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Chanel Summer 2013 – Azuré, Bel-Argus & Lilis Le Vernis Swatches & Review

Inspired by butterflies (Papillon in French), Chanel Makeup Artist Peter Philips created a summer makeup collection of gold, pink, aqua, blue and coral that has a touch of whimsy and fantasy. As part of L’Eté Papillon de Chanel, he has included three new shades of Le Vernis to tempt our wallets.

Chanel Summer 2013 L'Eté Papillon de Chanel Le Vernis

Chanel Summer 2013

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Maybe, like me, you’re thinking, one of these things is not like the other. Pairing a creamy summer staple, coral, with two bold metallics in non-traditional hues seems unconventional for Chanel. Their nail color collections tend to be similar in finish and tonal range. Let’s see how they work together.

Formula & Application: Chanel Le Vernis is 5-Free (free of DBP, Toluene, Formaldehyde, Formaldehyde Resin and Camphor). 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.

Both metallics come across rather sheer and watery during the first coat. It doesn’t leave one hopeful of a two coat application but it’s just the opposite. One the second coat, the color comes alive delivering full coverage.  The creme is thin and easy to manipulate and well pigmented but a bit streaky for my taste. I needed three coats to get it opaque.

Chanel Azuré is a turquoise chrome metallic with an intense sparkle factor and a hint of gold. In the bottle it looks like a duo-chrome but, on the nail, I’m only seeing one color at all angles. While I don’t own any exact matches for this color, Sally Hansen Complete Salon Manicure in Lagoon is a lighter version.

Chanel Azure Le Vernis nail polish swatch

Chanel Azuré

Chanel Azure Le Vernis nail polish swatch

Chanel Azuré

Chanel Bel-Argus is a denim blue chrome metallic. It has the same finish as Azuré yet it doesn’t catch the light in the same way. It feels just a bit faded in comparison. Again, I went looking for dupes, sure I’d find one but came up empty handed. The closest I could come is Maybelline Color Show Navy Narcissist from the Metallics collection. It’s a little darker than Bel-Argus but has a similar finish and feel to it. I read on Nouveau Cheap that Navy Narcissist is on clearance at CVS so jump on it.

Chanel Bel-Argus Le Vernis nail polish swatch

Chanel Bel-Argus

Chanel Lilis is a true coral creme. It’s true in that it doesn’t have any strong leanings towards orange, pink or red. It’s in the same color family as Deborah Lippmann Girls Just Want To Have Fun and L’Oréal Tangerine Crush, just a shade darker. The only odd part about the color is that it didn’t self level in spite of its jelly-ish texture. A layer of top coat cleared things up but that shouldn’t be necessary.

Chanel Lilis Le Vernis nail polish swatch

Chanel Lilis

Bottom Line: As pretty as Azuré and Bel-Argus are to look at, they don’t deliver enough in uniqueness on the nail to justify the cost. Lilis is plagued with streaking and leveling issues causing me to give it a thumbs down.

Chanel L’Eté Papillon de Chanel Summer 2013 collection is limited edition and available now at Chanel counters nationwide plus, and

Thoughts on the Chanel summer shades? Are any of them worth the splurge in your eye? What’s the last Chanel nail polish you purchased?

Disclosure: Product samples were provided by Chanel. Affiliate links appear via a third party link service. For more info view my Disclosure Policy.

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There Are 24 Brilliant Comments

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  1. Elva says:

    Aw, what a shame.

    This coral looks similar to the one in the Nars Vertebra set. I think I may get that one instead.

    • Linda says:

      NYC LE Spring Tulips is super super super super close to the Nars one. I can barely tell them apart in the sun and under bright fluoro lights.

  2. Marisa p says:

    If you give any away I would love the azure one. Fancy schmancy!

  3. Erin says:

    Thanks for the candid thoughts. Polish has to be really special with a top formula to justify that price tag. Azure is gorgeous in the bottle, but it shows obvious brush-strokes in all the swatches I’ve seen.

  4. Gabriela says:

    Is there a similar one to the azure shade? I feel like I’ve seen a dupe somewhere.

