Chanel Le Vernis Longwear in Gitane, swatch

Chanel — Gitane (Le Vernis Longwear) Swatch & Review

Collection: Chanel Spring 2016, Le Vernis Longwear Nail Colour [Launch]

Guys, I’m in trouble.

Earlier this month, I picked up two of Chanel’s reformulated Le Vernis Nail Colour—now renamed Le Vernis Longwear Nail Colour—in Gitane, a tomato red, and Roubachka, a vampy purple. I’ve only swatched Gitane so far, but it is love. True, unassailable love.

From Chanel:

The newly-renovated 5-free formula features Bioceramics and Ceramides to improve the quality of nails. In an arresting palette of 15 trend-setting shades, including bestselling cult favorites and daring new colours.

I’m not a Chanel expert, but some of the re-released shades include Rouge Noir, Vamp, Pirate, Shantung, Ballerina, and Particulière. I was kind of hoping for Black Satin and Lotus Rouge, but I guess they can wait. Incidentally, I no longer see the older polishes available at Chanel’s US site, so if there was an older shade you wanted, it might be prudent to pick it up sooner rather than later. My Shoppers Drug Mart, for example, still had loads of them in stock.

I’m not going to declare the entire line a huge success from just one shade, since, let’s be honest, red creams are typically the best-performing shades in any collection. Must be something about the pigments used…

But Gitane? It is hands down the best fiery red cream I have ever used, and I, as a red nail polish fiend, have tried many.

Gitane (510) is, as I said, a vibrant tomato red cream. It’s medium-toned and basically perfection. Intense but not scary, bright but not garish. Chanel almost always gets colors exactly right, and this is no exception.

Chanel Le Vernis Longwear Nail Colour in Gitane
Chanel Le Vernis Longwear Nail Colour in Gitane

The name appears to be derived from the French for “gypsy woman”, according to Gitane, a French bicycle company.

The bottle is essentially the same as the old one, except the design on the front is slightly changed. I mentioned in my haul post that the polish shade name and number have moved from the front of the bottle to the back, leaving the front looking quite bare, as though it’s missing something.

The new brush is also different from the old one, which was long, round and on the skinny side. The new design doesn’t follow the current trend of massively wide, flat brushes: instead, it remains long and a little skinny, but it’s oval-shaped:

Chanel Le Vernis Longwear Nail Colour in Gitane, brush

Chanel Le Vernis Longwear Nail Colour in Gitane, brush

I still prefer Dior’s large paddle-shaped brush, but Chanel’s new brush works fine. It’s definitely superior to the one they used to have. One itty bitty complaint I have is that either the neck of the bottle is narrower or the polish formula is thicker (or both), because polish would collect inside the neck and every time I stuck the brush back in to get the excess polish off, it would make a sucking sound! It took me a moment to figure out where the hell the sound was coming from, the first time it happened.

Application is superb. Many of the older polishes were beautiful colors, but the formula let them down. Chanel has rectified this entirely, at least with Gitane. The formula is luxuriously gel-like in consistency. It is a one-coat wonder, though as usual I prefer the plusher look of two coats, so that is what my main swatches show. Here’s a swatch photo I took when there was just one coat applied:

Chanel Le Vernis Longwear Nail Colour in Gitane, one coat swatch

Here’s the two-coat version (I can’t believe it took me so long to realize that my wee sausage fingers hold the bottle less awkwardly without the square cap on):

Chanel Le Vernis Longwear Nail Colour in Gitane, swatch

If Roubachka performs anywhere near as well as Gitane does, I’ll be on a quest to collect as many of these babies as I can. Vamp and Mythique will be mine! I might even repurchase Rouge Noir for a superior formula. Hopefully, they’ll introduce some brights for summer, as well.

Chanel Le Vernis Longwear Nail Colour in Gitane, label


Chanel Le Vernis Longwear Nail Colour retails for US$28 / CA$32 and is 0.4 US fl oz / 13 mL. Just like the older formula, the polish is 5-free (no toluene, formaldehyde, formaldehyde resin, dibutyl phthalate (DBP), and camphor). It is made in France.

Chanel S.A. is a private company based in Paris, France. It was originally founded in 1909 by Gabrielle “Coco” Chanel; its current owners are descendants of one of her early business partners.


7 thoughts on “Chanel — Gitane (Le Vernis Longwear) Swatch & Review

  1. Pretty colour, i’d never touched the old formulas because they had such an iffy formula, I’m planning on picking up some Chanel items as part of a loyalty points splurge so maybe I should add a nail polish on. I kind of half like the updated packaging with no name/half agree with you that it looks like something’s missing, I guess it’s because we’re used to seeing these look a certain way!
    Look forward to hearing your thoughts on Roubachka, I have my eye on Marinere and curious if the dark shades are as good – hopefully it’s another One Coat Wonder, I reach for those a lot in a rush and add a second coat when I get round to it!


  2. oh no, I hoped it wouldn’t be good. my poor wallet, haha. I’ll wait for your other review to decide.
    by the way, over here in Europe the bottles look different. the name is on the front like on the old bottles. you can tell they’re the new ones, though because they say “Le Vernis Longwear” also on the front.


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