Battle of the Kolors – Coral, A Nail Polish Comparison

Welcome to the next event in my polish comparison series; a.ka., the Battle of the Kolors. Today’s post covers five short rounds with the coral color polishes competing against one another to remain in my collection. Oh, yes. The dreaded destash. At some point, it is every polish addict’s dilemma.

coral nail polish bottles

Eighteen nail polish bottles line up for comparison – are there dupes?

Not only is coral one of my favorite colors in general, it is also the color polish that I reach for the most for a plain manicure. So, it’s not surprising that this was a tough group to whittle down.

Destash Reason: Reduce Polish Collection Size

Although I have made pretty good progress so far with Part One: Yellow & Orange, I knew this battle would tougher. I had a feeling many polishes would be similar, possibly dupes. And, I was right.

Of the 19 bottles that I gathered up, none were inferior in any way. While this was nice and all – it did not provide any easy decisions about which polishes to purge. What about previous posts? Ironically, I only found this one nail art post in the coral group.

Plus, looking over my swatch sticks, I realized that some might be faded since many of them correspond to polishes 3 or more years old. (You might remember my previously shared polish organization method…I keep the polishes in drawers, but the sticks are out on display and exposed to light.)

So, how was I going to choose? Well… Ultimately, I felt I needed to test out almost every polish in this color range. To do this, I painted, or rather, swatched each one on a color wheel as seen in the photo below.

coral nail polish swatch wheel comparison

Method to the Madness

Oh the emotions! How could I not give up, buy another Helmer, knock out the wall for a house extension…it’s so hard not to keep them all!! Yikes. Okay. It was necessary to use a clinical approach to keep the feelings in check.

Here’s what I did: I painted each tip on the color wheel and took notes; paying attention to not only how each polish applied, but also how it has held up over time since originally purchased. As a side note, I was particularly impressed with the ones from China Glaze. Even though they are some of the oldest of the bunch, they still behaved like new.

For each round of similar polishes, I took 2 quick pictures: one of the polish bottles and one of my original swatch sticks. Sandwiched in between the photos is my rating system based on 5 criteria for each polish:

  • Formula,
  • Payoff,
  • Color,
  • Other (usually sentimental reasons) and
  • Joy (as in does the polish bring a feeling of joy to me).

I simplified things by just giving each criteria a “yay” or “nay”. If I felt the formula was good enough for my use, I gave it a “yay” which is shown by a heart in that column. If there were polish dupes, this system helped me choose which polish(es) to keep. Also, there is heart to the left of the polish name signifying my decision to keep it.

Overall, this might seem like overkill, but I found using a rating system allows for personal opinion and feelings to count, if you will. I could make decisions faster, spending less time hemming and hawing about giving up polishes to the destash pile.

Alrighty. Let’s get this battle started…

Round One – Neons

Here we have one jelly, one shimmer, and two opaque cremes. Both the neon cremes are gorgeous and bright. And, Love, Angeline‘s Pates de Fruits is a unique polish with lots of subtle dimension with its shimmer and flakes. However, even before the bell rang, I knew I’d be keeping Loaded Lacquer JOTM May. This discontinued brand’s Jiggle collection (jelly polishes) are amazing. And, you know, I get all kinds of excited with jelly polishes. Did that sound too weird?

neon coral nail polish

*Bottle color inaccuracy – Flip Flop Fantasy & Guava are bright neon. See swatch sticks below.

    F P C O J
Loaded LacquerJOTM May
Love, AngelinePates de Fruits
China GlazeFlip Flop Fantasy
Fresh PaintGuava
F = Formula, P = Payoff, C = Color, O = Other, J = Joy

neon coral nail polish comparison


Of the two neon cremes, I chose to keep China Glaze‘s Flip Flop Fantasy. Despite not being the original coveted version, this newer one still is just a bit more pink than Guava by Fresh Paint. And, as much as Love Angeline‘s shimmer is unique, I decided that I just didn’t feel enough personal joy with it.

Round Two – Shimmers

There were no dupes in this bunch. China Glaze‘s Jamaican Out has a gorgeous shimmer that makes the polish really glow. Scofflaw‘s Fire Imp is very unique in color and has lots of interest including flecks of light blue. I hope to give this one a proper swatch spotlight some day soon. And finally, China Glaze‘s Elfin’ Around boasts a pretty metallic shimmer.

shimmer coral nail polish comparison

China GlazeJamaican Out
ScofflawFire Imp
China GlazeElfin' Around
F = Formula, P = Payoff, C = Color, O = Other, J = Joy

coral shimmer nail polish comparison


Without question Fire Imp is an immediate favorite. And, as each one of these polishes is unique to my collection there will be no destash here.

Round Three – Glitters

Here we have one glitter topper (clear base) and two similar glitter polishes, both with a crelly base. All three would add great interest to the nail. Creative Cuticle‘s Shark Bait was a bit thick and gooey for my liking, but I will most likely be sponging it rather than painting it when I use it.

glitter coral nail polish comparison

    F P C O J
Creative CuticlesShark Bait
Colores de CarolBarbie Q
Lucky 13 LacquerFire Salt
F = Formula, P = Payoff, C = Color, O = Other, J = Joy

coral glitter nail polish comparison


After comparing it to Barbie Q, I decided to keep Fire Salt because I prefer the vibrancy. Also, Shark Bait is too fun and unique to my collection; it will stay with me.

