(Eye of Copernicus is a press sample.)
Back in 1996, Chanel and Seventeen magazine sponsored a “color of the year” nail polish color competition. The inaugural winner was the now-legendary Ciel de Nuit/Night Sky, the birth of my first lemming.
I didn’t pursue this lemming until I saw it for auction on eBay in 2009. By then I had started to collect nail polish and I HAD to have it in my collection…which resulted in my highest-priced polish ever. I lost the auction initially, but the seller offered to sell me another for my bid price ($140) in a second-chance offer.
Ciel de Nuit/Night Sky is a deep navy jelly filled with fine silver glitter.
As with many trends, Ciel de Nuit spawned knock-offs galore. The most well-known one is Essie’s Starry Starry Night, released in 1997. I admired SSN from afar, initially thinking in 2008 that $50 was too much to spend on a polish…little did I know that I would eventually bid $120 in an eBay auction to obtain it at the end of 2009.
Starry Starry Night is a dark royal blue jelly filled with fine silver glitter.
Now that we’ve addressed the two main night sky polishes, here are the myriad knock-offs.
Essie's Retro Revival of Starry Starry Night was a huge let-down. I feel like they didn't even try to emulate the original.
Chinoiserie Stellar Night
Christian Dior Sparkling Blueberry
Wet 'N Wild The Nail Zone Starry Night
Bonne Bell NailGear Scandal
Fing'rs Bear Blue Glitter
Revlon Street Wear Dark
Rescue Beauty Lounge Under The Stars
Nat Robbins Midnight Hour
Naturistics Super Shine Crystal Blue Pearl
Maybelline Express Finish Zip Fly
Chi Chi Moondust
China Glaze Skyscraper
Orly Silent Night
BB Couture For Men Night Ops
L'Oreal LaquiResist Ocean
Here are differences I’ve noticed while swatching:
Base color: CdN has a deep navy base, while SSN is a dark royal blue. Jessica Twilight and Naturistics Crystal Blue Pearl have indigo-leaning bases.
Glitter: The traditional glitter is a fine silver glitter. SW Dark and RBL Under the Stars have glass-flecks rather than glitter. The glitter in the Bonne Bell and Retro Revival SSN is significantly larger. The glitter also differs in volume, from heavier proportions in ChG Skyscraper and Chi Chi Moondust to sparser in WnW Starry Night.
Opacity: The glass-flecked polishes are more opaque than most of the glitter polishes. Zip Fly has an opaque shimmer base.
If you’re looking for ready-to-buy options, here are two:
Pretty Serious Cosmetics Eye of Copernicus was developed from Chanel Ciel de Nuit. Kaz, the overlord of Pretty Serious Cosmetics, sacrificed more than half of her bottle for the cause. I was ecstatic when this was released, because I was down to 40% of my bottle of CdN and could finally conserve it.
Colors by Llarowe Twinkle Twinkle Little Star is a close facsimile of Essie Starry Starry Night.
Phew, that was a lot. I hope you enjoy this post...I spent 2 weekends swatching! Thanks for reading if you made it all the way down here!