What is Nail Lacquer?

What is Nail Lacquer? Nail polish
  • What is Nail Lacquer? Nail polish

    Have you ever wondered what nail lacquer is and how it differs from regular nail polish? While the two products are very similar, nail lacquer is made with a special formula that applies differently. OPI Nail Lacquer is the original formula you already know and love -- this tried-and-true system combines high quality and fashion-forward shades with witty and iconic names making it one of the ultimate DIY nail systems. Read on to find out what nail lacquer is and learn pro tips and tricks to make your mani last longer and dry faster.

    1. Nail Lacquer vs. Nail Polish What is the Difference


      Technically speaking, all modern nail “polish” is a form of lacquer, and the term "nail polish" is a misnomer and a holdover from the days when nail coloring had to be rubbed onto the nail with abrasives—thus “polishing” as well as tinting the nail. Nail lacquer is typically more durable than traditional nail polish formulas and is usually slightly thicker, which allows it to be more chip resistant. In general, nail lacquers are solvent-based coatings that contain pigment and are applied to nails using a brush. Nail lacquers do not require curing in a lamp to dry.

      If you’re looking to try nail lacquer for yourself, OPI Nail Lacquer is a fast-drying formula that provides up to 7 days of wear and is available in 200+ unique shades. Explore OPI’s extensive collection of nail lacquers and nail polishes to find the perfect shades for your moods.

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    2. Ideal number of layers for OPI Nail Lacquer Application Nail polish


      Always follow the proper application steps mentioned above when applying nail polish, applying too many coats can make dry time hard to manage and can cause premature wear to show more quickly. The optimal amount of layers of nail polish includes 1 coat of base coat, 2 coats of color, and 1 coat of top coat.

      Looking for more tips on applying nail polish?
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    3. OPI Natural Nail Strengthener Nail Polish


      Proper application is key to making nail polish last, be sure to start with properly prepped nails and apply 1 coat of base coat before color application to help extend wear. OPI Natural Nail Base Coat is our classic foundation, it helps to extend wear and prevents staining and yellowing from occurring. Looking for added strength too? Weak nails are no match for OPI Natural Nail Strengthener. Use in place of the Natural Nail Base Coat to give weak nails the extra strength they need.

      Does OPI Nail Strengthener expire?

      Nail polish and nail strengtheners can last a very long time if stored properly in a dry cool place. However, once a bottle is open, it has made contact with oxygen and the evaporation process has begun. We recommend you use the bottle within 24 months for the best results.

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    4. OPI RapiDry Top Coat Nail Polish


      Be sure to wait until each layer of nail polish is dry before moving on to the next, approx. 1-2 minutes per layer is optimal. Not allowing proper dry time will cause air bubbles to be trapped between the layers, this includes the final step when applying top coat as well as the initial step when applying base coat. Proper dry time is key! To speed up the drying process when applying top coat, try our OPI RapiDry Top Coat or OPI Drip Dry quick drying drops to speed up the final step.

    5. OPI Plumping Top Coat


      Your key to shiny nails, this sheer Plumping Top Coat builds instant volume to plump nails for a gel-like look with a protective, high-gloss finish. Use it to extend your manicure and protect your color from chipping or becoming dull.

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