Chanel Black Pearl from the Chanel Spring 2011 Collection Les Perles de Chanel – Swatch and Review

Chanel Black Pearl
Chanel Black Pearl

I was so excited to receive my package of the three Les Perles de Chanel nail polishes , Black Pearl, Pearl Drop and Peche Nacree.   These polishes are part of Chanel’s Spring 2011 collection, and they are already available on the Chanel website.  The color that has garnered the most interest is Black Pearl–it was featured on the Chanel runway, and it’s a dark charcoal grey with a pearly green shimmer.  It’s not a typical spring color, which I think makes it even more interesting.  Keep reading for swatches and comparisons!

In the bottle, Black Pearl looks lighter than I expected, almost silvery.  It’s a definite greyish color (not black), and is fairly soft on the nail.  It gives the impression of being dark, but isn’t really, so I felt fine wearing it at work today.

The application is good, but it’s a little frosty, so there is just a bit of brushtroke left behind.  It took me three coats to reach opacity, but it dried quickly and I thought it was easy to control.  Once on the nail, Black Pearl is not quite as shimmery and pearly as it appears in the bottle.  But it does seem lighter or darker when the light hits it in a really soft way, like pearls do.  It dries to a smooth, velvety finish even with all of the shimmer, similar to some of the recent China Glaze polishes (Peace on Earth!).

It was difficult to capture the pearly-ness, but here’s a couple of swatch pictures:

Chanel Black Pearl
Chanel Black Pearl
Chanel Black Pearl
Chanel Black Pearl

The smooth, shimmer/frostiness of the finish reminded me of Emerald Fitzgerald from the China Glaze Vintage Vixen collection, so I pulled out my bottle to compare.  I thought that the colors might be close, but Emerald Fitzgerald is much darker and more blue.  They do both flash green in a similar way, but they don’t give the same feeling on the nail-Emerald Fitzgerald has larger, more pronounced shimmer and is not as pearly.  I also tried Lancome Le Gris L’Wren, which is bluer and flatter looking on the nail, and China Glaze Jitterbug, which is a dark grey foily metallic.  None of these polishes comes close to the soft gray and green of Black Pearl–in comparison to these polishes, Black Pearl almost has a slight yellow or brown cast.

Chanel Black Pearl and China Glaze Emerald Fitzgerald
Chanel Black Pearl and China Glaze Emerald Fitzgerald
L-R: Black Pearl, Emerald Fitzgerald, Le Gris L'Wren, Jitterbug
L-R: Black Pearl, Emerald Fitzgerald, Le Gris L'Wren, Jitterbug

Finally, I tried topping Black Pearl with a layer of CND Emerald Shimmer, since it already has a similar green shimmer.   This was pretty but I think I like Black Pearl better on its own.  The Emerald Shimmer is very green and makes it a more eye-catching color, but there are plenty of other polishes you could reach for if that’s what you want.  Black Pearl is so quiet and elegant on its own that it doesn’t need any layering.

Chanel Black Pearl w/ CND Emerald Shimmer
Chanel Black Pearl w/ CND Emerald Shimmer

The Les Perles de Chanel collection is available now on the Chanel website.

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