Filed In: Chanel

CHANEL SS/17 · Le Vernis Coco Codes Collection


Having previously reviewed several key pieces of the CHANEL Spring 2017 Coco Codes Collection (linked below), the last items I have to show you are the nail polishes. All slated to be permanent, they consist of three solid shades and one special top coat which can be worn either solo or layered with other colours. In keeping with Mlle. Chanel’s classic colour theme of red, white, beige and black (only gold is not represented here), each hue is wearable and totally relatable, and while this top coat stands unique, be advised that it’s not without a learning curve. I do so love a beauty challenge …

Previously reviewed from this collection:

Le Top Coat Black Métamorphosis (CAN $32.00) | a translucent/sheer charcoal with CHANEL’s ultrafine “secret” shimmer that’s not really visible to the naked eye, but does add an overall depth of tone. The formula leans on the thick side and while workable, you do need to work quickly due to a slightly faster dry time, and have a steady hand during application. The bonus to this top coat, is that it can be worn on its own as a tint, or layered over anything else for a completely new colour combo. The most even look is achieved when it’s paired over a deeper shade, although I actually like the “smokey” effect it gives when layered over a lighter hue. I do admit that the latter look does take some getting used to, but it’s a fun and new way to change things up.

Swatches above are shown with 1, 2 & 3 coats respectively – no other top coat

Le Vernis Culte (CAN $32.00/each) | Three classic shades in CHANEL’s updated formula that work best when paired with the Le Gel Top Coat for a long-lasting glossy finish. As the brand’s nail polish range was revamped last year, you probably won’t find too many duplicates to compare to (with the exception of perhaps the red shade), which is a point scored in their favour. That said, I do feel that CHANEL needs to create a better brush, as that still seems to be a weakness with their lacquers.

Note: for the swatches below, the top row shows the shades on their own, while the bottom row is with 1 coat of Black Métamorphosis layered on top.

  • 548 Blanc White – a warm leaning sheer ivory, glossy finish, needs 3 coat for decent opacity (best layered over a ridge filling base coat to act as “undies”). Coats shown: 3
  • 556 Beige Beige – a peach/flesh toned nude, good opacity seen even by the 1st coat, excellent non-patchy formula. Coats shown: 2
  • 546 Rouge Red – a vivid pink/red hue in a crème-jelly hybrid formula, a plush cushiony look with a good opacity (slightly translucent with 1st layer). Coats shown: 2

The more I played with these shades, the more sense they made to me — in particular Lucia Pica’s vision of “lacquering”. Groundbreaking, they definitely are NOT and while we all probably have more than our share of white, beige and red polishes, I still appreciate the spin they’ve been given with the addition of this top coat. By the way, if Black Métamorphosis seems somewhat familiar, you may remember Dior’s Rock Coat released in Spring 2011 as part of the Rock Your Nails Collection — a shade that was obviously way ahead of its time.

Available now at all CHANEL counters


PR samples/All opinions my own

CHANEL SS/17 · Codes Subtils, Noir Pétrole, Libre & Noir Moderne



Last post was all about cheeks; today’s focuses on eyes and lips with a few more selections from the CHANEL Coco Codes Collection for Spring/Summer 2017 (it’s crazy to even contemplate Spring — or even Summer right now, but that’s the beauty industry for you). What makes everything here so unique, in my honest opinion, is the utter wearability of each and every hue and even though I don’t mind stirring things up from time to time with pops of unexpected colour, there’s something comforting about going with standby favourite shades. Especially when they’re all such amazing performers … along with sporting those alluring double C’s.

Previously reviewed from this collection:

“My favourite time to wear Rouge Coco Shine Noir Moderne is in the Spring. I like the idea of a shade of black. I also wanted elements of comfort in the collection – beauty is not just about artifice” ∼ Lucia Pica




Les 4 Ombres 278 Codes Subtils, limited edition (CAN $68.00) | One of two eyeshadow quads released with this collection (the other being 275 Codes Élégants), this one somewhat softer-leaning with shades that can be used to create a subtle look for day, or amped up for evening by applying them with a dampened brush.

  • top left – shimmering rose/peach
  • top right – platinum bronze/taupe
  • bottom right – warm intense pewter (with a strong olive undercurrent)
  • bottom left – bronzed mid-brown

Ever since CHANEL reformulated their 4 Ombres formula, I have been really impressed with the level of pigmentation and how smoothly the shades apply. This palette is no exception; seen in the swatches below, all have been applied dry and it’s clear that the saturation level is excellent, although using a fluffier brush (and going in with a lighter hand), you can also diffuse each shade for a softer effect. Each has shimmer of varying complexity that lends depth of tone and a subtle radiance, and all display very little powdery kickback when swirling brushes across their surface. Staying power (over primer) is outstanding, with the colours staying true until removed.


