Thursday, 14 October 2010


Non-nail-fans turn away now, things are about to get serious. I purchased Chanel's Paradoxal, but not before some serious umm-ing and ah-ing.
You see, I'd popped along to Selfridges to give it a whirl, fell in love instantly, and wasted no time in buying that baby before it had chance to sell out.
I continued on my shopping way, fully intending this to be my only splurge while helping your friend and mine Beth buy a new wardrobe for the brand-new job of her dreams. We all know how that worked out.
But, imagine my surprise upon venturing into Topshop Oxford Circus that Barry M has a new shade also - Dusky Mauve. How did I not know about this? It's an absolute blatant rip-off of Paradoxal and the most accurate polish dupe I've ever seen. I was in turmoil. Do I keep my wonderful Chanel or return it unopened and plump for the purse-friendly polish by Bargainistas' fave Barry?
 In the end I couldn't face the no-doubt haughty reaction of the Chanel girls upon my trying to explain why I would buy a nail polish one day and return it the next - I image their regular customers don't have to worry about such minor burdens as buyers' remorse.
But Beth picked up the Barry M and we set about seeing just how accurate the pair are on the nail by wearing one each. First, the Paradoxal - two coats plus Seche Vite.
Look at the gleam; look at the glisten; look at that amazing shade of mauve that goes with everything from nudes to rust, blues to pinks, black brown and white. I adore it.
Now for the Barry M, two coats, again with Seche Vite.
Look at the gleam; look at the glisten; look at that amazing shade of mauve that goes with everything from nudes to rust, blues to pinks, black brown and white.Yep, the difference is imperceptable. I'd say the Chanel is easier to apply, and a little more robust with only two coats, but the shade is exactly the same, and they both have that fabulous glisten that's seen best in natural daylight. With the naked eye, they look less sparkly than the above flash pics suggest.
When I didn't use the flash you couldn't see the glisten at all. Here are those for comparison. The naked eye sees something in between the above and below images. (Sorry, this polish is famously hard to capture on camera!) Chanel first, then Barry M:
So. Do I wish I'd gone for Barry M? My bank balance would say yes. But actually, it's so rare I ever own a designer original, I feel justified in going to the source for this shade. It truly is an innovative colour in the nails market, developed with care, research, experience and attention by Chanel. So it feels right to pay more for their dedication to creating new trends in nail colour.
Does that mean I won't recommend the Barry M to everyone I meet? Hell no! This almost exact dupe is a mere fifth of the Chanel Paradoxal price, and let's face it, Chanel probably doesn't need your £16.50. But for me, it's nice to know I have something a little special in my beauty repertoire, and for that reason Chanel's Paradoxal will be my go-to shade for Autumn.
If you managed to get to the end of this essay, well done! You get to find out early that I'll be giving away a bottle of the Barry M version in an up-coming comp, so stay tuned!


  1. omg im so shocked - that is just the same polish in 2 different bottles.... with extremly different price tags!
    fab dupes!

  2. Wow that is crazy. I do love the chanel packaging though, as we all know thats what you're paying for! :D x

  3. woooooooow how come -,-"
    wanna exchange link? or just follow each other?
    xo, Lorine

  4. This post has made me wantwantwant both of them.
    I linked your post here
    Hope that's okay, let me know, I'm new to the blogging world! xE

  5. Hiya Emma!
    I would have commented on your blog but you haven't turned comments on! Thanks so much for the link, it means a lot - glad you like the blog. Yours looks fab - can;t wait for more!
    Tor xxx

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  7. love the colour, definetly be picking up the Barry M version though to keep my bank balance happy! xXx

  8. Oops! Turned it on now! Cheers for pointing it out, I've got alot to learn apparently haha xx


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