Jun 152013
 

I’ve had a few requests to compare Chanel Mysterious nail polish (reviewed here) with Chanel Vertigo.  As you can see, they are quite close.  Mysterious has a touch more olive/yellow in the mix and is a whisper lighter in tone.

Mysterious and Alchimie comparison swatches3

I’ve also had requests to swatch Chanel Alchimie (reviewed here) against Chanel Peridot and Diwali. I’ve thrown Chanel Graphite into the mix as well. As you can see, the color and texture of these is quite different.

Mysterious and Alchimie comparison swatches1

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Jun 012013
 

Chanel Summer Nail Polish01

For me, the standouts of Chanel Summer 2013 were the nail polishes. This collection includes Lilis (soft coral creme), Azure (shimmering blue-green) and Bel-Argus (shimmering ocean blue) ($27 each).

Chanel Summer Nail Polish02

These three incredible shades have incredible formulas, gorgeous color, and each bottle has its own twist in on-trend perfection.  Just my opinion, but yes you need these.

Chanel Summer Nail Polish06a

Azure is a metallic blue green. Perfect in two coats, this gave me no streaking and looks as gorgeous as a peacock feather.

Chanel Summer Nail Polish07aI applied this directly on my nail (no base) and got no staining.  Quick dry time.  All nails swatches in this post use a topcoat (Dior Gel Coat):

Chanel Summer Nail Polish15

Bel-Argus is a beautiful rich metallic blue.

Chanel Summer Nail Polish04

As with Azure, this is perfect in two coats. No staining without a base. Quick dry time. No streaks.

Chanel Summer Nail Polish05

This color reminds me of going to the beach–it looks wonderful with corals, yellows, and khaki. I love to wear it with a crisp white shirt.

Chanel Summer Nail Polish10

Lilis has been my go-to this week. It’s a standout reddened coral creme that looks amazing with either pale or tanned skin.

Chanel Summer Nail Polish08a

Lilis isn’t quite as vibrant as some corals, there’s a polished appropriateness about it, as the color seems softened by a touch of white.  Unquestionably, it’s work appropriate and lovely for summer.

Chanel Summer Nail Polish09a

Chanel does a killer creme formula (they have for decades), and Lilis is part of that tradition. Perfect in two coats, fast-drying. 

Chanel Lilas 2

Verdict: gorgeous!  I loved every one of these. 

Available at Nordstrom.com w/free ship and all Chanel counters and online sources.

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Dec 302012
 

Chanel Spring 2013 Frivole04

Chanel Spring 2013 brings three new Le Vernis nail colors ($26 each)– Emprise (#569), Fracas (#571) and Accessoire (#573).  This is a pleasant spring collection of pretty, wear-everywhere colors. However, some Chanel fans may feel that this collection has a familiar feel.

Chanel Spring 2013 Frivole01

First, is a pearly pink nude Emprise. One very carefully-applied coat gives a sheer, shimmery effect. This is two coats with Chanel Reflet de Laque High Gloss Top Coat.

Chanel Nail Emprise4

Some women will find Chanel Emprise hits a very sophisticated sweet spot. This subtle shell pink shade is very Chanel, and looks breathtaking when wearing almost anything, even black. Here are comparisons with Rescue Beauty Lounge Om, Chanel Rose Jade, and Chanel Beige:

Chanel Emprise Comparisons

Rescue Beauty Lounge Om is a cream texture which builds to opacity far more quickly. Both Chanel Rose and Chanel Beige have the very same sheer texture as Chanel Emprise–it takes some work to build to opacity if that is the look that you would like to achieve.

Chanel Fracas is a very warm pink. The color reminds me of Chanel Joues Contraste Blush in Tea Rose in its very proper feel. Chanel Fracas is unquestionably a work-appropriate color (and honestly, the color will work almost anywhere).

Chanel Spring 2013 Frivole02

Chanel Fracas has a very subtle hot pink pearl that shows up in full sun. Here, with Chanel’s Haute Reflect top coat:

Chanel Fracas 1a

Although when viewed in isolation Chanel Fracas looks l like a hot pink, it is quite warm. Here’s a comparison with a true hot pink, Nars Schiap:

Chanel Fracas Comparison

Finally, my favorite of this collection–Chanel Accessoire.  This is another extraordinary vampy color that is so striking, yet still works almost anywhere.

Chanel Spring 2013 Frivole03

There’s a slight brown tint to Chanel Accessoire. Although it is not a traditional Spring color, I find colors like Accessoire very refreshing and beautiful. It looks amazing with a shiny topcoat, here Chanel Reflet de Laque:

Chanel Accessoire 1b

Chanel Accessoire has some very close cousins. It is more brown that Chanel Rouge Noir, and less purple/violet than Dior Mystic Violine. Chanel Accessoire is just a shade lighter than Chanel Madness (you probably don’t need both if you have a good stock of Madness).

Chanel Accessoire Comparisons 1a

Overall, I found this a nice, well-rounded and crowd-pleasing collection of shades for Spring 2013. If you would like to shave a bit off your total, I would recommend skipping Emprise–it’s a little challenging to apply smoothly. On some skin tones, a light nude like Emprise can gives one’s hands a reddish appearance.

