Developed in 1994 under the creative direction of Chanel’s director of makeup creation, Dominique Moncourtois, an alluring cherry-black nail polish took the beauty world by storm, defying the conventional trend of lighter nail shades favoured by mainstream cosmetic companies at that time.
The “Vamp” nail polish (also known as “Rogue Noir” in the UK market) was so legendary, it became the fifth bestselling nail polish in the world by the end of the century. Today, it even boasts its own Wikipedia page.
According to a 1995 blog archive from The Oklahoman, stores had to weather a long, dry spell after the city polished off their supplies by December in the previous year.
“In April, we had a 59-person waiting list. Surprisingly, its popularity isn’t fading – even though summer usually signals a return to bright pink or pastel polish,” a Chanel store personnel noted.
Where have you seen it?
The demand for “Vamp” was so strong all over the country that Chanel could not ship enough at times. And it wasn’t just the public that was enamoured with this ultra cool shade either, A-listers were vying for it too.
Rumour has it that Madonna herself called Karl Lagerfeld’s office to request samples of the new shade, the day after it was shown during Chanel’s 1994 spring/summer runway show. “Vamp” eventually made an appearance in her Take a Bow music video.
Actress Demi Moore allegedly had no other choice than to purchase the tester of the famous nail polish as there were no new ones available in Beverly Hills.
The colour of “Vamp” is best described as a dark burgundy colour with a hint of purple and micro shimmer that’s understatedly chic. As with all other shades in the Le Vernis line by Chanel, it’s a long-wearing, extra-fine, and ultra-shiny nail polish that provides a lacquered finish.
This edgy shade also fits in well with the Dark Feminine aesthetic that’s been circulating on TikTok in recent months. Some have described the colour to be the perfect “dried blood” shade, and we’re expecting an increased demand for it as Halloween rolls around.
Chanel “Vamp” aka “Rogue Noir” Le Vernis Nail Colour retails for RM125 and is available at Chanel.my.
Dupes for the iconic shade
While not exact to the viral 90’s nail polish shade, here are some close alternatives that you can get your hands on.
Sephora Collection Color Hit Nail Polish in “Private Boudoir”
This elegant deep red shade from Sephora’s very own collection is a wallet-friendly alternative to the famous Chanel polish.
Sephora Collection Color Hit Nail Polish in “Private Boudoir” retails for RM24 at Sephora.my.
Butter London Patent Shine 10X Nail Lacquer in “Afters”
This shade from Butter London is a slightly more cool-toned version of “Vamp”.
Butter London Patent Shine 10X Nail Lacquer in “Afters” retails for RM80 at Sephora.my.
Revlon Creme Nail Enamel “Vixen”
This is probably the closest dupe to Chanel’s vamp we’ve found, by well-loved drugstore brand, Revlon.
Revlon Creme Nail Enamel in “Vixen” retails for USD7.78 (RM36.45)at Amazon.com. A sale is available at the time of writing. Click in to see the latest price!
Featured image credit: @Yuanbao and Xiaotian porridge/Xiao Hong Shu, @erinparsonsmakeup/TikTok