Monday, June 6, 2011

Orly Ancient Jade Vs. OPI Mermaid's Tears Comparison

Something you should know about me. I'm cheap frugal. With that, I hate buying polishes that are dupes or WAY close. I see no need. I definitely have a polish obsession, but in this aspect, cost outweighs owning polish. And I don't like to buy a polish that I essentially already have. Definitely nothing against those who do!! Thank goodness for those of you that buy dupes. If you didn't, I'd never get to see comparisons of similar polishes. Thanks to those of you who do buy dupes, I was able to pick Essence Choose Me! up instead of OPI Catch Me In Your Net or Zoya Charla. I was able to pick up Revlon Electric instead of Chanel Mimosa. You get the idea.

So, unbeknowst to me, I bought some dupes. Obviously as the title suggests, those dupes are Orly Ancient Jade and OPI Mermaid's Tears. I picked up Ancient Jade (from the Precious collection) first back in February. I even used it in one of my posts. I later bought Mermaid's Tears in early May. I had seen swatches of MT online, and obviously I had worn AJ. I had not a FREAKIN' clue how similar they were. I hadn't even given it a second thought, honestly. In hindsight, I definitely thought AJ was much more green, and even when I heard rumor that they were dupes for each other, I just couldn't believe it. So I just had to swatch them together, and here's what I got.

OPI Mermaid's Tears vs Orly Ancient Jade Comparison Swatch

OPI Mermaid's Tears vs Orly Ancient Jade Comparison Swatch

OPI Mermaid's Tears vs Orly Ancient Jade Comparison Swatch

OPI Mermaid's Tears vs Orly Ancient Jade Comparison Swatch

In Direct Sunlight
OPI Mermaid's Tears vs Orly Ancient Jade Comparison Swatch

2 coats Ancient Jade
2 coats Mermaid's Tears

Here's a photo of 1 coat of each for comparison:

So they're obviously really, really close. Complete dupes? I'd say no. Close enough? Absolutely. If you're like me like I said above, I would say you don't need both. They are so so similar. If I had to chose, I'd pick Ancient Jade.

Aside from the fact that I don't enjoy the ProWide OPI brushes, Orly won me over with the formula. Completely opaque in one coat, not streaky, easy to use, just awesome. I used 2 coats of each in the photos for a more true comparison. OPIs was fine, too, but it did require 2 coats and if they were on the thinner side, you might've needed 3. I'd still say 2 coats is fine, though. Mermaid's Tears had the same applications as the other two polishes (Stranger Tides and Skull & Glossbones) I have from the Pirates of the Caribbean collection. Thin and watery, but opaque in 2 coats.

Color wise, anything I mention is SUCH a slight difference, so keep that in mind. By slight I mean if they were to go one shade different, they'd be identical. So MT is the slightest bit murkier while AJ is the slightest bit brighter. I'd also say AJ is about 1 shade more turquoise than MT. I think AJ has a more clean look than MT, and I think it's a little more striking. By striking I mean alluring. It has a demure brightness that MT doesn't have because it's more murky.

These photos do not have a top coat. I painted them as if I was going to use a quick dry top coat. I didn't wait for the first coat to dry fully before adding the second. I felt my nails about 15 minutes after painting them, and they're both dry to finger marks.

And can you tell how my middle finger nail and kind of my index finger nail are starting to curve inwards at the sides? Clearly my nails are a little too long for me and I need to file 'em down a bit. Lol. Eh, I'll get around to it eventually.


  1. Thanks for such a detailed comparison! I was having a huge dilemma to choose which one to take^^ (this colour is really lovely ♥)

  2. @Charlotte
    Thank you as always :)

    I'm so glad I could help!!

  3. I prefer Mermaids Tears, but it's because I've been on a "grayed out" or as you describe it "murky" kick lately...and yet I still want Ancient Jade too! I have herniated discs in my neck, between the pain and the meds my hands can get pretty shaky. The more coats I have to do, the more likely I am to ruin my mani, so I really appreciate one coaters.

    Anyway, I'm sure you've heard by now that Sinful Colors has a collection out now that has some dupes for the OPI Pirates collection, Adventure Island. I did get the Mermaids Tears dupe from that one and will be on the lookout for Ancient Jade when I'm out and about.

    I hope you don't mind comments on old posts. I just found your blog and have been reading back through the posts and really enjoy your writing. I found you through a search for Ocean State Job Lot, I was looking to see if there was any new nail polish/makeup that's been showing up to see if I should make the trip over another New Englander! I'm in New Hampshire now, but was raised in CT (Wallingford).

  4. I just ordered Ancient Jade on Ebay. I can't seem to get my hands on Mermaid Tears. =/