Chanel May Le Vernis ($25.00 for 0.40 fl. oz.) is described as an “intense pink.” It’s a lovely clean, almost neutral pink. It leans just barely cool toned in the bottle and against my skin in certain lighting, but at a glance, it almost reads neutral against my yellow undertones. I suspect if you have cooler undertones, you’ll see it appear a bit bluer overall. MAC Ice Cream Cake is much more magenta and bluer. China Glaze Empowerment is lighter. Chanel Mistral is lighter and more yellow-toned.
Chanel April Le Vernis ($25.00 for 0.40 fl. oz.) is a berry red cream that’s opaque in two coats. It’s a new shade for spring (and according to Chanel’s press release, it’s not limited edition!). The formula on this felt really lovely; it was thin without being streaky or watery, but it applied easily to the nail and evened out nicely. I’ve had good luck with Chanel’s lacquers; they last about a week on me without chipping and just have minor tip wear. It’s a darker shade that’s still lighthearted; it’s like the last few days of winter and the first few days of spring.
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.