Sunday, November 25, 2012

Purple Comparisons

When I reviewed Parlez-Vous OPI last month I got several comments asking for possible dupes since it's now a retired color (although I had just gotten it, so it can still be found on salon shelves here and there.) I went through my bottles to find anything similar and — in the bottle — Pure Ice Taupe Drawer looked to be very close! I had also just gotten some nail mail from Anna that included butter LONDON Toff, which I had wanted to compare to Essie Angora Cardi. When I swatched them on a nail wheel I was surprised at how close they all were to one another, so rather than do two different posts comparing Parlez-Vous OPI to Taupe Drawer and Toff to Angora Cardi, I decided to do all four of them together here.
A lavender-to-maroon ombré!
See how close, yet how different they look in the bottles?
Parlez-Vous OPI — what can I say? I'm sorry that it's been retired and I can't find an exact dupe because I love this ashy lavender so much and I think everyone should be able to have it. (I do think that Ulta Lavendaring looks really close in the bottle but I'm not going to buy yet another similar shade!) OPI does seem to recycle their colors a lot, however, so there's hope that it may yet resurface under another name.

Taupe Drawer — I don't have a lot of Pure Ice polishes because all of the Walmarts near me seem to let hoards of preschoolers loose in their polish aisle to finger paint all over the stock and it's hard to find a bottle that isn't all crusted with dried up polish. I lucked out with this one because not only was it clean and unopened, it was also a jelly! I was amazed and impressed with this one, especially when it turned out to be so very close to the ever so much more expensive butter LONDON Toff. How do these polishes that sell for under $2 do it?

Toff — I just love the formulas on butter LONDON polishes. I don't know if they grind their pigments finer or have little elves formulating magical solutions or what, but their polishes always end up looking as if I'd spray painted my nails with car enamel, they come out so perfectly. (Am I the only one who will see a car drive by and think, "That would make a great nail polish color!"?) As I said in my review of Sprog, the quality definitely shows with their polishes so at least you know you're buying something worth the extra expense, unlike some other premium polishes I won't mention. To mitigate the cost you can look out for the Ulta coupons that don't restrict premium cosmetics or check out the occasional specials butter LONDON has on their web site.

Angora Cardi — I took photos of a full mani using this that I held off posting until I got the bottle of Toff, since I knew they were similar and I wanted to compare them. (This is why I love comparison posts and I always do a search when I'm trying to decide if I need to get a color or not, even though I usually end up getting them both anyway.) I may as well show it here — I especially like that it matches my Coach wristlet almost exactly!

Overall — they each have their own advantages and I have nothing bad to say about any of them. Parlez-Vous OPI has that unique grayed-out lavender shade, Taupe Drawer has the unbeatable under $2 price for an awesome jelly finish, Toff has that amazing butter LONDON finish, and Angora Cardi has that same Essie color and quality we've all come to know and love. Other than in bright light, the last three are close enough to pass as the same, so if you've been craving a color like this and you live near a Walmart that doesn't let their polishes get trashed, definitely check out Taupe Drawer because it will be easy to find and affordable; Angora Cardi wasn't available everywhere I saw Essie being sold but I finally found it at one of the Ultas in my area, so I'm not sure of how easy it will be to obtain; Toff is sold at Ulta and their own web site, but expect to pay for the quality; Parlez-Vous OPI can be one of those dusty hunting finds for those of you who like to go on a quest!

UPDATE: Pure Ice Cosmetics announced today that Taupe Drawer will be discontinued in 2013 (they don't say exactly when in 2013, though.) You may want to go look for it sooner rather than later.

Update to the Update: Pure Ice Cosmetics announced on Dec. 17th that, due to all the emails they received about the earlier announcement, they will not be discontinuing the Taupe Drawer color but it will be renamed in 2013 as 966 Absolutely Marvelous. Yay!


  1. taupe drawer and toff seem to look very, very similar in color - if i were looking for that particular color, i'd rather choose taupe drawer over toff, since taupe drawer is much more inexpensive. thanks for the swatches and comparisons :)

  2. God, so gorgeous. All of them. I especially love this ombre!

  3. I have worn this Essie for a # of yrs now - love it - it's like a good old friend from years and years ago that always looks right no matter the occasion. I also have Toff and Parlez-Vous OPI. I used to wear that OPI a ton when it first came I think it's a tad too chalky on me giving me kind of that lobster hand look but I still have a soft spot in my heart for , love comparison posts!

  4. I was one of those requesting for Parlez-Vous OPI dupes but amazingly managed to get it at a just opened beauty shop. And it is beautiful! BTW, Angora Cardi looks great, I might get it later.

  5. I found a salon that has a used bottle of Parlez-vous about 1/3 gone I'd say...and they would sell it for $5. Should I go for it? is that a good deal?

    1. Personally, I think $5 is kind of high for a bottle of Parlez-Vous OPI that's 1/3 gone, but it all depends on how badly you want it. I paid $3 for a bottle of DS Glamour that was 2/3 gone, but DS Glamour is a VHTF polish. I don't think that PVO is quite at that stage yet, but it's up to you. If you want it and can't find it anywhere else, then $5 certainly isn't going to break the bank, right?