Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Polish Comparison: MAC "Abalone Shell," Sally Hansen "Cafe Au Lait"

Today's nail post is a nail comparison post, which I haven't done in a while. I will be comparing MAC's "Abalone Shell," one of my favorite nude polishes, and Sally Hansen "Cafe Au Lait," which I think is a very close dupe.

I have actually owned "Cafe Au Lait" for almost as long as I have owned MAC "Abalone Shell" (which is what- almost 3 years now?). I let my sister borrow it for a long time and when she gave it back to me I noticed that it really did resemble "Abalone Shell." But since I really don't like the Sally Hansen Salon Manicure line, I threw it into the back of my polish collection and forgot about it.

Since I made the 2013 New Years Resolution to buy less polish, I have been digging through my collection and stumbled across "Cafe Au Lait." I put it next to "Abalone Shell" and was amazed how close the two colors are. Almost dupable from viewing through the bottle.


Finish: This polish has a slight shimmer finish to it. It's not noticeable in the photos, but in my opinions, shimmers (even the slightest ones) never go completely unnoticed. You can definitely see it in direct sunlight, and in other lights, the small shimmers create this hazy, slightly frosty effect.

Formula: Not great. Streaky. 4 coats in the photos below.

(Sally Hansen "Cafe Au Lait," 4 coats)

(Sally Hansen "Cafe Au Lait," 4 coats)

MAC "Abalone Shell"

Formula: Decent. Thicker now since it's 3 years old. 3 coats in the photos below.

More photos and complete review here.

Sally Hansen vs. MAC

Now for the comparison photos. Note, in the photos above the polishes look much more different. That's mostly due to the lighting the day the photos were taken. The comparison photos below will shed more light (pun intended) on the situation.

(MAC on pointer & ring finger, Sally Hansen on middle & pink)

I tried to get shots in various lightings, and in every one, I can tell that MAC is ever-so-slighlty lighter, and Sally Hansen is slightly oranger.

(MAC on pointer & ring finger, Sally Hansen on middle & pink)

(MAC on pointer & ring finger, Sally Hansen on middle & pink)

And here are swatches not on my fingers.

My observations from the swatches:
  • the swatches on my hands are easier to distinguish than those on the sticks
  • Sally Hansen does have noticeable shimmer (more so when you're in the sun). It creates a semi-frosty affect
  • Sally Hansen is also ever-so-slightly darker and more orange

Though this may sound insane, for me, Sally Hansen "Cafe Au Lait" is not a replacement. It's close, but I am so so picky about my nudes. I like a pure cream finish. NO shimmer. So that is a deal breaker for me. Sally Hansen's slightly darker orange tone makes it a non-dupe for me as well.

But good news for all you sane, polish wearers out there! Sally Hansen's "Cafe Au Lait" is nearly indeicpherable if you're not obsessively staring at your fingers in order to write a polish comparison post. I went out with the two different polishes on my hands for a day, and I almost forgot I was wearing two different colors!

1 comment:

  1. I've been wanting to get "Cafe Au Lait" since I saw it on Heidi's hands... I liked it tons as it had a slightly pinky tint to it as well --but here it appears that "Abalone Shell" might have the pink tones I've been eyeing.

    Nice comparison post! Now to decide which to pick up....