Chanel in #18 Rouge Noir, #18 Vamp, #757 Rose Fusion, and Le Top Coat Lamé Rouge Noir Swatches + Comparisons | Holiday 2015 "Rouge Noir Absolument/Vamp Attitude" Collection


For Holiday 2015 Chanel has released a collection filled with gorgeous tributes to one of their most famous polishes, #18 Rouge Noir. The collection is available in piecemeal fashion in stores (I found mine at Neiman Marcus Fashion Island) and online. Unfortunately, the release has been a bit confused. From what I can gather, the collection is called "Rouge Noir Absolument" for European customers and includes the polish #18 Rouge Noir. Based on what is available for purchase so far in the U.S., I believe we are getting the collection "Vamp Attitude," which includes the polish #18 Vamp. But, I can't be positive because Chanel's PR team sent Temptalia Rouge Noir to review, not Vamp! This is even more confusing for many people unfamiliar with Chanel polishes because Vamp used to be the same polish as Rouge Noir when it was originally released in 1994 (the two names, I believe were used for the U.S. and European market respectively). However, Chanel re-launched Vamp in 2003 under the same name, but with a completely different formula! Even more confusing to me is why they're now acting like Rouge Noir should only be for the European market, since they've re-released it many times in the U.S. since 1994 (most recently last year, if I recall correctly). In any case, both polishes are an important part of Chanel history, but it's a shame if Rouge Noir is not available for this release celebrating that very history, especially since I prefer it to Vamp. With that convoluted discussion out of the way, I should mention the other two polishes in this collection are #757 Rose Fusion and Le Top Coat Lamé Rouge Noir Gold Sparkle Nail Coat.



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Direct sunlight

I kept the pictures to a minimum for the sake of (relative) brevity, but this is seriously one of my absolute favorite polishes of all time. It has history, sentimental value, and plain gorgeousness in one glossy, vampy package. Yes, I'm sure there are similar cheaper dupes, but for the many years I've owned it, every time I get it out it's a stunner. I have never failed to receive multiple compliments on #18 Rouge Noir whenever I wear it out. It is a deep oxblood crelly with a perfect formula. Even with a slightly wonky, bushier than normal brush, I have to do minimal clean up - and for a vampy polish you know that's impressive. I did 2 medium coats here, and in direct sunlight you can see a bit of unevenness at macro. However, I like the color here, and it's not noticeable in person. There is no top coat in these pictures! I bought Rouge Noir many many years ago, but it is a Chanel classic, and I'm sure that it will eventually be re-released in the U.S., so keep your eyes out. To me, it is absolutely worth it. (I did see that Izzy's Beauty Shoppe has it for a slight markup, if you're desperate. I have purchased from them before and found them reliable.)

The closest polish I have to Rouge Noir is another discontinued favorite of mine from Chanel, #427 Diabolic. I couldn't get my camera to capture them correctly this time, so I will refer you back to comparisons I did in my post for Diabolic.

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Direct sunlight

I'm sorry that the cuticle on my pinky looks bloody, but it isn't. I swatched #18 Vamp after Rouge Noir, and when I removed Rouge Noir, I could not get the polish to get off that cuticle. I spent like 20 minutes with acetone, soap, and a scrubby brush, so that's why I had to oil my cuticles a bit here as well. Vamp has a deep burgundy base with a cool-toned red shimmer and subtle silver shimmer. Since my bottle of Vamp is at least 10 years old, it had dried out a bit, and I had to use thinner to reconstitute it, so I can't speak accurately to the formula. From what I remember of using it in the past, it's a good formula. I didn't use top coat for this swatch, and I'm not sure if the formula is a bit dull because I had to use thinner. This is one of those almost-black polishes, and the shimmer isn't very visible when out of the sun, so I always found it gave the polish a kind of muddled look in non-bright lighting conditions. But, this could just be in comparison to my love of Rouge Noir, which although another almost-black has that shiny lacquered purity and richness even out of the sun.

Below, I did on-nail swatches of #18 Rouge Noir and #18 Vamp for reference. Vamp has a more purple base and has red shimmer as well as subtle silver shimmer. It's very pretty, it just doesn't really have that wow factor for me that Rouge Noir has. Again, excuse any mess around my cuticles!

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The closest polish I own to #18 Vamp is Clinique Black Honey Velvet, which was limited edition from Holiday 2005. It has pretty much the same exact base color, just no shimmer. Again, I'm sure there are dupes out there for Vamp, I just don't own any.

