The Chanel SoHo Nail Polishes: Steel Yourself for These Strong Fall Shades

Published in: Nails, Product Reviews

chanel soho nail polish swatches review

Chanel says, “It’s fall. Time to go to work.”

Well, it’s official. Elvis and summer have left the building. They walked out the back door, the one by the loading dock, and met for brewskies down at the Harvest Moon, you know, that little pub where all the classic fall nail colors hang out after work.


Every fall I pack up my warm weather must-haves — my neon nail polishes, fuchsia glosses, booty shorts with “I heart the Jersey Shore” written across the back (kidding!) to make room for autumn’s awesome goodies. This year, I’m clearing space for a couple of real workin’ stiffs called Steel (a shimmery gunmetal gray) and Strong (a shimmery blackened plum), Chanel’s two new SoHo Le Vernis nail polishes for fall ($23 each).

Why do autumn leaves make me want to paint mah talons with darker colors? Is it a cavewoman thing? Who knows, but if you like the look of dark fall nails, feast your Bette Davis eyes on these.

chanel soho steel swatch

Both were released as part of the Chanel SoHo collection, a small limited edition release to celebrate the re-opening of their New York SoHo store, which I hear had been closed for a while.

I can see it now… There I am, strutting down a SoHo sidewalk with Steel on my fingers and Strong on my toes. The dark, pigmented shades make me feel tougher and more urban than I think I really am (but still with an air of glamorous panache). ๐Ÿ™‚

Steel, my favorite of the two, is like wet asphalt glistening in the dawn’s early light, while Strong stands supreme like a skyscraper at midnight against a velvet sky. Just two coats and both colors are opaque.

I’ve always thought Chanel’s polishes could take a lot of punishment, and I think that’s also true here. After a week so far with Steel on my fingers and Strong on my toes, neither one applied with a base or top coat, I see only a few tiny chips at the edges of my nails. Dark polishes can be a pain because chips tend to stand out, but I’m finding these to be fairly low maintenance.

Are they worth a splurge?

If you ask a Chanel lovah (like me, like me!), you’ll probably get an enthusiastic “hell yeah!” But I don’t feel they’re quite as unique as some of the jaw-dropping Chanel shades from seasons past.


Lemme put it this way: if I were at a Chanel counter with Jersey Shore star and part-time pugilist J-Woww, and the counter had only one of each color left (Steel and Strong), I would NOT go to blows to bring either of them home. Of course, if we were talking about Chanel Vendetta or Jade, heads would probably roll.

Makeup and Beauty Blog Rating: Steel and Strong feel like almost perfect fits for fall. Both are relatively low-maintenance, as far as dark polishes go, but Chanel newbies might want to wait for a more striking release. That said, worshippers at the Church of Chanel may not be able to resist (nor should they be expected to). Available now at the Chanel SoHo store and Grade: B+

Your friendly neighborhood beauty addict,


P.S. Happy hump day!


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So far, 33 people have commented on this article. How cool is that?

  1. they ARE gorgeous, but i can’t justify paying that much money on something i’ll get bored with easily. nail polish is not something i can ever splurge on, i think. but chanel’s foundation? yes, please!
    dani@callitbeauty recently posted … All About Eyes – Intense Copper

  2. based on the bottle color, I expected to like Strong more but I gotta say, Steel’s the one that’s calling out to me. oh how nice it would be if these were cheaper…I don’t think I could ever justify spending that much cash on a polish. Other types of makeup maybe, but not nail polish.
    makeup morsels recently posted … OOTD- School Blues

  3. Toni says:

    I love Chanel stuff, but neither one of these polishes is catching my eye. I’d rather spend my money on other things in the SoHo collection, like the Glossimer and the eye shadow quad. Even if I loved the color, I’m not sure if I could bring myself to pay that much for a nail polish, but I’ll gladly fork over $27-$28 for a Glossimer! LOL!
    Toni recently posted … 2nd Menu Monday

