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I've recently got back into painting my nails after years of not bothering, so I've been digging out all the freebies I've received and never used as well as purchasing lots of new polishes. One of the freebies Zi had lying around was an OPI polish in white (it doesn't have a shade name on the bottle, sorry!). OPI polishes have an RRP of £11.50 for a 15ml bottle, which is definitely on the expensive side, but they can usually be found much cheaper online.
The packaging is nice enough, but for the price I feel it could be made more luxurious and fancy looking. As you would expect the bottle is made of clear glass so you can see the colour of the polish inside. The lid is tall and thinner than other varnish bottles, and I do find it makes it easier to hold and to control the brush.
The brush is a pretty average size and shape for nail polish, there's nothing special about it and it functions just as you would expect a polish brush to. It's easy to control the brush and to get an even coat of the polish with few strokes.
The polish itself is not that great if I'm honest. It is fairly fluid and seems to apply quite evenly, but as it dries it tends to go very streaky so I need to do more coats than normal to get a truly even finish. I found it impossible to get a smooth, streak free finish over the whole nail with this white polish, so I now use it just for doing French tips and use a different brand when I want a full white nail.
It seems to dry fairly quickly, being touch dry in about 2 minutes, but I found it takes forever to be completely dry - I smudged one of my French tips over 2 hours after applying the polish. I've never had this problem with any other varnish, and this really lets it down.
Overall I'm not really impressed with OPI nail polish, for the price I would expect so much better.
I bought my first OPI when I went to Amsterdam a couple of years ago and I'd heard a lot about the brand on the internet so thought I would give it a try. The first shade I bought was 'Every month is Oktoberfest' as I really liked the purple-red tinges with glitter, and it would go very well with winter clothes. I have since bought other shades from other collections including the James Bond and Wizard of Oz collection.
The bottle has a very nice feel to it and it is very well designed, as a lot of nail varnish bottles can suffer from 'tacky syndrome' and look as if they've been designed by a chimp. You can see why OPI is more expensive than other nail varnishes.
The brush is rather wide, which is good for having good coverage on your thumb-nail, but I have quite small hands, and alas freakishly small nails so I do have to be careful not to spread nail varnish onto my skin when I apply it onto the smaller nails on my hands. However it is good for quick application and this nail varnish also dries very quickly.
I have found that you need to apply quite a few coats to get the full colour and shine to the nail varnish, but this is not a problem as it dries quickly and doesn't go splodgy or anything.
It does chip quite easily for me, I don't know if this has happened to anyone else but It chips on the 2nd or 3rd day, which is a massive let down for me to be honest, as I was expecting more from this brand, and also considering I pay around £12 for a bottle.
The colours are lovely and you have an ENDLESS choice when it comes to what you want. I am slowly building up my collection, and I just hope that they make a more chip resistant nail varnish in future.
Item: O.P.I Nail Lacquer
Colour: Gouda Gouda Two Shoes (my opinion is that it is a Dusky Salmon Pink)
Price: £7.49 (inc P&P)
Bought from: Amazon
Packaging, design, contents and size:
This is a 15ml nail poish that comes in a really sturdy glass bottle with a plastic lid. The Glass part of the bottle is clear and shows the exact colour of the nail polish. The type on the front of the bottle shows "O.P.I Nail Lacquer" in easy to read black lettering. It also details that the bottle contains 15ml on the front too. The bottle is 8cm tall and the lid is actually half the length of the full bottle and is a really good width for holding while painting your nails. The brush is approx. 1.5 cm long and covers at least half of my nail with each swipe. I like that you can see the colour through the bottle and the design is quite distinctive and you can see straight away that it is an OPI product even if you couldn't read the label. OPI are what I would refer to as a "salon standard" product and you will see these nail polishes in a lot of salons if you go to get your nails done.
Instructions for use and how long does it last?
