Because I have a deeply ingrained habit of aspirational buying, I have long gazed wistfully at the Chanel nail polish collections being displayed on the MUA nail board. To me, there is really no difference at all between a $1.29 Wet n' Wild red nail polish and a $23 (!!!!) Chanel red nail polish (which is why I don't have any of the latter), but when Chanel makes unique colors I get all weak in the knees and stamp my foot in frustration because I know that paying $23 for nail polish is a silly, spoiled, ridiculous thing to do.
So, I resisted. I resisted the Jade craze and bought the $4 Claire's Boutique dupe instead. I resisted the lovely Particuliere, because I already have any number of similar colors and more inexpensive dupes are readily available. But then Chanel outsmarted me by introducing Nouvelle Vague and the Orient Extreme limited edition collection.
Illusion D'Or and Nouvelle Vague ("new wave" in French). I haven't tried Illusion D'Or over anything particularly nice yet (I just threw it on a couple nails to get a sneak peek), but I am in super love with Nouvelle Vague:
Damn you on the reals, Chanel. It's very hard to resist you when you keep making these wonderfully unique colors! Of course, some of this is in the eye of the beholder. Many women on the MUA nail board passed on Nouvelle Vague, being content with China Glaze's For Audrey. Here's a quick glance at that comparison:
For me, they're not the same. They look remarkably similar in the picture, but Nouvelle Vague has that lovely subtle shimmer, and For Audrey has a chalky quality to it that changes the look of the color on the nail. This is not to say I'm not fond of For Audrey; it's one of the first colors I bought when I started looking at swatches on the nail board and on nail blogs. The chalkiness - for lack of a better word - gives For Audrey a stand-out look that always garners a lot of compliments. It's quite unique. And if you're just looking for a light blue nail color that's attention-getting and unusual, For Audrey may fit the bill.
If however you're looking for the sophistication and dreamy quality Nouvelle Vague affords, you have another option. For me, Essie's Sag Harbor comes pretty close, although the colors are quite different. Both Nouvelle Vague and Sag Harbor are light blues with shimmer, but see for yourself how they differ:
While the tones are different, the same muted and dreamy quality is there. Given the variety of skin tones out there, Sag Harbor may even suit you better. So if you have or can purchase either of these cheaper polishes, perhaps you would be content without Nouvelle Vague. (I mean...it's nail polish so hopefully you are "content" without any of them...but...you know what I'm saying.)