Chanel and Wear

This is just a quick post to talk about the wear of Chanel polishes. Many people complain about Chanel chipping on them. I think a lot of this is just body chemistry, like how base coats work differently for everyone. But the trick for me to get Chanel to last is wearing Chanel base coat.

My theory on this is that most American brands of polish are made by one of a few manufacturers - you've seen this in all the dupes that come out at the same time and the trends that crop up in polishes. You also saw it when Maria from Cult Nails saw her formula get sold to Claire's - or when Guerlain and Laura Mercier had similar gardenia imprinted products come out around the same time. Even though each brand has tweaks on colors to match their formula's specifications, most of the base colors and add-in pigments come from the same select manufacturers. Chanel, on the other hand, manufactures their polish in France, so it has a completely different formula. Thus, while most American-brand polishes and base coats play well together, Chanel plays differently. The one time I forgot to use Chanel base coat and used CND Stickey, it got a couple big chips in three days. This theory is obviously mostly anecdotal and conjecture, but I have never had a problem with wear of my Chanel's when I use their base coat. In fact, they usually wear like iron.

The above photos are of both hands today, which means almost a week of wear (I put Holiday on on the 15). These were taken really quickly, so they are not at all color accurate! But you see that the only real wear is very minimal on the tips. I have growth near the cuticles, but there has been no chipping there or anywhere. I usually try not to do anything too crazy on my first day of wear, but after that I am not easy on them. That includes prying open my very heavy duty key ring (see here to get an idea of how thick and unyielding it is), showers, washing my hands frequently, picking off labels, scratching (the bugs have come out for summer people, and they love my blood!), etc. I could wear this even longer, but my nails have gotten too long for comfort, so I'm doing a new mani/pedi tonight.

After the jump a picture of wear on my feet. Don't click if you are foot-phobic!

Chanel in #617 Holiday

Chanel in #617 Holiday
The moment I put this on it rocketed up to being one of my absolute favorite polishes ever. Chanel in #617 Holiday is from this summer's Summer 2012 "Summertime de Chanel" collection. It is a gorgeous burn orange creme - I might even say it's a deep persimmon. In lower lights it can look a bit red-orange, but in general you wouldn't confuse it for a red. I know some people think oranges are hard to pull off, but I think anyone could wear this one. I know it will be equally as flattering when I'm tan, and it's already super flattering on my non-summer skin. I seriously ADORE it. It reminds me of OPI in On the Same Paige from the Summer Brights 2009 "Paige Denim" collection (here's Scrangie's swatch), but I never bought that one, so I don't have it to compare to. I read a review that said it was thick, but I didn't find it thick at all. It was a smooth, easy two coats, it went exactly where I placed it, and it dried glossy and even, no streaks. I had absolutely no problems; I did this manicure in about 15 minutes (including base and top coat) right before I had to run off to a final, which is why it's not absolutely even at the cuticles (you can't tell at all in real life). My nails are a bit longer than I usually wear them and I still haven't had any tipwear - it's holding up fabulously. None of my currently swatched polishes are even close in comparison (see here for a list of my collection). This would look great paired with Rescue Beauty Lounge in IKB:2012! This polish is currently part of Chanel's permanent collection. Worn May 15 - May 22, 2012.

Lynnderella in Change over Chanel in #607 Delight

Lynnderella in Change over Chanel in #607 Delight

I wasn't happy with how Delight looks against my non-tan skin tone, so I decided to do a gradient manicure with Lynnderella in Change over it. My brush from Change was a little wonky, but it was still very easy to place the glitter where I wanted it. Change has small gold glitter, as well as medium and large square and hex glitter. The primary colors are gold, silver, and copper. There's also a bit of holographic glitter and some green and red glitter. This manicure looks a lot better in person than it does in pictures. I used one coat of Gelous and one of Seche Vite and it was almost completely smooth. Sorry my cuticles are so dry in these pictures; I didn't realize when I was taking them! Worn May 14 - May 15, 2012.

I love Lynn's handwriting, by the way!

Chanel in #607 Delight

Chanel in #607 Delight

This is Chanel in #607 Delight from the Summer 2012 "Summertime de Chanel" (which seems like a very un-French collection name, by the way!). This is a great polish, with very easy, smooth application in two coats. It's not the most flattering to my skintone right now, but with a tan I anticipate it will look great. I'm going to try topping it with some glitter later! This is a rose gold foily color - a mix of copper, gold, and silver particles. In some lights it looks more light true gold and in some it looks a bit like a bronze-taupe, but in most it's rose gold. Most of the pictures I've seen of this polish haven't been color accurate. Sabrina from The Beauty Look Book has good pictures in her comparison post. Delight's got that foil finish grip to the nails - even with acetone it didn't want to come off; thankfully the formula is really nice, so I didn't have much clean up to do. I have some comparisons later on in the post. This shade is limited-edition. Worn May 11-14, 2012. These pictures were taken in low light, indoors, because it's the only light that captured the true color.

Rescue Beauty Lounge in IKB: 2012

Rescue Beauty Lounge in IKB:2012

Okay, I kept stalling this post because I could NOT get these pictures to turn up color accurate. Even with different lighting conditions. Even with white balance. Even with photo editing. At. All. Basically, if you want to see color-accurate swatches, scroll to the bottom of the post, where I've linked to bloggers with gorgeous pictures. See a comparison to other blues from Wikipedia (IKB is third row from the top, fourth from the right at the bottom of the page). See a comparison of IKB:2012 to other polishes from Scrangie.

