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Gelcolor me crazy
I tend to sit on the dubious side of most new trends. When skinny jeans first trickled into mainstream it took me two whole years of umming and ahhing before I bravely forced my womanly pins into a pair of standard blacks.
Today I’m still pretty late to jump on most of the hip must-haves. So when last year I absentmindedly ‘borrowed’ my flatmate’s ‘Do you Lilac It?’ O.P.I Nail Laquer for a weekend away, I couldn’t understand her flurry of hostile txts when she found out it was missing.
Fast forward eight months or so and I’m thinking there’s maybe a (not so) new obsession on the horizon (I tend to miss these things). As these little bottles of colour line pages and pouches of magazines, goodie bags and Pinterest posts worldwide, it seems this brand, in as little as two years has exploded to fame, creating a cult-like devotion amongst its converts.
Hot on this momentum, O.P.I have just announced their latest breakthrough, GelColor. Boasting ‘Resilient, long-lasting, high-shine manicures in minutes’, I, most eager to test this theory decide to do some research and get my nails done at the official GelColor launch.
“This stuff is fast drying” says O.P.I’s international spokesperson, Joey Brown. She uses her hands to emphasize the last two words, and my eyes catch her fingertips, a glistening shade of pewter (perhaps a lick of of My Private Jet, or Moon Over Mumbai). “You can literally be in and out of the salon in 30 minutes, and you don’t have to wait for them to dry”.
Waiting my turn and watching her demonstration, I listen as Brown sheds a little history on the situation, and it seems fair to say that since it’s birth in the 1980’s, O.P.I’s nail technology has come a long way. Brown describes the archaic ‘one finger method’ manicure, where one would wait patiently for 1.5 hours as each finger was inserted into a little machine, one by one. Now, one can expect a mere 30 second dry-time for each coat, offering glossy chip-free color, a semi-permanent second skin if you will.
The sly quick dry is in the GelColor formula itself. Light-sensitive photo initiators respond to the specialized U.V. lamp, curing the gel at a rate nearly four times the wavelength of other standard gels, and producing the brand’s shiniest finish to-date.
Users can expect to see GelColor available in 30 of O.P.I.’s most popular shades, including: Lincoln Park After Dark, Russian Navy, and I’m Not Really a Waitress, with more shades to be released in the coming months, along with a promised colour matching launch, to personally customize to one’s individual skin tones.
“And when you want them off?” I ask, as my nails finally take the hot seat. Removal is just 15 minutes with gentle individual fingertip sleeves infused with aloe, grape seed and jojoba oils, so no soaking in acetone, and no nail or cuticle damage.
As my first coat dry under the O.P.I. lamp, I’m struck not only by the lack of chemical odour, but with the fast-paced efficiency this lamp seems to afford. “The UV exposure here is about the same as if you were to open your front door for a couple of seconds, and then close it again. Very safe”, Brown reassures.
Cut, polished and ready to go, I gaze at my now ‘Cajun Lobster’ fingertips. Eager for a test drive I plunge my hands into my bag, scratching past keys, coins, cotton reels and scrabble tiles in search of a hopeful dent. Nothing. Literally not a scratch.
Now, two days on they’re still as sparkling and dewy as when they were fresh from the UV drier.
It’s safe to say, O.P.I., this time you got me. As women queue nationwide, I can now proudly wave my perfectly manicured hands in the air and say I believe! This is one trend I’m willing to preach on.
GelColor is now a professional product, available now in-salon.
Words and photos Emma Schoombie
23 February 2012