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Treat Yo’ Self – Chanel Taboo Le Vernis Review, Swatch and Comparisons

By on April 16, 2013
in Berry, Chanel, Purple, Spring 2013

As Tom and Donna from Parks and Recreation say, Treat Yo’ Self Day is the, “Best Day Of Year!” It’s a day to splurge on the those things that are outside your normal budget; facials, designer handbags, totally impractical shoes, expensive meals, etc. Since that episode aired, every time I go to make an extravagant purchase and question whether I REALLY need it, I hear Tom in my head saying, “Michelle, treat yo’ self!”

Chanel Taboo Le Vernis from Collection Revelation

Affiliate Link|Press Sample

You see, I was raised a frugal barganista (thanks Mom!) so it takes a lot for something to be worth its full price tag. In this new series I’ll be sharing the nail polishes and products that I are consider fitting of a Treat Yo’ Self Day indulgence.

Even though I’ve been avoiding dark nail polishes this spring, I could not escape the mystical allure of Chanel Taboo.

Formula & Application: Chanel Taboo 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.

Taboo flows effortlessly on the nail. The consistency is thin and easy to manipulate yet it’s extremely pigmented. I barely needed two coats for full coverage. Even though there are tiny micro-glitter particles in the polish, it dries glossy and smooth to the touch. Warning: Because it is so dark, it can stain your skin during removal, so apply a bit of cuticle oil around the nail to prevent.

Chanel Taboo is a unique color to describe. When you first apply it, you see this super saturated indigo shade at its base. Then the deep amethyst shimmer takes over and finally the tiny blue and reddish-bronze metallic flecks come into play. Combined it becomes a captivating work of alchemy. A shimmering eggplant with a reddish glow.

Chanel Taboo Nail Polish Swatch

Chanel Taboo

Chanel Taboo Le Vernis Swatch

Chanel Taboo

Chanel Taboo Le Vernis Nail Polish Swatch

Chanel Taboo

Naturally there are no dupes for Taboo in the Chanel family so I’m showing you its cousins for comparison sake. Chanel Strong, with its inky black base, looks more maroon/brown. Vendetta leans way more towards the blue side of purple. And Feu De Russie is much more similar to Strong with its brownish black base and maroon and gold flecks.

Chanel Strong, Taboo, Vendetta and Feu De Russie Nail Polish Comparison

Chanel Strong, Taboo, Vendetta and Feu De Russie

In my personal stash, the only colors that even came close to matching Taboo are NARS Purple Rain, which is too red and Givenchy Purple by Night, which has similar sparkle but looks murky in comparison.

Chanel Taboo Nail Polish Comparison with NARS Purple Rain and Givenchy Purple by Night

NARS Purple Rain, Chanel Taboo and Givenchy Purple by Night

The only way I could come close to Taboo was by layering them and even then it’s not the same. And let’s get real. Trying to dupe a Chanel by layering two shades that cost way more combined, is just ridiculous.

Chanel Taboo Nail Polish Swatch Comparison

Chanel Taboo vs Givenchy Purple by Night over NARS Purple Rain

Bottom Line: Chanel Taboo is utterly unique and a must for Chanel fans and vampy polish lovers. Is it necessary to life? Obviously not and the price tag will keep most polish lovers at bay. But, if you’re in need of a little retail therapy and having a Treat Yo’ Self moment, you won’t have buyers remorse if you pick up a bottle.

Chanel Taboo is available now at and Chanel counters nationwide including & Chanel nail polish retails for $27/ea for a .4oz bottle.

Thoughts on Taboo? Is this a splurge-worthy shade? When was the last time you had a Treat Yo’ Self Day and what did you indulge in?

Disclosure: A product sample was provided by Chanel. Affiliate links may appear via a third party link service. For more info view my Disclosure Policy.

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There Are 38 Brilliant Comments

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  1. Elsa says:

    This nail polish is one of the prettiest I’ve seen lately, and I would definitely get it if it wasn’t that expensive >.

  2. Eva says:

    It’s so beautiful!! Great way to treat yourself ;)

  3. annette says:

    Do you have butter London Branwen’s Feather? How do the two compare? Possible dupe?

    • Michelle says:

      Hi Annette! I’m sorry but I don’t own Branwen’s Feather so I’m not sure how they compare. Based on images I’ve seen, Branwen’s Feather looks more maroon/brown.

      • beachgal says:

        Yes Branwen’ Feather is got some brown base in it vs. the blue/purple here. Also BF has a horrible formula and is not going to go opaque for a # of coats. Also no red fleck in BF – it has a hidden teal shimmer in it – the 2 are quite different.

  4. Grace says:

    I will definitely be picking this up. The first time I saw a swatch of it online I *literally* gasped out loud, it is so gorgeous.

  5. Angie says:

    I think I might have to treat myself with this color! I keep telling myself I don’t need it, but I think it’s going to be my first and only Chanel polish purchase.

    • Sparks13 says:

      Lol, that’s what I said about Malice. Yet here I sit trying to justify buying Taboo and Azure.

