Tuesday, June 21, 2011

These OPI Polishes - Fake or Real?

The story: Last year, I missed Mad As A Hatter and was desperate to own it. My mom's manicurist didn't have any left so I went online to find it. I found one on Amazon (will not reveal the price because it's embarrassing). My mom very kindly bought it for me and also picked out Thanks So Muchness! (also from the Alice In Wonderland collection) for herself. I'd read about an Amazon etailer selling fake OPIs but it wasn't the same as the one I was ordering from. The polishes were supposed to be shipped to us here (outside the US) but they were prohibited items and had to be sent to my aunt's house in the US or be destroyed. Um, no destruction, please. Earlier this year, my mom's manicurist said she found a spare bottle of MAAH (wonder where that was hiding) and asked if we wanted it. YES! Here we are a year later, when my other aunt has come back from the US, helping me bring back some precious polishes.

You probably skipped all that didn't you.

Well now I have two bottles of MAAH (and one of TSM!) and I need you to help me decide if they're both real. I'm pretty sure the MAAH is real, but I still have doubts. I've never taken much interest in TSM! until now so I don't know what it's really supposed to look like but from swatches, it looks real I guess.

The 'original' bottle is the salon-bought one, and I didn't know how to label the other possibly fake bottle so I didn't. This is probably my paranoia speaking, seeing as there are so many fakes out there.

OPI Thanks So Muchness! and Mad As A Hatter

Does the print look crooked to you? It looks crooked to me :/

Both bottles have the code printed near the base, but the print on the bottle on the right looks funny.

You can't tell from this photo but the color and alignment of the label on the right is a little different.

Both have the dot in the middle of the 'P'.

OPI on both the brush stems.

Okay this is the part that worried me. The edge of the original bottle is sharper than the edge of the other one.

The one on the right is more curved. Maybe it's a bottle defect? I don't know ):

Swatched on cellophane tape. If it's a fake, it's extremely good. Click to enlarge!

Swatched on my bare nail, no top coat, no base coat. 1 coat of both MAAHs. Click to enlarge.

The printing seems crooked and is printed lower than usual (I checked a couple of my other OPIs)

This was printed lower than usual and was vertically squished.

OPI on the brush stem again. I didn't know about this until recently.

This was THE most suspicious thing to me. WHY is it in a plastic thingy? I don't know if it was sent like that by the etailer or if my aunt put it in there but since when are there plastic thingies to hang OPI polishes?

Am I being paranoid? After all the money that went into getting these two (mainly MAAH), I really don't want to one day be told out of the blue by some random person that these aren't real OPI. They both look genuine but who knows how good these counterfeit people are nowadays.

What do you think?


  1. I couldn't tell you. I've seen odd bottles at places like Ulta as well. :o/

  2. Maybe this link will help if you haven't seen it already :http://the-trace-face-philes.blogspot.com/2011/06/fake-opi.html

    She went through kinda the same thing as you!

  3. Sometimes I wonder the same about my OPIs since the word got out that there are a lot of fakes out there. Kinda sucks, because you can never be too sure, unless you buy from the official retailers. I got only one for higher price than usually, a HTF, and I do wonder now if it's fake or not. It looks the same as your right bottle (the "non" original or however should I mark it) and it was bought on a site that is supposed to have the originals ... so hopefully it's just that OPI makes their bottles both ways. I went through the marks that another blogger pointed out, in order to see if you have the genuine bottle or not and it passed, so i'm guessing so should yours.

