Lessons In Nail Lacquer History: Chanel Vamp and 20 Years of Insanity

Today’s current polish craze isn’t as new as it seems.  Back in 1994, one polish started it all:  Chanel Vamp.


Rouge Noir is the current incarnation of 1994’s Vamp.  It’s the classic vampy crème:  blackened cherry.  Granted, this isn’t a must-have with all the cheaper alternatives out in the market but it’s still the original.

Despite the similar popularity of other Chanels (e.g., 2006’s Black Satin, 2009’s Jade), they will all allude to the Vamp craze.  The mile-long waiting lists were also driven by Uma Thurman’s Vamp mani in Pulp Fiction.



The trend also spurred two spin-offs:  1996’s Metallic Vamp and Very VampMetallic Vamp is a purple shimmer and Very Vamp is a chocolate red with gold shimmer.


In 2003, Vamp was re-released but is lighter than the original and contains shimmer.  When I first started collecting polish in 2007, I was shocked to see this difference since I was expecting the original I had seen in my childhood Cosmo magazines. (I was a strange child.)

Rouge Noir is still available (limited edition in the US, permanent overseas) along with the current Vamp.  If Vamp is a little too rich for your blood, there’s always Revlon Vixen, Essie Wicked and Zoya Casey to bring you back to 1994!

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More about Janice

Janice Agagas-Welch is a Filipino Navy brat raised in Northwest Florida living the good life in the Lowcountry. She’s a married dog mom and licensed nail technician who has owned over 2000 polishes over the last 5 years. She also loves food, cider, mid-1990s R&B, college football and anything Peanuts/Snoopy-related.

2 thoughts on “Lessons In Nail Lacquer History: Chanel Vamp and 20 Years of Insanity

  1. Kaz

    LOVE this post. Hooray for vintage Chanel!


    1. Princess Cookie

      Thank you so much <3


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