This fall Chanel has released a host of new products and colors for nails. There are three new limited-edition Le Vernis Nail Colours in Châtaigne, Écorce Sanguine and Vert Obscur ($27 each for 13 ml / 0.4 fl oz). In addition there is a new La Base Coat, Le Top Coat and a Le Top Coat Velvet (all $27 each). I've been playing with these for several weeks - each year it seems as though fall collections arrive earlier and earlier. I'm still in summer mode so I've been loving brighter colors but the new shades for fall do not disappoint.
I have a preliminary review on the new base and top coat after testing it with Chanel, Dior and Tom Ford nail polishes (I did skip the velvet version). I tried the original base coat and was never a fan. I found it didn't go on the nails smoothly and it made nail polishes of all brands drag unevenly along the nail. The new La Base Coat has improved tremendously in terms of how it glides onto the nails. It's supposed to be a protective and smoothing base with a soft pink tint to even out the nail tone. I find the pink tone does give the nails a very soft even look, but if you wear opaque polishes it doesn't make a difference. The Chanel Base + Chanel Color combination = pure love. I found that it didn't perform so well with Dior or Tom Ford - the color drags and you need a slightly thicker coat of color to get an even application. I prefer base the Formula X Base Coat and CND Sticky Base Coat by far in terms of how it performs with a variety of brands.
The new Le Top Coat is a quick dry high shine top coat. I'm a huge fan of the original Laque Brilliance Extreme Top Coat and after testing the new one, I have to say I still prefer the original version by far. I really hope it's here to stay and that Chanel did not create a new one to replace it, however the original one is now gone from Chanel.com so I will have to stock up. The new Le Top Coat has a thinner more liquidy finish compared to the original. There was a slight learning curve for me to figure out exactly how much to load up on the brush. Too much resulted in it pooling in the cuticles. Too little caused streaking. That being said - once I got the hang of it, I found it was really nice how quickly it dried. It left the nails with a glossy finish, but the original had a more cushiony glossy shine. It works well with multiple brands and there is no shrinkage around the edges if I use it with Dior or Tom Ford. It did help my manicure last without tip wear for 5 days. I found the original version better with manicures lasting up to 7 days without chipping or tip wear.
Onto the colors for fall: Châtaigne is a brown plum vamp cream, Écorce Sanguine is a stunning deep red with the almost-invisible gold shimmer and Vert Obscur is a jelly forest green. I love a good vamp, Châtaigne goes on smoothly without any issues. Two coats will cover the nail entirely. There is a brownish base that prevents it from looking pure black on the hands. It's still very dark.
Écorce Sanguine is a very special red. In my mind Chanel can do no wrong with reds. Last holiday they released too many similar reds, but this one for fall is deep and bright at the same time. It's a classic color that doesn't age the hands or darken. I own way too many reds already but this one has phenomenal coverage. One coat is enough to cover the nail entirely. I always prefer at least 2 coats though. Be sure to check out the swatches on Café Makeup - she captures the shimmer perfectly!
Vert Obscur is the color I was most excited about but ended up being slightly disappointed with it. It's a gorgeous dark forest green in the bottle. The formula is a bit blotchy with the first coat. It will leave the nail looking streaky. Two to three coats fixes it and it looks better with extra coats, but on the nails it's so dark it almost looks black. I would have liked it to be a bit brighter or have the green more visible.
Dior Nuit 1947 (reviewed here)
Tom Ford Bitter Bitch
Tom Ford Black Cherry (review here)
Chanel Vamp (swatched here)
Chanel Forbidden (discontinued), Rouge Fatal (discontinued)
Chanel Cinema (swatched here)
Marc Jacobs Jezebel
Tom Ford Black Jade (swatches here)
Louboutin Lady Twist (swatched here)
Burberry Dark Bottle Green (reviewed here)
Rescue Beauty Lounge Small Dim Summer Stars (swatches here)
Overall thoughts on the new Base and Top coat are that I'm undecided. I like they way they perform with Chanel nail polishes, but I was so in love with the original top coat. I think I just need to test them out more. For the new fall colors, I think all three are really gorgeous - I think the red Écorce Sanguine is absolutely stunning but you can get something very similar although most won't have that gorgeous gold shimmer. I can't say the other two are must-haves - there are just so many similar colors to Châtaigne and Vert Obscur is so dark it looks black on my hands. Perhaps once the actual fall season rolls around I'll be more into these colors. I do think they are nice to have - as a die hard Chanel collector, I had to add them to my collection, but I can't call them must-haves. Right now I have my eye on the Rouge Noir collections coming out, preliminary details and sneak peeks via Specktra.net. The colors look amazing for late fall/holiday collections.
All three Le Vernis colors for fall are limited-edition. The new La Base and Le Top Coats are here to stay. You can find them at all Chanel counters now. Online at Nordstrom, Saks Fifth Avenue, Neiman Marcus, Bergdorf Goodman and Chanel.com.
Did you try any of the new fall colors? What did you think?