The Girls with Kaleidoscope Nails
By Melanie Parker
Picture yourself in a boat on a river,
With tangerine trees and marmalade skies.
Somebody calls you, you answer quite slowly,
A girl with kaleidoscope eyes.
You won't want to be a girl with kaleidoscope eyes when girls with Chanel Le Vernis Kaleidoscope nails are all the rage. The standout nail lacquer from the Chanel Fall 2008 beauty collection is the Limited Edition (LE) Kaleidoscope. When I first heard about this new polish, I had hoped that it would have a holographic quality and reflect multiple colors that shifted shades with every turn of my fingers, much like the inner workings of my toy kaleidoscope that I held up to the window and gazed at as a child. But on me, this polish is a highly metallic (also known as a foil finish), molten gold. If anything, it reminds me of the outside of an old brass kaleidoscope. However, the word kaleidoscope is derived from the Greek words kalos (meaning "beautiful"), eidos ( meaning "form or shape") and skopeō (meaning "to look at"). Based on that description, this color is aptly named.
Reviews of this polish's color vary greatly. Some sales associates were telling customers it is cool toned, despite the distinct green hue that it casts in indirect light. Others find it to be a tarnished silver, while on me I see it as an antique brass or foiled khaki hue. I've provided indoor and outdoor photographs in natural lighting conditions. With flash, you can definitely see the high impact of the shimmer. This is definitely a color that changes depending on your skin tone, so your results will vary. I have seen it look stunning on both cool and warm toned hands. Le Vernis Kaleidoscope retails for $20, which reflects a $2 increase in the price of this brand's lacquer.
Another Limited Edition polish from the Chanel Fall 2008 beauty collection is Gold Fiction, which boasts a $30 price tag and provides the wearer with the look of an 18 kt. gold finish. I do not find yellow polishes flattering on any skin tone, and this polish has too much yellow for my taste. And be careful, the glass is sheathed in a gold finish, so you can't see the true polish color in the bottle. I recommend swatching this one at a department store before spending this much money on Gold Fiction.
The third polish in this collection is Fantastic!, and I'm not saying that it is, but that is actually the name of the lacquer. Fantastic! is a deep berry color with a slight shimmer in direct light. In indirect light, it appears to have a creme finish. It's elegant and the most conservative polish in this nail collection. If you have OPI Berry Berry Broadway, you already have a more shimmery version of it and can take a pass. Like Kaleidoscope, it is priced at $20. At this time, all three polishes are still available at Nordstrom.com.
This picture shows how Chanel Kaliedoscope compares with the oxidized silver and gold on a two-toned watchband. I think it favors wearing gold finished jewlery.
Photo Credit: Author Helen Groth photographed by Edwina Pickles Lyrics: John Lennon and Paul McCartney.
All other photos: Melanie Parker
Disclosure: The product featured in this review was a personal purchase by the reviewer.