OPI's Infinite Shine long-wear lacquer will be released in the company's 30 bestselling shades.

OPI is building its longwear lacquer business.

Infinite Shine, the polish that’s stronger than lacquer but not quite gel that the company introduced a year-and-a-half-ago, will be introduced in 30 of the brand’s best-selling lacquer colors on Sept. 1. These include I’m Not Really a Waitress (red with a pearl finish), Bubble Bath (light pink), Lincoln Park After Dark (a midnight purple), You don’t Know Jacques! (mauve), Alpine Snow (white) and Black Onyx (black).

The company has also partnered with an influencer with a hefty social media following to help get the word out about its growing longwear lacquer business.

Following the appointment of Kerry Washington in December of last year as OPI’s creative ambassador, the firm named musician and model Pyper America Smith as the brand ambassador for Infinite Shine. Los Angeles-based Smith, who has 711,000 Instagram followers, plays bass guitar alongside 18-year-old model brother Lucky Blue Smith in the family band The Atomics.

“The biggest technology revolution has been in gel color, but that’s not to say that lacquer has been put on the back-burner. There is new tech available in lacquer [too],” Suzi Weiss-Fischmann, OPI cofounder and creative director, told WWD, adding that Infinite Shine works as a system and that a primer, lacquer color and gloss topcoat must all be used to achieve the promised up to 10-day manicure.

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The lacquer category is primed to be a big growth driver for OPI and since introducing the range in November 2014, color options have tripled to 90 shades (there are 120 colors in the main lacquer collection). The longwear lacquers cost about 20 percent more than OPI’s original one — $12.50 versus $10.50 or about $5 more for a salon manicure — and are designed to appeal to a consumer who is looking for more longevity in their manicure. The upside is that the wearer doesn’t need to soak off the color like they would with gel, and the color lasts almost as long.

According to Aurelien Jehan, ‎senior vice president, marketing and creative, OPI at Coty Inc., the product is the “professional nail lacquer of the future.”

“It’s strategically an important franchise for us, it’s the next evolution [in lacquer]. It’s what we want to grow in the non-gel area,” Jehan said. Ideally, longwear lacquer will become the same size as the regular lacquer business, but he acknowledged that it might take several years, based on consumer reaction and how they embrace the three-step system.

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