Speaking of fast fashion, I was at our local Fred Meyer the other day an noticed a valiant effort by drugstore polish Sinful Colors to imitate the higher end OPI’s (horribly named, as usual) Spring 2010 “Hong Kong” collection:
I haven’t seen anything about this “Shanghai Collection” online, but I know for a fact that some of the colours in the display, like Ruby Ruby, existed before they decided to ride any coattails. Overall, it doesn’t feel like they’re trying to completely copy OPI and are just attempting to package the same “feel” or “inspiration”. Which, yes, totes copying, good for them. I don’t like OPI’s application or price point, but I do love me some Sinful Colors.
When the first previews of the Hong Kong collection came out, All Lacquered Up showed a couple dupe possibilities, but found that there weren’t any good non-OPI options that carried the same colour qualities as this collection. Though most of Sinful Colors Shanghai Nights is made up of their standard colours, there are some definite dupes, or attempts at them.
Sinful Colors: Rise and Shine (more turquoise)
OPI: Jade Is The New Black (more green)
Sinful Colors: Thimbleberry (slightly more coral)
OPI: Red My Fortune Cookie (more orangey)
The best dupe I went ahead and bought. And now I have two bottles of exactly the same colour.
Sinful Colors: Big Daddy
OPI: A Good Mandarin Is Hard To Find
Under some indoor light, OPI’s shade is the barest touch more blue-red. And Sinful Colors’ shade looked much thinner and orangey at one coat. But after two coats they are essentially identical. Same opacity, same colour.
Which, I am super into my nails and had to think, “does this fit what I am going for with this dumb blog?” And, I think maybe?
The search for good dupes in the nail world is interesting, because it is totally accepted. Why pay upwards of nine dollars for a bottle of polish when you can get pretty much the same thing for a dollar-fifty? But copying a shoe or piece of clothing is a clear not cool (or is acknowledged as uncool while you are also like “Thank fucking goodness, I am not paying multiple hundreds for that”). There are clear intellectual property issues with fashion design that do not apply for colours. Because they’re, y’know, colours—though what goes into creating a colour, and dye vats and formulas are a clear proprietary thing. But the science is not what you see, just the colours.
Nail polish, like other accessories (and I class it as an accessory, not makeup, because there is more freedom in how it can be used) is something that becomes more popular when folks aren’t as willing to spend money on clothes. And those cycles fascinate me.