Filed In: Chanel nail polish

CHANEL · Le Vernis for Spring 2017

 

The latest additions to the CHANEL Le Vernis range and brand new for Spring 2017, are the four shades featured today (CAN $32.00/each). Out of the four, only one — Tulle, the peach shade — is limited edition and surprisingly it’s not the one I would have expected, but then again I’ll never figure out how brands determine which product gets this designation; I’m just glad it’s not either Androgyne (the deepest hue) or Washed Denim ∗sigh of relief∗.

 

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CHANEL · Le Vernis Bleu Pastel & Resplendissant, Énergies et Puretés Collection 2017

 

The second of CHANEL’s 2017 launches, the Energies et Puretés Collection includes two new nail polishes: 552 Resplendissant, an electrifying coral, and going in the complete opposite direction is 584 Bleu Pastel, a delicate baby blue. Drawing inspiration from K-Pop culture as well as the East-meets-West aesthetic, Lucia Pica (CHANEL’s Global Creative Makeup Director & Colour Designer) has managed to capture that vibe with just two shades. Now THAT’s a pretty cool trick, wouldn’t you agree?

 

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CHANEL SS/17 · Le Vernis Coco Codes Collection

 

Having previously reviewed several key pieces of the CHANEL Spring 2017 Coco Codes Collection (linked below), the last items I have to show you are the nail polishes. All slated to be permanent, they consist of three solid shades and one special top coat which can be worn either solo or layered with other colours. In keeping with Mlle. Chanel’s classic colour theme of red, white, beige and black (only gold is not represented here), each hue is wearable and totally relatable, and while this top coat stands unique, be advised that it’s not without a learning curve. I do so love a beauty challenge …

Previously reviewed from this collection:

Le Top Coat Black Métamorphosis (CAN $32.00) | a translucent/sheer charcoal with CHANEL’s ultrafine “secret” shimmer that’s not really visible to the naked eye, but does add an overall depth of tone. The formula leans on the thick side and while workable, you do need to work quickly due to a slightly faster dry time, and have a steady hand during application. The bonus to this top coat, is that it can be worn on its own as a tint, or layered over anything else for a completely new colour combo. The most even look is achieved when it’s paired over a deeper shade, although I actually like the “smokey” effect it gives when layered over a lighter hue. I do admit that the latter look does take some getting used to, but it’s a fun and new way to change things up.

Swatches above are shown with 1, 2 & 3 coats respectively – no other top coat

Le Vernis Culte (CAN $32.00/each) | Three classic shades in CHANEL’s updated formula that work best when paired with the Le Gel Top Coat for a long-lasting glossy finish. As the brand’s nail polish range was revamped last year, you probably won’t find too many duplicates to compare to (with the exception of perhaps the red shade), which is a point scored in their favour. That said, I do feel that CHANEL needs to create a better brush, as that still seems to be a weakness with their lacquers.

Note: for the swatches below, the top row shows the shades on their own, while the bottom row is with 1 coat of Black Métamorphosis layered on top.

  • 548 Blanc White – a warm leaning sheer ivory, glossy finish, needs 3 coat for decent opacity (best layered over a ridge filling base coat to act as “undies”). Coats shown: 3
  • 556 Beige Beige – a peach/flesh toned nude, good opacity seen even by the 1st coat, excellent non-patchy formula. Coats shown: 2
  • 546 Rouge Red – a vivid pink/red hue in a crème-jelly hybrid formula, a plush cushiony look with a good opacity (slightly translucent with 1st layer). Coats shown: 2

The more I played with these shades, the more sense they made to me — in particular Lucia Pica’s vision of “lacquering”. Groundbreaking, they definitely are NOT and while we all probably have more than our share of white, beige and red polishes, I still appreciate the spin they’ve been given with the addition of this top coat. By the way, if Black Métamorphosis seems somewhat familiar, you may remember Dior’s Rock Coat released in Spring 2011 as part of the Rock Your Nails Collection — a shade that was obviously way ahead of its time.

Available now at all CHANEL counters

 

PR samples/All opinions my own

CHANEL · Cheeks, Lips & Nails – Collection Libre de CHANEL

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To harmonize with the more somber tones of the eye products in the collection, Lucia Pica selected a vibrant and fresh palette of colours for cheeks, lips, and nails. The theme of the Collection Libre Synthetic de CHANEL is all about the play of shadow & light, texture, and mood, revisited and reimagined in unique new forms. Then there’s that explosive blush shade … you won’t want to miss out on it, believe me.