Basically you apply this nail colour to clean dry nail and allow the first coat to fully dry before applying the second (if you feel a second coat is necessary). I mentioned before that the brush is around half the width of my nail so 2 swipes usually covers a full nail. You could only use one coat of this nail polish as it does fully cover your nail with no tips showing through but I like the look of a second coat, it just makes me feel more like I have had them done professionally as you usually get a thicker nail polish on when you get a manicure. Any time I have worn this polish I have been able to wear it for 2 full days before I can see any chips of receding bald patches, and even at that I just cover over those bits to get a further 2 days out of it. I think that it wears well and I would have had it on while doing house work, typing, going to the gym/aerobics classes and showering/washing my hair daily so my nails do go through a fair bit of distress. So for me to get 2 full days out of it then a touch up gives another 2 days that is good. The brush bristles are also very secure and so far, after having used it approx. 8 to 10 times none have come out or look to be loose or stray.
Oh my goodness, I LOVE the colour of this nail polish. I actually saw it on a photo on instagram and chased it down to get my own bottle. The polish actually has a tiny bit of iridescence through it which adds a silky finish to another wise matt colour. It is what I would call a Dusky Salmon Pink colour and it goes with nearly all other colours. It is such a flexible colour to wear and the only thing I might not wear it with is red clothes. But that is because I love red nails so would always opt for them to match a red outfit. It comes out of the bottle easily and goes on to the nail bed really easily, no lumps, bumps or bubbles. You can also wipe any excess back in to the neck of the bottle really easily. It dries really quickly and even through there is a strong nail polish alcohol type smell of it while paiting your nails this disappears within a few mins of it drying.
Overall this looks like a salon standard bottle at a reasonable price for the quantity you get. 15 ml doesn't sound like much but it is nearly a third bigger than most other polishes I own. The colour also lasts for at least 2 days and the actual colour of the nail polish is delightful.
I absolutely adore OPI! I'm lucky to have strong nails that are easy to maintain - I keep them fairly long and in a subtle square shape. The one thing I haven't been able to achieve at home, which meant many trips to the nail salon, is the flawless and almost fake-looking coat of glossy polish they so expertly apply... but it turns out you don't need to be a professional to achieve this look - you just need OPI!
I was extremely lucky in finding this amazing deal - two OPI nail lacquers and a three-month Glamour subscription for only £1 - honestly! A £20 saving was of course too good to pass up and although I couldn't choose the shades, every OPI colour I've seen online looks so vibrant and rich that I think I'd love any! They retail at around £10, the price varying depending on the shade, which is pretty expensive for 15ml of nail varnish...and before trying OPI, I didn't understand why anybody would pay so much.
I currently own two colours - 'San Tan-tonio', which is a caramel-tan brown from the Texas collection and 'I Eat Mainely Lobster', which is a bright coral with a beautiful shimmer. Both shades are lovely and they look especially great with a tan! I'm new to OPI but have already ordered my third bottle in 'Jade Is The New Black'.
These polishes are like no other that I've tried, high-street or high-end! I wouldn't say I particularly enjoy painting my nails and I get bored of it pretty quickly - before OPI, I'd apply up to five coats (OTT, I know) to achieve the fake look I wanted and it'd take up to twenty minutes to get them looking nice. The effort and time would always be rendered a waste when my nails were already starting to chip the next day, so I'd have to go through the whole ordeal again at least once a week.
With OPI, it takes me five to ten minutes to get my nails just how I want them - it dries in seconds and only needs two coats to look flawless and glossy. The brush looks small but fans out and can pretty much coat your whole nail in one stroke, so application is effortless. The polish lasts a good four days with next to no chipping, but I give my nails a quick touch-up every now and again to keep them looking perfect. I'll have to disagree with the (generous) claims that OPI polishes last a week, but that'd be down to how much we use our hands and not the quality of the lacquer.
Pre-OPI, I couldn't understand why anybody would spend so much on a nail polish. Post-OPI, it seems like such a small price to pay for salon-quality nails and I'll definitely be adding to my collection!
The OPI range has such a brilliant selection of colours, with hundreds of different polishes and every shade possibly imaginable, you'll be spoilt for choice! Perfect as a gift or a treat for yourself, you're paying for quality with OPI... A manicure could never compete!
