Filed In: Comparisons

CHANEL – Le Vernis L’Été Papillons for Summer 2013 Limited Edition

CHANEL Summer 2013 Le Vernis opener


When my CHANEL Sales Agent showed me the early promotional images for this collection a few months ago, I’m sure I must have gasped out loud upon spotting these 3 beauties – that green! that blue! Once again, with the L’Été Papillons for Summer 2013 Collection (you can read my review on the new Stylo Eyeshadows here), CHANEL has proven why this venerable brand is at the top of its game, releasing a beautifully themed grouping of products that not only embody the spirit of the season, but that manage to perfectly capture the ephemeral – yet utterly brilliant – colours of delicate butterfly wings.

These three limited edition lacquers (each CAD $27.00 13 ml/0.4 fl.oz) come in the iconic CHANEL rectangular bottle with the removable outer square cap, revealing a smaller & user-friendly ribbed inner cap. The wand is an easy to work with length, while the brush itself is one of the best I’ve worked with; flexible enough to splay evenly when pressure is applied, while being neither too thick/bushy nor too thin.


CHANEL Summer 2013 Le Vernis

CHANEL L’Été Papillons Summer 2013 – #657 Azuré, #647 Lilis, #667 Bel-Argus

CHANEL Summer 2013 Le Vernis 2

CHANEL L’Été Papillons Summer 2013 – #657 Azuré, #647 Lilis, #667 Bel-Argus


#647 Lilis – an ultra smooth coral-salmon hue in a crème/jelly hybrid formula, bearing intense colour saturation and able to suit both warm & cool skin tones equally. Completely non-staining upon removal. Coats applied: 2, plus top coat


CHANEL Lilis swatch

CHANEL – #647 Lilis

CHANEL Lilis swatch 2

CHANEL – #647 Lilis

CHANEL Lilis vs Dior Délice swatch

  • Middle & ring: CHANEL – #647 Lilis
  • Index & pinkie: Dior #433 Délice – thicker formula, higher pigmentation, visible pink, gold & silver finely ground glitter, satin natural finish which can make the base tone appear a few degrees lighter



#657 Azuré – a multi-dimensional teal duo chrome that gives off iridescent green, blue, purple and some scant bronze flashes, depending on the light and angle. Due to its metallic nature, a steady hand is a must in application, in order to avoid any visible brush strokes (which are actually much less pronounced in person than my high resolution images may show here). The paradox is with the formula: the first coat may seem rather sheer when you apply it, but this shade becomes fully opaque by the next coat – just make sure to work quickly, as this is a quick-drying lacquer. Coats applied: 2, plus top coat


CHANEL Azuré swatch

CHANEL – #657 Azuré

CHANEL Azuré swatch 2

CHANEL – #657 Azuré

CHANEl Azuré swatch 3

CHANEL – #657 Azuré

CHANEL Azuré & comparisons swatch

  • Index: China Glaze ‘Deviantly Daring’ (reviewed here) – the closest colour-wise, more pigmented with the shimmer slightly more defined, a few degrees deeper/greener leaning – 2 coats
  • Ring: Dior #704 from the Samba Duo (Birds of Paradise Collection) – duller finish, more green tinged, not as obviously metallic – 2 coats
  • Middle: CHANEL #657 Azuré
  • Pinkie: OPI ‘Catch Me In Your Net’ – sheerer formula, blue leaning, visibly larger shimmer with ground gold & teal/aqua glitter – 2 coats


CHANEl Bel-Argus

#667 Bel-Argus – a complex royal blue chrome/metallic shade with a distinct purple/indigo colour shift. The formula is much more forgiving – both in terms of application re: any visible brush strokes, as well as dry time – than Azuré. Absolutely breathtaking to look at with intricately swirling cobalt depths give Bel-Argus a unique tone, making it almost luminous, in fact. Bonus: non-staining upon removal. Coats applied: 2, plus top coat


CHANEL Bel-Argus swatch

CHANEL – #667 Bel-Argus

CHANEL Bel-Argus swatch 2

CHANEL – #667 Bel-Argus

CHANEL Bel-Argus swatch 3

CHANEL – #667 Bel-Argus

CHANEL Bel-Argus vs CG Want My Bawdy swatch

  • Middle & ring: CHANEL – #667 Bel-Argus
  • index & pinkie: Chine Glaze ‘Want My Bawdy’ (reviewed here) – thinner & sheerer formula, shimmer larger & more visible, purple-leaning – 2 coats


