The market is flooding with new polish/gel hybrids and OPI has joined in on this revolutionary nail formulation. For women in need of a long-lasting polish that doesn’t need touch-ups, they usually turn to gel. Now with all these brands putting out gel-like lacquers, there are tons of alternatives to achieve the look of gel nails and long-wearing capabilities without all the nuisances of traditional gel polish.
This new OPI 3-Step System promises up to 10 days of long-lasting wear with incredible shine and easy soak-free removal. I grabbed a set of the top and base coats and picked up a creamy lilac, In Pursuit of Purple for my lacquer color. Let’s see how well this new Infinity Shine system performs. Can I use this top and base coat with other regular, non-Infinity Shine polishes?
As I said briefly earlier, I bought the base and top coats, Primer and Gloss, in a value set. This retails for $19.95 on Ulta‘s site. They retail for $12.50 alone and the Lacquers also go for $12.50 each.
Prime & Gloss Value Duo Pack ($19.95)
You may notice the bottles are different from the traditional OPI bottles. They have chrome caps that set them apart from regular polish and the brand label is also in printed in chrome. These polishes have the traditional OPI Pro-Wide brush. So if you’re familiar with OPI lacquers, you won’t need adjusting to these.
Comparison: Regular OPI (in shade, Embrace the Grey), Infinite Shine OPI
Close up brush shot
These polishes are labeled with 1, 2, and 3 to coordinate with the steps of this system. 1, 2, 3. Primer, Lacquer, Gloss.
With systems like this, there is usually no base coat to go with the polishes. For example, CND Vinylux, Sally Hansen Miracle Gel and Revlon ColorStay Gel Envy all do not have base coats. They all say they have base coat built in them. OPI decided to create a base coat and this Primer is said to prime the nails to make them able to grip onto color and also prevent staining.
Inside this frosted bottle is the first step of the Infinite Shine system, Prime. I always use base coat when I paint my nails and I’m very happy OPI decided not to skip the base. I like the idea that it primes the nail and can grip the polish to the nail for a longer wear. I also think that because they made the Primer, you are able to use these two, Prime and Gloss with other nonInfinite Shine polishes.
Infinite Shine 1: Primer
Let’s skip from the first step all the way to the last step, Gloss. This top coat contains oligomers that allow the polish to cure in natural light and it will still easily remove with regular polish remover. Gloss is in a coated black bottle, to insure no light will slip into the bottle and alter the composition of the contents. I feel the need to say the following: please don’t confuse this with the black Infinite Shine Lacquer. Read the label first people!
Infinite Shine 3: Gloss
Now the Lacquer, there are 30 amazing shades in this line! I saw them and I was practically drooling. At the price of $12.50, it’s a pretty expensive nail polish, so I only permitted myself to get one. I didn’t want to buy a bunch and find out the hard way that I had wasted money. The polish I chose was a purple that I was sure I would get a bunch of use from, In Pursuit of Purple.
Infinite Shine 2: Lacquer in shade, In Pursuit of Purple
Here’s a pic of the whole range from the brochure I picked up.
In Pursuit of Purple is a pastel lilac shade, a perfect color for spring! This polish is ultra-pigmented and ultra-creamy. Oh my goodness. I painted 2 thin coats, as recommended by OPI. Of course you could paint 1 thicker coat, but 2 thin coats dry faster. Also, I always feel like 2 coats of polish performs better on my nails than just 1. The first thing I noticed when it was on my nails was the incredible shine. Dark colors can easily look glossy, but it’s a different story for pastels. To make a pale pastel shade with full coverage and shine? That’s a hard thing to do and OPI did it.
In between the 2nd and 3rd steps, I had a little mishap. I managed to smudge my index finger. I needed to head out and decided to keep it. You can also see the crack in my middle finger. My nails were not in the best shape during this time. I feel this was the best time to test this polish since nail polish creates a coating over the nail that protects nails from breaking. With that crack in my nail, I wanted to see if it would protect it from breaking off completely.
