Chanel Skyline Le Vernis

September 10, 2012

US Chanel fans have been eagerly waiting for Skyline to be released. It first appeared on the runways at the Spring-Summer 2012 Haute Couture show back in January. It has finally arrived on Chanel.com for $30 (limited-edition) along with the other Blue Illusion de Chanel items. I’ve heard it is expected to arrive soon at select Chanel Boutiques and Studios (such as the one at Nordstrom Seattle). When I first saw swatches and photos from European bloggers, I thought I would be able to pass. It appeared a bit too frosty for my taste. Who was I kidding? Of course I could not resist. After testing this for the past three days, my feelings are mixed.
Chanel Skyline is a gorgeous periwinkle metallic blue. On Polish Police, A Lipstick a Day, and The Make-Up Blogette, Skyline glows and looks smooth without streaks or bubbles. I had high hopes for this color. As soon as I received it, I went for a much-needed professional manicure. I brought my own Chanel base and top coats to use with Skyline. The result was non-streaky and smooth in color, but it had serious bubbling issues (my husband even noticed before I said anything). I removed it within a few hours and decided to try with a different base coat (Deborah Lippmann’s) and still had bubbling issues. My third try, I used it on bare nails – still with the same result. My fourth try, I finally succeeded. The formula on Skyline seems thicker than most of my other Chanel polishes which makes metallic finish prone to visible brush strokes. It’s not quite as bad as Attraction, but the thickness makes Skyline a bit tricky to apply. I’ve never had so much trouble applying a nail polish before and I’m not entirely sure why. My tips:
  • Make sure you don’t shake the bottle, roll gently if you feel the color needs to be mixed in the bottle
  • Be sure your bottle isn’t warm (room temperature is ok, but this one works better if applied at cooler temperatures)
  • Allow the first coat to dry completely (100% dry) before attempting a second coat
  • Apply the second coat very slowly and make sure it’s not too thick
Some more photos, swatches and comparisons:

I pulled out quite a few blues to see if Skyline was similar in tone to any other colors I own. I found it quite unique. Skyline is most similar to OPI’s I Don’t Give a Rotterdam. I couldn’t find a dupe and most other blues lacked the luminosity that Skyline does. On the fingers it simply glows.
Swatches below include: YSL #141, Dior Glacier, Butter London Lady Muck, Chanel Riva, Chanel Coco Blue, Dolce & Gabbana Anise, Lancome Le Gris L’Wren, NARS Full Metal Jacket, Chanel Graphite, OPI I Have a Herring Problem, OPI I Don’t Give a Rotterdam, Chanel Nouvelle Vague, Chanel Blue Boy, Chanel Blue Rebel, NARS Kutki, MAC Blue India and Estee Lauder’s Wild Storm.

I love the color of Skyline on the fingers. It’s a beautiful glowy blue shimmer that is unique. The formula issues have me at I’m not 100% in love. The higher price tag of $30 just had me expecting something flawless in terms of application. I feel Chanel has improved the nail polish formula over the past years. They make my favorite nail polishes today. Skyline’s formula seems to be a step backwards (based on my experience). I’m not sure if others have had the same application issues – most that I’ve seen seem to report no issues. To anyone who has bought and tried Skyline, I’d love to hear your application experiences and tips/tricks. I did succeed in a decent application on my fourth/fifth tries – but it wasn’t easy. I’ve debated whether or not to add a thinner to this, but I’m worried about altering the formula.

Have you tried Skyline? Thoughts?

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  • Amazing polish! Love the colour and the shimmer! β™₯

  • I bought this polish nearly a month ago and I've had no issues. Its actually probably one of my favourite Chanel polishes. The first time I tried it was in a rushed manicure by the Chanel makeup artist in between giving me a full make over and trying to convince me to buy Destination (it was a slow day) and it still looked beautiful. Maybe you somehow ended up with a dud bottle?

    • Thank you Samantha, I probably did get a dud bottle. In all my years of buying Chanel nail polishes I've never had issues. I'm glad to hear your experiences were good!

  • It's such a pretty color, isn't it? I found it much easier to apply than Attraction, and I got a decent application with 2 coats, but the brush strokes are visible up close. I skipped a base coat or a top coat, didn't have bubbling issues, but it chips off really fast on my nails. I applied the first coat thin, and for the second coat I took a little more product. I don't know if it makes sense, but I sort of drag the product with the tips of the brush rather than with the whole brush on the nail.

    I think the thinner might change the formula…funnily enough, I gave the bottle a good mix and didn't have bubbling. The rolling didn't seem to mix the formula properly for me πŸ™

    • Thanks Rads – yes the color is oh-so-dreamy. Given the comments from everyone I think the one I bought from CHanel.com isn't typical of Skyline. Probably a bad batch.

  • I really like this colour, very romantic and sophisticated. It looks better with dark blue and beige clothes.
    About application: I think all frost nail polishes are difficult, not only Sky Line.

  • I was going to skip it but it sure does look beautiful!

  • I applied skyline with my usual base and top — cnd stickey and seche vite on top. Two coats of skyline, no bubbling or streaking whatsoever. wish I could offer tips or tricks, but it was the standard polish change. I bought my bottle from chanel.com — could you have gotten a 'bad' bottle, I wonder?

    • Unknown thanks for the info – sounds like I did get a bad bottle. I also purchased from Chanel.com, this one is going back and I'll try a different one.

