Chanel Le Vernis Longwear Nail Color and Le Gel Coat Longwear Top Coat – New Formulas

February 16, 2016

Chanel has reformulated all of their nail colors into a newer longer lasting formula called Le Vernis Longwear Nail Colour ($28 each for 13 ml/0.4 fl oz, made in France). There are 15 shades in this new launch, there are a few from the original line that have been re-launched in Particuliere, Ballerina, Pirate, Vamp, and Rouge Noir. I haven’t yet had the chance to check out the new ones in person yet to compare the original to new shades, so I’m not sure if the new vs old colors are identical (if you have let me know!). The Chanel team sent 3 colors for me to try out along with the new Le Gel Coat Longwear Top Coat ($28 for 13 ml/0.4 fl oz), I’ve been putting these to the test for almost two weeks now. The formula is definitely a huge improvement in terms of lasting power.

The three shades I have to share are Camélia 506, Gitane 510 and Roubachka 514. These are all creams with insanely rich pigment. Camélia and Gitane are one-coat wonders, one coat offers full coverage, although I still prefer two for an ultra rich, ultra glossy, slightly cushiony look. These seem to be similar in texture compared to the more pigmented Chanel creams like Dragon. They glide on smoothly and easily. Camélia is a rich deep peony pink kind of color, it’s got a cool-toned base but has a bright undertone which adds warmth. Gitane is an electric warm red. Roubachka is definitely a two-coater, the formula in this one is almost like a pigmented jelly. It’s a deep purple color but looks almost black on the nails. It’s what I wanted Tom Ford Viper to be (which I’ve tested in store many times but found the formula just too sheer and streaky).

Above left to right is Gitane, Camelia, Roubachka and the Le Gel Coat. They’ve changed the packaging a bit this launch. The names are no longer printed on the front of the bottles. Names are now on the back for the colors. The formula remains 5-free.

Another change they’ve made is to the brush. I was a huge huge fan of the original brush. It was thin and dense which allowed for precise application. The newer brush is a bit thicker and fans out the slightest bit at the edges. Length of brush is about the same. Initially the fanning out worried me because I thought it would be harder to control and paint the nails evenly along the cuticles. I found no issue with application. At this time I still prefer the original brush – but when you have something that you fall in love with, getting used to something different can just take time. Here’s a look at the brushes for the new formula.

For comparison, here’s a look at Gitane vs Coquelicot, packaging size is identical in product amount and bottle size. Brushes are the same length, there’s just a slight difference in the shape:

Onto the swatches, all of these have 2 coats of the Le Vernis applied with one coat of the Le Gel Coat on top:

A few quick thoughts on the Le Gel Coat is that it’s amazing. When Chanel discontinued the Laque Brilliance Extreme I was heartbroken. I found the new Le Top Coat Quick Dry top coat to be decent, but nowhere near as good as the original top coat. The Le Top Coat was very thin and runny and I found I had to load up the brush to get enough product on it to apply to the nail, but often loaded up either too little or too much.

The new Le Gel Coat is a thicker glossy kind of top coat. It has a wider brush compared to the other top coats. I tested this over Essie Barefoot and Topless because no matter what kind of top coat I use on Essie, I get tipwear the very same day I apply it. I know many others like the formula, I think it’s one of the worst that I’ve tried in terms of lasting power. I figured if the new Chanel Top Coat could make Essie polish last, then it gets my approval. The Chanel Le Gel Coat made the manicure last until Day 5 with no signs of tip wear or chipping. I only took it off so I could test other colors.
The Le Gel Coat is described as, “Specially created to enhance the new nail colour, LE GEL COAT Longwear Top Coat extends the wear for up to seven days. Activated by natural light, the innovative, clear top coat bonds to LE VERNIS for flexibility, strength and unprecedented wear. The result: an ultra-glossy, gel-like look without the UV lamp.”

It did indeed make one of the manicures last very long. In addition to the Essie, I tested Chanel Camelia with the new Le Gel Coat Top Coat and saw no signs of chipping or tip wear by Day 8. It has a cushiony glossy look. The formula is on the thicker side, but still fluid enough compared to other gel top coats so it feels like it won’t dry out or thicken like other brands. I give this a thumbs up.

