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the joys and challenges of being a working mom trying to find "balance"

Neutral LOVE – Chanel Le Vernis Secret 625 nail polish July 16, 2014

Filed under: beauty — Deborah @ 12:16 pm
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Chanel Le Vernis Secret 625Is it weird to be in LOVE with a neutral nail color? For the last 10 years, I would have thought so. But no longer. I am madly, deeply in love with Chanel Le Vernis Secret 625 nail polish. I have finally found the “my-nails-but-better” soul mate. And not only is the color perfect but the formula is perfect as well. Le *sigh.*

Chanel Le Vernis Secret 625 is part of Chanel’s Fall 2014 Collection Etats Poetique, along with Chanel Le Vernis Orage 631, a gorgeous dusty grey black creme and Chanel Le Vernis Atmosphere 629, an intriguing pinkish purple pearlescent topper. They make for a solid nail color collection, that many, on first glance, would say is rather boring.

But with Chanel, all is not usually as it seems at first glance. I always like to have a few “go-to” nudes at my fingertips, no pun intended, for when I’m looking to wear something unobtrusive and low-maintenance. So I was glad to see another neutral option in Secret. But what surprised me, was how BEAUTIFUL Secret actually is on the nail. It’s an immensely flattering color, so it’s more than just unobtrusive, it’s actively beautiful. And it is apparently flattering on many different skin tones, as Sabrina from demonstrated with her swatches as well.

And the formula. I’ve already waxed rhapsodic about how Chanel KILLS the formula with their pale, sheer colors, such as Ballerina, Frenzy and Frisson. Unlike my multitude of experiences failures with the paler shades available through Essie or OPI, Le Vernis Secret 625 didn’t even streak with the first coat! Flowed beautifully, no streaks or pulling. This photo is with 2 coats.

Do I even need to say how office appropriate this is? But it’s equally appropriate with cocktails and a LBD, or frankly, in any situation. I even think it will look beautiful as a pedicure.

Chanel Le Vernis Secret 625 is US $27 and is available on and at Chanel counters worldwide.



Chanel Le Vernis Infidele nail polish from Fashion’s Night Out 2012 April 13, 2013

Filed under: beauty — Deborah @ 8:51 am
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Oooh, I am behind on my posts! I had actually taken this photo not long after purchasing the Fashion Night Out nail colors from Chanel back in the Fall, and never got around to posting it.

Chanel Le Vernis Infidele is from the Fall 2012 Fashion’s Night Out collection “Les Twin-Sets de Chanel.” along with Le Vernis Delicatesse and Le Vernis Provocation. Chanel called it “Les Twin-Sets” because each of the three nail colors were introduced with a matching lip color.

This is a lovely berry color, slightly muted in tone, which is very appropriate for spring and fall. I am sure there are numerous dupes as while it is very pretty, it’s not a unique color by any stretch. It is a straight-ahead creme. No hidden shimmer, no sparkle. The formula, as I expect from Chanel, is excellent and applied beautifully.

Chanel Le Vernis Infidele is still vailable for US $27 as a limited edition polish on and at select Chanel boutiques. As it is a limited edition, once it’s gone, it’s gone, so be sure to pick it up now if you want it.



Pretty neutral – Chanel Le Vernis Rose Cache 521 nail polish April 10, 2013

Filed under: beauty — Deborah @ 4:00 pm
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I’m always on the lookout for office-appropriate neutral nail color, and I’m thrilled to add Chanel Le Vernis Rose Cache 521 to my collection.

A beigey-pink, Rose Cache 521 has a foolproof formula. It applies beautifully, almost by itself. No pulling, streaking or pulling. As I would expect from a Chanel neutral.

While the color is nothing to write home about, and I am sure dupes abound, I always come back to the consistency in the formula of Chanel creme varnishes. I don’t want to have to WORK at my manicure. I just want it to be quick and easy to apply. And Rose Cache is a go-to color for those weeks when I’m too busy to mess with a dark vamp and just need something on my nails to look “finished.”

Introduced in 2011 as part of the Rouge Allure Velvet collection along with Le Vernis Pirate 08, Rose Cache 521 is still readily available for US $27 on and at Chanel counters worldwide.


Soon to be Spring – Chanel Le Vernis Emprise 569 nail color April 9, 2013

Filed under: beauty — Deborah @ 4:15 pm
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Chanel Le Vernis Emprise 569I know it’s ACTUALLY spring in many areas of the world, but in my little corner, it’s about 40 degrees Farenheit and rainy. All the time.

To improve my mood slightly, and to deal with the lack of actual real sunlight (preventing me from yet applying the gorgeously shimmery new Chanel Le Vernis Taboo 583) I thought I would do as they did on the Chanel runway for Spring and apply Chanel Le Vernis Emprise 569.

Part of the Printemps Precieux de Chanel collection for Spring 2013, along with Accessoire 573 and Fracas 571, Emprise was the media darling, having been featured on the models’ fingertips at Chanel’s spring show.

It’s a beautiful, peachy-pink color, but the formula leaves something to be desired. I found it to be slightly streaky, with a tendency to pull. This was a great disappointment, as I’ve grown to love the formula of many of the other pale Chanel Le Vernis colors, such as Ballerina, Frisson and Jade Rose – all of which apply beautifully as a Chanel nail polish should.

