Hard-to-Find Week Launch: Lancome Le Magnetique Bleu Enigma

It that time again! If you’re like me, HTF week is bittersweet. I love seeing coveted polishes from yesteryear but usually HTF week sprouts many uncontrollable lemmings.

The polish I’m writing about today, Lancome Le Magnetique Bleu Enigma was actually released this past holiday season so it’s not temporally HTF, rather it’s spatially HTF. For some reason, which is a complete and total mystery to me, Lancome decided to release this color only in the UK. Last year Lancome released a brown Le Magnetique in the U.S. called Bordeaux Esmee that sold pretty well and ended up on the HTF black market for upwards of 40 dollars. L’Oreal, of which Lancome is a subsidiary, also released a collection of magnetic polishes in Europe, but not here. It’s becoming more and more frustratingly apparent that nail polish companies are more willing to “take a chance” on a unique color in foreign markets.

(Scary rant starting in 5…4…3…2…)

I’ve been on a veritable RAMPAGE since I found out that OPI released different versions of some Designer Series colors in Japan. Not to mention that last year they released 6 gorgeous glitters in place of the 6 reds we got in the Holiday in Hollywood collection. My rage (and I’m serious when I say – rage - I was ready to go burn Suzi effigies in protest in front of OPI headquarters)  caused by this realization only subsided when Jen over at Never too Much Glitter clued me in to the tyranny of Japanese nail polish prices. One OPI color from the Designer Series is going to set you back 32 dollars as opposed to the 7 to 12 dollars it would cost you in the States.

I really hope that nail polish companies wise up. I always defend companies that release reds and pinks season after season, because, at least theoretically, the demand controls the supply but at some point we have to wonder whether that’s actually true. Do people buy reds because they actually like reds, or do they buy reds because it’s the color that is most readily available. I think it’s the latter. I’m the perfect example. In the long long ago when I didn’t have access to purchase worthy nail polish, I had a small stash which was 70% red. Why? Because I used to buy my nail polish mostly at drug stores. And what’s available at drug stores most of the time? Red. If companies release more unique colors the effect will be that people will wear more unique colors. This fallacious belief that Americans will only wear red and pink is rampant. Most big companies are guilty of cool color discrimination, even our  prim and proper Essie released Japanese exclusive glitters, as did my beloved Color Club. And Sally Hansen, shame on them, has released 2 AWESOME Canadian exclusive dark greens and a dark blue that will likely never see the inside of American stores.

If the big nail polish companies don’t get it together and let go of this ridiculous notion that the only colors that will sell in the U.S. are reds and pinks, they will have a very rude awakening when they find that a lot of their business has been diverted to companies like Barielle, Nubar, BB Couture for Nails, Misa, Zoya and China Glaze, that are not underestimating the American buyer and are actually releasing unique colors in the United States.

Whew. *catches breath* Ooooookay and now for the review, haha.


Bleu Enigma is a magnetic polish. For those who may not be familiar with this type of nail polish, basically the formula reacts to a maganet and creates a star burst formation on the nail. It’s pretty much the coolest thing I’ve ever seen, ever. The image taken from this angle doesn’t show the crispness of the stars because the top coat refracts the light in a weird way.


This images shows the stars at their best. Unfortunately, this image doesn’t reflect the amazing depth of color that this polish exhibits. The base color is a grayed out blue. The magnet pulls out all the darkness so that the embedded star is completely devoid of dark blue. All the dark blue pulls to the areas between the arms of the star. The effect creates a 3-d-like quality. It makes your nail look like a gem, it’s absolutely stunning.

For those of you who own magnetic polishes and have had trouble with the application I found that getting the star to appear crisply requires a strict state of motionlessness. You have to stay perfectly still. I held my nail very close to the magnet for upwards of 30 seconds. I didn’t use a base coat but Tobywoo (star of ALU’s post on this subject) said she wears Barielle Camo under this polish with no ill effect to the formation of the star. The one down side, and it’s a very small downside is that your fingers end up smelling a little like metal.

The Lancome rep said that it’s still possible that this polish will be released in the US but it’s unlikely. If you love this, which I suspect many of you will, email Lancome and let them know.

A very special thanks to my lovely friend from the UK that hunted this color down for me. <3


34 Responses to “Hard-to-Find Week Launch: Lancome Le Magnetique Bleu Enigma”

  1. melvel Says:

    OMG! I need this!

  2. PBG Says:

    That is awesome. I’ve never seen any polish like that ever! Thanks for the swatches! :)

  3. The Asian Girl Says:

    I’m so kicking myself for not reacting quickly to my 2007 lemmings (Essie Starry Starry Night and Bordeaux Esmee). I think that might be why I’ve overreacted and doubled my nail polish collection in the first 2 months of 2009.

