Apparently I have a thing for frosty metallic teal because I looked at my stash and found four polishes that I thought were similar enough in the bottle to compare. I may even have a few others in a similar color, but these four were the most similar.
From right to left: Sally Hansen Insta-Dri Jet Set Jade, Sally Hansen Lustre Shine Scarab, Illamasqua Viridian, and Wet n Wild Wild Shine Caribbean Frost. Yeah, I know the lighting’s a bit uneven, so it’s hard to compare the bottle colors, but they look reasonably similar in person.
Swatched in the same order from left (index) to right (pinky – oops, those are water droplets on my pinky nail), under indirect sunlight:
And, in direct sunlight, to better show the shimmer:
As you can see, they’re all jewel-toned blue greens with a metallic frosty shimmer, but none of them are exact dupes of each other. Jet Set Jade and Viridian are surprisingly close, though. I definitely didn’t expect that from the bottles.
Jet Set Jade has a much stronger scattered shimmer effect and a subtle dichroic effect where it sometimes flashes deep blue. Jet Set Jade looks a little more yellow-toned than Viridian in my second photo, and it looks slightly bluer in the first because of the color shift, but the differences are mild enough that it’s hard to tell unless you’re looking for it. I’ll be honest: the brush sucked – the fatness of it doesn’t bother me, but it was unevenly cut and had all these stray hairs everywhere that made it really hard to apply. Ugh. Still, I bought it on clearance for $1.29 (the original price was $4.99), so I can’t complain. I did one coat in these photos, but two coats adds depth to the shimmer.
Viridian is more of a straight-up metallic, a stunning malachite/emerald/peacock green that’s just slightly less saturated (grayer) than Jet Set Jade, and it’s an amazing one coater with no visible brushstrokes. The photos show just one coat. It was the first Illamasqua color that caught my eye, and it came with Glitterati in a holiday set that was on sale at Sephora for $19. I think Illamasqua varnishes are typically $17 each, so it’s a huge price difference from the Jet Set Jade. Viridian was originally released in Illamasqua’s Art of Darkness fall/winter 2010 collection.
Scarab doesn’t have as much of the dichroic blue shift you see in the bottle, but it looks overall bluer than the other polishes. I also used one coat of this in the photos, though it’s a little sheer from certain angles. Application on this one was a little streaky, but not too bad. It’s kind of a surprisingly pricey polish, supposedly because it uses “real silver particles”, per their marketing blurb – the regular retail price is $7.99 at CVS for a slightly smaller than standard bottle (0.33 fl. oz.), though you can easily get coupons that will knock off a few bucks.
Meanwhile, Caribbean Frost is the most yellow-leaning/greenest of the bunch and always reminds me of Christmas, for some reason. This is the only polish of the four that I felt definitely needed two coats (as shown in the photos). No problems applying this one, though to warn you, the brushes in this polish aren’t always the same, apparently. I know this because I had to return my first bottle because the brush was like my Jet Set Jade one: a fat one with stray hairs everywhere, but worse to the point that it was unusable. I exchanged it for my current bottle and, lo and behold, it had a normal skinny brush that works perfectly. Odd. Anyway, this polish is $1.99 at CVS, and I think I got it in a buy one get one free deal for about $1.
So there you have it. Four jewel-toned teals and no exact duplicates (to a lacquer connoisseur, anyway), but Jet Set Jade and Viridian are kind of close.