Pro Tips: OPI Color Systems

Pro Tips: OPI Color Systems - The Drop Blog by OPI
  • Pro Tips: OPI Color Systems - The Drop Blog by OPI

    Since the 1920s, there have been slight innovations in nail polish improving wearability, coverage, consistency and overall performance. However in recent years, nail polish has seen a new evolution with the introduction of gel polish that cures under an LED light to the most recent “hybrid” systems that dry or “cures” in normal.

    This provides nail technicians and salon clients more options than ever when it comes to which type of manicure or pedicure service they choose. Here’s a bit of information on each system to help simplify the selection process.


    OPI Lacquer

    OPI Lacquer is the number one salon brand worldwide. Professionals and consumers can rely on OPI for classic, iconic shades like “I’m Not Really a Waitress” or find new favorites from OPI’s trend setting collections. When used in a professional service, Lacquer can last up to 7 days.  

    Client Profile

    This is ideal for your clients that have weekly nail services and frequently try new shades. With over 200 Lacquer colors to choose from, her shade choice can range from soft, neutrals to rich and bold tones. She may have her favorite go-to shades, but she appreciates expert recommendations as to what’s trending nail color or new collections featuring the hottest shade of the season.


    OPI Lacquer is formulated using superior ingredients including solvents and coloring agents to provide a high-quality professional service with a fast 2-coat application that delivers smooth, even wear.  

    How It Works

    This proprietary, long-lasting formula optimizes wear and shines for results that last up to 7 days when used following OPI’s Lacquer Application protocol. A professional service consists of proper Natural Nail Prep, Base Coat, Lacquer and Top Coat application.  


    Infinite Shine

    OPI Infinite Shine is a professional long-wear lacquer system that provides up to 10 days of gel-like wear and shine and cures in normal, ambient light.

    Client Profile

    This client likes trying new shades, but can’t make it into the salon every week. She loves the intense shine and rich color results from a gel polish service, but doesn’t want the two week commitment or soak off removal process.


    OPI Infinite Shine formula is a blend of Lacquer technology and gel technology to create a long lasting combination after exposure to ambient light. The key ingredients in most hybrid systems include ambient light curing oligomers and photoinitiators.

    • Oligomers:  Short chains of monomers that react or “cure” when exposed to light to form tough, durable, shiny coatings.  Originally used in traditional or hard gel formulas, certain oligomers are now being added to nail polish creating a new “hybrid” category of polish that last up to 10 days and delivers a high, long-lasting shine.

    Photoinitiators:  A type of material that initiates a reaction when paired with oligomers and exposed to a specific type of light.  In hybrid systems the photoinitiator is chosen to react under visible light.  

    How It Works

    • When used as a three-step system, Infinite Shine delivers up to 10 days of gel-like color and shine.  

    • This three-step system includes Prime, Lacquer and Gloss.  

      • Primer: Primes nails for a revolutionary grip on color and helps prevent staining.  

      • Lacquer: Ultra- rich, vivid, professional nail color in over 100 unique shades.

      • Gloss: A state-of-the art top coat that cures to a hard film in ambient light.  Features a hybrid formula ambient light photoiniator and oligomers with film forming polymers to provide long wear, durability and shine but removes easily with regular nail lacquer remover.



    OPI GelColor is a professional three step system that cures under an LED light for up to two weeks of color and shine. The OPI GelColor Base Coat is 100% PURE gel formulation. Pure gel is tougher, more durable and has a longer lasting shine than hybrid gels.

    Client Profile

    GelColor by OPI is ideal for the client that wants long wearing color, but doesn’t have the time or patience to wait for her nails to dry. She is usually on the go and has a busy work and/ or personal schedule. She appreciates being able to pre-book her appointments and not having to worry about touch ups in between appointments. GelColor works beautifully on natural nails, but can also be used over enhancements for the same long lasting benefits.


    OPI GelColor uses a soft gel technology designed for gel color manicures and pedicures. These services, when done by caring, experienced, and trained professionals, are gentle to the natural nail and the polish stays intact on the nail for at least a couple of weeks with high shine and no cracking, peeling or chipping.  The key ingredients in OPI GelColor system include oligomers, photoinitiators and colorants.

    How it works

    OPI GelColor system consists of the OPI GelColor Base Coat, OPI GelColor polish, OPI GelColor Top Coat, and OPI LED Light. When used as a system, OPI GelColor provides up to two weeks of chip free color and shine.

    • GelColor Base Coat: 100% pure gel formula. Primes nails for a firm grip on color. Acts like double sided tape. Also available in Strengthening and Ridge Filling formulas.

    • GelColor polish: Ultra- rich, vivid, professional nail color in a wide selection of shades.

    • GelColor Top Coat: A state-of-the art top coat that seals the color and cures under an LED light.  

    • OPI’s LED Light: Light speed curing! Delivers faster curing than previous gel generations! Each GelColor coat cures in 30 seconds under the 32 watt OPI LED Light. The high speed cure is achieved as a result of integrated 30 second co-initiators in all GelColor products, combined with the innovative technology of the OPI LED Light.


    How to Upgrade Services

    Now that you have a better understanding of each color system, you may already be thinking about how to upgrade certain clients to premium services, such as Infinite Shine or GelColor. The important thing is to educate your client. As a Nail Technician, you have the technical and product expertise to provide best in class services for every client, which is why it’s important to share this knowledge with your client by educating them on the different manicure/ pedicure services you offer.


    The best time to consult with a new client is when they call to book an appointment. Always ask if she is currently wearing gel polish and schedule ample time for a proper soak off removal.  Unless she specifically asks for a long wear or gel polish manicure, chances are she might not be aware that you offer them. This is the perfect opportunity to explain the features and benefits of each color system to help her make the right choice.


    But if you notice your existing client picking up her usual bottle of lacquer, let her know she can enjoy her favorite OPI shade for even longer with either an Infinite Shine or GelColor service. These are suggested service names, but be creative and come up with your own unique service names that fit with your salon’s theme or brand identity.


    OPI Color System

    OPI Nail Lacquer

    OPI Infinite Shine

    OPI GelColor


    Up to 7 days

    Up to 10 days

    Up to 14 days


    Up to 7 days

    Up to 10 days

    Up to 14 days

    LED Cure




    Suggested service pricing

    Complimentary with service

    Add 20 - 30% to the service

    Add 30 - 100% to the service


    Don’t be discouraged if your client doesn’t immediately accept an upgraded service to long wear or gel polish. Remember that each client is unique and has different nail service needs. The important this is you made her aware of these services and maybe she didn’t say yes today, but she will keep it in mind for an upcoming vacation or special event that requires a long lasting and chip free manicure.

    Written by OPI -