  4. Lina-Elvira Says:

    I am glad someone did this one, it was the one HTF I was dreading to do as I am sooooo impatient. I might do the L’Oreal Star Magnets one though as its easier to do cause the magnet is on the bottle with a “stand” for your nail :)

  5. Sarah-Jane Says:

    I totally agree with your comments on big companies and price especially intl. The DS series was retailing around £17.99 in the UK this is about $27 US dollars. Im newly addicted to NP(and loving it!) and until meeting the Polishaddict and the Nail Board I thought I would only buy OPI as I thought it was the best! I no longer think this! I am newly converted to MISA, China Glaze and Zoya and starting to think these companies are the younger groovy sister to OPI! I cannot justify £10 a bottle of OPI anymore – it is actually outrageous – and just not worth it when I can get 3 MISA’s/ChG for this price including shipping from more than one of the US etailers – and without paying duty either! It probably says it all when I say I ordered 11 misa’s last night, and 1 OPI. Thanks for your great Blog – I love it!

  6. Dana Says:

    I live here, in the Netherlands and you can find lots of greens, while I actually have seen 2 greens in my entire life in the stores here. I think i’ve seen max. 5 holo’s. (polish is here pricier too) but i can understand why a diehard polish fan like you is angry

  7. Charming nails Says:

    Pretty! Love it!

  8. styrch Says:

    Your nails show this off so well! Such a gorgeous color. I do think the first part of your post could have been (and deserves to be) it’s own post, just to encourage consumer awareness. That’s a crazy amount of info you’ve stumbled upon there! Thanks!

  9. Marsha Smith Says:

    You GO girlfrien! I’ve had similar frustrations, all you see is reds, pinks and nudes and they are BORING.

  10. Holly Says:

    I am totally with you on this rant. While yes, I do love two of the three pinks in OPI’s latest South Beach, the reds are awful. Nevertheless, it doesn’t mean these colors aren’t still boring in the spectrum of things. OPI and Essie really need to get a clue. I wish they would release a collection of ALL reds and make them permanent, this way they could stop feeling like they need to have 3 reds and 3 pinks in every collection. Essie is another story. I have so few Essie’s in comparison to OPI and CG because all they ever produce is red, red, pink, pink, pink!

    Thanks for sharing my frustration!

  11. Lucy Says:

    I totally agree with you. I like pinks and reds but enough of them. I love that Lancome polish! Looks beautiful on you. I’ve seen the magnetic colors on other blogs and wondered what they were. I’ve not seen anything like that in the States. The prices for polish is outrageous! I complain about the price here.

  12. andie Says:

    Steph, thank you so much for posting this. i surely hope OPI is reading this. they need a kick in the a** if they want to keep their loyal customers…i mean, most women in America will buy a few reds, pinks, and sheers because that is what’s available, like you said..but i think a lot of the polish revenue comes from salons, collectors, and enthusiasts like us…and we will stop buying if there is nothing unique left to buy.

  13. amber Says:

    I believe that l’Oreal also released something like this too, right? I think I found it on NTMG blog (its so funny that you mention her here, cause she mentioned you there!) But I completely agree with you on your rampage. I with that more unique and bold colors were readily available to us here. I don’t like having to go on to foreign websites and hunt for colors and then pay an exorbitant price for them.

  14. amber Says:

    oops. I totally skipped the first paragraph and went for the rant (“rant” caught my interest haha). yeah, lol you already mentioned L’Oreal

  15. Vki Says:

    Steph that looks gorgeous on you! :D

  16. Melanie Says:

    Oh. My. God. I want this SO BAD. It’s so different and pretty. Love the color and the effect of the star. All of it. LOVE IT ALL.

    I agree with your rant. I used to only have pinks (I’ve never been a fan of red) and then I started paying attention to nail polish outside of drugstores and realized how many more colors there were! My eyes only scan the reds/pinks now and settle on the colors that are “different” (I hate that blue and green are considered different though!), luckily I have a job where I can wear different colors. Just can’t color my hair any wild colors. :(

  17. nivipa Says:

    Hear, hear! Let’s start *releasing* these developed colors everywhere, and see what people want to buy! Personally, I’m all about Barielle and CG lately.

  18. Ane Kristine Kure Says:

    I totally agree with you rant! However, it’s important to state here that the grass is not always greener on the other side. In Norway (where I live) we have one store that sells Essie and a couple that sell OPI. I’ve never seen China Glaze, Misa, Color Club or Barielle sold in retail shops. And the price is mad! I pay $21 for a bottle of OPI here, and $18 for Essies. Needless to say, I buy all my polishes online.
    I did get the Lancome at my local department store, but that is about it for what we get of exciting polishes. L’Oreal deemed Norway as a market not interested in the star polishes and they have not been released here (they are in all our neighbouring contires).
    So for the sake of all of us, let’s hope nailpolish companies make all their exciting polishes available world wide :-)

  19. Medina Says:

    I read this post yesterday and got on the phone immediately after 40 minutes of ringing every London-based Lancome stockist I found out that it was only available in 4 stores 3 of which sold out of it ages ago but apparently Harrods have a few bottles left. I’m picking mine up this afternoon. :-D

  20. Steph Says:

    Melvel – I know right!!!!!!

