Chanel Paradoxal: My Love Affair

*Please excuse the sloppy paint job! I didn't have time to clean it up before the sun went down but I did manage to capture the versatility of the color.

Chanel Paradoxal is one of the two varnishes released in the Fall of 2010.

Color and Finish: I gave this post the title "My Love Affair" because my favorite color to wear on my fingernails is gold. I'm not one to cheat on gold and wear a dark color consistently but Paradoxal has been my go-to shade since I've purchased it. Indoors and away from the windows, it's a rich and creamy, graphite-tinged, ultra-cool purple. It's nowhere near as dramatic as black but has more edge than your average purple. In the sunlight, however, Paradoxal transforms. I catch myself staring at my nails in front of the window just to peek again at the mesmerizing effect of Paradoxal's burgundy and violet shimmers. The purple base color of the varnish also changes to a more vibrant and red-based. This varnish's color is heavily dependent on the lighting!

Application: Paradoxal applies similarly to Particuliere, so I recommend two thin layers or one heavy coat. I've tested both methods numerous times now but I prefer the latter to avoid brush strokes. Also, this varnish sets fairly quickly. I prefer rapidly drying nail varnishes because it allows for fewer opportunities to dent-or ruin completely-my nails!

Dupe: This shade has no dupe. Yes, a few may be somewhat similar but duality of the varnish is what makes Paradoxal truly unique! No other shade I own [or have seen] looks so creamy in the shade and under fluorescent lights but so shimmery in under the sun's rays. And unlike with Mistral, the shimmer particles are quite apparent!

Verdict: Cool purples are hard for me to wear because the grey tones can make my hands look ashy. Paradoxal, however, is a success! I have seen it look a bit muddy on some women who have a bit of ruddiness to their skin but thankfully, my hands are much more yellow than my face so Paradoxal suits my hands well.

RAEview's Rating: A


  1. Only one of the pictures work, but the color is so beautiful. Thank you for this thorough review, Rachel!

    Oh, some of your other pictures don't seem to work either.

  2. I love it Paradoxal. I'll wear it come Sept.
    Awesome review :-)

  3. yay, the pictures are showing up! :)

    love this color! i've been debating and debating about getting it.. hmm.. maybe if i wait long enough it'll just be sold out and i wont' have to worry xD if it's not sold out already!

  4. Anon - I had issues with the Flickr settings but they were fixed so the photos should show up now!

    Emilie - Thank you very much! ^^ Have fun with it!

    Izumi - It's still available at a few counters :) You might regret not picking this one up, though! It's "the" fall color hehe

  5. I love this color! I'm still working my Jade Rose until I really feel fall. Then I'll whip out my Paradoxal. :) I bet you are partly to blame if this sells out at counters and online. hehe. Though right now it is still available at nordstrom.com!

  6. I am loving this color! :D Been wondering if I should pick up Particuliere as well. As always, thanks for the review! ^^

  7. Beautiful. It's the reason why we stock up on backups of this polish!!!

  8. How much is this nail varnish btw? I'd love to buy one. Thanks

  9. Stephanie - I'm a rebel so I wear whatever I colors I feel like wearing, regardless of the season! ^_~ But Jade Rose is a lovely summer shade and it's not too bright. I think I'll buy another Paradoxal soon, just because I've been wearing it so often!

    Susan - They're $23 + tax

  10. I purchased mine a couple of weeks ago from Nordstrom, but I won't get it until the first part of September. I've been wearing the YSL Ultra Violet and Chanel Particuliar lately. I love them both!!!

    And of course you know that this is a great as usual. Take care and I'll be emailing you soon.

  11. Rae: what is yr favorite gold polish? Will u show us?

  12. Kim - I have YSL's Ultra Violet on my nails right now! LOL I love the YSL varnishes. The Fall Duo is so nice but the bottles are TINY!!

    Anon - I'll be reviewing all three of my favorites! OPI's Glitzerland Review just got posted. Orly's Luxe and Chanel's Gold Lame will be next!

  13. You have nice nails :-) I got this, too, I like it! I like anything Chanel, though, really... I also got the eyeshadow quad.

  14. I've been deliberating over getting this nail polish for the past few weeks (first time I saw it was in your haul video. I blame you! :P). I'm going to take the plunge and get it! Pretty excited for it!

  15. rae - just wanted to let you know that a website (loosebutton) has paradoxal available for sale at the moment!! :)



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