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Chanel Nouvelle Vague, Mistral & Riviera Swatches, Review and Comparisons

By on March 27, 2010
in Blue, Chanel, Fall 2007, Pink, Summer 2010
chanel-les-pop-up-de-chanel-summer-2010-le-vernis-bottles Bold and audacious, Gabrielle Chanel pushed the boundaries of style.

Now Peter Philips continues the tradition by creating a free-spirited makeup collection inspired by an idyllic seaside vista: LES POP-UP DE CHANEL, fresh new cult-worthy hues for lips and nails. Vibrant pops of colour, including neon pink, sunny coral and brilliant turquoise are beautifully complemented by bronzed, glowing skin. . . and sure to be the standout shades of summer.

Chanel’s Summer 2010 collection will be rolling out to stores before you know and it and with it comes the highly anticipated Nouvelle Vague (turquoise), Riviera (intense pink) and Mistral (soft pink) nail polishes.  I’ve been dying to get my mitts on what looked to be a blue version of Jade since I first saw promo pics pop up online.  Following up Jade Collection fever with a turquoise shimmer could cause quite a craze but does Nouvelle Vague live up to the expectation?  Find out after the jump!

After falling madly in love with Jade’s subtle shimmer, I had high hopes for Nouvelle Vague (meaning new wave) and I can’t say they have been totally met.  In the bottle you can see a soft pearl veining but on the nail it all but disappears.  If you stand in the sunlight and really look for it, it’s there, but just to add a sheen to the finish.  The pale turquoise lacquer that reminds me of a Tiffany box is a bit thicker than I expected.  It wasn’t that smooth buttery application I’ve come to expect from Chanel.  In fact, it took me three good coats to achieve a perfect finish which really surprised me.


I thought for sure I found a dupe in Ginger + Liz Boy Toy.  In the bottles they really matched up but on the nail, Nouvelle Vague dries darker.  It actually falls perfectly between Boy Toy and China Glaze For Audrey.  All lined up, I can see the beginnings of a subtle gradient manicure.


Mistral may look soft in the bottle but it dries more intense on the nail.  Sprinkled with flecks of micro-glitter, the base color has some warmth to it like a carnation pink.  The finish actually reminds me a lot Magnolia Rose, which I would show side-by-side if I hadn’t gifted it away.  The glitter, that looks a lot like sugar crystals, isn’t overly apparent so we’re not talking full on sparkle.  I showed you the polish from two angles because picking up the finish on camera wasn’t easy.  Again, application wasn’t the best.  The polish applied thick but semi-sheer and a bit streaky so I needed three coats.

chanel mistral swatch les pop-up de chanel le vernis
chanel mistral swatch les pop-up de chanel nail polish

Riviera is a hot peony pink creme.  It’s not super vivid more rich and deep.  The formula is a bit jelly-ish like the brights in the China Glaze Up & Away collection which is why I chose to apply three thin coats rather than try to make it in two.  Of the three polishes in this collection, Riviera had the best flow in application even if it lacked in pigmentation.

chanel riviera swatch les pop-up de chanel le vernis

Botton line: Chanel collectors and fashionistas will run to buy Nouvelle Vague simply because it’s Chanel and it will undoubtedly sell out.  Plus with Pantone naming turquoise the color of the year, this will definitely be named the “it” polish for the season.  Mistral is a good choice if you loved Magnolia Rose but I wouldn’t call Riviera a must-have.

Chanel’s Les Pop-Up de Chanel collection officially launches in May 2010 though I would expect to see it on counters sometime in April.  Chanel polishes retail for $23/ea and can be purchased at Chanel counters nationwide and on

What do you think of the collection?  Did Nouvelle Vague live up to the hype?  Are these colors popping for you?  Which ones do you plan to check out or buy?

Disclosure: A product sample was furnished to me by Chanel. For further information view my Disclosure Policy.

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There Are 64 Brilliant Comments

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  1. Tavia says:

    OMG all these 3 look gorgeous, I really can’t decide which one I love more. I only wish to afford buying all 3 of them :((

  2. Colette says:

    I’ve been eyeing Rivierra since I saw the promo pics, but now I’m not sure. I was hoping that it would be more vibrant…

  3. Jen says:

    Mistral for me. Not that I’ll buy it. There are plenty of pretty pinks out there. Yeah, I like Vague but it lacks an edge.

  4. Lucy says:

    I like all the colours actually, and they’re the only Chanel item I can (just about) afford!

  5. Stephanie says:

    Oh gosh, I LOVE Mistral! My wallet, it cries.

  6. Lauren says:

    I’ve been waiting for swatches of Mistral and I have to say it was worth the wait! I’m even more excited to get it now! Thanks!!

