How to spot a fake OPI?

By on June 15, 2014 in Tutorials

Hello and happy Father’s Day to all my readers who have the pleasure of being a dad :) Today I am writing about how to spot a fake OPI nail polish. Unfortunately OPI, being one of the most popular nail polish brands, gets copied a lot.

About a month ago I managed to grab a OPI polish deal so sweet that it was almost unbelievable. Unfortunately I am not allowed to link the seller as the only proof I have about the polishes being fake is my own comparison with the other OPI polishes I own, which legally doesn’t prove they are fake- stupid I know! But here’s the reasons why I SUSPECT these polishes are fake.

Firstly, ALL the polishes I ordered carried the exact name ‘No Room For The Blues’ which is a shade name of a blue OPI polish. As you can see from the photos below, only one of the polishes were blue and with the help of Google I can tell you that not the CORRECT shade of blue.

How-to-spot-a-fake-OPI (2)

How-to-spot-a-fake-OPI (3)

Below the polish names there were shade numbers which helped me to find out what shade each polish was meant to represent. Using that information I found out that I already own one of the shades called Happy Anniversary! My old bottle, however, looked quite different than the newly purchased bottle (suspected fake on the right).

How-to-spot-a-fake-OPI (13)


How-to-spot-a-fake-OPI (14)

Looking under the bottles, the text and bar-codes differ slightly but most importantly, the original OPI has a peelable sticker that reveals more information about the polish when removed. The suspected counterfeit does not carry any additional information under the sticker.

There is also a difference in the writing on the brush (suspected fake on the second photo below).

How-to-spot-a-fake-OPI (17)

How-to-spot-a-fake-OPI (16)

Another difference is the dots on the caps which differ in size (suspected fake on the right).

How-to-spot-a-fake-OPI (10)

Also, slight difference in the polish itself (suspected fake on the right).

How-to-spot-a-fake-OPI (15)

The easiest way to spot the difference is to line the suspected fakes with some originals and see if they look any different- can you spot any differences below?

How-to-spot-a-fake-OPI (8)

Indeed, the suspected fakes are shorter, bottle shoulders less curved and the writing OPI higher. What do you think!?

Overall I think that most of the fake OPI’s are easy to spot but at the same time there might be some really good ones that even the best eye couldn’t spot :/ When finding a great deal online I would recommend paying via PayPal (and not via gift option!!!) to protect yourself when polishes arrive and are not as advertised. Also, when finding a product that might be counterfeit, you should report it to Traiding Standards to keep the market clean of fakes!

Have you found yourself with any fakes recently?

Thanks for reading xoxox



Lucy (the Nail Snail)

June 16, 2014 @ 02:26


I can’t believe people would fake nail polish! That’s scary — I’m going to have to be more careful about ordering OPI online now. Thanks for the heads-up!


June 20, 2014 @ 08:43


Thank god it happens very rarely and paypal refunds you when it happens so that's good :)


June 16, 2014 @ 07:35


Thank you so much for sharing this with us!

In the Netherlands you can get fake OPI polishes for like $2 and I Always wondered you this could be possible. But now I know that those aren’t real!

Xx julia


June 20, 2014 @ 08:42


Yeah I think fakes are more common in countries where OPI is quite expensive otherwise.


June 16, 2014 @ 08:34


Oh this is scary! I always buy my OPI’s at my local distributor but if I ever might buy a big brand online I’ll definitely look out for this – I hadn’t even thought about it that people could be selling fake polish!


June 20, 2014 @ 08:41


Yeah it's pretty crazy like!


June 21, 2014 @ 17:20


haha now you got me checking the writing on the brush . I didn’t even know that there was a writing! haha whoops, I am new to O.P.I. polishes, I only own 3


love the post, Mara


June 25, 2014 @ 00:49


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June 26, 2014 @ 11:06


I’m always afraid of buying OPI online, especially from Ebay and especially when I happen to find them at very low prices. I’ll keep this post as a bible! Thanks for sharing the differences.
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Ruth Archer

March 9, 2017 @ 10:09


I live in England and accidentally bought 2 bottles of fake OPI from a Chinese seller on Ebay. They were rather clever and somehow bypassed the filters I set, and even gave themselves an English sounding seller name. The colours inside were completely wrong, which was the obvious clue. Otherwise I did all the advised comparison checks with my many genuine OPI polishes. The bottles, brush, paper labels and everything else were unbelievably correct. The ONLY thing I spotted, was that the genuine OPI bottles all have pronounced raised textured lettering on the glass. The fakes have lettering that is completely smooth to the touch. This has only just happened, so I have not yet tried the polish quality. I will at least get refunded via Ebay. This is the very genuine looking seller advert in question. I have reported them obviously.


March 16, 2017 @ 09:05


oooh i hope you got your money back!!

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