So here are a couple of gold foil comparisons. Up for swatching are Orly Luxe, Collection 2000 Aztec Gold, and Etude House Lucidarling Fantastic Nails 01 Sparkling Royal Gold. As always, it's a source of slight amusement that the product names of Asian brand cosmetics are always so much longer than Western brands - it can't just be nail polish, it has to be Lucidarling (whatever that means) Fantastic Nails :P
L-R: Orly Luxe, Collection 2000 Aztec Gold, Etude House Lucidarling Fantastic Nails 01 Sparkling Royal Gold
Well, I guess they're not dupes. And they may not all be gold foils. But let's see how they hold up to swatching, shall we?
Here are the 3 polishes swatched on my nails:
L-R (Index to pinky): Orly Luxe, Collection 2000 Aztec Gold, Etude House Lucidarling Fantastic Nails 01 Sparkling Royal Gold, Orly Luxe
As you can see, Collection 2000 Aztec Gold isn't really a foil. But it's a pretty gold polish, nonetheless. It does have a metallic finish, but not the fine-grained finish of a foil. It's a good option for those who don't like foils, but want something gold and metallic.
Orly Luxe is a cult favourite among foil finish fans, and I absolutely see why. It's a bright gold that isn't so warm-toned that it's unwearable for cooler-toned people. There's just something about it that catches your eye.
Etude House Sparkling Royal Gold (I'm not going to type out the entire name) is also a foil, but it's a bit more muted, and slightly warmer than Orly Luxe. I also like it a lot, and I think this would be a great substitue for anyone who felt Luxe was too OTT with the bling, and wanted a more subdued version of Luxe.
Here's what Luxe looks like in the context of my fingers, just so you can see the contrast of nail polish against skin:
L-R (Pinky to Index): Orly Luxe, Etude House Lucidarling Fantastic Nails 01 Sparkling Royal Gold, Collection 2000 Aztec Gold, Orly Luxe
In terms of application, all were good. I had no trouble with any of the three. But Orly Luxe and Aztec Gold were a lot more pigmented than the Etude House version. Both Luxe and Aztec Gold were opaque in one coat, but you'll need 2-3 coats with Sparkling Royal Gold before you don't see any VNL (visible nail line).
I'm glad they're all different - it totally justifies having them all :P But for anyone who wants just one, my personal favourite would be Orly Luxe. However if you can't get your hands on it (since Orly is one of those hard-to-find-outside-the-US brands), then it's great to know that Collection 2000 in the UK has a viable replacement, and that Etude House also has something similar for us Asians.