Chanel Le Vernis Longwear Nail Colours in Ballerina, Organdi, Monochrome, Garçonne, Vamp and Rouge Noir – New Formula

March 21, 2016

As most of you now know, Chanel reformulated their Le Vernis Nail Colour ($28 each) earlier this year into a new and improved formula with longer wear. Most of the shades have been discontinued and pulled from counters and most places online (at the time of this post old colors are still showing up online at The new formula has been launched in 15 shades, 5 of which are re-promoted shades of classic colors (just in the new formula). After reviewing three shades Camélia 506, Gitane 510 and Roubachka 514 (review, swatches, old vs. new bottle and brush shots all posted here) I received an overwhelming amount of requests to review additional shades and the Chanel team kindly sent some of the most requested shades for me to review and swatch for you.

There are six that I’ve swatched and tested. Formulas of all shades offer smooth streak-free coverage and were easy to apply. Pigment in general of the new formula does seem to be on the more opaque side (think along the lines of the old Dragon formula) with a few exceptions of colors that have a sheer or jelly finish. As far as I can tell from a quick peek most of the shades are non shimmers with the exception of Vamp and Chaine Or (the gold seems to be only available at Saks). Some readers asked if I had any bubbling issues with the new formula. I personally did not see any bubbles. In terms of lasting power – I tested Ballerina (on the fingers) and Vamp (on the toes) for a full week each and both lasted 7 days without any signs of tip wear or chipping with the Le Top Coat.

Shown above from left to right:

  • Ballerina is a super sheer baby pink, the original version was almost impossible to see on the nail with two coats, the new version is an improved version in terms of pigment but I still find it extremely sheer and it was the only one that I needed 3 coats (and it’s still sheer)
  • Monochrome is a cool light grey, formula covers the nail entirely with two coats
  • Garçonne is a medium grey shade, it has a bit of warmth to it, coverage is rich and opaque
  • Organdi is a nude pink that falls in the neutral-cool category, it’s a full coverage color
  • Vamp is a deep wine color with a bit of red and purple shimmer mixed in, I’ve found the color is identical to the original, but the formula has improved with better pigment and shine
  • Rouge Noir appears to be exclusive to and the color is identical to what I have in the old formula, this is a jelly finish color but still covers the nail entirely with two coats, it’s a deep blackened red shade
Swatches, all have 2 coats with the exception of Ballerina which has 3 coats shown, also all swatches have the Le Top Coat applied on top:

Some swatch comparisons to some shades in the old formula, I thought I had the old Ballerina, but in searching my collection I found that I no longer have it:

Out of all the shades I’ve tested, I’m personally drawn to the brighter shades Camelia and Gitane that I reviewed back in February. I’ve used both on several pedicures since the initial post and find the colors are bright and cheerful. This second review batch has a mix of light and dark shades. I like Organdi as an everyday conservative neutral – the formula and coverage is excellent and I think on deeper more tan skintones it will look like a stunning lighter nude pink while on me it almost matches my skin undertone. I’m happy that Vamp and Rouge Noir have joined the new formula color family, if I had to pick between the two I would say Vamp has a special touch because of the subtle shimmer it has in it. For the grey shades I prefer Monochrome over Garçonne – both perform really well in terms of smooth streak-free coverage with very good pigment. On my skintone darker greys can make the skin look a little lack-luster. 

Overall I give the formula a thumbs up. The polish perform well and there is a wide range of colors to choose from in the non-shimmer finish that offer a nicely polished classic look. All shades are listed as permanent, available for $28 each at and all other Chanel retailers. As of right now it appears that Rouge Noir is the only shade exclusive to (at least in the US) but if you’ve spotted it in stores please share in the comments.
Have you tried any of the new shades/formula yet? What did you think?

Polishes provided courtesy of Chanel for review consideration.

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  • Ana Céline March 21, 2016 at 5:57 pm

    These are all such beautiful shades! 🙂

    • Sabrina April 1, 2016 at 5:15 pm

      Thanks Ana! Did you pick up any of the colors?

  • S March 21, 2016 at 7:03 pm

    Gorgeous shades. I don't remember the original vamp having a sparkle to it.