  5. Jennifer A. says:

    Fortunately I really didn’t have the same experience as you had. IMO, the duochrome in Azur

  6. Erin M. says:

    I’m glad that you gave your honest thoughts on these. Every swatch I’ve seen of these has shown the metallics as brushstroke city, but the blogger has raved about them (despite previously complaining about polishes that showed heavy brushstrokes).

  7. Wendy says:

    I feel like Azure and Bel-Argus are basically straight out of China Glaze’s Bohemian collection from last year. Like you said, not unique enough to justify dropping that much coin.

  8. Bunny says:


    • Jennifer A. says:

      I agree with you. I don’t know why Michelle was so down on this collection. I am a Chanel collector, but I will freely admit when I’m disappointed with Chanel’s – the only other recent one I’ve loved has been Malice. I think Bel-Argus and Azur

    • Nawi says:

      I have al three the polishes and totally agree with Bunny there are no dupes voor Azure en Bel Agrus if you are honest with yourself I fornutely have no issues with apply them love Lilias as well because its the perfect jelly coral that does not lean to orange. I am very happy to have them in my collection!

  9. Cristina says:

    I really like azure and blue argus but the price doesn’t seem worth what your getting. Thanks for being honest and letting us know! Especially about Lilus, it sucks when expensive polishes don’t go on smooth

  10. Ang says:

    Hi,good morning.
    The coral color is almost the color OPI Girls Just Want To Have Fun and the metalic teal with Revlon Ocean Breeze.

  11. Danii says:

    Well, hello, Blue Morpho Butterfly in a bottle! Nice to meet you! Too bad your price tag is too much and I wouldn’t know when I would wear you. Seriously though, it looks like Chanel magically liquified the wings of a Blue Morpho Butterfly and turned it into nail polish. Quite pretty!

  12. Laurel says:

    I think China Glaze Deviantly Daring and NOPI Candid Cameron (who are dupes of eachother) might be close to Azur

    • Bunny says:

      These are the type polishes that become the collector items of the future. If you are the type who regrets passing up Jade or Metallic Vamp, then these are for you. Expensive? You bet they are. But they are cheaper than a bottle of good Scotch, and no hangover to trouble you. ;)

    • Laurel says:

      Actually, I’m thinking Essie Vermillionaire might be close to Lilis. As for Bel Argus, I’m thinking CG Want My Bawdy, NOPI What’s the Mitch – uation, and OPI Into the Night (who ate all pretty close) might all be a touch darker.

      Taboo in the spring was much better. That was worth 27 dollars. These, not so much.

      • Laurel says:

        I’m just saying, I don’t feel the need to get Azur

      • Jennifer A. says:

        Vermillionaire is much more orange, darker, more opaque (not jelly-ish), and a bit burnt looking compared to Lillis.

        Want My Bawdy and What’s the Mitch-uation are pretty much dupes of each other and are sheerer, dustier, darker, and more purple. Into the Night is slightly more blue, but is still sheerer, dustier, darker, and more purple. These polishes are also not duochrome, whereas Bel-Argus shifts from warmer blue (similar to OPI Swimsuit…Nailed It!) to cooler blue and has violet around the edges. It is also brighter, sparklier, and more striking than these other polishes (all of which I like).

        Do you own Taboo? I own it and this collection, and I found Taboo a lot less impressive than these polishes. I’m not trying to fight you on this, but perhaps go to a counter and test them out – you might surprised.

  13. Delphi Michaels says:

    Hi, when you said,”I went looking for dupes…,” may I ask what your process is to do that? Do you mean dupes among the, I’m fairly certain quite impressive, nail polish collection you own? Or do you do it using Google Images or…? I’d appreciate it if you would share your experience in dupe-searching. Thank you!

    • Michelle says:

      Hi Delphi! When I look for dupes, I look in my own collection. I try not to let other bloggers influence me so I don’t read reviews or posts about colors I’m writing about during the process. Besides, it would be hard for me to call something a dupe if I didn’t actually see it for myself.

  14. eline says:

    aw, i was thinking of getting azure – until i read this post! too bad about the streaky formula. i think i might try sephora by OPI’s “mermaid to order” or essie’s “trophy wife” instead…thanks for the honest review, so easy to get sucked in by the HOUSE OF CHANEL lol :) x

    • Michelle Mismas says:

      I agree, it is easy to get sucked in. I’m glad it was helpful. I always suggest swatching in store, if you can.