I Want to Believe: A Tale of Two Bubble Baths

When my obsession with nail polish first sprouted, I really wanted to find the perfect soft shade (a mission that continues to this day.) Everyone recommended the quintessential soft color, OPI Bubble Bath. Soon thereafter I conned my roommate into placing an order for my birthday, I asked for Bubble Bath. I had never seen pictures of it so I wasn’t exactly sure what to expect, I just knew it was a flattering soft very light milky color . I received a bottle of very light, milky pink nail polish.


Since I didn’t know what to expect, I took my pink, wore it, liked it, threw it in with the rest of the stash and moved on to other colors. A little while after that, someone posted on MUA requesting suggestions for a milky off-white. Another person suggested Bubble Bath. I thought it was a weird suggestion because Bubble Bath was clearly pink, not white. So I said something to that effect in the thread. We argued back and forth a while, both of us utterly baffled at how the other could mistake what was so clearly one color for another color. Eventually another member clued us in that we were both right. The more recent version of Bubble Bath was pink. The original Bubble Bath was, in fact, white.


I hunted around for this version for a really long time and couldn’t find anywhere. I had just about given up when Dami of Perfectly Polished Tips hooked me up with a bottle. I love this soft off-white milky color way more than the subsequent pink version. However, to my major shock, the pink version which is OPI’s new formula, applied better than the the white version which is OPI’s old formula. The common belief is that OPI’s older formula is vastly superior to the newer big 3 free formula but that’s definitely not the case with this color. I had to use something like 5 coats of color with the white version and it was fairly streaky. The pink version was perfect in 3 coats, very easy to apply.


Here they are, the sneaky polishes together. The original version does seem to have a slightly pinkish tinge. This leads me to believe (and this is all conjecture) that it is possible that the new version is a mistake, too much pink pigment in the batch. However, the color is so different that I wonder whether OPI purposefully changed the color of Bubble Bath. I’d email them and ask but I have a feeling the answer would be “we didn’t change the color.” *cues X-files music*

(Sorry, I’m watching the final disc of entire X-files series right now. I have been unduly influenced. haha.)


47 Responses to “I Want to Believe: A Tale of Two Bubble Baths”

  1. styrch Says:

    Wow! How could they even call that the same color? I personally think the first looks prettier.

  2. Robyn Says:

    I love the white version. Any recommendations for a similar color?

  3. katee Says:

    I love and have the white version :)

  4. Jennifer Says:

    Email them anyway! Little things like a mysterious color change matter when your business is founded on color in the first place! I for one would like to know how or why the change took place…the answer could be interesting. (Marketing? Reformulation? Techie asleep at the pigmentation process?)

  5. astasia Says:

    This is a problem…if i ‘ll order today this color on a shop online…what color they give me?!?!?!
    I like a lot the white version…the pink is nothing special…but is it the same case of the first and second private jet opi version?
    It’s not correct call them the same way…

  6. Stef Says:

    wow, they are totally different! I had heard Bubble Bath was a PITA to apply, but maybe that was in reference to the older colour? Maybe I will check out Bubble Bath after all :)

  7. Kim Says:

    Actually, there are quite a few colors that have changed since OPI changed their formula – all of them being sheer shades. See if you can get your hands on bottles of the ‘old’ and ‘new’ Passion – what a drastic difference!

  8. Cara Says:

    China Glaze Hope Chest is similar to the white version of OPI Bubble Bath, but it’s a better formula.

  9. Casey Says:

    The white version is great – I will try and hunt it down. I have to wear “work appropriate” colors, so this looks like a winner.

  10. Amber Says:

    This is very disconcerning. If they’re going to name two differently colored polishes the same name, then how am I to know what I am getting? Poo. I personally like the older, whiter one better. The color is lovely. Perhaps the big 3 free formula has stunted them and their ability to create the same colors? I’m not sure.

  11. Amber Says:

    Oh about the reds! LOL yes, that is true. Subconsciously I must have remembered that, and so I went and read reviews on MUA; I think that I have been convinced in needing to ad AFIRS to my collection!

  12. kia Says:

    per usual, fab post! thanks for sharing!

  13. Alison Says:

    I did a mani with bubblebath today and my bottle doesn’t looks as pink or as white as these two! I think it’s somewhere in between! I only apply one coat for a super clean polished finish so it won’t really matter if I have to re-purchase later (I also find it streaks less with just one coat, 2 coats get very streaky and I end up taking it all off!)

  14. Kyosuke Says:

    My god, I now realize how far you’re growing your nails, it’s longer and longer ! And so pretty !

