Last month, I added a poll widget to the blog asking y'all to help me choose among a red creme, a red shimmer, a red foil, and a red glass fleck. 80% of you voted for the red creme, so this post's for you!
The official description on the RBL site is as follows: Chinoise "makes your nails look as if they've been lacquered like a Chinese screen" and is dedicated to Diana Vreeland. Fashionista friends, please don't turn up your pretty noses at me for needing to ask myself, "Who is Diana Vreeland, again?"
And then I realized I HAD heard of Ms. Vreeland before. You know that scene in "To Wong Foo, Thanks For Everything, Julie Newmar" where Patrick Swayze's character, Vida Boheme, gifts the stuttering thrift store owner with a book? That book was Diana Vreeland's memoirs. So the good news is that if you also saw that movie, then you've also heard of Diana Vreeland (the "hats for career girls" quote? That's her, too). She was born into high society in Paris, and is mainly known for her work first as a columnist, then fashion editor for Harper's Bazaar before serving as Vogue's editor-in-chief for eight years until 1971.
Even then, I wasn't sure what red had to do with D.V., so I pulled up her Wikipedia page and discovered that she'd had one of her New York City apartments decorated entirely in red. She was famously quoted as saying, "I want this place to look like a garden, but a garden in hell." As the kids say these days, achievement unlocked.
All of this red also turns out to be very strawberry social.
So is this RBL shade as epic as its inspiration (D.V., that is)? Hells, YES.
Three coats with SV.
Noxie wants to know ...
(And LOL FOREVER @ Michael Vartan. He is beautiful, but he was unbearably boring on "Alias," sry2say.)
Everything everyone has said about this red is true. It is BOSS. If Chinoise were a fictional character, it would be the Dread Pirate Roberts (it takes no prisoners). The weekend I wore this, I started out feeling sickly, but this did help perk me up a little. This is a warmer red that looked a lot warmer on me in artificial light than it did with natural light.
The formula was excellent, too. It's got that jelly-creme texture, a wee bit squishy but also wonderfully opaque. Chinoise is perfectly pigmented and applies like butter. If you use a careful touch, you can get this on in one coat. I don't understand the fuss with one-coaters -- that's probably because I need at least two to get everything nice and even, and then three usually makes for wonderful color depth, hence my three-coater habit. Very minimal clean-up was needed, which is pretty liberating for a red. I don't know what it is about reds, but I can never do a clean-up-free manicure with one.
I'm not sure when Chinoise was originally released, but I vaguely remember word of its return back in Spring 2008. It is currently available on the RBL site for $18 (the link at the top of the post will take you to the page for Chinoise) and it is part of the core RBLs, two more of which I plan to share here next month. I know I paid full price for Chinoise in 2010, and if you're wondering whether it's worth the $18 ... I made you this thing.
Is Chinoise a must-have for your collection, or does this hot red leave you feeling cold? Have you been influenced by Diana Vreeland or any great woman of style? Who's your favorite character from "To Wong Foo"? It's hard for me to choose among Vida, Noxeema and ChiChi at any given moment, though Vida gives some of the best advice, IMO. I remember posting this particular Vida Boheme pearl of wisdom on Facebook on the day Patrick Swayze died:
"Now, you listen to your Auntie Vida. I want you to believe in yourself, imagine good things and moisturize. I cannot stress this enough."
I hate inspirational quotes and anything that masquerades as an inspirational quote (when people continue to post quotes on Facebook, it gets a bit trite) but these words absolutely are words to live by. To borrow from Noxeema Jackson, I think we'd all do well to make Hollywood wherever we're at. When you've got a red like Chinoise, you've got substance and style -- you're practically there.