OPI Gelcolor

OPI Gelcolor - Icelanded a Bottle of OPI

To date, I own two OPI Gelcolor polishes.

  • Bubble Bath – because I am boring practical it is pretty and simple.
  • I’m Not Really a Waitress – because it is a classic. As soon as I knew it existed in the OPI Gelcolor formula I had to buy it.

I’d own more if it weren’t so damn difficult to get my hands on. Like full-sized Gelish bottles, OPI Gelcolor is officially distributed only to professionals. You know, so us plebeians don’t destroy their reputation or something.

OPI Gelcolor Key Points (Mini-Review)

My experience with OPI Gelcolor has been overwhelmingly positive. The two colors I own:

  • apply with relative ease. On a five point scale, I’d rate it a 5
    (for reference, I’d call China Glaze Gelaze a 4 in ease of application, Red Carpet Manicure a 3, and Gelish a 2)
  • cure properly in both my original and new Sensationail LED lamps without issue
  • wears gracefully and with longevity – I usually get 12 solid days with my application.
    (important note: I don’t have the full OPI system – I don’t use their base and top coat when I DIY!)
  • soak-off removal is easy

The bad news:

  • INRAW isn’t quite the same as the classic, regular nail polish formula.
    This isn’t uncommon with gel versions of existing colors.

In short – I really enjoy the product even if my classic favorite is a bit different.

Deviating from the Norm

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Soak-Off Gel Polish

Sensationail Gel Polish Lamp
UV gel polish has been pretty trendy for a while now – probably a year and a half, give or take? Though there are many players on the field and the products are more accessible than ever, there remains skepticism regarding the efficacy of the products as compared to their claims – if I blamed anyone for that, I’d be a jerk.

Here’s some backstory, for you – holiday season 2012 – a friend expressed curiosity in the¬†Sensationail gel system. Her roommate had one of the kits and seemed happy with it, but my friend and I craved a bit more than this flaky roommate’s thumbs-up. We did some research on it and found the promises of:

  • low-odor application
  • zero dry-time
  • up to two weeks of wear
  • a finish that does not wind up dull after a few days
  • and relatively easy removal appealing.

She bit, got a kit, and liked it. After seeing her results, I pined for one, and my fiance got me a kit that Christmas.

Most kits consist of steps involving prepping the nail, applying color gel polish in between a base and top coat, and curing after each layer. I find the process takes me about 30-45 minutes, but I’m a perfectionist about it (nails are my thing). While applying gel polish differs slightly, it is no more difficult than applying traditional polish – the major thing is that you must clean up any “oops” areas before you cure, but it is easy enough. There really is no dry time, just a minute or so¬†of cure time per layer (brands may differ).

The real question is does it really hold up?

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