Aliquid Lacquer Mercy, Mastery, Mystery + 2 Small Comparisons

The man picked dark blue for this round of "hundreds of untrieds can't make a decision," so I pulled out this one from Aliquid Lacquer... which I bought along with a couple of her friends well over a year ago and yet STILL haven't tried out this brand.  Here goes!

indoor, bright CF lighting
Mercy, Mastery, Mystery (which is a total mouthful!) was one of my attempts to quash my lemming for Finnnally it's Hoodie Time, though it of course ended up being nothing much at all like that one.  What it actually is, is a slatey grey-blue with a beautiful scarlet red shimmer overlay and a scattering of warm orange multichrome flakes, overall giving the look of a subtle ember burning through smoke.

window-filtered morning daylight
The creamy finish hid some of the flakies and went on a bit thick for my taste (there's a little chip in my ring finger here after only about 48h of wear, and I don't see much flakies at all on  my pinky), but one layer of topcoat brought out a great shine, and made it glassy smooth.

indoor, bright CF lighting
The red shimmer is a very nice contrast when the polish is in bright light, so this ends up being a 2-looks-in-one sort of thing, where the flakies take center stage in lower light and the shimmer pops in bright sunlight.

bright, direct sunlight
But wait a sec... embers blazing through smoke?  How does this stand up to the super difficult to find Vapid Smokescreen then?

indoor, CF lighting, with MMM on left and SS on right for both pics

Sadly, no dupes here at all.  MMM is much more of a blue-tinged grey, and Smokescreen is utterly packed with shimmer to the point where it could be arguably called smoky red rather than grey.

But MMM does indeed have a much closer cousin in my stash, the also very sought-after Femme Fatale Lantern Waste.

indoor, CF lighting, with LW on left and MMM on right for both pics
Lantern Waste is quite close to MMM,with a few key differences - sorry guys, not dupes at all.

The base color for these 2 polishes is very very similar, with Lantern Waste being just a touch more blue.  As always, my swatch sticks show 2 coats with no topcoat, so you can see that MMM is significantly more opaque... but Lantern Waste absolutely needs 3 coats when worn, so the end result is likely even more similar than shown here.  

bright CF lighting shows the differences a little more obviously than IRL
Because the flakies in LW are the iridescent translucent sort as opposed to the opaque orange/red of MMM, the overall effect is to make the shimmer overlay in LW look cooler-toned.  

Rating:  MMM is 3 out of 5 stars for me, with a really pretty color but only ok formula and wear time.  It would be a great alternative for those of you who are lemming Lantern Waste, especially if you topped it with a very light coat of Essie Shine of the Times.



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