Here to Stay: Sephora by OPI Gelshine

11:31 AM

It's rare to find me with my nails unpainted. It's rarer that I can afford or have time for a trip to the nail salon but after my first gel manicure, I was seriously hooked. Gorgeous shine, minimal chipping, absolutely no dry time... but with a $25-35 price tag plus tip.

I loved the look but hated the price so I started looking around for DIY kits. I purchased a kit from Red Carpet Manicure for about $60 but the polish started getting thick really quickly, chipped pretty quickly, and the "professional" light just didn't feel very professional. I returned it and went back to my regular nail polish only to be frustrated by those fantastic little sheet imprints I manage to end up with every single time I paint my nails.

The next day I went into Sephora and purchased the Sephora by OPI Gelshine kit ($159) and I haven't looked back! The system works much better than the RCM set and includes most of the specialty tools you need like lint-free cotton pads, removal wraps, a cuticle pusher, a buffing block and extremely detailed instructions. The polishes don't thicken as quickly, the wear time is longer, the colors are vibrant, and no dry time. And I'll let you in on a little secret: almost any gel/shellac polish will work with this system and vice versa. I've used Sally Hansen Sensationail colors (drugstores, $12) with this kit, as well as Red Carpet Manicure colors and even regular nail polish (must be completely dry!). I typically redo my manicure every other week and my pedicure once a month. If it does chip, it tends to be minimal and usually closer to the beginning of the second week.

The system is also ideal for nail art. I use regular nail polish to paint dots and designs on top of the cured OPI colors. Because of the formula if you make a mistake you can easily remove the regular nail polish with ordinary remover without removing the cured OPI color. The Gelshine topcoat leaves you with a great seal and a mirror-like shine not usually associated with nail art. I've also experimented with half moon manicures and french manicures too.

I'm definitely hooked, I can't see myself ever going back to regularly wearing and applying regular nail polish. The gel system takes longer to apply (you apply at least 4 coats start-to-finish, plus curing time) but it lasts longer, looks better, and did I mention it dries instantly?

Photo Details L to R: Curing light for OPI Gelshine Kit; Gelshine kit top coat, base coat, two colors, and included cuticle oil and stick, wearing I Only Shop Vintage over Metro Chic; OPI Sephora Gelshine in Havana Dreams with a discontinued OPI glitter on the tips; NARS Diamond Life with Chanel Vendetta accent; It's Not a Taupe by RCM; OPI You Don't Know Jacques with Essie Mesmerized accents; OPI Gelshine half moon mani in Metro Chic with Club Monaco Ring (similar Club Monaco Ring here); OPI Gelshine in Metro Chic with Chanel Peridot accent and vintage ring; OPI Gelshine Havana Dreams, Club Monaco Pants (similar Club Monaco Liza patterned pant here), and Gucci flats (Gucci Marola Wedge here).

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