  • NEED to go out & get CHANEL's Graphite!

    xoxo Shauna


  • Anonymous

    My application and formula of Sky Line was absolutely perfect! I had no issues at all, and I didn't do anything in specific :/ However, I did find it had bubbles in the bottle even when it hadn't been touched.

    • Thanks for the feedback! I think I just got a bad one πŸ™ so happy and grateful for everyone's good raves. Gives me hope!

  • I've a love/hate relationship with Le Vernis. I think the formula is not worth such an expensive price but once I've tried the colour on, nothing can keep me from bringing it home.


  • Tatiana

    I've gotten "dud" bottles of polish from Chanel before, that I just returned in exchange for another bottle. My Jade Rose was yellower than swatches I had seen and quite thick and goopy. The new bottle was perfect.
    Skyline is not a color I would wear personally, but it is beautiful. I love how you've photographed it against the ocean horizon. It clearly shows the inspiration for this amazing color. By the way, if that's where you live, I am totally jealous!

    • Tatiana – thank you! I'm forever grateful for all my readers. I know I can always rely on you girls for good feedback πŸ™‚

  • Eileen

    Oh, Sabrina, what a shame! I also have not had any problems with bubbling. The first coat was a bit streaky as is typical with frosted shades, but the second coat smoothed everything out. I agree with the other ladies that it sounds like you got a bad bottle. If you can return it, do so. This is such a lovely color. You should be able to wear it without struggling with the application.

    • Eileen – yes it's a shame, but everyone here has given me hope πŸ™‚ I'm sending this bottle back – sounds like this one was just a dud.

  • I have got them and I love this color!

  • Anonymous

    I had no problem with mine. I used the chanel top and base. My mom placed the polish on her nail witoyt anything and it lasted for days. She says we are placing to much polish on the brush and not letting it dry. chanel always works best together.

  • Anonymous

    I had similar problems with this polish. It was the bubbliest manicure I've had in recent memory, and the few nails that weren't full of bubbles were full of brush strokes.

    • Sounds like we both got a bad batch. I'm going to try a different bottle and I'll update the post once I get a chance to try and see. Based on everyone else's feedback, I think most haven't had issues with Skyline so I suspect ours were just defected.

  • Anonymous

    I was waiting for your review on Sky Line! Same here, I still have a love-hate relationship with Chanel's Sky Line. Though I still got it. It looked too-much frosty for my taste when I saw those promo photos. I rarely wear anything that appears like a white frost but after trying it out it turned out to be a beautiful color.. Romantic, sophisticated, yes.. There's never a no for Chanel Le Vernis.. I have issues with making brush strokes but I've seen other people using those sample eyeshadow brushes (those flat ones from counters) for even look so I'm thinking of trying that out.
    About those bubbling problems, maybe you should get a different bottle? Never had any bubble issues with this..

  • Natassha68

    Sorry you had such issues with your Skyline, I polished mine myself yesterday without a base oat and had not one issue, they look stunning, maybe you got a bad bottle perhaps???

    • Thank you Natassha68! I will update the post once I test a different bottle. I suspect you're right πŸ™‚

  • I haven't had any issues with my bottle of Sky Line – it applied quite well at 2 coats, a few brush strokes as I would expect with a frost metallic, but no bubbles whatsoever. I ordered it from Chanel.com. I think I used a Barielle base coat and Out the Door quick dry top coat.

    Great review by the way – thanks so much for all the great comparisons. I too found Sky Line a unique addition to my collection.

  • Cathy

    I agree with everyone else. I think you have a bad bottle and I would call Chanel.com and see what they say. I have Skyline and love it.. best application ever. I just received the Fashion Night colors and I'm not that thrilled with them compared to skyline. Love your blog!

  • I think you got a bad bottle. I didn't have any problem with application and my skills are weak. For reference I've never managed to get riva to work on my own.

  • i'm always so disappointed in the chanel formula that i usually just skip them. I think the color is pretty but it doesn't seem particularly unique. :/ bummer. The shade also reminds me of my favorite blue nail polish in 7th grade… and I'm not sure if that is good or bad, lol

  • I love Chanel..I love eveything about Chanel and I think in every collection Peter Philips has a great surprise for us especially about our nails! In every collection we all tr to find dupes for colours that in many cases are unique.. I also love the formula altough I know some would disagree..
    But, skyline disappointed me for the first time! I dont like light blue and especially ith a frost finish..I dont think its sic at all!!


  • My bottle was a nightmare too! Anyway, I have to change it because the cap is broken, so maybe I'll have better luck with the next one!

  • Anonymous

    You take the most amazing photographs!

  • Love love love this! I wish i got it when i had the chance!

  • Anonymous

    Colors are so pretty. πŸ™‚

  • Skyline looks quite unique! After looking at your posts, I definitely wish I had gotten it when I had the chance. Hopefully it springs up for sale somewhere. It does look so lovely! Thanks for the swatches.

  • Hi Sabrina!

    I did a search of "Chanel Skyline" and "chips easily" and you came up! I, too, seem to have a bad batch of Skyline. Application is significantly more difficult than other Le Vernis. Even controlling for the metallic/streaky factor, the bubbles are driving me crazy. Every other review said that Sky Line was easy as a cinch to apply and so I was wondering.

    Having now read your blog, I am going to exchange my bottle. For the price, I expect something that works well. (I've had Maybelline nail polish that applies better than my bottle of Sky Line.) The beautiful color is worth it! Thanks for posting, it helped me decide, as it is hard to find the time to make exchanges.