Please note : This post contains a mild sex reference!

Unfortunately, there are fake OPI Nail Lacquers for sale and some bloggers have written posts on how to differentiate between a real and fake OPI, e.g. fake labels, coding on the bottles, embossing, etc.  However, the smart (but very dishonest) people who make these fakes can make them so real that you simply cannot tell the difference just by the outside appearance of the bottle.  How do I know this?  Well, yesterday, on the OPI Facebook Page, OPI addressed this issue :

OPI receives questions constantly about how to tell whether a bottle is fake. Unfortunately, the only true way to tell is by testing the contents of the bottle. If you purchase your OPI from an authorized seller then you can be worry-free that you are getting the real thing. The number of symbols on bottles may vary due to regulation changes and does not mean that a bottle is fake if there are only 3 labels.

As a result of this, many people went to the OPI website to check authorised sellers on “Where to buy” and did not find the place where they bought it so they got worried.  But then OPI wrote this in response :

Everyone, not all locations are listed on our “Where to buy” because each location needs to add themselves. OPI sells to distributors who supply salons and beauty supply stores, so it is up to the salon to add their location to the list. Also, as mentioned above there is no sure way to determine. If you are buying from a supply house, major BEAUTY supply chain or from a salon there is a great chance you are getting legit product that has not been diverted. If you are buying from a retail chain, online or any place that is not salon-based then it is a case of diversion.

So, correct me if I’m wrong…

Basically, OPI are saying that the ONLY way of telling whether we are buying a real OPI Nail Lacquer is by “testing the contents of the bottle”.  Buying it from a major beauty store does NOT guarantee a genuine OPI polish, because there is only a “great chance”.

That doesn’t give OPI buyers like me, much hope at all!!  Department stores, pharmacists and beauty salons do NOT allow consumers to test the contents of a nail polish before purchasing.  Yes, there may be a tester but just because the tester bottle is genuine, does it mean that the bottle you are purchasing is…???

As for judging the content, how do mere mortals like me do that?  Streaky formula?  One coat?  Three coats?  Chip resistant?  Even other professional nail lacquers have their off days.

I am so confused!  I am a big fan of OPI Nail Lacquers because I like the quality, the range of colours and they are also free of the DPT, toluene and formaldehyde.  But I AM SO CONFUSED RIGHT NOW!!

Anyway, just out of curiosity, I thought I would go through my small collection of OPIs to determine the authenticity of them.  (Yes, this is what unemployed bums like me do at home when the Husband is at work!)

OPI Quarter Of A Cent-Cherry

Where was it purchased? I have no idea.  It was a present from my girlfriend.  But I believe that she would have bought it from a department store in UK.
Content Quality One coat of this sexy red brightens up my nails
OPI Fake-o-meter 0% if based on content quality but I have 1% doubt as I am unsure whether it was purchased from an authorised seller

OPI Rising Star


Where was this purchased? Sent by PR to The Best Beauty Blog for review
Content Quality 2 coats are required to achieve a beautiful bronze
OPI Fake-o-meter 0% if based on the fact that the PR sent me this…but I have 0.05% doubt in me as I wonder why I cannot achieve a successful opacity with just one coat…

OPI Bring On The Bling


Where was this purchased? Sent by PR to The Best Beauty Blog for review
Content Quality 3 coats required to develop blingin’ nails
OPI Fake-o-meter 0% if based on the fact that the PR sent me this…but I have got 0.1% doubt brewing inside me because I require not 1, not 2 but 3 coats…hmm…???