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#757 Rose Fusion was a pleasant surprise to me. In the bottle, it really reminded me of #525 Quartz, which isn't the most flattering polish on me. But, on me it is nice fusion between taupe and rose gold - a foil-y metallic with a ton of green-blue shimmer and a moderate duochrome with a plum flash. I can see this polish looking different on everyone. The green shimmer is not subtle, it is always very apparent on the nail. I did 2 thin coats, and it had a great formula, although a bit brushstrokey. However, I didn't add a quick-dry top coat for this swatch, and I imagine that would help smooth out the finish.

Direct sunlight

Artificial light, indoors

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Here are couple pictures that really capture the shimmer and duochrome:

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Artificial light, indoors

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My two most similar Chanel polishes are #525 Quartz and Sweet Star. Quartz has a more green, pewter-leaning base and less prominent shimmer. Sweet Star has a very similar formula composition, with a ton of that green-blue shimmer, but it has a cool icy grape base. Rose Fusion is by far the most flattering of these three on my skin tone.

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Of my other polishes, China Glaze in Cords is most similar, but it has less pink and no noticeable shimmer. SpaRitual in Slate is much more similar to Quartz, but I thought I'd show it for reference.

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OPI in Melody in Mocha has a similar base color, but a much warmer overall appearance because of the small copper flaky shimmer. CoverGirl NailSlicks in #301 Chocolate Mint has a very different base color, but it is a brown with green shimmer, so I thought I'd include it.

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We're finally at the last polish in this collection! Le Top Coat Lamé Rouge Noir Gold Sparkle Top Coat looks absolutely stunning in the bottle. On, the nail it doesn't achieve bottle color, but it is a beautiful topper. The gold flakes are not actual gold leaf (e.g. OPI in The Man with the Golden Gun), so they are easy to apply on the nail - no placement or dabbing necessary - and they aren't thick Mylar shard glitter (e.g., Revlon "Moon Candy" collection), so they don't stick up from the nail. Similar to the YSL Tie & Dye polishes, there is not much suspension base, so the polish separates out into it's different components relatively quickly. You definitely need to shake the bottle before using it, and I preferred to re-shake between hands to redistribute the gold flakes.

Here is a picture of the bottle completely settled (it takes an hour or two to completely separate):

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And here it is after about 20-30 minutes:

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The Lamé Rouge Noir top coat, like the name implies, does not build up enough to be worn alone, in my opinion. The gold flakes cover my nail line pretty well (keep in mind, that I don't have a huge free-edge because I prefer to keep my nails short; if you do, your nail line will be more visible), but the tint is not saturated enough to look nice on its own. The pigment level is more than the most of the Maybelline Waters (to get really old school). From pictures I've seen (I don't own these collections), it seems sheerer than polishes from the OPI Sheer Tint, Zoya Gloss, and Butter London Jelly Sheer Colour collections. Here is a quick swatch of 3 coats on its own, no top coat. It shows up as a mildly tinted plum base with medium size gold flaky shimmer.

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In my swatch I used 1 thin coat of Lamé Rouge Noir over 2 medium coats of #18 Rouge Noir. The formula is nice and easy to work with, not at all thick like some topper polishes. On my ring finger is a different polish that is pretty much a dead-on dupe. Lamé Rouge Noir dries fairly glossy and without texture, but I would still add a top coat (but then, I would always add a top coat).

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Direct sunlight

The polish I have on my ring finger is NYC New York Color Top of the Gold Top Coat. There are two slight differences between Top of the Gold and Lamé Rouge Noir. 1) Top of the Gold doesn't have a tinted base, and 2) Top of the Gold has a bit more dense gold flake distribution. Since, I wouldn't wear Lamé Rouge Noir on it's own and like it best with 1 coat as a layering polish, I feel comfortable calling these two dupes. Oh, by the way, Top of the Gold is like $1.86 at Target. As a Chanel Le Vernis collector, I love Lamé Rouge Noir, but I definitely don't think it's necessary if you just want the same effect for about 13 times less.

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I also compared Lamé Rouge Noir with OPI in The Man with the Golden Gun, to show you the difference in appearance between gold leaf and the gold flaky shimmer.

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So, after all that, what do you think? Does anything catch your eye? And, can any of these new polishes live up to the pure perfection that is Rouge Noir?

Comments

  1. I am eyeing on the Vamp. I super love the color and finish. So excited to try it out.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Jessica - I hope you enjoy it!

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