Chanel’s Soho Story features two nail polish–the red-flecked almost-black Strong (1.48.167) and the anthracite-toned shimmering Steel (148.177) ($23 each).
First, Strong took me by surprise. The promotional pictures showed a strong purple.
The bottle color is a deep red-violet, with a touch of orange in strong light. It made me curious, would this be like Space Cadet, reviewed by All Lacquered Up here?
I had enormous trouble taking a picture trying the reproduce the bottle color. Finally, I learned to relax. On nails, Strong has a mind of its own. Rather than fight the color, I decided to enjoy it just as it is. It changes color in different light, but in normal room light and open shade it’s a deep dark, near-black with a touch of eggplant bordering on deep red. I’ve decided that Strong is my new Vamp.
To me, its an aggressive color, cool and uncompromising. Street with sparkle. Like many strong statements, Chanel Strong may be an acquired taste. But I find that it is a taste that I have acquired–it occurred to me quite suddenly that I love my nails wearing this color. This happened only after I let go of any expectation about what it is supposed to look like. One coat, no topcoat:
Another, which shows the very subtle shimmer:
I took a picture in direct, warm sun with flash so that you could see the sparkle. This polish is a color-changing chameleon–I like it in normal light (the above picture) far more.
The formula is little thick, but I just went with it and it turned into a one-coat wonder. I love to be done in 10 minutes, don’t you?
Second, Steel is a deep, metallic grey. I searched high and low for my bottle of Zoya Freja to do a comparison, but sadly it did not turn up. If memory serves, Freja is lighter than Chanel Steel but I’d love to see a comparison.
Like Strong, Steel applied beautifully in one (thick) or two (thinner) coats. Easy to work with, no surprises, no streaky frostiness. Just as you’d think it would look:
Although I was not sure that I’d like either of these, I find that I love them. They’re colors for the fearless, brave with a touch of originality and beauty. How Chanel is that?