I bought the O.P.I gel nail varnishes, as i love the brand, and was very intrigued by the idea of a gel nail varnish, hoping it would last longer than a standard nail varnish. I am pleased to say this nail varnish does exactly what it offers.
The nail varnish comes in a black glass pot, that is a little bit annoying as you cannot see the nail varnish inside, not enabling you to see how much of the nail varnish is left. The screw on lid is quite long and is the same colour as the nail varnish so you can see what colour you are buying. The lid is a slightly different shade, its not completely different but the shade is a little bit darker than you would expect, I really think this nail varnish would be better with a glass pot.
I bought the nail varnish in strawberry margarita, which is a barbie pink, but it is sold in lots of different colours, all of which can be found on the brands website. When i first bought this nail varnish I only bought the nail varnish itself. I got it home and found out to that to have full gel effect that lasts a couple of weeks you need to purchase the base and top coat to accompany it. I was a little bit disappointed as I was not guided properly in this purchase, but I got it sorted in the end. When I finally had all the right coats I took to my nails. I stated with the base coat and then went onto the nail colour. The pink nail varnish is a lovely colour it is very bright, it pops and is a lovely girly shade. The brush itself is a good size, very average, enabling you to paint your nails in two to three strokes. The consistency of the nail varnish is great, quite thick but not too thick to the point where is is hard to apply. I let the nail varnish dry and then went on to apply the top coat.
Once I had applied all the different coats of nail varnish i was very impressed with the quality. It looked slightly thicker than your standard nail varnish but it contributes to the salon look, it is also lovely and shiny and slightly harder too. The aspect I was most impressed with the quality of the non chip. I have this problem where i have to pick my nail varnish off, no matter the amount of time I have spent applying it I will always pick it off, but I tried with this one and it was not coming off, so I was very happy, it took a good week before i began to see small chips in my nail varnish.
Overall I would definitely recommend this nail varnish it is perfect and I cannot fault it. It is quite expensive though the top and base coat is bought in a set on Amazon for £38.40 then you have to buy the colour for £24.00, so when combined it is very pricey, but the way I look it I would spend this much on three sets of gel nails, and you will get much more than three applications from this nail varnish.
My first taste of OPI was as a Salon Junior. In between sweeping hair from the floor and making cups of tea for clients, I sneaked into the Beauty Therapist's empty room and painted one nail in the most beautiful, Barbie pink I could quickly find.
Fast forward a few years, with a big girl's job and (not quite) a big girl's wage, I am building up an OPI collection of my own. It isn't the cheapest of nail polish but the quality and the endless palette of divine colours are worth the price. The formula is very easy to work with - my technique is by no means professional but somehow, it just seems to settle into place with no unsightly streaks or brush marks. It dries in a reasonable time, even with my thick coats. It also has fabulous lasting power. I can get almost two weeks out of one 'sitting' with very, very minimal chips. Of course, with an arsenal of colours like this, I am loathe to stick to one colour for that long!
What is a nail polish without a tip-top quality basecoat and topcoat? I use OPI's base and topcoat religiously. My nails do not stain, even when using red or black polish. I also credit the topcoat with helping my mani last so long. I have used previous topcoats before and didn't find them to be particularly helpful.
A favourite colour of mine is 'Mermaid's Tears'. In the bottle it can look quite a subdued, greyed-out greeny colour, but put it on and it's the most fabulous Tiffany-esque blue!
A tip: The UK's exclusive online distributor of OPI has some cracking sales on their website. You may be able to pick up a full-size bottle for about £6 - sometimes even lower.
I discovered OPI when I went to a nail salon for the first time ever as a treat, and what a discovery!
Good to nails:
I've long been a fan of nail colour but have quite soft, dry nails which really suffer when I wear nail varnish too much. I wear OPI for 3-4 days in a row (two coats) and don't get the same 'dried out hands' feeling as I do with other brands. I also find this polish much easier to get off with little staining. This is great as I only wear bright colours.