  4. Melissa says:

    I love the house of Chanel, and am a recent victim of their polishes (I just bought Kahki Vert tonight). They are worth every penny. Like you said, they don’t chip, even without a top/base coat. Compared to, say, a Chanel bag, they are a very reasonably priced indulgence. I will take one of each of the Soho colors ; )
    Melissa recently posted … Set me free

  5. Tatiana Jarquin says:

    I instantly thought of a dupe for “Strong” when I saw it, Santee’s “Black Hole” , which you can see here:
    You could do a swatch comparison Karen! ๐Ÿ˜‰ Although, I think “Black Hole” leans more towards a dark purplish-reddish brown color and “Strong” leans more towards a very dark purple with reddish specks. Either way, I know what color I’ll be painting my nails tomorrow, so that I feel trendy ;)!

  6. MAUI says:

    I’m in love with Chanel but these colors are not so unique. There are just so many cheaper brands out there that can produce the same but for much much affordable. Thanks for sharing!

  7. Jess says:

    I love both of these but since it’s getting warmer here, it’s time for me to bust out the bright colours!

    Sigh, these are calling name name though….
    Jess recently posted … Review- Benefit Powderflage!

  8. mill says:

    thanks for the swatches karen! yes, these looks easily dupeable and not really that expesive… the polish that grabbed me for the fall was Khaki Vert… military trend in a subtle way!

  9. Andreea says:

    I am gladly in the Church of Chanel regarding the polishes. I stick to Rouge Fatal and Confidentiele for the next years though.
    I would love me some STEEL but they are not available in Germany. That’s a rocking shade, and I’d love it on me, though I defend the classic shades. I have Blue Satin and I think it is a very wearable shade, but tough for any DIY mani/pedi.

  10. Nina says:

    I dont use nail polish enough to justify this splurge but … the colors are lovely! ๐Ÿ™‚

  11. Shannon says:

    Oh my GOD, those colors are awesome. I am seriously crushing on Steel.

  12. Kim says:

    Wow! Strong was not what I expected from the bottle. They’re both nice, but I have 2 dark OPI bottles to work on. And considering I still have the left toenails brown and the right toenails blue from my August vacation, I clearly will not be getting through them anytime soon! ๐Ÿ™‚

  13. Jackie says:

    I love these polishes!! They arrived last week with the rest of the collection which I am sooo glad I bought. I think it is one of the prettiest collections ever!

    I think your description of the polishes is right on! Steel looks just like “wet asphalt” to me!! I was wearing it the other day and looked at my nails while I was driving in the rain and it looked just like the wet road! LOL what a nail polish nerd I am..!

  14. Christy says:

    I love Chanel nail polishes but i just spent a lil over 300 at MAC. I’ll just have to shop my stash for something similar ๐Ÿ™‚

    Heheh, I actually went to a bar called Harvest Moon in Chicago ๐Ÿ˜‰

  15. Oh god. Must buy both!
    Beautifully Invisible recently posted … Wendy Brandes love and a giveaway for you!

  16. HanaBerlin says:

    I really like Strong. It reminds me of OPI’s “Midnite in Moscow” from the Russian Collection. Very beautiful.

  17. Mary says:

    Hey Karen,

    I have found my fall nail colour: Strong!! It looks so chic!
    Chanel’s the benchmark for trendy colours every year, no?

  18. Sharon says:

    Steel looks very intriguing, but spending that much on nail polish? I just started two weeks’ vacation, and some of my vacation time (and money) is earmarked for Venomous Villains, especially the nail polishes, and some badly-needed new clothes. Both of the Chanel polishes are very pretty though so maybe it can be my birthday treat in a couple of months!

  19. amy says:

    Steel is my favourite of the two: the perfect gunmetal gray.
    amy recently posted … MAC Fabulous Villains Launch Party and Mini Haul

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