Monday, April 13, 2009

Estee Lauder 'Pure Color' Nail Lacquer In Berry Cordial

The purple nail polish craze continues. This time with the darkest magenta one can ask for.

Berry Cordial was originally launched by Estée Lauder last season, as part of the Chocolate Decadence collection. It was supposed to be a limited edition color, but it seems to have a longer stay than expected, as it's still available from Bloomingdale's and Nordstrom, and isn't marked as an LE. I got it as gift from a friend who knows about my recent quest for the purple, and Berry Cordial definitely hits the spot color-wise.

Try as I might, I couldn't photograph the polish even semi-decently, so the original stock photo will have to do. It's so dark that between my lack of skills and my miserable camera, the nail swatch looked black. In reality, the color looks more red (or crimson) in bright daylight (not that we've had too much of that lately) and like a purple tinged black cherry at night. All of this means Berry Cordial is very dark. While on the vampy side, it's not over-the-top, unless you have Morticia Adams nails. If you've already worn Essie Wicked or Chanel Tulip Noir to the office, Berry Cordial shouldn't be a problem to pull off, as it's actually quite classy and elegant and completely devoid of glitter.

When it comes to quality the good news is that one coat is enough for a perfect opaque finish that is true to the bottle. The thick brush covers the nail easily, so each nail is coated quickly and efficiently without streaking. The bad news is that like several other Lauder polishes I've owned, it's incredibly quick to chip. I tested this Pure Color lacquer with several base coats: two from Zoya, an OPI and an Essie with the same chipped results, so it's safe to say it's the polish. You absolutely must use a protective coat and renew it daily, and even then expect the need to touch up and redo every few days.

Estee Lauder 'Pure Color' Nail Lacquer In Berry Cordial ($18) is available online from and

Raspberry Cordial cupcake photo (and recipe) from the wonderfully inspiring
Tofu and Cupcakes blog


  1. Dear lord, but that photo of those cupcakes! I suddenly want, like, twelve of them.

    So the berry is a purplish black cherry? Sounds almost party-ish or "evening out" -- though I have to confess that I'm kind of liking the idea of someone pulling off a deep, almost vampy color for daytime.

    Maybe I've been reading too many articles about the return of retro-glamor . . .

    A shame about the chipping, though. Don't the producers of these items realize that women have other options and can easily gravitate to brands that don't chip, so why produce a nail coating that chips when you breathe on it? I don't get it.

  2. Nathan, there are so many amazing cupcake photos on that blog I felt a need to work out vigorously after looking at them. And then eat them all.

    As far as color goes, because of my weird skin tone, I find it easier to wear really dark colors than brights. Deep purple looks a lot more appropriate on me than bubblegum pink.

    It seems to me that big, established companies still count on women buying the whole look when they go to the counter, like it used to be. They put so much effort into the pigments and the entire feel of the collection to make them irresistible, while the smaller brands specializing in polish have made some serious work when it comes to quality.


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