Compare Swatches
Steph's Closet Nail Polish Blog & Photo Gallery

Wednesday, December 1st, 2010

Splurge vs Steal: Revlon and Chanel

Revlon Perplex Nail Polish

Revlon Perplex Nail Polish

It's another edition of Splurge vs Steal, and this time Revlon gives us their take on the popular Paradoxal from Chanel. Ever since the display pictures went live in the Photo Gallery, my inbox was flooding with requests by the minute. So without further ado, meet Perplex.

Perplex is grayish taupe with loads of purple shimmer. Much like Paradoxal, Perplex is a chameleon. It has the ability to shift colors depending on the different lighting you're in. Is it gray, taupe or purple? All three, but who really knows?!

Check out a comparison below.

Revlon Perplex nail Polish Comparisons

A question that's on everyone's mind-- How does Perplex compare to Paradoxal? And I have to say, it's a close race. Even though both colors have the same appearance after two coats, you can start to see the purple tones in Perplex peek out. Bonus!

My Observations. After playing around in various types of lighting, I noticed a couple differences between the two. Paradoxal has more of a taupe/brown base while Perplex leans towards a gray/taupe with heavy amounts of purple shimmer. 

Check out a few alternatives below.

Revlon Perplex Bottle Comparisons  

Alternatives. Since I wasn't able to include Barry M's Dusky Mauve in the comparison above, here is a bottle line up to give you an idea. If you're looking for a true-to-life dupe, this is it! Dusky Mauve has a taupe/brown base that identical matches Paradoxal. Once we have better weather here, I promise to update my comparison.   

Also, Nina Never Glum Plum is another excellent alternative. It's a cream finish opposed to a shimmer, but you can easily recreate the look using CND's Effects in Amethyst Sparkle or a similar top coat.

Is Paradoxal A Franken Monster? A long, long, time ago I heard a rumor that Paradoxal was a franken baby from Particuliere and Vendetta. After getting wind of this, you know I rushed straight home to play chemist. Although I can't confirm if this is fact from Chanel, it's a great start (wink, wink).

Revlon Perplex Indoors 

Overall - Even with the slight differences in base color, I think it's safe to call Perplex an adequate dupe. It may not be a dead ringer for Paradoxal, but it certainly falls in the 93 percentile range. Two thumbs up Revlon!

Sometimes it's hard to determine if these collections are really limited edition or not. So, I put an email in to my Revlon rep and they clarified that Perplex is a "One Time Only Shade." If you're in love with the color, I'd definitely recommend picking up a back up before they are gone! 

Perplex is now available at CVS or Ulta stores and retails for $4.99/ea. What do you guys think? Paradoxal or Peprlex? Have a wonderful Wednesday!

(14) Comments

Naomi said on Dec 1st, 2010 3:32 pm
I didn't get Paradoxal, but I've been keeping my eye out for Perplex... I hope it shows up around here soon!

Dee said on Dec 1st, 2010 6:00 pm
I just got back from Ulta, having bought Revlon Perplex. I was concerned it would be too much like Zoya Kelly, but that is a creme. Anyway, I'm never buying Chanel anything. :) I'm looking forward to trying out my Perplex.

Prettytoya said on Dec 1st, 2010 10:34 pm
Been waiting for this one to hit the stores! Can't WAIT!!!

Marisa said on Dec 1st, 2010 10:54 pm
I was seriously considering shelling out the $23 for the ridiculously over-priced Chanel. Just in the nick of time, Revlon came to rescue my thinly stretched dollars! I LOVE Revlon's Perplex. It applied and wore beautifully. After trying Chanel's Paradoxal at the Chanel counter, I'd say Perplex is a dead-on dupe and there isn't enough difference to justify the extra $18.

Jen said on Dec 2nd, 2010 1:39 pm
The Barry M is a nice polish. This isn't a special enough shade for me to need it or even need the dupe.

Feline said on Dec 3rd, 2010 9:27 am
Nice job, as always, Steph! :) Being in Sweden though, my question is: which one of these has the nicest formula? Which one should I go over the top to try to grab with my long overseas arm? :D In all honesty I already do have the Chanel, but I hated the formula... Dollars well spent there. :/ If I knew any of the others applies flawlessly, I'd like to get it instead. :) <3

Marisa said on Dec 3rd, 2010 11:44 am
Feline, Get the Revlon...great, flawless formula :)

Steph said on Dec 7th, 2010 7:47 pm
Hi Feline,
Oh crap!!! I totally forgot to mention anything about the formula, so sorry about that! I'm totally with Marisa, it's near perfect..! If it's easy to get a hold of, I would def go for it :)

Karli said on Dec 3rd, 2010 9:36 pm
Thanks so much for the comparison photos! It's much appreciated. You got me hooked on Never Glum Plum :-) and I just had to get Paradoxal. Now, I have to have Perplexed. I haven't found it in my area yet, but am now on a quest. I'm obsessed with these colors!

