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Is OPI or Essie nail polish better? 

A quality manicure can make you appear to be more polished and put-together, no matter the occasion. Many people feel overwhelmed by all of the nail polish options available on the market today. They find themselves wondering whether OPI nail polish or Essie nail polish is the better option. Which one will wear better over time? 

OPI nail polish

When it comes to the best nail lacquers, OPI comes in near the top of the list. This brand was actually founded as a dental supply company but switched to selling lacquers and nail products in 1989. They offer a stunning variety of color options with long-lasting wear that doesn’t chip easily. 

The brand also is known for giving back to the community. The founder and his family founded an organization that has raised money for Project Hope International, Leukemia Research Foundation and more. 

OPI nail polish pros

Searching for safe nail polish should be a priority. OPI is famously “3 free,” which means that they do not have any of the three harshest chemicals: 

  • Toluene
  • Formaldehyde
  • DPB

The brush included with this lacquer makes application easy. It has a tapered handle that is comfortable to hold along with a broader and flatter brush. Sticking with the standard three-stroke application favored by professionals, OPI is relatively easy to apply an even coat. Most applications will last several days with minimal chipping. 

OPI nail polish cons

If you are concerned about chipping, it is best to stick with lighter colors. Darker shades have been known to chip quicker than the lighter colors available in the OPI product lineup. While they still have great longevity, this may help you decide when it comes to selecting a color. 

Some individuals have reported bubbles in the lacquer after shaking it, which could affect how the polish gets applied. 

Best OPI nail polishes

The two major polishes available from OPI are their traditional nail lacquer and their Infinite Shine Long-Wear Nail Polish.

traditional nail lacquer

The traditional nail lacquer is a fast-drying formula that is easy to apply. It promises up to seven days of wear.

Infinite Shine Long-Wear Nail Polish

The Infinite Shine Long-Wear Nail Polish is ideal if you want your nail polish to last a bit longer. This high-shine polish is similar to a gel application but without the need for LED lights to cure it. Their ProStay Technology should give you up to 11 days of wear.

Essie nail polish

Founded in 1981 by Essie Weingarten, this brand has become a reliable name in the nail industry. Their colors are just as varied as what you will find with the OPI brand. They won their first award in 1996 from Allure Magazine’s Best of Beauty Awards. It also boasts one of the bestselling nail trend colors of all time. 

Essie pros

Gel Couture

When it comes to professional-quality nail polish, Essie is a great option. It boasts long wear times, particularly when it comes to their Gel Couture lines. These polishes can last up to two weeks with minimal chipping and wear.

Much like OPI, they are also “3 free” of toluene, formaldehyde, and DPB. This makes them a relatively safe option when it comes to the chemicals they contain. 

Essie cons

While the brand does hold up well when it comes to longevity, there are a few disadvantages. The first is the actual applicator itself. It does not feel as natural in hand as the OPI brush, it is thinner, and it overall makes a three-stroke application a bit more challenging. 

Best Essie nail polishes

standard polish

Essie has several products available for those who are serious about their manicures. Their standard polish will last for approximately five to seven days. It comes in an array of colors, from reds and oranges to blues and greens.

Essie Gel Couture

If you want your nail polish to last a bit longer, consider going with the Essie Gel Couture. Much like the OPI Infinite Shine, this polish introduces technology that more closely resembles a gel manicure without the need for LED lights. It requires no base coat and lasts for up to 14 days.



For those who need to paint their nails in a hurry, you may want to consider the Expressie. This one-step color should dry in about one minute, making it easy to apply if you don’t have much time.

Should you get OPI or Essie nail polish? 

Both brands have many colors to choose from, but Essie promises a longer wear time with fewer chips. This is particularly true when you’re considering their gel application, advertised to get three extra days of wear compared with the OPI Infinite Shine. Application may be a little more difficult due to the shape of the brush and the less ergonomic handle, but their longevity makes up for it.


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Sarah Harris writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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