Friday, June 29, 2012

Cult Nails Fairytale Collection Comparisons

Continuing our story from yesterday, in this entry I have the Cult Nails Fairytale polishes compared to things that were already in my stash.

Starting with Princess, the blue shimmer, my first thought was Sinful Cinderella. But when it came time to act on that thought, I saw from the bottles that Cinderella is lighter and brighter and decided I could come closer than that, so China Glaze Sea Spray and Butter London Lady Muck got the chance to come out and play.

Left to right below: Princess, Sea Spray, Princess, Lady Muck. All two coats, no top coat. As You can see, no matches here. Sea Spray and Lady Muck are both more grey-toned than Princess. Lady Muck comes closer on the shimmer dimension, but its shimmer is cool and silvery instead of warm.

I was pretty confident I'd find a dupe or near dupe for Charming, the purple shimmer. As most of you probably know already, I love purple; it's my favorite color. I have hundreds of purple polishes, probably more than any other color family besides pink/red (which got built up through the years when I wore only peach and pink and once in a while red because they were classic colors). Yet I could not find a match for Charming in my stash. The closest I could come were Zoya Harmonie and Wild & Crazy Fancy Dream (I bought this at a beauty supply in Detroit which I'm not sure I could find again if I tried).

Left to right below: Charming (2 coats), Harmonie (2 coats), Charming, Fancy Dream (3 coats). Harmonie is too warm-toned and frosty to be a match. Fancy Dream is closer because it's got a blue tone to its shimmer, but it's still too warm overall

The nearest things I have to the green shimmer, Feelin' Froggy, are two polishes that aren't available around here, at least not anymore: Barry M Emerald Green (which I swapped for) and Borghese Pistacchio (which was a limited edition back when Borghese was still stocked at Ulta and Rite Aid). But maybe these two are already in some of your stashes so I figured I might as well do the comparison.

Left to right below: Feelin' Froggy (3 coats), Emerald Green (2 coats), Feelin' Froggy, Pistacchio (4 coats). The base colors of all of these are pretty close. Emerald Green is a touch lighter maybe, but that could just be the effect o if having more shimmer (so much more it's flirting with frostiness). Pistacchio (their spelling) is pretty close, but it's so sheer it's better suited for layering.

I would have been amazed if I couldn't come up with something to match Evil Queen, what with the number of red cremes I have. (Some of you may remember the no buy for pinks and reds I put myself on a for a while to address that issue.) Revlon Top Speed Fire (still in stores here) and 17 Fast Finish Knockout Red (from a UK friend I've since lost touch with, sadly) were the leading candidates when I flipped through my nail wheels. I meant to include Essie Really Red as well, but I only have a mini of that so overlooked the bottle when it came time to carry things to the table to swatch.

Left to right below: Evil Queen, Fire, Evil Queen, Knockout Red. All are two coats. I didn't manage to get my fingers quite lined up right so the light isn't hitting evenly on all; that's why Evil Queen doesn't even match itself in this shot. Nonetheless, you get the idea; any of these could pass for any of the others.

Now we come to Happy Ending, the shredded glitter. It seems odd for something so unusual, but it's a twin for a polish I posted earlier this year, Icing After Party.

So we wouldn't be distracted by the base color, I swatched these glitters over Sally Hansen Insta Dri Whirlwind White (which my friend Sally appears to have discontinued; we have something of a dysfunctional relationship, I think). I used two coats of each. Left to right below: Happy Ending, After Party, Happy Ending, After Party.

So based on the above, you can see why I said yesterday that I could give up Evil Queen and Happy Ending. I obviously can't give up Princess or Charming, and Feelin' Froggy has a better formula than the Borghese green (unless you like to make frosty green jelly sandwiches, I suppose; that idea doesn't sound great but maybe I should try it just to see). So three out of five keepers for me and my huge stash; that's a good ratio. Okay, who am I kidding; I'll keep the other two also, mostly likely until the big destash which I think I might get around to sometime in the 2020s, and maybe then I'll decide to let go of the dupes and keep the Cult ones, because I do very much like the brand. You can get your own at the Cult Nails website. They're $10 per 15 ml bottle; sometimes there are sales, so sign up for the mailing list if you want notice about those. I'm not a paid spokesperson, just a fan.


  1. I've kinda been on an unofficial no buy for reds...I'm really surprised how much I like Evil Queen!!

  2. I really like these comparison posts, so please keep them coming :)

  3. Another great comparison post - I love them - thanks a lot Karen!

  4. WOW. I feel like I dont really need Cult Nails anymore. HA! Thanks! (=

  5. Thanks for the comparisons! They are so useful! After seeing all the side-by-side pics, I can see why you would want to keep the entire collection! :-)

    ~ Yun

  6. Great comparisons! I love this kind of post:)

  7. I figured that Evil Queen had some dupes about as far as color, but the formula was just flawless! I have a huge love for Evil Queen because of that. It is one of my new favorite reds. Great comparisons, Karen!

  8. I love the comparisons! I really need to destash my little collection lol

  9. great comparisons! i love that glitter!

  10. great comparison, love when you do that <3

  11. Thanks for this post Karen!! I had laid back and not bought this collection yet because a. I was broke and b. I wasn't sure if Princess and Charming had dupes and Froggy was too sheer. I think I will end up with those three but the others I will pass on. I think my Borghese will be looking for a new home too, I hate the sheerness.

  12. Those greens ! I love the comparisons !

  13. Lady Muck is the most beautiful of the entire bunch! ^.^

  14. Curious, Lady Muck is a lemming of mine, but Charming didn't attracted me that much...On greens, I'm glad I bought Barry M Emerald Green while in London, I think I'll be content with that one! BTW "Pistacchio" is the correct Italian spelling (Borghese is an Italian term too...It means "burgeois" and it's a surname, too, curiously belonging also to aristocratic families in the past).
    But the weirdest thing to me is that pistacchio green is more light and pastel/muted than that one, so to me the name is senseless!

    1. Aly, thanks--I didn't realize that Borghese was trying to teach me Italian. :)

  15. Oooh I love the shredded rainbow top coats!

  16. Looks like you found pretty close dupes for all these colors. I'm just not a cult nails fan-the formula is too runny for me!


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