Round Four – Cremes, group A

All four of these cremes are beautiful with perfect formulas. With the exception of p2‘s happy bride, all of these have my favorite crelly formula. They’re sooo squishy!!! Illamasqua‘s Lament and Butter London‘s Cake-Hole are pretty opaque, while Vapid‘s Risque‘ needs an extra coat to hide visible nail lines.

coral creme polish comparison

    F P C O J
Butter LondonCake-Hole
p2happy bride
F = Formula, P = Payoff, C = Color, O = Other, J = Joy

coral creme nail polish comparison


There are only a handful of pricey luxury polish bottles in my collection. Illamasqua‘s Lament is one of these that I won’t part with. Of this group, I couldn’t help keeping them all except the less saturated happy bride.

Round Five – Cremes, group B

Another fantastic bunch. Orly‘s Risque Encounter stands out with its unique shade; and happens to be another fabulously squishy crelly. The other three are full of beautiful vibrant coral creme goodness.

creme coral nail polish comparison

    F P C O J
Mineral FusionCoral Reef
Ciate'Play Date
China GlazeMake Some Noise
OrlyRisque Encounter
F = Formula, P = Payoff, C = Color, O = Other, J = Joy

coral creme nail polish comparison


China Glaze‘s Make Some Noise has been in my collection since the very early days – and I have had a major crush on it FOREVER. It was difficult to cull any polishes from this group, but I separated Mineral Fusion‘s Coral Reef as the dupe of my collection. Technically Ciate‘s Play Date is also a dupe, but since it is a mini bottle I made an exception.

Oh yeah. There was only one coral polish in my collection that I did not test on the color wheel. Based on my original swatch stick, I found Sally Hansen‘s Wavelength to be outdated.

The Final Bell

Here is the final tally of my destash efforts with the coral polish group:

Start: 19 polishes

End: 13 keepers

Stash Reduction: 32%


Phew! I think I stuck to the task pretty well, considering my love for this color of polish. There were so many stand outs, it was hard to knock any down.

In other respects, I found that today’s battle plan worked out quite well. And, now that I have the method down, going through the motions for the next color batch should be even quicker. Hooray!

Lastly, for summary sake, I’ve included that same color wheel below. But, this time I’ve marked it with the ones I chose to destash.

coral polish color wheel comparison for destash

Numbers match my handwritten scribble on the swatch wheel. “X” marks the polishes going in the destash pile.

1China GlazeFlip Flop Fantasy
X2Fresh PaintGuava
3Loaded LacquerJOTM May
X4Love, AngelinePates de Fruits
X5p2happy bride
7China GlazeMake Some Noise
8Butter LondonCake-Hole
X9Mineral FusionCoral Reef
11Ciate'Play Date
12OrlyRisque Encounter
X13Colores de CarolBarbie Q
14Lucky 13 LacquerFire Salt
15China GlazeJamaican Out
16China GlazeElfin' Around
17ScofflawFire Imp
18Creative CuticlesShark Bait

Even though I’m still in the beginning stages of Project Polish Destash, I feel like I’m making good head way. Perhaps it is contagious? Maybe, you are getting the decluttering bug too?

More nail art to come.

Till Next Time,

kimett signature


  • Lisa Tryon

    So many pretty colors! You have a very thorough approach. I just resorted my swatch sticks and tested a few colors that were too close in shade. Then again, none of my swatches are older than a year…

    • Hi Lisa! Thanks so much for leaving a comment!
      Hah – yes, I found I had to be more thorough in order to get through the task. Without criteria, I found I was stuck not able to make decisions. LOL! It’s hard to believe I’ve been collecting polish for almost 6 years! But this process has helped me fall in love with my polishes all over again. 😉

      • Falling in love is always a good thing. And you are getting rid of more polishes than I did. 😉

        • Hey there – I’m so sorry for the late reply! Yes, I’m thrilled to be making room for new polish, LOL! Thanks for the encouragement – it means a lot! I think it’s great you’ve been keeping up with managing your collection – I should have done it every so often rather than waiting this long. 😉

  • Silvie Ngo

    Wow Kim! Some great work here. You’re amazing. I am in awe of your photography skills too. And yes, such a thorough method. You must be a fantastic scientist!!!

    • Awe, thanks so much Silvie!! I’m thrilled you liked the post!! It was fun to bring out my inner analyst for sure! It kept me moving through the process and I feel better with the decisions I made this round -vs- the last time when I didn’t test them all.

  • CurlyGirl66

    I am so impressed with the method that you created to tackle this difficult task. Finding a way to curb the emotional attachment is the hardest I think. I liked the addition of the “joy” category to your other classifications, so it did allow for some emotion, but kept it in check. You are an inspiration…..oh, I have so far to go!

    • Thank you so much!! Yeah, coming up with the process took a little bit of time, but once I was going it went pretty quick. It’s been worth it though, I’m happier with my decisions this time around than I was last time. Actually, I’m debating going back over the yellow & oranges to see if my decisions come out the same…;) <3