Sunday, April 21, 2013

Dupe Or No Dupe: Manicure edition!


First, if you missed it, I'm having a giveaway! You can check it out by clicking here.

Next, something you may not know about me is that I'm a hockey fan. I'm not quite as avid about it as I used to be, but I still like to make sure I go to two or three games a year. I support my local NHL team, which is the San Jose Sharks:

The last time I did a manicure for a game, it was right after the last Sally red tag sale, at which I picked up both China Glaze Blue Sparrow and China Glaze Blue Iguana. In the bottle, these look exactly alike, so I decided to do a Dupe Or No Dupe about them.

However! As you may know, Blue Sparrow is a matte polish, and Blue Iguana is not, so they are definitely not dupes. But what I wondered was, since they looked so much alike in the bottle...would they look the same with topcoat and/or nail art on? I decided to make each one the base polish on one hand of my SJ Sharks manicure to find out.

First, let's have a look at China Glaze Blue Sparrow on the nail, with no topcoat:

China Glaze Blue Sparrow

China Glaze Blue Sparrow

Such a pretty, vibrant blue with little sparkly flecks, and the matte finish adds to the textural fun. Sorry about the ding, but I didn't bother to redo since I knew I was going to put nail art over it.

Next, China Glaze Blue Iguana:

China Glaze Blue Iguana

China Glaze Blue Iguana
Definitely different so far. Almost a duochrome with that flash of green, and otherwise a pretty blue with sparkly flecks, but in a glass-like finish.

The next step of my manicure was to do a gradient of black polish (Wet n Wild Ebony Hates Chris) over the blues:

Gradient with Blue Sparrow:

Gradient with Blue Sparrow
(strange how the matte polish almost seemed to mattify the creme during the gradient...Note how different it looks over Blue Iguana)

Gradient with Blue Iguana:

Again, very different, and both pretty in their own way.

But here comes the topcoat...let's see what happens then...

For my final touch, I put a coat of Rainbow Polish The Great Blue over each, and finished with Seche Vite. Here is the final look with both polishes:

Over Blue Sparrow:

Over Blue Iguana:

Definitely still different, but not as different as before. Blue Sparrow seems to be a little deeper blue with a little bit more depth, and Blue Sparrow is a bit more bright. To tell you the truth, in real life, you really had to compare these side by side to see a difference--you couldn't tell unless you looked closely.

So what are my conclusions? Definitely NO DUPE for sure, and certainly each have more of their own uniquely awesome qualities than you can tell from the bottle. These didn't hold up as much with the addition of nail art, however, and for that purpose, if you already have one of these, and are looking to save a few buckazoids, you could probably skip the other. You can matte up Blue Iguana with a matte topcoat if you like, and of course can topcoat Blue Sparrow like I did.

One last point, however! See how I put the glitter over them? Well, the strangest thing happened with Blue Iguana only--the blue polish UNDER the glitter stained my nails something wicked fierce.  Nothing would remove the stains, and I have little dark dots on that hand, and can only swatch opaque colors over it. This didn't happen for Blue Sparrow, I have no idea why. So strange!

What do you think? Was it interesting to see the two polishes used in a manicure rather than just swatches? Or do you think just having side-by-side swatches is fine, and this didn't really add much?

Anyway, thanks for looking! Just goes to show that just because something looks like a dupe in the bottle doesn't mean it actually is. :)

Big hugs,



  1. Oh goodness I love then both.
    I am so happy I own the Blue Iguana now :)

    1. They're both gorgeous. Just be careful of Blue Iguana and glitter! >.<

  2. you know i love blue and glitter! that is why you do this and make me want to buy all the blue polish in world like a crazy lady! :P

    1. Mwuah hah hah hahhhhaaahhhh...I refuse to be alone in mah polish obsession and crazy-lady-ness!!!

  3. LOOOOVE! It's actually a simple mani but it looks so interesting with the ombre and the glitter patterns *__*
    I for one like this kind of swatches a little bit more than the regular one because it is nice to see how they are different from each other with the same design, what you can do with a color, how you could combine it etc. It gives me inspiration as well. ^^

    1. Thank you! I'm glad you like this type, thanks for letting me know. I agree, I think sometimes seeing the colors in context is really valuable. :)


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