As far as I can tell, the only “diabolique” feature about this product is the wicked way that it chips after less than one day.
Diabolique is one of those sheer nail wash colors that provides just a hint of color and minimal shine with one coat. The 0.5 oz. rectangular bottle of polish itself is a temptress, containing translucent dark cherry/raspberry juice and a single, silver ball bearing swishing around along the bottle’s glass floor.
Bursting with such promise, Diabolique ultimately leaves much to be desired. The dark cherry/raspberry juice goes on more like a clear guava juice color with one coat. While there’s nothing wrong with this shade of pink, it’s not exactly the shade conjured up in my mind when I plucked the misnomered “Diabolique” off the shelves at Sephora.
With a second coat, Diabolique deepens to a bright raspberry shade, reminiscent of stila’s raspberry lipglaze when actually applied to the lips. With a third coat the nails appear to the the color of stila raspberry lipglaze in the tube—a darker raspberry, but still lively and bright. Anything more than that…you get the general idea.
The actual colors in each of the aforementioned stages are nice, but may create problems for some. I found the one-coat shade to be acceptable, but still felt it clashed somewhat with the pinkness in my skin. The second coat is a nicer color on me, however streaking becomes a problem. Because of the qualities of this sheer wash polish, you must be absolutely careful and precise about applying even layers on your nails. Three coats or more also became garish for my skin color, and the multiple coats seemed to clash with the inherent concept of the sheer wash polish.
As with all products, I tested Diabolique on several, distinct ventures. The first time I wore one coat without a base or topcoat. About nine hours had passed since applying the coat, and I noticed chips near the nail tips on numerous fingers. Having been very pleased with my NARS purchases before, I decided to make another attempt the following week.
This time I used two coats, again without any frills. Within the same time period, the familiar chips returned to greet me. Vexed, I continued with my design of experiment. I used three coats and then applied a topcoat. This time the polish lasted longer than 24 hours, but not by much. I tried it again with two coats and a topcoat with the same results.
For its lackluster color and the staying power of a cat in a dog kennel, I placed the polish bottle back on the shelf where it belongs. I do believe the color would flatter some, if not many people with coloring other than my own. Also, adding a basecoat and using some manicure techniques should also prolong the polish’s staying power a bit. However, ask yourself: is it really worth all the trouble?
As for me, I’ll stick with OPI and other tried-and-true polishes that have passed my tests.
NARS Diabolique will set you back $15 and can be found at sephora.com and select department stores and specialty boutiques.