Easy to apply:
I'm fairly clumsy and don't have steady hands but find OPI polish glides on really well and doesn't dry out or clump easily. I use the "3 stroke" method of one stroke down the middle of the nail, then a stroke either side. This works neatly with OPI
Due to the aforementioned clumsiness, the chances of me sitting still for long enough to apply more than two coats of polish without causing massive dents to the topcoat are very slim! OPI is quick drying (10 minutes = no smudges) and often only requires 1 coat. I do tend to use 2 coats for pastels to make them brighter.
Unlike other premium brands (e.g. Nails Inc) Opi doesn't chip easily or wear off on the tips of the nail. This is the biggest advantage for me as I usually only have time to apply varnish on a Thursday. With OPI it will last all weekend.
Another major advantage of this brand is the wide range of colours, all with quirky names such as "I'm not really a waitress" and "Koala Bear-y". They excel at metallics, pastels and brights which is also unusual for one brand.
OPI is a little pricey (£11.50 a bottle at least glance), however this is outweighed by the fact that the polish in the bottle doesn't dry out easily so the polishes last a lot longer than cheaper brands. This is a plus for me as I like to buy 'out there' shades to match certain outfits but I don't like wearing the same colours all the time.
OPI was the first proper nail care brand I used, that was not purchased in a supermarket/hightstreet for £1-2.00 pounds. Like alot of beauty products I have tried-it all started thanks to the evil QVC, watching and listening to every word, stroke of the brush on the nail, every imaginable colour. It became a secret pleasure, and has started me on the road to having a career in nails.
As the products go?They are great. So many colours to chose from.For me this was one of those brands that were very classy and classic in their colour choice, and now have to compete with other brands such as Nails Inc, sand obviously what goes on in the world of fashion, so they can appeal to all ages. I have also noticed how again with competition, have been bringing out different trends and textures, such as the shatter effect, different glitter lacquers and I cant rememver what its called, but one that has a look and texture of fine sand. Some of these work, some dont. And to be honest, when it comes to effects Nails Inc do it much better and it is better suited to them. Getting back to the lacquers, they are easy to use thanks to how fluid the product if, the shape of the bottle and brush.And lets face it, this is one of those products you would notice in any salon, on any film, because the look is so iconic, stylsih and dare I say it again classy and chic.
For me the main problem I have with this brand is they are becoming far too commercial. It feels like every week they are working with a new celeb, new company, film etc. This happening once and awhile is great, but its all the time. For some bizarre reason I heard they are working with Kellogs ( yes the brand who make our much loved morning cereal ).Why?No idea.Does it make any sense?No. I really hope its not true. This used to be quite an exclusive brand but you can buy a bottle anywhere now.Not a bad thing in some ways, I just wish they wouldnt let go of their glamour and prestige they had years ago.
I still love the product, but want them to concentrate on bring out great lacquers and not market themselves so cheaply. Let the products speak for themselves...
I have long been of the view that nail polish is nail polish no matter how much you pay - in the end it all chips off. Indeed, this is quite true but in the case of OPI, I do find that it takes a lot longer to chip than the average nail polish and that for me is what makes it stand out above the other nail polish brands out there (also a fan of Nails INC). They have matt, shine, crackle etc. any type of nail polish finish you could need or want, if OPI haven't got it, it probably isn't made.
OPI do not distribute via 'normal' shops such as Boots in the UK, you can get the brand online at Lena White website, some colours available on Amazon and ASOS etc. I tend to get mine through a friend who is a beautician and she gets me the OPI nail polishes from a beauty suppliers at cost price. eBay is also another good place to buy these nail polishes - particularly 'retired' colours and you can get them shipped from America if you can't find the colour you want in the UK. I have recently done this and paid around £5.50 including shipping for a 15ml (full-size) nail polish in a colour that I could no longer get in the UK. eBay is probably one of the cheapest places to buy the nail polishes but as you know prices are very variable.
