Chanel Le Vernis Nail Colour in Provocation ($27), from the Premiere-Avant collection
Why so glum, sugar plum?
Is it because you woke up this morning, checked the weather forecast and realized that it was going to be 80 degrees today, and you’re more of an autumnal angel than a summer siren? Bummed because you couldn’t rightly wear your wool sweater, corduroy pants, scarf, knee-high boots and Chanel Provocation nail polish?
Not to worry! Fall will be back soon enough. If there’s one thing I’ve learned over six years of blogging it’s that time flies when you’re having fun.
I’ve also learned that when it comes to seasonal nail polish colors, wear whatever you like! — regardless of the season.
That applies to Chanel’s dark creamy plum Provocation and your favorite swimsuit.
If you like ‘em together, why the hell not? You could pair Provocation on your toes with coral fingertips for an unexpected summer surprise.
And so what if the beauty police cite you for wearing a fall color in summer? Just bat your lashes at the trooper and say, “I’m sorry, officer. I didn’t see a sign that said I couldn’t be bold.”
Truth be told, I wasn’t as impressed by Provocation as I was by Starlet or Paparazzzi the first time I saw it in a store.
Then I got it on my nails and, um, WOW! Deep and rich, yet with a hint of brightness that keeps it from looking flat, it’s nothing like those boring, blah plums I see on so many other shelves. Provocation looks downright inspiring.
I think I might love it as much as Starlet (and that’s a lot).
With these five nail lacquers, it’s All About Orange. The five nail lacquers from MAC’s All About Orange collection ($16 each)
Juicy orange summer nails — oh, yeah!
Err, let’s make that mostly orange, because technically, one of these five nail polishes from the MAC All About Orange collection is more of a pink, and its name sounds like a karate spirit shout.
Or Ke Ai, which is how MAC spells it here.
I like to say it loud and do karate chops in the air for emphasis…
Two coats of Ke Ai, a soft pink with a Frost finish
So the collection is actually mostly about orange (MAC Mostly About Orange?), but that doesn’t sound as sweet.
The five $16 quintessentially summer polishes in the release ripened last week (they’re available now). The collection features four bright, juicy Creamsicle-like nail shades and one shimmery pale pink called.
Chop, chop, chop…
I think they’re a bumper crop save one thing. I wish some of them were a little easier to work with, but then I’m coming off a major Chanel Starlet high…
Starlet is one of the smoothest polishes I’ve worn in a while. By contrast, a few of these All About Orange colors are making me grind my teeth. I can them to look the way I want them to, but it takes some work.
Three coats of Colour Punch, a yellowish orange with a Cream finish
Super cute Colour Punch is awfully thick and surprisingly streaky. I have to remember to remove most of the polish from the brush before applying, and then paint s l o w l y, watching my strokes.
I think it looks fine with two coats but better with three.
Two coats of Sweet Pop, a peach with a Cream finish
The closest I’ve ever come to the end of a paparazzo’s lens was standing next to Tabs on the red carpet.
Second closest time was today, via Chanel’s $27 Paparazzi plum nail polish concoction.
That’s one way I definitely don’t envy Tabs — having to deal with the paparazzi so much — since they always seem to appear at the most inopportune moments.
With my luck, every pic they snapped would be of me yawning, sneezing or attempting to stealthily extract my underwear from my bum…
No thank you!
I like Chanel’s Paparazzi much better than the ones that chase Tabs.
Maybe not as much as I like Starlet, but that’s probably because of how close we are to summer, and Starlet’s coral just seems more ripe and ready for sandals and summer dresses to me (Calgon, take me to the beach!).
Just like how Starlet spreads out across each nail after it’s applied, Paparazzi does the same thing. Neither shade exhibits noticeable streaking.
One thing I do have to watch when I wear Paprazzi is my timing. You have to be in the right place at the right time with this polish.
