RBL Grunge, Nails Inc Diet Coke London, Instyle Mink, Jermyn Street: Any Dupes?

Monday, May 17, 2010

While I was wasting my youth on that infernal time-sucker called Twitter, I was chatting with Liloo (who is @tsunimee on Twitter - PS you should follow her because she's really awesome!), and she was asking me if the Nails Inc Diet Coke London shade was similar to the Nails Inc Instyle Mink shade, and she wanted to know if I could do swatches to compare the two.

For those of you who are non-UKers, Nails Inc is a luxury brand of nail polish in the UK, and every now and then they have promotions that allow you to get a bottle of their polish for cheaper than the really pain-inducing retail price of 10.50GBP. As luck would have it, this month in the UK, there are not one but TWO Nails Inc promotions - one that allows you to get a free bottle of Nails Inc polish with a purchase of Instyle Magazine, and another one that allows you to get a free bottle of Nails Inc polish with a purchase of two bottles of Diet Coke. And as is usual with Nails Inc, the colours released for both promotions were right on trend.

In fact, so right on trend that people thought two of the colours from both promotions were dupes. The colours in question are London (from the Nails Inc Diet Coke promotion) and Mink (from the Nails Inc Instyle promotion). Both of them are the classic, yet still-edgy mushroomy, taupey-brown greige shade I absolutely love. They looked similar, so people started speculating that they were dupes.

Fortunately, because I am a mushroomy-taupey-brown-greige hoor, I bought both Nails Inc Diet Coke London, as well as Nails Inc Instyle Mink. So if you have been wondering if they are dupes, wonder no more! The mystery will be solved!

And because I love you guys so, I thought I could do better than that - and I found two similar colours in my stash, RBL Grunge, and Nails Inc Jermyn Street, to compare both of them to as well! Aww, don't you love me now?

So without further ado, let's begin our comparison post with the requisite bottle picture:

RBL Grunge Nails Inc London Instyle Mink Jermyn Street

L - R: RBL Grunge, Nails Inc Diet Coke London, Nails Inc Instyle Mink, Nails Inc Jermyn Street

Ooh, photos like this just make me drool all day long. I am SO loving this greige/mushroomy trend. Also, I got really excited when I was doing bottle comparisons, because when I saw how close RBL Grunge was to Nails Inc Diet Coke London, I was like, "OMG YOU HAVE GOTTA BE KIDDING!!" Seriously. Something that us UK girls can get free (with two bottles of Diet Coke) is a dupe for something the US girls pay USD$25 for?! Is Nails Inc London really a dupe for RBL Grunge?

There was only one way to find out: nail swatches! Unfortunately, because my nails were already painted with an NOTD I didn't want to remove yet, I was forced to make do with swatching on fake nails. (Note - I don't wear fake nails, have never worn 'em, will probably never wear 'em. I just love my real ones too much, LOL.)

So here are the swatches:

RBL Grunge Nails Inc London Mink Jermyn Street

L - R: RBL Grunge, Nails Inc Diet Coke London, Nails Inc Instyle Mink, Nails Inc Jermyn Street

Aww shucks. As you can see, nothing is really a dupe for anything else, although RBL Grunge and Nails Inc Diet Coke London are really close. The main difference between London and Grunge is that London is more purple. They aren't dupes, but they are similar. Nails Inc Instyle Mink is a lot more brown than any of the colours featured here, and Nails Inc Jermyn Street is darker than any of the colours here. I'm so glad I don't have any dupes, it allows me to keep them all. And I LOVE these colours, they are my favouritest colours to wear on my nails. And for some reason Nails Inc looks really really dark, but it isn't that dark - I think it's because all the other colours are relatively light in comparison, so my camera's contrast settings made it look darker than it really is. I don't know why though. I had to take this picture multiple times to get a decent effort. Anyway, I did a previous NOTD with it before, and you can view it HERE.

So here's the question I like to answer at the end of every comparison post - which one should you choose, if you aren't a mushroomy/taupe/brown/greige hoor like me and think four nail polishes from the same colour family is too excessive?

Well the answer would depend, as always, on your skintone, and colour preferences. Skintone-wise, I personally feel that these greige/mushroom colours are pretty neutral, and have the ability to flatter a wide range of skintones, but for the sake of comparison, relatively speaking, shades that have more brown in them tend to flatter warm tones better, while shades with more purple or grey tend to flatter cooler-toned ladies. And of course, your preference for colour - whether you want your greige mushroomy shade to have more purple, grey, or brown, is also going to play a factor.

Out of all of the 4, RBL Grunge is the most beige, so for girls who don't really like the mushroom trend, but want to dip their toes into it, this is a good way to go. Nails Inc Instyle Mink is by far the most brown, so that might be good for warmer-toned girls, or girls who want a colour leaning more brown. For cooler-toned girls who are averse to any hint of brown, it's a good toss-up between RBL Grunge and Nails Inc London. For someone who wants a colour that's equal parts brown, purple, and grey, Nails Inc Jermyn Street is probably your best bet.


  1. This is the best post ever! Thank you for doing this. The swatches are gorgeous.
    Woah, shock shock shock: so they were not dupes after all. Kicking myself: mink is so nice and warm and rich toned: why didn't i buy it aaaaaa. I think i want to find it on eBay now. You are just the best at doing this comparison and nails inc should employ you ;)
    Thank you so much for doing that

  2. I have Mink and had better go and find London. Barry M has a taupe now - Mushroom. Jermyn St looks dark. I have the mini with glitter but it's horribly gloopy.

  3. @jaljen: Nails Inc Jermyn Street isn't actually that dark. I have a previous NOTD with it: http://musicalhouses.blogspot.com/2009/12/yay-new-blog-and-notd-nails-inc-jermyn.html

    I don't know why it kept on turning out so dark in the photo though, :X I think its beacause the other colours were lighter by comparison, so my camera's contrast setting made it seem darker than it really was.

    But anyway, I'm aware of the Barry M Mushroom taupe - it just doesn't seem to be in any of the Superdrugs I've looked in!

  4. wow look at those pretty shades! i heard that RBL is really great, is it?

  5. @LS: I've heard tons of great things about the RBL too, and honestly, I personally like it, and I can see why others like it, although of course whether it's wise to drop USD$25 on one bottle of polish is very debatable, LOL. I think it's so popular among bloggers and non-bloggers is because it's classic, and work appropriate, while still being edgy, and suits a fair number of skintones. I personally like it for precisely this reason. It's not as mushroomy as the other shades, but for the people think the brown and grey and purples in greige/mushroom shades are ugly, its a lot more wearable. And application wise, I had no issues with this, it applied really well. So the short answer is I like it, but whether it's worth the money or not is debatable. LOL. If you're thinking about it, OPI's Tickle My Francey is a similar colour (I've heard it's the closest thing to a dupe) for cheaper. I hope this helps!

  6. Just came across your blog!

    It is lovely!


  7. Hello sweetie! so happy i finally have a chance to comment on one of your posts!!! i often read them on my cell and the comments system does not like my phone, it thinks i am an evil person trying to spam you!!!! i took some pics of RBL diddy mow today, it is SUPER DUPER hard to photograph, and comes out darker in the picks, like you said about the nails inc above...
    see ya on twitter!

  8. thanks so much for the answer!

  9. I love all of those colors! Really pretty! :)

    Visit my blog too if you want!

  10. A lovely lady is sending me the Diet Coke collection--can't wait to see London in real life. Probably just as well Nails Inc. isn't in stores here, as I'd probably buy loads!


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