MAC Nail Lacquers – Preview Photos & Swatches

MAC Nail Lacquers
MAC Nail Lacquers

MAC Nail Lacquers — Preview Photos & Swatches

MAC Nail Lacquers ($16.00 for 0.34 fl. oz.) has thirty-one new (well, some newer than others) shades being added to the permanent range. I don’t have any of the brand spankin’ new ones to share with you, but I did receive a press kit that included a set of swatches on plastic nails. Since I didn’t do the swatching, I have no idea how many coats were used or anything like that. As soon as I’m able to purchase the polishes, I’ll do so and have swatches for you at that time. For official descriptions, please see this post. For now, here are my descriptions of them based on the included swatches:

  • Deep Sea is a deep, dark blue-teal with a hint of green. It has a cream finish. I reviewed it here when it first released.
  • Midnight Tryst is a bluish gunmetal gray with fine teal and silver micro-shimmer–there appears to be some brushstrokes in the swatch. This is a new shade.
  • Formidable is a dark purpled burgundy base with a duochrome of blue-teal to fuchsia-purple. It has a pearl finish. I reviewed it here when it first released.
  • Mean & Green is a dark olive green base with a duochrome of rosy plum to golden olive green. It has a pearl finish. I reviewed it here when it first released.
  • Vintage Vamp is a dark burgundy-red cream. It has a cream finish. I reviewed it here when it came out during the holidays.
  • Rougemarie is a medium-dark blue-based red. It has a cream finish. I believe this was always part of the permanent range, but I don’t think I have it.
  • Flaming Rose is a brightened medium red with a cream finish. This is a new shade.
  • Sparks on Screen is a red glitter polish with multi-sized particles of ruby red, crimson, and lighter red. It has a pearl finish. It is a new shade.
  • Shirelle is a brightened orange-red cream. I believe this was always part of the permanent range, but I don’t think I own it.
  • Impassioned is an orange-coral with a cream finish. I reviewed it here, though it seems slightly pinker on the plastic nail (my natural undertones could make a color appear more or less warm). I’ll have to pick up a new bottle to see how they compare.
  • Morange is a brightened medium orange with a cream finish. I reviewed it here.
  • Fiestaware is a lightened tangerine orange with a cream finish. I reviewed it here.
  • Soiree is a champagne and copper shimmered shade with a frost finish. I reviewed it here.
  • Skin is a light peach-orange with a cream finish. This is a new shade.
  • Faint of Heart is a soft ivory with a hint of warmth. It has a cream finish. This is a new shade.
  • Delicate is a pale white-pink with a cream finish. I reviewed it here.
  • Snob is a slightly warm, mostly neutral light-medium pink with a jelly-like finish (but it is a cream finish). I reviewed it here.
  • Girl Trouble is a silvered, pale purple with a pearl finish. This is a new shade.
  • Screaming Bright is a muted metallic gold-champagne–possibly a little pewter. This is a new shade.
  • Saint Germain is a light-medium pink with blue undertones. I reviewed it here.
  • Steamy is a medium-dark blue-based pink with a cream finish. I believe this has been part of the permanent range for sometime, but I haven’t reviewed it previously.
  • Girl About Town is a rich, nearly-neon fuchsia pink with blue undertones. It has a cream finish. I reviewed it here.
  • Quiet Time is a gray–tinted light-medium beige with a cream finish. I reviewed it here.
  • Coffee Break is a medium-dark gray-tinted brown with a cream finish. This is a new shade.
  • Anti-Fashion is a subdued, smoky purple with subtle red-brown undertones. It has a frost finish. This is a new shade.
  • Dark Angel is a deep purple with red undertones and a cream finish. I reviewed it here.
  • Spirit of Truth is a brightened navy blue with a cream finish. I reviewed it here.
  • Discotheque is a metallic light silver with silver shimmer. It has a pearl finish. This is a new shade.
  • Nightfall is a dark, gunmetal gray with silver shimmer. It has a frost finish. This was released previously, but I don’t think I have it.
  • Nocturnelle is a glossy black cream. I reviewed it here previously.

