If your current beauty dilemma finds you in hot pursuit of the perfect neutral, non-chalky nail colour, then stick around for not one but three stellar options that are long-lasting, creamy and work for any skin tone. It started slowly, the first one I bought was Organdi, then not long after, New Dawn which then led to the latest addition which is Beige Beige. All three are from Chanel and they all apply and wear exceedingly well.
Chanel introduced Organdi when they reformulated their nail polish range to include bioceramics and ceramides in order to strengthen nails and make the polish last longer. It was part of a sixteen piece colourway that included reds, pinks, neutrals and their phenomenal topcoat that I wrote about here.
Chanel’s Organdi is a sophisticated, dusty rose, neutral pink that has just a hint of beige to it. Creamy and easy to apply, one coat can suffice if you’re in a hurry. Plus, it also dries quickly and if needed, can be worn without topcoat. Organdi is also not candy pink, nor is it pastel, so it eliminates any concerns about it looking too girly. Wear time of Organdi tops out around six days for me with top and base coat so it can safely take you through the work week without you finding an unexpected chip right before a mid-week meeting. We’ve all been there.
New Dawn is a pale, lilac-pink with hints of grey so brilliantly done that it can’t quite be pinned down with one adjective. It looks somewhat underwhelming in the bottle but proves to be a chameleon of sorts when worn. I wrote about New Dawn before, but now that I’ve had an even longer amount of time using it, my adoration for it has only increased. So much so, that when I think of my nail polish collection, from neutral shades to vampy shades, New Dawn is my favourite. The compliments I’ve received while wearing New Dawn aside, it is the perfect neutral that’s not boring, has a serious cool factor and may even wind up being a conversation starter.
Similar to Organdi, New Dawn is a brilliant choice for a wedding day, whether you’re the bride or a guest. Plus, it also satisfies the need for a neutral if you’re in a conservative workplace or as the refreshing opposite if you work in a less dress-code driven environment. Added to that, New Dawn is also a natural choice for any kind of holiday whether you’re headed to a tropical climate or a wintry one.
Rounding out this stellar trio of perfect neutral nail colours is Beige Beige, a light orangey-peach infused with a bit of coral. While the shade is not new to Chanel’s nail portfolio, it has remained as a great choice for the warmer months especially if you choose your manicure colours based on the seasons. Personally, I’d wear Beige Beige at any time of year simply because it’s such a satisfying, subtly jaunty yet neutral shade. When it arrived and I took it out of the box, I have to admit that I looked at it with a sense of disdain, doubting it could work for my skin tone.
No matter, I pushed forward and proceeded to do my Sunday evening equivalent of the changing of the guard. Old polish off, nails cleaned, buffed and shaped and readied for the new colour of the week. I applied Beige Beige and was relieved and suddenly excited because it turned out to be such a peachy yet neutral shade. In the bottle, it reminds me of an ice-cream flavour I liked when I was growing up. The only difference is that the ice-cream also had bits of maraschino cherry in it. But the memory is a delightful one, with Beige Beige being spring ready and summery at the same time. Alternatively, it’s also a perfect shade if you’re having a beach wedding or as an unusual yet excellent choice against a pared-back uniform of all black everything.
Chanel’s La Base Protective and Smoothing base coat is fortified with Argan oil and Vitamin E. I also recommend it because it has a pale pink hue to it, making it ideal if you choose to wear it alone. Also, it goes without saying that a good base coat protects the nail and extends the wear time of your nail colours. I can also say that this is the only base coat I’ve been using for more than a year now and I’ve seen a dramatic difference in the length and strength of my nails. Can I say it’s specifically because of Chanel La Base? I’d bet that it has indeed played a role in the improved state of my nails.
Le Gel Coat
A gel coat is a gel coat, yes? Not quite, as there are some rubbish ones out there. After having gel manicures at the salon for a number of years, my nails suffered quite a bit. Yet I still missed the look of a gel manicure and it’s handy to have a good gel top coat as an alternative. Chanel’s Le Gel Coat is specially formulated to extend the wear time of their nail colours, but it also works well with any other brand’s nail colour. Le Gel Coat works in conjunction with natural light, ultimately giving your manicure the look of salon gel nails while extending the life of your manicure. At this point, I believe I’ve gone through three bottles of Le Gel Coat and counting.
Next to my skin tone, all three of these neutral nail colours are in no way stark, jarring or off-putting. When I wear each shade, it almost looks like the natural continuation of my fingers rather than screaming ‘she’s wearing nail polish’, which is just about the effect one wants in choosing to wear a neutral colour. They are so subtle, yet make a properly balanced statement on the nails, hitting the right notes while delivering with a solid, almost week’s worth of wear time. Sure, there are plenty of alternatives available. But what I’ve realised is that it comes down to the f-word, and that is formulation. There are certain nail colours that you can get for much less and wind up with a beautiful manicure. But the older I get, the more I think about the big picture and the true costs of things, essentially the real and longterm value I get if I spend a few dollars more, as opposed to choosing an alternative. I’m not saying that because something costs more, that makes it better. But with certain items, in this case, neutral nail colours, the formulation is what sets them apart from the alternatives out there.
*This post was originally published on April 5th, 2018