  7. Lauren says:

    Nouvelle vague will be mine! I think whatever it might lack in dimension for me, I can always add a coat of Azur :). Seriously though, my favorite mani/pedi ever is one coat of Vendetta + 1 coat of azur.

  8. Mel says:

    Totally off topic, but I FINALLY bought a bright blue, and it looks SO AWESOME. Sally Hansen (the harder nails version) “Blue Me Away” rocks.

    • All Lacquered Up says:

      I’m so proud! :) That’s a really good color. You can’t go wrong with Sally Hansen

  9. Virginia says:

    At long last! I have been eagerly awaiting these swatches. You made my day :D I for sure want Mistral, and I think I still want Nouvelle Vague but it’s not as unique as I thought it would be.

  10. Medusa says:

    I really like Nouvelle Vague but probably not enough to buy it. Unfortunately, I have always found Chanel’s polishes to be of mediocre quality. As you say, not the best application. Also, for me they chip far more easily than other polishes. Not worth the price, IMO.

  11. I like the color of Nouvelle Vague but it’s not far enough away from For Audrey to make it worth the purchase for me. Mistral is super pretty, but I’m pretty sure it’s dupable.

  12. theycallmekatie says:

    Since I already have for audrey, I’m going to have a hard time justifying my purchase of Nouvelle Vague. Kind of sad about that. I like Mistral though

  13. Carla says:

    They are gorgeous! I want one of each :))

  14. I love them, especially the pinks.

    ♥ SailorWifey

  15. Vanaily says:

    I agree with some of the previous comments above. Nouvelle Vague captured my interest until I noticed how similar it was with For Audrey, which I have. To be honest, I’m not too crazy about the tiffany blue. lol

    But knowing me, I will go to check them out anyways. lol

  16. j e n says:


  17. Tenns says:

    These are very pretty! Kinda surprised that Chanel got “bright” with this collection.

  18. DeeDee says:

    WOW!!! Riviera is everything I knew it would be. I am def getting it. The perfect hot pink for the summer.

  19. swedishfishing says:

    I’m really surprised– I’m more excited about Mistral and Riviera than Nouvelle Vague now that I’ve seen swatches. I love a nice blue polish, but I guess it feels a bit like I’ve seen it before. But those pinks are gorgeous. They look amazing for the summer.

  20. amber_j says:

    I’ve been waiting for swatches of these nail colours. Thanks so much! Nouvelle Vague is the only colour I was interested in, but if it’s that close to For Audrey I’ll give it a miss. More money to spend on my growing perfume addiction…

  21. Katie says:

    After Gold Fiction nothing could make me pay for a bad formula Chanel polish.

  22. Eve says:

    Can I use the first image (three bottles) on my blog? I will link your blog and mention the photo is borrowed from here!

  23. Nouvelle Vague is gorgeous- I think Essie came out w/ a turq. too for their resort line… def a good less $ alternative.

  24. The three colors look amazing together, but would I buy them to wear? I’m not so sure. For a not-so-stellar application and “meh” shades, I don’t really know if I’d pay the price!

    Amazing swatches as usual though!! :)

  25. Sarah says:

    Sweeeet. I want them all!

  26. Andrea says:

    OMG! OMG! OMG!
    I’ll try to buy them all, but until they arrive in Brazil they’ll all be sold out (just like Jade!).

  27. Thanks for these swatches, I’m glad that Nouvelle Vague is a close enough match to For Audrey that I don’t need it. It’s a pretty colour!

  28. Pinch says:

    I love the look of nouvelle vague, but I don’t need another chg for audrey after all =) thanks a bunch! Everything I don’t need is absolutely wonderful :)

  29. Candice says:

    I’m in love with Mistral… I like Riviera too, do you know of a dupe (or anything close?) Would like to wear it, but not spend $23. I might on Mistral though… and ChG For Audrey is close enough in your swatch that I’ll just buy that one instead!

    • Tracy says:

      I’m wearing ChG “Heli-Yum” right now and it looks pretty darn close to this (based on ALU’s lovely swatch), which means that Zoya “Dita” may also be a pretty close dupe.

      • Virginia says:

        I don’t have Heli-Yum but looking at them side by side, Riviera is more pink based and Heli-Yum is more red based. Michelle’s descriptions seem spot on: hot pink vs raspberry pink. I have slowly been talking myself into buying Riviera as well. Just wish I could find a cheaper dupe!

      • Candice says:

        Thanks so much, I’ll check them out!

        • Lauren says:

          I know I’m a little late on this, but I finally got around to searching for a riviera dupe. I can’t say I’ve found an exact dupe, but certainly colors that are extremely similar to get the look. Riviera is much more berry pink in person than I was expecting. It’s not nearly as bright as it appears in pictures. In fact, Michelle’s beautiful swatch looks just like Chanel’s ad for the polish, but in person it’s deeper (as Michelle said). Opi has 3+ colors that look almost exact… that’s berry daring, you’re a pisa work and koala bear-y are the ones I know of. I thought riviera looked like an amazing pink and I went to buy it, but was disappointed in person and walked away without it.

