Chanel Soho Story: Steel & Strong Le Vernis

September 15, 2010
The Chanel Soho Story Collection is one of the few collections where I have ended up loving every single item featured. I am happy the colors exceeded my expectations as I found the collection a slight headache to make sense of. Details about this release were extremely confusing with conflicting information on a number of websites. A few of us Chanel fans exchanged tweets, e-mails, texts and called stores all around the US to find out exactly when and where these would be available. We could only could confirm that the items would be available at the Soho Boutique on FNO and also on Chanel.com. I purchased mine from Chanel.com not wanting to miss out. Even today I am not 100% sure where else these would be released. It’s been rumored to be available at other boutiques around the country in October, but none of us have been able to confirm.

First up are the new Le Vernis shades, Steel and Strong.

Steel is a beautiful dark grey steel pearl. It has a frost finish in the bottle but applies very smooth for a frost type color (no noticeable streaks). The texture is amazing and applies well with just one coat. I pulled out a few other shades I thought were similar: Chanel Noir Ceramic (d/c) and Essie Over The Top. You’ll notice how much sheerer the Essie is. The difference in color is slight. Chanel Noir Ceramic is the darkest and most black, also the silver sparkles are more visible. Chanel Steel is the middle shade, it’s got a slight blue cast (very slight) and is not completely black on the nails. Essie is the lightest but is very similar to Steel when you apply 3 thick coats.

One coat each shade:

Two coats with Chanels, three coats with Essie:

Strong is a dark vampy purple. Lovely as well, but much like Estelle (see her review on Karla Sugar)- I prefer Chanel’s Feu de Russie which has more visible red flecks, but they seem very similar from arm’s length. Here is Strong compared to FdR and Vendetta. Chanel Strong is one of those colors that pulls red in the bottle depending on the angle you hold it at. The flash brings out the reddish tones as well. However, it applies as a dark purple. Strong applies well with 2 coats but is slightly more thick than most of my other Chanels which makes this one a bit more difficult to apply smoothly. It’s not significantly different from other dark shades from Chanel, but I did notice a slightly goopy finish. This however doesn’t really affect the application too much if you get 2 thin coats.

Two coats each shade:

All the comparison shades:

One last view:

Beautiful and stunning. I personally prefer Steel over Strong but if you missed out on Feu de Russie, I definitely think Strong is the next closest thing.

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