Some MAC nail lacquers are great, while others are less stellar (some being notorious for poor application).  The majority of these shades, from what I remember, were easy enough to apply. I know the lacquers from the recent Fashion Sets collection were fairly good overall.  Formidable and Mean & Green were two highly coveted shades from MAC’s Venomous Villains collection, even though both have several exact dupes on the market (Bad Fairy was the harder one to dupe).

I think the biggest issue I have with MAC’s nail lacquers is that they’re priced as if the brand were high-end, rather than mid-end. For example, NARS’ lacquers are $18 a pop, while their lipsticks are $24–MAC’s lacquers are $16 a pop, while their lipsticks are $14.50. Additionally, most high-end nail brands still give you 0.50 fl. oz., but MAC bottles contain only 0.34 fl. oz., so you’re really getting squeezed on both ends. For some reason, the price of MAC’s nail lacquers seems to have accelerated far faster than the rest of their product’s price tags. So without a stellar formula, they’re absolutely not worth it. If the formula is on point and the color up your alley, they’re certainly worth a look.

MAC Nail Lacquers
MAC Nail Lacquers

MAC Nail Lacquers
MAC Nail Lacquers: Deep Sea, Midnight Tryst, Formidable, Mean & Green, Vintage Vamp

MAC Nail Lacquers
MAC Nail Lacquers: Vintage Vamp, Mean & Green, Formidable, Midnight Tryst, Deep Sea

MAC Nail Lacquers
MAC Nail Lacquers: Vintage Vamp, Rougemarie, Flaming Rose, Sparks on Screen, Shirelle

MAC Nail Lacquers
MAC Nail Lacquers: Shirelle, Sparks on Screen, Flaming Rose, Rougemarie, Vintage Vamp

MAC Nail Lacquers
MAC Nail Lacquers: Shirelle, Impassioned, Morange, Fiestaware, Soiree

MAC Nail Lacquers
MAC Nail Lacquers: Fiestaware, Morange, Impassioned, Shirelle, Sparks on Screen

MAC Nail Lacquers
MAC Nail Lacquers: Morange, Fiestaware, Soiree, Skin, Faint of Heart

MAC Nail Lacquers
MAC Nail Lacquers: Faint of Heart, Skin, Soiree, Fiestaware, Morange

MAC Nail Lacquers
MAC Nail Lacquers: Delicate, Snob, Girl Trouble, Saint Germain, Steamy

MAC Nail Lacquers
MAC Nail Lacquers: Delicate, Snob, Girl Trouble, Saint Germain, Steamy

MAC Nail Lacquers
MAC Nail Lacquers: Girl About Town, Screaming Bright, Quiet Time, Coffee Break, Anti-Fashion

MAC Nail Lacquers
MAC Nail Lacquers: Steamy, Girl About Town, Screaming Bright, Quiet Time

MAC Nail Lacquers
MAC Nail Lacquers: Coffee Break, Anti-Fashion, Dark Angel, Spirit of Truth, Discotheque

MAC Nail Lacquers
MAC Nail Lacquers: Quiet Time, Coffee Break, Anti-Fashion, Dark Angel, Spirit of Truth

MAC Nail Lacquers
MAC Nail Lacquers: Dark Angel, Spirit of Truth, DIscotheque, Nightfall, Nocturnelle

MAC Nail Lacquers
MAC Nail Lacquers: Anti-Fashion, Dark Angel, Spirit of Truth, DIscotheque, Nightfall, Nocturnelle

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About the Reviewer

Reviewer

Christine has normal-to-dry skin with areas of dryness (cheeks, nose, and under the eyes). She has a light-medium skintone with subtle, warmer yellow undertones. Her best foundation matches include: Tarte Rainforest of the Sea in Light-Medium Neutral (best match), Estee Lauder Double Wear Stay-in-Place Makeup in Desert Beige 2N1, Giorgio Armani Maestro Glow in 4.0, Hourglass Warm Ivory Vanish Seamless Finish, Laura Mercier Candleglow Soft Luminous in Dusk, MAC NC20/NC25, Make Up For Ever Ultra HD Liquid in Y305 (140). For more matches, please read our full Foundation FAQ. For more information on our review process, please read our Review FAQ.