  30. Khabeer says:

    i’m buying Nouvelle Vague & Mistral!

  31. mill says:

    i want nouvelle vague!! my blue nail polish prayers have been answered.

  32. WC says:

    i really love the 1st 2 but i already have CG’s For Audrey and im wearing it with Nina Ultra Pro in Mermaid and it comes out to be this really pretty seafoam green with green and yellow iridescent sparkles! i love it!

  33. Rory says:

    Would you know of a topcoat that would give a slight shimmer to a polish? I have For Audrey, and would love to give it a slight shimmer but really can’t find just a shimmery topcoat (but plenty of glitter ones).

    • All Lacquered Up says:

      Hi Rory! The CND Colour & Effects line includes 6 shimmers that you can layer over polishes to change the effect. If you want a prismatic effect, China Glaze & Out The Door both sell top coats that contain holographic shimmer. You can find Out The Door at Sally Beauty. They also carry China Glaze but I don’t remember seeing Wireless Holographic Top Coat there. Another thing you might want to try is looking for a sheer shimmery polish for layering. Essie makes a lot of sheers with shimmer that you could use for layering as does OPI. Look for their Bridal collections that should be out now. If you can clearly see the mixing balls in the bottle it should apply sheer just try to avoid something too milky looking because it will lighten the color underneath.

  34. Alllison says:

    I’m Mistral all the way. I love glitter specs in the polish. That would great on hands and feet.

  35. Filipa says:

    Hi, i’m so in love with Mistral!! Does any know a possible dupe for it? Thks

  36. laura says:

    hmmm, I wonder how Riviera compares to Zoya Jolene… Your swatches look similar and I would love to buy both unless they are too close…any one knows? thanks!

  37. Thanks for the details – we linked to this article from our blog

  38. says:

    We would have said Nouvelle Vague before seeing your brilliant images but we’ve totally fallen for Mistral now! Love that bit of girly sparkle…

    We’ve not got our hands on any of them yet and we’re a bit against paying that much… so we were pretty glad when we saw Avon’s latest collection! Not sure how their turquoise polish matches up but at

  39. Laura says:

    when are these out for sale in the UK? Does anyone know?

  40. bebelastrange says:

    Thanks for the review. I think Mistral is my choice, But are they going to be released in Europe?

  41. Svenja says:


    I think Mistral might be similar to ChG Strawberry Fields, what do you think? I love the color, but I don’t like Chanels formula.

  42. Tanis says:

    I just purchased this trio of fabulous polishes.
    I was SO excited to see them available at my local Chanel counter.

    I’m currently wearing the Nouvelle Vague and have received numerous compliments on the color.
    I cant decide if Im going to try Mistral or Riveria next :)

    I have been using Chanel’s base coat and OPI’s top coat. Do you have any recommendation for another top coat? OPI’s is “okay” but I feel like there could be something a bit better.

  43. Cari says:

    ditto on tanis request for a top coat. I find that chanel chips so much. I use essie’s top coat right now but it still chips. Any suggestions?

  44. ellen says:

    hi! i’ve been reading your blog for over a year now, and i’m so thrilled that you seem to have resumed your swatching frequency in the last few weeks – yours are gorgeous! i got NV and mistral. i like riveria but there HAS to be a dupe for that one, right? any suggestions?

  45. Jen says:

    I picked up Nouvelle Vague & love it. The closest light blue I already own is Rescue’s Bikini Bottom, which is close in hue, but totally sheer.

  46. isnotfashion says:

    loreal has a new shade water’s edge that seems very close to nouvelle vague! without the slight shimmer.

  47. Jessica says:

    I just wanted to let you know I used the comparison photo in this post on my blog (for the same purpose). I credited the photo to your website, but if you’d like for me not to use it, please let me know and I’ll gladly take it down. And thank you for posting these fabulous reviews!

  48. DC says:

    Mistral is amazing!!! Can someone suggest a close replacement… Chanel is way to expensive for me :(


  49. Suzume says:

    Hmmm I’m not convinced! Vague looks like a lovely colour, but nothing original – if anyone is in the UK Barry M Blueberry Icecream nail polish is so similar… and only costs

  50. meg says:

    H&M has awesome dupes of Mistral and Nouvelle Vague!

  51. Jocelyn says:

    OPI’s Flower to Flower from their new summer brights looks a lot like Mistral!

  52. Michelle S says:

    Nouvelle Vague defiantly not my type and Mistral & Rivieria in my opinion is defiantly a must have !

  53. Emilie says:

    Oh man… I SO regret not getting Nouvelle Vague.