For 15ml you are typically looking to pay around £11 per nail polish, not particularly cheap but for the quality quite good value and not too much more expensive than something like Boot's No.7 nail varnishes which in my opinion chip really easily - worth paying the extra for a good quality nail polish in my opinion. They regularly have 'themed' polishes such as the Nicki Minaj or James Bond collection which are mini polishes (3.75ml). I find these to be really good value for money, particularly as I never seem to make it to the end of a full-sized nail polish without it drying up. I also slightly begrudge paying £11 for just one colour so find the mini sets good value in terms of buying 4 colours for around £15 (depending where you get them from).
As you can tell from this review, I am a big fan of OPI. The selection of colours and finishes available for nails is outstanding. I find that if I do my nails properly with base coat and top coat and don't do lots of housework (any excuse!) my nail polish will be about 95% chip free for 5-6 days so quite good going in my opinion. A lot of nail polish chips depend on your life style, if you do a lot of cleaning or have your hands in water a lot of the day, the polish is more likely to chip no matter what polish you use. I would say that the colours are quite true to the bottle colour but sometimes I find that the dark colours can look too dark if you use two coats (which you are supposed to to get the best coverage). The dark purples and dark reds can sometimes look almost black when applied to the nail so for that reason I tend to avoid the darker colours. My favourite colour ever is Bedazzler which is a Christmassy glitzy red but it is hard to get hold of in the UK hence why I bought it again recently through eBay.
I do really recommend the brand, I do think £11 for the big polishes is slightly expensive but at the same time compared to most premium brands and their quality, I think OPI is relatively speaking good value for their quality. The mini polishes are my favourite though mainly because I can get 4 colours approximately for the price of one big polish - greedy!
This year for Christmas my Mother has asked me to buy her some new nail polishes to which I have of course and the ones I bought her happened to be ones from Amazon as I had rather alot of money to spend on her from Dooyoo vouchers. I opted to buy her O.P.I because I own a few of them myself and always find them to be great and with a nice range of colours!
The ones I have bought her cost me about £10.00 each which is around abouts what they usually cost! The colours are vast and there is a massive range of them too, I own four colours and I bough my Mum a rather natural colour that I own already called 'You callin' me a lyre?' and I bought it as she, like me appreciates natural colours on her finger nails.
These come in glass jars with a twist on/off black lid which houses the brush and on the front of the bottle in black writing we are told clearly that it is O.P.I Nail Laquer and that it is 15ml in size along with a bit of information given in foreign languages and then on the back of the bottle other information given includes that once opened to use the product up within 24 months, that it is made in the USA and contact details for the manufacturer are listed then on the base of the bottle the colour is listed and that's about it really. Its a nice simple and straightforward bottle this.
Well this smells like you would expect any nail polish to smell like really and once applied that fragrance fades fast. The brush is black and rather large and of very good smooth quality. The liquid is rather wet so you need to go easy not to saturate you nails and a little of it goes a rather long way, once you get used to this its easy to apply. It dries fast in a couple of minutes and evenly and I always apply two coats. Its highly shiny and gives a nice sheen no matter the colours I have used and once on it stays put for a good 4 days at least without fade or chipping at all.
This is an expensive polish but worth it in my book. The finish is great as is it the longevity it gives!
This review is also posted on Ciao under this same username.
It's taken me a while to find nail polishes which are of high quality. You spend ages trying to find one or two brands which will stay on your nails for a long time and then suddenly I came across OPI.
On recommendation of my mum I bought the OPI colour 'Rosy Future'. Now I applied two standard coats and it stayed on my nails (without chipping) for a goof week and a half. I do a lot of manual work so when it lasted this long I couldn't honestly believe it. You really do pay for quality with OPI. The colours you can pick from a re also stunning as there are just so many colours to choose from. I will always recommend to by the limited edition ones as the colours are spectacular and you don't know if you will ever see them again.
A few flaws though, if you don't apply a second coat it won't stay on as long, the same with if you don't apply a clear basecoat either. With solid colours you also have to apply two otherwise the polish will look streaky. It is also pretty expensive so I will only ever buy OPI nail polishes when on offer on tv shopping channels or with vouchers. However if you want to splurge and give yourself a nice mini manicure, this is just for you.
