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.
Quite a few fall collections have jumped on the dark-vampy-trend bandwagon and while I’m usually very excited to find new dark colors for nails, I have mixed feelings about the new polishes from the Chanel Noirs Obscurs collection after seeing them in person.
Chanel just released two new colors, Forbidden and Diabolic and repromoted Vendetta from last holiday. I ordered the two new ones sight unseen and at first glance was less than impressed. However when I swatched them on my nails, my feelings changed.
Both Forbidden 437 and Diabolic 427 are deep chocolatey-burgundy-vampy shades and are extremely similar. When swatched, the colors aren’t as dull as I expected – they have just the right amount of brown and red. You definitely don’t need both, but they are different enough from Chanel’s Vamp and Rouge Noir to justify maybe buying one.
Difference between the two:Forbidden is slightly lighter and more chocolatey, Diabolic is deeper and darker.
Here are more photos with my comparisons to similar shades:
Swatches: Thumb = Cosmic Violine 497 Index = Forbidden 437 Middle = Diabolic 427 Ring = Rouge Noir 18 Pinkie = Vamp 18
With high flash:
In natural sunlight:
Compared to a couple other brands: MAC All Night Long and Sephora by OPI I’m With Brad:
Overall thoughts: Even though I’m a huge Chanel fan and obsessed with collecting almost every single nail color they release, Forbidden and Diabolic were just ok for me. I didn’t gasp with awe when I took them out of the box. I was hoping for something different with those complex shimmer particles that they are known for creating.
That being said, I tend to like shimmery nail polishes, perhaps I need to get more used to those creamy non-shimmery shades. As a fellow Chanel fan and I were discussing a few days ago, they seem to be more for the Chanel collector, and while they are nice to have, we wouldn’t have died if we didn’t get our hands on them.
Bottom line: They look great on the nails, but there’s no need to have both. They are different enough from Vamp/Rouge Noir to justify trying out. If you don’t mind shimmer and want a cheaper alternative, Sephora by OPI I’m With Brad is pretty close, however do note that the Chanel formulas are superior by far. With the Sephora by OPI – you can get good results, but it will require a lot more thin coats.