If you have visited a nail salon recently, you may have been asked one of the biggest questions: ‘would you like regular polish or gel?’


There has been a long-time debate whether to go for normal polish or gel polish; as if that wasn’t complicated enough, OPI have come out with a range known as Infinite Shine which some say is the in-between product of both normal and gel polish.


Regular nail polish, simply put, consists of applying a base coat, colour and a top coat which then has to be left to dry. The busier people become, the less appealing this option is when contrasted with gel polish. How often is it that we smudge our nails because of how fidgety we are, or our misguided belief of the polish being completely dry? There’s only so many times our patience can be tested!


Whilst applying regular polish seems the most convenient option as we can do it ourselves at home and top it up when needed, the greatest con has the potential to outweigh all its positives. Regular polish chips far too easily and quickly…they simply just do not last as long as we like. For this reason, many have turned to gel polish. This upgrade will cost you more and it may take longer too but at least it lasts 2-3 times longer than ordinary nail polish, dries instantly and remains shiny until removed! What more could you possibly want?! Similar to ordinary polish, a gel coat is applied then the colour, followed by a top coat. Before moving on to the next layer, with gels, you must cure your nails under a UV lamp for it to dry but this means you don’t have to sit and wait for the polish to dry or worry about smudging your nails rummaging through your bag or wearing flip-flops in the winter, so your nail polish doesn’t get ruined!


It’s not just the application process that is different though. Removing your gel polish could be a hassle. Unfortunately, it’s not as easy as removing it with cotton wool and nail polish remover; professional care is advised. To remove it without damaging the nail bed, it is best to file off the first layer or two of the gel polish and then soak it in nail polish remover so that it lifts from the nail to be scraped off.

OPI have now come in with the perfect in between: Infinite Shine. This is very similar to ordinary polish. It applies and is removed in exactly the same way but lasts longer (just over a week) and is as shiny as gel polish. This ‘hybrid’ system delivers high shine and up to 10 days of wear with its own personal primer and gloss.


Lacquer is a great option for those who get bored easily or like to change their colour often and enjoy experimenting and Infinite Shine may be an option for those who like the look of gels but just can’t commit to the effort of applying and removing them, or simply just can’t find the time to go to a salon.