    But I do think that, for your nails shape, and all your color testing, right now is the perfect length. What is your own wish atm ? Continue, cut them, try to keep them that size from now on ?
    And, as I don’t recall seeing you with such nails before, what does your boyfriend thinks of it ? I hope he enjoys :p

    I like the white version more, though I have to admit I prefer when you’re swatching some uncommon (aka “work unappropriate”) colors ^^

  15. mich Says:

    Wow.. thanks for sharing! Do you have any other recommendations for similar colors for the whiter shade of Bubble Bath?

  16. Rocketqueen Says:

    How strange! I love the pinkish version.

  17. Letícia Says:

    Poxa, muito legal saber que vc é brasileira!! seu blog é muito bom, viu? obrigada por nos linkar, retribuiremos com certeza! beijos

  18. Keks Says:

    menina, vc é brasileira? não sabiaaaaa!

  19. Charming nails Says:

    Greetings from Finland! I really love your pictures and blog :) Keep up the good work!

  20. Sanna Says:

    The whiter version looks awesome!
    Gah, I hate when they do this! One name, two different polishes.

  21. Emmy Says:

    I actually think they changed, and then changed back. I have a pic with a bubble bath I bought about 7 years ago (pink) and one from about 5 years ago (white). Now people are finding the pink one again!

  22. N. Says:

    Hmmm I think I prefer the white version but I hate streakiness! Essie has like ten colors in that shade anyway haha.

    PS: Love the new format!

  23. Gina Says:

    I just got a bottle of Bubble Bath today, and it looks just like your “white” bottle. But the label has the green writing and the polish is sort of thick (but still sheer and streaky) so I think it’s of the newer formula. Weird, huh?

    Aren’t there also 2 versions of Chapel of Love? It always looks corally pink in the store, but the one I ordered online is almost orangish. :\

  24. Kris Says:

    The white one is definitely more unique and it’s a shame they now have made it so pink. I’ve managed to avoid this color and don’t own either but I have to say, other brands have similar soft collections that are more consistent.

  25. Katia Says:

    I would love to get my hands on the pink Bubble bath….

  26. Katia Says:

    Tambem sou Brasileira :) mande-me seu link para que eu possa colocar no meu blog ok?

  27. Caitie Says:

    I recently picked up an OPI brochure and it clearly shows Bubble Bath as a sheer white color, so maybe they made a batch with too much pink…who knows?! Any suggestions for a great bronze color?

  28. SaritaLaa Says:

    I agree with you on the old formula thing. I recently tried to use an old formula OPI and it was so streaky that I took it off right after I finished it. yuck.

  29. Tatiana Carvalho Says:

    Achei o rosa tao mais bonito! Quero um para mim.

  30. pretear Says:

    Styrch – Me too. I totally agree.

    Robyn – Hmm, I would give OPI Time-less is More which is a little more white than Bubble Bath or Essie Ballet Slippers. Or try for Bubble Bath since some girls have said here in the comments section that they’ve been finding the white version.

    Jennifer – I might, we’ll see lol.

    Astasia – Well at least this one hasn’t been discontinued so it’s possible you’ll stumble across the white version fairly easily. : (

    Stef – One was definitely a pita, the other was not. And you should!!

    Kim – Yup, you’re right about that.

    Cara – I’ll have to give that one a whirl.

    Casey – Definitely. : )

    Amber – LOL. Sorry I couldn’t be more help. : )

    Kia – Thank you!

    Alison – I wouldn’t doubt it if there were a lot of variations of this color out there. : (

    Kyosuke – Aw. I cut them down a little because I feel weird wearing flashy colors on very long nails. Soon I’m planning to cut them completely off. My boyfriend is totally and completely indifferent to my nails lol. Very soon I’ll have a lot more work inappropriate colors. : P

    Mich – Personally I think Essie Ballet Slippers and OPI Time-less is More would be good alternatives, another reader recommended China Glaze Hope Chest. : )

    Rocketqueen – I do like both, the pink is very delicate.

    Letícia – Muito obrigada! : ) Agora eu vou sempre ler ‘Mão Feita’.

    Keks – Sou! : )

    Charming Nails – I added you to my blog roll. : )

    Sanna – Major ditto. But it’s sort of fun to collect the variations.

    Emmy – I wouldn’t doubt it. I think it’s just random pigment issues.

    N – LOL.

    Gina – I’m glad to be hearing from people that the white version is being sold again because I really love it.

    Kris – You know, the variation issues don’t bother me only because I like to collect them like people collect mis-minted coins. Lol.

    Katia – Essas meninas escrevem un blog juntas, chama “Mão Feita” http://maofeita.wordpress.com/. Eu não sabia que tinha meninas como n ós l á também, talvez e a sim no mundo inteiro. Lol.

