bond themed polishes for the Bond anniversary, including a pair of magnetic ones.  I have the gold one, Bond... James Bond.

indoor CF lighting
Bond is a bronze-gold that ends up with cooler champagne-silvery lines where the magnet moves the pigment out.  The formula is quite thin, almost to the point of being runny.  The thinness means that i had a good bit of cleanup to do with occasionally flooded cuticles, but it also meant that this dried very quickly and was very self-leveling at one coat.  Wear time was excellent, with only a minor chip but no edgewear after 3 days.

I'm just holding it here, not using it in this configuration.  Your finger goes in here long-ways.

Bond has one of the easiest magnets I've ever used.  Since it's not attached to anything and is clear all the way through the sides, it's very easy to see where your nail is.  You can either rest your finger on the bottom part of the plastic and pinch it around your fingernail, or just look through the side while holding your nail close to the magnet surface.  Because it's easy to see through the contraption, I didn't bump a single nail against the magnet, and didn't have to redo any of them.  On the con side, the magnet isn't all that strong.  Patterns were much clearer toward the tip of my nails, which were all of 1-2mm closer to the magnet surface than where there's a little resting edge to sit on the base of your finger.

direct sunlight
When it does work, though, the wavy diamond pattern looks a whole lot like scales, and it's a unique pattern among my handful of magnets.

in the shade
In lower lighting, the pattern was softer and less distinct, but still plenty there.

indoor CF lighting, blurry to show the sparkle
Fun bonus: this color is not plain gold.  It has a smattering of greenish and pink sparkles, very similar to those in On Her Majesty's Secret Service, or The World Is Not Enough.

There's a trick to using a magnet on wet polish, and my first attempt lo these many moons ago was a raging disaster.  I found the instructions included with that first bottle to be woefully inadequate.  Since then, I think I've figured it out pretty well, and have a system that works for me.  My tips:
  1. Do basecoat as normal, then one coat of the polish as normal.  Let it dry completely.  If you want to use a thin, quick-drying topcoat at this point so you can move on to the next phase quicker, go for it.  I used Sally Hansen Insta-dri in the red bottle after the first coat here.
  2. You have to be able to see where you're going to use a magnet effectively.  I usually grab a big sturdy stock pot or a large plastic bowl and put it upside down on the table so that I have an elevated work surface.  Paint a 2nd coat on one nail only, and hold the magnet steady as close to the nail as you can get it without touching the surface.  If you have a high C-curve, you might want to roll the magnet over to each side after 2-3 seconds so that you don't end up with a pattern in only a stripe down the center of the nail.  Make sure your work area is pretty comfy, because you should ideally hold the magnet over the nail polish for a good 30 sec (even though most brands' instructions say 5-10 is enough), long enough that your polish starts to dry with the magnet holding the pattern in place.  Repeat for each nail individually.
  3. If you need to top coat your nails, let the 2nd coat dry completely before you do.  Putting topcoat on over damp nails makes the polish wet again until the topcoat sets, and without the magnet holding the pattern in place, the magnetic particles start to relax back into the wet polish, so the lines get softer and more blurry.
  4. Accidents are, sadly, non-fixable.  If you touch your nail to the magnet, or the magnet somehow didn't work enough, you have 2 options:  either smooth over things and try again with a 3rd coat for that finger, or remove everything and start over for that finger.
Rating:  3 out of 5 stars.  The magnet is a cool pattern, I just wish it was stronger.  The color is a fun twist on plain gold, too.

Where to buy:  Though this isn't readily available at your everyday OPI supplier, Bond can still be had on ebay or from OPI resellers.



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