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Top/Base Coats - OPI - Nail Envy - Matte

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rated 4.4(69 reviews)

  • Average Rating: 4.4
  • 82% would buy again
  • Package Quality: 4.4
  • Price: $$$

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rated 5 of 5 top reviewer on 10/27/2012 1:21:00 PM More reviews by BonChicBonGenre

Age: 30-35 Skin: Acne-prone, Other, Not Sure Hair: Brown, Other, Other Eyes: Brown

I jumped on the nail polish bandwagon a few months ago and did not look back....until my nails started flaking and breaking. I did some research (thanks Nail Board) and picked this up. I should say when I started using this about a month ago, I also started moisturizing my nails and cuticles with jojoba oil and lotions - rubbing both straight onto the nail bed and cuticle, and then putting Nail Envy Matte on. So, my nails are A LOT stronger, but it could be due to to the moisturizing too. One of my nails is still splitting a little bit, but it used to be every nail. I also figure that it's only been a month which means that the tips of my nails were at the cuticle over a month ago. The craziest thing is what it's done to my once seriously problematic pinky toenail. This one pair of heels I wore 12 years ago caused my pinky toenail to split lengthwise. One month of using this and it actually seems to be mending up! Also, it works well as a base coat. This is a win-win product.

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rated 3 of 5 on 8/19/2012 3:19:00 PM More reviews by nicolettetori

Age: 19-24 Skin: Combination, Tan, Not Sure Hair: Brunette, Other, Other Eyes: Brown

I had originally wanted to my the Essie "Matte about you" but at the time the ULTA store I went to was out, so I just picked this up ($17). It didn't leave as great of a matte finish as I thought it would. There still was a bit of shine. I wanted it to be really flat. I just finally bought the Essie "Matte about you" and I recommend that if you want a REAL matte finish with no shine at all!

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rated 3 of 5 on 8/6/2012 4:56:00 AM More reviews by j9lynn

Age: 18 & Under Skin: Combination, Fair-Medium, Not Sure Hair: Brunette, Other, Other Eyes: Brown

I have loved this base coat until I realized it was causing my nails to turn yellow. It would otherwise have been a great base coat - fast drying, smooth and strengthening.

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rated 4 of 5 on 8/1/2012 9:31:00 PM More reviews by lilyofthevalley5

Age: 25-29 Skin: Combination, Fair-Medium, Not Sure Hair: Blond, Wavy, Fine Eyes: Blue

tl;dr version:
- strengthens your nails wonderfully
- unfortunately stains yellow if not removed after a week (but no/hardly any staining if you do remove on time)
- nice semi-matte finish that can be used also as a topcoat

Long version:
I've been using this product for a few months now and the difference in the strength of my nails is striking! They still do seem to peel a tiny little bit but maybe I'm paranoid... it's only really visible when I cut them - the cut-off piece splits for some nails - but not on the actual nail (it sort of looks as if two of my nails are peeling or about to peel but they never actually split when I was using this product... quite hard to describe really...). My nails are amazingly strong now, though, no doubt about that - they have never been stronger before! (but I also never used other strengtheners in my life)

Regarding the yellowing - the directions say that one should remove the polish after a week and reapply. That's what I was doing for the first few weeks and didn't see any signs of yellowing. Ironically, though, this is an extraordinary base coat for coloured polish. Right now I'm on my 7th day of wearing 2 coats of Nail Evy Matte, 3 coats of OPI Into the Night, 1 coat of OPI topcoat applied immediately after the previous ones and one coat of MAC Overlacquer Finition applied 2 days after the initial manicure. There is no sign of wear AT ALL. My manicure looks as fresh and perfect as on day one, no chipping on the tips! This doesn't happen every time I use Nail Envy (I'd say it happened to me in about 20-30% cases, the rest of the time there is a little visible wear after a few days, especially when using a glitter polish) but on days like today I'm really fed up that I have to remove it and reapply when all I would prefer to do is just add e.g. a layer of OPI Nothin' Mousie 'Bout It for a fresh look (I've just tried it on one nail before removing - would look so gorgeous!). But if I do not remove the polish after a week the yellowing sets in. The first time I did it (I went over 2 weeks with one manicure because it just refused to chip...) my nails were yellow beyond what I could have imagined. Because there was 2 weeks worth of natural growth I could easily compare the colour to my natural nail and the staining was really striking. I probably shouldn't care because I almost exclusively wear opaque polish but it still bugs me. So what I'm doing now is - when I anticipate wearing a polish for longer than a week I use regular OPI basecoat instead which doesn't stain my nails no matter how long I have it on. It's still annoying on days like today, though, when I didn't anticipate wearing it for so long but now I'd like to... As you may have guessed by now I hate removing nail polish ;) Recently I've noticed, though, that using Cutex Nourishing remover whitens the nail a bit so I can push my luck and leave the polish on for a day or two longer without major yellowing but it's still very annoying that I even have to think about it and doesn't work for the extreme 2-week staining (mutes it slightly but it's still very well visible).

