I had another entry planned for today, and I will still do that one, if not today, then later this week, but right now I have a quick take on some polishes I bought yesterday: the four OPI Ulta exclusives for this summer that just showed up at my Ulta store. Left to right: Hot Fun in the Summer-lime, Pack Your Booty Shorts, The Flowers Are Blue-ming, Sand on Your Own Feet.
Last year, I skipped the OPI Ulta exclusives because it was pretty quickly established that they were essentially Nicole by OPI shades from the Gossip Girl collection with new names. (You can see bottle comps of those on The Trace Face Philes.) This summer's colors also looked familiar. A little digging in my Helmers and I found these Nicole by OPI colors from the second Justin Bieber release. Left to right: One Time Lime, I'm a Belieber, Me+Blue, Not a Gold Bigger.
I wasn't able to do swatches on the nail, but here are some nail wheel comparisons. Like the bottle pics, these are quick shots taken in my office because I didn't have time to setup my lightbox last night at home, but I think you can still see well enough to form some valid opinions.
In all cases, the OPI is on the left, the NOPI is on the right. The cremes are very, very similar to each other. I used two coats of both of the greens, three coats of the purples. If I get my face up really close and study them hard, I can convince myself that the OPIs are every so slightly darker (they seemed a touch thicker going on), but when I pull my face back a few inches from the nail wheel, they look exactly the same as the NOPIs. The biggest difference in the blues was the NOPI was three coats and the OPI was two; the OPI was noticeably thicker and clumpier going on than the NOPI, which was well behaved for a dense glitter. (Both blues need topcoat but as I was rushing I didn't add any.) I see the biggest difference in the golds, and even then it's not so big; the OPI has a coarser shimmer and shows brushstrokes while the NOPI just glows prettily. The base color is the same, though, and the formula differences might just be a function of the batch my bottle came from (we've certainly seen batch to batch variations from OPI before *coughMyPrivateJetcough* *coughNotLikeTheMoviescough*.)
So, if you bought these NOPIs, you don't need to scramble to get the OPIs. If you were embarrassed to be seen buying something Bieber-related or have taken a firm stand against the NOPI bottle, getting the OPIs will let you have those colors in your stash. If you want the colors but don't have an Ulta, I've seen the NOPIs available online recently.