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ALU’s 365 of Untrieds – Chanel Pearl Drop from Spring 2011

chanel pearl drop nail polish chanel le vernis spring 2011 365 of Untrieds is my personal challenge to weed through the polishes in the ALU stash that I’ve been wanting to try but just haven’t gotten around to.

As much as I believe that you never get the whole nail polish story until you see the juice on the nail, I love looking at bottle images. One of my favorite things about scrolling through Tumblr posts is when I stumble across a great bottle shot. So I started photographing my collection, in bottles, by brand, with the intention of eventually posting them in my gallery.

FYI, my gallery hasn’t allowed me to upload photos for a year and that’s why it isn’t updated. I haven’t found a fix or a better gallery solution which is why it remains unchanged since April 2010. It’s not that I’m neglecting it.

Anyway, I decided to start with Chanel, going color drawer by color drawer though my Helmers. I’ll be posting the pics on my Tumblr in the meantime so if you want to follow along, subscribe to my account over there.

I started with my white, black, gray and silver drawers and that inspired me to finally try Chanel Pearl Drop. Pearl Drop seemed to be the forgotten child in the Spring 2011 collection as Black Pearl garnered all the buzz so I was curious to see if it would end up being a sleeper hit.

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.

Pearl Drop’s names foreshadows a bad finish. “Pearl” makes me think of “metallic” which leads me to the dreaded word “frost” and that can only mean one thing, BRUSH STROKES. I applied this polish with the precision of a surgeon and brush strokes were unavoidable. Now I concede that light colors cause a constant struggle for manufacturers as it’s hard to achieve that perfect blend of pigmentation and smooth viscosity. Chanel certainly put forth a good effort here though I still needed three coats to get it opaque. It did flow on the nail quite well and dried pretty fast but brush strokes are like nails on a chalkboard to me, or French pedicures. Painful!

Chanel Pearl Drop grabbed me right away as I applied it in the bright afternoon light of my polish room. The soft white base filled with glimmering gold pearl looked magical, like a sun shower. Think of it as a more opaque, shimmery version of China Glaze White Cap. I was smitten. Now if only the story ended there.

Tonight I went to a fabulous wine & cheese dinner that left my head feeling a bit fuzzy and the dim, soft light turned this beautiful creation into something kind of wretched. The term “grandma” was definitely thrown around the table and suddenly I felt like I was wearing a 70s era Sally Hansen frost that my mother probably bought in multiples. That’s not a slam on my mom, we just have different tastes and she just loves herself some frosts.

My point is, what may look fantastic in one light can look devastatingly bad in another. I mean who hasn’t left the makeup counter with a bag full of things that made your face look amazingly natural under that odd fluorescent store lighting, only to look in the mirror later and feel like a contestant on RuPaul’s Drag Race?

chanel pearl drop nail polish swatch from the chanel spring 2011 collection

Bottom Line: What I anticipated being a rave review when I left for dinner tonight ended up being a “meh.” If you’re into frosts, and more power to you if you are, snap this one up. If brush strokes make you verklempt, run in the opposite direction when you see this one at the Chanel counter. The formula is good and the pigmentation is decent for a light color, it’s just not my thing. If I could guarantee I would always be in daylight, I would totally rock it.

365 of Untrieds Stash/Share Verdict: SHARE, ’nuff said

Chanel Pearl Drop is available now as part of the Spring 2011 collection at Chanel counters nationwide and online at I believe this is included in the perm Chanel collection as the website gives you the “replenish” option and that doesn’t appear with LE shades. Chanel nail polish retails for $25/ea for a .4oz bottle.

Thoughts on Pearl Drop? Have you ever worn a color that looked great in daylight and turned fug at night or indoors? What is your favorite white nail polish? I still haven’t found one I love as much as China Glaze White Kwik Silvr, aka my holy grail of white.

Disclosure: A product sample was provided by Chanel. For more info view my Disclosure Policy.

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There Are 30 Brilliant Comments

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  1. Katie says:

    I bet this would be good for layering or frankening shimmers :)

    • Kewt-ified! says:

      An expensive franken, for sure! LOL

      Myself I LOVE this. It’s so gorgeous– like a champagne silk dress.

    • Hannah says:

      I was just about to say that! Great minds think alike I suppose :P

  2. I kind of like this one just to look at for some reason, but I would never wear it because of the brushstrokes/frostiness issue.

  3. Ami says:

    I agree with everything you said, I also skipped this one. White Cap over Essie Marshmallow is everything I wanted Pearl Drop to be.