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64 Comments

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Some beautiful colours (and some that don’t appeal all that much) but as you point out, Christine, the price is out of line and my experiences with MAC nail polishes has been varied – some are good, some not good at all (lasting power/formulation, I’m talking about, not colour). I’d be more likely to look for dupes of the colours from Zoya or OPI or even cheap-but-good products like Sally Hansen’s “Rapid-Dri” (I think that’s the name).

Midnight Tryst reminds me of Essie’s Over The Top from this swatch (OOT might be a little darker). I definitely recommend the Essie instead to anyone interested in this color!

From what I hear (I have never tried them) these are definitely not worth the $16.00 MAC is asking for. It’s a shame because there are so many other formulas out that are better for the same price point and lower. I would like to see a ‘real’ swatch of “sparks on screen” because I really don’t feel like it will achieve that look with the average of two coats.

It’s interesting they are re-promoting Formidable and Mean & Green from the Venomous Villains collection. Too bad Bad Fairy didn’t make the cut. It’s still nice having those as permanent as the other dupes where LE shades as well from ORLY.

Formidable looks EXACTLY like Orly’s Galaxy Girl.  And Mean & Green looks like Space Cadet, lol.  Deep Sea, Sparks on Screen, and Coffee Break look interesting though!

So they bring back Formidable and Mean &Green, but not Bad Fairy (arguably, the most coveted of the polishes)? Sure, that makes perfect sense.

@DeltaCephei Vintage Vamp? Is dat slim? Chanel heeft RBL jaren geleden aangeklaagd omdat ze een vergelijkbaar lakje Revamp hadden genoemd.

Gee what a snoozefest, don’t the MAC people read nail blogs? You can find more interesting colours in in drugstores, for example, Models Own, Catrice, Essence, Max Factor – and that’s not to mention brands like China Glaze and Color Club. I guess they are decent colours for a basic permanent range, but still, boring to anyone who owns more than 10 polishes.

 @Sojourner True, but that’s why I mentioned China Glaze and Color Club which have comparably interesting colours. Other brands available in US which are cheaper and have better colours: Butter London, Nails Inc, Sinful, WetnWild, Nubar, just sooo many!

Im excited for Mean & Green but I know you said before it was a dupe for an orly shade… I need to just get my paws on that!

Happy that Mean grean was repromoted! woud’ve like bad fairy more then formidable (not that I dislike it, I just like my bad fairy more) but that’s why it’s called LE I guess. 

I have to wonder if it’s a mass-production issue or a problem with the actual nail varnish that a number of the swatches are so streaky and/or uneven.  Flaming Rose, Midnight Tryst, Anti-Fashion, Dark Angel, etc.  Sure, they’re swatches on plastic nails and if it were anyone else but MAC, I wouldn’t wonder. But it *is* MAC, so I *do* wonder. If something intended to show MAC at its *best* looks like that…. hm.    

There are so many inexpensive choices out there for beautiful nail colors. What is MAC thinking?  I won’t be purchasing any of these.  The colors and formula would have to be exceptional to tempt me into parting with $16 for one polish. 

@Cath Actually, it is spelled correctly. After I read your comment, I looked it up (I know, I’m weird-I hate spelling errors and it didn’t seem off on the sample).

@Cath Actually, it is spelled correctly. After I read your comment, I looked it up (I know, I’m weird-I hate spelling errors and it didn’t seem off on the sample). Even if they left the accent mark over the first “e”, it would still be an acceptable spelling.

 @xamyx  @Cath Really? Sorry about commenting on an old post, but I’ve never come across it spelled with an acute accent as MAC have it, rather than a grave accent as Cath does. I agree it would be acceptable without the accent, but I don’t think it is right with the accent they use.

Hmmmm…..I believe you may be mistaken on that.  Not only is there more than one way to spell it, but that is them most common way to spell it in Europe.

