A couple of weeks ago I posted a teaser for an upcoming review of the new GelColor by OPI. The reason it took a while for me to write this post is that I wanted to test drive OPI GelColor with a few shades, since with CND Shellac I have experienced inconsistent results with a few of the more shimmery shades (I’m looking at you, Iced Cappuccino).
Here is what OPI has to say of the new GelColor by OPI:
- Fast, polish-on application
- Lightning speed, 30-second cure
- Distinctive OPI Bottle; custom brush
- 100% color gel formula – wears like gel; looks and feels like nail lacquer
- Easy-to-use, economical removal system
The primary benefit of GelColor by OPI over CND Shellac for both nail technicians and clients alike is that GelColor cures with an LED light in one-third the time of traditional gel manicures, which cure under a UV light.
GelColor by OPI launched with 30 available colors (pictured below). CND Shellac will add six new colors to their line in March 2012, bringing the total available colors to 36.
One of the perks of being a licensed cosmetologist is access to professional-only shops that carry products like GelColor by OPI* and CND Shellac. Since I’m a DIYer when it comes to manicures, this opinions expressed in this review are based on my experience, not a salon manicure.
Like CND Shellac and other gel hybrid manicures, GelColor by OPI is not meant for women who get bored with their nail polish color quickly. If applied correctly, a GelColor by OPI manicure should remain shiny and chip-free for at least 14 days.
The GelColor by OPI polishes that I tested were You Don’t Know Jacques, Kyoto Pearl and Bubble Bath (scroll down to view the gallery). As far as the preparation and application of GelColor by OPI, it is very similar to Shellac. The GelColor bottle and brush are the same as OPI nail polish, which makes application easy. I don’t have the OPI LED Light, and instead use the OPI Axxium UV Light for curing. I followed OPI’s recommended cure times for the UV light and I found that their recommended times were not enough to fully cure each coat. After trial and error, I doubled OPI’s recommendations for cure times using the OPI Axxium UV Light.
Like CND Shellac, my GelColor by OPI manicures each lasted a max of 14 days, which is great for my needs. My manicure was still chip free at the 14-day mark, so regrowth was my primary motivation for removal. Nail clients will need to return to the salon for removal, which should take under 15 minutes and cause no damage to your nails.
GelColor by OPI and CND Shellac are very comparable and worthy options for a gel hybrid manicure. If you are looking for a nail solution for a shiny and chip-free manicure that lasts at least two weeks, GelColor by OPI and CND Shellac are definitely worth trying. GelColor by OPI is a professional salon service product and manicure prices typically range from $25-$45 depending on location.
*Please note: GelColor by OPI is a professional only product, to be applied and removed at a salon by a trained professional; I am a licensed cosmetologist.