Chanel in #546 Rouge Red, #548 Blanc White, #556 Beige Beige, and Le Top Coat Top Coat Teinté in Black Métamorphosis Swatches + Comparisons | Spring 2017 "Coco Codes" Collection

Chanel's Spring collection is called "Coco Codes," inspired by "black, white, beige, gold and red -- five shades iconic to Gabrielle Chanel." The Chanel website describes these colors as "a palette of unexpected shades that frees women to invent their own codes of beauty." I mean...press releases are always pretty ridiculous. But calling black, white, beige, gold, and red unexpected made me roll my eyes just a little bit.


This is the third polish collection with Lucia Pica at the helm, and as chic as I think her choices on the makeup side of things have been, I have to say I'm not at all thrilled with her polish curation so far. I've been collecting Chanel polish seriously since 2010, and I totally skipped the Holiday 2016 "Libre Synthetic de Chanel" collection; the only other Le Vernis I've passed on in that time are the ones from the Fall 2013 "Moiré Le Rouge Chanel" collection (swatched by Sabrina here), which were too frosty and dated looking for my taste. I picked up the Spring 2017 "Rouge Coco Gloss" polishes with a gift card from Neiman's, and those are more my style. But, I'm definitely hoping for better things from Lucia in the future -- and no more reds this year, please!

For the polishes specifically, Pica says, "I liked the idea of 'top coats' and the transformation of color through them. It is a continuation of the idea of layering that I began before, but here it is lacquering." This top coat she mentions is the Le Top Coat Top Coat Tent in Black Métamorphosis (the only limited-edition shade in this collection), which is meant to be layered over the collections other shades.

Source: Chic Profile
Direct sunlight

Indirect natural light

#546 Rouge Red is a warm-leaning bright red crelly polish. It reminds me of a Marilyn red - very pin-up. The formula is excellent; this is 2 thin coats. Another great red from Chanel is not a surprise, but I can't be mad at it. This is the sixth red in the permanent line, though, so I think we could for a respite from additional shades for a bit. Below, I have bottle comparisons with the other permanent reds, but since my bottle of #08 Pirate is in the old Le Vernis bottle, I forgot to include it. You can see it compared here.



For the swatch stick comparison, I added #530 Rouge Radical, which is brighter and more sheer. Rouge Red still has a bit of sheer to it because of the crelly formula, so I think it will look a bit different on everyone based on what the undertone of their skin is. #510 Gitane is a bit deeper and has a creme formula. #500 Rouge Essentiel (creme) is darker with a neutral undertone. #528 Rouge Puissant (creme) is deeper still and has a slightly cool undertone. #508 Shantung is also cool-leaning but goes almost raspberry pink.


Here are similar reds from the rest of my collection. In the last photo, I decreased the brightness and upped the contrast to help you really see the differences, since my camera wants to make them look a bit more close to each other than they are in person. Deborah Lippmann in Supermodel is lighter, brighter, and more orange with a jelly finish. American Apparel in Poppy (creme) is lighter and a bit warmer. OPI in Red My Fortune Cookie (creme) is pretty similar but a bit lighter - this might be a good Rouge Red alternative for those with cooler skin tones. Illamasqua in Alarm (creme) is also pretty similar but a bit brighter and warmer - this might be a good Rouge Red alternative for those with warmer skin tones. Chanel in #687 Phenix (creme) is a bit darker and cooler. Chanel in #717 Coquelicot (creme) is darker.

Direct sunlight

Indirect natural light (cloudy)

Indirect natural light

#548 Blanc White is another addition to the permanent line. It is oddly named as it is more ivory-nude with a subtle white pearl running through it. This one turned out to be my surprise favorite of the collection. Most pale neutrals in my collection are strictly divided into whether they're flattering on me when I'm pale or tan. I haven't been able to get outside much (apart from walking my dogs) for the past few months because of chronic migraines that make me intolerant of too much sunlight, so I'm the palest I get here in California, but this shade didn't wash me out and I think it will also look really nice if I ever get more of a tan, so it's a winner for me. You do have to baby this one a bit, but it's not too fussy. I did 2 thin coats and did a medium 3rd layer, floating the brush so I didn't get cuticle drag.