    Caitie – Bronze color. Hmm. I have a bunch in my stash but nothing that I’ve actually worn yet. Let me get back to you on that one.

    SaritaLaa – lol – they’re probably not all like that but I sort of like their new formula even though I know I might be alone on that one. : P

    Tatiana – é muito caro enviar pacotes ao Brasil? Si não, talvez vale a pena comprar dos Estados Unidos e madar para o Brasil.

  31. Molly Says:

    Hi, love the blog! I have two questions:
    1. Where can I buy OPI online, without paying for shipping? How about in a physical store?
    2. How did you grow out your nails that long and make them square? They are beautiful! I don’t have that much patience, lol. :) But I’d like to know your secret.

  32. Molly Says:

    One more thing: What do you think of Nicole by OPI?

  33. pretear Says:

    Molly, you’ll have to pay shipping but if you order from head2toebeauty.com, 8ty8beauty.com or transdesign.com you can buy OPI and other brands for half of regular retail. I grow them out by keeping them constantly painted, they never break. They’re naturally square but I do use a crystal file. I like Nicole by OPI. : )

  34. Katy Says:

    Wow, I experienced the exact same thing but with Got a Date To-Knight. My original bottle was the perfect sheer off white with a hint of pink, while my new bottle is a sheer bright-ish pink. How odd, maybe a number of their polishes were affected?

  35. Steph Says:

    You know, I’m not sure it’s the formula. A Zoya rep once told me that sometimes the pigment companies are inconsistent and the companies can’t help it.

  36. Sonya Says:

    I love both of the Bubble Baths. I was in a salon today with a friend and we both bought “You Don’t know Jacques” from the OPI France collection, we saw BubbleBath there as a new bottle for sale and it was the pink version. I have a question for you, my friend is looking for a navy creme polish, what are your suggestions?

  37. Steph Says:

    Hmm – There are a bunch out there, if you want something on the dark end try Color Club Naughty Navy.

  38. Kerin Says:

    I have several duplicate bottles and it seems like all the sheers have this problem – the shades of a color vary, sometimes quite a bit. I agree with the above post – Got A Date To Knight is definitely one of the ones that sticks out in my mind.

  39. Steph Says:

    Yup, that’s definitely true.

  40. dave aka pnl Says:

    Wow…they both look awesome !

  41. Steph Says:

    Thanks Dave!

  42. comprinhas « Não tire bife, ok? Says:

    [...] Mac eu comprei porque me lembrou algum esmalte que eu, na hora, achei que era o Bubble Bath, o que obviamente não tem nada a ver e meu cérebro me pregou uma peça, mas sem problemas, pq eu [...]

  43. OPI: Bubble Bath « Enamel Coated Says:

    [...] a soft, light, milky pink. New version you say? If you haven’t read The Polish Addict’s Tale of Two Bubble Baths, do so now, as it will explain the differences between the new and old [...]

  44. Debbie Says:

    I have been using OPI Bubble Bath white version for years and receive so many compliments on the colour but now only the pink version is available, I have been on a quest to find the equivalent of the white version, plus I was becoming unhappy with the way my OPI Bubble Bath white version applies as it was streaky, probably because I used to replace it quite frequently when it was readily available. Anyway, thanks for all the info on this website. I don’t usually post but just wanted to say that yesterday, I found Essie Tie The Knot and I think it’s exactly the same as OPI Bubble Bath (white version). Hope this info helps for anyone looking to find the equivalent of OPI Bubble Bath white version.

  45. OPI Bubble Bath « lacquer//ella Says:

    [...] Before I go on I must clarify that (I’m pretty sure) I have the original bottle of Bubble Bath, which is the whiter version. What does that mean, you ask? well apparently somewhere between now and the first time they created Bubble Bath, OPI decided to slightly modify the color to be more pink. More on that here. [...]

  46. OPI Bubble Bath « lacquer//ella Says:

    [...] Before I go on I must clarify that (I’m pretty sure) I have the original bottle of Bubble Bath, which is the whiter version. What does that mean, you ask? well apparently somewhere between now and the first time they created Bubble Bath, OPI decided to slightly modify the color to be more pink. More on that here. [...]

  47. susie Says:

    OK, I’m very late to this post, but it explains so much! I recently bought a new bottle of Bubble Bath after only ever getting manis with it at the salon. I did my nails and was super bummed with the peachy pink result. I was expecting the whitish-pink color I was used to. I thought I was crazy or got a random defective bottle, but no, they just totally changed the color. So lame that OPI would do that instead of just giving the (completely different) new shade a new name. Thanks for solving the mystery!

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