When the weather gets colder and the days get shorter, there’s one beauty fact you can always count on: our appetite for vampy, sexy, dark nail shades grows even more intense. No color reflects this mood quite as well as Chanel Nail Polish in Vamp. The No. 18 polish is a deep berry creme with a slightly festive silver shimmer. Both Vamp and its close neighbor, Chanel Nail Polish in Rouge Noir (which is more of a black cherry-red), dominate as iconic gothic favorites that make us long for the 1990s.
Today’s ‘90s resurgence in fashion and beauty trends only has us more excited about dark, dramatic nails. As far as nail polishes go, Chanel Le Vernis has been around for decades and has proven itself as boasting one of the highest quality formulas on the market. There was even a time when Vamp was Chanel’s best-selling shade. But, at $28 a bottle, Chanel nail polish may not fall within your budget — and that’s okay — because these five Chanel Vamp nail polish dupes will win you over without breaking the bank.
1) Essie Wicked
This popular drugstore nail polish brand is an award-winning deep, creamy red so dark it borders on black. One bottle will cost you $9, so feel free to stock up on several shades — though this is the one to own if you want to pay homage to Chanel’s Vamp. Be sure to coat your nails with a protective clear base first — colors this dark present more of a risk of staining your nails than lighter shades.
2) Revlon Vixen
This pretty, deep oxblood shade provides buildable color that changes depending on how many layers you apply. The first layer is a brighter deep red, while two layers yield a color so dark it’s nearly black. The formula produces a shiny finish and, depending on where you purchase your bottle, it likely won’t set you back more than $6.
3) OPI Caffeine Fix
A softer take on Vamp, OPI Caffeine Fix is a wine-red mixed with espresso that produces a warmer version of the classic goth shade. If you go with just one coat, you can even expect it to take on a plum hue that gets gradually darker and richer with each layer.
4) Zoya Nail Polish in Sam
Another warm take on fall’s vampy red, this polish is a saturated red creme with strong brown undertones. Reviewers say this polish has incredible staying power and Zoya fans have long praised the brand for its 5-free formula — free of harmful chemicals like toluene, camphor, DBP, formaldehyde, and formaldehyde resin.
5) ManiPure in Bad Girl
A non-toxic, vegan nail polish brand that is never tested on animals, ManiPure in Bad Girl is a blackberry shade — perfect for anyone who loves Vamp, but wishes it were just a little bit darker (and more vamp-y). Like Zoya, this is a 5-free nail polish that contains absolutely no toluene, camphor, DBP, formaldehyde, and formaldehyde resin.