Tuesday, October 5th, 2010

NARS Vintage Nail Polish
King Kong, Mash, Zulu, Midnight Express, Full Metal Jacket

NARS Vintage Nail Polishes see the re-release of five coveted NARS shades. As of late last night, Zulu was back in stock, actually, though it was sold out for a time. These are all limited edition, and each shade retails for $16.

  • King Kong is a orange-toned molten copper bronze with copper shimmer threaded through the base color. This was the most pigmented shade out of the five; I used two coats. This applied evenly and smoothly, and it didn’t show brushstrokes too much for a metallic finish.
  • Mash is a darkened olive green base with green and gold shimmer that warm it up. This was my favorite color out of the bunch. You’ll definitely need three coats, and some brushstrokes ended up showing for me, so be patient.
  • Zulu is a deep, dark blackened green jelly. It’s very inky and solid and virtually black in low lighting. In the sunlight, the green of its base is more apparent. You’ll need at least three coats, if not four, to get full, opaque color. I’d also recommend slightly thicker coats, because those thinner coats seem to cause some streaking.
  • Midnight Express is a deep, dark blackened navy. Just like Zulu, this shade is mostly black in low light and brightens up to its bluer form in sunlight. I did three coats, but you may find four better. The application for this shade was exactly the same as Zulu for me.
  • Full Metal Jacket is a bluish silvered gray with silver shimmer. It is the most metallic of the five, and it is incredibly prone to showing brushstrokes. Patience is key with these kinds of metallics–you want to minimize the pressure and the number of times you brush the polish on the nails. Three coats.

The application issues make me wary of recommending these. Part of me wants to tell you to scoop up any shades that catch your eye before they’re sold out or gone for good, but the other part of me just wants to say, well, they don’t seem super-freaking-awesome as some shades have been hyped up to be. (Zulu, I’m looking at you!) It can be fun own a piece of history, as it were, though, and with some patience and a steady hand, all of these shades are workable. Mash and King Kong were good, while the rest were decent, so they kind of balance out. What also saves these polishes is that they’re not easy to dupe, which makes them even more covetable.

If you want to know more about how products are evaluated, read out Rating System FAQ! :)

  • Product: 25/30
  • Value: 8/10
  • Ease of Use: 3/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

RECOMMENDATION: If you don’t normally purchase $16 nail polish, these might not be the best ones to go for first. They’re not as easy to apply as your average nail polish. Also, if you can’t be fussed to be careful and wait between coats, you’ll probably have a poor experience with these.

AVAILABILITY: NARS

See more photos & swatches!

NARS Vintage Nail Polish
King Kong, Mash, Zulu

NARS Vintage Nail Polish
Zulu, Midnight Express, Full Metal Jacket

NARS Vintage Nail Polish
King Kong, Mash, Zulu, Midnight Express, Full Metal Jacket

NARS Vintage Nail Polish
King Kong, Mash, Zulu

NARS Vintage Nail Polish
Zulu, Midnight Express, Full Metal Jacket

NARS Vintage Nail Polish
King Kong, Mash, Zulu, Midnight Express, Full Metal Jacket

NARS Vintage Nail Polish
NARS King Kong Nail Polish (Natural Light)

NARS Vintage Nail Polish
NARS King Kong Nail Polish (Natural Light)

NARS Vintage Nail Polish
NARS King Kong Nail Polish (Natural Light)

NARS Vintage Nail Polish
NARS King Kong Nail Polish (Flash)

NARS Vintage Nail Polish
NARS Mash Nail Polish (Natural Light)

NARS Vintage Nail Polish
NARS Mash Nail Polish (Natural Light)

NARS Vintage Nail Polish
NARS Mash Nail Polish (Natural Light)

NARS Vintage Nail Polish
NARS Mash Nail Polish (Flash)

NARS Vintage Nail Polish
NARS Zulu Nail Polish (Natural Light)

NARS Vintage Nail Polish
NARS Zulu Nail Polish (Natural Light)

NARS Vintage Nail Polish
NARS Zulu Nail Polish (Natural Light)

