Friday, December 24th, 2010

Chanel Black Pearl Le Vernis
Chanel Black Pearl Le Vernis

Chanel Spring 2011: Black Pearl

Chanel Black Pearl Le Vernis Nail Colour ($23.00 for 0.4 fl. oz.) is a stormy teal-tinged blackened base with threads of metallic silvered green running through it, then topped off with green, blue, and teal micro-shimmer. This has a rather metallic finish, so brush strokes are apparent, but the formula works well enough that with some patience and steady hand, the brush strokes can be pulled out evenly and made to look like brushed metal. (I, on the other hand, lack steady hands–or patience–and wobbled a bit.)

LE VERNIS is a pricey product that often comes out with more unique shades (that are later replicated by other brands). The originality or amount of depth in their shades is what often pulls me towards them. Overall, I’ve had good luck with the formula and wear. The formula tends to be on the thicker side but not so thick it’s gloppy, while I typically get a full week’s worth of wear (and just minor tip wear).

Black Pearl seemed a little thicker than normal for Chanel, but each coat was pigmented, and I only needed two coats for opaque color. The only similar shades I could think of were China Glaze’s Rodeo Fanatic (way too blue to be similar) and NARS’ Full Metal Jacket (which is similar in the finish and look/feel, but not the color).

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  • Product: 26/30
  • Value: 6/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

FINAL THOUGHTS: I couldn’t come up with any dead-on dupes, so perhaps Chanel has another unique shade on their hands. The formula applied fine, but I’ve never been a big fan of brush strokes. I could see this being a must-have for Chanel lacquer fans, but it might not hold the same appeal to others.

WHERE TO BUY: Nordstrom

See more photos & swatches!

Chanel Black Pearl Le Vernis
Chanel Black Pearl Le Vernis

Chanel Black Pearl Le Vernis
Chanel Black Pearl Le Vernis

Chanel Black Pearl Le Vernis
Chanel Black Pearl Le Vernis

Chanel Black Pearl Le Vernis
Chanel Black Pearl Le Vernis (Natural Light)

Chanel Black Pearl Le Vernis
Chanel Black Pearl Le Vernis (Natural Light)

Chanel Black Pearl Le Vernis
Chanel Black Pearl Le Vernis (Natural Light)

Chanel Black Pearl Le Vernis
Chanel Black Pearl Le Vernis (Flash)

Product & Review FAQ

Where can I purchase Black Pearl? How much is it?

Nordstrom, $23.

Is it limited edition?


Any dupes?

China Glaze's Rodeo Fanatic was the closest I could think of, but it's a lot bluer and more of a frost than a metallic. I would not call it close, similar, or a dupe at all, though. NARSA Full Metal Jacket has the same finish and general feel of Black Pearl, but it's a silvery gray rather than greenish-teal gray.

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50 thoughts on “Chanel Black Pearl Nail Lacquer Review, Photos, Swatches

  1. Marcia

    Like the shade but I’m missing something here… Don’t know what exactly. It’s a chic color though!
    Have a great Christmas Christine! -x-

  2. I can’t help it, but I think I love it! I’ve been meaning to check out the new NARS nail polishes also.

  3. Wow! That’s really a beautiful colour!

  4. Moeko


  5. Banan

    WOW!!! I LOVE IT!!! SO AMAZING! now thats the second nail polish I have to have! unique colours, I thought I had all the coloura I needed! guess I was wrong!

  6. Angel

    This color’s amazing. But shelling out $23 for it? I just don’t know :(. Brush strokes are a bit obvious and I’m still a noob when it comes to polish.

  7. Sally Hansen Black Platinum is quite similar! This is pretty though!

  8. No! I don’t know. This is soo steaky …

  9. Quinctia

    It’s pretty, but I feel like it’s halfway between two colors I’d prefer: the medium-gray silver, or a dark teal/blue frost. So the dupes might be better for me. Hmm…

  10. I thought I’d like this color but seeing it swatched, I don’t know … plus as you said, not a big fan of visible brush strokes … I’ll have to try it in person before I can give a definite opinion mmmh

  11. Nella

    That color does nothing for me.

  12. leesie

    If only it weren’t metallic. It’s a color I could see myself liking, but those brushstrokes… I loooathe brushstrokes.

  13. BethM

    Is this already out?
    I asked my husband for Paradoxal for Christmas, I told him I’d NEVER pay $23 for a bottle of nail polish. Well. I guess I was wrong, because I NEED this.

  14. Georgia Llewellyn

    Pretty, but I have Icing Black Pearl and Zoya Ki. Savina makes a Black Pearl too for a LOT less than a Chanel.

  15. Ashley Avocado

    ahhh, it looked so much more beautiful before the flash revealed those brush strokes!

  16. Heather

    Gorgeous unique color!! And I barely notice brush strokes you DO have a steady hand!

