I am in love with OPI nail polish. I love their wide array of rich, brilliant colors. Where I live, all the salons exclusively use OPI nail polish for manicures and pedicures and I love the way my nails look after a visit to the salon. Unfortunately, I have neither the time or budget to visit the salon as often as I’d like. Still, I want salon-perfect nails!
My biggest problem with doing my own nails is that they chip frequently. I don’t seem to have this problem when I get my nails done at the salon. I have often wondered what special secret the salons know that I do not. I follow all the rules of nail polish application, yet I cannot seem to keep my nails from chipping, even when I use OPI nail polish. Within a day or two of applying, or my worst record, a few hours, I notice chipping. Because OPI nail polish colors are so bright and vivid, the chips look that much worse.
I decided to buy a nail strengthener by Sally Hansen that was specifically supposed to help with weak, peeling nails. I thought maybe my chip problem was because my nails tend to peel, and that if they peel, the polish peels off, too. I had two reasons for trying the Sally Hansen fortifier: one was to try to save money, and the other was because it was convenient to buy. I paid about $7 for the bottle of miracle no-peel formula. Sally Hansen can be found in any grocery store or drugstore, while OPI nail polish can only be found at select stores. I figured that if it worked, I would save both money and time. I applied the Sally Hansen fortifier religiously for two weeks. I used it alone, and I used it as a base and topcoat with OPI nail polish. Sadly, I did not notice a difference. My worst experience was when I painted my nails on a Sunday afternoon, and by that evening, the color had chipped so badly, I ended up removing all the polish and went to work Monday with naked nails.
Finally I broke down and I did what I have really wanted to do: buy some OPI products and use them together. I bought OPI Chip Skip, which is a clear application, that when applied directly to clean, dry nails, is supposed to prevent chipping. I also bought OPI Start to Finish, which is a three-in-one base coat, nail strengthener, and topcoat. And, of course, I bought three new OPI nail polish colors. It was a little pricey, coming to about $44, which qualified me for a free nail polish accessory bag, perfect for feeding my addiction. Although it seems like a lot to spend on nail polish, if it works, it will have paid for itself in less than two trips to the salon for a manicure and pedicure.
The first thing I did was apply the OPI Chip Skip, which dried instantly on contact. And when I say instant, I mean instant! It has no color, so when it dried, I could not even tell I ever applied anything. Then I applied one base coat of OPI Start to Finish and to my surprise, it dried very quickly. I applied two coats of color, waited for them to dry, and then applied one top coat of OPI Start to Finish. I waited about an hour and a half before putting my nails to the test: peeling price tags off purchases and wrapping presents. This simple task is what ruined my nails last weekend. And guess what this time? No chipping! The next morning, my nails looked great. I don’t know how to explain it, but my nails had a different quality about them, almost as if I were wearing acrylic nails, but without the hefty salon price tag that comes with a manicure.
By using OPI Chip Skip in combination with OPI Start to Finish, I can go about a week before any chipping occurs if I wear a light-colored polish. Most of my OPI nail polish colors are dark red, and it seems the dark colors do not fare as well. I get about half a week with the dark colors. Just like a dark wall paint, the dark colors need extra coats and extra time to dry, and they never seem to dry hard. That is why I think the darker colors chip more easily. Still, I consider this a success in comparison to the polish lasting only a day or less when not applied with OPI Chip Skip or OPI Start to Finish.
The OPI Chip Skip also works with other brands of nail polish, too. I could not resist this Barbie pink nail polish I saw at the drugstore, so I tried it out with OPI Chip Skip and the OPI Start to Finish base coat/top coat. I did not have enough time to allow my nails to dry properly, as we were on our way out to a party. Despite not giving my nails adequate drying time, the polish held up amazingly well. Surprisingly, there were no chips in the polish the next morning.
I would definitely use OPI Chip Skip and OPI Start to Finish whenever I cannot get to the salon for a manicure. In fact, my salon days may be over, now that I can achieve the same results at home. The extra cost of OPI products is worth the price and I felt I got a superior product with superior results.