Opi is a nail care brand. As well as offering various products to keep your nails healthy, they also offer a massive range of nail colours.
~I'm Not Really A Waitress Nail Lacquer~
Opi offer various 'groups' of nail colours focussed around typical shades (red, blue, purple etc). Each group of nail colours offer different variations of said colour. The red group of nail colours offers plenty of choice include 'I'm Not Really A Waitress' which I will be discussing today.
This particular shade is classed as a 'statement' nail colour. It is described as being 'a beautiful, shimmering deep red'. This shade is from the Opi Classics Collection and is a best seller. It is also part of the 'GelColor' collection. Opi claim that this nail lacquer offers a tough formula for shine, vibrant colour and staying power for 'weeks'. Opi also claim this nail lacquer will dry within 30 seconds.
Each Opi nail lacquer is presented in a rather curvy, chunky bottle. The bottle is made of thick, clear glass so the shade choice is visible. The lid is long and quite big but comfortable to hold. Opi claim that their nail lacquers are accompanied by a 'pro-wide' brush for easier application.
~Price and Availability~
A 15ml bottle of I'm Not Really A Waitress can be purchased online. Stockists include Amazon, www.justbeautifully.co.uk and www.lenawhite.co.uk. Prices vary between £8.00 and £11.00.
I normally stick with No7 nail colours but earlier in the year I won a beauty basket in a raffle and inside was a bottle of Opi nail lacquer. Whilst I normally opt for pink or black nail colours, I always find it handy to have a red shade in my collection so was pleased to receive this. It has been used quite a few times since then. £11 is quite a high price so I expected a high quality nail colour.
Applying this nail lacquer is fairly simple though I prefer someone else to apply it to my fingernails to avoid mishaps (I am left handed). I am happy to apply this to my own toenails though. The lid is easy to grasp and the brush is a decent length. The liquid itself is like any other nail colour and smells like it too! The brush applicator is well attatched and I have had no issues with bristles becoming loose. The brush looks neat and quite small at first but once I start to smooth it across my nail, it fans out and covers quite a bit of nail with colour.
I'm Not Really A Waitress will not appeal to all and it is definitely a vamp, vibrant shade. I use a base coat to avoid this product staining my nails. I then apply one coat which goes out beautifully smooth and with very little hassle. It is recommended that you apply two coats of this shade and I would say this is good advice as it helps even out the scent for complete coverage. The nail lacquer does dry quickly but not in 30 seconds - more a minute but I always leave it a bit longer before applying the second coat.
Once the second coat has been applied and has set, the colour is stunning! I have mainly used this on my toenails as I find the colour a bit intense for my fingernails for everyday wear. The colour looks good on both my toenails and fingernails. It isn't quite as deep a colour as it is in the bottle but very similar. I am left with bright red nails with a hint of pinkish shimmer. The overall look is shiny and of a decent quality - it doesn't look cheap and tacky as some red nail colours do.
Opi claim that this nail lacquer will last for weeks. I have yet to find a nail colour which stretches beyond the 7 day mark. I would say that this nail lacquer does longer than other brands and does seem to be more durable and chip resistant. Due to how strong the colour is, chips are very noticeable and make the overall look rather untidy and unever. I do a lot of household chores and typing so colour of my fingernails does start to chip after a week or so of wear. The colour lasts much longer on my toenails. I suppose if you were on holiday and not doing housework then this nail lacquer may be less prone to chipping but it definitely doesn't last 'weeks'. I could get away with topping up a lighter colour when it chips but this particular colour looks patchy if I attempt to cover up chips.
This nail lacquer takes a little more effort to remove with nail polish remover and cotton pads compared to other brands. I do like the fresh, shiny colour offered by I'm Not Really A Waitress. It is eyecatching but I would only wear it on my fingernails for a rare night out as it is a bit too much for a full time Mum doing the nursery run/chores/shopping daily.
Overall I feel 4 stars is fair and a recommendation for those looking for a bright, engaging red shade for their nails.
