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MUG SHOT: Forget fifty, I like this shade of gray – NARS Storm Bird (swatches and comparisons)

July 28, 2012 by pam

When I first saw a photo of NARS’ Fall 2012 Collection, I did a double take.


“What the hell?! Is that Galion?”

But no, it wasn’t Galion. It was much too light to be Galion.


It’s Storm Bird.


Check it out on model Kristen McMenamy’s thumb.


Yesterday, I went to Rustan’s Makati to visit the Chanel counter. But since the Chanel girl was busy doing someone’s makeup, I decided to walk around for a bit. I dropped by NARS even though I knew they didn’t have anything new yet.

I checked out the polish on display and asked the NARS guy, “Thakoon is still the newest collection you have, right?”

He nodded. But just as I turned to leave, the NARS girl said, “Ma’am, we already have Storm Bird.”


Of course I bought it. I wasn’t walking out of there without it.


Say hello to Storm Bird.


Today, I had fun swatching it.


NARS describes Storm Bird as “shark grey.”


That’s a kick-ass description.


I have to admit, at first I wasn’t thrilled that NARS was coming out with just a gray polish for fall. I love NARS and I was worried I wouldn’t be in love with this color because one, I have so many grays in my collection and two, despite the number of bottles I have, I haven’t been in the mood for gray in a while.


But, surprise, surprise, I ended up loving Storm Bird. A lot.


It’s a beautiful dark moody shade of gray.


And it has a hint of purple that makes it absolutely gorgeous.


The formula was lovely, super smooth and creamy.


Even one coat was pretty opaque. But I used two.


On the nails, it dries to a darker color than the bottle shows.


It’s a tad darker and a bit more purple than these photos show.


And because I know you’re curious to see how similar Storm Bird is to Galion, I pulled out my bottle to compare.


As you can see, Galion is darker and a lot more blue than Storm Bird.


I knew they weren’t dupes but I was still surprised by how different they are.


Not even close.


They’re different enough to justify owning both, yes.


Please don’t make me choose between the two.


I love them both.


I brought out some of my favorite grays too for more comparisons. I knew the closest shade to Storm Bird would be Stormy Weather, which Deborah Lippmann created with Narciso Rodriguez. But something stupid happened. Something really really stupid. In the middle of swatching the different grays, I realized I couldn’t open my bottle of Stormy Weather. I tried all the tricks I know – use a piece of cloth, use a band, run the bottle under tap water, tap it against a table, curse, pray – but nothing worked. So yeah, I did my comparisons without Stormy Weather.


But even in the bottle you can see that Stormy Weather and Storm Bird aren’t dupes either. But I promise, as soon as I get that bottle open, I’m comparing the two shades.


For now, here is Storm Bird with some of my favorite grays.


Illamasqua DWS is a lighter shade of gray. RBL Concrete Jungle is a light gray that leans blue. RBL Stormy is a dark gray but not as dark as Storm Bird. It doesn’t lean blue either. Dior Gris Montaigne is a straight-up gray and doesn’t have Storm Bird’s blue and purple tinges. Gris Montaigne is also the sheerest of the five shades – it was the only one that required three coats, the rest were opaque after two.


I love that I have so many different shades of gray in my collection but no dupes.


Thanks to NARS Storm Bird, I have fallen in love with gray polish all over again. Remember my Galion obsession last year? I think the same thing is going to happen with Storm Bird. After the comparison swatches, I did a full Storm Bird mani and I keep staring at my nails.

No kinky CEO, no chains, no whipping – this is a shade of gray I can get on board with.

NARS Storm Bird is now available at Rustan’s.


  1. Maddie Shen says:

    hey pammy! I feel bad, I’m the first commenter again. Shouldn’t I let some of your other readers talk first? haha :) I have a big question for you. I don’t own a really great gray yet, so out of all the grays you own, which one do like the best and would keep wearing over and over? I know it’s hard to choose, you said it yourself! Anyway, I’m fine with you saying all of them, because then I have a reason to buy them all! haha ;) have a wonderful day!

    • pam says:

      Haha! That’s cool, I’ve been enjoying your comments! :)

      That’s a really difficult question. And yes, I am very tempted to say all of them! I really do love them all. But Storm Bird is a great gray – I think you will love it! I also love RBL Stormy and MAC On The Prowl but that one is a bit hard to find now, I think :(

  2. Polished Pinay says:

    Shark grey – awesome! My mind immediately went to the show Sharkmen, what a geek!

  3. Renku says:

    i was disheartened too when i heard nars was only releasing one shade, but then i saw swatches of it and its instant love! i adore grey polish and something about it just makes me stare.. lol <3

    • pam says:

      I know I already have enough bottles of this color but I can’t stop buying them either! And yes, Storm Bird is really special.

      It’s crazy how I keep staring at it! And I also topped Storm Bird with the Edge of Glory flakies and I love this look as well!

  4. chelsfofo says:

    I have TOTALLY had the same problem with DL and RBL polishes where I cannot seem to get the cap open for the life of me… I even tried pliers and just ended up imprinting the caps with little hack marks. Soo… what finally worked was take a shower with them. lol Take a nice steamy shower with them in the shower (in the corner or somewhere close) and voila! they should be open-able. :D

  5. Camille says:

    loovvveee grays!!!!!

  6. ledz says:

    I saw this last week but passed – I wanted to wait for your comparisons (which I knew you were going to do haha! You won’t be able to help yourself!). I’m still not sure I NEED it… maybe coz I’m not into gray these days.

    • pam says:

      You need it! Trust me!

      When I bought it I was really unsure about my love for grays too – I wasn’t in a gray mood at all. But Storm Bird changed that :)

  7. Cait says:

    I LOVE that colour!!! Is it a dupe for MAC Blue India (or Sally Hansen Gray by Gray)?? I couldn’t get my hands on Blue India so I settled for Gray by Gray (even though it’s not identical) but Storm Bird looks better, deeper colour.

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