- The best match by far is OPI You Don't Know Jacques! ($8), which really does look like Particulière from a distance. Upon closer inspection, Jacques is a bit grayer than its fancier counterpart, and I could see it being especially flattering for ladies with cool undertones.
- Another very close shade is Essie Mink Muffs ($8), which is slightly more brown than the Chanel color. With a gray or white base coat and careful application, though, I think this one can be made into a pretty convincing match.
- Borghese Biscotti Beige ($8) is also close, although side by side you can certainly see the difference. It's got all the brown of Particulière, but with a softening dose of mauve. It's a more subtle color than the Chanel, so if you'd like to stay on trend but don't want something harsh, I'd suggest finding a bottle of this. (Find a list of stores that carry Borghese polishes here.)
Earlier this year, Borghese launched a nail care division, and they have created a collection of amazing products. Without going into each and every item, the main event is their nail lacquer ($7.59). The creamy and self-leveling polish (this means that it manages to somehow side-step streaking) comes in 48 shades that range from pale pink to deep melons and browns.
What's great is that they are free of DBP, toluene and formaldehyde, but what makes them stand apart in a crowd is the coolest brush I've ever encountered.
They call it duale curve tip, because it contains two brushes that are fitted side by side in the handle so that it covers your entire nail bed in one fell swoop. OK, so I'm exaggerating a little bit — it covers all of my nails besides my wide thumbnail all at once.
The polishes contain proteins (to hydrate and strengthen), olive leaf extract (to seal in moisture), ground up semi-precious jewels (for intense shine) and Vitamin E (for a silky texture). The lacquer is creamy, brilliant and dries fairly quickly. For the large bottles, I also think the price is fair. Think you'd be interested in trying out a new Borghese nail polish?
Finding the right base coat is a critical first step in creating the perfect at-home manicure. If you use one that doesn't have a decent adhesive quality, then the color you've just applied is likely to peel off quickly.
An instant peel or chip on your freshly manicured hands feels like a big waste of time. Here are three brilliant base coats that I've been using for years — and as always, if you have a favorite of your own, please tell me what it is in a comment below.
As far as base coats go, I've always considered Nailtiques Nail Protein Formula 2 ($9.50) a treat because it's fairly expensive. Also, I think it's nothing short of a miracle worker on weak, peeling nails, so if I can muster up the self-control to let some actual white tips grow in, I reward myself with a coat of this keratin enriched base coat. If you're a first-time user, it is recommended to apply one coat every other day for a week without color, and then apply it as a base coat and a top coat to your next manicure.
Borghese Brilliante Base & Top Coat ($6.74) dries quickly while providing a thin, yet adequate base for your manicure. It contains granules of gemstones for added shine, proteins to help your nails grow stronger and it seals in moisture for healthier nails. Also, it's toluene, DBP and formaldehyde free.
For one more drugstore base coat option, read more