MAC Inert Nail Lacquer ($23.00 for 0.30 fl. oz.) is described as a “creamy mid-tone greyed nude” with a cream finish. It’s a neutral light-medium gray with a cream finish. It’s mostly opaque after two coats, but the consistency of the formula is on the thicker side. It’s not quite goopy or gloppy, but it’s just a few steps before it. China Glaze Pelican Grey is similar but a little grayer and has shimmer. Zoya’s Dove is also grayer but has a cream finish.
MAC Hyper Nail Lacquer ($23.00 for 0.30 fl. oz.) is described as a “deep blue with violet pearl” with a frost finish. It’s a really inky blue with fine blue shimmer and a violet edge. It flashes blue and violet, depending on the light. It’s a really cool shade, and it was the one that wowed me the most out of the three from this launch. China Glaze Blue Year’s Eve is a much lighter variation, but it’s more vibrant. It also reminded me of Orly Lunar Eclipse except a bluer variation with finer shimmer. It was opaque in two coats, and the formula had a good, fluid consistency that flowed evenly across the nail without bubbling or streaking.
MAC Ascension Nail Lacquer ($23.00 for 0.30 fl. oz.) is described as “grey with blue-violet reflective pearl.” It’s a murky grayish-green with a grayish-purple iridescence that comes together in a duochrome finish. The duochrome is definitely there, but I think some of the sheerness prevents it from really shining. When you look at the nails head-on, it is mostly a murky purple-gray, and then when you tilt and angle your nails, the murky green-gold comes through. It’s very, very similar to Wet ‘n’ Wild Grey’s Anatomy, which is a known dupe for the pricier Deborah Lippmann Wicked Game. MAC’s version is more pigmented than Grey’s Anatomy, where three coats was almost opaque, while there was still a lot of visible nail line at three coats with Grey’s Anatomy.
Dior Merveille (651) Vernis Nail Lacquer ($22.00 for 0.33 fl. oz.) looks like a fiery orange-red in the bottle, but it turns out a little less fiery and more coral-orange on the nails. Nubar Pink Flame is closer to the shade I expected from the way Merveille looked in the bottle (it appears redder on the nails than Merveille). There is faint golden-copper shimmer, but it doesn’t show up much in natural light–only in really bright lighting does it arrive (fashionably late) to the party.
Dior Exquis (611) Vernis Nail Lacquer ($22.00 for 0.33 oz.) is a murky brown–it’s not quite taupe; it seems too brown to be taupe–with muted golden shimmer threaded through the color. It was opaque in two coats. Dior’s formula lasts a week on me with minor tip wear (with a base/top coat–I use Zoya Anchor and Armor). For a brown, it’s not overly warm, so I think cooler skin tones may find it a workable brown. The lightness of it should also help with wearability. I think the addition of the golden shimmer keeps it on-trend without being overkill. Exquis applied easily without being too thick or thin, so it flowed evenly across the nail bed and didn’t bubble or streak.