Introducing OPI – The World’s Best Selling Nail Polish Brand
Nail polish is big business, so much so that is expected to be a $15.55 billion dollar industry by 2024, and if there is one brand that is destined to become the world’s number #1, it would have to OPI, who are already global leaders in the professional nail care industry.
Founded in 1981, OPI is one of more than 70 brands owned by multinational beauty company Coty. Committed to providing both nail care professionals and members of the general public with high-quality gel polishes at affordable prices, the brand has firmly established itself on the international marketplace, and as it is currently available in over 100 countries worldwide, you can get your hands on your favourite OPI nail polish almost anywhere in the world.
I was first introduced to OPI Nail Polish a couple of years back when my nail technician recommended OPI Nail Envy to restore my weak and damaged nails. After years of wearing acrylic, my nails looked dreadful, damaged beyond repair I thought, but this strengthening elixir transformed them within just a few weeks. With my nails restored to their former glory, I decided to ditch the acrylic and colour my world with OPI Gel Polish, and I can honestly say that my nails have never looked better.
What is OPI Nail Polish?
Much like Shellac, OPI is a long-lasting, heavily-pigmented nail colour that protects the nails while providing up to 3 weeks of continuous shine. A modern alternative to acrylic nails, OPI offers a selection of nail lacquers and gel colours to complement every taste, and with over 200 colours in the ever-growing collection, you can change your nail colour every day for 6 months and still not try them all.
OPI: For Professionals
OPI offers the OPI Gel Polish System (GelColor) and Soft Gels that are cured by LED light in salon to create a lasting finish. Weightless, odour-free, and enriched with innovative ingredients to offer a high-gloss shine that you simply don’t get with other nail polishes, these premium nail colours remain chip-resistant for up to three weeks, and so they are a great choice for modern women who have neither the time nor the inclination to visit the nail salon every week.
Applying OPI GelColor is a work of art, and so it is only recommended for use by salon professionals. It takes 6 steps in total, so you should be prepared to spend a good half-an-hour in the nail salon, but I always use it as an excuse for a coffee break and a chat with my technician who is always up-to-date on the latest gossip!
OPI Gel Colour Application
If you are new to the world of the OPI Gel Polish System, here’s what you can expect during your OPI manicure and pedicure:
- Your nails will be prepped, shaped and cleaned of any impurities before a single coat of Bond-Aid pH Balancing Agent is applied.
- Next up comes a coat of GelColor Base Coat, which will be cured under the Dual Cure LED Light for 30 seconds.
- A thin coat of your chosen colour will be applied on top of the base coat, and then cured for a further 30 seconds.
- A second coat of colour ensures full coverage and caps the edges of the nail for a professional finish. A further 30 seconds under the LED light cures this in place.
- For OPI’s inimitable shine, a thin layer of GelColor Top Coat is applied, and this too is sealed under the LED light for 30 seconds.
- Your nail technician will then remove any excess gel residue with an Expert Touch Nail Wipe, before applying a drop of ProSpa Nail and Cuticle Replenishing Oil.
Removing OPI GelColor nail polish is surprisingly easy, but as with application, it takes time. If you are returning to the nail salon for a new colour, your technician will take care of the removal process for you, but it is possible to do it at home with Expert Touch Lacquer Remover and Expert Touch Removal Wraps, which are strips of foil lined with fabric pads.
How to Remove OPI Gel Colour Nail Polish
- File the tips of the nails to break the varnish seal.
- Saturate the pad of the foil wrap with lacquer remover and wrap it around the finger with the pad sitting snugly against the finger nail. Do this for all nails.
- Place a warm towel over the hands and relax for 15 minutes.
- Remove the foils using a gentle twisting action to break up the nail polish. Much of the polish will come off with the wrap, and the rest should be gently removed with a reusable cuticle stick.
