I tried the creme first, since it seemed like that would be the purest representation of the color in polish form, the foundation on which the rest of the collection would be variations. The formula of this was very thin, and at four coats, it was still more sheer than I would have liked. I wouldn't call it a jelly, just thin. If the goal was to show off the color itself, something more opaque would be preferable to letting the shade be influenced by whatever staining or discoloration the nails wearing it might have. On the plus side, it was pretty shiny on its own, so if you don't like to wear topcoat you wouldn't have to with this one, but I pretty much always weart topcoat so that's not really a selling point for me.
I was so underwhelmed by the formula of the Tangerine Tango Creme, I just had to see what alternatives I could find in my stash. I came up with Sinful Colors Citrine, Essie Meet Me at Sunset, and Revlon Top Speed Chili.
Sinful Citrine was three coats for me, and the color was actually pretty darn close to the Pantone. The Sinful is perhaps a touch brighter, but in most lights it's hard to see that difference. Left to right below: Pantone, Sinful, Pantone, Sinful.
Essie Meet Me at Sunset took three coats as well. It's a touch darker than the Pantone, but again in most lights the difference is probably not noticeable. Left to right below: Pantone, Essie, Pantone, Essie.
Revlon Top Speed Chili is darker than the Essie, enough that it does show a difference against the Pantone in most lights. Not a big difference, true, but if you're looking for a dupe, this is not it. It is, however, a three-coater. Left to right below: Pantone, Revlon, Pantone, Revlon.
Citrine is the best value alternative for Tangerine Tango, for sure. It was part of the Wow Pop display with superheroines on it that showed up in stores around here in April, but I've seen random bottles of it around recently, often mixed in with the summer neons.
At this point, I was not excited to try the other polishes in the set (a matte, a shimmer, and a glitter), so I didn't. KrisInPhilly did swatches of all of them on My Lucid Bubble; I should have re-read that before I ordered and saved myself $17. Ah well, it's not like I blew the mortgage money.
Just in case you missed my edit of Friday's Part 2 entry, I wanted to mention that you can get free shipping from the Lilacquer Polishes shop until midnight Pacific US time today by using code HATONTOP. (If you need to know what time it is in that time zone, the Pacific Time page has that.)