A look at the original, vs Le Top vs Le Gel:

First impressions are very good from my end. The new reformulation has definitely improved the lasting power of the polish although I’ve always had good experiences with the formula in general since I’ve started collecting Chanel nail polishes. The reformulation reminds me somewhat of when Dior reformulated and relaunched their polish – they changed the packaging, changed the brush, improved the formula and pigment and also launched colors primarily in the classic/safe zone to start with a couple of more edgy shades.
I haven’t had a chance to pull comparisons or look at the other shades in the new formula, with the exception of the one above with Gitane vs Coquelicot – they look identical to me with Gitane being the slightest bit warmer. Camélia is a classic deep but bright cool pink shade, it’s deeper than colors like Fracas, Rose Exhuberant or Pulsion. It has a similar vibe to April, but Camelia is a lot brighter and not muted like April. It’s bright but deep. If I were to compare the effect of Roubachka to another shade I would say it’s similar to Tom Ford Black Cherry. I am sad to see the other shades go, but to date I’ve only used up a couple polish colors and the shades I do have last a very long time (some I have are 5+ years old and the formula is still good).

You can find the new Chanel Le Vernis formula online at I’ve spotted the colors online and in store at Nordstrom and Neiman Marcus although neither of them have Rouge Noir (at least not yet).

Have you checked out the new formula yet? What do you think?
Le Vernis polishes featured above provided courtesy of Chanel for review.

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  • Lori Jenkins February 16, 2016 at 3:23 pm

    I never bought Chanel nail color because for the price I didn't care for the brush – I much prefer Dior's. I might have to try Chanel again now – these colors are so beautiful. Oh my at your Chanel bag – that's just gorgeous. 🙂

    • Sabrina February 16, 2016 at 4:12 pm

      Thanks Lori! I think they are definitely worth a look.

  • Natalia A February 16, 2016 at 3:38 pm

    They look amazing, I'm fan of Chanel polishes and I can't wait to try their new reformulated range!

    • Sabrina February 16, 2016 at 4:12 pm

      What colors do you have your eyes on?

  • Sara BeauTime February 16, 2016 at 4:08 pm

    This is the first positive review I came across, which makes me want to try them. Some of the bloggers clearly stated they are stopping to collect Chanel NPs because of the design and the formula. Some reported bubbling which I had with Sunrise Trip. Have you had that as well?

    • Sabrina February 16, 2016 at 4:15 pm

      Interesting! I don't think I've seen any bad reviews yet, I did see some complain about the packaging via Instagram, but nothing negative on the formula.

      Front Row Beauty had a good review:

      I had no issues with bubbling on Sunrise Trip (this is the Gloss Formula right?) – mine that I purchased applied perfectly. I did have issues with Skyline a few years ago – bubbled like crazy! My readers said I got a bad bottle, so I gave another one a try and they were right. Perhaps bad or inconsistent batches?

    • Gail February 16, 2016 at 7:37 pm

      I got Ballerina in the new formula and have nothing but praise for it. Applied perfectly, no bubbles, and is lasting beautifully. I'm looking forward to getting other shades.

    • Anonymous February 16, 2016 at 7:53 pm

      Yes, mine bubbles.
      I thought I was not doing the right job of applying the Sunrise Trip.

    • Behindthepillar February 16, 2016 at 8:29 pm

      I found Sunrise Trip a horror to apply and it was very slow drying.

    • Poppy Buxom February 16, 2016 at 10:13 pm

      Sara and I have chatted about this in the contents on her blog; I have to say that I don't care for the new labeling style. On the other hand, Roubachka looks gorgeous. I'm on the fence for now.

    • Laura February 17, 2016 at 10:23 am

      Sara, I think a lot of the people experiencing bubbling are mixing formulas- either in the base or top coat. I found Sunrise Trip a disaster but these polishes are amazing. I got all 15 and I'm working my way through testing and photographing them now- more than the skittles mani I posted.

  • Ashley Elizabeth February 16, 2016 at 4:12 pm

    These shades are super beautiful <3


  • Sunnykm February 16, 2016 at 4:20 pm

    Definitely going to check on the top gel coat today. I prefer Dior polishes as my experience with Chanel gave me bubbling and bumps plus the old top coat was kinda worthless. I like a cushion top look to my natural nails. Thanks for the review!

