Saturday, February 20, 2016

Chanel Longwear Le Vernis Part II: The Reds

When someone says Chanel, I think of several things: Handbags, Number 5, and red lips/nails. So it's no surprise that the rebooted Chanel Le Vernis Longwear line is centered on its reds. Out of 15 (ok, 16), Chanel has released a six-pack of red polishes. Now that's my type of six-pack! (If you missed my review of the pinks, just click here.) If red or pink isn't your thing, just hold your horses since the other shades will be my next post.

From sunny, bright tomato reds to classic blue reds to vamps, any Chanel girl should be happy with this current offering of reds that Chanel has given us. Since I'll be covering six shades, let's get right to it.


There are some reds that make you think of summer. If those are your type of reds, let me introduce you to your newest BFF: Gitane.

I purposely chose the first photo with flash on and the second without so that you're not concerned when you pick up your bottle. It will look more like the photo of the back of the bottle. Dried on your nails, it's like the brighter photos.

Just look at that red hot bottle of Chanel sexiness. That makes me think of summer and hot little sportscars. Just me? It's ok, you don't have to admit it. This is a an orange-based red and warm.  Here's a quick mani with Gitane:

If you're looking at that and thinking "I've seen that before," you're right.  Let me show you where your mind went to:

Turns out, your instincts probably weren't quite right. If you'd asked me, I thought Coromandel was the most likely dupe. Tom Ford Scarlet Chinois, Butter London Ladybird, or Coquelicot were the closest. That means that this is one of the brightest reds that Chanel has offered and therefore has an important part in your nail wardrobe.

Rouge Essentiel:

Every now and then, a nail polish captures my heart and attention. Never in a million years did I think Chanel Rouge Essentiel would be that polish. But it is.

When I first tried Rouge Essentiel on at the counter, I literally gasped. This is a classic Chanel red that's perfect on the nails. It's a cool red, but perfectly midtone. To tell you just how much I love this polish, I made it the first shade that I wear-tested.

You'll be seeing a lot more of it in the future, but here's a mani:

No, no bottle shot since I was trying to photograph other aspects. As I mentioned, this polish will be all over my wear tests. Sorry about that since I could've sworn I got a bottle shot.

I'll be posting the nail wheel under the next polish, since I included two polishes on the same wheel for color comparison. However, Rouge Essentiel is very dupeable in my stash. It's the formula that makes me think this is a must-have.


I was a bit surprised that Chanel brought back Pirate, a blue-toned red jelly. Especially so when I saw Rouge Essentiel. I naively assumed that they were close in tone. Turns out, Chanel knew what they were talking about-the two mid-toned reds are completely different.

How so? Pirate is at least half a shade darker than Rouge Essentiel. It's also much cooler. The biggest difference comes in the formula. Pirate remains one of the few jelly polishes in Chanel's lineup, whereas Rouge Essentiel is a true creme without shimmer.

It's lovely on the nails, right? Pirate is a true jelly- and why I'm frustrated with Sunrise Trip. Chanel knows how to do these right.

Now, let's look at that larger nail wheel that includes both Rouge Essentiel and Pirate.

See how different they are?

Bottom line: Both of these reds are must-haves. I think Rouge Essentiel is the under-the-radar star of the collection.


If Chanel is known for their classic reds, their vamps are equally as famous. There are 3 in this initial offering. Mythique is the lightest of the three, and the only brand-new shade. It's a darkened berry that really lightens up under lights. I present this photo as primary evidence:

It's a great color- vamps look awesome on my nails. That said, this is one of those shades that's a PITA on cleanup. I swear I did about 10 min of cleanup on this mani before photographing. I know it's a mess!

Since there are three darker shades, I put them on one larger wheel, so keep reading to see the comparisons.

Bottom line: it's a nice shade that will get a lot of use once the weather cools down.


This is the name of the shade that put the House of Chanel on the map in terms of nail polish. We all know the story, back in 1994. Vamp #18 was sold out for months.  Somewhere along the way, Vamp came back, reformulated from a creme to a shimmer, with the same number- but not the same polish.

Chanel decided to keep this iconic shade #18- but also confuses us by releasing Rouge Noir #18, close to the OG Vamp. In the new Longwear formula, they're both #18 again. I have no idea.

I'll be honest, it's pretty darn close to the latest version of Vamp. By the way, this one is much easier to clean up than Mythique.

Sorry that the photo's a bit dark, but flash totally washes it out. The nail wheel is with the next polish for comparison's sake.

Rouge Noir:

I conclude this section of the Chanel Longwear Le Vernis polishes with the deepest, darkest, and baddest motha of them all- Chanel Rouge Noir. This is close to what Vamp was prior to its reformulation.

That's right- Chanel has brought Rouge Noir back- and allegedly it'll be permanent. Didn't see it at your local counter? No worries, this one's living at I have no information on this officially, but a poll of recent counter employees leads me to think that it's a exclusive.

I don't really need to say much, do I? It's Chanel Rouge Noir. And it's an an incredible, longwear formula. Just do yourself and go buy it.

Cleanup is a little worse than Vamp but nowhere like Mythique.

Finally, time for that nail wheel I've been promising with Mythique, Vamp, and Rouge Noir.

Lots and lots of vampy goodness.

Bottom line: Rouge Noir is a badass classic for a reason. GO. NOW. You won't regret it.

Phew, that wraps up the reds from the Chanel Longwear Le Vernis collection. We've now discussed 10 of the 15 US releases, so I'm going to take a break for a bit. I'll post the final 5 tomorrow, I promise. I have everything photographed, it's just a matter of editing photos (I don't use photoshop) and posting.


  1. I got the Rouge Noir and am wearing it in a pedicure. Love! It's my first Chanel and gateway into high end cosmetics. I now also have Troublante. What is your favorite lipstick formula? I got a Chanel Stylo and love the color (script), but wonder if there is something longer lasting. I have dry lips so need the hydration.

  2. I took a look at some of the new formulation bottles at NM, and it looks like they've done away with the subtle shimmer that Chanel and Dior have been known for in recent years. I suspected this was coming as both Vert Obscure and Sunrise Trip also lacked the shimmer.

    Is it really gone? If so, I'll just slink back to Dior.

    1. No, I don't think it's gone in all of them. Vamp still has shimmer.

      The initial collection just happened to feature mostly cremes- and aside from Vamp, the reformulated shades were all cremes to start with.

      I'd be patient to see future releases- and I'm willing to give Chanel some time. IIRC, there was only one shimmer in Dior's reboot of their polish when they introduced the gel formula.


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