Dear Chanel, I Love You! Spring 2011 Le Vernis Shades Have Arrived

December 17, 2010

Chanel spring is starting to trickle in stores and the best news is that in the U.S. they have brought back the American-style formulas of the blush (no longer baked) and eyeshadow quad (back to square). I’m ecstatic! With the past few collections I was worried that in 2011 I would fall out of love with Chanel. There is so much to cover and I haven’t had time to play with everything yet so I’m going to split up my reviews. The first review will cover the new Le Vernis shades: Pearl Drop 511, Black Pearl 513, Pêche Nacrée 515.

The colors of white-gold, murky greyed-green and soft peachy-pink are an interesting combination for nails, but I love them. I love how Chanel matched the new Eyeshadow Quad, Regard Perlé (review coming soon). You might think the colors have been done before – but Chanel has a way of combining colors and pigments that no other brand can match. The result is a sophisticated and fresh palette that is appropriate for now and also serves as the perfect transition to spring.

Nails matched to the quad:

The finish of these spring nail colors is a pearl-frost. You can see brush strokes on Pearl Drop and Black Pearl if applied with a shakey hand, but the streaks aren’t too bad. All of them are a bit sheerer than your typical Chanel nail polish (in my opinion). I find the cream-non-shimmers to be full coverage while these are not full-coverage-with-1-coat. The Spring Shades definitely need 2-3 coats. Fortunately, they aren’t as sheer as Riva is. The nice thing about the texture is it allows you to build your color as you like.

Pearl Drop 511 is a white base with gold shimmer. It’s almost a duo-chrome color. This color is lovely, but not exactly my favorite. It’s simply too contrasted with my skintone. The yellowish undertones in my skin also don’t really help with this color. I wanted to compare it to Hard Candy’s Sugar Daddy, but it appears I had gifted that shade away. So, I pulled a few other Chanel whites for your reference. Blanc Petal is a pure white frost, Intermezzo has that opal-pinkish sheen, Pearl Drop is clearly a white-gold frost.

L to R: Chanel Blanc Petale, Intermezzo 501, Pearl Drop 511

Black Pearl 513 is the most highly anticipated shade of spring (for me). I have been dying of curiosity to see how it compares to other greenish murky shades. I am happy to report that Black Pearl appears to be truly unique. It’s one of those shades that is true-to-the-bottle in the sense that what you see in the bottle is what you get on the nails. So many dark greenish teals look gorgeous in the bottle, but go on nearly black on the nails. Chanel Black Pearl has a beautiful sheen to it with a mixture of teal, grey, silver, dark green. It’s hard for me to describe but it’s a stunner! Compared to the colors below, it’s lighter in color and exactly as gorgeous as I had hoped.

L to R comparisons: OPI Cuckoo For This Color, Laura Mercier Caviar Dreams, Chanel Black Pearl 513, Lancome Pop Petrol (reviews/swatches on other colors are linked)

Pêche Nacrée 515 was a pleasant surprise. I expected it to be an unflattering frosty shade of peach but it has just the right amount of pearliness which makes it a lovely soft peachy-pinky-pearly color. It is on the sheerer side, so it definitely requires 3 full coats. This is the most spring-like color out of all 3 shades.

L to R comparisons: OPI Love Me Tender, Chanel Pêche Nacrée 515, Dior Angelic Rose 152

FYI: The spring collection is up on Chanel.com and I found the items in-store at Nordstrom in Southern California. I’ve also heard reports that it’s been spotted at Bloomingdales in NY. So ladies, call your counters – it should be arriving any day now if it hasn’t already!

More reviews to come soon, here’s a sneak peek . . . please do not republish or hotlink my photos, all content is copyrighted!

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  • I think the US textures are better (wish we had them here!)

    Beautiful collection, I am very tempted by it, and you've whetted my appetite a bit more! Thank you for the helpful comparison pictures, as always. x

  • I am eagerly waiting for your review on the lipsticks! Finally more polish that I think I will polish. Either the Black Pearl or the Peche! 🙂

  • Ah! Thanks for the update. Will definitely stalk Nordstrom's this weekend..

    I love all the polishes.. especially Black Pearl on you.

  • Seriously, you're the best Sabrina!

    They're in at the Chanel store on Robertson, also..


  • Pearl Drop has got me drooling. I can recognize immediately that it would be great for me. Black Pearl looks amazing in the bottle, but after reading your review, I'm sure it will not work on me due to the greenish cast (that I actually did not notice before you posted your pictures).

