Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Over the past few weeks I've been obsessed with finding a very specific nail art stud (more on my epic search on my next manicure) that seems to be readily available in Japan and virtually non-existent here. I decided to go to Yelp to look for local nail salon supply stores - there are a lot of asian communities in my area, so I thought, perchance, one may carry what I was looking for.

While reading through some reviews I saw people warning that some places carry cheap Gelish that are actually fakes. This got me thinking… I can spot a fake Tokidoki bag, but I never thought to even look for fake polish. I didn't even know that was a thing.

To the interwebz!

SalonGeek was, of course, one of the first hits I came across. They cautioned about buying Gelish from "fleBay" and I saw someone mention having a Gelish bottle labeled as "CCO" instead of "Hand and Nail Harmony" - the forum users confirmed that CCO is a Gelish rip-off.

This got me thinking.

When I started all this a year ago, I bought a Gelish lot off of eBay. At that time, I thought that Gelish was just Gelish, like OPI is OPI. I didn't connect Gelish with H&NH until a couple months later (did the same thing with my Chi flat iron & dryer. "WTF is this Farouk crap? Google, go home, you're drunk."). So I dug out the bottles I'd bought off eBay, and guess what?

Gelish Fake CCO
Can you spot the fake?

Yup. So almost all of my Aurora FX and a couple sheer sparkles are fakes.

While being totally bummed out to find I had infiltrators among my legit Gelish collection, I was actually surprised that I'd never noticed anything different about these polishes. The formulas of the impostors range from thick to thin, just like the real ones. They smell the same, cure the same, and seem to last the same amount of time. And the swatches are virtually identical to their real counterparts.

Edit 11/13/13: So I HAVE started to notice that the CCO polishes are starting to thicken and get kind gunky. With one I realized that the neck of the bottle, on the inside, had turned into a thick, jelly layer of polish that I had to pick out and throw away. I haven't seen this with my real Gelish polishes.

Would I willingly buy fakes? No, sir. I'm too much of a snob. But are the fakes bad? So far, my experience has been fine. I'd imagine if you're a professional, using fakes on clients would be a huuuuuuuuuge no-no for a number of reasons. But as a noob who isn't willing to shell out the cash to replace my fakes at this point...



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