OPI Black Shatter


Where was this purchased? An Asian beauty salon in Melbourne not listed on the OPI website for $17AUD and not the usual RRP of $20AUD (Fake-o-meter is beeping loudly!!!)
Content Quality Produces a lovely shatter result BUT the formula is very gloopy and gunky
OPI Fake-o-meter 95% fake – Asians are renowned for making fake stuff and they are also notorious for being tight asses so for them to sell OPI Black Shatter (which was in high demand at that time) at a reduced RRP, it sounds very dodgy to me!  (It’s okay I am allowed to say this because I is Asian too!  Which means I am good at faking it (FYI, not orgasms), I have a tight ass (buns of steel) and I am dodgy too…LOL)

OPI no name

Where was this purchased? It was part of a GWP (Gift With Purchase) at David Jones in Melbourne (an authorised seller) – but it doesn’t have a name nor a sticker nor a label…so should I be worried?  Or is this usual for mini bottles of OPI?
Content Quality Separation has occurred and it had a sheer brown layer – but give the bottle a few shakes and it appears pretty and looks good shimmying on my nails
OPI Fake-o-meter 80% fake – no name, no code, no stickers, brown shizz

Seriously speaking, until something is done to resolve this, I am slightly apprehensive about purchasing more OPI Nail Lacquers in this current moment of time.  OPIs are expensive in Australia costing us nearly 20 bucks a pop, whereas it is much more affordable in America at under $10.  I am definitely not going to spend my (Husband’s) hard-earned money on OPI Nail Lacquers which may  not be 100% genuine unless you test the contents of the bottle first even if it is from an authorised seller, there is only a “great chance” that it could be real.

Please note that I am on OPI’s side even though I am nit-picking on what the OPI Facebook person wrote.  I totally blame the scummy people who make these fake OPIs.  This is just my personal view on this serious matter.

What do you think?

19 Comments on How To Tell If Your OPI Nail Polish Is Fake

  1. Harija
    10/06/2011 at 11:16 am (7 years ago)

    neat i never realized this before but love the colours!

  2. Lexi
    10/06/2011 at 11:24 am (7 years ago)

    To be honest I’ve never considered it.
    I have quite a few OPI polishes but have all been bought from dept stores, nail salon or given by PR/Reps

    I do have the Shrek range in Minis so will check out the label when I get home

    • Ling Tung
      11/06/2011 at 8:52 pm (7 years ago)

      @Lexi, I didn’t think about it till I read what OPI said yesterday…

  3. Di from Max The Unicorn
    10/06/2011 at 7:01 pm (7 years ago)

    This is a bit of a worry, I had no idea! You’re so funny though, Ling. I was LOLing reading this post 🙂

  4. Megan
    11/06/2011 at 12:24 am (7 years ago)

    Wow I didn’t know fake OPI’s were getting around, it’s so annoying!!!!

    • Ling Tung
      11/06/2011 at 8:51 pm (7 years ago)

      @Megan, It is for OPI buyers like me :S

  5. Vintage Makeup
    11/06/2011 at 5:46 am (7 years ago)

    Wow, had no idea about this! That’s terrible, thanks for sharing!

  6. Tara
    11/06/2011 at 6:44 pm (7 years ago)

    What a great article. I will be adding this to my bookmarks.
    Thankyou!

    • Ling Tung
      11/06/2011 at 8:50 pm (7 years ago)

      @Tara, Aw, thanks Tara 😀 You’re so sweet

  7. Flossy
    11/06/2011 at 10:10 pm (7 years ago)

    The mini bottles of opi generally don’t come with a label but if you google the barcode and opi it usually tells you what it is.

    • Ling Tung
      11/06/2011 at 10:38 pm (7 years ago)

      @Flossy, Cool, my mini OPI can be named finally 😉

  8. Christina @ Hair Romance
    13/06/2011 at 9:01 pm (7 years ago)

    great article, I had no idea about how many fakes there are.

  9. Ally
    26/08/2011 at 9:31 pm (6 years ago)

    I totally agree, i recently got a small 3.4ml bottle as gwp at david jones too, havetried it out yet,hope it’s not a fake, i mean it’s david jones for godsake, what are the chances? And i hate the fact w pay 20bucks and in other countries it a mere 10 🙁 so to us, it’s high end but the cost of it else where it’d be med range…so sad

    • Ling Tung
      27/08/2011 at 1:35 pm (6 years ago)

      @Ally, I really dislike the crazy mark up for beauty products in Australia – it’s so unfair! And that’s probably why people are tempted to buy cheaper fakes!

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