Francas has a good formulation and I liked the little bit of pearl. It’s a safe bet, although I couldn’t swear that it’s entirely unique among other brands.

I love, love, love, Accessoire. The formula is perfect, and it just looks really amazing when applied. I do go through these bottles to their very end, so it made sense for me to get this newest version. However, as these comparisons show, Accessoire it is not a unique shade.

The Beauty Look Book’s review is here.  These are available at Nordstrom.com (with free ship) here.

This post includes an affiliate link (see “About Cafe Makeup” for more information).

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Oct 302011
 

Chanel Le Vernis nail polish in Rouge Carat ($25 /#587) released for Holiday 2011 is a festive rich red infused with fuchsia sparkle.

As Chanel polishes go, Rouge Carat is one of the “good” formulations (meaning superb).  It gives a smooth, even, completely opaque coat of color with a single coat, although I prefer to give two coats just to spread the gorgeous texture and give a completely smooth appearance.

Chanel Rouge Carat is a beautiful classic color, although perhaps not one that is entirely unique.  Unlike some of the taupe, greens and blues that we’ve seen from Chanel lately, Rouge Carat is a rich, traditional color that is Holiday appropriate.

The sparkle is noticeable at close inspection in sunlight, although the color is entirely work (and party) appropriate:

Here is a comparison with numerous other reds in my collection, showing that Chanel Rouge Carat bears some resemblance to Chanel Shanghai Red and OPI Thanks So Muchness (click to enlarge):

Also pictured here are OPI Big Apple Red, Rescue Beauty Lounge Chinoise, Dior Trafalgar, Chanel Dragon, Chanel Rouge Fatale, and Dior Gruau.

Overall, the formula of Rouge Carat makes it worth the price to me.  Although not a terribly unique color, I love a polish that gives a gorgeous glossy, pigmented color in a single coat.  Having said that, I don’t think that Chanel Rouge Carat is a ‘back-up worthy’ color.  Although it’s a beautiful color, I’m more likely to reach for the classic Chanel Dragon (which long ago stole my heart as my favorite Chanel red).

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Oct 122011
 

Last month, Chanel released a limited edition set of nail polishes for Fashion’s Night Out (reviewed here).  Chanel’s blue-themed colors, in Coco Blue, Blue Boy and Blue Rebel sold for $29 each, bringing the total over $100 for all three ($87 without shipping or tax).  Last week, Nubar released the Nubar Jeans Collections at $19 for the set of three.  Each Nubar shade is a variant of the initials “NJC,” after the name of the collection– “NJC1,” for the lightest, “NJC2″ for the medium blue and “NJC3″ for the deepest shade.  Cafe Makeup decided to do a comparison.

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Sep 102011
 

Chanel released three limited edition colors in the Jeans de Chanel Collection ($29/each), coordinating the release date with the worldwide Fashion’s Night Out.  Each color, Coco Blue, Blue Boy and Blue Rebel, are variations of blues.

First, Coco Blue is a light blue with subtle shimmer.

In sun, Coco Blue’s subtle shimmer shows even in the bottle:

 On nails, Coco Blue dries to a light, saturated blue   It’s a very striking color, and perhaps not entirely work-friendly unless you are going for some edge.  Here are two coats without any base or topcoat):

Coco Blue, close-up in sun:

Blue Boy is a somewhat sheer medium blue cream:

Blue Boy on nails in shade:

Blue Boy in sun:

My favorite is Blue Rebel, the deepest blue shade.

Like Blue Boy, Blue Rebel is a creme texture:

Blue Rebel in sun:

 Unlike the Chanel Le Vernis in the permanent range, which sell for $25, the Jeans de Chanel sell for $29 and are expected to sell out quickly (particularly the deeper toned Blue Rebel).  These are only available from Chanel boutiques, online at Chanel.com, Bergdorf Goodman, and select Neiman Marcus locations (Houston, Dallas NorthPark, Beverly Hills, Las Vegas, Oakbrook, Michigan Ave., Tysons, Troy, Boca Raton, Austin, Natick and San Francisco).

The formula of these was workable, even the light blue Coco Blue.  I found Coco Blue easier to work with than Chanel Riva (reviewed here).  The best formula and my favorite color (by far) was the deep blue Blue Rebel.  Although not a large amount to spend as a memento for an attendee of Fashion’s Night Out as an event, those on a budget may wish to choose their favorite and leave the other two behind.  I’m glad that I picked up the collection, as the colors are well thought-out and flattering.  Coco Blue is going to look amazing with winter whites and in summer, although it’s edgy enough to warrant careful coordination with your wardrobe.

I want to love these, really I do.  They are pretty, honestly.  But I don’t believe that Jeans de Chanel has the gasp-inducing quality of some of Peter Philips recent releases–Graphite, Quartz, Black Pearl and Peridot, together with last year’s Strong and Steel, were truly brilliantly formulated.  Let’s face it, he’s set the bar pretty high for himself.  Even Particuliere and some of Chanel’s sheers (Tendresse)  are neutrals and therefore more versatile than the Jeans de Chanel colors.  Overall, I’d say it is a successful collection but not as striking as some released in the past.

Sabrina at The Beauty Look Book has done some helpful and accurate comparisons that you might wish to examine before you purchase.

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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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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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