I've been meaning to do this post for such a long time and I finally remembered to take some photos to go along with the post.
Last year, I received a set of mini OPIs from the bond collection. It contained a mini bottle of golden eye. I loved it so much that I needed to get a full sized bottle. A few weeks later I was at a shopping centre and checked out a boutique nail polish and cosmetics shop. They had a great display of OPIs and were selling them for $15 each (normal RRP in Australia is $20) or 3 for $30. I jumped at the 3 for $30 and picked up three OPI polishes I had been wanting, including Goldeneye.
It was a few weeks later that I grabbed my new full sized bottle of GoldenEye and saw that it was noticeably different to version in the mini bottle. It was only several months later when I was having a catchup with my fellow local nail polish enthusiasts that we all talked about how we believed that the bricks and mortar store was selling fake OPIs.
But even when I closely compared the two bottles, I thought it was bloody hard to tell them apart. There are a lot of great blog posts already done about spotting a fake OPI - such as this one from Nailedblog. I had done my research and thought I would be ok, but when you're not actually comparing two bottles next to each other, it's easy to walk away with a fake.
There are a few things that most of the articles say to look for, which I found were now all on the fake bottles. Such as:
Writing on the front of the bottle. Genuine bottles have "mL" and "Fl" at the bottom. Fakes apparently don't capitalize the letters correctly. Not any more. My fakes have the fonts right.
Bottle numbers. Most of my bottles have stamped numbers rather than engraved numbers. This may be a regional thing, I don't know. What I do know is that my fake OPIs also have stamped numbers too.
The labels on the bottle are getting harder and harder to tell apart. The font is slightly different, but unless you are comparing them side by side, then you probably wont pick it up.
Fake OPI bottles used to not have the gears on the inside of the lids, they do now!
Fake OPI's didn't used to have the OPI embossed on the side of the brush shaft, they do now!
Fake OPI's didn't used to have that little dot in the middle of the P, they do now. But notice that the cap texture is much smoother on the fake bottle. That was one of only two things I could really pick them apart with.
The only other thing I could still see as the difference was the symbols on the back. But because OPI has changed these over the years, it's pretty difficult to use that as a measure for whether a bottle is fake.
This is OPI Big Apple Red. It has three symbols. It is genuine and received from the PR company.
These are the three OPIs I bought from the dodgy retailer. From left to right OPI Fly, Goldeneye and No room for the blues. Goldeneye is most definitely fake and I suspect the other two are too, but they all have the three symbols. Without comparing them to genuine versions I wont know if they have the right logos.
I have since purchased a new full sized version of Goldeneye and have compared the backs. The genuine version has the addition of the book and hand icon.
But that book and hand icon is on my definite fake version of Mad as a hatter. And aparently that book icon used to be at the beginning of the icons series too. See how OPI have mixed it all up.
Here are some more fake and genuine OPIs, with the book and hand icon circled on the genuine ones.
In the end, the only real way for me to show one is a fake it to compare them side by side. For polishes like Goldeneye and Mad as a hatter, it's much easier to pick the differences. But with creme polishes, it can sometimes be impossible to tell. In fact I'm still not certain if my Fly and No room for the blues are fake or real! They both apply nicely, and they don't smell offensive. Arrrrgghhh.
Anyway, lets look at the comparisons between the fake and real goldeneye. These are three coats of each polish. The difference is so obvious in real life.
So there you go! Are you set to spot a fake OPI now or are you confused. I sure as shit know I'm confused and probably will end up purchasing fakes from unscrupulous sellers in the future.Good luck OPI lovers!