- If any areas of GelColor cannot be removed with a cuticle stick, rewrap the nail for a further 2 – 5 minutes. Never scratch or scrape at the nail polish or you could damage your nails.
- Finally, cleanse with an Expert Touch Nail Wipe and you are ready to apply your next OPI Nail Colour.
OPI Nail Lacquers and OPI Infinite Shine
For those who prefer to do their nails at home, OPI offer a huge selection of richly coloured Nail Lacquers for a 7-day finish and the OPI Infinite Shine Collection that offers up to 11-days of gel like wear. These nail colours do not need to be light cured, although they are applied as part of a 3-part system including a base coat and top coat for longevity.
OPI Nail Lacquer is an award-winning nail polish that is designed to last up to 7-days. Luxurious and easy to apply, it is available in over 200 gorgeous colours, and the collection is updated several times of year to complement the latest runway fashions. OPI sell over a million bottles of Nail Lacquer each year, so there’s no need to feel guilty about splashing out on the latest colours – everyone’s doing it, and a girl needs to look her best!
OPI Nail Lacquer is applied in 3 simple steps:
- Apply a thin layer of OPI Base Coat to clean, dry nails.
- Apply two coats of your chosen OPI nail colour, allowing the first coat to dry fully before applying the second.
- Finish with a thin coating of OPI Top Coat and you’re done.
OPI Infinite Shine is much like OPI Nail Lacquer in that it is a product that you use at home without an LED Lamp. It’s applied in exactly the same way as the nail lacquer, but this new and improved formula is equipped with ProStay Technology and designed to leave your nails perfectly polished for up to 11-days.
OPI Infinite Shine is described by its makers as the ‘Next Generation of Nail Colour’ and I’m inclined to agree. It glides on with the minimal amount of effort, it’s completely mess free, and it comes in a veritable rainbow of trendsetting colours, with over 150 shades to choose from. I must admit, I didn’t expect Infinite Shine to last the full 11 days without chipping or cracking, but it really does if you apply it correctly. The key, I’ve found, is to keep your base coat and top coat layers as thin as possible, and make sure your manicure is completely dry before you start tapping away on your phone or digging in your bag for your keys. Patience ladies…!
OPI Nail Polish Colour Collections
OPI currently offer 240 different nail polish colours. How they come up with all these different shades, I really don’t know, but they’ve got every colour in the spectrum from the palest nudes to blacks, neon’s, and sophisticated shimmer.
In the OPI Iconic Collection you’ll find timeless classics such as Sweet Heart, Big Apple Red, Chocolate Moose and my personal favourite Vampsterdam – which is a deep purple designed for divas!
Throughout the year, OPI release a range of limited edition colours to complement the changing seasons and special occasions such as Halloween and Christmas. The latest collection, the OPI Holiday Collection, takes its inspiration from Disney’s brand new movie ‘The Nutcracker and the Four Realms’ and includes a sparkling display of Glitter Lacquers (this year’s biggest nail trend), and a gorgeous selection of OPI Infinite Shine Polishes including a fabulous green nail varnish called Envy the Adventure, and an eye-catching pink called Toying with Trouble.
Why Choose OPI?
With so many different nail polish brands out there, we have to ask ourselves why we should choose OPI. They may a leader in the nail care industry, but do they really care about women and giving back to the community? Well, yes, they really do!
OPI supports a variety of women’s health, education and anti-violence organisations though its #OPICares initiative. They do this by coordinating charity walks, bone marrow and blood drives, food & clothing donations, and volunteering in after-school programs. This is one of a few big brands that is committed to empowering women and enhancing their lives, and so you can invest in any OPI product with confidence.
Most nail salons in the UK offer OPI manicures and pedicures, so why not give it a go? With up to three weeks between appointments, you can spend less time tending to your nails and more time being fabulous. And if, like me, your diet has flown out of the window along with the last rays of summer, just remember, nails are the one thing you can get into shape without exercise, so pass the OPI… and don’t forget the mince pies!