Last word: I couldn’t be happier with this trio of colours CHANEL chose to release for their Summer 2013 Collection – vibrant, almost thrumming with life & beauty, they are as gorgeous to wear, as to look at. I thought at first that ‘Lilis’ might be have a duplicate in my extensive personal CHANEL collection, but I couldn’t find any with the same tone and/or vibrance. It goes without saying that both ‘Bel-Argus’ and ‘Azuré’ are completely unique for CHANEL – and even amongst the comparisons I showed – and certainly worth picking up as well. My favourites? ALL. And just as fleeting as butterflies, that’s how quickly this collection will disappear, I’m giving you fair warning … run, don’t walk, to stake your claim on any of these lovelies.

I picked these up from The Bay (Canada).


CHANEL Summer 2013 Le Vernis closer

CHANEL Spring 2013 Le Vernis – Emprise, Fracas & Accessoire

CHANEL Spring 2013 (opener)


CHANEL’s 2013 Printemps Precieux Collection does not disappoint, especially as far as the varnishes are concerned. The three shades shown (only #573 Accessoire is supposed to be permanent) have a fairly broad appeal with colours that should fit all tastes, from neutral fans to vampy lovers, but #571 Fracas steals the show with its flirty hue – I see this becoming my summertime staple!

All swatches are with base and top coat.

CHANEL Spring 2013

CHANEL #569 Emprise, #571 Fracas & #573 Accessoire

CHANEL #569 Emprise

#569 Emprise – a muted ballerina slipper pink hue with pearly shimmer – clearly seen in the bottle, but appears less distinctly on the nail (in some angles & lighting, you can see an almost silver/pearly sheen). The medium density formula applies in a self-levelling way with a nice gloss at the finish. Coats applied: 3 (very thin)

CHANEL Emprise swatch

CHANEL – #569 Emprise

CHANEL Emprise swatch 2

CHANEL – #569 Emprise

CHANEL Emprise and Frisson

Going through my collection of CHANEL polishes, revealed #543 Frisson (previously reviewed here) to be the closest to Emprise in base colour, but they are still quite different from each other.

  • index & pinkie fingers: #543 Frisson – sheerer, pale baby pink with pink, silver & gold finely ground glitter, less apricot in the base
  • middle & ring fingers: #569 Emprise

CHANEL Emprise vs Frisson swatch

CHANEL – Emprise vs. Frisson

CHANEL #571 Fracas

#571 Fracas – a hot salmon pink shade with extremely fine gold, silver, & pink/magenta shimmer, that once more does not translate as clearly on the nail to what’s seen in the bottle, although it does add some overall depth and reflects well in certain lighting. Good density and flow, self-levelling and glossy, there’s a nice saturation of colour to this uniquely vivid hue. Coats applied: 2

CHANEL Fracas swatch

CHANEL – #571 Fracas

CHANEL Fracas swatch 2

CHANEL – #571 Fracas

CHANEL Fracas and Riviera

The only CHANEL shade I own that bears a similar intensity to Fracas, is #537 Riviera (CHANEL Summer 2010 Collection), although the only thing in common between them is that they’re both vivid pink hues.

  • middle & pinkie fingers: #537 Riviera – sheerer, a hybrid jelly/crème formula with no shimmer, a truer pink with blueish undertones, cooler leaning
  • index & ring fingers: #571 Fracas

CHANEL Fracas vs Riviera swatch

CHANEL – Fracas vs. Riviera

CHANEL #573 Accessoire

#573 Accessoire – an ultra rich & decadent deep burgundy hue with hints of brown in the base. An absolutely stellar formula, highly colour saturated, self-levelling and finishing with a high gloss, making top coat almost superfluous. LOVE this! Coats applied: 2

CHANEL Accessoire swatch

CHANEL – #573 Accessoire

CHANEL Accessoire swatch 2

CHANEL – #573 Accessoire

CHANEL Accessoire and Provocation

I initially thought that #573 Accessoire was almost identical to CHANEL’s Provocation (previously reviewed here), and while they both share a similar depth, there are differences as well.