  • Jo Sharma-Stray February 16, 2016 at 5:49 pm

    This excites me so much, as lively as it is to have buy Chanel nail polishes, I don't own too many as they do tend to chip. I'm excited to try one of the new formulas along with that amazing sounding top coat as nail polish tend to chip easily on my nails. Can I ask what base coat you use please? The dream of 8 days wear is exciting!!

    Jo | A Little Pop Of Coral

  • Anonymous February 16, 2016 at 6:04 pm

    I have tried the new Vamp and gel top coat. Love!! Really fast drying with great wear. Definitely better than Dior in both respects. Can't wait to try more colors!

  • Candice Petersen February 16, 2016 at 6:12 pm

    Wow the shades you got are so beautiful I love the finish
    Candice | Beauty Candy Loves

  • Ciara Rose February 16, 2016 at 6:46 pm

    Oh wow, such gorgeous shades for spring/summer! I've never tried any Chanel nail polishes but definitely need to buy one after seeing this post.. they look so chic and gorgeous xx

    Ciara Rose |

  • Christy February 16, 2016 at 6:47 pm

    Thanks for the review as I was wondering about the top coat. I am done to my last bottle of Rescue Beauty Lounge top coat and am looking for a replacement. I plan to purchase the top coat and Roubachka next. I bought the Monochrome and Garconne polishes from and like them both.

  • Kristina February 16, 2016 at 6:48 pm

    I have been waiting for the launch of these in Canada, and for your review. I love and collect Chanel lacquer, the only thing I wish did not change was the bottle labeling design. When one has amassed many Chanel bottles and the personal collection display become similar in tone, the front label was perfect for identifying the shade and number. Other than that, I can not wait to see how this lacquer collection grows with more "Chanel" trendsetting hues.

    One question how does Roubachka compare to Sunrise Trip from Spring 2016?

  • Amanda Hollingsworth February 16, 2016 at 8:01 pm

    Not released in UK yet…..I think they are due March / April but I think the bottle looks weird without than me on the front, like they never quite got finished in production. My beautician cannot stand the old Chanel brush so it will be welcome news to her to hear that the brush is improved. She always says that the Dior brush is by far the best one to use and she despairs of the Louboutin brush which drives her mad. Thank you for the great review and I just love the Camélia photo…'ve really captured the depth of the colour. I think my oldest Chanel polish still going is Lamé (01) which was 2001 release and it still applies like new. I'm still not decided whether to continue collecting but I expect I will get caught up in the newness and before you know it I will have most of them and then need to fill in the gaps. I saw pictures of the Summer collection so not only is there a new collection with the new formula a few weeks later another five come along in The Summer launch. The details I got were: Chanel Dans La Lumiere de L’Ete Collection Summer 2016 Turban (524), Cavaliere (526), Canotier (532), Espadrille (534), Emeraude (536)

  • A Little Dose of Makeup February 16, 2016 at 8:42 pm

    These are all gorgeous shades! The formula looks beautiful!

