Benefit Cosmetics LLC

Zoya Karina vs China Glaze Ruby Pumps

Zoya Karina vs China Glaze Ruby Pumps

Today I’ve got another reader request thrown down betweeen Zoya Karina and the much beloved China Glaze Ruby Pumps.

There are some pretty significant differences between these two, not just in the bottles.

Zoya Karina vs China Glaze Ruby Pumps 2
Karina, Ruby Pumps (no flash)

Zoya Karina vs China Glaze Ruby Pumps 3
Karina, Ruby Pumps (flash)

Zoya Karina vs China Glaze Ruby Pumps Swatch
Zoya Karina on middle & pinky, China Glaze Ruby Pumps on ring & pointer

China Glaze Ruby Pumps is a bright red jelly loaded with red glitter. It’s a very “Christmas” red to me, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing. It’s one of my favorite reds out there for sure.

Zoya Karina is a deeper red with red and gold shimmer and a metallic finish. It’s also very Christmas-y.

Karina is obviously a darker red than Ruby Pumps, but also the finish is very different. Karina is very much a metallic and not so much of a “glitter’ polish, more shimmer. Also it’s hard to see but it does contain some gold in there. Ruby Pumps is a jelly with fabulous and obvious glitter in it. It’s also really shiny even without a top coat.

The formula for both is very nice. Both apply very smoothly and evenly, however Ruby Pumps takes three coats to fully cover your nail line and Karina is just two.

Zoya Karina vs China Glaze Ruby Pumps Swatch 2
Zoya Karina on middle & pinky, China Glaze Ruby Pumps on ring & pointer

Zoya Karina vs China Glaze Ruby Pumps Swatch 3
Zoya Karina on middle and China Glaze Ruby Pumps on ring

You can definitely see these are not the same red color or finish here. However to a very un-discerning eye (like oh say a husband’s) they won’t be able to tell, haha!


Most certainly not dupes and not really even very similar looking. Yes both are glittery reds but that’s pretty much where the similarities end.


For me it’s gotta be Ruby Pumps. Love the jelly finish, love the red color and glittery sparkle with it.

Which do you prefer?


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  • August 8, 2011

    I agree with you – love Ruby Pumps! Thanks for doing these comparison swatches. I find them very useful.

  • August 8, 2011

    I definitely prefer Ruby Pumps… but I always prefer glitter over shimmer!

  • August 8, 2011

    I prefer Ruby Pumps. It is one of my favorite reds (I only have 2 favorites). I like the warmth of Ruby Pumps.

  • August 8, 2011

    um, both *duh! I like them both but if i HAD to choose it would be ruby pumps.

  • August 8, 2011

    I own Ruby Pumps and I love it, but I also own Orly Star Spangled and it’s very similar to RP. I have yet to do a swatch comparison, though.

  • August 8, 2011

    Recently added the classic Ruby Pumps to my collection and wearing it as a pedi right now. It’s the winner for me, too.

  • August 8, 2011

    Ruby Pumps any day! I never tire of looking at it.

  • August 8, 2011

    Imho, Karina wins! :-D

  • August 8, 2011

    I like both but Ruby Pumps just a tad more! :)

  • August 8, 2011

    Wow, from the swatches I would have to say Karina, but looking at everyone’s comments makes me think I’m missing something special about Ruby Pumps…

    • August 8, 2011

      In person ruby pumps is amazing. It’s a really gorgeous ruby (so quite pink) with ruby glitter packed in. Everyone who has seen it on me thinks it’s amazing. You have to try it!

  • August 8, 2011

    I have Ruby Slippers so I don’t think I’d need to get Karina. I agree, they are somewhat close, but I don’t need both. Your camera does a great job of being able to capture the differences too.

  • August 8, 2011

    Yep, not dupes. They even look very different in the bottles.

  • August 8, 2011

    I’m surprised how similar these are at all. You come up (or bring the best suggestions to life) with the best pairs!

  • August 8, 2011

    I actually think I’m liking Karina better!

  • August 8, 2011

    I have been eying Karina for a long time…
    (Spell checker says eyeing is misspelled!) ;)

  • August 8, 2011

    …an un-discerning husband’s eye… good one!! My husband is color blind, he doesn’t even see the difference between white and light pink!
    I prefer Karina only because I like metallics best.

  • August 8, 2011

    they’re quite equal to me actually, it’s not my favourite shade though. will be lovely during christmas!

  • August 8, 2011
    Lauren W

    Yep, I definitely love Ruby Pumps, I was just wearing it last week! Now I’m wearing Zoya Faye, which I’m pretty sure doesn’t have a dupe out there! :)

  • August 8, 2011

    I love Ruby Pumps, but your lovely swatches make me want to try the Zoya!!

  • August 8, 2011

    Love both of these. You can easily see the difference. Both are so pretty and glittery.

  • August 8, 2011

    For me it’s Zoya Karina, first of all because it’s like my name! *squeals* And second because I looove red polish with shimmer, and if it has the words ‘gold shimmer’ anywhere on it, then I’m all for it! :D Zoya Karina is surely on one of the top places of my wishlist (has been since I dicovered zoya had a polish with my name, like 5 months ago *lol*)

  • August 8, 2011

    I love both of ‘em and have both of ‘em – so really apprecite the side by side on them. It never dawned on me with all my reds how close these 2 were. I have favs in each of them depending on the time of year. The brighter Zoya I like in the summer for pedis and I tend to like the CG in the winter when I don’t want quite that bright of red. I am glad I have them both since I adore reds – always have along with fuchsias, they make up the bulk of my collection. My eye always goes to those 2 ranges of hues. It’s a deep love affair – what can I say???

  • August 8, 2011

    I agree Ruby pumps is the winner. I think it’s great that you’re doing the comparisons. Can’t to see more.

  • August 9, 2011

    Ruby Pumps for the win here too. Actually I’m a huge Zoya fan and that has to be one of the few polishes I’ve seen of theirs that truly doesn’t get me on some level.. hmmm

  • August 9, 2011
    Jackie S.

    Yep! Ruby Pumps is the winner!

  • August 10, 2011

    I’d prefer to see Karina vs Sarah and Lisa, they seem very close

  • August 10, 2011

    Must have missed something special about Ruby Pumps because Karina TOTALLY took my vote but I dig that it’s got two kinds of sparkle instead of just one glitter. I like when things have depth!

  • August 11, 2011

    Karina for me. Although it is usually a question of which one I can get. Zoya is more accessible here (although my favourite nail polish store decided not to carry Zoya any more — boo, hiss!), and I’ve yet to find a single place here to buy China Glaze. Still, Ruby Pumps does look amazing in your photo, even if it wasn’t highly metallic like Karina.

  • August 12, 2011

    I definitely prefer Ruby Pumps. It’s definitely a staple color for me, and one I always repurchase. I’ve even caught my mom using it! (That means a lot, because she’s pretty picky- typically nothing with glitter packed in it, and usually just wears a classic french manicure.)