Saturday, September 29, 2012

Dupe Me – Chanel Nail Polishes

Today I had a little bit of fun by swinging by the Chanel counter to look at a red nail polish that has recently been brought up in a few YouTube Guru's videos as a favorite. Chanel Pirate 08. 

While at the counter, and meeting a lovely SA (for a change) 
I swatched Pirate on my hands and fell in love with the rich but bright shade.
I know I swore never to buy Chanel polishes again, but my hunt for the perfect red continues, so I bit the bullet and handed over the credit card. 

In indoor lighting it was the perfect red I was looking for. Bright, made my hands look clean but polished, super shiny, not too warm, and a tiniest hint of berry. I walked out feeling quite pleased with myself.

Until I got in the car...
As we drove farther and farther away from the mall I could see the color in direct sunlight and the raspberry tones showed through. Still gorgeous but, familiar...
Revlon's Cherries in the Snow, I thought. I own a dupe. I just paid $26 dollars for something I already have. "Nooooo."
I came home for a swatch session to find that they are thankfully slightly different but noticed many items in my collection seem to match the hand I swatched a few Chanel shades on.

I decided to put the French house polishes against my own to come up with a dupe list.

Swatch fest at the Chanel counter
Index: Vendetta, Middles: Pirate, Pinkie: Frenzy

The dupes



Can you see the differences?

The Dupes:
OPI Linkin Park After Dark, Revlon Cherries in the Snow, OPI Skull and Glossbones

Swatch by Swatch Test:
Chanel Vendetta vs. OPI Linkin Park after Dark
(Please ignore the blurriness, this was the first time I had ever used my camera timer)

Both shades have that dark deep purple that is nearly black. When reflected against artificial light they both reflect nearly identical blue micro shimmers. 
Vendetta in two coats still remains an incredibly deep purple.
Linkin Park After Dark begins to turn on the verge of black in two coats, and it is more difficult to distinct it's purple undertones.

Chanel Pirate vs. Revlon Cherries in the Snow

Quite a close match up!
In artificial and indoor lighting Chanel's Pirate is more of a true blue based red, with raspberry undertones which are not as prominent as it is in direct sunlight. 
Revlon's shade is just a touch more raspberry pink, where Chanel has a drop more red.
When I look at my hands with the Revlon, I can see the pink undertones regardless of setting and it looks more of a retro shade. The Chanel version with that extra bit of red really adds in a bit of sophistication and again in doors,  is probably the best red I have ever tried while really brightening my hands. 
This is one I can wear to the office and feel quite grown up sporting. 

Close up of the Revlon from a former blog post found here

Lastly a new upcoming cult favorite
Chanel Frenzy vs. OPI Skull and Glossbones

I have owned Chanel Frenzy before and had returned it.
Swatched side by side Frenzy is more muted, like a minky version of Essie's Sand Tropez. It is supposed to be a mixture of grey with slight lavender and perhaps a touch of taupe mix.  OPI is a clear but bright light grey that looks like the best looking cement you have ever seen LOL

Close up of Skull and Glossbones

Now when Frenzy came out, I was dead set on buying it because I thought it would look like this
Chanel Le Vernis Frenzy
aka n*de grey perfection
But on my skin it looked like this

You can really see the minkiness of this grey against my skin tone. 
In the end this made my hands just look a bit dull. Though the color was interesting enough it but looked far better on others and in the end was sent back.

Have any of you succumb to the beautiful polish offerings by Chanel?
Any favorite shades or dupes?


  1. great post!
    i know revlon perplex is a great dupe for chanel paradoxal and it is my favorite. ;)

  2. I was really wanting Frenzy when it came out too, but I don't buy high-end polishes if I can help it. I just think there are SO many great drugstore brands that are just as good or better so I don't feel the need to pay more. I ended up buying Sand Tropez as a kind of substitute and love it!

  3. i hate when I buy a nail color thinking it will look just like how it looks on someone else! :p It happens to me with nude-ish colors. Some people I know use a primer/base coat that's neutralizes the nail color so when you put on your polish it will look better. I'm not sure if it works or not =p

    But Chanel dupes! YAY!

  4. same thing happens to me often...people forget undertone/skintone differences matter in how certain shades show up. That taupey grey looks beautiful on a pale pink hand - not so great on yellow or olive undertones. I wager if it had a hint of pink in there it would have been more flattering on you.

  5. I recently saw Michelle1218 do a video on Frenzy dupes on YouTube, and I realized I had the dupe polish sitting on my collection for a year. It's 10 Professional Polish in Moonlight. I just recently put it on and it's a stunner! The best part was that it was on clearance at CVS for less than a $1.

  6. I would love your thoughts on a dupe for the now discontinued Chanel 'Vamp' shade. Made famous by Mia Wallace in Pulp Fiction??

    1. chanel vamp is now repackaged as rouge noir and available

  7. If you are looking for a reputable contextual ad company, I suggest that you take a peek at Propeller Ads.


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