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Chanel in #591 Alchimie + Comparisons

Direct sunlight

Today I have pictures of Chanel in #591 Alchimie. Alchimie is part of the upcoming Chanel Fall 2013 "Superstition" collection and is limited-edition. It is available now from (which is the only reason I purchased from them since I've had multiple customer service issues with them before, and they package so wastefully - this time they sent me Chanel in #589 Élixir all on its own in a package as big as a shoebox for knee-high boots). I feel like this polish might not be getting fair shift from me, but I'm going to give my review to the best of my abilities.

Chanel describes Alchimie as a "golden khaki." It is an olive metallic packed with gold shimmer and red and green subtle shimmers. It shows very minimal brushstrokes. Now, I'm not in the mood for this particular color right now in the beginning of summer, but in general I adore olive polishes. I love them so much. So I was expecting great things from Alchimie, and I confess to being a bit disappointed. On me, the color feels a bit wishy-washy. That's also what makes it unique, but to me it's a color that can't make up it's mind - it's both not gold enough (I love olive-leaning golds and black-based polishes that have gold shimmer which gives them an olive cast) and not olive enough. It also has a slightly dusty quality that I don't like - and I love dusty polishes as well! It reminds me of Zoya in Irene, which is brighter and more green, but falls in an area that doesn't appeal to me: not bright enough yet not dusty enough. I don't know what's going on with me - if it's my mood or the polish, but there you have it. I prefer it in indirect light when it goes cooler and looks more like a dusty sage. It is lighter than most of my olive polishes, which makes it unique as well.

Now the color is just my opinion, but here's where I'm feeling a bit uneasy. I did not have a good time with the formula. But at the same time, it was really humid in Minneapolis (just after those terrible thunderstorms that knocked out some people's power for 5 days) when I applied this, and I had my central AC on to combat that (it wasn't blowing directly over my polishing station), so I don't know if that affected the formula. It is definitely not a terrible formula, but it was thicker than I wanted for a metallic formula, where you really want to be able to fan out your brush and float it over the nail to minimize brushstrokes. In the other swatches I've seen this was possible, so I do think my experience with the formula has something to do with my climate. You can see slight brushstrokes in my pictures, but it's still really not that bad. If you're a bit put off by my description, I would urge you not to take my word for it but go to a counter and try applying it from the tester.

Worn June 27 - July 1, 2013.

Indirect natural light
Indirect natural light
Direct sunlight
Indirect natural light - indoors 

Under artificial light, you can see why some people have been comparing Alchimie to Chanel in #531 Peridot:

Artificial light
Indirect natural light
Indirect natural light

I've done three sets of comparisons, and honestly, I think I like almost all the other polishes more than Alchimie. Just my personal preference!

My first set of comparisons shows the colors I found most similar. Maybelline in Matte Olive is warmer with more gold, more visible particle shimmer, and shows more brushstrokes, but it has a similar dusty/faded appearance. Street Wear in Burnt is not metallic, but is also a dusty olive with gold shimmer - the main difference is in the finish, although Burn is a bit cooler as well. OPI in At Your Quebec & Call is a black-based polish packed with gold shimmer that gives it an olive cast; it is darker, more golden, and has a shimmer rather than metallic finish.

Rescue Beauty Lounge in Anne is dusty like Alchimie, but is darker, cooler, and a creme filled with gold and pink shimmers. Estée Lauder in #26 Metallic Sage is another dusty color but is more brown and is also a creme filled with gold and pink shimmers (finer than Anne's). Nars in Mash is much more gold-leaning, a lot darker, and has a shimmer finish. China Glaze in Peace on Earth is darker and warmer. China Glaze in Argo is darker, more black-based, and warmer, with more visible shimmer. BB Couture for Men in Grenade is not quite as dark as it appears in these photos, but it is darker, more vibrant, and has gold shimmer.

Street Wear in #59 Scheming is an olive-leaning gold metallic that I included for context. Chanel in #531 Peridot is included because people have been wondering, but you can see they are definitely not the same - Peridot has more of a foil metallic finish and is more gold, with green duochrome. The dent on my swatch of Peridot has nothing to do with the polish, I just put it away with my other swatch sticks before it was completely dry. The gold Icing Magnetix (also the same as the Claire's magnetic polish) is also more gold and obviously has a very different finish.

Do you think you'll be picking up Alchimie? What's your favorite olive polish? For me it goes creme - MAC in Dry Martini, black-based - Chanel in #327 Or de Russie, and shimmer - China Glaze in Peace on Earth.

Additional pictures can be found here: The Beauty Look Book swatches and comparisons and Café Makeup swatches.


JDV said...

Do you have Nina Ultra Pro "Mossy Britches" for comparison by chance? I'm curious if they're dupes.

J. said...

JDV - I don't own Mossy Britches, but I can tell you they're not dupes. Mossy Britches is a close match for China Glaze in Peace on Earth but slightly darker. Since I compared Peace on Earth above, you can see that Mossy Britches, being darker, won't be a match for Alchimie. Here is a post that compares Peace on Earth and Mossy Britches:

JDV said...

Awesome, that's what I was hoping to hear. Thanks for the reply!

J. said...

JDV - No problem, glad to be helpful!

Larie said...

These are gorgeous comparison shots! I actually don't find the Chanel formula that easy to work with, myself, and I'm definitely not as pro as you at application! It's a lovely color, and I love green, but I don't think I can bring myself to picking up something that isn't foolproof.

J. said...

Larie - Yeah, I was really expecting this one to be amazing, and it didn't meet my expectations. :(

Karo said...

Amazing post and great comparison shots! wow!

J. said...

Karo - Thank you!

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