The mystique of Chanel Rouge Noir no. 18

Chanel Travel Line flap bag in linen, Chanel no. 18 Rouge Noir and no. 453 Magnolia Rose nail polish

Chanel nail lacquer in no. 18, Rouge Noir and no. 453, Magnolia Rose. In the background, a Chanel Travel Line bag with a twist lock flap, in a lgiht latte colour and silvertone chain.
Photo © Cheryl Marie Cordeiro for CMC 2009

If I ever had to choose a favourite nail colour of all time, beyond the whims of trends and seasons, it’ll be Chanel’s Rouge Noir no. 18.

As far as I can recall, dark nail colours have been around since the 60s and 70s. My mother’s favourite nail varnish colour when I was growing up, was a dark brown, similar to the colour of dark soya sauce. She would wear that to work, to parties and on evenings out. I suppose the colour literally grew on me and I’ve now adopted a variation of that – with lashings of deep red – as a signature nail colour. It’s a colour for nails that I feel perfectly comfortable in, whether in high summer with clear skies, or in the middle of winter close to the festive Christmas season.

Chanel Rouge Noir no. 18 and Chanel no. 453 Magnolia Rose nail varnish

A close girl friend of mine figured out that I just adored Chanel Rouge Noir no. 18 and she sent this yin yang pair of nail varnish bottles, the vampish colour of no. 18 complemented by Chanel no. 453, Magnolia Rose, which is a shimmery light baby pink.

The very light shade of Magnolia Rose is superb for days when you don’t wish to call attention to your nails in particular. I used that shade of shimmery pink at my PhD viva recently and thought the understatedness of it all fitted well with the ocassion. It’s probably a colour I could wear to boardroom meetings too.

When it comes to technicalities on nail varnish, I would highly recommend Chanel because of the ease in which the lacquer goes on and the very short time it takes for it to dry. In my own use, I’ve hardly experienced any streaking with Chanel nail lacquers and love their staying power. Often enough, I find I’m taking them off without them having chipped with wear.

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