Previously reviewed from this collection:

 

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Collection Libre de CHANEL · Rianne Van Rompaey, photographed by Karim Sadli for CHANEL

 

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CHANEL · Joues Contraste 360 Hyperfresh

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Joues Contraste 360 Hyperfresh, limited edition (CAN $53.00) | Acting as a counterpoint to the more industrial-like shades of the eyes, this blush is like finding a flower blooming unexpectedly in concrete. A vivid and almost neon pink (neon + CHANEL … who would have thought?), this is an über-pigmented hue that needs a very light hand to start with. Bearing the brand’s signature rose fragrance which dissipates fairly quickly once applied, the texture is incredibly refined and appears flawless when buffed lightly into the skin. There’s the lightest whisper of gold thrown in (visible in the macro shots, below) to add a nice touch of warmth, thus making Hyperfresh wearable by a broad range of skin tones. Lasting power (over foundation) is bang on, staying true & without fading until removed.

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CHANEL · Joues Contraste 360 Hyperfresh

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CHANEL · Joues Contraste 360 Hyperfresh

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CHANEL · Joues Contraste 360 Hyperfresh

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CHANEL · Joues Contraste 360 Hyperfresh swatches

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The only shade that come close to Hyperfresh from my collection of CHANEL blushes, is 270 Vibration (from Fall 2015, which I believe may no longer be available in Canada) and while both are bright pops of colour, there are still enough differences between them with Hyperfresh leaning slightly more peony pink.

As someone who tends to stick to coral-based blush shades, I was surprised to see that I owned 2 more neon-ish shades in my stash: Starscape (LE) from the NARS Christopher Kane Collection (Spring 2015) and Se Pomponner from Surratt Beauty. Again, while both of these are almost retina-searingly bright (especially when swatched heavily as I have here), neither is a match to Hyperfresh. Starscape, while extremely close, does appear to be a couple of degrees lighter & more true pink, while Se Pomponner is more blue-based and definitely the more vivid of them all. Quality-wise, apart from the fact that all are highly colour-saturated, they also display an extremely refined texture that makes them easy to blend seamlessly into the skin (just make sure to start off with a light hand).

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CHANEL · Joues Contraste 360 Hyperfresh vs 270 Vibration swatches

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CHANEL · 360 Hyperfresh, NARS Starscape & Surratt Beauty Se Pomponner swatches

 

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CHANEL · Rouge Allure Gloss 137 Super Nude & Rouge Allure 247 Ultraberry

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There are five lip products in this collection and I have my two favourites to show you here. Playing harmony to the more urban eye shades, both hues are fresh and easily wearable, while the textures offer up a smooth application and continuous hydrating feel to lips.

Rouge Allure Gloss 137 Super Nude, limited edition (CAN $43.00) – I have a total weakness for CHANEL glosses and in particular the Rouge Allure Gloss formula. There’s a nice thickness to the texture that helps it adhere well to lips without feeling tacky, seeming to level out and even fill in lip lines as it settles in. Super Nude is a beautiful mix of both cool & warm undertones which makes it universally wearable by all (without disappearing into one’s skin tone) and probably my fave neutral to date. Staying power is about average for a shade this light, approx. 3-4 hours without eating and/or drinking.

Rouge Allure 247 Ultraberry, limited edition (CAN $43.00) – Having been revamped over a year ago, the Rouge Allure formula provides excellent colour saturation with a rich moisturizing feel. Ultraberry is one of those wine/berry shades that can be worn several ways; lightly blotted to give that “bitten” effect, or layered for more depth of tone. Do note that it will leave a light stain behind, which in itself can also be yet another cool look to this shade.

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CHANEL · Rouge Allure Gloss 137 Super Nude swatch

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CHANEL · Rouge Allure 247 Ultraberry swatch

 

chanel-holiday-2016-nail-polish-1CHANEL · Le Vernis 540 Liquid Mirror, 542 Pink Rubber & 544 Hyperrose Glass

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The three nail shades of this collection (CAN $32.00/limited edition) each offer up a unique look and texture, and can even be mixed and matched (as seen in the swatches below).

542 Pink Rubber – a white based pale pink hue that has the finest pearly shimmer (seen more in direct sunlight) that applies in a self-levelling way but will probably show some patchiness with the first coat. Giving this shade a ‘rubberized’ finish takes it from dainty to something a lot more modern & unique, and also eliminates the need for using a matte top coat (I do love a matte nail). As seen in the swatches below, adding a glossy top coat (Le Gel Coat used here) gives a more classic look, while a layer of Hyperrose Glass gives a playful twist.

544 Hyperrose Glass – a semi-transparent cool pink hue with blue pearl reflects (and even some random darker pink pieces) in a super glossy jelly-like formula. Worn alone, 1 coat provides a pretty pink flush of colour while 2 coats gives a more colour depth, although don’t expect it to reach opacity any time soon. Layering Hyperrose Glass over other shades creates unique new colour combos, thus adding to its versatility.