  • index & pinkie fingers: Provocation – grape undertones, cooler leaning, amazing glossy shine, formula even more spectacular (if possible!)
  • middle & ring fingers: #573 Accessoire

CHANEL Accessoire vs Provocation swatch

CHANEL – Accessoire vs. Provocation


Final thoughts: With every CHANEL launch, I always assume that the nail lacquers couldn’t possibly top the ones that came before before, and yet I am always pleasantly surprised just the same. Along with a few other pieces that from the collection that came home with me, there was no way I would leave any of these behind, but as my comparisons show, the only shade that is truly unique amongst the three, is #571 Fracas. And with these CHANEL beauties, Spring has truly begun for me!

I purchased these varnishes from The Bay (Canada) – feel free to me know what you’ll be indulging in with this collection!

CHANEL Spring 2013 (closer)

CHANEL – Rouge Coco Lipstick #42 Culte


I should begin by mentioning something first: I bought this shade by mistake, although I didn’t know it at the time. To clarify, what I really wanted was #45 Caractère from the CHANEL Fall 2012 Collection … so how did I end up with this shade? You know how when a product gets sold out, the counter staff replaces the tester for it in the display with a similar shade? Well, that’s what happened here, but I was never informed by the SA. Not until a week or so later, did I realize that a “switch” had occurred, and by then, I had grown to love this hue. Ultimately, I guess it didn’t matter – happy a mistake was made!

CHANEL – Rouge Coco #42 Culte

CHANEL – Rouge Coco #42 Culte

CHANEL – Rouge Coco #42 Culte (natural light)


Rouge Coco #42 Culte – (CAD $34.00) a creamy plum/mauve hue with lavender overtones, leaning more towards a rich neutral than a deep shade. Almost a throwback to the ultra mauve lip shades of the 90’s, ‘Culte’ is significantly more wearable and will suite a wide range of skin tones as well. The Rouge Coco formula is one of my favourites from CHANEL, as it applies in an exceptionally smooth manner, deposits a good amount of colour (obviously depending on the shade selected), and lasts surprisingly long for such an emollient product – I got approximately 5 hours of wear before fading, leaving my lips feeling well hydrated. The only downside, is that it’s limited – as are all in the Rouge Coco range … which can be understandably very frustrating.

CHANEL – Rouge Coco #42 Culte (natural light)

CHANEL – Rouge Coco #42 Culte (sunlight)

CHANEL – Rouge Coco #42 Culte


The only other Rouge Coco shade I own that came slightly close to ‘Culte’, is ‘#02 Perlé’, but as can be seen and apart from the fact that they’re both from the same range, they have nothing in common – with ‘Perlé’ bearing a light pearly finish to go with its more dusky rose tones.

CHANEL – Rouge Coco #42 Culte vs #02 Perlé (natural light)

CHANEL – Rouge Coco #42 Culte vs #02 Perlé (sunlight)


Final thoughts: Sometimes it happens that a mistake turns out well, as was the case here; I ended up with a shade that is unique in my collection, in a colour that suits my skin tone, and in the formula I adore. For the days where I want something with more impact than a nude, but falling short of the drama that the deeper hues give, ‘Culte’ is that perfect compromise – providing exactly the right amount of colour, without overpowering the rest of my look. With a little bit of detective work, you might still find this available at several CHANEL counters – well worth the sleuthing, in my opinion.

CHANEL #817 Apparence Illusion d’Ombre – Holiday 2012 (swatches, comparison & review)


One of the other items I picked up from CHANEL’s Holiday 2012 Collection (see previous reviews here and here) was the limited edition ‘Apparence’ Illusion d’Ombre – a richly gleaming bronze-gold hue, that is not only a holiday-ready shade, but in perfect harmony with the rest of this luxurious collection. That, and the fact that I collect these little gems; who can resist owning a little pot of gold?




Apparence (closeup detail)


Illusion d’Ombre in #817Apparence – (CAD $38.00) is a highly wearable golden shade, with its versatility stemming from the darker bronze tints that it bears. Easily worn as a light wash of colour across the lid for a spotlighted yet fresh look, it can also be built up for more intensity and drama, or layered on top of other hues to create completely unique combinations. Applied with a finer brush, ‘Apparence’ also works beautifully as a liner or inner eye corner highlighter; it can also be lightly patted on top of cheekbones for a unique lightly golden gleam. With some taupe leanings in its base to give it some coolness, ‘Apparence’ is an excellent colour for paler skin tones, yet not too frosty for warmer tones either.