  6. Ashley says:

    This looks lovely, but am I crazy for thinking it looks a bit similar to Finger Paints’ Plum Startled?

    • Michelle says:

      You’re not crazy but Plum Startled is very different. It’s red based and brighter, whereas Taboo is indigo based and more vampy. Plus the sparkle is different. In Plum Startled the shimmer is tonal and has a glass fleck appearance.

  7. Anny says:

    Wait, Chanel provided you with Taboo? How is it “treat yo self” if you got it for free?

    • Michelle says:

      Hi Anny! I call it a treat/splurge because it is worthy for readers to splurge on. Just because Chanel provided me with a sample doesn’t mean I wouldn’t buy it myself. This is a polish that is worth a “treat yo’ self” type of shopping spree.

  8. Jenna Froggy says:

    Wow! Taboo is really amazing!

  9. Linda says:

    Love it! Really beautiful!

  10. TikiBarbie says:

    This is really pretty!

  11. It is beautiful, but I think it comes close enough to Illamasqua Baptiste so I don’t need them both, especially as I am not the biggest fan of purple :)

  12. Jule says:

    Is it really a Limited Edition? On Christine has posted that is permanent and on there is no ‘Limited Edition’-Button…

  13. Elysse says:

    Beautiful, but I cannot justify that much money spent on a polish!

  14. Erin Zambas says:

    I always hesitate to buy Chanel because the cost is seemingly high. However, when I do splurge I’m never disappointed! The polish holds up really well and the colors are always unique. Every Mother’s Day my daughter gives me my favorite Channel lip gloss. I think I’m giving myself a bottle of Taboo!A girl can’t have enough purple (and green) nail colors in her collection.Thank you for the review.

  15. Gabriela says:

    What about Orly’s fowl play? I know that one has glitter and speckles that are more golden, but the purpel base and general look feels similar. Would you say they’re radically different? Because I have Orly’s and it’s fabulous, wouldn’t want to buy a too-similar one when it’s this expensive.

    • Michelle says:

      Unfortunately, I don’t have Fowl Play to compare it with. Based on images I’ve seen, I’d say their different but your best bet is to visit a Chanel counter.

    • beachgal says:

      Fowl Play has ‘burred’ color in it – FP was a semi attempt at duping OPI’s Merry Midnight – but it was never close enough for me to call it a dupe. If you have a bottle of OPI Merry Midnight and add some red shift flakie to it, it would be close to Taboo – also you need a massive shinny clear topper on your mixed dup too – I keep waiting to see someone do a side by side Merry Midnight to Taboo

      • Michelle says:

        I pulled out my bottle of Merry Midnight and its so different than Taboo, which is why I didn’t show them in a comparison shot. The base colors are very different with MM having a red grape base. And the sparkle/shimmer in Taboo is much more elegant and not nearly as chunky/flakie as MM.

    • Lenita says:

      I have Orly’s Fowl Play (and it’s twin sister OPI Merry Midnight) and they’re different. the Orly and OPI has flakes rather than glitter/shimmer, and they’re more pronounced. They are also more eggplanty and not as dark indoors.

    • Sparks13 says:

      Fowl Play is nothing like this. It has flakies in it.

  16. Ana Paula says:

    Well I’m a Chanel addict, so I’ve guaranteed my bottle of Taboo right away. Since I’m in Brazil, I had a friend bring it for me. Will be getting my hands on it very soon.

    Thanks for the swatches, I definetely made the right thing by treating myself :)

  17. beachgal says:

    Pretty but I would not pay $27 and tax for it. blue/purple with red always has been a pretty combo – anyone who went nuts for the old OPI Merry Midnight knows this combo works well. Sorry that it had to be Chanel to come back to the purple/red fleck thing with their formula that does not usually work on me well and their price tag – but I expect to see a # of dupes for this by fall.

  18. Laura Iriarte says:

    Oh that color is just Gorge! To. Die. For.

  19. Olivia says:

    Pretty pretty!

  20. Gina says:

    Hi! Can you compare this to Metallic Vamp? In photos it looked like MV was the frost version and this color the microshimmer version. Is this accurate?

    • Michelle says:

      Hi Gina! Actually, the base colors are very different. Metallic Vamp has a reddish base and silver shimmer. It looks like a silvered plum and nothing like Taboo. HTH!

  21. Lisa says:

    Save your money..wish I had..after such hype about this color, I found it to be nothing coat is enough, but applied two and could barely see any shimmer at all..meh!

  22. Tanya says:

    I bought this color at Nordstrom last night, couldn’t wait to try it.. And I loooove it! 27 dollars to me is worth it, I just will not buy 3 8 dollar polishes for awhile..

  23. Helena says:

    This is so beautiful!

  24. CAL says:

    I realize I’m coming to this late, but OPI’s Ink is very similar, just a touch more blue..

  25. Sara says:

    Great if you’re into purple but it’s alot less red than I was hoping for. I like it better in the bottle than on my nails.