YSL Belle de Nuit Manicure Duo: Duping the Look for Less!

Monday, September 13, 2010

YSL came out with nail polishes sets that they call "Manicure Couture Duos", and for US$30 (or more if you're outside the US) you can get two polishes that are supposed to go with each other to produce a chic take on the traditional french manicure. In particular,one of the set of shades, Belle de Nuit, is rip-roaringly popular for Fall/Winter 2010. It consists of a deep purple and a shimmery gold.

YSL Belle De Nuit
Image from YSL Website

So I saw that, and immediately my first thought was - I GOTTA HAVE THAT! Then, when some semblance of sanity returned, I realized that I already have a gazillion purples, and a billion gold foils. In fact, the YSL colours aren't particularly unique. Every brand has a deep purple creme, and most brands have a gold foil. Then the realization sank in - I (as well as billions of polish addicts out there) could probably already dupe the look with the colours in my stash, for much, much cheaper!

So I set out to dupe Belle de Nuit. I took a look at the swatches on this blog, and decided that a creme base (like YSL had done) was honestly a little boring. I wanted something with a hidden shimmer to make it more interesting. But if you want to dupe the creme finish as well, then dark purple cremes are plentiful - my personal favourite is Nails Inc Dover Street Market.

Here is my dupe. I didn't use french manicure strips to create the lines, so you'll have to bear with my messy freehand tips. Also, my third fingernail looks like it's a lot thicker than the others, but that's just because I (still) have a nail wrap over it from way back when, LOL. My nails grow SLOOOOWLY.

Koh Purple Rain Collection 2000 Aztec Gold

I ended up using KOH's Purple Rain, and Collection 2000 Aztec Gold. I really should have bought those french manicure strips, because my freehand french manicure sucks.

KOH Purple Rain is a beautiful deep purple that has a hidden shimmer that is apparent when the light hits it, or if it is indoors. It's beautiful. Collection 2000 Aztec Gold is a metallic gold which is absolutely gorgeous - it's not a brassy or orange gold, but more of an antique gold. I really love this colour.

Here's a shot of my nails indoors. You can see the hidden shimmer where the light hits the nails. Beautiful.

YSL belle de nuit dupe, koh purple rain, collection 2000 aztec gold

KOH isn't a brand available in the UK (not that I know of, at least), and I think it's a Netherlands-based company. They do have some interesting polishes, but unfortunately I don't know much about them, other than that they have gorgeous bottles and packaging - each nail polish comes in it's own little case with a mirror!

Collection 2000 is a UK-based drugstore brand that is very cheap and readily available in any Superdrug. Aztec Gold was a cheap pick-me-up I bought from Superdrug. These polishes performed better than I expected - they were well pigmented and application was good, but they were very chippy on me. I think these are good for konading and layering.

koh purple rain, collection 2000 aztec gold

What do you think? Has anyone else tried duping Belle de Nuit yet? Or is it so easily dupable that no one has even bothered?


  1. I like this kind of mani! It's really simple, but yet elegant


  2. omg how perfect is that shot indoors! woah! love it xx

  3. love the combination! purple rain is awesome...and i added it to my wishlist ;)

  4. Whoa, your nails are so long and perfect, they look like acrylics! :P

  5. I personally like your manicure way better than the YSL version! Good job recreating it!


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