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Chanel Mimosa Le Vernis from the Summer 2011 Collection – Swatch, Review and Comparison

By on April 21, 2011
in Chanel, Summer 2011, Yellow with 32 Comments
chanel mimosa nail polish le vernis from the Les Fleurs d'Ete de Chanel Summer 2011 Collection I thought 2009 was the year of Mimosa. At least according to Pantone it was. Yet here we are, two years later, with yellow nail polishes making a splash again.  What’s funny is that so many Fanatics think yellow looks bad on them yet still go gaga when a new one hits the market.

Of course, when Chanel makes a yellow, everyone’s eyes light up.  Remember the craze that Chanel L.A. Sunrise created in 2008 when the Robertson Boulevard collection launched?  This time around the buzz has been building over Chanel Mimosa from the Summer 2011 Les Fleurs d’Ete de Chanel collection.

Les Fleurs d’Ete or Flowers of Summer makes me say, in my best Miranda Priestly impression, “Florals? For spring? Ground breaking.” Yes, we’re talking summer and not spring but still.  Haven’t we beaten that horse to the point that PETA is about to step in?  Then again, there must be a reason florals keep coming back. Let’s see if Chanel can prove why.


Formula & Application: Chanel nail polish is 4-Free (includes formaldehyde resin) plus there’s no camphor, which can be an irritant.  The signature square glass bottles are topped with a black square outer cap that is removed to reveal a stubby, round, ribbed inner cap.  The brush is round, medium in length and width and reminds me of the old OPI/new SOPI brushes.  It easily fans out and covers the nail without much resistance.

Yellow polishes are a pain.  PERIOD.  Doesn’t matter who is making it or what shade of yellow it is.  They are either thin and sheer or thick and streaky.  If the brand is going for opaque, as Chanel is with Mimosa, the polish is going to be streaky.  You have to be willing to accept that with a yellow polish.  There are rare breeds out there that get it right but they are few and far between.  Mimosa was a pain to apply, as was L.A. Sunrise, so be prepared.  It took me three solid coats to get Mimosa opaque and I still wasn’t entirely pleased with how it looked.  This is not a self-leveling dream so make sure you are cautious in your placement.

Chanel Mimosa is a bright lemon yellow sprinkled with micro-glitter.  It’s not overly apparent glitter as it actually shows up more in the bottle than on the nail.  In fact, I tried over and over to capture the glitter, as you’ll see below, and it REALLY likes to hide.  It’s more like a subtle sparkle, like how we think of the Chanel shimmer as “subtle shimmer.”

chanel mimosa swatch le vernis nail polish summer 2011

chanel mimosa swatch summer 2011 nail polish

chanel mimosa nail polish swatch close up summer 2011

I went looking for a comparable color and came up short.  I have quite a few yellows but nothing that matches dead on.  All you frankeners out there may be able to dupe the base color by mixing OPI Banana Bandana and China Glaze Happy Go Lucky. In terms of how Mimosa relates to Chanel L.A. Sunrise, it would say they are related but definitely different.  L.A. Sunrise is more mellow and buttery

chanel mimosa comparison swatch with chanel la sunrise

Bottom Line: I can’t say I’m a fan.  If the promise of glittery goodness you see in the bottle had translated to the nail, I would have been all in.  Being that it doesn’t deliver, I’m out.  I much prefer L.A. Sunrise to Mimosa plus I have other lemon yellows in my arsenal that get the job done.  If the formula had been a dream, which is asking a lot of a yellow, I could have even overlooked the lack of glitz.

Chanel Mimosa is available now at Chanel counters nationwide and online at Chanel.com.  Chanel nail polishes retail for $25/ea for a .4oz bottle.

Thoughts on Mimosa?  Which do you prefer Mimosa or L.A. Sunrise?  If you own L.A. Sunrise do you plan to pick up Mimosa as well?  What’s your favorite yellow nail polish?

Disclosure: I purchased Chanel Mimosa. For more info view my Disclosure Policy.

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There Are 32 Brilliant Comments

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  1. stephanie says:

    I actually think Morning Rose is more intriguing. I’m waiting for my shipment of both that and Mimosa! I’m not a big yellow person but this is intriguing, to say the least…

  2. Meh. Maybe I don’t have an exact dupe for this, but still. Most people wouldn’t be able to tell the difference between this and several other yellow polishes I have. A polish has to be REALLY special for me to pay 25 bucks for it.

  3. Grace says:

    $25 for a polish that’s still streaky at 3 coats? I don’t care what color it is, that’s a pass for me.

  4. Valerie says:

    I’m so glad you weren’t a fan either! I bought the Mimosa at Nordstrom and hated it. I was so bummed that I didn’t like it. I really wanted to.

  5. Melissa says:

    Before my shipment of Mimosa arrived, I concocted this combo in anticipation: Sally Hansen X-treme Wear Mellow Yellow topped with Deborah Lippmann Bring on the Bling. I was stopped at several stores with people asking if I was wearing the Chanel. I haven’t looked at them side by side yet- but for those wanting more sparkle than what Mimosa delivers, this could be a good solution.

