The Must-Have Nails
Introducing the OPI Gel nail service—an insta-dry, chip-free, flawlessly shiny service now available at the SALON at ULTA
I have to admit, this assignment was tough.
Go get a manicure? And then write about it? It seemed a daunting task at first, but I was up to the challenge. Hold my calls—I'm off to the salon on a very important story.
OPI recently introduced its breakthrough GelColor, full-gel lacquers that are applied just like regular nail polish but which dry in only four minutes under an LED light. The result: they last a minimum of two weeks without chipping. Right now, the GelColor is a professional product only, which means—woe is you—you'll have to let the artists at ULTA do your nails for you.
The SALON at ULTA launched the OPI Gel Manicure late last year in a selection of their salons. A preview, if you will, of what is to come this year when all of The SALON at ULTA locations will offer this service. As I said earlier, I was given the extremely difficult task of going in and giving this new service a whirl.
Turn the Lights Down
My mom is a perpetual wearer of pastel pink nail polish. So, I wasn't surprised when she expressed a motherly level of dismay after I told her I had chosen black as my new manicure hue. But OPI's Lincoln Park After Dark is stunning-black from a distance, but with undertones of a rich burgundy up close. She'll be convinced after I send her a bottle (available in the non-GelColor formula). Luckily, it's one of the 30 OPI colors offered in the GelColor line (which also includes a light pink).
The super-friendly Vanessa Abitia was the senior designer at The SALON at ULTA in Phoenix, Ariz. who performed my service.
First, I ran though my typical manicure woes-I have paper-thin nails that never grow, I always smudge my nail polish approximately four seconds after applying it and I'll probably remove it two days after I get it done because one chip will drive me crazy.
Then this is the manicure for you, she told me excitedly.
"I think I can see my reflection in my nails," I told Vanessa when she was done. It took no more time than any other nail service I've gotten-about an hour—and went on just the same as regular nail polish. In between coats, I placed my hand under an LED light for 30 seconds which instantly dried my polish (no smudging!). And the final product felt like my nails had grown stronger thanks to the gel. Vanessa said I'd be surprised how much they grew while under the protective coating.
True to its word, it lasted two weeks without a single chip. It was a glorious break from reapplying polish every two days. You can go into the salon and have them remove the color, but regular nail polish remover probably won't work.
In short, I'd absolutely recommend this manicure—and already have made a believer out of several of my friends. I see it as a great option for people on the go who don't have time to get their nails done every week, or who are a bit rough on their nails and need something resilient. (I'm looking at you, mom-friends.)
The OPI Gel Nail Service is only $25. Contact your local Salon at ULTA to schedule your appointment and enter a fabulous, smudge-free world today.