My love for Essie nail polish is serious business, and it takes a lot to sway my loyalty. It’s safe to say, though, that when I was picked for a trial team on Beauty Review to try Essie Wicked vs Chanel Rouge Noir, I was well intrigued and ready to give it a go. Less because I would get to try my first Chanel nail polish, and more because I knew that Essie could hold up in the fight.
Design-wise, Chanel Rouge Noir is a classic beautiful object. I’m not sure how I feel about the double lid situation—the big lid pops off to reveal the more practical lid that seals the bottle and has the brush attached to it. It’s a step of mild inconvenience in much the same way as NARS Sheer Glow’s double lid.
The Essie Wicked bottle is so familiar to me that it’s hard to evaluate its design. The longer lid does it make slightly easier to handle when putting polish on, though, and Essie polishes look great all together when you have a million of them like I do.
I ended up wearing the Essie polish on my left hand and the Chanel polish on my right, and wore them over the course of a week. I didn’t use a top coat, because I know how good my favourite top coat is and I didn’t want it to change the results.
The application itself is where I saw the biggest distinction between the two polishes. The brushes on these polishes are like night and day. The modern Essie brush is smooth, flat and wide with a rounded tip. On the contrary, the Chanel brush is like if someone cut up a bunch of fishing line and jammed it in the end of a lollipop stick. I mean, look at the difference.
Although the Chanel brush was a bit of a handicap, I did end up with decently painted nails on both hands and both polishes lasted the better part of a week. The Chanel polish wore with larger chips at both the tips and base of the nails, and had a duller look overall than the Essie polish.
Now this photo isn’t the best, because it’s hard to take photos of both your hands at once because you have no hands spare. You can also see that I did a pretty poor job of painting my nails tidily, because I am definitely not a nail polish blogger and don’t really care if I get polish on my fingers (I just pick it off once it’s dry). You can, however, see that the polishes are much of a muchness when they’re next to each other. At the very least, I didn’t feel silly wearing them both at once. The difference is minimal.
If it’s not clear, I’m falling on the Essie side of the fence here. In fact, I’m building a wall between me and the Chanel polish as an explicit expression of my loyalty.
Have you tried Chanel nail polishes? Any other expensive brands? Do you think they have any value beyond the prestige of the name?