OPI Start to Finish Top & Base (Formaldahyde Free)


23 reviews

65% would repurchase

Package Quality: 4.2

Price: $$$$

Package Quality: 4.2

Price: $$$$


Alcohol Denat (SD alcohol 40-B), Ethyl Acetate, Butyl Acetate, Heptane, Nitrocellulose, Tosylamide/Epoxy Resin, Isopropyl Alcohol, Polyvinyl Butyral, Triphenyl Phosphate, Trimethyl Pentanyl Disobutyrate, Camphor, Benzophenone-1, Glyoxal, Hydrolyzed Wheat Protein, CI 60725 (violet 2). 10/2012


Age: 19-24

Skin: Very Oily, Fair, Warm

Hair: Blond, Straight, Fine

Eyes: Blue

I don't think this make my nailpolish last longer...


Age: 18 & Under

Skin: Acne-prone, Fair, Warm

Hair: Brunette, Straight, Fine

Eyes: Grey

This is an overall 4-star product with 5-star aspects. The drying time is very quick and efficient, which I have timed at less than a minute. It is ideal for use as a base coat: it protects your nails from staining, the formaldehyde-free formula helps to prevent fraying and breaking, and other nail polish colors stick to it very well. It leaves a very shiny finish which makes it obvious that you're wearing a clear coat.

I like it much less as a top coat. I've found that it takes significantly longer to dry when placed over another color which has already dried. It has on some occasions refused to dry at all. Usually it will dry, but I've had occasion where it simply peels off the color underneath as if nothing were ever applied. It is prone to chipping when it does dry correctly; once chipping my pedicure an hour after application. If it will work or not seems to depend on the position of the stars or a similar nonsensical reason that I simply cannot fathom.

If it does work properly as a top coat, it works very well. I find it to be very glossy and resistant to chipping. It shows the color clearly and keeps it looking as vibrant as when freshly applied.

The brush is of course phenomenal and by far the best nail polish brush I've ever had the pleasure of using. It makes it very easy to apply one coat with one swipe.

The smell doesn't linger as much as other nail polishes. I don't know why, but even my roommate has commented on it. I usually have to tell her that I've used this before she notices any lingering odor.

I will re-purchase for use as a base coat or a clear nail polish on its own.


Age: 19-24

Skin: Combination, Tan, Not Sure

Hair: Black, Other, Other

Eyes: Black

I'm not very impressed with this product for the price I paid for it. I thought it'd be a good idea to get a combo product but this combo product just doesn't cut it.

Basically it works alright as a base coat but it sucks as a top coat. It doesn't make my nails look shinier or glossy (not even when freshly applied) and I think it actually makes it look duller. And the dullness gets worse by the day. Also the polish chips quite easily with this and I never had any problem of chipping polish before. I think I'm gonna start using this purely as a base coat. Its not too bad as a top coat for pedicures either, for some reason it seems to be shinier on my toes although there is still a problem with chipping.

Not recommended at all!!


Age: 19-24

Skin: Combination, Fair-Medium, Not Sure

Hair: Brunette, Other, Other

Eyes: Brown

This is one of the only nail polish products that I continue to buy over and over. It is a bit expensive, but I always get these on a buy one get one 1/2 off sale (luckily, my store does this often) so my supplies last a while. The polish is a great base coat! I've also noticed that when I do use it, my nails don't break or peel at all. As a top coat, it dries really fast and helps my mani last much longer. The brush is awesome as OPI has THE best brushes of all the nail polishes I've ever owned! Some people will write in a review that the top will come off and leave the brush part in the bottle and I've only really had that problem when I've had the bottle for a really long time and gotten the polish in the threads of the neck. A little super-glue and it never happens again. One of the best things about this is that it's formaldehyde-free so it's not harmful to your nails.

Love, love, love this product. But admittedly, will only buy it on sale unless I'm in desperate dire need.


Age: 44-55

Skin: Normal, Fair, Cool

Hair: Blond, Curly, Fine

Eyes: Blue

What can I say? OPI has the best brush in the business, hands down. But this product is a better base coat than top coat, as it doesn't dry fast enough. It's much better than essie's "good to go" top coat, which is a sticky mess. I'll have to see how I feel at the bottom of the bottle before I know if I'll purchase it again. I'm happy that it's 3free, unlike the much-revered (which really isn't that great after all) Seche Vitae top coat.

