Nail Battle! Round 2!

Nicole by OPI “Mer-Maid For Each Other” VS China Glaze “Unpredictable”

I have been anxiously awaiting the new China Glaze Bohemian Collection but it was KD who initially brought this comparison to my attention. While waiting to see the Bohemian Collection pop up locally, I saw a few swatches posted on other blogs. When the possible dupe was brought to my attention I compared what I was seeing in these swatches to what I was seeing in person and I was sure that, while super close, the Nicole was a little richer with a better duochrome.

A set finally turned up at Sallys (which after my recent trips I’ve decided I really need to head there first above other beauty stores. They always have what I’m looking for, are always on time and the girls always know exactly what I’m talking about! Sigh, Sally love.) and I grabbed a bottle of the China Glaze last night for today’s comparison.

China Glaze Nicole OPI ComparisonNicole “Mer-Maid For Each Other” VS China Glaze “Unpredictable”

How do these line up?? Click ahead to see what’s after the jump!!

MerMaid compared to Unpredictable DupeChina Glaze Unpredictable Nicole by OPI Mermaid for Each Other

How much fun would it be if we could do nail polish gambling, in real time. Everyone, put up your wagers for what is what, who is who and who will come out on top!! Gambling and nail polish. Those are definitely intertwined in my heaven.

Of course, now that I’m typing this out, right this moment, I realize I didn’t get any brush pictures. If you take my word for it, the Nicole brush is much wider than the China Glaze HOWEVER application was absolutely equal for me in both coverage and ease.

Ready to ante up?

I mean, on to the swatches-

ONE COATMermaid Unpredictable

Both polishes required three coats to achieve complete coverage and their full potential.

All swatches are of three coats with a basic Ultra Pro topcoat.Nicole Mermaid vs China Glaze UnpredictableChina Glaze Unpredictable Dupe

Just keep watching. I am tempted to do some digging and find out if China Glaze and OPI share the same parent company.

China Glaze OPI DuochromeNOPI China Glaze Duochromes comparison

Downward AngleMermaid Unpredictable comparison
Upward AngleUnpredictable Mermaid for Each Other Comparison
And while rare, sometimes I’ve been able to get this polish to flash total “mermaid” blue.Rare flash of super blue

Too much flash, total wash-out but sooo shimmery and pretty (just imagine this darker for more color accuracy):Nicole OPI Mermaid Dupe

Full SunMer-maid for each other and Unpredictable swatch comparison
FlashChina Glaze Unpredictable Nicole OPI Mer-Maid

I looked at every aspect I could think of. Brush-strokes, color, duo-chrome, application; they all seemed the same. If anything I would say the CG has a runnier formula, but it was not sheerer nor was it runny once applied so I think it was my mind playing tricks on me.

Crazy, man.

China Glaze vs Nicole OPI

If your money was on them being dupes, I think the house should pay you triple.

Mer-maid for Each other  comparison to Unpredictable Bohemian Collection

I declare these dupes and you definitely don’t need both in your collection. Unless you wanna.

Nicole by OPI “Mer-Maid For Each Other” is a Target exclusive retailing for $7.04. “MFEO” is part of the “Back to Cool” NOPI Collection.

China Glaze “Unpredictable” can be found at Sally Beauty Supply, Ulta, and many other various beauty retailers, priced at $8.99 at Ulta and $6.99 at Sally’s. “Unprdctble” (really, couldn’t I have just typed that out? Yes I could have. About 50 times by now.) is part of the “Bohemian Luster Chrome” Collection.

Both are limited edition, have August release dates, and are of equal fl oz.






  • Jen says:

    They look totally identical to my eyes. And yay that I already ordered Unpredictable. Thanks for doing the comparison.

  • Jessica says:

    Sniff, sniff…I SMELL A DUPE!

  • KD says:

    Awesome! Now I feel better about sending the only Mer-maid I could find to my friend that doesn’t live near a Target. :D

  • Gretchen says:

    Dupe-a-licious! I have been loving Sally lately myself too. Their half off red tagged polishes cannot be beat.

    • Christina says:

      Yes, yes and yes!! I can’t wait until after Halloween. I always find all the full Halloween collections for 75% off.

      When I went there for the “Unpredictable” I was reminded of all the reasons they’re amazing. All China Glaze from the Prismatic Collection were on clearance for $3.99 and I also picked up the China Glaze glitter crackles for $2.99! Sweet.

  • Mary K. says:

    Thanks for this comparison. I’d already bought Mer-maid on impulse earlier last week and had it on my nails when I went to Sally’s to see if they had the Bohemian collection in. They did and I passed on Unpredictable since it looked so close. I’m glad I did now. I picked up Swanky Silk and can’t wait to try it out. :D

  • Emily says:

    It’s a good thing they are both GORGEOUS!

  • Morgan says:

    Great review, thanks for this! :]

    • Christina says:

      You’re so welcome, Morgan ^_^

      I may have missed this dupe entirely or posted it months late if it wasn’t for your guys’ comments! Yet another reason why I love you all!

  • KD says:

    yay! so glad i didn’t buy the NOPI at Target today as i already have unpredictable! this post is so helpful, i love everything about your blog :) i did buy NOPI Just Busta Mauve today at target and would die to see you swatch it. its GORGEOUS! thanks again for this post! <3

  • sarah says:

    Just an FYI – Parent company of China Glaze is American International Industries (they also own Seche). And in 2009, I think it was, Coty bough OPI.

    • Christina says:

      So they have no affiliation/association whatsoever? Thanks for the information!! I never did look it up after my initial musings.

  • RJ says:

    What about ‘Avante Green’ from the Maybelline 2012 Fashion Week collection? It looks like it might be similar to these two.

  • Janice says:

    Both of these look awesome and are totally dupes! :) Is there one that you’d recommend getting if you were to choose one?

    • Christina says:

      If I had to choose? I would probably go with the Nicole by OPI. It’s a hard choice because they are spot-on, true-blue dupes BUT that would be the winner for me. ..And it actually pains a bit to say that (lol) considering I am a die-hard China Glaze fan and rarely purchase NOPI :P

      • Janice says:

        Yeah, I can see why it would be a hard choice, because they’re dupes. :) In the post, you mentioned that CG’s formula was a little runnier than NOPI’s, so is it pretty much based on that you picked NOPI over CG?

  • Jaime says:

    Thanks for the post! I have CG “Unpredictable” but I haven’t had a chance to use it yet. I’ve been drooling over NOPI “MFEO”, but I haven’t bought it because I had a hunch it they were dupes. I wish I’d bought the NOPI first, because I prefer their brushes. Oh well. :)

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