Double take dupes

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:

Fast fashion in nail colour

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.

OPI v. Sinful Colors, 1
Sinful Colors: Rise and Shine (more turquoise)
OPI: Jade Is The New Black (more green)

OPI v. Sinful Colors, 2
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.

OPI v. Sinful Colors, 3

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.

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2 Responses to “Double take dupes”

  1. WardrobeWars Says:

    I understand completely about ‘copycat’ nail-varnishes. I refuse to by ‘high-end’ polishes like Armani and Chanel. I would prefer to save the money for a ‘real’ designer item, bag, shoes etc. when Chanel brought out their jade green colour last year I soon discovered the wonders of Barry M. They constantly add new colours to their line which are exact replicas of more expensive brands. Their jade green is identical to the Chanel – tried and tested. When the Chanel brown colour came out this season and there was a waiting list the same thing happened. I picked up my Barry M version last week and there is no difference! I do however buy a more expensive clear polish which I coat my mails in after applying the cheaper product. This stops the chipping that would have been a telltale sign that i was sporting a fake!!


  2. bzedan Says:

    Totally! Just like spending money on quality underthings is worth it, because they make the rest of one’s clothes wear and look better, spendier base and top coats always pay off. I do own some high end ($14!) polishes, but they’re shades or finishes I just cannot find anywhere else. For just building up my pallette though, totally Sinful Colors and drugstore brands all the way.

    I am a huge nail nerd, and do have to note: doing all the stuff—buffing, basing and regularly topcoating, can make even the cheapest brand last with minimal tipwear for an entire week.