Nail Envy: Does It Work?

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Nail Envy by OPI states that it provides maximum strengthening with hydrolyzed wheat protein and calcium for harder, stronger, natural nails. But does it work?


BUT does it work? Here is our experience when I incorporated it into my nail repair routine.

After getting a little ‘acrylic happy’ with my nails, I was left with a lot of damage. I’d tried the general nail repair methods: lotion, clipping, filing etc. They continued to split and peel into the nail bed. Not only was it painful, but it didn’t look good either.

I’ve never been a nail biter, but you’d think I was lying if you saw my hands. I decided to pull out the big guns and add Nail Envy from O.P.I. to my nail repair routine.

I’d read hundreds of reviews on other strengthening products and none of them came close to what users said about Nail Envy. Many people reported results in just weeks, longer nail growth and stronger nails and the complete disappearance of peeling and breaking. So, of course, I had to find out for myself – Does It Work?

The first lesson I learned is that you won’t get far using only a nail strengthener. Your nails require moisture and massage. You heard me: MASSAGE YOUR NAILS. Your cuticles, to be more precise. Healthy moisture and blood flow to the cuticle area is what grows strong, healthy nails. So, I put together a full daily system.


Start by applying two coats to your dry and clean nails with your cuticles pushed back.  Then every other day, apply a top coat for seven (7) days.  Then remove those layers with a gentle nail polish remover and start over.


  1. Coconut Oil: Oil is extremely important with nail repair and upkeep. The health of your nails rests in the cuticle. When they are parched, torn or infected – nails can’t grow. You can use just about any type of oil (almond, Vitamin E, etc) but I prefer coconut oil not just for it’s ability to hydrate and protect, but also because it has antibacterial properties. I applied it to clean, dry nails each morning then massaged it into my nail, cuticle and fingertip. I never washed or rubbed it off, letting it absorb on it’s own.
  2. Buffing Block: Using a fine grit buffing block, I kept the edges smooth, always filing softly from the outside and never using a sawing motion. I never buffed the top of my nails.
  3. OPI Nail Envy: I applied 1 coat per day to begin with. OPI directions instruct you to apply every OTHER day, but my nail damage required daily protection. As my nails grew out and became stronger, I switched to applications every other day. Make sure to apply thin coats. Applications that are too thick may end up peeling and causing more damage.
  4. Sally Hansen Cuticle Massage Cream: During the day I applied massage cream. I did it at least 2 times per day, but even more if I had my hands in water, went swimming etc. I like the Sally Hansen cream because it comes in an easily portable jar that you can put in your purse and use on the go.
  5. Optional : Biotin – One additional step you can take is nourishing from the inside. If your nails are weak and peel or crack without using acrylics, a Biotin supplement may help. Biotin improves the keratin infrastructure (a basic protein that makes up hair, skin and nails). If your nail damage is just the result of acrylic abuse or nail biting, a supplement may not provide results any faster.
  6.  Optional : Best Cuticle Pusher and Spoon Nail Cleaner Set  –  The curved spoon edges of the cuticle pushers are designed to follow the natural shape of your nails, preventing any damage to sensitive skin. Use the other side to clean under your nails. For natural and acrylic nails.

Before & After

OPI Nail Envy

BEFORE: I had some major acrylic damage on my right hand. While my left hand nails were soft and weak, the right nails were a mess. That’s my dominant hand so I had to repair and soak off broken nails more often on the right. Also, being right handed, I’m sure I was filing incorrectly when using my left hand. The right nails were so soft that they would split in the middle, peel and break down into the nail bed.

AFTER: After 2 months of steady use, my nails are finally past the fingertip and very strong. I haven’t had a break in several weeks and there is no peeling at all. I’m still using Nail Envy 2 – 3 times per week along with my regular nail polish and I will continue to use it as a base coat. It doesn’t work overnight because there is no real way to make your nails grow FASTER. But it definitely protects and strengthens them which helps stop breakage and that means you reach your nail goal sooner rather than later.

So, Does Nail Envy Work? YES

TIP: Don’t get discouraged.

You’ll have to play the waiting game to achieve longer stronger natural nails  – At first the change was amazing. Within two weeks my nails looked completely different and I thought they would be long in no time. Unfortunately, that didn’t happen.

Length Does Not Equal Strength. While the Nail Envy allowed the edges to grow out, they were still weak and soft. I frequently broke them off or snagged them and had to file the edges. I was also still growing out some areas that had broke off into the nail bed. As much as I hated to get rid of progress on length, I had to clip them several times to ensure that it was healthy, even growth coming from the nail bed. Once the strength returned, I was ready to stop clipping and start growing.

*This was an original post from 2014 that has been updated.


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