Sep 022011
 

I swear, I’m not trying to turn Cafe Makeup into “Chanel dupe” central (far from it).  We previously examined how Revlon Carbonite compares.  I learned from via a twitter message from Nouveau Cheap that this year’s L’Oreal Color of Hope collection included a near-Graphite color, L’Oreal Valiant.  Above, the bottle shows that they are all certain part of a trend of gray-green–they look like cousins.

 On nail, you can see that L’Oreal Valiant is more firmly in the chrome/frost texture, rather than the embedded sparkle of Chanel Graphite.  Here’s a picture of all three:  L’Oreal Valiant, Chanel Graphite, and Revlon Carbonite:

More comparisons in sunlight with flash:

One more in shade with flash:

My conclusion is that these aren’t true dupes, although between the two Revlon Carbonite is closer.  To me, Carbonite has more of the sparkle quality of Chanel Graphite while Valiant is a sheeny frost in texture.

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Aug 042011
 

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)

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By the way, here’s The Polish Police’s comparison with Chanel Graphite and OPI’s Lucerne-tainly Look Marvelous.

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Jun 262011
 

Chanel Le Vernis in Graphite ($25 #529) is a rich metallic gray with a slight hint of gold.  This warmth seems to give a slight hint of green in warm light.  There is a rich metal/glass sparkle effect that gives Graphite depth and life.

The formula is the familiar excellent, smooth and fast-drying metallic formula that I’ve come to know and love from Chanel.  Graphite is opaque in two coats, but this is three:

 

This color is strong, edgy and dramatic.  A lovely choice for fall, although perhaps a bit strong for summer.  You can see how there is a very subtle hint of metallic green that appears in the strong warm sunlight.

 

This is the sort of little trick of light from Chanel, executed with mastery.  Graphite lives up to the name “Illusion D’Ombre.”  Bravo, Peter Philips!

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