OPI QVC 20th Anniversary

Looking back on OPI’s 20 years with QVC UK


How time flies! It feels like only yesterday that I was visiting Lena White, the distributor of OPI in the United Kingdom, and whose vision it was as a nail technician to share the secret of this fantastic range, one that she discovered for the UK market.

As a nail technician, Lena was constantly searching for a brand that could offer fantastic results for her clients. When she came across OPI, she recognised that this was the only brand to date that, from a professional point of view, offered a selection of products that a technician needed for natural nails and enhancements.

Additionally, from a customer and fashion point of view, Lena saw that OPI had a wonderful array of home care maintenance products that were the same quality as the pro formulas. Truly giving not only instant manicure-grade results (which is often down to the calibre of the technician), but products that offered long-term performance and quality.

OPI Polish QVC

I first met Lena at the trade shows, and visited her for the first time when OPI was in its founding stages in the UK. In those days, it was a very small operation, but it had an incredibly passionate leader in Lena. Her daughters Lisa and Julie, who over the years you may have come to know, were at that time not in the business (probably at school, wearing pigtails). Lena really was almost a one-man band, spreading the word of how passionate she felt about this range that she had brought to the UK.

I remember that of all of the brands that I introduced to QVC, OPI was the toughest nut to crack in the early days. It took many meetings for Lena to get her head around the fact that my show, In the Salon with Alison, was a professional salon on air, where I didn’t want to sell normal, high street products. My dream was to share the secrets of little-known professional brands, which offered great results for customers at home.

Many cups of coffee later, Lena understood that I was as passionate about the beauty industry as she was. She gave me the go-ahead to originally represent her products on air, which quickly turned into one hour shows devoted to OPI. Lena then came on air as a guest to share her story, and was followed by Julie and Lisa. As they grew up, they went on to work in Lena’s company – and the rest, as they say, is history!

OPI Bottles Cropped

If I take you back in time to what impressed me so much about OPI as a brand, it is that they were not a licensing deal – rather, they were their own company, developing breakthrough formulas. The reason that they were so cutting edge when it came to nail enamels, is that the company originally manufactured dental products, creating the enamels, colours and ingredients required by the dentists for crowns and false teeth. The name OPI stands for Orthodontist Products Incorporated, and their formulas were like no other on the market. Their products achieved fantastic results, and certainly were the best quality available in the UK, at that time, for me to bring to your screen and share the secret.

Of course, as you are only as good as your product, this brand is now a global phenomenon in the nail industry, in over 100 countries. OPI have created technician training schools all over the world (including Lena White’s very own in the UK), and take pride in manufacturing to the finest detail their custom made bottles and brushes. OPI have also launched modern and exciting fashion collaborations, with exclusive colours made for film premiers and celebrity collaborators. Partnerships include Sky Fall, Walt Disney, Maria Carey, Coca Cola, Katie Perry – the list goes on, and will continue to do so, because everyone recognises the quality of OPI as a brand leader.

So, I am very happy to see that you have loved OPI as much as I and other professionals have, and I want to congratulate Lena, Julie and Lisa who, along with Siobhan our current guest presenter, have shared their family story of representing this amazing brand in the United Kingdom. Of course, we will continue to share the same fantastic prices, new launches and special sizes that have made QVC a destination shop for OPI followers.


  1. Eileen davies June 15, 2016 at 7:21 am -  Reply

    Hi Alison, just to say there is no other brand as good as OPI for me. I do try other brands but always go back to OPI I have been buying them for years. And my nails have always been good, keep them on Qvc would like to say well done .takecare and hello to all the OPI. Team x

  2. Elaine Ross Thomas June 23, 2016 at 7:01 pm -  Reply

    Hello, I looked at the TV guide last weekend and it showed a mini series for OPI coming up this week and I thought oh great as I like mini series on beauty products – but just looked again and the programmes have disappeared – was there a change to the programme schedule.

    Kind regards

  3. Chris July 1, 2016 at 11:07 pm -  Reply

    My nails were awful – cracked, split and peeling – after I had been ill and had shellac manicures for months last year. thanks to Nail Envy they are back to how they were in my twenties – strong and long – in spite of being 64 and in and out of water all day at work. Thank you Alison, OPI and QVC!

  4. Liz May 8, 2017 at 5:05 pm -  Reply

    Hi Alison, i’ve been having a problem with my thumb nails for about a year now. My nails are weak however I am never without Nail Envy and I always manage to grow them to a length I am happy with. My thumb nails seem to split quite low down the side and it can be very painful and they catch in my clothing and rip. I use Avoplex daily and keep a bottle at home and in work but it doesn’t seem to help. Any suggestions? Thank you

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