NARS Vintage Nail Polish
NARS Zulu Nail Polish (Flash)

NARS Vintage Nail Polish
NARS Midnight Express Nail Polish (Natural Light)

NARS Vintage Nail Polish
NARS Midnight Express Polish (Natural Light)

NARS Vintage Nail Polish
NARS Midnight Express Polish (Natural Light)

NARS Vintage Nail Polish
NARS Midnight Express Nail Polish (Flash)

NARS Vintage Nail Polish
NARS Full Metal Jacket Nail Polish (Natural Light)

NARS Vintage Nail Polish
NARS Full Metal Jacket Nail Polish (Natural Light)

NARS Vintage Nail Polish
NARS Full Metal Jacket Nail Polish (Natural Light)

NARS Vintage Nail Polish
NARS Full Metal Jacket Nail Polish (Flash)

Product & Review FAQ

Where can I purchase the new Vintage shades? How much are they?

NARS, $16 each.

Are these limited edition?

Yes.

What base/top coat did you use?

Zoya's Anchor & Armor.

How long does it wear?

I get a week with no chipping, just minor tip wear.

Are there any dupes?

For King Kong, you could try Barielle Two Timing. For Mash, BB Couture Grenade seems the closest, but it looks like it pulls a little more forest green than olive green; though it reminded me of China Glaze's Wagon Trail, Mash is so much lighter and greener. For Zulu, try Nfu Oh 569, which I hear is very close. For Midnight Express, try China Glaze Calypso Blue (it's bluer, not quite as inky or as black). For Full Metal Jacket, try Zoya's Freja. I don't own any of these dupes; I just scoured the internet for swatches to give some possibilities.

Discussion and debate are highly encouraged, and we expect community members to participate respectfully. When asking a question, please check the FAQ section (above) for information about purchasing, price, dupes, and the like. If you have general feedback or need technical support, please contact us.

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42 thoughts on “NARS Vintage Nail Polish Review, Photos, Swatches

  1. amelia

    full metal jacket is lovely :)

    • Avatar of Mélanie Mel

      This is my favorite too!

      I don’t really like the other colors really :S By the way I wanna thank you Christine for your reviews, I’ve been reading your site for a couple of weeks now and what a gem! Very helpful and fun to read!

  2. alisha

    zulu is so disappointing.. no point in getting it.. OPI Here Again Argon Tomorrow is a cheaper dupe..

    i was expecting it to be WAY lighter.

  3. amy

    I have Zulu and Mash, which I bought last week at Holt Renfrew. I am wearing Zulu now and I really like it. It does need three coats and four on some nails. I recommend using one thin coat followed by two medium thick coat. Slow controlled strokes are needed for a perfect application. Most of these colours are lovely, but I agree that they are not out of the world unique, there are some close enough dupes in the same colour family out there.

  4. Georgina

    Hi Christine,

    Thanks for the post. Mash looks great, such a stand out shade. Application-wise they seem quite high maintenance which may put a few people off :(

  5. Jadis4742

    I ordered Zulu and Midnight Express from beauty.com, but I’m a little worried, since I’m pretty much a polish newbie and these polishes are giving all the experts some trouble! The colors are so gorgeous though…I really hope I can make them work on me.

  6. Ginnia

    Leaving it because of the application issues.

  7. Iben

    Midnight Express looks exactly like Illamasqua’s Propaganda!

  8. Vanessa

    Too much $ for what youre getting :(

  9. Arantzazu

    I like Mash and Midnight Express =)
    But I don’t like nail polishes that are hard to work, I can’t wait too long between coats ¬¬

  10. The colors are nice but they don’t really “rock my world”. They also remind me a lot of other polishes. The dark green for example looks a lot like Here Today, Aragon Tomorrow from OPI and the olive color reminds me of one of the China Glaze Halloween polishes.
    All in all they’re very nice and I really love your photo’s (they’re always very beautiful) but I’m gonna skip these polishes :)

  11. Zulu and Midnight Express are really cool and unique. I love the gel look and the fact that they seem to come off black or very dark sometimes and then reveal that they are actually green or blue.

