Filed In: Vintage CHANEL

Vintage CHANEL: #247 Haute Chocolat (swatches & review)


How thrilled would you be if you could help create a unique CHANEL nail lacquer shade? That’s exactly what happened in 2008 to then-19 -year old Amy Gonzo from Port Washington, WI, when she entered the “Color of the Year” contest sponsored by Seventeen Magazine in conjunction with CHANEL.  Her winning entry was inspired by her favourite holiday & cold weather drink: a steaming cup of hot chocolate.  Choosing a unique twist on the name, she very aptly named her colour ‘Haute Chocolat’, in honour of the French cosmetics brand – how perfectly fitting for this decadently rich, deep brown lacquer.

How I came to have this beauty: Being the CHANEL cosmetics addict collector that I am, I literally moved heaven & earth to get this shade … no, seriously: I bought it sight unseen back in 2008, had it shipped to my mother-in-law’s condo in Florida where my sister-in-law (who was visiting there at the time) was supposed to bring it back to Montréal for me – she forgot to pack it – I had to then wait a few more months before my mother-in-law came back with my treasured bottle, until I could finally get my hands (or nails) on it … crazy stuff, but 100% true!
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how absolutely yummy does this look? (source)


CHANEL’s #247 ‘Haute Chocolat’ is a simply stunning hue, like that of simmering melted chocolate. Interestingly enough, the formula is thin – almost watery, yet still manages to flow exceptionally well. This rich mink brown colour is shot through with silver, gold, pink, blue, and green ultra-fine glitter, some of it so minute that it only appears as quick little flashes of light. In order to achieve the opacity you see here, I applied 3 very thin coats, although you could probably get a similar look with 2 thicker layers.  For a shimmery lacquer, I was pleased by how naturally glossy it was and the fact that there was no staining upon its very easy removal, was a nice bonus.
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in sunlight/deep tone

in sunlight/medium tone

in sunlight/lighter tone


indoors/lighter tone

indoors/deeper tone


with flash

Final thoughts: ‘Haute Chocolat’ not only proudly takes its place in my collection of vintage CHANEL lacquers, but also has the distinction of being a totally unique colour amongst its fellow varnishes. This luxurious hue has some chameleon-like properties as well, going from a deep seal brown, to a mid-range chestnut, as well as taking on a lighter sepia tone at times.  Never being one to follow trends all that closely, I absolutely love the glimmering look of ‘Haute Chocolat’ against lightly tanned skin … so totally compliments that summer glow! After its long journey to get to me, wearing this delicious hue was so worth it! (plus, I make a mean cup of cocoa – how could I not own this gem?)
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Vintage CHANEL: #59 Canicule – for all my beauties on Valentine’s Day! (swatches & review)


Ahhhh … l’amour … love is in the air  ! Many years ago, my husband (wisely) declared that every day would be Valentine’s Day for us (told you he was wise!) and so while we don’t designate just one day out of an entire year to openly declare our feelings to one another, I still enjoy how people around me seem to smile more and actually seem happier on Valentine’s Day. Or maybe that’s what the greeting card companies want me to believe … *conspiracy theories growing* …


In honour of the holiday, I once more reached into my CHANEL vintages vault and discovered this absolutely perfect Valentine beauty: ‘Canicule’, a deeply glowing candy-apple red shade filled with ultra-fine red shimmer and sparse larger silver flecks. French for the intense heat of late summer, how perfectly this shade embodies the spirit of the day! The formula was absolutely superb, flowing evenly and with just the right amount of viscosity for a flawless application.  With two coats, perfect coverage was reached, as it levelled itself off smoothly without any telltale brushstrokes left behind. I was amazed that a shimmer lacquer would be so stunningly glossy, even before I added a top coat. Bonus: ridiculously easy removal and absolutely NO staining left on the nail upon removal. All swatches are with base and top coats.


in sunlight



with flash


Final thoughts: What I love about this Vintage CHANEL series, is that I am not only re-discovering some of these beauties that I’ve collected over the years, but how I continue to be impressed by CHANEL’s far-reaching vision. ‘Canicule’ is one of those varnishes that may not seem all that unique at first; since its release (I’m not sure of the exact date, but it’s definitely more than 10 years ago) we have seen every shade of red imaginable and in many incarnations, and yet, there still remains something special about this one … ripe for passionate pursuits (you decide what that may be) !


Cape Ground Squirrels sharing a Valentine moment – aren’t they the cutest?




*Image credits 1,2

Vintage CHANEL: #76 Curieux and #24 Beige D’Or … Diwali Twins? (swatches & review)


Once more this week, I went rummaging through my CHANEL vintages, but this time I had a specific purpose in mind. When the first photos of CHANEL’s upcoming ‘Diwali’ began circulating, I was sure I had something similar tucked away in the “vault” – ‘Curieux’ and ‘Beige D’Or’ seemed to fit the bill, so naturally that made me wonder if ‘Diwali’ wasn’t a reincarnated version of either one of those.  That got me thinking (hoping?) that if CHANEL would reach into their own archives to bring something back, maybe getting my hands on ‘Jade’ or ‘Holographic’ wouldn’t be far behind …


CHANEL’s ‘Diwali’

Diwali applied on models for CHANEL’s Pre Fall Paris-Bombay show


‘Curieux’ is a warm champagne gold hue, not quite a frost but neither a foil, with very subtle shimmer hidden within that lets you catch some faint traces of pink and green flecks when seen in certain lights.  The excellent viscosity formula leans towards the sheer side, and while the first coat showed considerable brush strokes, the second coat evened everything out and gave good coverage, although I applied three thin coats for the following swatches. Unfortunately, while the finish in the bottle looks rather foil-like, it does not translate as such when applied.  All swatches are with base and top coats.


in sunlight


with flash


‘Beige D’Or’, the second contender to the crown, is a lemon-curd shade of yellow with some beige-y undertones, and absolutely filled with exceptionally fine golden shimmer in a very sheer formula that flowed with a much waterier consistency than ‘Curieux’. I found that this shade would be much more suited as a layering polish, or for anyone wishing a slight wash of gleaming colour instead of anything too obviously glitzy. Even with three coats as I applied here, full opacity was not reached, although I personally don’t mind this look. BONUS: both lacquers had an excellent dry time.


in sunlight




Final thoughts: Relief. Yes, relief. Why, you ask? Well, when I believed that ‘Curieux’ or perhaps even ‘Beige D’Or’ were dead-on duplicates for ‘Diwali’, I thought myself immune to that upcoming lacquer’s call, but after swatching mine and comparing them to the photos, I see that they are all so different from each other — which means that I don’t have to feel guilty for earmarking ‘Diwali’! Convoluted logic, but accurate where my purchasing habits are concerned! ‘Diwali’ looks more like a gold foil version of ‘Kaleidoscope’ which leans more towards platinum (stay tuned for my future review on that vintage beauty!), and quite unique amongst the rest of my CHANELs … both new and vintage. Verdict: no doubt about it – this will be the CHANEL varnish of the year, and a welcome addition to my ever-expanding collection!


Karl, you’re killing me with this combo … sigh …




*Image credits