AW10: Chanel Paradoxal is the Next Big Thing

chanel paradoxal

This, my pretties, will be the nail polish that will launch a thousand autumnal blog posts and which will be the subject of many a covetous eye. It's by Chanel - of course - it's called Paradoxal, it'll cost €21, and like its sell-out predecessors Jade and Particulaire, it seems set to be the subject of many a waiting list. And no doubt, the subject of many a dupe as the autumn wears on.

Like Lauder's Surreal Violet (or er, those yokes you used to get in Frosties featuring Tony the Tiger) this has a now-you-see-it, now-you-don't holographic iridescence about it. Look at this one way and it resembles nothing so much as Vendetta, from the Bohemian Fantasty collection, but turn the bottle and you get a flatter, minky-looking aubergine.

My polish prefs have turned to creme shades recently and iridescence kind of screams granny fingers to me. So I was a bit wary of this in the bottle, even though I really wanted to like it, y'know, just cos. Hell, it's Chanel, darlings.

Given all that, how did it fare on my fingers?

Not that well, first time out. Two coats painted on looking like a flat, muddy greyed-purple, and you couldn't see the shimmer at all. I couldn't understand it. Could it be, I wondered, that this is a bit of an emperors new clothes-type polish? Y'know, one we all say we love but really, we don't?


So I Googled. I checked out Temptalia and All Lacquered up's swatches and they looked nothing like the result on my fingers. Perplexing. Then I had a brainwave. I SHOOK THE BOTTLE.

Next step was to remove the existing sludge and re-apply. Now, I can't really get the purple shimmer to the extent the pair of bloggers mentioned above did, but perhaps the formulation is slightly different State-side. In any case, the result was a bit of a eureka moment. "Ah-HA," I said, channeling Alan Partridge, "now I see it!"

Paradoxal on nails

(apologies for crappy paint job, I had to lash it on before the light went)

And indeed I did. Stylistically, Paradoxal is roughly half-way between the glossy deep darks of Rouge Noir and its ilk, and the greyed-out tones of Particulaire, with a bit of on-trend iridescence thrown in for good measure - but not too much, so it passes the granny fingers test ably. It's a very 'now' sort of shade, quite glam, understated for all its dark colour - and ultimately wearable.

This is not my favourite Chanel polish by a long chalk - Blue Satin wins that prize - but when applied from a well-shaken bottle on nicely-kept short-ish nails, it's one I think a lot of you will be very happy with. Oh, that is, if you can actually get your paws on one; speaking of which, the polish (and the autumn collection) goes on counter from August 13th.


This will have a waiting list, mark my words, so if you want one, get thee to a department store near you to register your interest. Oh - and do it now!

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