OPI Nail Lacquer in I'm Not Really a Waitress, swatch

Classics: OPI — I’m Not Really a Waitress (Nail Lacquer) Swatch & Review

Happy Groundhog Day!

Nova Scotia’s Shubenacadie Sam says spring is just around the corner, but the movie’s Punxsatawney Phil says winter is coming. My local-ish groundhog in Ottawa, Wiarton Willie, agrees with his fellow Canadian, so I’m gonna say spring it is for us up north!

Collection: OPI 1999 Fall/Winter, Hollywood

Today’s Classic is also a Throwback Thursday, as it was released in OPI’s 12-shade Hollywood collection from Fall/Winter 1999.

I’m Not Really a Waitress (NL H08) doesn’t really need an introduction, does it? I mean, it’s so iconic that OPI’s nail polish book even bears the same name. (And, yes, I have that, too!)

I actually intended to swatch my old bottle of I’m Not Really a Waitress (hereafter INRAW, because that name is just too damn long), which I got sometime in the 1990s. It’s possible that this bottle is actually a second one I owned; I might have repurchased it sometime in the late ’90s. Either way, it’s something like 15–20 years old, so it’s also in the old formula before OPI went 3-free.

However, I discovered this horror:

OPI I'm Not Really a Waitress, old 1990s bottle dried out
OPI I’m Not Really a Waitress, old 1990s bottle dried out

I’d used up quite a lot of it, so I’m not overly fussed. I do want to go and check on all my old, discontinued polishes, now. That could take a while. Eek.

Anyway, I hopped onto Nail Polish Canada and ordered a new bottle (along with a few other goodies, too, of course!) and here it is! I’ve never actually tried INRAW in the new formula—too many polishes, too little time.

OPI I'm Not Really a Waitress, old 1990s and new 2017 bottles
OPI I’m Not Really a Waitress, old 1990s and new 2017 bottles
OPI I'm Not Really a Waitress, old 1990s and new 2017 bottle labels
OPI I’m Not Really a Waitress, old 1990s and new 2017 bottles

The color generally remains the same—a sexy metallic cranberry red. (I think the old bottle looks brighter simply because there’s not much polish in it.) It’s a totally stunning shimmery red, with a sports car finish and a depth of color that gives it a real richness and intensity. There’s a reason this has been such a hit for so long! It is also fairly neutral even though it leans cool—I’d say it’d be flattering on most skintones.

It took me forever to get this swatch done, I swear. The first time I applied the polish, it got streaky and dried too fast, so I took it off. The second time, it seemed OK, but then I noticed after taking photos that it was still streaky along the “gutters” of my nails. I don’t know why it’s so hard to see that in real life, but when it’s magnified like crazy in a photo, it’s so obvious and horrible!

Third time, I took a bunch of photos but none of them came out well, so those got deleted. Fourth round I didn’t have to change the polish, just redo the photos—but for some reason I ended up with bits of invisible (but highly visible on camera) dust on my nails, so I had to rinse them off and retake the photos again. Then I realized the polish was looking a little dull, possibly from all the back and forth, so I slapped on a third coat and finally got my photos done. My cuticles were rather dry by this time, so please forgive that.

OPI I'm Not Really a Waitress, swatch
OPI I’m Not Really a Waitress, swatch

I kind of hate this polish, now.

But seriously, I am a touch disappointed with the formula. I remember the old formula being thinner, but it applied very smoothly. The new version seems to dry very quickly, and the formula is thicker, so it’s more difficult to get a smooth, even finish unless you really slap on the polish. I don’t like doing this because I have small nails and if I slap on polish like mad, it just pools up horribly along my cuticles. The Pro Wide brush with its flat edge doesn’t help.

Both versions did take about three coats to look their best, so I guess the application issues are a little moot, in the end. I find INRAW is a bit meh with just two coats, but it really looks fabulous with a third.

INRAW was one of my most-worn shades back in the day. I’m glad that the new version is still pretty damn good, and I should try to remember to bring it out for a spin now and then!


OPI Nail Lacquer retails for about US$9.50 / CA$12 and is 0.5 US fl oz / 15 mL. OPI nail polishes are currently free of toluene, formaldehyde, dibutyl phthalate (DBP) and camphor. They are made in the USA.

OPI Products Inc. was originally Odontorium Products Inc., a dental supply company. It was purchased in 1981 and soon the company’s focus switched to selling acrylics to nail salons. Nail lacquers were introduced in 1989. OPI has been owned by global beauty company Coty Inc. since 2010. The company is based in North Hollywood, CA, USA.

🇺🇸Made in USA
🇺🇸Company based in USA



11 thoughts on “Classics: OPI — I’m Not Really a Waitress (Nail Lacquer) Swatch & Review

  1. Wiarton Willie also predicted early Spring so it seems all the Canadian groundhogs are aligned! But I agree with Punxsatawney Phil – I think winter is staying for a bit longer. I mean, we’ve hardly had any winter this year, really.

    Oh – would you just look at that bottle. Do you think it’s salvageable?

    You swatched this FOUR times? That’s dedication. I would have given up on the 2nd time. I can see how you’d associate the pain of it all with this polish forever and ever. Well, your photos turned out really well! 😀

    OPI has a BOOK!? What, I never knew that!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I might try salvaging the bottle, but it’d use up quite a lot of thinner! Probably won’t bother as if you have to add too much thinner, it usually ends up kind of lumpy/weird.

      The book is pretty cool! I wonder why they haven’t released an updated one, ’cause I think it came out quite some time ago.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Hi! Yes, I actually have multiple bottles of nail polish thinner (not remover), as certain bottles seem to always dry out faster than others. I think the one I have is from Sally Beauty, but I forgot the brand—maybe SuperNail?

      I just didn’t think it was worth reviving my very old INRaW, since it hasn’t been discontinued or otherwise changed in terms of color.

      You bet if it was a discontinued shade, I’d be squirting thinner in there ASAP. 😀

      Well, except for my old UD polishes, which dry out in a jiffy regardless of how well I clean out the cap and threads 😦

      Thanks for the reminder!


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