This is going to be a bit of a long post. I'm going to tackle the formula/application first, and then talk a bit about Yves Klein.

Clarins in 230

There's really nothing else that needs to be said, is there?

This is going to be a picture heavy post! The magical thing about Clarins in 230 is that you can never pin it down. It can be worn on it's own, or it can be layered over anything: it transforms any color. I will admit that I got this for a mildly hefty price on eBay, but I think it was worth it.

Indirect sunlight
This is kind of the base state of Clarins in 230 (layered here over Illamasqua in Baptiste). It's a violet jelly base, so it doesn't really affect Baptiste, but the shimmer pigments glow red-bronze-orange.

Direct sunlight
The same state in direct sunlight. You can see the shimmer isn't shy indoors, but it loves the sun.

Some BB Couture ("California Beaches")

Man, there are so many great songs about California, aren't there? I definitely think of The Beach Boys as the quintessential California band, though. Love them.

My mom is from California, so we have always spent a lot of time out there. I love Minneapolis, but being so busy with school I can't say I haven't deeply deeply missed so many things about California over the past few years. I can't wait to get back there.

I don't have any new pictures at the moment (I just changed my manicure and need sunlight to get pictures that capture its full glory - just wait!), so here are some old pictures from BB Couture's Spring 2009 "California Beaches" collection. It is basically really easily to sucker me into getting nail polish if you give it a name that holds sentimental value for me. It helps that most of the polishes in this collection are really stunning. I also have Moon Over Manhattan, Balboa Beach Bunny, and Catalina Cutie, but I can't find the pictures on my computer right now. These are old pictures with my old camera so please forgive any aesthetic unsightliness.

BB Couture in Hermosa Surfer Girl
BB Couture in Hermosa Surfer Girl with Essie Matte About You 

BB Couture in Hermosa Surfer Girl is a raspberry jelly with small, iridescent glitter. It's both bright and deep at the same time. Application is nice and easy, though a bit thick. I've actually never been to Hermosa Beach, so I don't know if this is a polish that fits the city. It definitely reminds me of summers on the beach in California. Pinks go great with my tan!

BB Couture in Laguna Lagoon 
BB Couture in Laguna Lagoon

BB Couture in Laguna Lagoon is a gorgeous mint green creme. I love mint greens and this is a favorite. I would call it a pistachio green actually, since it's a bit more yellow-toned. Application was very nice, not streaky. Laguna Beach is one of my favorite places in Orange County, and this represents the laid back vibe perfectly to me. It's not too stark a mint and the yellower tone seems a little nostalgic of the '70s. Laguna is not like the TV show in my experience; it's much more of an arty community.

BB Couture in Midnight Malibu 
BB Couture in Midnight Malibu with Essie Matte About You

BB Couture in Midnight Malibu is another jelly with iridescent glitter. I think BB Couture has one in almost every color at this point! In this case, the jelly base is a deep indigo blue, so it's a bit purple based, but still definitely blue. Application is the same as with Hermosa Surfer Girl. I have nothing against Malibu, but it's never been a destination city for me. It did have my favorite little Italian restaurant, Allegria, on PCH, but the last time I went there, it had closed! The best pumpkin tortellaci I've ever had. My belly misses you, Allegria!

So what's your favorite California song? Do you guys love BB Couture as much as I do? I have trailed off in purchasing them lately for no reason really, except that there are constantly new brands to try. I have a ton on my wishlist, though! One thing I love about BB Couture is that they generally don't have limited-edition collections, so you don't have to scramble to snatch something up. This is something that frequently frustrates me about some other brands, and I love that BB Couture caters to their customer rather than hype.

Estée Lauder in #26 Metallic Sage

Direct sunlight 
So, yes, this is a very pretty polish. (Sorry about the fingerprints.) Estée Lauder in #26 Metallic Sage is, oddly enough, a sage-y green that has gold and rose gold shimmer, which can make it look warm olive in some lights and more muted and sage-y in others (see my last picture).

However, the formula was really obnoxious to work with. It's thin and sheer, but also gloppy and goopy when you add more than one coat. The brush is floppy and soft. Together the combination is not fun. Obviously, I managed, but I had to re-do a few nails, which I don't like to do. Also, and I know this is ridiculous given my love of Chanel polishes, but I think the price point is out of whack for what you get here, both quality and quantity (also, see MAC polishes). This was $19 for .3 fluid ounces or $63.33 per ounce. Chanel is currently $26 for .4 fluid ounces or $65 per ounce, but I consider it more of a collector's item and I really like the brush, wear, and design of the bottles. Your mileage may vary, and I totally understand if it does! I would say Zoya in Yara is similar to this polish; it's a sparklier, much cheaper alternative with a better formula (see Scrangie's swatches here).

In any case, this was limited-edition with the Fall 2011 "Modern Mercury" collection. On a positive note, I will say it's wearing well. Worn April 27-May 2, 2012.

What do you guys think? Is it worth the price - or did you have better application? Do you think I'm ridiculous for justifying Chanel and poo-pooing Estée Lauder? I know I am!

Also, I put up a partial list of my nail polish collection on the top of my page (probably 2/3 is packed away from my move, so I don't have those listed), so if you have a request for a swatch or comparison, let me know!