Thanks for reading :)
I came to know the brand - OPI when I read about nail polish reviews online. There was a lot of good reviews online and I started using OPI nail polishes some years ago and had been a loyal customer to this brand.
The package of OPI nail polish is simple. It has a black screw on top and a clear body. The clear body allows you to have a look of the colour of the nail polish. The bottle usually contains 15ml.
Applying the nail polish
The brush of OPI nail polish is quite wide. The good thing about it is that you can finish painting one nail quickly but it also means that it is more difficult to control. You may also easily make your fingers dirty if you are a complete beginner....
The colour is generally a bit lighter than what you see on the bottle if you only apply one layer. I generally find that the colour will be best if you apply two layers of the nail polish. The colour is also very truthful to the colour shown in the bottle so you don't have to worry about it.
If you apply a base coat and a top coat then the OPI nail polish can normally last for 3 days which I think is quite satisfactory. The top edge will start to chip a little after 2 or 3 days. I was told that it was not healthy to have the nails painted 7 days a week so I would generally remove them after a few days. Therefore, the chipping problem doesn't bother me too much as I would take them off in any event.
There is a unique name for each colour and the names are very interesting. Here a few examples:
It's a Girl! (baby pink)
Grand Canyon Sunset (brown)
An Affair in Red Square (red)
Dating a Royal (blue)
They also have some special editions inspired by movies like Shrek, Spiderman...
Overall this is a brand of nail polish I trusted and never disappoints me.
OPI are an award winning ethically based company which do not support animal testing (http://www.opi.net.au/images/Environmental_Policy.pdf ). The company was founded by George Schaeffer who purchased a dental supplies company Odontorium Products Inc. which is where the name OPI comes from, he was sharp enough to notice that certain dental techniques could be applied to improve nail lacquers, if you are interested you can find out more here http://x.opi.com/AboutBioMain.aspIt . OPI is a professional range and is used in salons as well as by individuals.
This year even though I rarely use coloured polish on my nails I was seduced by the gorgeous colours in a set I purchased as a gift for a relative and bought another set which I shared with my daughters (using several as stocking fillers). The set was a pack of 10 3.75ml mini 'bestsellers' varnishes comprising a wide selection of the colour range, I've listed the colours at the end of the review, but you can get full size and mini sets in all sorts of colour and finish combinations as well as individual bottles.
I also own a full size 15ml bottle in a light shimmery pink, shot through with golden iridescence which is a lovely summer colour on fingers and toes. The iridescent shimmer effect is one OPI does particularly well, you cannot see any particles of glitter or reflectors but the effect is quite magical. The set cost £27 plus just over £3.95 postage from QVC. Full sizes vary in price, cheapest on the internet sites such as ebay and Amazon, and about £10.50 from places such as John Lewis and salons. QVC often have some great offers on this brand.
With the little bottles everything is of course smaller than the full size including the brush. The bottles are exactly the same shape and proportions as the full size. Despite being so dinky they are easy to handle as the lid is quite fat and easy to grip. Although the brushes are smaller than the full size they work very well. I find the brush delivers best when you apply straight from the bottle without wiping any product off the brush on the lip of the bottle as you might do with a larger size, larger/longer nails may take more than one dip though. The full size bottle I own sits beautifully both in the hand and on a flat surface and application is a breeze. I even manage my right hand nails easily (I'm right handed) with other brands I have had slight problems getting a good finish using my left hand. Not with OPI though.
The brush delivers the product smoothly and the combination of the brush and formula mean that this varnish doesn't run down the plastic 'stalk' of the brush threatening drips, or a mini flood onto the nail. For my nails I would prefer a thicker brush, but I can see how the fairly slim brush is better for small or narrow nails giving precise application.
I have had the larger bottle (sorry the name has worn off) for 5 years! As mentioned I don't use coloured varnish very often, and the product is only now just starting to get a little gloopy but is still perfectly usable and still gives a good finish. I think that is brilliant.
