Chanel Western Light Le Vernis

February 18, 2013

Chanel has released a small beauty collection of three limited-edition items to celebrate the opening of a new fashion boutique in Hysan Place in Hong Kong. The three items include a 5-pan eyeshadow palette called Pearl River ($80) and two nail polishes in Eastern Light and Western Light ($30). It’s my understanding these will arrive in most Chanel Boutiques and select Studio Counters (Saks NY, Nordstrom Seattle, boutiques like the Wynn in Vegas). I ordered mine from Saks NY, however last week they did not have Eastern Light.
First up is Western Light Le Vernis, a dark vampy chocolate. Like some other classic Chanel colors, this one has a beautiful complex but subtle shimmer in the bottle. Unfortunately on the nail none of the pretty shimmer shows up. On me it applies like a very dark cream that looks like a pure black. The color has a thin slightly streaky finish with one coat, but with two thin coats transforms into a rich opaque blackened-brown. I have mixed feelings about this one. The quality and finish is stunning, but the color seems unoriginal to me. I can’t say it’s love simply because it’s so so basic for a $30 nail polish.

Close up of the shimmers:

A few more swatches:

In comparison to other vamps, you can see there are a lot of others that are more unique. Below are some Chanel bottles to compare. Further down there are a few more swatches from other brands.

Two wheels, same set of colors, just different lighting. First set is what the colors look like applied, very dark and vampy.

Second set in full sun with full flash to show the undertone a bit better.

I’m still undecided. Perhaps it’s the original Rouge Noir reincarnated? I don’t have the original to compare. But for now, I feel that it would have been so much better had they included some visible sparkle like the gold from Haute Chocolat or the silver from shades like Pink Satin.
Did you pick up anything from the Hong Kong Chanel collection? Thoughts? I’m debating whether or not to track down the white shade.

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  • Looks closest to Jin Soon RisquΓ©. No one will hold a microscope up to my nails, so I will pass on this. As you have said, it's not remarkable in any way, especially at a $30 price point.

  • Ps. White is white. Nothing remarkable.

  • This is so sad because it looks exquisite in the bottle. The micro shimmer looks to die for but yes on the nails it's just a flat dark shade. Too bad πŸ™

  • This is a beautiful shade but a little too dark for me.

  • I don't really mind the colours, although it's not something I would personally wear, but I would have a hard time paying 30$ for a bottle of nail polish, no matter what brand it was.

    Martine πŸ™‚


  • As you say, colour slightly unremarkable and its such a shame the shimmer never translates onto the nail in the way you hope (I'm thinking of Vertigo here as well). I hear good things about the White, a proper enamel white too. But in the UK we only have eBay to buy these from and therefore a hideous price hike is inevitable.

    Great comparisons however, I have quite a lot of them which has killed the need for Western light and probably saved me a small fortune πŸ™‚

  • Lou

    I love dark shades, a shame that the shimmer on it doesn't pop out on the nails!!


  • Thank you all for your comments and input – a quick reminder, please refrain from adding links to your blog in the comments section, due to excessive spam I would like to keep the blog comments free from too much linking. Thanks for understanding!

  • It looks so promising in the bottle, with that pretty shimmer and looks especially gorgeous in that macro shot! Thanks for the swatches and comparisons. It does look lovely on you πŸ™‚

    I've found that now that I have acquired a substantial number of dark polishes it is difficult to find new shades that are unique and special enough to stand out above the rest.

  • Paige

    I was contemplating on getting this but I guess I'll have to pass. This is a disappointment. I really wish Chanel would amp up the shimmer a little more, just enough to have subtle sparkles on the nail. Spending $30 on a luxury nail polish is fine with me but the nail polish should look the part like a luxury item–not ending up looking like a creme finish that can be duped by any other lower priced brands.

    However, I heard that Eastern Light has more favorable reviews. It's really white, like liquid paper white, and the application is really smooth–not streaky like most whites tend to be.

  • Oh….was very curious about this but I think you may have saved me some $….too bad. Come on, Chanel! Blow us away with something gorgeous & fresh!

  • Sabrina, did you get the shadow palette as well? Would love to know your thoughts on that! I am quite tempted. πŸ™‚

  • Essie's released a few pastel shades with shimmer and both didn't translate well on the nails. While the colours are pretty, it'd be nice to have the shimmer there too.

  • Anonymous

    I love the white. It is the white in the CC logo ;). Blue undertone – something special I say.

  • I have Vertigo, so I don't think I'll go for this. This would be great for anyone who has a warmer skin tone, if Vertigo looked dirty on them.

  • Amy

    Awesome! Clearly, I need three. This is incredible.

  • This colors looks beautiful in the bottle..on your nails too, though it would have been nice to see some of the shimmer from the bottle on the nails. I ordered this today from the Chanel website since I don't have very many similar shades. I do have Rouge Noir..not sure if it's the original version..but I don't think that has a brownish base like this.

    I saw the white shade over at the Makeup Blogette, and I am sooooooooooo tempted to buy it. The last white I tried, Attraction, isn't one that I reach for all that very often so not sure if I really need another white. The finish looks really good, though.

  • Claudia

    I always love Chanel's exquisite subtle shimmer, but we need some sparkly or glittery going on with a nail polish with a name "Western Light!" πŸ™ I would've loved it if we have some more gold shimmer going on. I should pass on this one, but I just love the name so much and your swatches are always tempting! Thanks Sabrina<3