Wednesday, June 6, 2012

New OPI Pure Lacquer Nail Apps Pictures and Gold Lace Review

OPI is jumping on the nail applique bandwagon this year and has just released their very own line of 100% pure nail polish strips, called OPI Nail Apps. OPI Nail Apps are pre-cut, pre-sized strips made completely of nail polish that are embellished with various designs, ranging from intricate to simple, and come in both creme and shimmer/glitter finishes. The available designs are:

Blue and Gray Rattlesnake






Pink and Black Lace

Metallic Waves


Zig Zag Sparkle

Geometric Sparkle

Gold Lace

Pink and Silver Lace

Girly Glam

OPI Pure Lacquer Nail Apps

Each package of OPI contains a foil packet with 16 appliques (two strips of eight).

The appliques each have a paper backing on the underside and a clear protective plastic film on the top. One end of the strip is attached to a removable silver tab.

The design I tried is called Gold Lace. It's a glitter-based design, as you can see from the backside of the applique. I was expecting it to be metallic, so that was a nice surprise.

OPI Pure Lacquer Nail Apps in Gold Lace

This is how they look after four full days of wear with two coats of Gelous. They held up really well. The only sign of wear is where it peeled up at my cuticle on one finger.

OPI Gold Lace after four days, but with a fresh coat of topcoat.

OPI recommends avoiding topcoat with these, but I disagree. This particular design looks and feels a lot better with a coat or two of thick topcoat. There are two reasons for that: One, because the black tips look wrinkly (you can clearly see the wrinkly texture in the first picture) and the topcoat minimizes that, and two, because they're glitter and they look smoother and shinier with topcoat.

This particular design didn't come out exactly as I had pictured it, but that's probably my fault for not realizing how it would work once it was on the nail. I imagined it to have lace at the tip of the nail and lace at the base of the nail with black in the middle. As soon as I saw the size of the strips, I knew my nails were too short for that. I could have (should have) trimmed the cuticle edge of the strip so that they would look like that, but I was in a hurry so I decided not to.

I did like how it turned out apart from the wrinkled-looking texture on the tips, but if I do get this design again, I'm going to at least trim them down so that the black space at the tips is even across all my nails.

As for application, it's simple once you get the hang of it. It's exactly like applying an Incoco applique and similar to applying Sally Hansen Salon Effects, though the Sally Hansen ones are thicker and not as flexible as the OPI and Incoco strips are. The shape and texture of the strips is identical to Incoco appliques. You peel off the paper and plastic protective covers and remove the silver tab, place one end of the strip at your cuticle, and then gently stretch the applique over the length of your nail and fold the excess over the free edge and file away. Stretching the applique to make sure there aren't wrinkles is the hardest part of the process, but once you've done it a few times it's pretty easy.

Removal is also easy since they're made of nail polish. A cotton ball and some plain old nail polish remover is all you need. The glitter designs are a little more difficult to remove because they're glitter, but no more difficult than the average glitter nail polish.

What I liked:
  • Cool designs and a good variety of finishes.
  • Around the same price as the Incoco and Sally Hansen appliques (MSRP $11.95).
  • Easier than nail art.
  • Wears really well. I wore them for four days with no significant signs of wear and I can see them easily going a week or more and still looking nice.
  • No drying time. They're instantly dry as soon as they're applied.
  • They're not liquid and they don't have a strong smell, good for travel.

What I didn't like:

  • Application can be a bit messy because of all the waste they produce. There's the sticky silver tabs which can get stuck to surfaces, the paper and plastic backing, the foil packet and paper sleeve, and the excess strip material that gets filed off after applying.
  • These are single use packages. If you have short nails, you might be able to use only half the strips in the package, but otherwise you only get one manicure for $12.
  • If you are able to save half the strips for a second use, you have to make sure they're sealed airtight, otherwise they'll dry out and you won't be able to use them again.
  • If you have extremely curved nails (I do), smoothing out the wrinkles in the strip becomes a little more difficult and you risk tearing the strip.
  • The edges feel a little rough on the glitter designs.
  • They need a size in between the very skinny pinkie nail strip and the next largest one. The pinkie one doesn't cover my whole nail but the next size up is much too wide.

I'm a big fan of nail art appliques. I like wearing them on holidays and special occasions, especially since I want cool, festive nails and have this terrible habit of always waiting until the very last minute to do my nails on those days. Nail appliques like these dry instantly so they can't be smudged. I actually wore this as my birthday manicure over the weekend, continuing the tradition of leaving myself only minutes to do my nails before I have to be somewhere. I have to say, I'm quite pleased with the quality, wear time and ease of application on the OPI Nail Apps. Definitely on par quality-wise with other nail appliques I've used. I'd buy them again.

