Today I’m sharing my final post in my Real Girl Review roundup of gel-alternative nail polishes! This last experience is with the OPI Infinite Shine 2 polishes! They are marketed to last 11 days which seems an odd number, but they are specifically stated to be “gel-like”. My sister picked up this color and the starter set of the base and top coat at Sally Beauty supply and I’ve tried it a couple of times now. The first difference is that you need to use a base coat and a top coat, the duo pack of which will cost $19.99. Then, you’ll need a color, which will cost about $13, and there are 150+ to choose from!
Keeping everything the same to my last two posts, a once-monthly salon gel manicure will cost you about $420 a year. With the $13 per color and $20 set of base and top coat, assuming 2 sets of base/top coat and a new shade every month, you’re looking at a cost of approximately $196 per year to use the OPI Infinite Shine 2. That makes this the most expensive gel-like system I’ve tried thus far, so I was expecting a lot out of this product compared to the Essie Gel Couture that I’ve used and loved.
I put this polish on on December 20th and removed it on January 6th with moderately significant chipping and a lot of nail growth, which was 18 days wearing the polish. This lasted through -30 weather, a teething puppy, household cleaners and a load of hand washing- as well as a lot of typing. In terms of performance, I’d say it’s an A+ for longevity. There were some feathery cracks in the enamel, but I have to stress that how I wear these polishes for testing purposes is so different from how I wear them in real life. In my everyday life, I’ll re-apply the top coat every 5-7 days to keep everything locked in and it helps extend the longevity of my manicure as well. The fact that this started chipping around day 16 is crazy, even when you consider that I always trim my nails very short prior to painting them.
When I stack this product up against the Essie Gel Couture, I really like it. I’d call them a pretty even tie if you’re not time-sensitive as the OPI Infinite Shine does take a bit longer to apply given the three-step process. I love that you can get the OPI classic colors, but with having seen Essie Gel Couture polishes on sale for ~$9 recently, I will always be tempted to select the slightly more affordable option even if it lasts a few days less. It’s a toss up! Which would you choose?