I'm going to be honest with you: Cle de Peau is a brand that I'm scared to start exploring.
It has to do with price point. While I love my Chanel, Tom Ford, and even Louboutin, Cle de Peau at least seems so much more expensive. A $37-90 lipstick is one thing; a $70 concealer (a product type that I go through like water) seems like the most expensive thing out there.
But yet here we are. I'm dipping my toes into this mostly unexplored brand. (I bought a lip gloss trio a couple of Holiday seasons ago and loathed the plastic applicators but was charmed by the packaging.) For Spring 2016, Cle de Peau has released a quartet of limited edition nail lacquers: 04 Bright Red, 05 Hot Pink, 06 Deep Purple, and 07 Star Sparkle. At $25 each, dare I say it? They're quite reasonable and probably a bargain with price hikes by everyone else. Here's a list of companies whose nail polishes are more expensive that I can also buy at my local Nordstrom: Tom Ford, Chanel, Dior, YSL. For a company whose products are in the upper tier price-wise, this is shocking. But in a good way.
Let me rave for a moment about the formula. It's awesome. I started out with one, immediately doubled my order to qualify for a GWP at Saks, and bought the other 2 the following day after I did a quick mani. I know my nail formulas and this one rocks. It dries quickly and to a nice and hard surface, is self-leveling, and covers in 1-2 coats. Although these aren't the most original colors, the formula more than makes up for it. These also dry perfectly glossy without a top coat. Next, the brush. I find it extremely easy to work with- which in turn minimized cleanup.
Let's start with 04 Bright Red (by the way, the shade names appear nowhere on the box or bottle). This cheerful red required 2 coats for opacity. There are 2 plus topcoat in my mani here:
This is a fantastic summer red- and it's going right into my rotation. I really could've gotten away with one coat. It's that great.
Although I could pull so many reds, here's a few comparisons:
Yeah, it's dupeable but the formula made me fall in love instantly. Two coats makes it look like a gel!
I have only one negative about Bright Red. Like a lot of reds (but not like others in this formula), it's a bear to remove. I had it on my nails for less than 24 hours and it took hours of scrubbing to get 85% of it off of my hands. I wore a base coat, too. That's literally the only negative I can come up with on this color.
Next up, 05 Hot Pink. Why yes, it's the most pedestrian shade name never. But it's anything but ordinary on your nails.
I instinctively reached for this shade for a super quick mani before running to work on a recent weekend. By the end of the mani, I'd fallen in love with the amazingly low-key formula and quick dry time. This is the only shade that wasn't a possible one-coat wonder- there was still VNL after coat #1.
We all know I have a ton of pinks, but I grabbed a few comparisons just so you can get an idea for the color.
Again, very dupeable but the superior formula makes it a must-have.
Next up, what I thought to be the most unique shade- 06 Deep Purple. It's as the name sounds- a dark purple. However, there's a secret blue shimmer in it! Unfortunately it didn't translate to the nail.
Even crazier? It's a one-coater. I'm still shaking my head over the performance. The shade appears lighter here, but there's a more accurate photo coming:
I pulled a few purples- mainly with blue sparkling undertones- for comparison:
It's not necessarily 100% unique, but again- formula makes this worth picking up.
Let's move on to 07 Star Sparkle, the glitter topcoat of the group. Normally I'm leery of glitter polishes, but I love this one! Two coats almost covered my entire nail, which was shocking.
Even more shocking by this adult glitter polish was the removal. It just came off, even on my nail where I had multiple coats. Unreal. Cle de Peau even did glitter perfectly. My mind is blown.
I used my hand as a human swatch wheel. There are two coats of Star Sparkle on my index finger, and one coat over each of the three cremes in this photo:
Awesome, right? It's grown-up glitter, and I'm currently trying to figure out the best way to make it work in the office.
I teased you with the human swatch hand; here's my 2-coats-per-nail skittles mani of the entire collection, minus topcoat:
Bottom Line: This is an expertly-curated collection of three cremes and one glitter nail polish. Although these are classic shades, they've been executed so flawlessly that these are must-haves. I just hope that these sell well and Cle de Peau decides to release more. All four are listed as limited edition, so don't wait.