  • Black Pearl is definitely calling out to me. Thanks for the comparisons as I have the OPI and Lancome shades so glad to see that Black Pearl looks different.

  • I am loving the spring collection. Thanks for the post. It helps me a lot to read your blog before deciding on what I will buy. Unfortunately here in Europe we do not have the same texture of blushes and eyeshadows. I am excited to see the collection in person next year.

  • eke

    I made it my mission to get Black Pearl yesterday. (After all, my earrings are gray pearl, and a girl has to match, no?). I got it at Saks (NYC), the first place I went. I didn't see the peach, but they had the white also. A lovely color. Thanks for the research and lovely swatches, Sabrina!

  • Holding my breath for your eyeshadow review 🙂 Ordered the quint, but I am dying to order the quad as well! Hope the green in there is an unique shade

  • C.M

    I love the collection.

    Black Pearl is my favorite.

  • Oh my gorgeous! I am glad to see the US formulas are back, now I am interested in this release 🙂

  • Christa

    I'm so excited to see your swatches of the eyeshadows and lipsticks Sabrina!! I value your opinion above all other bloggers so I can't tell you how excited I am to see you have the collection in your hands!

  • I was really waiting for your chanel le vernis post!! I just brought those 3 colors at chanel.com when I can get free shipping. I order seperately so that I can get cute chanel gift boxes and samples per order. haha. I can not wait to get those colors!!

  • carolyn

    the polishes look so great!! all of them but especially black pearl. i was wondering whether it kinda looks like steel from the soho collection? maybe you could plase make a comment about that. thanks a lot.

  • Eileen

    Oh, Sabrina! What a wonderful post! Judging from your great pictures, this collection does not disappoint in the least.

    I was thrilled to read that we've kept our US formulas. I really do think they're superior to the European baked varieties. They're more luxirious in feel and texture, they definitely apply smoother, and fall out is never a problem. If we face the treat of losing our coveted formulas again, everyone should write to Chanel to protest. One of Amy's readers at Café Makeup mentioned doing that and I followed suit. I also asked my gal pals and the Chanel ladies at my local stores to do the same. It's up to us to mobilize the troops 🙂

    As for the pearly finishes in this collection, isn't it nice after a season of holiday micro-glitter to switch to something softer that glows rather than sparkles? I can hardly wait to see more of your swatches of this gorgeous collection.

  • Lizzie

    Yay! I was waiting for your review on the spring collection. I can't wait to see the rest of the collection! I like the peach nail polish.

  • Oooh lovely! Thanks for the comparisons. What a great spring collection. Love the way they matched the quad to the polishes, as you mentioned.

  • chanel is an excellent line. I just wish they would be more generous with the size and amount of the products they give. However, the black pearl nail polish reminds me of the NARS full metal jacket, and I have a blue similar to the OPI but its from Nicole line called blues in the night which is black with blue shimmer. It came in a duo set.

    Those blues and coral colors are great for combos- layer them or wear one on your fingers and toes!

    thanks for the swatches.


    I have used baked makeup in the past and it doesn't seem to have the consistency of reg type. How do you feel about baked makeup?

  • I just placed my order for Pêche Nacrée (love!) and the quad. I haven't bought a Chanel quad in a long time, but your photos were just too amazing! Can't wait to try them out!

  • Lovely review! Can't wait to hear your thoughts about the rest of the collection! For starters, I have the cream shadow quint on its way to me but I will have to go in store and play with the rest of the collection before deciding what to get. I love the way you say the quad matches the nailpolishes, would never have thought of that if you hadn't mentioned it. 🙂

  • I'm so glad to hear that chanel us went back to the non baked textures. I passed on almost all of the holiday collection because of the baked texture. Cant wait to see swatches of the rest of the collection!

  • GAH!! I *NEED* this collection in my life right now. I called 4 Nordies in So Cal and none of them have it. =(
    Thanks Sabrina!! I ♥ your reviews/blog.

  • Pretty colors! you have the best swatches and comparisons-thanks! That peachy color appeals to me most for Spring.

  • yay! you're the best… I really like Black Pearl on you, on me it's blah, but I'm now eyeing Pearl Drop, thanks a lot 😀 … I can't wait to see your review on the quint

  • Gorgeous collection! I love the quad!

  • I love how you do comparisons between similar nail polishes from different brands, they are amazingly helpful!

  • This was my very first time noticing Pearl Drop…it looks gorgeous on you, and is going on my shopping list.

    I don't even care about nail polish, but this shade is a must-have.