On a recent trip to a local CVS drugstore, I noticed a display of Revlon Carbonite ($4.98) with the tagline “Wear the ‘It Color’ of the Season.” Fortunately, I’d already learned from Nouveau Cheap that Carbonite was Revlon’s effort to duplicate Chanel Graphite. Could my beauty friends get the same look of a $25 polish for under $5? I had to investigate.
I swatched as one color Chanel Graphite, the next Revlon Carbonite and so on. On the edges, I put Chanel Strong (a metallic gray) and Chanel Black Pearl on the other side. Indoors under flash, you can see that the colors are both close. Chanel Graphite has a touch more green to my eye (click to enlarge):
Outdoors in sun with flash, you can see the Chanel sparkle more clearly (click to enlarge):
One more outdoors with flash (click to enlarge):
By reader request, here are some on-finger swatches. These are swatched differently. Revlon Carbonite are the left two fingers. Chanel Graphite are on the right two. This one is indoors with flash:
Outdoors in the late evening sun:
To my eyes, the outdoor pictures show the famous Chanel sparkle and that chameleon color-shift of Chanel Graphite. I’ve always maintained that no one does sparkle like Chanel–no one. It’s enchanted with fairy dust. Having said all that, the price difference can be a significant consideration. In other words, whether something is close enough to justify the price difference is something every beauty lover must decide for herself. What do you think? (please vote in the poll, below)
By the way, here’s The Polish Police’s comparison with Chanel Graphite and OPI’s Lucerne-tainly Look Marvelous.