The Hottest Nail Polish: Chanel Vamp/Rouge Noir Lacquer & Affordable Alternatives!

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From Dior to Chanel and Marc Jacobs – every major fashion house wants a piece of the nails industry. Because – didn’t they say it on repeat? – nail art is dead. Long live the new posh nail art!

Luxury can bury a trend and then make it rise from its own ashes with a golden cap. So even though they tried hard and long to make us all ignore all things nail art, all major players in the fashion/beauty business eventually realized that it’s easier to go with the flow than to stand against the storm. They ended up releasing gorgeous nail polishes everyone wants to have and to wear! Almost every season, there’s a particular Chanel nail lacquer flying off the shelves because… well you need it.

the new nail polish color to have

See also: The 5 nail polishes every girl should own!

So before you draw those shopping lists for the Holiday Season, take a look at this Chanel Vamp nail polish – the nail color to wear right now! Initially launched as Chanel Vamp in 1995, this color has taken on another name at one point and you might know it by ‘Rouge Noir’. Something quite becoming if we’re to think about the humble origins of this nail polish color: the head of Chanel’s makeup department, the golden duo Dominique Moncourtois and Heidi Morawetz answered to Lagerfeld’s demand to create a polish that would be both red but black in black and white advertorial photography (also shot by Karl).

chanel rouge noir vamp nail polish transformation

See also: How to create curved text watermark for Instagram (&more)!

The legend goes that Rouge Noir came to be when Moncourtois topped a normal red nail polish with marker black ink. I said the legend because, if you try it, you’ll notice that the water-based ink does not adhere to the shiny surface of the nail polish. And even if it would (and it would be acrylic ink), then the most superficial touch would scratch the surface of the newly painted ink and the result would be anything than professional, to say the least. Something unacceptable for Moncourtois, Lagerfeld, or the Chanel brand – true, they say Moncourtois added a clear topcoat to cover the ink mess, still, it’s a lovely myth. However, we love legends, don’t we?, so next to Louboutin painting the soles of his assistant’s shoes with red polish there goes Moncourtois painting a red polish with black ink to obtain a new color.

chanel nail polish pulp fiction take a bow madonna

See also: The nail polish collection signed by everyone’s favorite shoes designer, Christian Louboutin!

That happened, need I remind you, in 1994. Well, it’s a miracle for Chanel to have made it, the same year, in Tarantino’s Pulp Fiction, on Uma Thurman’s nails while Madonna didn’t get it until December 1994 when she had her nails painted in the said nuance for ‘Take a Bow’’s video. Three Makeup Creative Directors later, Vamp has gone through the Rouge Noir period and back to Vamp and its solid position as the world’s 5th nail polish judging by the huge sales it has generated over the past 20 years.

See also: Nail art straight from the catwalk Fashion Shows (&tutorials)!

And because I’m not always fooled by brands and especially because poshest labels cost the most, I also rounded up some budget friendly dupes. Which basically means you’ll be able to wear the same ‘must’/‘it’ color but pay so much less for it because it came from another brand of nails lacquer!

chanel vamp rouge noir nail polish dupes

So far, the Chanel Vamp dupes (more or less) I rounded up are: Dior Galaxie (the posh double), Revlon Vixen (the affordable good double), Essie Wicked (the budget ok-ish double), Sinful Colors Rich in the Heart, Sephora by OPI Caffeine Fix and Sally Hansen Extreme Wear Flirt. Whichever you choose, just remember to only wear the color if it matches your complexion and/or personality. You never have to wear something just because this or that magazine tells you you should! Choose wisely, according to your budget, routine and disposition. Yes, some changes may be good, but a change of polish won’t change your heart/mind! Be yourself, fashion will come round anyway!


#1 Adriana V on 12.08.15 at 5:58 pm

Gotta admit my nails are in bad shape, but if they were the way I like them to be I would definitely buy this gorgeous colour. And skip the posh, expensive brands. I think the rich are rich enough plus, lots of cheaper brands are part of the same multinationals sadly enough.

And yes dear Kpriss, I do know what to do and how to get better nails, but nothings seems to work…….. you know me well enough that I tried very hard and desires gorgeous nails. :(((((

#2 Cate on 12.09.15 at 12:13 pm

Aaaah! 1994 I miss thee…..
I love nails & all the nail blogs out there – my guilty pleasure!
Madonna the modern day bandit of every great fashion moment.

#3 kpriss on 12.09.15 at 12:57 pm

Oh, yes, thankfully, luckily, I do know you (and love you) Adriana! With or without ‘gorgeous’ nails! – I won’t show you my nails in their bad days! lol! I have some emergency fix-tips for that as well, just as I did for my bad hair days situations…

Yes, the rich never get tired of getting even richer, don’t they? It’s a merry-go-round that doesn’t seem to stop nowhere. I will get myself a sewing machine these days just because I’m not feeling in the mood to buy what the multinationals are selling (also because I can’t find what I want for the budget I have).

Cate! welcome! <3 wasn't Evita (and to some extent Ray of Light) Madonna's golden age? mid nineties is where I think my fantasies about a better world started sinking in. But also the moment when my passion for all things nails started - we have that in common as well!

#4 Olee on 07.14.16 at 9:52 pm

CoverGirl Outlast Stay Brilliant in 195 Nemesis is another. Is probably the closest I’ve seen.

#5 kpriss on 07.20.16 at 9:28 am

Thank you Olee! I’ll have to add it to the dupes pic!

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