KNOCK-OFF NATION: Affordable Bootlegs of the Best and Most Exclusive Nail Color in the Universe

Last fall, Chanel brought the chameleon color to the table. This fall, everyone else wants a piece! Almost every major cosmetics label has busted out their own version of chameleon color and I. AM. SO. EXCITED.
Publish date:
October 10, 2012
nail polish, chameleon color

My favorite purchase of 2011 was… a bottle of nail polish. But not just ANY nail polish.

You know those cars with what they call a chameleon paint job? It’s the paint that starts off purple, but then changes to blue and green as you drive by. They’re usually really tricked out and SO tacky, and I LOVE them! I always have. A paint that changes colors is perfect for someone like me who can barely pick out which pair of sunglasses to wear in the morning, let alone settle on a color to paint his car. Options!

I’d like to cover everything I own in chameleon paint: my car, my BlackBerry, my apartment, my roommates. The possibilities are endless! But let’s get real for a minute -- what I constantly want to hit with a chameleon paint job are my nails! I’d seen companies make valiant efforts for multi-dimensional, color changing nail lacquer with little success, but last fall, Chanel started and ended the conversation on the elusive chameleon nail color with the release of “Peridot”.

Peridot was created exclusively for their “Illusions d’Ombres De Chanel” fall beauty line. Of course a treasure like this would be exclusive. Peridot starts out a gold-ish hue, then will appear bright green with the turn of your hand and then almost black with another. It’s AWESOME. When I wear it, I can barely keep my eyes off of my nails. What color will they be next? My already-shoddy driving skills really took a hit the first time I wore it because I was so transfixed, I almost ran over about three hundred pedestrians. But whatever, my nails were like three colors at once! Priorities.

Side note: Peridot gets its name from light green gem, FYI. I thought it was a tropical bird.

Anyway, this stuff was like $35 dollars, which I suppose is sort of exorbitant for a nail polish, but the guy at the Chanel counter just LOVES me so he gave me a discount. And it was LIMITED EDITION, what the hell else was I supposed to do? Besides, I’ve paid more for stupider shit. My advice is, if it makes you happy, buy it, no matter what people say. Those haters aren’t paying your bills! My other piece of advice is to never take advice from me.

I’d rock my limited edition Peridot once every couple of weeks to cement my status as the coolest trick on the block. UNTIL, that is, I saw OPI’s preview for their “The Amazing Spiderman” collection last spring. Made up of a few vibrant, comic book-like colors, there was one obvious stand out. “Just Spotted The Lizard” was clearly dupe of Peridot. With the metallic, multi-dimensional gold-green, it was apparent that OPI was looking to pick up in the spring where Chanel had left off in the fall.

I wasn’t mad, I loved Peridot so much, but every time I used it, it was bittersweet. I was excited to wear it, but I was diminishing my precious bottle with every use. What’s a boy to do?! So I was actually kind of stoked when I saw that OPI replicated this awesome color. Trouble is, that one was a limited edition too. It’s hard to find a nail polish that wants to commit. (You can still snag it on Amazon though.)

So last fall, Chanel brought the chameleon color to the table. This fall, everyone else wants a piece! Almost every major cosmetics label has busted out their own version of chameleon color and I. AM. SO. EXCITED.

The very best duplicate of Peridot, in my opinion, is done by Maybelline Color Show in “Boho Gold”. I wish it was called YOLO GOLD but that’s because I love to rhyme and I’m insufferable. The minute I saw a bottle of this, I was like “BIIITCH!”, which translates loosely into “My, how excited I am that I have once again discovered a chameleon nail polish in a Peridot duplicate.” This, at least in my region, is the hardest collection to get your hands on, so if you see it, SNATCH IT if you know what’s good for you. They have another chameleon shade it’s turquoise/teal/lime green shade called “Avante Green” that is great too.

Oh. also, the collection includes another duplicate of a Chanel shade from last fall. “Metal Icon” is an obvious duplicate of “Graphite,” a silver shade with an almost powder fine glitter making it crazy metallic. Almost mirror-like. You know what? Just buy this whole damn collection, but get your hands on “Boho Gold” before all those other hoes do. (Maybelline hates us all and apparently didn’t release any promotional photos of the fall line, so I can’t actually show you Boho Gold. But Google can.)

Oh! It’s worth noting that Maybelline Color Show also totally duplicated Chanel’s denim inspired line from last fall’s Fashion’s Night Out! I love a good knock-off but LORD, pick another designer to copy!

Next is “Ocean Breeze” by Revlon.

This one is kind of the wildcard because it was actually part of the limited edition “Scents of Summer” line, but it’s still hanging around this fall. You read that right, it’s SCENTED. Are you still alive? I’m hanging on by a thread. Ocean Breeze has a subtle but still noticeable chameleon effect, changing from emerald green to a rich turquoise blue, to almost a black. This is color is perfect if you’re a mermaid enthusiast like me.

Here’s a picture of me going as a mermaid -- merman? whatever -- for Halloween my junior year of college.

And finally, Sally Hansen’s Lustre Shine Collection.

It’s a whole damn line of chameleon colors! Obviously you can’t go wrong when it comes to Sally Hansen, and this collection is no exception. The collection includes six colors, not only duplicating Peridot, but colors that have bases of blue, copper, pink and even white! Sally’s nail polishes are always easy to apply and have speedy dry times that are ideal to get a smooth nail for the optimal chameleon effect. Ugh, we have so many options my head is spinning with excitement.

PRO-TIPS WITH TYNAN: When you’re using a polish like Peridot, or anything metallic, it’s best to first do a coat of black, and then layer the metallic polish over it. This makes the color POP more on its first application, instead of being sort of translucent. I didn’t believe it either, but I tried it and it’s true!

What do you think? I URGE you to check them out in person, they will change your life. I LOVE the chameleon craze, which is weird because I usually hate any polish that’s not a flat color. But THESE, these are just a different story altogether.

What are you loving on your nails right now? What’s the most you’ve ever spent on nail polish? Have you heard the new No Doubt album? It will blow your mind. Tell me this and so much more on Twitter @TynanBuck.