Cult Nails Manipulative Nail Lacquer ($10.00 for 0.50 fl. oz.) is described as an “opaque pale blue with a hint of green” with a cream finish and subtle shimmer. It’s a dusty aqua blue with bluish-white shimmer. It really does hide in certain light, but with enough light, the shimmer is noticeable. OCC Pool Boy is similar but brighter, more vibrant. Nubar Blue Hydrangea is bluer. It’s actually really cool to see Cult Nails put out shades that I haven’t seen on the market–it just seems more often than not they’re creating a shade that meets an unmet need (though I certainly haven’t seen every shade by every brand ever made, so there may be closer dupes out there).
Cult Nails Scandalous Nail Lacquer ($10.00 for 0.50 fl. oz.) is described as a “pastel coral” with a jelly finish, which is buildable in color. It’s an orange-coral with a just-muted quality to the overall color. The bottle looks a bit brighter than how it appears on the nail. There’s an inkling of pink in the color, but it’s hard to see. I think against skin tones with pink undertones, it will be more apparent, but paired with my warm undertones, it pulls more orange. I don’t have any similar shades with a jelly finish, which is such a distinctive finish that similar hues don’t look the same because of that difference alone. Essie Tart Deco is a little paler, creamier. Barielle Blossom is much lighter.
NARS Trouville Nail Lacquer ($18.00 for 0.50 fl. oz.) is described as a “seashell pink.” It’s a soft pink with a hint of coral and yellow undertones. It’s nearly opaque in two coats–under diffused flash, there’s faint visible nail line, but in studio lighting, I couldn’t tell it wasn’t 100% opaque. OCC Femme is a yellow-toned pink, but it’s a bit pinker and has shimmer. Chanel Mistral is also a yellow-toned pink but darker, pinker, and has shimmer. Chanel Morning is the closest in tone, but it’s darker.
Cult Nails Seduction Nail Lacquer ($10.00 for 0.50 fl. oz.) is described as a “sheer purple/red jelly top coat polish loaded with red and blue multichromatic flakes.” The base color is a red-violet jelly that’s semi-opaque after two coats. If you did three, you should still have some translucency, which is expected given the shade’s description. It has that squishy, plush look of a jelly finish, so I like it a lot with just two coats. The flakes deposit evenly across the nail for the most part, and they apply smoothly; there are no rough edges or finishes here. I applied two coats of it alone, and then I applied two coats of it over black. The flakes shift from coppery-orange to pink-red to red to violet purple. Over black, the flakes take on a deeper, more intense appearance–more red and purple than gold, pink-red, and violet.