Marc Jacobs in #162 Blanche (shimmer) is a more opaque, stark version of Blanc White with stronger pearl; it comes off a bit lighter because your skin tone effects Blanc White since it is more sheer. Chanel in #567 Beige Pétale (sheer) is quite similar in color, but there is no pearl and it is very sheer, so the effect is quite different on the nail compared to Blanc White. Chanel in #87 Flamme Rose (crelly) has no pearl and is more pink. Essie in #378 Pound Cake (creme) has no pearl and is a bit deeper and more stark on the nail.

Direct sunlight

Indirect natural light

Indoors (shade)

When I saw #556 Beige Beige the first thing that came to mind was the Crayola crayon in Flesh (now renamed Peach for obvious reasons). And, it is very close. Beige Beige is a mid-tone kind of salmony nude creme. I think this shade looks fine on me in close-up pictures, but wearing it I think there is too much pink and not enough brown for it to suit me. Formula was slightly thick for my preference, but manageable; I did 2 thin coats.



I don't have many polishes in this shade range, since I don't think it's flattering on me. Chanel in #633 Intention (creme) is a bit deeper and has a touch more brown. CND in #530 Desert Suede (creme) is deeper and less orange. Of the three, I find Desert Suede to compliment my skin tone the best.

Direct sunlight

Indirect natural light

Now we come to this limited-edition top coat, Le Top Coat Top Coat Teinté in Black Métamorphosis. This one just bugs for some reason. First is the fact that Chanel generally sets trends and this concept was done by Dior six years ago (the Dior has a fine silver shimmer running through it; Eugenia at Ommorphia Beauty Bar saw shimmer in her Chanel bottle, but I don't have it in mine). Second is that it's a bit too thick to flow evenly on the nail and give a nice, smooth, transformative effect. I can see this being cool for talented people to do nail art mimicking black lace, but really is the average Chanel customer really going to be doing much nail art? I kind of doubt it. And, third is that if someone wanted to create this polish they could make a better version of it with $1.98 worth of Wet n Wild polish - just grab a bottle of black and a bottle of clear and franken that polish up! So, I'm not impressed. This is 4 thin coats and you get a soft black jelly effect on the nails. I can see why they didn't make it thinner because then it would flood the nail more easily, but this would also have made it easier to even the layers out before they started forming ridges.

Direct sunlight

Indirect natural light

I'm starting with the most horrific combo first. This is 2 thin coats of Black Métamorphosis over #556 Beige Beige. In the sun it's horrifying - like cat vomit or something worse. In the shade, I can see how it might look cool to mimic the effect of black lace, something I'm not skilled or patient enough to attempt.

Some inspiration from Elie Saab for those of you that might be more inclined:

 Source: Vogue

Okay, next up is 2 thin coats of Black Métamorphosis over #548 Blanc White. This combo looks really cool in the promo image below:

Source: Chic Profile

But it's definitely not as nice on me.

Direct sunlight

Indirect natural light

Indirect natural light (cloudy)

You can see I accidentally did thinner layers on my middle finger. But I couldn't add more without the polish gumming up and streaking horribly.

Direct sunlight

Indirect natural light

Layering Black Métamorphosis over #546 is definitely the best combination this collection offers. You can still see some unevenness, but it's not terrible. This is a very drying blood color - might be cool on Halloween. But again, you can mix up this type of polish for less than $2.

You can find more swatches at Ommorphia Beauty Bar and The Beauty Look Book (Blanc White and  Beige Beige).

Not exactly a Veruca Salt collection, if you know what I mean ("I want it now!"), but serviceable. Did you pick anything up?

And because my resolution this year is to be a force for positive change - however small, don't forget this Wednesday, March 8 during Women's History Month, people are demonstrating A Day Without a Woman. There is more information about this on the Women's March site and an article discussing this strike on Vox. In a week where we've seen our new president make grave and despicable things up out of whole cloth once again, please consider showing him an irrefutable truth: "the enormous value that women of all backgrounds add to our socio-economic system--while receiving lower wages and experiencing greater inequities, vulnerability to discrimination, sexual harassment, and job insecurity" and "that trans and gender nonconforming people face heightened levels of discrimination, social oppression and political targeting" (Women's March). It's a sad statement that I could post a link connecting Donald Trump to each one of those acts. The truth matters. Goodness matters. Women matter.

Organize · Resist · Protect

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