I'd describe Metro Chic as a muddy grey-ish purple--it really depends on the light, as you can see in the different pics above. At first I didn't understand the hype about Metro Chic, but once I tried it out I loved how it was subtle and work appropriate. It matches with almost everything and it's a little more unique than the traditional neutrals.
Unfortunately, I was less than thrilled with the streaky application, which I thought was atypical for Sephora by OPI polishes. I don't know if it was the formula or the super skinny brush, but I got so frustrated I decided to go on a quest for a drugstore dupe with the same color, smoother formula, better brush, and lower price. More details after the jump.
I knew I wouldn't be able to swatch 8 different polishes quickly enough to take all the pics in the same light, so I swatched them all on a nail wheel instead. Metro Chic is the first and last polish on the wheel above for comparison. And here are the brushes:
In order from left to right:
1) Sephora by OPI - Metro Chic ($9 at Sephora)
The consistency of Metro Chic is a little tacky (like polishes that have been left uncapped too long) and the brush is long and skinny which made it tough for me to paint my nails quickly and evenly with the minimum number of strokes. I felt like I had to pile on more to make the color opaque but one wrong move and I'd be left with clumps and ridges of polish--yuck.
2) N.Y.C. - Park Ave ($1.82 at Target, find retailers at New York Color)
Park Ave is a little bit lighter and more brown than Metro Chic. The formula is thin so it definitely needs a few coats but each coat dried really quickly so it wasn't a problem. The brush is rectangular and reminded me of OPI's pro-wide brush, which I love. Definitely a great deal for the price.
3) Rimmel - Steel Grey ($3.99 at Target, find retailers at Rimmel London)
Like Park Ave, Steel Grey is little lighter and more brown-ish than Metro Chic. It has a thin formula too but the brush is wide and rounded (great shape, but a little bit too stiff and plastic). I also loved the cute bottle design.
4) Confetti - Moonstruck ($1.99 at CVS)
Moonstruck has a bit more purple than Metro Chic, which I really liked. The brush is thin but triangular so the bristles fan out when applying polish. No issues with the formula.
5) 10 - Showtime ($4.89 at CVS)
I think Showtime is almost an exact match to Moonstruck in color and the brushes are the same (Confetti and 10 are manufactured by the same company), but the formula was great. Very smooth and opaque, so only one or two coats were necessary.
6) Sally Hansen Complete Salon Manicure - Commander in Chic ($6.89 at Target, $8.49 at CVS)In my opinion, this is probably the closest dupe to Metro Chic in terms of color. The formula is thick and rich but the brush is a little strange. It's similar to the Rimmel brush, but the Complete Salon brush is thicker and instead of being perfectly rounded it looks like it started out as a rectangular brush and then the corners were hacked off unevenly with scissors.
7) Sally Hansen Nail Growth Miracle - Fearless Fog ($6.49 at CVS)
Same color as Commander in Chic and Metro Chic, but with a really great formula. It went on smooth and opaque and pretty much one coat was enough. I think the brush on this is better than the Complete Salon brush; it's the same rounded shape as the Rimmel brush but thicker and better quality.
8) Revlon - Stormy ($4.99 at Target, $6.49 at CVS)
Stormy is just a touch darker than Metro Chic and more grey/brown than purple. The brush is pretty standard (triangular like Confetti and 10, but bigger) and I didn't have any problems with the formula.
The bottom line:
Best color match: Commander in Chic and Fearless Fog.(both Sally Hansen)
Smoothest formula: Showtime (10) and Fearless Fog (Sally Hansen)
Best price: Moonstruck (Confetti) and Park Ave (N.Y.C.)
Honestly I thought the color on all of these were super similar, varying slightly depending on the lighting and number of coats. I'd be comfortable reaching for any one of them as a close substitute for Metro Chic, because none of them were too streaky and they were all cheaper. Fearless Fog is probably my overall favorite, but if you own Metro Chic or anything similar I'd love to hear what you think.