As the popularity of rose gold jewelry and accessories soar, it's no surprise that it's becoming a popular nail color as well! I put two different formulations, one a classic and the other a brand new metallic shade, side by side for comparison. So, let's find out, Reasonable Readers - what's the difference between Essie's Penny Talk and Orly's Rage?
Orly's Rage, which has been out at least a year, probably longer, is a beautiful rose gold color with shimmer. Cooler in tone, its thick formula allows for nice, even application. I personally like a second coat, but you can certainly get away with only one if applied thick enough. Its staying power is good, and the shimmer is almost like fine glitter, making it a little bit frustrating to remove, but not too bad.
Essie's Penny Talk is new this season (Summer 2012), part of a metallic line of 5 different polishes. I think of all of them, this one had the most hype given the current popularity of rose gold. Unlike Orly, this is metallic without the pieces of shimmer (see pictures below). Penny Talk is a warm gold with a slight copper tone, which gives the appearance of a champagne-like rose gold. Because it's metallic, it shows every single flaw in your nail, so a fantastic base coat or perfectly smooth nails are a must. Removal is easy, but it does chip relatively easily (as do many Essie shades).
Essie Penny Talk on left, Orly Rage on rightCompared side-by-side, the two colors don't show a very drastic difference. They're both rose gold, both metallic, both muted. The Orly Rage has a cooler tone, almost like a silver chrome running throughout, while Essie's Penny Talk is warmer, more copper.
Essie Penny Talk on left, Orly Rage on right
Looking up close, you can see that Orly Rage has more shimmer to it, making it a more desirable choice for covering up ridges or uneven, imperfect nails. Penny Talk is beautiful, but it is unforgiving. Penny Talk is smoother, more sheer, gliding on beautifully, while Rage is a bit thicker, and the shimmer helps hide an imperfect application.
In terms of which is better, I'm a bit more partial to Rage, but they're both very pretty. You certainly do not need both in your collection, but there's enough of a difference that I don't mind that I purchased Penny Talk. I think, in the end, Rage will still reign as one of my all-time favorites, but the smoothness of Penny Talk is certainly attractive! It all comes down to preferences - do you want a smooth, shiny look or something a little shimmery?