A Bit Shady: OPI Swatches

Nail polish was my first (beauty) love. Even though my nail polish wardrobe is smaller these days I’m lame, I still feel a rush of completely ridiculous excitement when I spot a majestic shade. (Zoya Dream, can you stop haunting me? Thanks.) OPI makes my longest-loved (still manufactured) shade, I’m Not Really a Waitress. I don’t really wear it year-round anymore, but it is pretty much the only thing on my nails from Thanksgiving through Christmas. It makes guest appearances throughout the year as the mood strikes. It was on one such mission to plan repurchase and admire swatches of this polish that I noticed that OPI swatches are inaccurate, computer-generated garbage.

OPI Swatches aren’t Swatches

Not in that they’re low-quality, shoddy lighting, on ugly nails. No – OPI swatches are flat-out digitally whipped up lies. Not retouched, nay; a fabrication in their entirety.

My beloved, beautifully swatched by Elegantnails.com:

Then, the ridiculous embarrassment provided by OPI themselves:


What Gives?

Surely a brand as prestigious as OPI can muster the resources to create proper swatches. Parent company COTY nets a $9 billion a year in revenue and acquired OPI back in 2010 for nearly $1 billion; surely, surely they can find the time and money to make some measly swatches. At $9 a bottle for their classic lacquer formula and god-knows-what from there, the least they could do (for themeslves!) is at least try to represent their products with a shred of accuracy. Hell, pay a couple bloggers to swatch in a standardized fashion. Heaven knows so many of them do it for free (which…is probably why they aren’t bothering).

Spoilers: Bubble Bath is wrong in their computer-generated system, too. As is … every one of their iconic shades.

This digital, CG bullshit is unacceptable.

The Bottom Line

Somehow, I’d never seen this computer generated images that somehow have been passing for OPI swatches. You CANNOT trust what what OPI publishes online regarding their own colors. Sure, variance in monitors is always going to result in differences between what we see online and what we see in real life, but this clearly isn’t that.

I’m not just nitpicking, here, either. My husband asked what I was writing as I angrily typed this post. I explained and showed him the two pictures above. He’s familiar with what it looks like in real life and says, “So… they made it look pink?”


Look up someone else’s swatches.

1 thought on “A Bit Shady: OPI Swatches”

  1. Holy crap! I don’t care what the differences in screen resolution might be or what results different cameras will produce, OPI’s swatch looks noooooothing like the actual nail polish here. I’ve seen minor versions of this issue before, but that’s probably the worst case I’ve seen so far.

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