From the time I saw the first promo pictures of Zoya's Fall 2011 Smoke and Mirrors collection, I was very interested to see how Jem would compare to Valerie. They looked very similar, and since I own Valerie, I was afraid to order Jem and find that they were too close. I ended up getting it for a buddy of mine for a swap though, and so I had the opportunity to do swatchsicle comparisons of the two before sending it off to her. Looking at them side by side made me go like this: o.O
|Lightbox - diffused light|
|Lightbox - direct light|
You can click on these to make them bigger (just like all the pics on my blog, in case you didn't know!). There is a very slight difference in the finish. Valerie is that delicious glass fleck finish that Zoya does so well, which Jem is more like a shimmer with fine, fairly sparse glitter. But seriously, guys, the base color is all but identical. Only a laquerhead would notice the differences in the finish, and I truly believe that if I had one hand painted with Valerie and one hand painted with Jem, not even a laquerhead would notice that they were different colors.
I also compared them out in the sun, and added OPI Visions of Sugarplum to the mix. I had actually gotten Visions of Sugarplum, but I swapped it away once I compared it to Valerie. VoS is cooler, yes, but for me it was close enough to Valerie that I didn't need both, and I like Valerie's finish more.
Are Jem and Valerie exact dupes? Because of the difference in finish, no, they are not. But everyone has a different tolerance for dupes in their stash. Some folks will want both, and that's perfectly fine! But for me, yeah, they are definitely too close for me to own both of them.
Hope this comparison helps someone! Thanks for stopping by! =)