  6. Susan says:

    I picked up my bottle of Mimosa yesterday! I put it on hold weeks ago in case there was a run on it. I have to admit that I’m one of those people who thinks yellow looks bad on me, but still goes crazy when a new one comes out. I have such high hopes for this one… I figure if anyone can make a workable yellow polish, it’s Chanel. I hope I won’t be disappointed! I’m going to put it on later today. If I don’t like it, I swear I’ll never buy another yellow polish again, LOL! :)

    PS I also grabbed the Aurora lip gloss from the same collection. It’s gorgeous! I love Chanel glosses! :)

  7. Pamela says:

    I love the way it look’s on you, even if it did take 3 coats. Personally until you posted this I never gave yellow polish much thought, but yes I’d buy it if I could sneak the price by my hubby..LOL. I have a couple of yellows but they’re no where as pretty as these. And I’ve never worn them either.

  8. Ava says:

    British Beauty Blogger suggested applying a coat of Seche Vite first, then applying Mimosa for a more even coating. It seems to work. Mimosa looks good on my light-medium African American skin. I saw a woman on a plane last year who had a good tan, wearing jeweled sandals and yellow toe polish similar to Mimosa – it looked great.

  9. Tammie says:

    Yellows are not for me at all, I asked my husband to get me Morning Rose for mothers day though :)

  10. Lunuland says:

    I’m wearing L’oreal Yellow Seahorse and it’s strikingly similar. I needed three coats of that too. If you have it, can you do a comparison?

  11. Scienter says:

    I have one yellow nail polish: China Glaze Lemon Fizz. I love it! But, it needs three coats too.

  12. Tamara says:

    Looking at the pics you posted, it looks great!! I bought my Mimosa, haven’t tried it yet, but I am hoping it turns out fine. I like the way it looks in these pics :)

  13. Once again, the Chanel lemming monster passes me by. *does a backspin*

  14. Lauren says:

    I’m not into yellows for myself, but I think it looks nice on you.

  15. Cat says:

    I am a fiend for yellow, but the formulas really are rubbish on all of them. So far my favorite is KOH Baby Yellow, which is very close to OPI Banana Bandana but has a squishier formula. I’d like something just a little brighter, like how I imagine Mimosa is, and I want that Chanel sparkle! I may just have to make do with RBL Yellow Fever or OPI Need Sunglasses and add a shimmer top coat like Nubar Pixie Dust.

  16. Caroline says:

    I was thinking of getting mimosa, but then I tried OPI fiercely Fiona and added one coat of zoya bekka on top, which is now my favorite manicure of all times! It’s lighter than mimosa but the shimmer from Bekka is one of a kind!
    I wonder how many people are actually gonna wear mimosa, no just buy it and put I on a shelf, never to be worn again :)

  17. Laura says:

    It’s too expensive and I don’t really like yellow anyway, it looks nice in your pictures though ;)
    “Lime Up!” from essence is “yellow” enough for me.

  18. Andrea says:

    I like yellow in the spring and summer a lot, but already own LA Sunrise and prob can’t realistically afford to purchase Mimosa; although,I wish I could.

  19. GwenSA says:

    Interesting. I have some yellows, China Glaze and Sally Hansen, but for some reason I have never broken down to try them. They’re not expensive like Chanel, but now I see that Deborah Lippmann also has a new yellow (sheer) called Yellow Brick Road. Her shades are also on the expensive side, but not as expensive as Chanel. Has anyone tried YBR yet? Last year’s yellows seemed more mustardy, if that’s a word.

  20. Jaztee says:

    Too many yellows are never enough in my book, so I can’t wait to get it!

  21. Susan says:

    My Mimosa update… though I agree about the application issues, I am LOVING this color! It somehow flatters my olive skin tone without making me look green OR too pink, so it might be a good color for those who generally can’t wear yellow. As for the application, I just need to be more patient with it… letting every coat dry completely in between will probably help. Also, although I mostly think that it’s blasphemy to layer ANYTHING over a Chanel polish, I’m looking forward to layering this with the gold and/or copper chunky glitter topcoats from SOPI… it’s going to look so sunny and summery and awesome!

  22. This ‘subtle shimmer’ thing with Chanel polishes gets on my nerves. I got Riva recently and was so excited that it was shimmery in the bottle but it is nowhere to be found once I put it on my nails! I think that would make me steer clear from Chanel “shimmer” colors and stick to the more solid choices.

  23. S says:

    Pretty! It’s a limited edition?

  24. Gaby says:

    Will you be reviewing the other colors from the collection?

  25. Paula says:

    Wearing it right now and trying to decide if I like it. This was my very first Chanel nail polish purchase. I’m an OPI fanatic, but I’m also a yellow fanatic, and when I saw Mimosa in one of my magazines, It was love at first sight. If the brush weren’t so tiny, and if the polish weren’t so thin, I might be head over heels, but I’m not…yet. If my love doesn’t blossom by this evening, Mimosa and I might just need to break up.

  26. Paula says:

    Update…Mimosa grew on me. I already got complimented on my sunny fingers and toes! It’s offical…I’m in love! :)

  27. Julia says:

    I don’t think a decent or “okay” polish is worth $25, in my opinon. For me to spend over $12+ on nail polish, it would have to be very special and have great application in a colour I love, and for me, Mimosa and LA Sunrise aren’t that.

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