Aaahhh … finally! The one and only: Vamp. Or, rather, Rouge Noir. See, it goes like this. Chanel’s polish naming and numbering system is a bit wonky. The original Vamp – the dark red creme we all lovingly remember from way back in those Pulp Fiction days – had the number 18, and was also released as Rouge Noir in Europe (under the same number). [To complicate matters further, there is another, different colour also numbered 18.] Since then, Chanel has released another polish named Vamp (but with a different number), which is a shimmery version of the original. As a result, there are two polishes called Vamp, three with the number 18, and one that has two different names. Whew!
Back to Rouge Noir. It really is gorgeous, and I am glad that – almost 20 years later – I finally got to try it. This is a true, “vampy” polish – almost-black, sleek, with a glass-like finish.
Application was a little bit trickier than I am used to with Chanel cremes. The polish was thicker than usual, and it didn’t flow quite as easily; after two medium coats, I still had some bald spots. I think that slightly thinner coats, and more careful application (in other words, taking more than the 5 minutes I usually have) might solve these issues.
After a couple of days, I decided to switch things up a bit and layer a coat of Barielle’s Elle’s Spell over my Rouge Noir mani. Elle’s Spell is a flakie polish with a red jelly base; the flakes are predominantly red, but they do flash gold and green at certain angles, and especially in the sunlight. With patience, it’s a buildable polish (would probably take 4 coats to be opaque), but I prefer it as a top coat. Sorry for the ginormous photo, but it was the only way to show off that flakie goodness.
For my “inspired” outfit, I wanted to keep things simple, with a “vampy” palette of white, black and red.
I love the drop-waist of this Club Monaco dress; it can be a trickier silhouette for curvy gals like me, but the shorter, above-the-knee hem length keeps it from looking dowdy or sack-like. Also love the shoulder pleats, which give a slightly exaggerated, severe line, perfect for balancing any pear shape tendencies. Joan Crawford would be proud.