Friday, April 8, 2011

AMW Reviews: OPI Start to Finish Base & Top Coat

Ah, after my loyalty to The Face Shop's Top Coat and The Face Shop's Base Coat,  it's high time I try other brands!  And I guess that's what my dear friend Frances had in mind when we gifted me OPI Start to Finish Base & Top Coat last Christmas! (thanks girlfriend!)

After using this a couple of months and testing through nail art after nail art, you will finally hear my say....

OPI Start to Finish Base & Top Coat says ---

The OPI Start To Finish Base & Top Coat is a breakthrough, three-in-one nail treatment that combines a base coat, top coat and natural nail strengthener in one high performance product. As a base coat, it can be applied before nail lacquer to prevent staining and to strengthen the natural nail. Also provides a smooth base for the application of OPI Nail Lacquer. 

As a top coat, the OPI Start To Finish dries quickly to give a high gloss shine. As a nail strengthener, it helps to bond nail protein fibres, a process which hardens nails and prevents moisture loss.
The result - stronger, more flexible nails.


Butyl acetate, ethyl acetate, alcohol denat. (SD alcohol 40B), nitrocellulose, propyl acetate, heptane, tosylamide/epoxy resin, isopropyl alcohol, dibutyl phthalate, camphor, formaldehyde, etocrylene, polyvinyl butyral, Cl 60725 (Violet 2).

AMW says ---

  • The brush is flat and easy to use!
  • As base coat, it dries quickly and serves as a nice base prior to polish application.
  • As top coat, the polish lasts more than a week with a lot of typing jobs, I also wash dishes and likes to wash my hands a lot of times a day!
  • So far, it does not cause further yellowing, the yellowing of my nails actually decreased as compared to using other brands!
  • As a top coat, it does not dry quickly but it doesn't dry slowly as well.  Just right!
  • I will have to repeat, the brush shape, size is just a dream to apply!  So quick and easy!

  • The brush part gets stuck into the cap a lot of times! 
  • Not as shiny as other top coats in the market.
  • Pricier as compared to other brands.
  • Thanks to reader "L O" she wanted to add that the ingredients "Camphor and Formaldehyde" are not good.  (Do your own research and use at your own discretion).
When it comes to preventing nails from further yellowing and longevity of the nail polish, the OPI Start to Finish Base & Top Coat passed with flying colors!  You just don't get the extra "ooomph" or "shine" that you may get from other top coat which I don't mind much as I am more into anti-yellowing!


  • Apply one coat and let dry as base coat.
  • As top coat, apply 2 coats.  
  • Use the "wrapping method" to prevent nail polish from chipping.
  • If you plan to make your polish/nail art lasts longer, apply the OPI as Top Coat again midweek with wrapping method, the nail polish will last longer.
  • Always close cap tight when not in use and store in cool, dry place to prevent polish from drying up easily.
  • Do not apply any polish in front of an electric fan as it will cause bubbles!
Will I repurchase?
Yes, will use this as base coat more than top coat.

To whom do I recommend this to?

Anyone who's dead serious with nail polish application and wants to protect nails from further yellowing.  If you do have "resting time" for nails, then it's ok to stick to more inexpensive base and top coat!

Where to purchase and how much?

I actually will check to make sure but I believe this is around Php400.00++

Here's a good test on my OPI Start to Finish Base and Top Coat
I applied 1 coat as base and 2 coats as Top coat.  PVZ nails after 2 weeks, no chipping and obviously, it has been weeks as my nails are starting to grow.  Oh, I also applied another coat before the start of the 2nd week thus the lifespan of my nail art extends!  I think I can even go further to 3rd week if not only I'm itching for new nail art design!

A photo of my bare nails leaving Tall Nut (My fave)
As seen on photo, there are still slight yellowing on my nails which is actually not bad considering I have nail polish on for good 3-4 years!  I know, its not healthy but I can't help it!  With a good base coat, it really helps maintain at least ...close to ...healthy looking nails plus my nails are still strong as ever! *knocks on wood*

What's your weapon in preventing your nails from ---
Turning yellow?

I'd love to hear your secret!

Keep smilin'
Stay happy!