I've tried all the mini colours on different nails for the sake of the review and one thing they all have in common is the silky smooth application, and the way that it almost 'self levels'. If I smear the first coat a little applying a second coat, or apply the product a bit too thickly it seems to find its own level and give a pretty smooth look despite my less than perfect technique. These varnishes along with Nails inc are the least streaky I have tried, though not being a big varnish wearer I haven't tried that many brands.
I feel a characteristic of OPI polishes is that they dry fairly quickly, they are not sold as quick dry and OPI sells its own brand of quick drying spray. However one coat is touch dry in a couple of minutes and I'm comfortable going out within about 15 minutes of a two coat application, though a hard knock might still damage the finish.
I would say that the paler colours benefit from a second coat to bring out the fullness of the shade. Some of the paler pinks and neutrals would look nice with a French manicure. My daughter likes the colour 'Bubble Bath' I would say that is my least favourite; to me it looks sort of anaemic, colour choice is only ever a matter of personal taste though.
My favourite colour is Lincoln Park after Dark, a gorgeous rich very deep purple that looks almost black in most lights. This colour is beautifully opaque with a high gloss creamy wet look (I believe you can also get this and other colours in matt and 'suede' finish). The coverage is so good with this and other OPI opaque varnishes that it doesn't really need a second coat, though I do often apply one. The glossy finish remains good during the wear of the polish. Alpine snow is quite matt and personally I would only use this to create a French manicure. You can of course wear it however you chose, a clear top coat would give it a glossier finish if you prefer. As I prefer my nails bare I wouldn't risk staining by using the dark colours without a base coat so can't say for sure whether the darkest colours do in fact stain or not.
I'm a devil for chipping polish and although OPI isn't a miracle solution to this I have found them to be the best for my nails in comparison to other brands. I can manage 3 days without obvious signs of wear, which for me is about three times as long as other varnishes. My Auntie who is a life long almost daily polish wearer gets about 6-8 days wear out of hers, and then the wear doesn't usually involve chipping but simply thinning and wearing away slowly along the tip. The colour doesn't fade or lose vibrancy during wear. On my toes the varnish stays looking good without touch up for quite a while, weeks actually, and the colour remains excellent.
All varnishes dry my nails out and make them brittle, another reason why I don't wear it often, however again OPI is the best of the bunch. I've never had any allergic reaction to the product either.
OPI varnishes come off easily with any nail varnish remover; glitter varnishes in any brand will need extra work to get off.
Despite this being quite expensive I think the massive rage of colours; effects, choice of nail strengtheners which can be used as base and or top coats and the sheer quality of the varnish make it a real stand out product. If I used polish every day this brand would be well out of my price range, but as an occasional tart up it's affordable. Because you only need one or two coats and the longevity is good even if you use nail lacquer regularly it's more economical than perhaps it first seems. I would have no hesitation recommending OPI nail polish to anyone looking for a reliable brand.
* Colours in my bestsellers kit:
Alpine Snow (white)
Tickle my France (nude)
Strawberry margarita (bright pink)
I'm not really a waitress (red)
Cajun shrimp (coral)
Big apple red
You don't know Jacques (taupe)
Russian navy (navy/indigo)
Lincoln park after dark (midnight blue/purple)
Bubble bath (pale pink)
My husband cannot believe the amount of time I spend on keeping my nails in check. I guess it is an area of the beauty industry that most men do not understand, but the pleasure I get from looking down at colourful toes or well shaped, pretty shaded finger nails is immense. My love affair with OPI started a few years ago when a friend bought me a set of two - a true red with glitter called 'Red dazzle 'and a gold for Christmas. I found the packaging classy, simple and the bottle size seemingly generous. I am now quite expert at applying nail polish quickly and accurately as I always do my own and the OPI brand products has made this much easier. The brushes are wide and generously bristled, helping the application process. I never wear polish without the acrylic base coat or top coat and these products ensures the longivity of my painting. Although I am hard on my hands I do not find OPI to chip as easily as some other brands and the paint seems to stay in place, particularly on my toes, sometimes for ages. It was no surprisre that I chose their 'A Dozen Rosas' for my Wedding Day. The only down side to OPI is the price, but in the beauty market perhaps it is fair for such a premium good quality product.