Frankenstyna said on Dec 6th, 2010 8:41 pm
I have both Paradoxal and Perplex. I have been wearing Perplex, but haven't had a chance to compare the two side by side. Thanks for sharing that little tidbit of information about Paradoxal possibly being a FRANKEN!!! So cool! :)

Mary said on Dec 6th, 2010 9:26 pm
Wow, what a pretty and affordable dupe! Thanks for sharing.

Angel said on Dec 7th, 2010 7:41 pm
OMG, are you serious? Perplex is a LE color, for the longest time I was hoping it was perm... ugggh!

karlene said on Dec 9th, 2010 7:03 pm
my original post hasnt showed up yet, but my duane reade (white plains, ny) had a untoched display, pretty cool, selling at $4.79 w/ a $1.00 using flex rewards, so it's still out there

Elle said on Jan 30th, 2011 7:38 am
Thanks for the post about these Steph, I had seen perplex on a few nail blogs and really liked it. I just found a display of them for, get this, a $1 at my local Biglots (New Castle, PA) So, if anyone wants to get backups of it I would say head out to BigLots!:)

Connect with Facebook

Post Your Comment

(Not Published)

Follow StephsCloset on Twitter Become a Fan on Facebook Subscribe to Youtube
Login, contact and learn more about my passion!
Latest feedback from my loyal readers

Patricia said, on Sep 26th, 2012 12:11 pm regarding Product Review: Red Carpet Manicure Pro Kit
Hi Steph,
Love your blog. You wrote: Always wrap the free edge or tip throughout each step. I didn't see this step in the video. Could you please explain how to do the wrap process and with what material. Thank you.

Megan said, on Sep 8th, 2012 1:12 am regarding Product Review: Red Carpet Manicure Pro Kit
I am wondering if these gel polishes can be used with other gels. I have a different system with a different brand of base coat and top coat, can the different brands of gel mix?

Shelly said, on Aug 19th, 2012 3:43 pm regarding Product Review: Red Carpet Manicure Pro Kit
I've had my kit for a couple of months now and love the way it lasts; but the Structure and Brilliance brushes are starting to stiffen and so is the gel in the bottles. Anyone else having that issue? Is there a way to thin them out?

Jill said, on Aug 8th, 2012 5:47 pm regarding Product Review: Red Carpet Manicure Pro Kit
Hi, does anyone know if I can thin out the red carpet base coat so that it is easier to apply?

Steph said, on Jul 3rd, 2012 4:14 pm regarding Wet n Wild Flash Dry Nail Colors
Hi Prinzy,
It was a gorgeous color! I remember picking up a few bottles because I loved the color so much! lol! Actually, yes, I'm launching a store in the next couple of weeks. I have everything built, I'm just working on the Terms and Conditions right now, so it should be very, very soon.

I only have about 10 Studio M colors in the store currently, but I will be taking special pre-orders once it opens.

prinzy said, on Jul 3rd, 2012 3:47 pm regarding Wet n Wild Flash Dry Nail Colors
I missed out on speed, looks like a gorgeous high-end purple. btw, are you still thinking of selling studio m nail polishes on your website? thanks

sarah said, on Jun 14th, 2012 8:03 am regarding Summer Collection: China Glaze Poolside
thanks :)

Steph said, on Jun 13th, 2012 2:04 pm regarding Summer Collection: China Glaze Poolside
Hi Sarah,
I'm not sure about retail stores, but you can still find them on

Sarah said, on Jun 12th, 2012 2:19 pm regarding Summer Collection: China Glaze Poolside
Can I still buy them in the stores now?

Debra said, on May 26th, 2012 4:59 pm regarding Product Review: Red Carpet Manicure Pro Kit
I've been playing with this system for about a month now. I love it! When I first started I used the clear just so I could get a feel for it. Then I got adventurous and tried a "sandwich" with a China Glaze color. It probably would have stayed on longer if I had been able to seal off the edges, but my nails were so short it was a bit difficult. The next time I used RCM gel polish in Simply Stunning (a pale slightly shimmery nude color). This time I had gotten enough practice to really make my coats thin and it worked out fabulous. I'm trying to send all my friends the Ulta 20% coupon (5/26 is the last day) so they can get a kit for about $64. :) Now I hope to get a little creative with color combos and nail design. Thanks for the review.

Read Past Blog Entries
Find what you need organized nicely
View subscribers or subscribe yourself!
Browse awesome images in the photo gallery
Link Love
Sendin' love to all my favorite divas!
Subscribe to Feed Feeds
Keep up with Steph's Closet!

Page Generated in 0.12 seconds