Chanel in #601 Mysterious + Comparisons

Direct sunlight

Now, this is a fall polish I am happy to be wearing even in summer! This is Chanel in #601 Mysterious. Mysterious is from the Fall 2013 "Superstition" collection and is currently a core color. I love vampies, and this is just my kind of vampy.

Chanel describes Mysterious as a "deep khaki," and I guess it could fit that. It reminds me of the late '90s/early '00s Gap ads, particularly this one:

God, do you remember? And if you don't, at least be kind enough not to tell me you weren't born yet! (Want to dive into a nostalgia wormhole?: Dress You UpJump, Jive, an' Wail; Khaki a-Go-Go; Lovely Day; and Just Can't Get Enough. You're welcome.)

Mysterious is a deep almost-black creme with a green base. It also has hints of brown and grey in it, and a slightly dusty quality. It dries about 2-3 shades darker than the bottle color. In each light it looks like there might be a similar polish, but what is unique about Mysterious is that it can vary so much, so no matter how familiar it looks, I don't think there is one polish that will match it in every situation.

The formula was typical of Chanel's cremes - lovely. I did this mani in a rush at about 12 A.M., so I did 1 thin and 1 medium coat. You could probably get away with 1 thick coat, but if I had done all thin coats, I would have needed 3 to get the color fully opaque. Sorry there are weird smudges on my nails in some of these pictures - I put lotion on right before (oops).

Worn July 10 - 17, 2013.

Indirect natural light
Direct sunlight
You can really see the green tones when the lighting is super saturated:

Direct sunlight - sunset
Direct sunlight
Indirect natural light - indoors

Mysterious is a shade that is so in between color categories that I ended up comparing it with other greys, greens, browns, and blacks.

SpaRitual in Sacred Ground actually has a fairly similar base (slightly lighter and more grey), but obviously it is packed with shimmers that give it a completely different appearance. Essie in #763 Power Clutch is a lighter version of Mysterious with a bit more grey and less brown. Misa in #294 Trust Fund is a bit lighter and a moderately blue-leaning grey.

All of these greens are almost black, so the third picture is a bit blown out with sunlight to give you a better idea of the individual undertones. Finger Paints in Tough Art to Follow, Zoya in Envy, and OPI in Here Today...Aragon Tomorrow are all almost-black hunter green cremes with slight variations, but they all have less brown and grey in them than Mysterious. Maybelline in #638 Grand in Green (excuse the typo in my first picture - I live on Grand, so I was thinking in terms of street rather than appearance) is too blue but has a similar level of dustiness. Sephora by OPI in Dark Room and MAC in Beyond Jealous are too dark and too blue.

Rescue Beauty Lounge in Fortissimo is darker, less dusty, and more of a true dark chocolate. Chanel in #563 Vertigo is a bit more dusty and true brown but with a purple tinge (and also the most subtle of Chanel's shimmers). MAC in Rich, Dark, Delicious reminds me of Hershey's Syrup - a chocolate brown with red undertone that isn't dusty. Sally Hansen Complete Salon Manicure has the same slight dustiness, but is another red-leaning chocolate brown.

Chanel in Steel is black with subtle silver shimmer - no green, no dustiness. Chanel in #337 Noir Ceramic (one of my favorite blacks) is a charcoal black with silver shimmer; it does have a bit of green in it, although not enough, but it's too dark, a different finish, and not dusty enough. SpaRitual in Mood is a charcoal shimmer that is leaning the other way from Mysterious. They probably have equal amounts of brown, but whereas Mysterious leans more green, Mood leans more grey. It also has silver shimmer and green and red subtle shimmers. Ulta in Black Lace (which was a mini from the Goth Glam set) is blue-leaning almost-black creme - in the indirect light picture it looks similar to Misa in #294 Trust Fund, but you can see from the sunlight pictures that it is much darker. I included Wet n Wild Wild Shine in Black Crème for reference to a plain black creme.

Here are more pictures of Mysterious: The Beauty Look Book swatches and comparisons, Café Makeup swatches and comparisons 1 and 2, and Color Me Loud comparisons.

What do you think? Intriguing or just another vampy?


  1. YES! I DO remember those ads! (I discovered Phantom Planet not too long after that, and it blew my mind that Alex Greenwald was in those commercials. But also, I can see Rashida Jones in that one you embedded.)

    Your blog is really making me want Mysterious and Alchimie. ;___;

  2. Rach - They would both look so good on your shorties with your skin tone! More importantly, what are you doing for your summer TV fix until Breaking Bad (presuming you watch my favorite show) comes back? All I've got going right now is SYTYCD.

  3. If they look half as good on me as they do on you, then I'm in! BTW, I really appreciate your comparisons ... I have a fair amount of these polishes, so it's nice to see how each one stands.

    I'm actually WAY behind on "Burn Notice," so I've been watching that on DVD (my parents are really into it, ha!). I don't have a Netflix streaming account, or I'd be into "Orange is the New Black." I think I might start "Avatar: The Last Airbender" next (judge away).

    I was really excited about doing something for the "Breaking Bad" premiere, but I just bought tickets to a music festival that weekend, so I'll have to catch it on OnDemand or get my boyfriend to record it for me.

    Feel free to email me whenever you wanna talk TV! It takes me a while to respond, but at least we won't have to hijack each others' comments. :D


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