Wednesday, September 15th, 2010

Chanel Steel Le Vernis
Chanel Steel Le Vernis

Chanel SoHo Le Vernis: Should You?

From Chanel’s exclusive and limited edition SoHo Story, we have two new and limited edition shades of polish. I am a fan of Chanel’s polish–I have no issues with wear or the formula (typically), and I think they often create unique, inspiring shades. Each retails for $25, and last I checked, were still available online.

  • Steel is a charcoal gray-black with silvery gray micro-shimmer. When the flash fired, it also illuminated flashes of teal, violet, and green micro-shimmer, but I really didn’t see the effect of these in natural light. It reminded me of a subtler, more micro-shimmered version of Nubar Night Sky (which is also matte). This doesn’t seem like an overly unique shade, and though I can’t name any other specific dupes, my stash and archives aren’t as exhaustive as I’d like for dupe-finding purposes. Two coats.
  • Strong is a deep, dark burgundy-brown with brighter burgundy micro-shimmer. Like Steel, when the flash fired, flecks of copper, amber, and burgundy micro-shimmer were noticeable. I feel like I’ve seen this shade before, but after half an hour of going through my photos, I couldn’t find anything.

The formula on these was consistent with Chanel overall–on the thicker side but very pigmented. I included a photo of Strong with only one coat to show you just how intense the color is. I still find that I can never get away with just one coat and always go for a second. Though I like both shades, they don’t inspire me as much as other past shades have (like the recent Paradoxal).

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  • Product: 29/30
  • Value: 6/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

RECOMMENDATION: The formula was smooth and easy to apply with plenty of pigmentation. I’m not sold on these being over-the-top unique as many Chanel shades often are, though.

AVAILABILITY: Chanel

See more photos & swatches!

Chanel Steel Le Vernis
Chanel Steel Le Vernis

Chanel Steel Le Vernis
Chanel Steel Le Vernis

Chanel Steel Le Vernis
Chanel Steel Le Vernis

Chanel Steel Le Vernis
Chanel Steel Le Vernis

Chanel Steel Le Vernis
Chanel Steel Le Vernis (Flash)

Chanel Strong Le Vernis
Chanel Strong Le Vernis

Chanel Strong Le Vernis
Chanel Strong Le Vernis

Chanel Strong Le Vernis
Chanel Strong Le Vernis

Chanel Strong Le Vernis
Chanel Strong Le Vernis

Chanel Strong Le Vernis
Chanel Strong Le Vernis

Chanel Strong Le Vernis
Chanel Strong Le Vernis

Chanel Strong Le Vernis
Chanel Strong Le Vernis (Just one coat!)

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31 thoughts on “Chanel SoHo Story Collection: Steel & Strong Le Vernis Review, Photos, Swatches

  1. Oehh i’m kinda digging the Strong one! It does looks kinda black without the flash, is it like that irl too?

  2. Strong looks like Midnight in Moscow from OPI

  3. emmajoy

    The sad thing about these two (and Paradoxal as well) is that they look so much more awesome in the bottle than they do on the nail. The lovely shimmer seems apparent only under very strong lighting. Not worth the Chanel price tag, IMHO.

  4. Ana

    I like Steel, but i´d go for Paradoxal probably

  5. Kenneth Alan

    I love how when you applied only one coat of the Strong le Vernis you can see the nail a little in spots, it gives it a really cool effect.

  6. Stephanie B

    Yeah are nice tho…

  7. Dianna

    Love the Strong!

  8. liz

    The color “Steel” almost reminds me of OPI’s “Baby it’s coal outside”, I wonder if OPI’s color would be a close dupe of Chanel’s. I hope OPI’s is the dupe, because if so, I already have it in my collection! What is your opinion?

  9. amy

    I like Steel, it is one of the lovely gunmetal grays that I am always drawn to.

  10. Vale

    I am sad. From the promo pictures, I thought the were wonderful, instead they’re just black with small glitters :-(

  11. Linnea

    I have a crush on Strong… but I know what you mean when you say kind of blah.
    Maybe that’s because we expect too much from Chanel in terms of nail colors.. they’re always the ones that come out with the groundbreaking new shades, and these are interesting, but not really groundbreaking.

    Thanks for the swatches Christine!

  12. rachel

    i was extremely disappointed with Strong. after a day it looked flat black on me, in all lighting. didn’t pick up steel. these swatches look beautiful but i have charcoal grey shimmer covered with my beloved Dior silver pearl (not the same, but incredible)

  13. Profile wp-user-avatar wp-user-avatar-60 alignnone photo of Rachel Rachel

    Did you use a top coat on your nails here?

  14. Ashley D.

    I… must… have this.

  15. Giedre

    Those two colours remind me of two polishes from Catrice (a European brand) called ‘Wine-tastic’ and ‘Back To Black’. To me they don’t seem very unique and really like ‘seen before’-shades.
    I’m not after those – too expensive for two boring shades.
    I agree Linnea, that we maybe expect too much from Chanel, but who creates colours like ‘Paradoxal’ shouldn’t try to impress us with ‘Steel’ and ‘Strong’! ;-)

  16. Roxanne

    Steel looks beautiful but is definitely out of my price range. I’m sure I’ll be able to find a dupe though! It’s not really that much of a unique colour :)

    The polish in the bottles does look WAY more awesome than the polish applied to the nail. That’s slightly disappointing.

  17. Lilac

    “Strong” reminds of CG Vintage Vixen’s Bogie :) (in the pic w/ flash) and otherwise one of the dark one’s from Essie’s Fall collection :D

  18. Abby

    I’m so glad I waited for these swatches before buying Strong– needless to say, I’m pretty disappointed.

    Someone should really tell the promo photographers at Chanel to stop using flash and making the shimmer so much more prevalent than in reality. It’s bad enough that all the shimmer sticks to the side of the bottle, but with flash, it’s a whole new color!

  19. Jo

    Steel reminds me of Nails Inc Maddox Street. Probably not a perfect dupe but definitely a very similar gun metal colour.

  20. Thanx 4 the swatches. Christine… But those polishes are boring, imo :)Not gonna buy

  21. Karen

    Do you think the Strong shade is similar to Mac’s baby goth girl? I have the MAC one so was thinking of passing this up if they are not too different. What do you think?

  22. Kath

    Christine, I think Tokaido Express is the colour that you might have been thinking of. It is definitely the colour I thought of when I saw it.