Beauty Investigation: Is There a Dupe for Chanel Riviera?

I recently received an e-mail from one of my readers asking if I knew of a dupe for Chanel Riviera. She had decided to wait a bit to think about purchasing it and by the time she decided to purchase it, the color was sold out everywhere online and at all the stores and counters near her. Knowing that “oh no it’s sold out” feeling all too well, I was more than happy to help. I called & visited a number of local stores (about a dozen) but I too was unable to locate the nail polish – so began my quest to find the perfect dupe.
I narrowed down my search to brands that had testers available thus eliminating brands without testers such as Zoya, China Glaze, Essie and all drugstore brands. I swatched about a dozen hot pinks in my notebook and then went back to each counter/store to swatch the four closest matches on my fingers. I have to admit I was a bit nervous swatching so many shades in my notebook – but the Chanel reps were so sweet at each store. They even chimed in with their input about which ones they thought looked the most similar to the Riviera shade.

For some reason the fuschia undertones of some of the shades were throwing off my camera flash, so it was hard to get an accurate picture. Here are two views (to the best of my ability).

  • Thumb: Sephora by OPI It’s All About Me – about 2 shades darker and brighter and a smidge cooler toned

  • Index: NARS Schiap – same intensity, one shade bluer, looks more magenta

  • Middle: MAC Steamy – closest dupe in my opinion, just a bit more intense/sharper looking

  • Ring: Chanel Riviera

  • Pinkie: OPI Strawberry Margarita – second closest dupe, slightly lighter (only a touch)

So, which are the closest dupes? The verdict: MAC Steamy and OPI Strawberry Margarita. From an arms distance glance – you can barely tell the difference. Here they are photographed next to Chanel Riviera. Note that while they look slightly different in the bottles, on the fingers the difference is not noticeable. Are the exact dupes? No.

I was also asked how it compared to Lancome’s Miss Perfectly Pink and Illamasqua Collide – Lancome’s is significantly cooler toned and Illamasqua is a hot electric neon pink. So if you missed out on Chanel Riviera, not to worry – no need to shell out extra money for the shade on ebay. You can definitely find a similar shade! Not an exact dupe, but yes, similar. (Here’s one more shot with the Lancome – can’t swatch it b/c it’s a present.)

In terms of pigment, I actually found all the dupes to be pretty smooth and nicely pigmented. The Chanel did apply the best IMHO, but after 2 coats, you get the same result.

Note that this is by no means the most comprehensive list – just the ones I found 🙂 I hope this helps some! All work is copyrighted. Please do not republish these photos.


  1. Anonymous
    June 9, 2010 / 10:10 pm

    Hey Lina,

    Riviera was my favorite of the summer trio. I couldn't find a dupe and was lucky enough to get my hands on a bottle. I do think that this polish is a hot pink done right. I can't remember the last time I owned (or wanted to wear) a hot pink polish and yet…it is on my toes as we speak.

    Chanel will do that to ya.


  2. June 9, 2010 / 11:29 pm

    Great comparison! I think I actually like OPI Strawberry Margarita best. Will have to hunt that one down now lol.

  3. June 10, 2010 / 1:53 am

    I love all these colors, even though they're so similar! lol They just scream summer! : ) Great post.

  4. June 10, 2010 / 2:30 pm

    Thanks for the swatches! I like Magarita the best, but I think I'll have to see them in person first before I really decide.

  5. Anonymous
    June 10, 2010 / 3:47 pm

    Thanks so much Lina for taking the time to dig into this!
    VERY helpful!

  6. June 10, 2010 / 4:02 pm

    I use to be afraid of that NARS Schiap polish but it's very pretty on you. Is that still around? I am liking that Strawberry Margarita color. Yeah but I need another OPI polish like I need a whole in my head!

  7. June 10, 2010 / 6:56 pm

    You put so much time and effort into your blog, I adore each and every post 🙂

  8. June 10, 2010 / 8:01 pm

    so glad you tried out these. pink is a lovely change for your hand as i often seen nudes. 😛

    all colours are nice on you. can't choose!

  9. June 10, 2010 / 11:35 pm

    Leslieal – You are so right. The Chanel is very special and dear to me.

    Catherine – The OPI is very nice. It's strikingly similar to the Chanel which is nice.

    TheStartSteam – I know! LOL. I hope this helps those who couldn't get their hands on the Chanel.

    Amelie – Good luck finding the Chanel to try out 🙂

    Lexi – NARS Schiap looked REALLY blueish in the bottle. I don't know if it's for sale anywhere. I couldn't find it available but my counter had a tester. They just had a trend show so I wasn't able to determine if it was just sold out or discontinued. OPI has so many great pinks 🙂

    DSK – Thank you for taking to time to write this to me. I really appreciate it and it's readers like you who make my day 🙂

    Jojoba – (inserts big smile). I actually LOVE bright pink (and all sorts of bright colors) for my toes. I am just always afraid one of these days one of my readers will faint from seeing my toes.

    Andee Layne – You are one of the most beautiful girls I've ever seen! Love your blog. And the Sephora by OPI is a great shade. I was surprised to see that the texture was better than most of the other Sephora by OPI colors I've tried before.

  10. June 11, 2010 / 12:28 am

    Sabrina, my local department store chanel counter had 1 bottle of Riviera left as of today (I'm in Canada). Let me know if your friend is still interested – and I'll tell you which store it was – maybe they'll ship it to her?

    ellaprettyblog AT

    (I tried emailing you, but it bounced back)

  11. Anonymous
    June 11, 2010 / 1:12 am

    Thank you so much for this post… I bought OPI Strawberry Margarita today and its lovely.

  12. June 11, 2010 / 2:05 pm

    Great post, thanks for this! I love the Chanel Riviera, but the OPI and MAC shade are pretty much the same! x

  13. June 19, 2010 / 7:26 pm

    Hey there – great post! Would you mind if I took the dupe-photography for my blog? of course I will link your blog there…

  14. June 19, 2010 / 7:39 pm

    BeautyGeeek – yes they are very similar! I was surprised to find so.

    Maria – All my work is copyrighted so I don't allow republication of my photos on other websites.

  15. June 19, 2010 / 7:44 pm

    I see…Thanky anyway for your fast response and: Great Blog- great job!

    Maria from Germany

  16. April 4, 2011 / 7:21 am

    I love shades of pink and this helps a lot in picking out what to purchase. Thank you for sharing this post.