I've been using this for a week now, following the instructions and I've already noticed my nails are growing faster and are stronger... it's only been a week! I've had flimsy gross nails for a long time. I also was a nail biter too, but not anymore! Made a big difference already... can't wait to see how it goes.... Maybe I'll do an update
This product has worked well for me for its intended purpose, which is as an invisible nail strengthener.
Please note it is NOT a mattifying top coat! If you paint it on top of other varnish, it will only leave a neither-here-nor-there finish; not really shiny but not matte either. I can't say how it acts as a base coat, as I haven't tried it, but that's not really its intended purpose either.
I work in a hospital and am constantly washing my hands, which was leaving my nails horribly dry and peeling, even with regular application of handcream. The dress code strictly forbids any nail varnish, even clear, but my nails were tearing down below the nailbed (ouch), so I had to do something!
This has been my nails' saviour; they are now protected and growing much better, but my nails look clean and professional and I won't get a telling off from matron.
As mentioned by other posters, the application directions on the box seem OTT; it advises putting on another coat every day and only removing it weekly. I can say that with more than one coat this gets more noticeably shiny; I prefer to put on one thin coat and then remove and redo when it gets chipped (you can just about see chips if you look closely). I find I have to replace it after each day at work, although I do not see this as a downside, as I would not expect any polish to last through the kind of punishment my hands get! I haven't noticed any yellow tinge from the formaldehyde, as mentioned by other posters, perhaps because I am using it in smaller doses than recommended?
So - good for people who want nail strengthening and protection without looking like they have anything on!
Smooths out the ridges on the nail.
Good as a base coat. Very natural look when worn on its own -- matte, but smooth.
I particularly enjoy polishing my nails and personally have nails that are not very strong. I have used OPI Nail Envy products for quite a while and find that the OPI Nail Envy Matte is a solid choice for a base coat. I also have used this formulation as a stand-alone product and am less happy with the results.
Pros: Definitely strengthens the nail in just 1 coat, makes a solid base coat, matte finish provides a more natural look when wearing on its own, has strong staying power, lasts a long time if you only use what you need.
Cons: Full retail price of $17 is obnoxious (I purchase on Amazon for ~$6), matte finish is easily altered by lotions or oils, wasteful when applied as directed (adding more coats over the course of the week leaves one with a very thick cover which is unnecessary), can acquire a bluish tint over the course of a week (more likely when wearing 2+ coats).
I like this product but would not purchase this again if it were only available at full retail. I like my nail strengtheners to be more versatile, and I feel that the Matte formulation's drawbacks lead me to only use it as a basecoat. Still, this is a solid product that works (with less product than the instructions would leave you to believe) and fits into my routine.
After years of being an undiagnosed celiac and having chronic splitting, weak nails which wouldn't grow I was after something to speed the new rapid growth I was experiencing after the miraculous results I was having after changing my diet. The nails were growing at super speed but still weak from years of mineral depletion. I then acquired a bottle of this and for the first time in my life I can grow and keep growing my nails with no snaps or breaks. Yes this does contain formaldehyde but so do most full strength nail hardeners. If you apply as stated on the package and remove every 6 days I find I don't get any yellowing whatsoever. Makes a fab base coat with the matte (more like a satin finish). I am in love with this product. The only downfall I find is non OPI brands applied over the top of this dont tend to meld well with the product and they chip within a few hours but I have replaced most of my shades with OPIs now and my nails are looking great and the polish lasts for days even with with constant hand washing (I have dogs), cleaning and dishes etc. A product worth the hype.
As a base coat it is good, the plus is that it strengthens your nails but just a standard base coat, not sure of the difference of it being matte.
This doesn't work well as a top coat
I use this nail polish is a starting base not a base coat. There is a huge difference haha. Because it creates a matte effect, you want to use this before any other nail polish application.
After using OPI Nail Envy Matte for a few weeks i noticed that my nails felt more hydrated and stronger. My nail polish has not chipped away since applying and i am super excited about how my manicure looks.
I give this nail polish a 9/10 because the color is long lasting and it creates a great matte affect!
Okay, let me just start by saying, I've seen some people say it didn't give them the matte finish they desired. This is a matte base coat, it isn't really meant to be used as a mattifying top coat. OPI had a matte top coat specifically for that purpose :). ANYWAY! I've tried several other base coats. Sally Hansen Hard as Nails, OPI Nail Envy for Sensitive/Peeling Nails, and NailTek. My nails do peel more than anything else. Despite this specific problem, the original matte Nail Envy is the best thing I've tried, and I've come back to it! It makes my nails strong, helps them grow faster, and protects them from staining even though I paint my nails every couple days. I know the retail price can be off-putting at about $17 USD, but I've only ever bought it on Amazon for about $6 USD, usually with free shipping. Very affordable! Overall, I give this a 10/10. Best base coat I've used, definitely does what it claims to, and yeah, buy it!
Disappointing product especially for the price.
It keeps my nails strong and protects my nail polish but it doesn't make my nails matte. Even after 3 coats there is still a shine.
I normally used a bog-standard base coat, really to protect my nails more than anything, but since having a baby my nails have been really fragile. They grow pretty quickly but split all the time.
I have been using this for about a month now and on my left (non-dominant) hand, I have no splits or chips. Just beautiful strong nails. On my right hand, my middle fingernail always splits because of the way my nail presses onto my pen when I write. Annoying, but not much I can do about that!
I really like this polish - it smells very strong, but I can overlook this in the face of the results. It is expensiven about £18 from shops - I got it for £7.95 from eBay. Would not buy this again full price. I like the bottle and the brush, and I love the way this looks. I bought it as a base coat not a top coat so am not disappointed that it isn't completely matte - I have a separate topcoat for that. I believe it is intended to give a natural sheen to nails so men can wear it unobtrusively. I'll update if it heals my husband's split thumbnail!