OPI Nail Lacquer in Up the Amazon Without a Paddle

Throwback Thursday! OPI — Up the Amazon Without a Paddle (Nail Lacquer) Swatch & Review

Collection: OPI 2002 Spring/Summer, South American

OPI’s punny nail polish names have gotten a little more painfully forced over the years, in my opinion, but I really did love a lot of the older names. (Don’t get me wrong: I think they still do some of the best color names in the business, but some of the new ones seem awkward or self-indulgent.)

2002’s South American collection collection introduced a few classic OPI shades, like Dulce de Leche, La Paz-itively Hot, and Señorita Rose-alita, plus a real favorite of mine, The Thrill of Brazil. But it also included one of my very favorite OPI names: Up the Amazon Without a Paddle (NL A13).

The polish itself does not make it into my favorites list, however. It’s a bright peachy-coral/watermelon-pink, which would normally be something I’d be all over. The finish, however, is a frosty sort of pearlescent and kind of screams 90s.

Worst of all, though, is the sheerness of this polish. I don’t believe I would have added enough thinner to this over the years to get it to this consistency, and a quick check on MUA told me that my bottle isn’t the only sheer one.

Four coats doesn’t even give you full, even opacity. I just stopped trying, y’know? If you like this kind of pearly-frost finish, and don’t mind a sheer look, then by all means give this a try if you can find a bottle. Otherwise, let this one float on by!

OPI Nail Lacquer in Up the Amazon Without a Paddle, swatch

OPI Nail Lacquer in Up the Amazon Without a Paddle, label


OPI Nail Lacquer retails for about US$9.50 / CA$12 and is 0.5 US fl oz / 15 mL. OPI nail polishes are currently free of toluene, formaldehyde, dibutyl phthalate (DBP) and camphor. (Since this polish is pre-2007’s reformulation, it is not 3-Free.) They are made in the USA.

OPI Products Inc. was originally Odontorium Products Inc., a dental supply company. It was purchased in 1981 and soon the company’s focus switched to selling acrylics to nail salons. Nail lacquers were introduced in 1989. OPI has been owned by global beauty company Coty Inc. since 2010. The company is based in North Hollywood, CA, USA.


14 thoughts on “Throwback Thursday! OPI — Up the Amazon Without a Paddle (Nail Lacquer) Swatch & Review

  1. I don’t remember this one, but it is such a pretty color!! Too bad it is so sheer. Also, I agree about the names!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hehe, I could not resist. 🙂 I’d agree with it being a good topper, except it doesn’t really go on as evenly as you’d probably want a top coat to apply. It’s quite poor, really.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I remember back around 2002-2005 ish, OPI used to have a lot of these type of sheer coral-ish colours, not a fan.
    Also, are you an avid nail polish wearer, or do you mostly swatch and leave your nails bare? questions pondering through my mind

    Liked by 1 person

    • I think you’re right? I can’t remember if it was some weird trend.

      I actually did use to wear nail polish a lot more. It’s hard for me now, since I’m always washing up so much. My nails chip fast so I often don’t bother unless I’m going out someplace fancy 😉 I do keep my toes done, though. As for the swatching, I tend to swatch in batches, so I can at least have my nails done for a few days at a time, which is about as long as they last nowadays with all the crap I do with my hands! Good question 😀

      Liked by 1 person

Leave a Comment!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s