The best way to make any cichlid color up is by keeping them healthy through diet, and of course water quality.
NLS covers almost all the fishes needs alone, and contains a good amount spiralina.
I use the cichlid formula along with a very good flake.
I can't help with the question regarding the other NLS product because i have never used
None of the NLS formulations contain any artificial color enhancing additives. Some of the nutritional ingredients do help a bit with color (like the beta carotene) that does aid the color production a bit, but the main reason fish fed NLS (or any on the top quality complete diets) have such nice coloration is they are very healthy fish.
If you go to the NLS webpage, you can see a list of the ingredients for each formula (and what the purpose of each variation is).
I feed all my fish NLS. I have mbuna (both omnivore and herbivors), haps and peacocks (mostly carnivorous), as well as my tangs (julies, comps and multies). Every once in a while I toss in some algae waifers for the algae eaters if the tank is really clean or just to watch the mbuna play soccer with it. Everybody is healthy, colorful and breeding like rabbits on viagra.
I have heard that as well. Though in my own experience I have not noticed it. Maybe if I fed it as the main staple it might be a bigger issue. I only use it 2-3 times a week as an immune booster and with the wekkly 50% water changes and the surface movement (I think the oily film on the surface is where the garlic oils concentrate) I have never noticed it. It can make your fingers smell like garlic though.