3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.


Age: 25-29

Skin: Combination, Fair, Cool

Hair: Black, Wavy, Medium

Eyes: Green

I like it! I'm a fan of combo products, so It was good enough for me. The only top\base coat I tried, and I like it so far. The only problem is that sometimes the cap gets screwed off and the brush is stuck.

2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.


Age: 19-24

Skin: Sensitive, Fair-Medium, Not Sure

Hair: Brunette, Curly, Medium

Eyes: Brown

EDIT: omg! Months ago O.P.I. contacted me and said they liked my review and that they wanted to possibly use it. I never thought anything would come of it but the other day I was picking up a new bottle of this and when I got home I realized my name was on the package! *claps*

The best base and top coat ever! I am a nail polish JUNKIE, and have tried so many base and top coats I was beginning to lose faith that there was a good one out there. I tend to use my nails as all purpose tools and always found my polish chipping after the first day. I highly recommend this product if you are a gal who wants her at-home manicures to last.

4 out of 5 people found this review helpful.


Age: 44-55

Skin: Combination, Fair, Not Sure

Hair: Blond, Other, Other

Eyes: Hazel

Very disappointed! I purchased OPI Start to Finish because of the positive reviews I read and because OPI is one of the best brands out there. My manicure didnít last any longer than if I had used an over the counter (read: cheaper) polish. Also, it dried out my nails so much that they are brittle and breaking. I do not recommend this product.


Age: 30-35

Skin: Dry, Medium, Not Sure

Hair: Brunette, Wavy, Medium

Eyes: Brown

Update :
Ive had to discontinue using this product twice now, both times because the brush separates from the black lid & gets 'glued' to the bottle. Yes I used this once a week so it gets used regularly but its the first time Ive had this happen with any nail varnish.
OPI locally replaced the first bottle when I complained about the problem - but the second bottle has done the exact same thing. Very annoying.
I moved on to the Sally Hansen top/base coat & so far very happy with it.
Im not going to rave about this product...even though I would love to.
Im a HUGE OPI fan, huge. but for some reason this product has disappointed me soooo much.
I have used it twice now. I will admit it is a wonderful base coat with no yellowing occuring however as a top coat, I would not recommend. Initially it looks glossy & so shiny but overnight I have found it has dulled quite a lot. I reapplied another top coat & the same problem. I have been more impressed with other top coats to be 100% honest.
Perhaps I need to give this product more time, perhaps not. I will review my review if anything changes. :(

2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.


Age: 19-24

Skin: Combination, Tan, Warm

Hair: Brown, Wavy, Medium

Eyes: Brown

I gave this a 5/5 overall because this is truly an amazing product. I'm a chemist and work with toluene, parabens, formaldehyde and a lot of other cosmetic chemicals all the time and I know how harmful formaldehyde can be for our bodies.It's a great thing that this nail polish is formaldehyde free and to boot, I think it works much better than the Start to Finish regular polish.

The main reasons why it works so good are because:
1. It does not cause the common yellow staining of nails we observe in cheap clear nail polishes. In fact, the culprit for this is actually formaldehyde itself so there's your reason why it doesn't do that!

2. It dries fast, both as a base coat and as a top coat. This is good, because a lot of nail polishes I have tried that claim to be a good base and top coat have the problem of drying too slow.

3. It's cheaper than buying a base coat and top coat separately, which by the way don't come as formaldehyde-free formulas by OPI.

The two v. small reasons why I think this product has its downfall:

1. It's expensive. Around £13.50 now in Boots due to the 2.5% increase in VAT.
2. As you use it for base and top coat, it runs out quite fast if you paint your nails a lot.

Overall though, the actual quality of this product and how amazing it is at taking care of your nails beats any downsides of price and quantity.

I also found that whilst showering, my nail colour doesn't budge one little bit. Regardless of whether the colour I have on is deep and dark, or light and sheer, this Start to Finish formula sticks to my nails and keeps the colour on like super-glue!

A general tip to keep this one in top condition: wipe off the neck of the bottle with a cotton ball dipped in polish remover before you store it away, because the lack of formaldehyde lowers the life of this product if it is not properly sealed.

Also keep this refridgerated to keep its viscosity 'runny' as the lack of formaldehyde means this can become thick and dry out quicker.

That's all girls ;-)

27 out of 28 people found this review helpful.

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