July 21, 2008

Alternatives to Chanel Kaleidoscope

Posted in Adoree, Comparison Swatches, Essie, Ghetto Fabulous, Gold, Green, Metallics, Milani, Silver, Trends tagged at 8:28 pm by pretear

Like I said before, I usually don’t buy Chanel nail polish *but* Chanel Kaleidoscope was so beautiful and unique, I just had to have it. The minute I saw a swatch of it taken by MUA’s Mrs_Brightside, I called Nordstrom and put a bottle on hold. That was incredibly out of character for me but it was totally and completely worth it. Even though I can honestly say that I love Kaleidoscope, I want to show you guys some possible alternatives to it. With the economy the way that it is right now, a luxury item like a 20 dollar bottle of nail polish, is probably not the most prudent way to spend money. Of course, some colors are must-have, recession or not, but if you can settle from something less extravagant, why not do so? (I’m a hypocrite, I know.)

First, here she is (are bottles of nail polish female? hmm) in all her glory:

*Heavy Sigh* In the sunlight, Kaleidoscope shimmers with ultra bling. Indoors and in the shade, it’s more of a subtle mirrored greenish platinum color. It’s beautiful but I have no idea why it’s called Kaleidoscope, neither does Scrangie. If the other shade is Gold Fiction, why not call this one Platinum Drama.

Essie Steel-ing the Scene is the closest thing to Kaleidoscope in my stash. These are actually fairly close color siblings. The main difference is that Kaleidoscope has the greenish tone and a lot more shimmer. However, if you really want to follow this trend but don’t want to blow the cash, Essie Steel-ing the Scene is a great alternative.

Here is Kaleidoscope and Steel-ing the Scene side by side. Despite several attempts, I couldn’t get the image to show the differences between these colors. I blame the inferior camera. While these colors are very close they really don’t look as similar in real life as they look in the image. Steel-ing the Scene has a smoother finish, less bling, less shimmer and is less mirrored.

Adorée Rockport Gray doesn’t have a mirrored finish. It’s a pseudo-metallic light silverish gray with some mossy shimmer throughout. Rockport Gray is not a dupe but it’s a pretty good alternative, especially for people who don’t want to go full out metallic. This is my NOTD right now, it’s subtle enough that I was able to get away with it at work. The application and wear is excellent.

I first lemminged Milani Key Lime Shine when I saw it on FiveZero. The polish doesn’t show the brush strokes, the lines on the surface are actually my nail ridges. If I did this as an actual mani, which I will soon, I would use Camo as a base to eliminate that issue. Key Lime Shine is a highly mirrored metallic light lime green. This is the only one of the colors exhibited here that is available at drug stores, although it is rumored to be hard-to-find.



  1. Hallie Honey said,

    where do you buy your opi and orly and zoya products? do you get them at beauty supply stores (but wouldn’t one need a license at those places?) or do you just get them at department stores? i think it’s incredible how many colors you have! i’m addicted to nail polish too, but i have only 55-60 bottles. i want to start an opi collection but i dont know where to start.

  2. pretear said,

    Zoya I get from http://www.zoya.com, everything else I get from http://www.transdesign.com, http://www.8ty8beauty.com, or http://www.head2toebeauty.com. 2 of my favorite OPIs are Koala Bear-y and OPI My Private Jet, so I’d say, start there. : )

  3. Jessica said,

    kaleidescope is STUNNING… def one of the best shades of the year, maybe in the last 5 years…. fabbbbbbbb

  4. Scrangie said,

    Excellent post! Kaleidoscope is the one Chanel I don’t regret buying, lol. But I really need to STOP buying $20 polishes! Steel-ing The Scene looks awesome, I don’t think I have that one!

  5. pretear said,

    Jessica – I totally agree.

    Scrangie – Thank you. : ) The only 20 dollar polish that I constantly make exceptions for is RBL, I know you have that weakness too. Right now I’m itching to place an order for Om (your fault), Yellow Fever (also your fault) and Coral (surprisingly not your fault lol). I’m not too big on Chanel. Their colors typically don’t wow me. Sometimes they are amazing, like Kaleidoscope, and in that situation I’ll fork over the money but I’m probably going to grumble about it. *grumble grumble grumble*

  6. Great choices. I am still on the fence about Kaleidoscope. I love the color but hate it on me.

  7. Sara said,

    Paying $20 for nail polish in England isn’t that out of the ordinary – the average price for good nail polish in England is about £8 – which roughly works at at $16 (Essie and Jessica are both around that mark – OPI is closer to £10/$20). And i just looked it up and Chanel is £14.50 – closer to $30! That markup is killer. It does tempt me to build up my Chanel stash on my next trip to the States though…

  8. pretear said,

    Wow, sounds like that might be a good idea. lol.

  9. Hallie Honey said,

    yeah i looked around and ordered from transdesign. i guess it’s a pretty good place because it’s coming tomorrow — fast service! 8ty8beauty is always out of products it’s annoying.

  10. pretear said,

    TD *is* really fast. I prefer them over the others.

  11. Jason V said,

    That Key Lime Shine is really cool! I like the very subtle hint of green – it makes it much more interesting than basic silver.

    One of my all-time favorite silvers is Essie Loophole. It goes on perfectly and is nice by itself with a satin finish, or with a coat of Seche over the top, it is major bling!

    Though I’d just say this too; I think pretty much every color looks great on your perfect nails! You obviously take great care in performing your manicure, and it shows!
    Thanks also for your great reviews and pics. It really helps my wife and I decide what colors of nail polish we would like to purchase, without all the guesswork. I have been wearing my toes polished ever since she introduced me to it on a whim, and we just liked it! More men should really try it (more women shoudl really try it on them)!

  12. pretear said,

    Thank you. : ) I do the same thing, you’ll notice a lot of the polish I have is stuff that’s been featured on other blogs or by girls on the nail board. It’s nice to be able to see what things look like before buying.

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