  1. That nail art is really cute! Plants vs Zombies! :)

  2. OMG!
    That's one of the biggest crisis that i am facing!
    nail stains!

    i hate nail stains but it's hard not to get it because i always apply nail polish on. i even cut my long nails just because it irritates me seeing them with bad nail stains.

    i just use a whitening buffer to get rid of it but i don't use it regularly. it's still a buffer so it would thin out my nails now i'm letting my nails take a break by not applying too much polish on

    i am using seche vite top coat now & i have to say that it's good if you want a top coat that dries for high-shine gloss look, im not sure though...sometimes it acts a bit weird...& also the lasting effect..not sure too kasi i usually remove my polish after a day or two kasi im afraid of nail stains na e..hehe

  3. hello nikki! your nail post are always great :)

    i saw you mentioned the wrapping method, may I know how does that works? am a noob here, sorry :P

  4. I'm currently using a very cheap base coat and I'm thinking of investing in a good one!

  5. i am now using Elianto base coat, and i think it sucks :( my nails are yellow-ish now and i have to go check if sally hansen has any products that can remove the stain!

  6. Fellow lacquerhead here! I use TFS base coat as well but I want to switch to another product because it doesn't really do much for my nails. I love OPI's nail colors but the top and base not so much, I prefer ORLY. You may have gotten a defect with the cap that comes off, not all of them do. I have Elianto bottles that are like that, and I just mighty bond them together again so they won't stick to the bottle anymore.

    Anyway, I've heard wonders about the BNC top coat, but so far I think HG is definitely Seche Vite. :)

  7. Gosh if your polish lasted 2 weeks then it must be pretty good! Might as well invest on OPI since I figured I have nail polish on 6 days a week. 6 days coz it starts to chip by the 5th and I couldn't stand to not peel it. Bad habit.=P Atleast it gives ma a rest day.

    TFS's base and top coat didn't work for me. Made my nails yellow and veyr brittle. I'm now using Elianto and it's working pretty fine. Sally Hansen too.

    I read somewhere that whitening toothpaste works on yellowing nails just like how it whitens our teeth. How true?

  8. onga ate nikki.super bilis nga eh,napaaga flight namin kasi so mabilisan. c bf nanggaling pa malayo para lang makita ako bago sad..pero ok lng naman ako.thank you tlga ate nikki :)

  9. When I used to get my nails done at the nail spa ive noticed that my nails do turn yellowish so im not sure if it has to do something with sharing with the tools and such. But since I've been doing my own nails and have my own tools ive noticed that my nails do not turn yellow any longer. I only use OPI or China Glaze nail polish. Also when I was walking at the mall one day I bumped into this one cart called Seacret Spa. It basically a bunch of buffering thing and it comes with this oil and lotion. i must say my nails looks really healthy and from far away it looks like i put a clear coat over my nails when i didnt.

  10. uber cute ang nails mo! grabe :)

  11. thank you for the review of OPI base and top coat.. i'm actually using the local brand caronia.. but i definitely love opi nail polishes.. so why not try their base and top coats, right? :D

  12. Kirin, it's actually one of those favorite nail art design of mine :) It takes time and effort but the outcome made me smile :D

    Thia, yes, for us nail polish lovers! Thanks for sharing your thoughts! Buffer does help in "removing" stains but of course, we have to be careful not to overbuff no? :D I've heard so much about Seche Vite, just don't have the chance to purchase it as I don't know where! LOL

    Plue, thanks! How the wrapping method works? Well, you brush top coat just you regularly do, then afterwards, brush a layer on the tip of your nails! That's the wrapping method!

  13. MIchelle, well, when it comes to nail polishes, I don't mind if they aren't expensive, but I am investing on really good base and top coat! Those, I believe are the lifeline of nail polish application!

    Xin, Elianto is good! I've tried it too! I want a base coat that totally doesn't give stains..or all!

    Elaine, can give this a try, it's unfair for me to do a judgement for now as I've used TFS and ELIANTO base coat FOREVER! I will see if the yellowing will lessen more as I continuously use my OPI :) I like BNC polishes but haven't tried their top coat, I would really love to give Seche Vite a try!
    With regards to mighty bond the cap, yes of course that's alright, but people have to know tht it's part of the "CON" as I dont' need to mighty bond my other polishes! :D

  14. Tartlove, oh, most of the polish will last longer...IF you apply another coat of top coat midweek! That's my secret to prolong the life of the polish! Whitening toothpaste on nails? I haven't tried it, I heard it but I think it's worth the try

    Miemiemie, I'm glad you're safe there, and be strong! Isipin mo na lang lucky kayo with our technology! at lesat you don't just rely on snail mails!

  15. Crissy, I think because most of them do not use base coat? Napansin mo ba if they did? Most salons that I've tried, they just go straight to polish application kaya I think that's one reason why our nails turn yellow more! I don't think it has anything to do with sharing of tools. Sharing of tools that aren't hygienic may cause skin irritations though! I like it that most nail salons now do wash their tools with alcohol!

    Crystal, thanks :)

    Hazel, yes, give them a try :D


I'd love to hear from you! Feel free to comment your questions, suggestions and just anything you may want to say! Keep smiling and stay happy!