OPI Pure Lacquer Nail Apps are available at Professional Salons, including Beauty Brands, Beauty First, Chatters, Dillard’s, JCPenney, Pure Beauty, Regis, Trade Secret, and ULTA, for the suggested retail price of $11.95. For more information, please call 800-341-9999 or visit

(This was sent for review.)


  1. I got the Sequins design, but haven't tried them yet! Thank you for your review, I wasn't sure if I should apply a top coat!

  2. I like the reptile one! I've only tried the Sally Hansen ones and they do seem thick.

  3. hope you had a happy birthday Scrangie! great review I will try mine out soon <3 x

  4. Hope you had a great birthday!! Awesome review :)

  5. I love the design you tried out! I was worried what the black would look like if the other gold section showed up too, but I LOVE it!

  6. these look neat! i like the pink and black lace ones best - i'm such a sucker for that color combination.

    happy belated birthday! :) i wonder if that's a widespread affliction that we both have, the wait-until-you-have-much-too-little-time-to-do-a-manicure-to-start-something-intricate-on-an-important-day disease...

  7. I adore the Sally Hansen strips, but I can't imagine paying 2 bucks more for OPI. The designs aren't nearly as exciting as SH or Inoco. But thanks for your review!

  8. I really like the pink and black lace ones! Happy belated birthday, fellow Gemini! (mine was 5/25). Hope you had a great celebration! :)

  9. These are so cute! Love the design. Thanks for the review. Hope you had a great birthday!

  10. Going to pass. The designs, and nail stickers in general, just don't ring my chimes. But thank you for the detailed review and pics!

  11. The gold lace looks very beautiful:D Belated Happy Birthday, you have the best nail blog in the world..

  12. Happy Birthday Scrangie! I bought a bunch of these, the designs are great. I've worn one so far, Parisian, and I had it on for 7 days before I took it off. I wore mine with top coat too, it makes it shiny. Will definitely get more!

  13. I really like te gold lace and peacock patterns. I don't think I'll get them though just because they're a little pricey.

  14. I think these are awesome, albeit a little pricey. The Parisian one looks interesting and unique. I wonder why they tell you not to use topcoat. Hmm...these types of things only stay on your nails WITH topcoat.

  15. I never got to try these out! I couldn't find them at the mall I go to normally, but I don't think I'd have bought it anyway. I'm a cheapskate :3 But I did get "Bling Nail Stickers" from Claire's (in my US haul post here: and I'm probably going to do a review as soon as my nail polish chips :P

  16. I LOVE these. I wore the Fishnet app for 8 days and it held up perfectly. In fact, I had a stranger ask me about my nails on Day 7 and she couldn't believe my manicure was a week old. I had gotten a few very small chips at that point from when I had cleaned out my car over the weekend, but they were TINY. I filled those in with small dots of a similar colored polish (Orly Gumdrop) and then added another coat of topcoat. After that, not even I could tell that there had ever been any chips.

  17. Happy birthday! I really like a lot of the cream designs and the one you reviewed. I like nail strips for special occasions mostly, as well, or when I'm in a big hurry. I haven't worn any in a while but I have the sally Hansen tattoo ones I want to try when my nails get real long.

  18. Happy Birthday!
    I still haven't tried any nail polish strips. I might have to cave and give them a go.

  19. Ooh, these look really pretty! I have some of the non-polish Nail Apps and have tried them once but they didn't stay on very well. Maybe I will give these a go and see if they're better.

  20. The designs are pretty! I don't really have great experimences with application.. but these look good.

  21. These are really cool! I think these designs are much better than anything else I've seen in a similar style. I adore how the fishnet looks delicate and detailed, not just black crisscrossing stripes. Can't wait to try them for a special occasion!

  22. Happy belated birthday, and many happy returns!

  23. The OPI are great especially the Girly Glam. I like your designs. Can't wait to buy this OPI product for the very special moment of my life. Thanks for the wonderful reviews.

  24. The OPI products are great. I like the OPI designs cause they look elegant. Wish to have these as soon as possible.

  25. Good choice for a birthday mani! Happy b-day!

  26. That is such a good idea to use the black part as tips.

  27. I really like these. When I was in Ulta yesterday, an employee told me they are being closed out and they are now priced at $5.99. My favorite is the gold lace so I'm stocking up! I wonder how long they last when not opened. I think they could last for years in that condition.


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