  4. J says:

    I love this!!! You should totally share it with me!!

  5. kelliegonzo says:

    i like this photo very much! i agree with you, in the sun i imagine it’s magic but other than that i bet i would be cringing. plus it would be a b*tch to apply perfectly.

  6. Bernadette says:

    This reminds me of a opal polish i used when i when i was a teenager. Not a fan of frosts..

  7. Laura says:

    I actually like the brush strokes on your nails. I think it makes the polish looks more interesting ;)

  8. Ulmiel says:

    Yikes, this is so not my colour. Seriously. And I dread brush strokes. :/ I don’t own a white polish … it’s just not my thing, exept the white China Glaze crackle. Although I’d need a bottle sometimes, with trying to do nail art. :)

  9. Stephanie says:

    Bummer. It looks so pretty.

  10. Lauren says:

    I love that you hate french pedicures.

  11. Bunny says:

    I’ve had no luck with Pearl Drop either. No application issues, but the pearl finish is just plain tacky. I tried layering it, but there is too much white in the body color to make that work.

    I have White Kwik Silvr, and it is an awesome polish, but my favorite white is probably SOPI How Many Carats, which has a slightly off-white base with so much microshimmer that when it dries it actually looks like a pearl, not a diamond.

  12. meme says:

    I have tossed a few like this in my polish dazys. Now I don’t buy them…but I did a swatch last year and fell in love with OPI Pearl of Wisdom…I fell hard for the duochrome in it. But it’s a totally different white then this Channel is. Thanks for the swatches.

  13. Andrea says:

    The grandma part made me laugh. Good post.

  14. Cat says:

    It’s gorgeous, truly, and like another poster mentioned above, very silken looking. However, there’s no way I’d pay $25 for this. Not a huge fan of frosts in general (they kind of scream old lady or seem super dated) and even though it’s a pretty color, I couldn’t justify adding it to my stash. I hate it when polishes look so gorgeous in one light and then terrible in another!

  15. Chris says:

    It’s a shame it’s so frosty. It seemed so promising in the bottle.

  16. Casey says:

    Polish aside, I loved this review purely for the words. I love your stuff in general, but this post made me laugh out loud several times. Thanks for making my day, and know that lots of us love the words just as much as the (beautiful) pictures!

  17. jan mismas says:

    I’m old and I love it. We can share.

  18. ach167 says:

    It does look like a fab silk dress in your picture but now you have me wondering what it looks like in the dim light!

    I totally have a super old sally hansen white frost that i hate and have no idea why I still hold on to it and your comment made me think of it and giggle.

    I’m not much of a frost person either but I am a fan of this post! too funny!

  19. Kristina says:

    I love Pearl Drop! This wasn’t my experience at all. Plus, I think it looks great in your photo!

  20. Karen says:

    Zoya Gaia is not a dupe, but if you want a white with gold shimmer it’s one that isn’t frosty at all.

  21. KayDiKat says:

    I rec’d Pearl Drop as a present and I really like it, brushstrokes and all. That said, I myself would not have purchased this if it wasn’t gifted to me. It seems like every time Chanel releases 3 polishes, 1 gets all the attention because the other two are just okay in comparison. I hope that’s not the case with the Fall collection.

  22. Roberta says:

    This is pretty but it’s too expensive. I did buy the Black Pearl (which is my only Chanel nailpolish). I do like frosts, maybe not this type. I do love OPI’s Pearl of Wisdom. There’s duochrome but like some small glitter. I love it. That’s probably the reason I would not buy this.

    Thanks for sharing!

  23. Medusa says:

    Since you said you are sharing this color, does that mean you are giving it away?

    • All Lacquered Up says:

      I am giving it to my mother. She saw that I wasn’t keeping it and called dibs on it.

  24. Gabriela says:

    So let me get this straight, you don’t like this nail polish because your friends think it reads “grandma”. Shallow

    • All Lacquered Up says:

      Thanks for the insult, it’s much appreciated. I didn’t realize that wearing nail polish is so deep and meaningful. Beauty is pretty vain and shallow to begin with, no? Besides, it would make me a follower or victim of peer pressure to not wear a nail polish because my friends dubbed it “grandma” not shallow. Does that mean you’ve always made all your own decisions without anyone else’s influence? Wow, how amazing and righteous of you. Regardless, that’s not why I didn’t like it and I made that very clear in my post. I was just relating a story of what others thought in ADDITION to my opinion.