This product works great as a topcoat as well. Although called "matte" it's actually semi-matte to me but can give some polishes a very classy finish - it works especially well for me with solid colour creme polishes without glitter. Since I wear my polish for a week each time I like to use this product as a topcoat as part of my manicure and then after 2-3 days use the MAC Overlacquer Finition to switch to a glossy finish for a no-fuss minor change (and, of course, reapplying a topcoat prolongs the life of the manicure).

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rated 5 of 5 top reviewer on 6/4/2012 10:40:00 PM More reviews by kawanii

Age: 19-24 Skin: Combination, Fair-Medium, Not Sure Hair: Brown, Straight, Medium Eyes: Brown

I heard so many great reviews on OPI's Nail Envy. This was on sale versus the original nail envy, which I really wanted. But I settled for this one regardless of its "Matte" - more suitable for men's nails. I didn't really care as it was something to strengthen my nails so I could grow them longer.


Never had I been able to grow my nails longer before using this. My long nails made my manicures look so much better and I got so many compliments on how beautiful my nails look, given length AND whichever polish I was wearing. It also makes my natural nails look better that bit of matte shine. I'm sure the original nail envy would have also done the same job but without the "matte". I'd want to try the original nail envy and make it my TOP FAVOURITE.

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rated 3 of 5 top reviewer on 1/31/2012 10:53:00 PM More reviews by loriann52

Age: 19-24 Skin: Combination, Fair-Medium, Cool Hair: Blond, Straight, Medium Eyes: Blue

First off, I can't say how well this product strengthens your nails, because the longest I've ever had it on was like a week.
I understand they made this matte version so people could wear with without it looking like they have nail polish on, which in itself is a great idea. HOWEVER, because this contains formaldehyde, it turned my nails completely yellow. So no, it won't look like you're wearing yellow nail polish, but you will have yellow nails.
If you are going to wear it under polishes, never have your nails showing, and don't mind that it contains formaldehyde, then it would be good. It is very quick drying and has a smooth texture.
I bought this online for like $4 (this is the only reason why I got a nail polish with formaldehyde in it). I know we sell it at my store for $22.49. If I were you, I would buy one of the formaldehyde-free nail strengtheners that OPI offers. Maybe there won't be any trouble then.

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rated 5 of 5 top reviewer on 11/11/2011 12:14:00 AM More reviews by cathyz123

Age: 18 & Under Skin: Combination, Fair-Medium, Cool Hair: Black, Straight, Medium Eyes: Brown

i received this from a friend in a swap and i'm so glad i did! it's a great product for strengthening and hardening nails and it can be worn on its own for a clean, healthy nails look :)

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rated 5 of 5 on 8/27/2011 4:00:00 AM More reviews by leyy426

Age: 19-24 Skin: Combination, Medium, Not Sure Hair: Brown, Other, Other Eyes: Brown

My nail savior! Yay, I've finally found a nail strengthener that works! I have extremely weak nails that just love to chip and peel and tear, therefore I could never grow my nails long. A full manicure would last for two days AT MOST before chipping like crazyyy. But usually it only yields one day of perfect wear before chipping :(

With nail envy matte, my nails are finally growing longer with only tiny chips here and there. But nothing a little filing won't solve. I do notice that the first coat is pretty matte but with more coats, the finish tends to get shinier and shinier. However, that doesn't really bother me as long as it gives me a nice polished look.

I think anyone who has really weak nails and haven't found a good nail strengthener should definitely give this a try!

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rated 4 of 5 top reviewer on 3/1/2011 2:16:00 AM More reviews by Heechul

Age: 19-24 Skin: Acne-prone, Fair, Warm Hair: Black, Straight, Fine Eyes: Black

I'd had this in my stash so long unopened, and I finally used it one day as a base coat because it dried so quickly.

Lo and behold, it quickly became one of my top favourites, my polishes didn't chip and so forth..

However, this is when I realized that my nails were slowly starting to yellow. I know that I paint my nails excessively, but it wasn't until I switched to this as a base coat they actually yellowed.

Therefore, I do like this, but I have moved on to another that is cheaper as well as doing the same job (Orly Bonder)!

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rated 5 of 5 on 4/9/2010 1:01:00 PM More reviews by funmeg

Age: 25-29 Skin: Dry, Fair-Medium, Cool Hair: Blond, Wavy, Coarse Eyes: Blue

I love this product. Got it in a BOGO with the Original nail envy. I use the matte as a base coat (2 coats). My nails really have improved tremendously. I had problems with peeling and this formula reduced my peeling by about 60%. It is expensive on its own, but the BOGO was a great deal.

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