  12. Avatar of Ashley Ashley

    I like the color of the Mash and Midnight Express, however I’ll be looking into the dupes you suggested. They may not be exact but still get the look I want :) Thanks for the review!

  13. Keana

    I Loooove all of them

  14. Avatar of Alannah Alannah

    I already have Zulu, but I caved & bought Full Metal Jacket, Mash and King Kong! I feel a bit insane paying $16 each for them but nail polish is my weakness. At least I draw the line at Chanel prices!

  15. Nini

    I really regret not having nails, i bite them since I was little and now I have no nails (horrible, I know), but the black bluish is AWESOME, I love it!

    ag!

  16. ak

    Mash, King Kong, and Zulu are the prettiest ones up there. To me they all look better in real life in the store. Other companies for cheaper prices have already made dark navy and gunmetal grey polishes though.

    But in real life I thought that Mash was just beautiful and a perfect olive/khaki color.

  17. wooow! midnight express with flash is just like that colour of that jewel from titanic :D

  18. Avatar of Rebecca Rebecca

    for $16 I would expect more unique colors. They are pretty, but I feel like they could be duped by OPI, Zoya or ORLY

  19. I have not been exited about a nail polish before since MAC Peppermint Patty.. i LOVE the three colors in Full Metal Jacket, Midnight Express & Zulu.. i will be purchasing.. thanks so much!

  20. Leann

    My favorite color is King Kong

  21. does it bug you as much as it bugs me to have to photograph odd numbered items? there’s always that one in the middle that gets shot twice! ergh!!! lol

    zulu looks pretty bad ass… kinda make me think of nomi malone kicking the crap out of some michael bolton wannabe :P (i watch showgirls too much).

    • Sometimes, not terribly so, but it does. With 6, I can divide them and photograph them in a group, but with five, it seems odd to do 3 and 2 to me!

  22. Tekoa

    I grabbed Zulu because I 1) don’t have a green jelly and 2) to own a piece of coolness. Mash and Midnight Express are both on my wish list.

  23. Midnight express looks like a very nice blue one!

  24. Zulu, Midnight Express, & Full Metal Jacket are all really pretty. And I don’t normally like dark nail polish either.

  25. I only like ‘King Kong’ & ‘Mash’… the rest didn’t seem to interest me. Thanks for the swatches, Christine :)

  26. I think Zulu’s pretty easy to work with. I wasn’t sure if I had to have it but I did get it, and it’s awesome. OPI HTAT isn’t a dupe at all because it has more grey in it.

  27. I’m not totally enthused by these. Nothing to really make me go, ahhh, gorgeous. Pass for me.

  28. Rebecca

    The problem with these swatches is that they make he polishes look a lot nicer than they probably are! :P

  29. Jenna

    I have been in love with Zulu since I first saw swatches a year ago. And I think it’s every bit as wonderful on my own nails! I had no problems with application and the color is soooo pretty.

  30. Andrea

    That’s too bad about Zulu cuz I have the original and it only needs two thick coats and goes on surprisingly even. It’s really old and it’s still good, I just used it a few months back.

  31. Sophie

    Love midnight express.

  32. Kristin

    American Apparel’s polish in Hunter is pretty close to Zulu, though it’s a creme and not a jelly finish.

  33. Mor

    I really hoped not to like these, but I do :|. Plus, being a collector at heart, the words “Limited Edition” are like catnip to me. I just got me Zulu and King Kong, I think they’ll be good for winter. Mash, which I also wanted, is already sold out…
    (Btw, I love your site Christine… I’ve been lurking for a while, and it’s helped me so much. Thank you for Temptalia! ;).

  34. Aysegul

    I have Full Metal Jacket and although I am a bit clumsy, I get even (well, maybe evenish) application in two coats, without any evident brush strokes. Now, I am planning to get others, especially Zulu.

  35. Aurora

    I would never spend this much on nail polish, the colors are beautiful…. but… I’ll stick to $5 and under,k lol