But formula challenges notwithstanding, I love, love, love the color. It’s an office-appropriate neutral but definitely not boring. Has just enough of a color to it to go beyond the typical pale pink neutral, and it coordinates great with late winter/early spring clothes like charcoal greys, navies and ivories.

Chanel Le Vernis Emprise 569 is a limited edition color, available at and at Chanel counters worldwide.


The one that started it all – Chanel Le Vernis Paradoxal 509 nail polish January 21, 2013

Filed under: beauty — Deborah @ 12:31 pm
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Chanel Le Vernis Paradoxal 509I can trace my obsession with Chanel nail polish to this one color, Chanel Le Vernis Paradoxal 509, introduced as part of the Les Contrasts de Chanel collection in fall 2010.

It was the only nail color in the collection, but boy what a color. I believe the hipster term is “grigolet” which a fancy French way of saying greyish purple. Or purplish grey. You get the picture.

As I’ve documented here previously, my prior nail life, before Chanel and before quick dry top coat, consisted of a few shades of pale pink neutrals and clear reds. Boom, end of story.

Paradoxal 509 opened my eyes to colors that are chic, but still wearable to the office. It’s my “gateway” Chanel.

In typical Chanel Le Vernis fashion, this is a creme with a “hidden” shimmer, that adds shine, depth and interest to what could easily become a muddy, dull color. This is a chameleon color, too. Not quite a duochrome like Peridot, but more of a shape shifter. Sometimes, as in this photo in the sun, it looks more purple than grey. In indoor lighting, it looks more grey.

Application was perfect. Flowed on smoothly exactly where I wanted it, which for a dark color in amateur hands, is a godsend. All in all, one of my all-time favorite Chanels.

Paradoxal 509 is available at Chanel counters worldwide and for US $26 on


Chanel Le Vernis Delicatesse from Fashion Night Out 2012 October 7, 2012

Filed under: beauty — Deborah @ 2:49 pm
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Chanel Le Vernis Delicatesse nail polishYou all know that I am now a confirmed Chanel Le Vernis collector. Well, at least I now know and admit this. I’m just envisioning a 12-step program … “Hi, my name is Deborah, and I paid $300 for a new bottle of Jade.” Wait! I’m not THAT bad. No, I am leaving the Jades of the world to those more fortunate than I.

Regardless, I have now admitted to myself that going forward, as Chanel releases new collections, that I will have to get the entire collection. Ergo, I am a collector.

Which is exactly what I did for the 2012 Fashion’s Night Out releases – Les Twin Sets de Chanel – Delicatesse, Provocation and Infidele (“Twin Sets” because they were released with companion lip colors).  Only really Provocation, a deep vampy berry purple, really called to me, but I knew I couldn’t just get one. As is frequently said on the interweb, few things are more costly than Chanel regret (note comment above RE Jade) and heaven knows I didn’t want to add that to my list of neuroses.

Surprisingly, however, once on the nail, all three colors really are very beautiful, even if somewhat meh in the bottle. And the one that surprised me most of all, was this lovely dark beige creme Delicatesse.

The formula is among Chanel’s best – this application is two coats, and it applies flawlessly. The color is difficult to describe. Depending on the light, it’s either a mauvey brown, or a dark beige, or even a greyish pink. Regardless, it’s more than office appropriate, and different enough from the standard issue neutrals and pale pinks that you feel slightly special wearing it. I know I sound like a broken record, but it’s a perfect “office appropriate with an edge.”

I thought it was easily duped, but to date, I haven’t seen any either in my collection or in others. As per usual, Sabrina at (who has a much bigger collection than I do) did a great job with comparison photos.

Delicatesse, along with Provocation and Infidele, is a limited edition available at select Chanel boutiques and also for US $26 on If you like it, and you will, best to get them now while you can. Don’t forget about Chanel regret!


Chanel Le Vernis Vertigo 563 nail polish September 11, 2012

Filed under: beauty — Deborah @ 2:15 pm
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Chanel Le Vernis Vertigo 563 nail polishI think that black nail polish is a bit like black shoes, in that you can never really have too many.

Enter Chanel Le Vernis Vertigo 563 nail polish, a beautiful deep purpley brown grey black. How’s that for a color description?

This photo does not do the color justice – it is a chameleon that changes as the light changes. In all respects, though, it looks sophisticated, fun, and yes, just a slight bit different than a straight ahead black creme.

Chanel Le Vernis Vertigo 563 is part of the Fall 2012 Les Essentiels de Chanel collection, along with Le Vernis Frenzy 559 (a light greige) and Le Vernis Suspicious 561 (a vibrant berry pink).

These three polishes together are a beautifully cohesive collection – a nail polish wardrobe if you will. If you purchase no other nail colors but these three, you could survive quite happily.

Vertigo 563 applied beautifully, and could actually be a one-coat color. I prefer to cover up my application flaws with a second coat, however, so this is two coats. There is the ever-so-subtle Chanel shimmer, which is visible in the bottle and not at all visible on the nail. As with most of the Chanel shimmers, it adds a depth to the color that gives the polish a luxurious shine.

I personally feel that a color like Vertigo is more than office appropriate, but be sure to know your office environment.

Chanel Le Vernis Vertigo 563 is available for US $26 at Chanel boutiques and on

My reviews are of products I purchased, and that I (usually) love. Other than affiliate links with Amazon, I receive no compensation, samples or other products of any kind.