Thursday, September 12, 2013

OPI San Francisco Comparisons

Today's post will serve as both a followup to Monday's swatches of OPI San Francisco as well as a preview of the Zoya and Essie fall swatches which are still to come, as I included colors from all of those collections when I did this set of comparisons. I focused on the cremes, as that takes finish out of the equation—a creme is a creme is a creme, pretty much, while shimmers vary widely from flecked to frosty and in between. That said, I do have a shimmer dupe to share after we work through the cremes.

I started my comparison swatching with A-Piers to Be Tan, as when I first saw it, it reminded me of the much-maligned OPI & Apple Pie, an old black label release (I think from 2001) which of course I have in my collection due to my weakness for pretty/ugly colors. Since OPI Ginger Bells from Holiday 2009 is in the same neighborhood, I pulled that one out, too. In the bottles, they looked like fraternal triplets.

On the nail, the resemblance wasn't quite as close—that's why we do the swatches, ladies and gentlemen. Left to right below: Ginger Bells (3 coats), A-Piers to Be Tan (2), OPI & Apple Pie (3). Ginger Bells is the same intensity as A-Piers but leans more orange; OPI & Apple Pie is the same hue as A-Piers but just a tad lighter.

I know OPI thinks First Date the Golden Gate is a shimmer, but I'm treating it like a creme and comparing it to Essie Alligator Purse from 2007. The Essie is an orange-leaning red, while Golden Gate tends more toward ruby. I'm sure if I'd looked longer I could have found a dupe or near dupe for Golden Gate, but I have so many red cremes it was rather daunting to contemplate the task. Golden Gate is in the middle below, flanked by Alligator Purse (three coats of each).

For Lost on Lombard, I pulled Zoya Pepper from this fall's Cashmere collection and OPI My Kind of Brown from the 2005 Chicago collection. Pepper is darker than Lombard and My Kind of Brown is lighter; they'd be good in an ombre mani together. Left to right below: Pepper (2 coats), Lost on Lombard (2), My Kind of Brown (3).

Because I do have a crazy number of dark red cremes, I did another quick comparison with Lost on Lombard. This time OPI Just a Little Rosti at This from fall 2010 and China Glaze Ravishing Dahling got into the act. Rosti is darker and more berry than Lombard; Ravishing is just a touch lighter. Left to right below: Just a Little Rosti at This (2 coats), Lost on Lombard (2), Ravishing Dahling (3).

Since Rosti was darker and more berry than Lost on Lombard, it got carried over to the comparison for In the Cable Car Pool Lane, the darker and more berry red in the San Francisco collection. Ravishing Dahling came along for the ride since it was right there. Rosti and Cable Car are pretty close, though Cable Car is a touch more purple/berry leaning. Ravishing is lighter and redder.

Of course I had more dark reds to compare with In the Cable Car Pool Lane (you may have noticed I can't remember where the hyphen goes in that name so have dropped it—Cable-Car? Car-Pool? with OPI it could be Pool-Lane, too). Left to right below: OPI Mrs. O'Leary's BBQ (from Chicago collection), In the Cable Car Pool Lane, Rescue Beauty Lounge Drifter; two coats of each. Both of the contenders are darker than Cable Car.

Moving along to the blue cremes, Keeping Suzi at Bay was joined by China Glaze First Mate, which I think is core now, and Zoya Sailor from this fall. Both of these were darker than the OPI. Left to right below: First Mate, Keeping Suzi at Bay, and Sailor; all two coats.

Sailor was not as dark as the dark blue creme from San Francisco, Incognito in Sausalito. Neither was Orly La Playa, which was as I expected since one of the reasons I love La Playa is it never looks black. Left to right below (again, two coats of each): La Playa, Incognito in Sausalito, Sailor.

You know what as as dark as Incognito in Sausalito? Essie After School Boy Blazer from this fall, that's what. Here's the Essie flanking the OPI in the center (yep, two coats of each):

Those blackened blues are not the only OPI/Essie dupes this fall. As you may have already heard, the duochrome shimmer Peace & Love & OPI is a twin to Essie For the Twill of It. Something that looked similar in the bottle but turned out to be not at all the same on the nail was Fing'rs Stop Metalling in My Business from the big display that was at Walmart a month or so ago.

Left to right below: Essie, OPI, Fing'rs (all two coats).

Another angle to see the color shift:

Another similar but not the same contender is Essence Colour & Go Chic Reloaded.

Below, the Essence is on either side of the OPI; you can see the Essence is a touch darker.

Color shift shot of the Essence and OPI.

I was curious to see if layering over a black base would make a big difference in how these duochromes looked. It didn't, really, since they're pretty dark on their own to start with. Left to right below: Essie For the Twill of It, OPI Peace & Love & OPI, Essence Chic Reloaded; all one coat over black creme.

If you don't see a comparison you were hoping for here, take a look at the mega comparison post The PolishAholic did. She's got some of the fall China Glaze colors; I haven't picked any of those up yet because I am getting a bit overwhelmed with fall collections already. Maybe once the weather stops being so summery I'll be more in the mood.


I was planning to draw winner today for my NYC New York Color giveaway, but things have been so hectic this week that I'm not going to get to it, so the contest will remain open at least through Monday morning. Go over and enter if you haven't already.

Some of the polishes shown in this entry were provided free for review purposes. The content of the entry was not dictated by the provider(s).


  1. OPI & Apple Pie is gorgeous! It is a perfect caramel color!

  2. Thanks for the comparisons. I try not to buy dupes but it always happens. Hopefully this post will help me avoid that.

  3. Thanks esp for the first comparison...I have Ginger Bells and OPI & Apple Pie - the latter is always been a big fav of mine. I did not buy but 2 of the new OPI fall 2013 because I have so many really, really close to them.

  4. Thanks for the comparison post. I love these and they keep me from spending money on near dupes. I have that Essence polish and one by Wet N Wild called Grey's Anatomy, that I fell in love with a couple of years ago. They both look just like the OPI and Essies For the Twill of it polish.

  5. I have no idea why I bought A-Piers to be Tan when I already have Ginger Bells and OPI & Apple Pie...but I did...I don't think I need that much brown fugly in my life! lol!

  6. I have the A Piers brown one and love it-but still want your Ginger Bells!


Thank you for reading and commenting! I greatly appreciate knowing I'm not just talking to myself here. :)