Polish Dupes? Begin the “Battle of the Kolors” – Part One

Despite being a nail polish collector, this is the first time I’m writing up a polish dupes comparison post. BUT…we all know “Never Say Never” right? As demonstrated by the very existence of this blog, where those words are the title of the first post on Kimett Kolor, here I am today a blogger of all things nail art. And what usually starts anyone down this path? A fascination for nail polish, of course.  Little bottles of colorful, magical paints. Love them!

yellow orange polish dupes swatch collage

However, my collection has grown a bit too big for my storage capacity..and it’s time to take a hard look at which ones I really want to hang on to. Let’s root out the polish dupes together!

Imagine, if you will, a neat and orderly work space. There are shelves, drawers, organizers – everything has it’s place. The whole desk is uncluttered space ready for use. There is room to move around and it feels inviting. The sun is shining….oh, wait…too far?
Now – imagine that same space, with an added folding table crammed into that space, with all surfaces completely littered with polish bottles, swatch sticks, loose pieces of paper, baskets with more polish bottles, and not one square inch of uncovered desk top area. Yup, Kimett is officially in destash mode!!


Pretty much right off the bat, this fact became obvious: it is too difficult making choices about which polishes to keep based solely on the bottles, my original swatch sticks and previously made notes in a polish list. So, to help decide between polishes that are basically dupes, a little painting is in order. And, well….I hope that by sharing these little adventures with you on the blog, it will keep me motivated…giving me half a chance to finish the project before 2020. LOL.
Deciding which polishes will go to new homes, is no easy task. I’ve been their caretaker and they’ve always been at the ready for me. Sigh. It just has to be done. Worry not, though; as I promise to keep all whining and whimpering out of these posts, but you just know there is a whole lot of it going on behind the scenes. Any words of encouragement and support will be greatly appreciated!!! Hint, hint.

First Round: Yellow Polish Dupes

yellow polish dupes collage

The contenders:

ThumbOPI | I Can’t Cope-acabana
Index: Orly | Spark
MiddleWet n Wild | Ferga-colada
RingButter London | Pimms
PinkyChina Glaze | Sunchine Pop

All are creme except Sunchine Pop contains a yellow shimmer, albeit a shy one.

yellow polish dupes nail swatches


Ahhh….yellow is my spirit color.  It’s been my favorite color since High School for sure, maybe even longer. So, no surprise to find some polish dupes here. Trivia: I have 31 posts where I’m wearing yellow polish. Of course, first to mind is the Wear Yellow campaign for Seth from a couple years ago. (For those of you following his story, his Mom published a recent update that includes adorable pictures of him riding a horse and making cookies among other things.)

Formula: All are pretty good for yellows (that can be notoriously awful). I had the most trouble getting a level coat with Sunchine Pop despite the shimmer.

Coverage: Pimms is the most opaque, with Sunchine Pop coming in second. None had coverage issues.

Color: I Can’t Cope-acabana, Spark & Ferga-colada are all nearly dupes; however I Can’t Cope-acabana is slightly more intense. Pimms was the standout color for me – one of my very favorite shades of yellow.

Other: The Wet n Wild brand uses a very wide brush, even more so than OPI‘s, making it too wide for me to use on my pinky.

Verdict: I am going to keep I Can’t Cope-acabana and Pimms. I really like yellow. And these two shades are different enough to keep both.

Next Up: Orange Polish Dupes

orange polish dupes collage

The contenders:

Thumb: Butter London | Silly Billy
Index: Sally Hansen Insta-Dri | Dreamsicle
Middle: KIKO Quik Dry | 822
Ring: Zoya | Jancyn
Pinky: Lucky 13 Lacquer | Tequila Sunrise

All are creme except Tequilla Sunrise which is a thermal jelly with golden micro flakes.

orange polish dupes nail swatches

I’ve probably mentioned it a time or two…orange is the color of my very first polish purchase. And being a child of the 70’s, I suppose this makes sense. I think the most memorable thing from that time period, is my Nana’s orange phone. I loved that thing, always catching everyone’s eye on the wall. It was so bright and vibrant, just like the polish on my thumb, Silly Billy. Is it weird to equate childhood memories with nail polish? Just say no. Lie if you have to, okay?

Formula: The creme’s all had good formulas; and, Tequila Sunrise was typical of a thermal polish.

Coverage: Dreamsicle was the most opaque, but they all have visible nail line.

Color: Jancyn and 822 were very close dupes. They had lovely color – it made choosing difficult.

Other: I didn’t experiment with Tequila Sunrise for it’s hot/cold sensitivity, but I did notice a mild color darkening over the exposed tips without any effort.

Verdict: After a longer time than I wish to admit, I finally chose to keep Jancyn in my collection. I really like Zoya’s bottles & brush. Also, I would have kept Silly Billy, but the bottle was damaged in shipping and my scotch tape solution isn’t holding up so well anymore…darn it. At least I got the chance to use it in my most recent colorful smoosh.

Last round: Red-Orange Polish Dupes

red orange polish dupes collage

The contenders:

Thumb: Native War Paints | Radioactive
Index: OPI | Are We There Yet?
Middle: Zoya | Thandie
Ring: Barry M | Papaya
Pinky: Polish My Life | Mango Tango

All have some shimmer or mild holographic particles (Radioactive‘s is the most bold) except for Papaya which is a creme formula.

red orange polish dupes nail swatches


I’m teetering on the edge of orange polish mountain here, overlooking a meadow filled with coral colored poppies, I mean, polishes. But while we’re at this height…just look at these lovely fresh shades! Can you see why making it through my orange polish decisions was so hard?? They’re all gorgeous.

Formula: The three darker polishes all had excellent formulas. Papaya was the hardest to apply (although nothing awful).

Coverage: All of them were opaque enough – no major issues with coverage, although thicker coats might have been better for long nails.

Color: My color loving heart is happier with the more intense hues in this color palette.

Other: I had a ridge-filling base coat on this day — giving them a smoother appearance than the other two comparisons above.

Verdict: I couldn’t part with Radioactive, Are We There Yet? and Thandie; even as they are almost polish dupes of each other especially the latter pair. Grudgingly, I decided to part with the other two – but only because I have many other polishes fairly close in color. It also helped that I’ve used each of them in previous posts including stamping with Papaya in the early days and dancing a skittle with Mango Tango more recently. Phew! This was not an easy round!

The Final Bell

Of the 15 polishes tried on, I chose to keep 6. I think this was a good sign that I had too many polish dupes, don’t you?

Putting together this post has made going through the destash motions more fun; and it has helped rekindle my love for polish too. It’s lovely to feel a renewed sense of connection with my polish stash. Hopefully the post wasn’t too boring for you my dear reader…if nothing else, maybe it was a kolorful distraction to brighten up your day. Insert wide eyed, puppies & kittens face here.

Oh, and lastly, I NEED to know if there is anything you’d like me to add or do differently with the next Battle of the Kolors post – please let me know in the comments below.

Thanks so much for reading!

Till Next Time,