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Jeans Collection Nail Polish: Chanel v. Nubar Comparison

October 12, 2011

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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Chanel Nail Polish

Jeans de Chanel: Chanel’s Fashion’s Night Out Nail Polish

September 10, 2011

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, 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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Chanel Nail Polish

L’Oreal Valiant: Another Chanel Graphite Dupe?

September 2, 2011

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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Chanel Nail Polish

Chanel Le Vernis Graphite: Review and Swatches

June 26, 2011

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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