Sunday, November 20th, 2011

MAC Ascension Nail Lacquer
MAC Ascension Nail Lacquer

MAC for Gareth Pugh: Ascension Nail Lacquer

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.

It’s only a smidgen less than regular MAC lacquers–0.34 oz. for $15.00 normally–although, I guess going from 10ml regularly to 9ml is a 10% decrease! The packaging is a heavy, square glass bottle with a glossy black cap. The bottle is rather large–larger than Deborah Lippmann–but the actual polish is just enclosed in a thicker glass surround.

I haven’t tested the Gareth Pugh polishes for wear, but I usually get a week of wear with minor tip wear with MAC’s nail lacquers. The formula wasn’t too thick or thin, and it flowed evenly across the nail. It does have a more metallic finish, so you will see some brush strokes.

The Glossover



It's a funky color overall, and even though there are other shades like it, I could see this being one of the more popular shades out of the three nail lacquers in the launch.











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MAC Ascension Nail Lacquer
MAC Ascension Nail Lacquer

MAC Ascension Nail Lacquer
MAC Ascension Nail Lacquer

MAC Ascension Nail Lacquer
MAC Ascension Nail Lacquer

MAC Ascension Nail Lacquer
MAC Ascension Nail Lacquer

MAC Ascension Nail Lacquer
MAC Ascension Nail Lacquer

MAC Ascension Nail Lacquer
MAC Ascension Nail Lacquer

Product & Review FAQ

Where can I purchase it? How much is it?

MAC Cosmetics, November 23rd, 2011, $23.

Is it limited edition?


Any dupes?

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.

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68 thoughts on “MAC for Gareth Pugh: Ascension Nail Lacquer Review, Photos, Swatches

  1. How disappointing, I was hoping it’d be much more different :(. There was also a similar $OPI shade for the Glee collection, and the Katy Perry for OPI collection had one too :/ boooooring.

  2. artemis

    interesting shade

  3. Ani_BEE

    I own Grey’s Anatomy because the shade reminds me of an old Cabbodel Platinum I loved. I’m still tempted to pick this up since the ticker formula is a nice feature (but the $28(?) CAN price tag makes me cringe)

  4. Charlotte

    How does this compare to OPI Not Like The Movies? Looks similar, but maybe a little bit lighter?

  5. Claire

    I’ve become a real sucker for nail polishes lately and this looks amazing in the bottle. Not so much on the nail, but it could make for an interesting layering shade! I think the polishes are the thing I’m most excited for in this collection, so I’ll more than likely pick them all up!

  6. Mary

    The purple and green duochrome remind me of OPI Significant Other Color and Nubar Paradise.

  7. Yumi

    it looks cool but omg that price tag! i’ll pass i think and maybe pick up a dupe. $20 is my limit +_+

  8. Laura

    It also looks a lot like Katy Perry for OPI Not Like the Movies, just minus the tiny silver flecks

  9. Kristie

    I like it, but for the price I will likely pick up the Wet n’ Wild dupe instead :)

  10. Tenaya

    thats the weirdest/coolest color haha

  11. Wow, I think the result on the nail is extremely disappointing compared to what you see in the bottle!

  12. :( was soo beautiful in the bottle!! still very pretty but no where near as amazing.

  13. It looks like liquid magic in the bottle, but it’s sort of disappointing on the nail, which is a shame. Your pictures are gorgeous though.

  14. woooooah 😀 kewl :)))
    i wish i could fiiiiiinally stop biting my nails :((( but i just cant… i have so many polishes… and there are so many that i want, but my nails are just to short and ugly for me to do anything with them. and i just cant get myself to stop :((((
    aww so beautiful, i would buy it, but then again, it would just lye around. :(

  15. Julia

    TWENTY-THREE DOLLARS? Ugh. I know, couture collection, Gareth Pugh, cool packaging, blah blah blah, but Dior is $22/.33 oz. Chanel is $25/.4 oz. This is more expensive than both. I have a ton of polish so the size isn’t a big deal to me but the high price is a huge, huge turn-off. Especially $23, it’s like a number pulled out of thin air. $20? Okay. But those extra three dollars? Noooooooo. If you really want to treat yourself you can get the Lippmann and save $7! As it is I already have Grey’s Anatomy, so I’ll grit my teeth at the ugly bottle and save my $23 for something else.

  16. Kathy

    It looks lovely on the nails, but a lot cooler in the bottle.

  17. Violet

    Last picture makes it look gorgeous, but I’m not sold on it based on the other ones.

  18. Cat

    It’s so much more sheer than I was expecting based on looking at the bottle! I think I would give it a B too.

  19. Leah

    I would have expected the polish to be more reflective like it is in the bottle. I already own Grey’s Anatomy so this is a pass.

  20. Woah, this is really a stunning color!

  21. Hillary

    This looks SO similar to OPI’s by Katy Perry Not Like the Movies. The only thing is OPI’s seems to be a little darker, but still it’s the same duochrome colors. Does it not??

  22. Alyssa

    omg this looks so pretty!!!!! can’t wait for the rest of the swatches!

  23. Carol Rutz

    WANT!!! But now you mentioned dupes, I will pick up Grey’s Anatomy for size.

