Like Baskin-Robbins, The New Permanent Line of MAC Nail Lacquers Comes in 31 Flavors

Published in: MAC Makeup, Nails

MAC Nail Lacquers

Dude, there are moments — like when you’re pulling up your Spanx and have to pause to take a breath — and there are MOMENTS. And right now, with the rise of runway nail polish coverage and nail art going mainstream, it seems like nails are having the second one, the one IN ALL CAPS!!! With exclamation marks!!!


You kids today… ๐Ÿ™‚ Believe it or not, but there was a time when the only places you could get nail polish were drugstores (and dinosaurs ruled the earth!). Now, you can’t swing your Kate Spade purse at a makeup counter without knocking over a new nail polish display (whoops, my bad!).

Even MAC is getting in on the action with a new permanent line of nail lacquers coming this summer (July 5 to North American MAC stores, Nordstrom MAC counters and; international locales can expect them this September; $16 each US, $19 CDN).

Now, nails are nothing new to MAC. They’ve actually been painting paws for years with limited edition releases and special nail-focused collections like 2009’s Jin Soon, but this represents their first permanent polish line.

mac nail lacquer swatches 1

I’m pretty stoked about the range of colors because, like Baskin-Robbins, there are 31 of them in all, spread out among three different finishes in pearl, frost and cream. Most are new additions, but a few we’ve seen before in limited edition collections (like Snob, which we saw in Fashion Sets and Fiestaware, which we saw in Casual Colour). You’ve got your dainty tea-and-crumpets nudes on one end and your deeper hues and tough girl shades on the other.

mac nail lacquer swatches 2

This week I’m playing/painting with five of them, all of which feel thick and remind me of Essie’s nail polishes more than Zoya’s.

I haven’t been wearing these particular shades for long, but if they’re like MAC’s other nail polishes, wear time should be alright. I’ve usually gotten about a week when I wear them with a base coat and a little longer with a top coat as well.

mac nail lacquer swatches 3

mac nail lacquer swatches 4

mac nail lacquer swatches 5


Overlacquer Clear topcoat
Faint of Heart Palest milky nude (cream)
Delicate Pale sheer ballet pink (cream)
Skin Light peach beige (cream)
Quiet Time Beige nude (cream)
Snob Light neutral pink (cream)
Saint Germain Light cool pink (cream)
Fiestaware Mid-tone orange coral (cream)
Impassioned Bright warm pink (cream)
Morange Bright cream orange (cream)
Steamy Bright mid-tone blue pink (cream)
Girl About Town Bright blue fuchsia (cream)
Shirelle Classic bright red (cream)
Flaming Rose True red (cream)
Coffee Break Mid-tone cool taupe (cream)
Spirit of Truth Navy blue (cream)
Deep Sea Deep teal (cream)
Rougemarie Dark blue red (cream)
Vintage Vamp Rich deep wine (cream)
Dark Angel Dark grape (cream)
Nocturnelle Rich true black (cream)
Discothรƒยฉque Super glitter silver (pearl)
Screaming Bright Super glitter gold (pearl)
Soirรƒยฉe Sparkly light bronze gold (frost)
Girl Trouble Super glitter pink (pearl)
Mean & Green Purple with teal multi changing pearl (pearl)
Anti-Fashion Mid-tone dirty purple with pearl (frost)
Formidable! Teal green with pink multi changing pearl (pearl)
Midnight Tryst Dark cool grey steel with pearl (frost)
Nightfall Blackened frosty gunmetal (frost)
Sparks On Screen (Online Only) Super glitter red (pearl)

mac nail lacquer swatches 6

mac impassioned swatch

mac st germain swatch
St. Germain

mac anti fashion swatch

mac girl about town swatch
Girl About Town

mac snob swatch

Of these here, some apply more smoothly than others, and I’m not 100% sold on the brush… I like a crisp line at the base of each nail, but that’s been a little tricky with this brush.

If you haven’t tried a MAC lacquer in many years, I think their formula really has improved. They hold up much better than the MAC polishes I used in days of yore (like >3 years ago) and don’t chip anywhere near as easily or quicky. Plus, I think they’re generally shinier.

It’ll be interesting to see what MAC does with nails over the next few seasons.


Will they start churning out nail-focused collections regularly? Will they add new colors often or concentrate on pushing re-promotes?

Who knows?

One thing’s for sure…I’d love to see a pack of Essie-style seasonal minis. That would be pretty cool, dontcha think? ๐Ÿ™‚

Your friendly neighborhood beauty addict,



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So far, 33 people have commented on this article. How cool is that?

  1. CrystalCandy says:

    Damn, I want a couple of them! Impassioned will be one of them, for sure.
    CrystalCandy recently posted … Aqua Shadow 20E de Make Up For Ever

  2. Elaine says:

    Mean & Green definitely looks like something I should own.

    Is it just me or does Anti-Fashion look very similar to Chanel Paradoxal?

  3. I don’t know…it takes a LOT for me to get obsessed over a nail polish because I just love Essie and other drugstore polishes so much that I honestly don’t feel the need to pay $10 more. They look nice though–but nothing I can’t find at CVS ๐Ÿ™‚
    Becca @ The Beauty Sample recently posted … The Sample: Shiseido Luminizing Satin Face Color in BE206 Soft Beam Gold Review

  4. Dea says:

    I always wondered why MAC doesn’t have a bigger permanent line for nailpolishes – so now it’s about time to change this. I will keep my eyes on a few of them… ๐Ÿ˜‰

  5. Advah says:

    About (eeep!) 10 years ago I randomly bought a Bourjois polish at the drugstore that was the exact color of Deep Sea. I loved the colour so much but always felt stupid wearing it – but looks like I was on to something! ๐Ÿ™‚

    I only just started getting interested in the whole nail art trend, now if only drugstore brands would start releasing more glitters..

