Gelcolor by OPI, Louvre Me Louvre Me Not
For those of you who landed here by searching "OPI Gelcolor" or "Louvre Me, Louvre Me Not" (and I know you're coming, trust me), I'll provide you with a little backstory. I'm most definitely NOT a girly-girl, but I coveted nice-looking nails.
I hate the look of acryllics, hate that the nail techs use dremels to remove those or the earlier Gel coatings and well, especially hated that cooking, doing dishes and swimming kind of ruled out having silk wraps done. So, my nails looked like crap most of the time.
Enter CND's Shellac. It goes on like polish, lasts two weeks and protects my nails? Sign me up. There are many posts of the various Shellac manicures I've had done by my lovely nail tech, Katie. (Seriously, if you're near Lakeland, email me and I'll set you up-she is awesome.) The color selection was 18 when I started, now is 24 and 6 more are announced for March. Not bad, but not as good as the plethora of OPI colors you can find in nail salons and beauty supplies.
Then OPI got into the UV Gel polish market with soak off product. It was launched with 30 colors (and many of the most popular OPI colors were launched with it, like I'm Not Really A Waitress) and many more are coming out.
I'm not a pink or orange person, because they don't look great on me. You'll see the out there colors if you look at my links, but I photograph every new color and write about them here, so roughly every two weeks, there's a new shade posted.
I am NOT a professional in the nail industry, I don't work for OPI or CND, I just love the fact that they create nail product for people like me, who have soft nails and don't like to waste money on a traditional manicure for it to be wrecked in two days when I scrub a pot.
Okay, that was long winded, but here are pictures of today's manicure in Louvre Me, Louvre Me not and some feedback afterwards.
At the salon, the color looks kind of like a cross between plum and raisin. A nice deep color, more towards the creme side.
When I admired Katie's handiwork on the way home, I noticed a subtle metallic effect. Metallic good, I like it!
If you have fair skin, like me, this one will really stand out, as will my rings-since Katie put them in the ultrasonic jewelery cleaner for me. :)
Okay, the feedback, since I forgot to follow up with any pictures or commentary after I got Bagota Blackberry, but we'll blame that on my frenzy at the end of the semester.
If you're a diligent, standing appointment with your nail tech every two weeks kind of person, you will notice that CND's Shellac and OPI's Gelcolor are pretty much identical in wear. Both hold up to me using a brillo pad on my pots, typing for hours on the computer, and generally, forgetting that I have a nice manicure on my hands. As it should be, IMO. Other than the color selection, you will be safe choosing a shade you like and having your nail tech do the rest. (and I suspect many nail techs who do one, will do the other.)
The feedback I've gotten from my nail tech and several others is that Gelish and Geltastic do not fare nearly as well. I haven't tried either, nor do I plan to, so I can't offer an honest comparison.
Where is the difference, you ask? With the Shellac, there have been a couple of times where I had to go three weeks between manicures (and once where we went four, but I soaked them off myself). My first round of the OPI Gelcolor had to stay on three weeks, because I was sick and not getting a very busy Katie sick before the holidays.
The OPI starts to flake and chip at the 17-18 day mark, and at that, it flakes off like traditional polish when you've put too many coats on your nail. However, when it does-it doesn't appear to do damage to the nail underneath. On the flip side, the Shellac adheres so well that other than normal nail growth, there are no signs of it chipping, flaking or disintegrating. (I should have taken a picture this morning, day 17 on this round of my favorite, Hotski to Tchotchke to show how well it wore.)
Since I have a pretty regular thing going every other Friday (barring illness or travel), this is not a negative to me in the least. I will gladly use both CND and OPI's products on my nails and enjoy the fact that I've got 54 colors (and counting) to choose from.
Oh, and since I seem to get so much traffic from those searching out these products, I will start a gallery post in the blog to show all the colors I have had done. Link will be added once that happens. In the mean time, search the tags below for the one that interest you and hopefully, my experience helps you in your quest for information.
**I am not paid for these posts, I just really like that I finally have something girly that I can wear that won't get ruined in my daily pursuits!**