    PBG – These magnetic polishes are very unique, I hope they release a U.S. line soon.

    TAG – lol, I feel your pain totally. You can still try to hunt it down. I found my bottle of BE forgotten in a Lancome counter drawer pretty recently.

    Lina-Elvira – this polish comes with a little stand on the magnet too but it’s horrible if your nail (like mine) is too curved because it’s hard to stick your nail on the stand without touching the magnet.

    Sarah-Jane – Success! I love it! : )

    Dana – Yea, definitely.

    Charming nails – Thanks.

    Styrch – Yea, it was going to it’s own post but I’m trying to post as many pics as possible since I haven’t been posting as often as I used too.

    Marsha – lol – totally agreed.

    Holly – Believe me, I know. *sigh*

    Lucy – Yea, there’s a bunch of these magnetic polishes floating around but not are available in the U.S. right now.

    Andie – I feel that way too. I’ve exhausted reds and pinks for the most part.

    Amber – lol She’s one of my favorite bloggers, truly unique content and very talented. : ) And yea, ditto. (I appreciate that you took the time to actually read the rant haha.)

    Vki – <3

    Melanie – Amen! I’m so jealous of your job by the way. Lol.

    Ane – I agree with you that all nail polish should be available every where – but my specific problem is that these are American companies. So like, for example, I have to buy all Nails Inc colors from overseas – I’m okay with that because it’s a UK brand.

    Medina – LOL – sorry to have created such an obnoxious lemming. : )

  21. Savvy Says:

    Oh man, that polish is absolutely gorgeous and it makes me SO mad that it’s not available in the US. Actually it kind of makes me mad that I have to order most of the polishes I want online because beauty supplies and such refuse to carry the unique colors. I’m so tired of boring reds and nudes and the same ole navy blue. I need some variety! Well atleast until I finish college and have to find a real job lol.

  22. Ninarz Says:

    LOL, I’ve never heard of such a thing. That’s neat though. btw I like the favicon :)

  23. kristi Says:

    i just sent a message about this to lancome’s ‘contact me’ thing on their site. everyone else who would like the chance to own this, please do the same. thats really the only chance we have of seeing this stuff at our local lancome counters. so take a minute to write them a quick note about how much you want this stuff!!!!!!!

  24. Steph Says:

    Savvy – That’s EXACTLY how I feel.

    Ninarz – Giiiirl I know you love it. <3

    Kristi – That’s awesome! We need to complain more often!

  25. LiaLeelee Says:

    Can you American people stop complaining? You guys are lucky. A lot of brands are made in the U.S. You shouldn’t get all mad when another country gets an exclusive collection because more than half of products made in the U.S are not available in other countries. You people should be thankful for what you have and stop complaining when companies finally get to their sense and release products in other countries. I live in Canada and a lot of the nail polish you have is not available in Canada. It’s only fair that other countries finally get something exclusive to them. You guys already got your turn.

  26. tessa. Says:

    I love that nail polish! So gorgeous!

  27. Steph Says:

    LiaLeeLee/Tessa – You don’t have to use two different screen names to express your opinions on my website. I don’t expect people who read my site to always agree with me. However, my article wasn’t really a complaint so much as it was meant to urge companies to reconsider their U.S. marketing plan. I feel bad for girls in other countries who don’t have access to several brands of nail polish and I’m obviously aware that we are lucky to have access to so much here but it’s a really huge slap in the face when American companies make better colors for other countries. All I’m arguing in my article is that they should stop *all* country exclusive marketing and release any color they release anywhere, everywhere (meaning you would get better stuff in Canada too) – because I think everyone should be able to buy the things they enjoy regardless of where they live. I’m sorry that you think Americans deserve to not have cool colors just because we have a lot of variance in the products available to us. That seems strangely vindictive and weird.

    Regardless, I expect to be able to buy things that American companies make in America. I love Nails Inc. but it doesn’t bother me that their polish isn’t available here since it’s not an American company – if I want it, I’ll suck it up and pay extra shipping to buy it from the UK. I suggest you do the same.

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  29. Rosered Says:

    Wow, I have never seen anything like it! Very cool.

  30. CC Says:

    As an update, I wrote Lancome and asked them if the UK company would ship to the US and was told a resounding “NO.” Who in the heck do they think they are? Serge Lutens (and that’s another story.)

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  32. Ula Says:

    I am stopping by here to let you guys know, there is a bottle of Lancome Le Magnetique selling on evilbay for no less than 199 USD.
    I just wonder..

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