Beauty Investigation: Is There a Dupe for Chanel Riviera?

June 9, 2010
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.

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