    • Sabrina April 1, 2016 at 5:16 pm

      I think the original Vamp as in the very first one launched did not have sparkle. The original was the same as the Europe Rouge Noir. Sometime later they re-launched Vamp in the US which had shimmer but they kept the Rouge Noir as is.

      So confusing I know – but the Vamp in the US had shimmer for many years. HTH!

  • Collarjean March 21, 2016 at 8:04 pm

    Thank you, Sabrina! You know that I have been waiting for this! I enjoyed your first post on these polishes, too. You do such a great job of presentation that I want to purchase all of the shades! But that would be crazy, wouldn't it?!!

    • Sabrina April 1, 2016 at 5:18 pm

      Thanks Collarjean! LOL – since these are permanent I don't think there's a rush to buy them. Maybe pick 2-3 that really speak to you if you like classic shades.

  • Anonymous March 21, 2016 at 8:27 pm

    Thank you so much for reviewing these shades! I am definitely going to try a few colors – hopefully the reformulation will last longer on my nails than the original did.

    • Sabrina April 1, 2016 at 5:18 pm

      I think the new formula definitely will!

  • Skyflyer3 March 21, 2016 at 8:53 pm

    How do these compare to Formula X and Dior's?

    • Anonymous March 22, 2016 at 3:56 am

      For for me, these are longer lasting than Formula X and Dior. They also dry amazingly fast with the Le Gel top coat. The Dior gel top coat takes a very long time to dry.

    • Sabrina April 1, 2016 at 5:22 pm

      Most of the new Chanel colors are opaque in formula (with the exception of a few noted above) and have rich full coverage high gloss finish with just one coat. The finish is very similar to Dior's Gel Shine Nail Lacquer. The main difference is the brush. To date I think Dior has made one of the best nail polish brushes I've ever tried for easy application. It's rounded to match the nail shape near the cuticles so it's easier to apply.

      Formula X by comparison has a thinner formula of polish – but they also have a wider range of finishes (sheer, shimmer, glitter etc.). The opaque formulas definitely require 2 coats and they don't have the same shine when they dry. Formula X is still very good.


  • Clever Girl Reviews March 21, 2016 at 9:12 pm

    I'm glad these new shades have worked out for you! I really need to get a bottle of the new Vamp!

  • Sunnykm March 22, 2016 at 4:06 am

    I purchased the Le Gel top coat and used it last week over my favorite Dior polish. The Le Gel was wonderfully cushiony as a top coat much more than the Formula X top coat which is thin in consistency. To get a little into the weeds, I wish the Chanel polish had a tapered brush like the Dior polishes as it would give much better precision on the nail bed.

    I only wear light pink colors on my natural nails…if Ballerina requires three coats then that is a deal breaker. Dior really has that color down as far as two coats to be beautiful and lasting.

    • Sabrina April 1, 2016 at 5:23 pm

      I agree the Dior tapered brushes are amazing. If the 3-coater is a deal breaker then I would say definitely pass on Chanel Ballerina. If you haven't checked out Dior Tra-La-La it's a sheer pink but has better coverage.

  • leslie March 22, 2016 at 4:41 am

    I bought a couple of the colors and the top coat. I had better luck with the Dior top coat. Thanks for doing swatches of Roubachka and Gitane! I went straight out and bought them after seeing them on your blog.

    • Sabrina April 1, 2016 at 5:24 pm

      Glad to help!

  • Liliana Ferreira March 22, 2016 at 12:40 pm

    There are some beautiful colors that I definitely would try.
    Great Review.

  • Michelle Arrington March 26, 2016 at 5:13 pm

    I picked up the top coat and Organdi! I've only done a swatch of Organdi on thumb and I'm in love. The perfect everyday nude for me. Im going to test out the top coat on the polishes I have with the old formula. I just can't justify buying repeats of colors I already have just yet. Thank you for the review, it was very helpful!!

    • Sabrina April 1, 2016 at 5:24 pm

      I think Organdi is a really good nude pink. It's like Dior Incognito but the Chanel has more pink while the Dior pulls more beige on me.

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