  4. You are being completely paranoid! =)
    Fake OPIs are never imitations of actual OPI colors. If you ever see a fake OPI it will be extremely obvious. There are always tiny bottle design variations among batches; it is not an indication of being counterfeit. I'm a licensed nail tech, so hopefully you will feel confident in what I'm saying. =)

  5. I DON'T think it's fake. I see real OPI's in those plastic containers at the grocery stores.

  6. OMG I ran into your post and I have to say is one of the most interesting post I have read in this website LOL ... I like your investigating skills... I dont know about real or fake but they looked the same to me... Great post I enyoyed reading it :)

  7. Fake or not, as long as the polish looks the same I wouldn't mind. :P

    I gave you an award on my blog: http://varnishme.blogspot.com/2011/06/top-10-award.html

  8. Not fake. :P I never payed attention to my OPI bottles but now I can see the difference between some of them and I don't think these're fake. :D I don't think someone would make such a good fake, there's always something that doesn't match and it's obvious it's fake (like MAC eyeshadows etc.). :) Well, maybe I'm wrong, but I really wouldn't say these are fake. :) And as long as the polish is normal, doesn't stink and look 100% like real MAAH I wouldn't care. (:

  9. Laura - I doubt the ones at Ulta are fake, but I've never been to an Ulta so I wouldn't know.

    Amber - I've seen her post, but if mine is fake, it's a much better fake than hers. The color seems exactly the same, but the glitter in hers is of different colors from the original.

    Ulmiel - I know ): I hope it's just that OPI doesn't make ALL their bottles exactly the same. Thanks, and I hope we both have originals (:

    Alisa - What are the odds of both the bottles I got looking very varied, eh? ;) Thank you so much for your comment, I feel more reassured now! (:

    loodie loodie loodie - Really? I've never come across them, not even online. But thank you! (:

    Polish AMOR - Thank you! I've always wanted to be a detective. Haha (:

    Olivia - Haha I suppose, but I would be very disappointed if it was fake, even if it looked exactly like the original. Thank you for the award! I'll get to it soon (:

    Ivana - I never paid attention to mine either because I always got them from places I trust. But with this one I can't be sure. That's true, I have yet to see a fake that isn't obviously fake. Thank you <3

  10. Did you see?!! I "stole" you a smiley - (: HAHA don't sue me. :D

  11. Print on the bottles and stuff doesn't have to be straight always or 100% the same. It's all done by machine but they can be off. Same with bottle height and stuff. There is an acceptable % of variance. My gut says real. :)

  12. kittypolishnbags - Thank you! I feel much better about it now (or maybe I just got over the paranoia). :D

  13. I don't think it's fake! OPI has horrible quality control. I've got fake OPIs which look more like the real thing than an actual OPI. I bought a silver shatter and the bottom of the bottle was totally crooked! My fake OPIs look more convincing.

    Anyway the glitter polish inside looks exactly the same as the original, so don't worry! If you're really conscious, then save the real OPI, use the "fake" one for the base coat, then put a layer of the "real" one on the top!

  14. Cheryl - Thanks (: The paranoia of it is long over, so I think I will keep the original and use the possible fake more often. Not like any of my friends will be able to tell the difference if I can't. And yes, OPI does have horrible QC. Ask anyone who has seen My Private Jet ;)

  15. Awareness is the first step in preventing this from happening.

    For all you girls scammed, you need to open disputes on Ebay when this happens. Ebay has a great buyer protection program.

    I had an incident where the seller had filled off the serial numbers. Obviously to protect their ass (pardon my language), in case they were caught selling OPI when they are not authorized to. I bought a bottle, unaware of the missing serial number, the polish was real/authentic. Ebay refunded my money in full and I got to keep the polish, since most sellers have a no return polish on makeup. It was a win-win situation for me, but people need to be aware of the scams on Ebay.

  16. The Nail Files - True! I bought these on Amazon and they were kept by my aunt for a year before she could get them over to me (I live outside the US and shipping polish is tricky) so even if they were fake, I think nothing much could've been done :/

    I'm glad you got your money back and that your polish was genuine! People really need to be more cautious!

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  41. My, you certainly got spammed by the cheap a** Asian crap folks didn't you? Still, your post about fake OPI is excellent and very helpful as I'm cruisin the Internets looking for that authentic lemming! Thanks so much for all your efforts.

  42. My friend owns a salon and OPI are ALWAYS changing the bottle text and symbols slightly, sometimes the lids are smoother or rougher too and some lids have numbers etched into them and then others don't. It looks very real to me, the proof is always in the pudding and you will always be able to tell by the quality of the finish.

  43. I know this post is old but I wish I could see the pics lol.


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