540 Liquid Mirror – a dark silver metallic (with a grey/steely undertone) in a formula that’s not without it’s share of issues. On the plus side, the colour saturation is intense enough that you get great opacity even by the first coat, but you’ll need a very steady hand to minimize visible brush strokes. Some lines will level out as the polish dries, but do note that it will be impossible to eliminate them all. Another option is to add a layer of Hyperrose Glass which will not only camouflage some of the more obvious lines, but also provide a really cool mauve-y overtone. Apparently the inspiration here lies in the mirrored look and lines of urban skyscrapers and while I appreciate the imagery, I personally don’t feel it’s one that translates as well worn along the nails.

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CHANEL · Le Vernis 542 Pink Rubber swatches (natural light & direct sunlight)

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CHANEL · Le Vernis 542 Pink Rubber swatches (with top coat & 544 Hyperrose Glass)

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CHANEL · Le Vernis 544 Hyperrose Glass

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CHANEL · Le Vernis 544 Hyperrose Glass swatches (natural light & direct sunlight)

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CHANEL · Le Vernis 540 Liquid Mirror

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CHANEL · Le Vernis 540 Liquid Mirror swatches (direct sunlight & with Hyperrose Glass)

 

Apart from the fact that this collection is not overwhelmingly large (as so many other holiday collections tend to be), I’m really liking the sophisticated direction CHANEL has taken. As seen in my previous post, the eyes were all about strong & graphic colours, while here the lips, cheeks & nails serve to soften up any harsh edges. Neon pink is not a shade I’d normally reach for but here’s the thing: a light wash of Hyperfresh serves to totally brighten up the face while also adding a youthful hue, and that touch is always welcome. Both Super Nude and Ultraberry are drop-dead stunning and wearable; enough said. As to the nails, I applaud the mix of textures and and I’m having fun with both Pink Rubber and Hyperrose Glass, but Liquid Mirror just didn’t make the grade as far as I’m concerned, and that’s with bringing my considerable polishing skills to the table. I’m not giving up on it yet, however, as I not only love the colour but the name too; I still have a few more tricks up my sleeve to try!

Available November 1 at all CHANEL beauty counters

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Press samples/As always, all opinions are my own

CHANEL · Rouge Allure Ink, Gris Obscur & Bi-Phase Makeup Remover

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CHANEL recently released their latest lip products, Rouge Allure Ink, a matte liquid lip colour that might be a little late to the party, but then again, this brand will always beat to its own drum. Slipped in with this collection is 538 Gris Obscur, a darkly brooding nail polish in a shimmering slate hue, a colour that not only has Fall written all over it but sits comfortably in my wheelhouse of deep & vampy shades. The last item I received was the Le Bi-Phase Visage makeup remover, a product which turned out to be quite timely in my swatch fest.

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CHANEL · Bi-Phase Makeup Remover, Rouge Allure Ink & Gris Obscur

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CHANEL · Luxuriant & Amoureux Rouge Allure Ink

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CHANEL · Luxuriant & Amoureux Rouge Allure Ink

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Rouge Allure Ink Matte Liquid Lip Colour (CAN $43.00) | Housed in a glass bottle, I was initially surprised by how small it is (in comparison to other lip products from the range), but it’s comfortably sized just the same and appears to hold a good amount of product. The flocked applicator has a unique bevelled flat paddle-like shape that makes it easy to scoop the colour out, as well as deposit it quickly and easily all along the lips with minimal fuss. Bearing a lighter version of the typical rose scent that CHANEL is known for, this appears to dissipate fairly quickly after application — good to know for anyone with sensitivities.

The ‘melt-away’ formula is composed of a specific wax that is meant to impart softness, suppleness and a velvety feel, while jojoba oil in the mix delivers moisture, hydration and protection. Other active ingredients include:

  • sappan wood
  • matcha green tea
  • sweet almond oil
  • vitamin E derivative

Calling this a matte lip product, however, might be a touch misleading; while it does not have the brilliance of a gloss, it definitely does not come to that flat & light-absorbing finish that’s typical of what we think of when we hear ‘matte’. Something else to note is that the colour never fully dries down either, displaying a slight sheen upon initial application that can then be lightly blotted for a more matte-like effect, if desired. On the plus side, the shades have an incredible buttery-smooth feel — both during application and throughout the wearing, along with excellent staying power; Amoureux, the lighter of the two shown here naturally lasted less but still left a rosy pigment behind, while Luxuriant went on easily for 7+ hours and left a much deeper stain behind.

