Saturday, March 6, 2010

Nail it

Just as accessories are the finishing touch to an outfit, so too is your hair and make-up. One of my favourite cheap and chic tricks to update a look is with nail polish. It's a quick-fix route to instant glamour and a clever way to refresh your wardrobe without buying any new clothes.

You may have read my Tweets about Chanel's new nail colour, Particulière. This sell-out shade in this season's nude (I'd liken it to a latte or mink) is proving as popular as it's limited-edition predecessor, Jade (a rather medicinal/dental-looking mint-green). I reason that if a girl can't afford to have Chanel hanging in her wardrobe, at least she can have it on her fingertips. But don't worry if you a) haven't got £16 spare for a bottle*, or b) can't get your hands on this must-have shade, as I've got some thrifty alternatives for you.

Butter's Fash Pack is virtually identical to
Particulière and slightly cheaper at £12 (or £10 at I've been wearing it since last year and only spotted the resemblance when I took the photo above (the Butter shade is peeking out at the bottom of the pic).

If you've not heard of Butter, you'll love its ethos: its
3 Free nail lacquers have no formaldehyde, no toluene and no DBP. In other words, no nasty chemicals. Fash Pack is out of stock on its website at the moment (must be the Chanel effect), but I've heard that its Yummy Mummy shade is a close choice, too.

As for Chanel's Jade - a nail colour so limited-edition it's rumoured that only a few hundred bottles were manufactured - I've found a £2.95 shade that's practically the perfect match. It's Barry M's Mint Green (shade 304). While for £2.50, M&S's Nail Colour in Mint is similar, if marginally paler. And its Tea Rose shade looks like a promising compromise for Particulière, although I've yet to see it in the shops.

So, if Chanel's now iconic 1994 nail colour, Rouge Noir - a gothic, blood-tinged black worn by Uma Thurman in Pulp Fiction and a favourite shade of mine - is anything to go by, you really do get the look by nailing it with polish.

(* £16 may sound steep for a bottle of nail polish, but I've yet to reach the bottom of any of my polishes, so based on cost per wear, it's virtually bargainous! For further thriftiness, why not chip in with friends to share a bottle?)


  1. Is Chanel Particuliere a limited edition? I love it and will have to get a second bottle if it is. Running would break my heart!

  2. I love Barry M's Mint Green, it's my current favourite. Although I imagine leaving a shop with a mini Chanel bag on your arm feels amazing!

  3. I love love love nail varnishes and I have prctically every colour of Barry M, at the moment I can't really afford the more expensive ones but maybe one day!

  4. Good news! Chanel's Particulière isn't a limited-edition shade - it's an ongoing colour :)



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