  24. Emily

    Whoa, that *is* very similar to WnW lol

  25. Oh, finally, something that I really want from this collection. Thank Goodness, the packaging is too pretty to pass up!

  26. Caitlin

    I first thought about Gray’s Anatomy. If you don’t want to splurge on MAC’s nail polish just put a white nail polish under 2 coats of NYC’s and it goes opaque! :)

  27. it looks quite lovely in the last image.

  28. jenny

    Huh… Kind of reminds me of the Venomous Villains polishes….

  29. Anna

    There is also a Catrice polish that looks almost identical. Can’t recall the exact name, but it had something to do with mermaids… Mermaiden?

  30. Laura

    OMG! I love it! Its gorgeous. Definatly going to have to buy this x

  31. grace

    it reminds me of the opi katey perry silver polish..

  32. Donalene

    I really can’t wait to try it! It’s different. So many brands are getting to be so alike it’s ridiculous. I own hundreds of colors and obviously alot are alike-but I’m in the business so you need a shade different here and there. It’s cool!

  33. melissa

    Wow it looks waaay prettier in the bottle…still a nice color though!

  34. Andrea L. Östvang

    Noooo! It looked SO much cooler in the bootle :(
    Darn it, it’s nothing special really…

  35. Grace

    So pretty in the bottle but on the nail it’s a pass. More of a spring color anyways.

  36. amanda

    4 coats of greys anatomy does the trick for me, skipping this nail polish. But it is gorgeous packaging,

  37. Miriam

    I love wet n wild grey’s anatomy. I bought drug store nail polish after almost 4 years and I can’t believe how much wear time I got out of a $2 polish (6 days to be exact). In the past I bought MAC nail polishes but they always end up chipping in a day so as much as I think the packaging is beautiful, I’d skip this and settle for Grey’s Anatomy any day. Nonetheless, it’s still a beautiful color but definitely not unique.

  38. Kendal

    There is NO WAY in sweet Jesus I am paying $28 CAN for that nail polish!!! It looks exactly like SOPI Mash-Up, OPI Not like the Movies and a $2 dollar polish: WetnWild Grays Anatomy!!! SOOOOOOOO unoriginal and disappointing!!!!

  39. Nicki

    That’s a crazy chameleon effect. I might pick it up because of it’s uniqueness.

  40. Christine O

    Pretty but I think another good dupe is Orly’s Space Cadet or Hard Candy’s Beetle. What are your thoughts Christine?

    • I don’t have Hard Candy’s Beetle, but Orly’s Space Cadet is really a different color altogether, IMO.

      • Christine O

        hmmmm, I have both Beetle and Space Cadet and I thought Space Cadet looked pretty close but it is a bit darker. I just bought my SC so maybe a different batch makes the difference, I don’t know? I far more trust your opinion than mine… Your the makeup expert. Thanks for the reply though.

  41. Perri

    wow!! what a funky shade.

  42. BethM

    This is really pretty. I might try to find the Deborah Lippman version of this color, as I don’t have any DL polishes yet.

    I’m not planning on buying anything else from this collection, though, so if I can’t find the DL version, I may cave and just get this one.

  43. Niceasdoxie

    Wonderful color, i’m definitely after it!!

  44. Melissa

    It looks gorgeous in the bottle, but on the nail…meh. For the price I’d want something without an easy dupe.

  45. crystal s.

    This is quite similar to Sinful Colors “Let me go” . Especially after two coats. It also costs 2.99

  46. Mhel

    I say skip this, and just invest in Wicked Game from Deborah Lippmann.

  47. Michelle

    If there are people living in Holland/Germany/Swiss/Belgium,… and your drugstore carries Catrice
    This colour is just like Catrice’s Iron Mermaiden and it’s only EUR 2,49!!!

  48. Ruth

    At least this one seems to be duochrome-yay!

  49. Michelle

    Looks nice on the nails, but so much better in the bottle. Not worth the price tag…especially if Wet n Wild has a dupe, even if it’s not as opaque.

  50. Veronica

    That’s actually pretty cool. Not sure if I’d drop $23 on it, but it does make for an eye-catching set of nails.

  51. It looks absolutely gorgeous in the bottle. However since I already have the WnW polish, I may skip on this.

  52. karen

    What if you’d put two coats over a black base? Would the iridescence show up more?

  53. M.

    I’d be tempted to buy it just to display the bottle!

  54. Looks exactly like a shade I have from OPI’s Katy Perry collection… :/ Not worth the $22 price

  55. Dominique

    It is pretty similar to ” Péridot ” of Chanel I think. It’s beautiful though.
    Regards from France !

  56. Mar

    Just had this swatched at the counter, and it’s a dupe of OPI Katy Perry Collection “Not Like the Movies” which I own.

  57. Noni

    LAME! Chanel-peridot is similar and way prettier!! for that price? Another reason why I don’t use MAC, there are better brands on everything MAC does. Price is a concern? I’D rather drugstore brands over MAC anyday!!!

  58. busted

    W&W Gray’s Anatomy was totally opaque for me in 3 coats. For the price of this one you can buy a WHOLE DOZEN W&W-GA at any drugstore, pass them out to your friends and have a big matchy-match manicure party! woohoo!*:•;°:•°:°•:*•*:•*°°