If you’re like me and love the look of a matte lip but hate the desiccating feel that most leave behind, then Rouge Allure Ink is a beautiful compromise; applies like a gloss, is pigmented like lipstick but dries down to a semi-satiny finish, and all while leaving lips feeling hydrated, both during & long after. I’d call that a win-win. BONUS: applying a matching lip pencil to the entire lip before applying your chosen Rouge Allure Ink shade will not only increase the longevity, but intensify the colour.

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CHANEL · 140 Amoureux Rouge Allure Ink

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CHANEL · 150 Luxuriant Rouge Allure Ink

 

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CHANEL · Le Bi-Phase Makeup Remover

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Le Bi-Phase Anti-Pollution Makeup Remover (CAN $53.00) | A dual phase face makeup remover that combines known anti-pollution properties in the formula to deliver effective cleansing and protection at the same time.

Comprised of two phases each of which contains one of the key active ingredients, this lightly (and pleasantly) scented makeup remover needs to be shaken before using, turning it into a pale blue milky solution. The water phase contains blue micro-algae with known de-polluting strength, while the emulsion phase holds the moisturizing and fortifying properties of marine salicornia extract. Using a dry cotton pad to apply it to the skin (avoiding the eye contour area), it effectively removes all traces of makeup without leaving behind any greasy feel — no further rinsing needed, plus you have the added benefit of knowing your skin is left nourished and protected from external aggressors.

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After putting Le Bi-Phase Visage to the test, I have to say that I absolutely LOVE how my skin felt after using it to remove my makeup; soft & hydrated without that tight-skin sensation. That being said, it can also become quite the pricey investment if you wear a full face of makeup that needs removing daily (unless cost isn’t a factor for you — then by all means, go to town), so I’ve come up with a couple of solutions. In order to maximize the product, I actually cleanse with either a skin oil beforehand then go in with Le Bi-Phase, or use a less expensive micellar water cleanser first to remove the bulk of my makeup, then follow up once again with Le Bi-Phase. This way, not only am I ensuring my skin is thoroughly cleansed, but left nourished and protected afterwards. BONUS: I used Le Bi-Phase to remove the Rouge Allure Ink swatches and it not only worked like a charm, but left my lips feeling totally hydrated afterwards.

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CHANEL · Le Bi-Phase Makeup Remover

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538 Gris Obscur (CAN $32.00) | A medium-sheer charcoal grey base hue that’s filled with steel-tinted ultra fine shimmer particles that can display a slight prismatic effect seen in direct light. The formula is a crème-jelly hybrid and applies in a self-levelling way without any pooling at the cuticles or nail edges, and leaves behind a cushy gloss finish – but I feel it totally benefits from a top coat to really make it stand out. Interestingly, the shimmer seen in the bottle doesn’t really show up as strongly when seen in natural/indoor lighting but does serve to add depth of tone and a nice edgy flair to this shade. BONUS: non-staining upon removal.

The formula is in CHANEL’s newly rebooted version, which is meant to provide long-lasting & chip-free wear with a high powered shine. While I’ve read of some people mentioning that CHANEL polishes chip easily on them, I personally have never had any problems in that area, as polish in general (including CHANEL) lasts like iron on my nails. If there’s one area I feel this brand needs to work on where nail lacquers are concerned, then I would say it’s with the brush shape and while I had no issues here, I would still like to see them come out with a brush that is more chiselled and tapered (along the lines of Dior or Guerlain).

Coats: 2, plus Le Gel Coat top coat

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CHANEL · 538 Gris Obscur

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CHANEL · 538 Gris Obscur

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CHANEL · 538 Gris Obscur swatch

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CHANEL · 538 Gris Obscur swatch

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CHANEL · 538 Gris Obscur swatch (macro)

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CHANEL · 538 Gris Obscur swatch

 

I really like how meticulous and well-thought out CHANEL releases are; just because everyone is releasing a certain type of beauty product, doesn’t mean that CHANEL jumps on the bandwagon, but rather the House takes a wait & see approach — then comes up with their own spin. Rouge Allure Ink are lovely, albeit a far cry from matte (more along the lines of the new NARS Velvet Lip Glide) although they make up for that with an incredible lip feel. Makeup Removers have been getting more comprehensive and if you’re in the market for a product that throws in extra skincare benefits, then you may want to give Le Bi-Phase Visage a try. And Gris Obscur … grungy, sophisticated, sexy and modern. Plus it’s a fabulous alternative to black and one that upon removal, will not leave your nails looking like you’ve been digging around the garden. Only killer gorgeous vibes here.

Available at The Bay & CHANEL counters nationwide

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Press samples/As always, all opinions are my own