 @FallonFan2012 Pardon commenting on an old post, but I’m in Europe, and I’ve only ever seen it spelled with a grave accent as Cath writes it, never with an acute accent as MAC does.

 @polyxene  Yes, indeed, it is accent grave in Canada as Cath type’s it and not accent acute as MAC spells it!  I missed that difference as my eyes are not great and I rarely read French anymore!  You are correct!!! 🙂  

 @wwendalynne Thanks for replying! Heh, I have bad eyesight too so I quite understand, I end up blowing the font size up massively on eveything. I gather that Canadian French can be different to, er, French French in some ways, so wasn’t sure if this was one of those, so I do appreciate your response 🙂

 @polyxene No problem 🙂 Yes, Canadian French I do not understand because they do not enunciate and use a great deal of slang.  It is very much like a different dialect.  At school, we studied French French and read French classic literature:  Sartre, Camus, Flaubert, Dumas.  I do not know if they have changed this because it has been years since I was in public school…hence the bad eyes  *grin* 

Hi Cath:  And that is how we spell it in Canada.. where MAC originated !  …  dances out the door to the BeeGees…  Stayin’ Alive……!!!!!!!  (apologies..I’ve been ridiculously silly all day!)

 @wwendalynne Pardon late comment on an old post, but do you really spell it with an acute accent in Canada? In France it is spelled with a grave accent as Cath does, and I never knew it could be different elsewhere, that’s really interesting!

The colors look nice.  However, I don’t do expensive nail polish.  The most expensive one that I own is one Essie polish, which I’m still kind of upset that I purchased it.  Unless it’ lashes for weeks without chipping, I see no point in paying so much for nailpolish.

 @Liz9969
 essie is NOT expensive at all..8 dollars is the normal price range for a polish..high end polish like Ozotic, picture polish to Chanel are like 14.50 to 25.00

Well, expensive is a relative term.  I guess I should say I wasn’t happy that I spent more than usual. Nail polish really isn’t my thing. 

Essie is not an expensive polish. Yeah, i’s not cheap $2 polish. But it’s in the lower range. It costs only a little more than Revlon or L’Oreal, typical “drug store” polishes which run $5 or $6. Chanel, Dior, Dolce & Gabbana, Yves Saint Laurent, etc. run around $23US. That’s what i consider expensive.
 
Deborah Lippmann and Butter London are in the same price range as MAC ($14-$16US). However, i think MAC is overpriced for its quality, unless they’ve really changed it with this collection. I like the color and finish of some MAC polishes (i love “Frayed to Order”), but they don’t last very long on the nail.

I’m quite disappointed in the shade range of their nail polishes. I was really hoping for Bad Fairy or some bright green or blues. The only color I might check out is Soiree, but I feel like it has a dupe somewhere as most MAC polishes do.

Shirelle chips like CRAZY. It’s my HG polish and wear it everyday but I have to reapply it right before I go out. It has even chipped before I was out the door.

 @StephzillaNJ That was my thought exactly =_=;  Formidable and Mean and Green are also more easily dupable (Orly Space Cadet and Galaxy Girl I believe, both of which I already own).  Sad…

Most of these colors are extremely dupe-able, and can be found in other collections like for example: Mean and green in the first picture looks almost like Space Cadet by Orly, Spirit of Truth seems to be that gorgeous deep true blue everyond was going crazy for from Rescue Beauty..also a dupe from Revlon called Royal. Dark angel is just a dark purple plum color that can be found walgreen or walmart..so yeah this collection is already at your local stores..and you didnt have to pay $16+ for it either!

It’s so sad that MAC marks up their nail polish so much. It’s all so dupe-able. I will not pay $16 for a nail varnish unless it’s of stunning quality — not just because it has MAC slapped on it. 🙁

Ugh. I only like one in the whole lot really! All so dupable! I’d only get Mean and Green I think, but knowing MAC’s nail polish formulas, I’ll probably not get any :

Like the other posters I feel like all of these have been done before by better & less expensive np brands. I like MAC for make-up, but I won’t buy their np for multiple reasons(well really just because price and quality).

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