In Pursuit of Purple- 2 coats, with Gloss top coat
After I painted on the polish, making sure to wrap the tips with polish as well, I painted on the Gloss. For this last step, it cure with natural light. I went out after this and kept my hands out for around 10 minutes to ensure they were totally dry and hard to the touch. Most people neglect this set and it’s the reason to their bad experiences with gel/polish hybrids.
After the first and second days, my nails looked very much the same as the first day I painted them. My nails didn’t show any signs of wear until the 4th day.
The tips were barely showing any signs of wear. On my index finger, the polish was chipping away from the edge closest to my nail bed. I must have fidgeted with my cuticles! The crack on my middle nail has created a crack in the polish, but it’s still holding on. That’s a good thing. The shine was still there, but it was dulling. Here’s a pic.
4 Days of Wear
On the 5th day, my tips were showing some extreme wear and the crack on my nail was getting more accentuated. I knew I would have to remove the polish if I wanted to save my poor injured nail.
5 Days of Wear
I also tried the Infinite Shine system with a regular nail polish. I used it with Essie’s Suite Retreat from their new resort collection, I have a post on it here. I wore it on my dominant hand, so I expected it to chip away within 2 or 3 days. To my surprise, it held on just as the Infinite Shine Lacquer. I have significant chipping on my (short broken) index finger and wear on the tips of all the other nails. Keep in mind this is the hand I use for ANYTHING and everything. I know this polish does not perform this well normally. To see this little wear in 5 days is astounding!
5 Days of Wear (Essie Suite Retreat)
This is the best my polish has ever worn on my nails. My nails normally reject polish after a few days with normal top coat. With the Infinite Shine system, I was able to get through 5 days with only moderate signs of wear. If my nails were in better shape, I’m sure I would have been able to have a solid 7 days. OPI says your manicure with these can last up to 10 days, and I think I could probably have those results. For those people who can amazingly wear regular polish for a whole week with just a few scratches, I think you will really love this. This new range is perfect for those low maintenance ladies that want to paint and be done for the week.
I encourage you to try these out for yourself if you’re interest. If you’re not willing to dish so much out for all three products, you must go for the duo pack of the Primer and Gloss. I had great results trying these out with a regular polish. Just take a look at that wear test pic above! I am curious to see how it works out for you!
I really want to stress one thing. The top coat cures in natural light. That means you need to step outside and give the polish time to harden and build its strength. This is a crucial step of this system and important to achieve a long-lasting manicure with these types of polishes.
For those that still are weary of this new line, go try out the many drugstore alternatives. Sally Hansen sells one and Revlon does too. Actually, my favorite top coat is the Revlon ColorStay Gel Envy Diamond Top Coat. It works the same way the Infinite Shine Gloss one does. Just make sure you cure it in natural light! It lasts for almost as long and it’s much cheaper at around $8 at most drugstores. Hmm, I should probably write up a post on this soon!
This stuff is good. Really good. If I’m having a busy week and my schedule is packed, I know that these polishes will keep my nails looking good through it all. If you’re someone who needs some hardcore polish that grips onto your nails, this system. There is a wide assortment of colors to choose from. The one I chose was super creamy! Give it a try. If you’re worried about the price, take baby steps. Maybe try the drugstore top coat alternative I recommended that’s almost just as good, or get the duo pack first. You probably don’t want to try the Lacquer by itself, all the long wearing goodness is in the Primer and Gloss, after all.
Nevertheless, there’s no rush. Infinite Shine is here to stay, it’s permanent and it’s pretty easy to find if you have an Ulta nearby. If not, there’s always the internet or any other place you know that sells OPI.
If you try these out, please let me know how they worked for you. I want once again say that I advise that you make sure you cure your nails in natural light! That’s how the long-wearing special components are activated in the Gloss! Take a stroll around the block, go out and walk around your yard… Go to the store and buy some Flamin’ Hot Cheetos…
For those that are hungry for more about this new line from OPI, I am planning on doing another review on an additional lacquer shade. Expect it within the next few weeks. I’ll leave a link here when it goes up! For more gel-like polish, check out this post on some Nails Inc Gel Effect polishes I did a review on.