Face-off: Orly Galaxy Girl vs. Julep Ciara

I’d mentioned in an earlier post on one of my old blogs that I suspected Julep Ciara (from Julep’s October 2013 Rebel collection) could be similar to Orly Galaxy Girl (from Orly’s fall 2010 Cosmic FX collection). This past week, I finally got my mitts on a bottle of Galaxy Girl, so I finally had a chance to compare the two. They’re both deep purple jellies with a blue-to-magenta color-shifting shimmer.


Here’s a shot, in indoor fluorescent lighting, of one coat and two coats of each color. I think it helps to show the base color difference:


As you can see, Ciara is definitely bluer toned than Galaxy Girl overall, though the magenta-to-blue shimmer looks about the same. Galaxy Girl is also significantly sheerer than Ciara. I think Ciara could be ready to go in one coat if applied carefully, but Galaxy Girl definitely needs two coats.

From a different angle, again in indoor fluorescent light, to better show the sparkle:


In natural light on the second day (hence the tip wear and grossness from top coat shrinkage) for truer color reference:


From some angles, they look almost the same (i.e., the index and ring finger in the last photo), but the base color is just slightly different. Galaxy Girl generally looks noticeably browner, more like a raisin color (most accurately represented on the ring finger nail), but only if you look carefully. In conclusion, I wouldn’t call them exact dupes, but they’re pretty darn close.

From what I’ve seen poking around the web, it looks like there are a few other pretty similar polishes, including:

Orly Galaxy Girl is now out of production, but it’d usually be about $8-9 for 0.6 fl. oz., or about $13 per fl. oz.  (I bought it for about $6 online, plus shipping, which ends up coming out to about the same amount), and Julep Ciara is regularly $14 ($11.20 for Mavens) for 0.27 fl. oz., or about $52 per fl. oz. (or about $42 per fl. oz. for Mavens).

I don’t own the Duri or MAC versions, so I can’t compare their formulas, but the Orly and Duri versions seem to be the best bang for your buck, if the slight color differences don’t matter to you. Whether the MAC or Julep are most expensive depends on whether you’re a Julep Maven subscriber. Even if you pull off one coat instead of two per nail, Ciara is more expensive than Galaxy Girl by a bit, and depending on how color-sensitive you are, you may not even consider it the same color.


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