Essie Cocktail Bling Collection ($8.00 for 0.46 fl. oz.) is comprised of six shades: Brooch the Subject (creamy cashmere cameo), Cocktail Bling (precious pale gray jewel), Bangle Jangle (lavender amethyst), School of Hard Rocks (midnight malachite), Bobbing for Baubles (deepest darkest sapphire), and Size Matters (blazing hot ruby red).
MAC Daphne Guinness Nail Lacquers ($15.00 for 0.34 fl. oz.) include three limited edition shades (all to be launched on December 26th in-stores): Blueblood (deep eggplant), Endless Night (pale gray pink with iridescent pearl), and Hyperion (light gray blue-green).
Deborah Lippmann Wicked Game Nail Lacquer ($16.00 for 0.50 fl. oz.) is described as a “swirling lavender gray” with an iridescent finish. It’s a murky lavender-green, and yes, I said it, lavender-green. It’s more of a duochrome than a single shade, so you’ll find it flashes a murky purple in certain lights but in other lighting or angles, you’ll see a silvered green. It’s similar to MAC Ascension and Wet ‘n’ Wild Gray’s Anatomy (which has severe opacity issues). None of these shades are totally opaque after two coats, but Wicked Game is closer to being opaque after two coats (which is what is shown in swatches), as both Ascension and Gray’s Anatomy were sheer enough at two coats that I felt compelled to go for three for swatches.
Illamasqua Raindrops Nail Lacquer (£13.50 for 0.50 fl. oz.) is described as a “sheer light grey” with a jelly finish. I loved this shade from the moment I applied it; this was actually my nail color of choice when I went to NYC for Fashion Week this past September (it had been raining quite a bit, so it seemed totally appropriate). It’s a semi-sheer, light stormy gray with flakes of light gray shimmer. I used two coats for swatches, and as expected, you can see the nail line, but I have worn it with three and four coats, and it is more opaque at that level. I couldn’t think of anything like this shade.
Ozotic #529 Nail Lacquer ($17.50 for 0.50 fl. oz.) is described as “glittering particles that shift from blue to purple to orange.” this is definitely more of a layering polish than one most would wear alone, though it still comes together nicely enough by itself. There’s a healthy amount of glitter coverage without leaving gaping holes or lots of bald spots, and it doesn’t take a lot of work to do that either, as the glitter distributes well and doesn’t require pulling and manipulation of the brush to get the glitter to sit just right. It’s predominantly purple with more of a coppery orange hue around the edges, and the glitter is suspended in a clear base. You could argue blue, too, perhaps more blue-violet, but to me, mostly purple and copper.
The polish applied opaque in two coats, and it had nice consistency that wasn’t too thick or too thin, so it flowed evenly across the nail without pooling around the sides. There was no bubbling or streaking during application either. So far, I’ve had good luck with Nails Inc.’s formula; it wears a week with minor tip wear and no chipping. This is standard for me (I couldn’t tell you a formula that does chip on me other than more finicky finishes like mattes without a top coat!), though.