    • Karen says:

      Hi Advah,

      Isn’t it amazing how far nail color has come? It’s almost hard to believe that there was a time the only options one had were pink, peach and red!

  6. artemis says:

    deep sea looks very interesting and pretty. can’t buy it anyway, just admiring ๐Ÿ˜€

  7. I like Formidable and Mean and Green! I think they look a bit more special, though I’ve never tried any MAC polish and don’t know how the formula is.
    Sunny @ Mostly Sunny recently posted … Is there Really a MAC Satin Taupe Dupe in the NYX Rock and Roll Trio?

    • A.T. says:

      Mean & Green and Formidable! look like two of the polishes that came out with the Disney Villains (?) collection. There was one more duo chrome that came out (but I couldn’t get my hands on it) but these two look like the ones I managed to get. I’ve used them extremely sparingly because they were limited edition, but now I’m … I’m probably going to go a bit nuts with them. I sat up straight in my seat when I spotted them in the pictures, lol, so excited was I!

      One of the people there recommended wearing them over a black or very dark polish to conserve your polish, and because the base is a dark, somewhat translucent color. (it’s streaky if you apply it solo, unless you use several coats… which will eat through your bottle rather quickly considering the price per bottle)

      Aaah, I’m a little disappointed that the third duo chrome doesn’t appear to be present, and irritated with myself that I can’t recall the name. I think it was a pink and peachy sort of color, though, and really quite lovely.

      I think I’ll see if I can mosey over to the nearest MAC counter and perhaps get backups of Mean & Green and Formidable!, as well as try out an Anti-Fashion.

  8. Crystal says:

    Anti-Fashion looks really pretty!

  9. Nicole says:

    Snob screams old lady pink.

  10. Chris25 says:

    I love Mean & Green and Midnight Tryst!

  11. Anitacska says:

    Eh, I can’t really get excited about any of these. I got the Orly equivalent for Mean & Green and Formidable when they first came out, and the rest don’t interest me at all. Maybe Midnight Tryst, but it’s not that unique.
    Anitacska recently posted … Giveaway Time! Help Celebrate Our 3rd Birthday!

  12. Nina says:

    Anti Fashion is pretty! And Mean & Green reminds me of Club eyeshadow, for some reason!

  13. Dominique says:

    M.A.C polishes look pretty on the whole but I think I’ll rather buy Essie, Chanel or Nars nail polishes and most of all Zoya because they’re Vegan. I ordered 6 nail polishes on a French website ( 4 Essie, 1 Orly I haven’t tried the brand yet and 1 Zoya which looks great ), I’ve never tried a M.A.C nail polish, well I’ll go to the M.A.C store just to watch them, they told me the collection would arrive in July here.

    • Karen says:

      Hi Dominique,

      You mentioned the magic word…CHANEL! ๐Ÿ™‚ Did you ever pick up Jade? That’s probably my favorite Chanel color of all time.

  14. I am so picking up Impassioned and Girl About Town when the Fashion sets launch in India. Love the duochrome finish of Mean & Green and Formidable!
    Ankita@corallista recently posted … The Lipstick Challenge Day 30 : Maybelline Moisture Extreme lipstick Chocolate Temptation

  15. Kim says:

    They have some very cool looking colors and finishes! Some of the colors do look a little streaky in your pics, though. And I know that you are very experienced with polishing your paws, so it’s the polish, not the application. ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Karen says:

      Hi Kim,

      Yeah, these might need some babying. For the price I want no streaks!

      One of these days I’m sure you’ll leave a comment telling me about the cool nail art you’re rocking… ๐Ÿ˜‰

      • Kim says:

        I hear you! Boo on the streaks. ๐Ÿ™‚

        Believe it or not, I did sport some home done nail art on my big toe last year. I bought 2 new polishes and one of those groovy Cina pens just for the occasion. We’re hitting a water park tomorrow so that reminds me that I’d better get some colored polish on those toes!

  16. That St. Germain is a most gorgeousl bubble gum pink!! I’ve only bought one MAC polish in my life (at least 8 years ago) and remember not being impressed with the staying power, so I wrote them off. Guess I should give them a 2nd chance after that long ago! Great color swatches.

  17. Tina B says:

    Anti-Fashion is beautiful and I see quite a few others that look interesting. Mean & Green really stands out but I just don’t know about $16 for these.
    Tina B recently posted … Sneak Peek & Giveaway: July 2012 Glamour Birchbox

  18. Lulle says:

    I love Impassioned… but its price tag, not so much! Do you know any drugstore dupes to this beautiful shade?? Thanks in advance.
    Lulle recently posted … Tutti Frutti Tonga

  19. I love how you design your post cover pictures! Always so fun to look at yet classy at the same time! You have a great eye for design! And wow, so much effort to do actual nail paint for each color. Thumbs up for effort! =)

  20. Claire says:

    I had no idea MAC did nail colours! They look amazing…will be hunting these down when i’m out shopping next.
    Love your blog…check mine out and follow mine if you want: This isn’t spam btw! x

  21. antara says:

    i wanted the snob lipstick badly but our store here dont stock up much!!!
    antara recently posted … Lakme Shimmer liner Pink Crystal

  22. khaddu says:

    Sparks on screams and Vintage Vamp sound so cool Karen ๐Ÿ™‚ ! I am falling in love with nail paints all over again !!!! ๐Ÿ™‚
    khaddu recently posted … Happy feet with Sally Hansen ‘ s Pedicure in a Minute ๐Ÿ™‚

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