Style Watch

updated 08/07/1995 at 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 08/07/1995 01:00AM

IN THE BLACK

"It's gorgeous—it's like blood," says Sandra Bernhard, describing Vamp, Chanel's near-black nail lacquer that—along with its imitators—seems to be at the fingertips of celebs everywhere, including Roseanne, Drew Barry-more and Tori Spelling. Just last month, Jennifer Tilly and Cameron Diaz came painted a la Morticia to the Blockbuster Entertainment Awards in Los Angeles. A few days later, Nicole Kidman Vamped it up on the Late Show with David Letterman. "It goes back to a 1930s look," says Nine Months costar Mia Cottet, who sported the shade at the movie's July 11 premiere in L.A. "It gives you a sense of glamor that you might otherwise totally lack."

But the tint isn't easy to find. Department stores report that the color—at $15 a bottle—is all but impossible to keep in stock. Demi Moore bought the tester from Barneys in Beverly Hills, while Faye Dunaway called Chanel's L.A. boutique from a car phone begging for a bottle. "Everyone in town wants that thing," says Yuki, owner of the Yuki Salon on Sunset Boulevard in L.A., whose clients include Angelica Huston and Linda Evangelista. "It's fashionable and hip, yet pure and elegant."

Concocted in Paris last year by stylists who mixed shades of dark red and black for models to wear in a Chanel fashion runway show, Vamp was an instant hit—and the inspiration behind other hot hues, including Revlon's Vixen and L'Oréal's Sangria. "It's a turnaround from the sheer and natural look," says Annette Falso, a Chanel marketing executive. "It's about drama." But as the trend is peaking, wilder—and less expensive—colors have already appeared. "I have peacock blue on," says Alisa Bellettini, producer of MTV's House of Style. "It's not a designer polish. It only costs 69 cents. That's what nail polish should cost."

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