Chanel Vamp Round-up (1994-2015)


In 1994, Chanel launched Vamp, starting a trend for nontraditional nail polish colors.  Vamp was developed out of Karl Lagerfeld's desire for a dark polish that would show up in black and white photos.  Chanel's makeup director Dominique Moncourtois created the original effect with black marker over red nail polish.

The demand for $15 Vamp was so high that there were months-long waiting lists. This would happen again for Chanel 12 years later with the release of Black Satin.  If eBay had been around in the early '90s, Vamp would be on it with gigantic mark-up.  

If you need more proof on how iconic Vamp was at the time, check out Uma Thurman in Pulp Fiction and Madonna's "Take A Bow" video.  Both women wear Vamp in these respective videos.

Vamp was also known as Rouge Noir in France, very fitting for a blackened red nail polish.  I bought my bottle of Rouge Noir in a 2008 holiday set.

Rouge Noir/Vamp (originally released 1994, 2008 bottle)(three coats):  blackened red creme

A year later, Chanel decided to capitalize on the trend by spawning other incarnations of Vamp.  This included Metallic Vamp and Very Vamp.

Metallic Vamp/Rouge Argent (1995) (two coats):  purple metallic shimmer

Chanel Very Vamp/Rouge Tres Noir (1995) (three coats):  reddish-brown with a fine shimmer

Why is my 2008 bottle named Rouge Noir instead of Vamp?  Chanel re-released Vamp as a different color in 2003.  The 2003 Vamp is a wine shimmer instead of a blackened red creme.  My bottle of the new Vamp was purchased in 2007.  I was expecting the original Vamp but did not realize it was sold as Rouge Noir, not Vamp.

Chanel Vamp.jpg

Vamp (originally re-released 2003, 2007 bottle) (three coats):  wine red shimmer

21 years after the initial release of Vamp/Rouge Noir, Chanel's 2015 Holiday collection featured a repromote of Rouge Noir and a new polish, Le Top Coat Lame Rouge Noir.

Le Top Coat Lame Rouge (one coat over Rouge Noir) (2015): gold flake glitter in a sheer red jelly base

This top coat is tricky to work with...I assume that Chanel did not use a suspension base since all the glitter sinks to the bottom. Like Outkast said, you've got to shake it like a Polaroid picture.

Rouge Noir and Vamp are both still available in Chanel's current nail polish line.  Be warned, the price is significantly higher than in 1994 ($28).