For me, worn without primer, the lasting power of the Illusion d’Ombre range is anywhere between 6-7 hours before I see any significant creasing; with primer, that number is easily doubled – an amazing result for such an emollient product. Using your finger to apply this shadow definitely yields the best results, but I prefer the precision and control afforded by a brush; synthetic-fibre brushes work best for depositing an even layer and excellent if you wish to build the colour up. Natural-bristle brushes, on the other hand, give a more diffused appearance to the application and help to blend it more evenly into other shades as well as soften any edges. No matter which you choose, I like how this product gives you some time to play with it, before it sets. Personally, I suggest experimenting with a variety of brushes to find the method and look which works best for you.

Apparence – in sunlight

Apparence – indirect light

Apparence  and the gold shade from the ‘Harmonie du Soir’ quad


I was concerned that #817 Apparence would be too similar to #89 Vision (released this past summer and previously reviewed here), but even a cursory look shows how different they are from each other. Not only is ‘Vision’ a more yellow-toned gold (think gold bricks), but even the application is significantly different, as it bears more of a glide to its texture, giving it a strong foil-like appearance as compared to the more refined yet grittier look of Apparence.

swatches seen in sunlight

swatches seen in sunlight


Final thoughts: Even though the shades aren’t that alike, if you missed out on the limited edition ‘Vision’, then here’s your chance to sate that loss with ‘Apparence’ – although personally, I think that of the two, this release is so much more wearable and compatible with a larger variety of skin tones. Another advantage to this texture, especially for a metallic shade, is that you experience no fall-out in application, and while I like the idea of adding some sparkle to my look, I prefer it to remain contained – not spread around my entire face mirror-ball style.

As the limited edition Illusion d’Ombre shades seem to fly off the shelves, I wouldn’t wait too long in deciding to pick this up … just giving fair warning!

CHANEL – Le Vernis #637 Malice, Holiday 2012 (swatches, comparison & review)


Even though I eagerly anticipate every single one of CHANEL’s cosmetic collections from the moment the first promotional images start circulating, there’s something extra special about their holiday releases. New for 2012 is the limited edition nail lacquer in #637 Malice, a shade that literally oozes seductive allure and sophisticated glamour … and the only ornamentation your hands will need this season.

CHANEL #637 Malice

CHANEL #637 Malice

CHANEL #637 Malice


#637 Malice – one word: PERFECTION. This deep burgundy wine hue bears an ultra-fine blood red and magenta hued shimmer at its core that appears as an inner fiery glow along the center of the nails, framed by slightly darkened edges. Superbly flowing and applying in a completely self-levelling manner, the saturation of pigment is so dense that you almost don’t need a second coat, but it does help to add a beautiful richness of colour. The gloss at the finish is quite intense, almost “wet-looking” and really enhances every gorgeous ruby facet. Bonus: completely non-staining upon removal. Coats applied: 2 (along with base and top coat)

in sunlight

in sunlight/alternate


shaded light

with flash


Searching through my collection of varnishes for a match to ‘Malice’, yielded only one possible contender: Deborah Lippmann’s ‘Dark Fantasy’ (review forthcoming), a limited edition release from spring 2012, and shown on my index & pinkie fingers in the following swatches. How it compared:

  • much sheerer
  • base colour several tones lighter
  • shimmer seems sparser & slightly larger, making it appear more prevalent next to that of ‘Malice’
  • an almost imperceptible duo chrome shift in some lights
  • needed 3 coats to achieve the same colour density as ‘Malice’, although 2 coats gives good coverage as well
  • excellent gloss, but not as brilliant
  • non-staining upon removal as well

in sunlight

shaded light

with flash


Final thoughts: If you are a CHANEL collector like me, then you really cannot afford to skip ‘Malice’; to say that I am mesmerized by this shade, would be a gross understatment: I LOVE IT! From this incredibly rich jewel-like tone, the stellar formula, and its super-charged shine, this is THE shade of the season, in my humble opinion. Taking red to a whole new level by the blackened undertones and crushed shimmer this shade holds, has given it a unique cast and definitely sets it apart from the pack – and let’s face it, we all want to stand out every now & then, right?

I’m already planning on a backup .. or two … that should say it all.