meet opi’s liquid sand, the next generation in nail polish. whoa.

by rebecca willa davis

As recently as 20 years ago, nails were pretty basic: You painted them in red, pink, or nude, and that was basically it. (French manicures were the extent of going wild and crazy.) And then suddenly, things sped up, going from Hard Candy baby blue to glitter to black to nail art to matte polish to, most recently, gel polish.

If you're anything like us, you love the constant evolution of nails--which might be why you'll be as obsessed with OPI's new Liquid Sand polish. Consider it the latest in finger innovation: Though it looks like normal polish in the bottle, apply two coats of this glitter-infused formula and, as the instructions point out, omit a top coat, and suddenly you've got a polish that is somewhere between matte and shiny, with a texture that when dry lives up to its name--yup, it totally feels like you've got hundreds of sand particles on your fingertip.

I played around with the Liquid Sand shades that come with Mariah Carey's latest collection for OPI, out this month, and among many favorites I fell hard for Stay The Night, a matte black with just enough flecks of red and silver glitter to make it way cooler than anything I ever wore in 2005 (remember the great black polish revival during the mid-aughts?). The secret really is to follow the directions--base coat, two coats of the Liquid Sand polish, and then skip the top coat--which makes for a really quick at-home mani session. And best of all? When you're ready to try a new shade, the Liquid Sand glitter comes right off with a swipe of remover. Now that's some serious innovation.