Product Spotlight

What are Gel Nails?

We’re putting it out there: When it comes to gel nail polish, we think our GelColor is simply the best. Better than all the rest. Yes, we’re as bold as our lineup of color choices.

What are Gel Nails?

With up to 3 weeks of long-lasting wear and intense shine, we’re confident it will change your nail game—but we also want to make sure you have all the info you need to make the best decision for your manicure look. Read on below to find answers to common questions like What are gel nails? What is gel nail polish? and What are the benefits of gel nails?


What are Gel Nails?

What are Gel Nails?

OPI’s gel nail polish is officially called “GelColor Soak-off Gel Lacquer” and in short, a gel manicure is a coat of colored gel that looks deceptively similar to nail polish. It's a thin brush-on formula, designed for high performance and a glossier finish than regular nail polish. When it comes to the question "How long do gel nails last?" In fact, an OPI GelColor manicure lasts for up to 3 weeks.

What is the Difference Between Gel Nails and Acrylic Nails?

If you are someone who follows the latest trends when it comes to new nail shapes and prefers longer lengths, then acrylic nails are for you.

What is a Gel Manicure? Can gel nail polish be cured without UV light?

The primary difference between gel nails and a regular manicure is curing: Between each coat, you cure the color and set the gel nail polish by putting your nails under a special LED light.

How to apply gel nail polish?

  1. If you’re wearing polish already, it will be removed.

  2. Nails are trimmed, if needed, and shaped with a file. Pick out your favorite nail shape ahead of time!

  3. Cuticles are pushed back or trimmed and nails are buffed and then cleaned; you may be asked to wash your hands.

  4. A nail primer like OPI Bond Aid is applied which brings the surface of the natural nail to the proper pH for optimum adhesion, and a bonding base coat is applied. Finishing the preparation of the nail for long-lasting coverage.

  5. Nails are cured under an LED light.

  6. Coats of lacquer and time curing under the LED light alternate until the topcoat is applied and cured.

  7. Nails are wiped with an alcohol wipe; you may receive a hand and wrist massage as well!

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How Long Does a Gel Nail Polish Manicure Last?

Enjoy Up to 3 Weeks of Intense Wear & Shine. Yes, you read that right—3 weeks. So if you’ve got a vacation planned, are always on the run, or simply can’t fit in a frequent salon visit, this is the gel nail polish that works as hard as you do without dulling or losing any of its shine. And you get more bang for your manicure buck!

Putting it simply, a gel nail polish manicure doesn’t cost much more than a regular one, but the outcome is ten times more effective. You save time and money and your nails will look like a million bucks.

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Fewer Chips, More Shine

It’s very irritating: getting a manicure, leaving the salon, and—oh no—chipping your new nail look. What we love about gel nails is their resistance to chipping. “But I’ve had a gel manicure that chipped right away,” we sometimes hear from disheartened nail art lovers. Ah, yes. The truth about chipped gel nail polish manicures lies in the application.

While OPI GelColor offers superior shine and long-lasting wear, our gel nail polish cannot outlast a poor application. A less-than-stellar gel manicure that leads to early chips may call for looking for a new nail tech.

Is Gel Nail Polish Safe For Your Nails?

OPI GelColor does not damage your nail beds. In fact, it makes them stronger. The only time there is damage is if the client peels them off or if the gel color is forced off using an e-file. While some gel nail color formulas and curing lights are available for retail, OPI GelColor is available exclusively through nail salons and used by professionals. You can be sure that when choosing OPI at your salon, you’ll receive a stronger, longer-lasting gel manicure.

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Can I combine gel nail polish with regular nail polish?

Being able to mix systems is a common misconception about gel nail polishes. In order to achieve long-lasting color with 3+ weeks of wear, we recommend proper usage of the full OPI GelColor system.

How to Remove Gel Polish?

OPI GelColor dries in only 30 seconds per coat under an LED light. That means you can walk out of the salon without worrying that your nail color will smudge. It’s equally as easy to remove—just 15 minutes of soaking time and your nails will be ready for another one of our 140+ OPI GelColor shades. We've outlined how you can safely remove your gel from the comfort of your own couch, just make sure you follow each step carefully to ensure you don’t cause any damage to your nails.

  1. Use a nail file to break the seal on each nail's free edge and sidewalls.

  2. Fully saturate a cotton ball with nail polish remover, and place it directly on top of the nail.

  3. Allow to soak for at least 15-20 minutes.

  4. Gently press and twist the foil and cotton off of each nail.

  5. Take a cuticle stick and gently push the remaining gel residue off.

  6. Lightly cleanse the nail surface with a cotton ball (or pad) and rubbing alcohol. Be sure to apply cuticle oil to keep nails protected and moisturized!

OPI GelColor Gel Nail Polish

So, what is the big deal about gel nails?

Just about everything! Start enjoying longer-lasting shine and strength—request a gel nail polish from the lineup of OPI GelColor at your next salon manicure.