Chanel Particuliere 505 Le Vernis Nail Colour ($27 for 13 ml/.04 fl oz) is a classic taupe putty grey cream. Former Creative Director of Makeup Peter Philips designed the color for the spring 2010 collection (read about how he chose the name in his interview with the LA Times here), and years later it’s still a classic, universally flattering staple.
I love it for its no-fuss polished look. Particuliere is an office appropriate neutral with a little bit of edge to prevent it from looking boring. It applies smoothly with just one coat; two coats give fully opaque coverage.
It’s one of those go-with-everything shades, and whenever I can’t decide what to wear on my nails, I end up going with either taupe Chanel Particuliere, or another classic, deep red Dragon.
On me, Chanel Particuliere pulls more neutral-to-cool. Depending on your skin tone you may find that it looks cooler on you than it does on my olive Chanel B30 skin. Compared to other taupes, it’s one of the more neutral toned greys out there.
You can find a similar look for less with OPI You Don’t Know Jacques and Over the Taupe (see comparisons here), but Chanel Particuliere is the more grey-based of the three, while Over the Taupe is warmer, and you Don’t Know Jacques is darker.
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Chanel Particuliere has a naturally glossy finish that doesn’t really need a top coat, but using the right one helps extend the life. I apply with Chanel’s base and top coat to get the best results. Lasting power is about 5-6 days before I start seeing any wear at the tips. I make sure to cover the ends and tips of my nails with an extra swipe of top coat to make it last longer.
Bottom line: you need this color. It’s a timeless neutral shade, easy to incorporate into your everyday wardrobe, and it also looks just as good on fingers as it does on toes.