    xx, A Little Dose of Makeup

  • Tatiana February 16, 2016 at 9:41 pm

    Let me preface this by saying, most nail polishes rarely last more than 24 hours on my thin, soft nails before major tip wear or chipping. A few brands that shall remain unmentioned barely make it more than a few hours. So I was game to try this new formula when I saw it. I bought Organdi and Rouge Noir. While I haven't worn the new Rouge Noir yet, I did swatch it. It seems the same as the old Rouge Noir I have from three or four years back. Maybe slightly deeper, but that could be from the larger brush laying down a slightly thicker initial layer. It is still very much Rouge Noir.
    I always found the old brush too narrow for my taste, so I'm really liking the new brush.
    I quickly slapped on two coats of Organdi and the Gel Top coat last Friday just before going out with the Dear Husband for an early Valentine's Day adventure. I was impressed by the speed the three layers dried to the touch. I had DH carry out my things to the car for fear of smudging. But when I got into the car, I realized it was all dry to the touch. I did comment on how gorgeous the shine was. I did start to see some minor tip wear on Sunday morning (this is good for me), but it was still gloriously glossy. Sunday I made a huge Valentine's Day dinner for my family and unfortunately my dishwasher is broken. So after cleaning up and doing two of the four full sink loads of dishes, I noticed some chipping just along the tips. Monday morning I went to the gym and lifted weights with my trainer, came home and finished the last of the pots and pans from dinner the night before. On my left hand my thumb is intact, I have minor tip wear on my pinky, ring finger and forefinger and moderate tip wear to slight chipping on my middle finger. On the right, the pinky is intact and I have minor tip wear on all but my thumb which has a small chip. That I've made it to day four with so little chipping is a miracle. Especially when you consider that I spent maybe ten minutes laying down two coats of color and a top coat and that I hand washed so many sink loads of dishes and pans. I'm looking forward to sitting down to trying this formula again after my dishwasher is replaced. This time taking care to do a better job.
    Sorry this is so long.

  • Clever Girl Reviews February 16, 2016 at 10:06 pm

    Have you tried the top coat with other Chanel polishes or just the Essie? It sounds great though!

  • Laura February 17, 2016 at 10:20 am

    Hi Sabrina-

    I've actually bought all 15 of the new polishes and Le Gel Coat. I'm working on testing wear on my 4th one right now- and it's a color I hated in the original formula (Ballerina). I haven't seen a major color difference in the reformulated shades, but I want to compare Particulaire before I commit to that statement. Ballerina in particular has a much thicker and opaque formula- I'm on Day 4 right now and I usually tear up my mani within 36 hours. I'm going to get my thoughts together by this weekend though.

    • Anonymous February 17, 2016 at 11:42 pm

      The new and old Ballerina are very different in the bottle, comparing a brand new bottle of old ballerina and of course the new long wear one. After I applied first coat of the old one I didn't care to continue to compare, it was so much thinner, application is so bad and application of the new is a dream, even if they were the same color once on, why bother.

  • Gail February 18, 2016 at 1:23 am

    I'd love to see swatches of both greys. Very curious about them.

    • yoylos3p February 18, 2016 at 5:24 pm

      I would love to see those reviewed too! Please.

  • Anonymous February 18, 2016 at 2:13 am

    I liked the old Chanel formula and definitely prefer the old bottle design. IMO, the formula and brush were great, too. Bought two of the new releases (Monochrome and Organdi) and am on day two for wear? I don't see an improvement in wear time but we'll see.

  • It's Not Always True February 18, 2016 at 6:11 am

    Boring! I'm done with Chanel. No new purchases from me. Don't change something if it's working fine. New formula, brush, boring colors. Sorry for the price point it's a no go.

  • Aida O February 18, 2016 at 2:25 pm

    I just painted my nails this morning with Roubachka, but I'm not impressed at all. I could not get perfectly opaque coverage in two coats (on your nails it looks perfect?) and the new brush is too soft and floppy for my liking ;(. I also bought Mythique and I'm hoping that one is better.

  • Anonymous March 25, 2016 at 2:34 am

    how does this compare to the Dior Aventura?

  • Nawi April 1, 2016 at 6:58 am

    I bought the Camélia nail polish and the new top coat. I can say I was really impressed by these two Camélia applied liked a dream and the top coat applied easily as well. You can indeed pull these off with one coat but I too perfer two coats. I am wearing them together now on my nails and love the glossy finish so classy. I thought I would have a dupe for this polish but I did not thankfully. My only disappointment was that all the other colors are more fall/winter shades and as we go towards spring summer of love to wear bright colors like the Camélia. Thanks for yet again a beautiful review. I always enjoy reading your Chanel reviews.

  • Corine April 11, 2016 at 11:14 pm

    Terrible line-up. There isn'a single one which is exciting.

  • liseetsa October 2, 2016 at 10:23 pm

    I am obsessed with Chanel but couldn't find the right pink. So I tried Dior Bonheur and the strangest thing happened. It looks and feels dry but streaks on paper? I used another top coat of Chanel and it still streaked on paper. The nail surface looks fine but I don't want to destroy our books. It's going back and I'll never cheat on Chanel again. 🙂