Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Review: Chanel Graphite Nail Polish

I have resisted the siren call of the Chanel nail polishes for years.  Years!  No one needs to spend that much money on that little nail polish, I told myself.  And then I went into the local CVS-meets-Sephora-esque-beauty-shop for some toothpaste, and found myself in front of the Chanel counter, foundling the nail polishes.

They are such pretty nail polishes.  At first I wanted Pirate (a gorgeous bright red), and then it was Rose Insolent (such a lovely bright pink), then the infamous Black Pearl (jaw-dropping blackened green-grey metallic frost), but then I saw Graphite.  I actually didn't know much about Graphite.  I saw a swatch on Temptalia a while back and thought it was pretty, but promptly forgot about it.  But in person this polish is pretty unforgettable.  I'd describe it as a grey foil (with the smallest hint of green) base that is jam-packed full of silver and gold shimmer.  Like jam-packed to the point where I'm not entirely sure there is much of a base color, but that green has to be coming from somewhere.  In the US Chanel polishes are usually $25.  In Spain it was 20 Euros.  Not cheap, but I reallllly wanted it (actually that pricing was pretty competitive for the exchange rate.  Success!)  Here you can see the cute Chanel box, the nail polish with the outer cap still on, and the bottle with the outer cap removed.

In the bottle it looks a bit murkier and greener, but on the nail the shimmer really comes out to play.  The combination of gold and silver gives it a bit of a pewter effect.  It's just really lovely.  Because of the silver, it works for cool skin tones nicely, and the gold does the same for warm skin tones.  It looks different in every light, too.  The finish of this is what really makes the polish for me, though.  It has a foil base, so it's crazy metallic, but the fine shimmer packed on top of that gives it a completely new dimension of pretty.  It's like fairy dust on your fingers.  I thought my OPI Let Me Entertain You was the limit for sparkle, but oh my goodness, was I wrong.  I adore this.  The murkey silver hue keeps the shimmer from being too twee and girly, and I really like that it's not dark enough to be too vampy.  It's just a light-hearted foil-shimmer with a fun, pewter twist.  The formula was equally divine.  It was opaque in two coats with extremely fast dry time (although it dries shimmery, not glossy.  If you want a glossy finish, I suggest getting a glossy, Seche Vite-esque top coat), with minimal drag and no pooling.  The brush is long and flexible, and I had no trouble covering the nail with it.

Overall rating: A-.  The price is the only thing standing between the polish and an A+.  I was hoping one Chanel polish would stop my cravings, but I think this has only made it worse.  Black Pearl and Rose Insolent, I'm coming for you next!  You can get this in The States at amazon.com for around $34.  I've seen it all over Spain, but apparently it's selling out in the US, and since it's a limited edition color, get it while you can! 

My little adventure into the world of expensive fairy dust nail polish crack got me thinking.  What other brands had cool (but slightly more affordable) polishes on the market?  I was bouncing around Sephora, and I found Nails Inc.  Hello, new best friend.

Nails Inc Magnetic Polish in Trafalgar Square, $16 at sephora.com, Nails Inc Special Effects Electric Lane Holographic Glitter Top Coat, $10 at sephora.com: At first I was skeptical of this magnetic nail polish thing.  It seemed so expensive and the patterns weren't all that great.  But this Nails Inc version looks amazing (and has great reviews).  It comes in a metallic silver and purple, and while the top coat of the polish dries you hold a magnet in the cap over the nail, and you get a pretty pattern like that one below!  I love the idea of patterned nails, but I am lovely and not all that skilled with nail polish brushes, so this completely fascinates me.  And don't even get me started on the holo top coat.  Basically add one coat of that over your polish to get a finish that's packed with rainbow-colored glitter.  It makes any polish into a holo!  Ack.  I need both of these.

Images via sephora.com.

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