The first comparison will feature Sally Hansen Insta-Dri "Mint Sprint" as a base lacquer. While described as a mint, I would rather call Mint Sprint a "faded jade green". To me it doesn't really fit as a mint green- it's too dark and leans more towards teal. The topcoats featured are Orly Winter Wonderland, China Glaze Snow Globe, China Glaze Luxe and Lush, and OPI Crown Me Already (not a flakey glitter at all, just an awesome one that I wanted to include anyways!).
Here is a bottle comparison of China Glaze Snow Globe (left), and China Glaze Luxe and Lush (right):
A close-up bottle shot of Snow Globe, made up of reflective, multi-coloured, round sequin-like glitter:
And a close-up bottle shot of Luxe and Lush, which is made up of jagged, irregular flakes:
Here they are on the nail (one coat over Mint Sprint):
Left to right: Orly Winter Wonderland, CG Snow Globe, CG Luxe and Lush, OPI Crown Me Already
In the last picture it's possible to see how the particles in the two China Glaze lacquers are different shapes, but somewhat similar in colour/reflective qualities. Snow Globe also applies more uniformly, whereas Luxe and Lush is more tricky to get even.
For the next set of comparisons, I wanted to use the holographic topcoats I own. I used American Apparel African Violet, a bright and saturated purple creme, for a base. It's so beautiful I want to post a few pictures of it alone before getting to the sparklies:
Isn't African Violet gorgeous? So incredibly shiny and pigmented. I love it- it's the perfect purple creme!
The holographic-glitter topcoats I chose to layer over it are (left to right in the swatches below): China Glaze Nova, OPI Servin' Up Sparkle, Sally Hansen Xtreme Wear Strobe Light, and China Glaze Fairy Dust. I totally neglected to take a bottle pic for this one, so please forgive me for that!
CG Nova is most similar to OPI Servin' up Sparkle, but the latter has large silver/holographic hexagon glitter that Nova lacks. Sally Hansen Strobe Light is slightly pinkish (more evident in person), and has more uneven, jagged holographic particles, while CG Fairy Dust is simply made up of tiny holographic specks. I won't even call it glitter, as the effect is far more subtle.
My favourite topcoats from the first set are Luxe and Lush and Crown Me Already (which could be worn by itself, as it is quite dense and builds well). From the last set, I love OPI Servin' Up Sparkle (I'm a sucker for hex glitter), and Fairy Dust, which is so understated and pretty.
Which of these do you like best? Do you own some of these? And more importantly, isn't American Apparel African Violet one of the best purples ever?