I’m not going to pretend: I have never mastered the art of the home manicure. I heart nail salons. New York was bliss for me, with a nail bar on every block and a mani/pedi on offer for $20+tip. It’s a lot more expensive in London, and I can’t justify my once weekly visits over here.

So whilst my left hand in the images below is verging on acceptable, my right does rather look as though it was applied by a child. Still, no matter, you can see the colour after two coats on each and that is what matters.

If you follow beauty news at all, then you will know that years back a bit of canny product placement on Uma Thurman’s nails in Reservoir Dogs got Chanel’s Rouge Noir to the number one spot, and since then Chanel & their guru Peter Phillips have a knack each season for formulating a shade that immediately becomes the must-have.

This season it’s all about Chanel Mimosa (£17), part of the Chanel summer make-up collection: Les Fleurs D’Été de Chanel,  and the varnish is exclusively available at Selfridges at the moment. It’s a lovely yellow, with a slightly more sheer feel and an almost orange-y tone (left hand). I gave it two coats for this photo: it definitely needs three. On my right hand I’m wearing Topshop’s yellow, Bee’s Knees (£5), which is more like the Urban Decay colours we all wore ten years ago – lots of white in it, but very shiny, not matte at all.

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I think the warmer tones of Mimosa work best with my skintone, and overall it’s a much more flattering colour and expensive feeling formulation than the Bee’s Knees, but if you haven’t £17 to spare, then the Topshop version is definitely an acceptable substitute.

But I’m still not sure if I would wear yellow on my hands…maybe it’s better on toes, and with a tan.

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I just bought a similar shade from Barry M, “Lemon Ice Cream”, and I’m looking forward to trying it out.

It is a snip at £3 but we’ll see what the quality is like… (although I am usually impressed with Barry M, especially for those kinds of prices).


The yellow varnish is amazing!!! Looks great with all the splashy colours there are this summer! x LondonZest


I’ve never gotten the hang of painting my nails either. My boyfriend finds my attempts amusing. One day I will have him give it a go to see it’s not so easy staying in the lines!


There’s a great nail bar on either the roman road or the vietnamese one on fulham palace road. They are the closest Ive come to the NY version…


I’m currently wearing the Topshop one on my toes (2coats were enough) and surprisingly I like it. I’m wearing it with heels though, I somehow have the feeling they make the yellow nail polish a bit more fashionable and less grunge teenager in the early 90’s!


I love all the pastel-ee colours that are in at the moment!


Not sure about that yellow, sorry. It looks like pus from where I’m standing. Now, what’s the matter with a nice pink..?!


I’m not sure that yellow is much of an improvement over greige/mushroom, even if it does masquerade under summery monikers like gelato and sorbet. Not very adventurous in my Chanel Trapeze (one coat), and I also skipped the navy blue nail trend of a few years back.

Yellow is the new coral, a poolside color.


Your suggestion of a tan is good. I feel the yellow will look best on olive toned skin or black skin.


It’s interesting to see them compared like this and very helpful. I have been considering investing in yellow nail polish but I too don’t know that I could pull it off on my hands. I also can’t apply varnish to my right hand without getting it everywhere. Why are manicures in the UK so expensive?!

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