Now playing on Chanel counters and online, the new $27 limited edition Chanel Le Vernis Nail Colour in Starlet, from the Avant-Premiere collection
This leading lady is worthy of a summer tentpole film and a handful of Oscar nominations. Maybe even a sleeper hit that takes Sundance by storm, or a blockbuster rom-com opposite a foppish Brit boy with floppy hair and nice arms.
This Starlet has some serious stage presence. Chanel Le Vernis Nail Colour in Starlet has that certain something I like, that “it” factor that pushes it ahead of so many sweet and summery coral ingenues.
Admittedly, I rarely meet a coral I don’t love or like, and Starlet is no exception. But it differs from most coral shades in that it also leans pink, depending on the light, to showcase more of its rich pink salmon side in the shade and a cherry blossom pink in full sun. It also has subtle opalescent shimmer, which elevates its production value from indie film to Hollywood big budget.
I was so excited to try Starlet the day I brought it home that I actually painted my toes with it in the middle of the night in almost pitch-black darkness before settling down to watch one of our generation’s most esteemed films, Step Brothers (“This is a house of learn-ed doctors”), and passing out on the couch.
Not really being able to see what I was doing because I didn’t want to turn on the lights, I expected to have to re-paint my toes the following morning.
Nope. Turns out I didn’t have to. To my surprise, my toes looked nearly perfect, because Starlet is smooove…
You could be painting your toes with one eye half open in the dark, and there’s a decent chance your pedi would turn out alright.
Starlet, you are smooth! I only need two coats for full opacity.
The five Le Vernis Nail Polishes in Couleurs Culte De Chanel, $27 each
I try to make the meetings when I can, but it’s hard. There’s always so much to do and so little time…
What meetings, you ask?
Oh, the meetings of the Chanel Couleurs Culte de Chanel (“Cult of Chanel Colors,” merci to those years of high school French) — not to be confused with the Cult of Chanel Quads, Cult of Chanel Fragrances, or Cult of Chanel Quilted Bags, to which I also belong.
I’ve often wondered aloud to my plus-size, Chanel-loving tabby cat/freeloading boarder, “Why don’t they [Chanel] just consolidate all of the many mini Chanel cults into a single mega one?” But he just stares back at me, purrs and blinks his big, dumb eyes.
God, I love that cat…
The agendas for Chanel Cult meetings are closely guarded, and I can’t reveal the topics we discuss or the secret handshake, but I am at liberty to say that we spend hours asking ourselves, “What would Karl do?”
(We also pet long-haired, fluffy white cats that resemble Choupette.)
Sometimes, we’ll put our hair up in ponytails and pull on pairs of black fingerless gloves. Then we’ll form a circle, hold hands and sway back and forth to Bizarre Love Triangle by New Order.
Of course, ongoing membership requires the wearing of Chanel nail polish.
These days, many of our members have been wearing one of the five new Chanel Couleurs Culte de Chanel shades ($27 each). The creative types among us will often mix and match shades, which there’s a policy against (but we’ll usually look the other way).
Chanel Couleurs Culte de Chanel is a precise, concise collection of five iconic Chanel nail shades that I feel accurately convey Coco’s aesthetic, but I can’t help but wonder — where the hell is Vamp??
Wait — Rouge Noir? Vamp? Are you guys twins?
Four of the five are permanent collection products, while the remaining one, Rouge Noir, is limited edition.
One coat seems to be enough for each of the darker colors — Pirate, Rouge Noir, Particuliere and Black Satin — as well as Beige, the lightest lacquer in the group, which looks cute to me, albeit very sheer, applied with one coat, or fully opaque with three.
Okay, enough talk. Hold onto your pearls, and let’s take a look…
Rouge Noir, two coats
Rouge Noir: A creamy blackened red the color of sangria or, um, dried blood (I think I watched one too many episodes of Law & Order: SVU last weekend).
Pirate, two coats
Pirate: Don’t forget to wear this eye-catching, super classic cherry red on September 19 (Talk Like a Pirate Day), or the next time you sail the seven seas (whichever comes first).
I love this color, and I bet Captain Jack Sparrow would, too, as the red should contrast with his black liner nicely.