  17. I don’t know. I know there’s so much hype about it, but I think I can find shimmery black type shades that I like better. This just isn’t turning my crank. maybe when I see it in person? but i just don’t know.

  18. DonnaN

    Santa Baby, slip this polish under the tree for me, I’ve been an awefully good girl!!

  19. Michelle

    Can I just say that you paint your nails flawlessly!!! I have the same skintone as you so when you swatch nail colors it’s terrific because I can really see what it would/will look like on my nails. Thanks for the wonderful photos; as I’ll be in Seattle over the New Year and will be heading to the Nordstrom flagship store as I always do, so now I can buy this color and KNOW that it will look cool on my nails! Happy Christmas!!

  20. Adriana

    Got minE yesterday! It looks gorgeous but I’m not sure if I’ll return it. It looks a bit like Inglot’s 965. Inglot’s is slightly more bluish purple (no teal undertones) but since the teal is so faint in Black Pearl I can hardly tell the difference. They look more similar on the nails than in the bottle, too.

  21. Jen

    I love this shade… I have yet to buy a Chanel polish but this one is calling to me.

    • nicci

      you’ll love this shade! I do!! Once you get one Chanel polish, it will be hard to stop buying more. That’s what happened w/me anyway :)

  22. maryelle

    will you be swatching the other new colors for chanel spring 2011 like pearl drop?

  23. Shannen

    Such a beautiful color and looks great on you. Thank you for sharing!

    Just want to mention that this shade is not limited edition. There is a bug on that for any product, if any currently available shades are limited edition, that product on the collection page will have the “limited edition” mark. The best way to check if a shade is limited edition is to go to the page of the product and select that shade. If that shade is limited edition, there will be a “limited edition” mark under the product name. For example, on the page of Rouge Coco, if you select “Jersey Rose” or “Peregrina” and there will be no mark. If you select “Baroque” and the limited edition mark will show up. Use this method to check the entire spring collection and only Ombres Perlees de Chanel, Poudre Universelle Compact and Rouge Double Intensite are limited edition. That matches what you posted earlier at :)

  24. AnGeLwInGz

    I saw this color at Lord & Taylor today but didn’t try it on b/c I just painted my nails last night (darn you Smitten With Mittens). It does look really beautiful though. I want a lot from the Chanel Spring collection, especially the blush.

  25. Faith

    I have a shade from Sally Hansen that’s awfully similar to this, and I’m pretty sure I used to have one by Cover Girl that was close as well. :/

  26. Black Pearl bores me. It’s just another shimmery polish to my eyes…

  27. Dana

    Essie Over the Top is very similar to this but without the greeninsh tinge, and it’s a little less metallic. It also has very fine micro glitter as well and at only $8.50 (not even on sale) it doesn’t leave brush strokes. This has been one of my favorite colors for a long time and I’ve repurchased it several times over.

  28. Jean

    It’s really pretty but at the price I’d like something that’s more of a stand-out and really exciting, so this will get a pass from me!

  29. RAS

    Hey Christine, any idea how this compare’s to Essie’s Over the Top?

  30. Andrea Nicole

    I just got my bottle in the mail yesterday and I LOVE THIS! My favorite Chanel lacquer so far. I couldn’t put my finger on the color, but your description is right on!

  31. Nat

    Thinking about getting this, but I was wondering if this is similar to China Glaze’s Awaken?

  32. sarah

    I love this color.. I have a very steady hand so I think I could pull it off, however I have one question I would like to ask you regarding the Chanel exchange policy, hoping you might know the answer!!!

    I live in canada and my friend went down to the US this week and picked up Chanel’s Paradoxal for me. It’s nice but I know there are dupes of it out there, and for the price of the nail polish I would rather get something more unique. Do you happen to know if I can exchange the unused, Paradoxal nail polish for a Black Pearl at my counter in Canada?? I’m not sure if I can get the receipt or not, but it is definitely unopened! Thanks soo much :)

    • I’m really not sure what their return policy is – because I don’t know what store you bought from. You are best off calling the place you want to return.

  33. I purchased this nail polish from Neiman Marcus (Washington, DC) for $26.50 I was amazed at how small the bottle was for this price, but once my manicurist applied Black Pearl to my fingers and toes I knew it was well worth it. Sorry OPI close but no cigar.

  34. Black Pearl is GORGEOUS!! I was checking it out this weekend at Bloomies…I have to go back and get it for sure! BTW, your nails are so pretty!

  35. Iris

    OMG~~~it’s soooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo beautiful!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  36. Sarah

    Anyone knows if catrices “captain sparrows boat” is a dupe? I got it and it leaves a nice even coat if you put 2, 1 coat is bad. But 2 is nice and even. So maybe for those of you not willing to pay the money this is a nice choice?

  37. Lacey

    have been lusting after this for months…….im going to a local chanel counter tomorrow and have decided to finally just bute the bullet an get it 😀