Stylo Yeux Waterproof 931 Noir Pétrole, limited edition (CAN $35.00) | One of my favourite eyeliner formulas is CHANEL’s Stylo Yeux Waterproof, and while there have been a few misses for me colour-wise, I still fall back on these time and time again. With a smooth application (which means no tugging along the sensitive skin of the eyes) and strong colour saturation per swipe, I get easily 6+ hours of wear — even when applied along the waterline — before needing to touch up.

What makes this shade unique, however, is its intense mossy green base colour which is also a great alternative to wearing straight ip black, made even more special via the bronze glints in its depths. Total ♥!






Rouge Allure Velvet 62 Libre (CAN $43.00) | Adding two new shades to the Rouge Allure Velvet roster (61 La Secrète not shown), the finish on this lipstick formula is exactly as the name implies: velvety. Very hydrating in feel throughout the wearing, this rosewood-tinged beige hue is ultra wearable by a broad range of skin tones and provides a touch more colour than a straight up nude would. Makes a perfect swipe-and-go shade too.

Rouge Coco Shine 128 Noir Moderne (CAN $43.00) | Another standout of the collection, this is a wearable version of cult-fave shade Rouge Noir. The sheerness and slip of the formula take the scare factor out of what looks to be an über-vampy hue and turn it into wearable sexy. I’m having a major moment with Noir Moderne and I’m already planning a backup. Seriously.





At the risk of repeating myself, there’s really no other better way to put it than to say that all the pieces I’ve seen of this collection thus far, are all so worth your time to look into when everything launches. Gabrielle Chanel, whose love of these classic codes (red, black, gold, white & beige) was definitely stated, was all about making women feel liberated and empowered; Lucia Pica continues the tradition by delving into the archives and reworking these shades with modern formulas and textures — all while keeping their integrity intact. So well done … #slowclap

Available early January 2017 at all CHANEL counters



PR samples/As always, all opinions are my own

CHANEL SS/17 · Coco Code Blush Harmony & Élégance Blush



How’s this for an interesting contradiction; while a snow storm rages outside my window, I’m bringing you pieces from the CHANEL’s Spring/Summer 2017 Coco Codes Collection. Then again, this may just be the perfect antidote to the blizzard, no?

Coco Chanel was inspired by 5 shades: red, black, gold, white, and beige and for Spring 2017, Lucia Pica, Global Creative Makeup and Color Designer for the brand has found a way to reinvent these classic hues with several new twists, yet still manages to maintain their harmonic purity.

“Elegance is being equally beautiful inside and outside” ∼ Gabrielle Chanel

“Red, black, gold, white, beige: these are the ‘secret codes’ of CHANEL beauty” ∼ Lucia Pica







Coco Code Blush Harmony, limited edition (CAN $70.00) | The undisputed star of the collection as well as being the namesake piece, these are four blush hues — two matte and two satin — in one compact with raised lettering embossed across the surface, that are “wearable and more radiant reworkings of the original codes”. Create a customized shade by swirling all the colours together; the level of intensity will depend on which shade you pick up more of. Alternatively, you can use the top right shade as a warm-leaning contour product, or use it to tone down the red hue. Both the peach-leaning beige (top left) and the honey gold (bottom right) can serve as softly elegant highlighters, or combined with either the tan or red to add radiance. Honestly, there’s no limit (well, maybe there’s some limit) to how many combinations can be created.

There is some powdery kickback seen in the pan when a brush is swirled across the surface, but which doesn’t translate as any fall down, while the texture lays absolutely smoothly along the skin. CHANEL has mastered the art of creating a powdered blush that applies perfectly seamlessly and blends like a dream, and lasting power (over foundation) stays true for the duration.







370 Élégance Joues Contraste (CAN $53.00) | As a huge fan of the Joues Contraste formula and considering the fact that I’ve actually been on the hunt for a blush this exact shade, I believe there may have been some squealing involved when this beauty came in. A gorgeous mix of peach, nude, and dusty pale rose, there’s also some ultrafine gold shimmer thrown in — but not the obvious kind, mind you — to create a unique subtle rose-gold hue. Considering its pale nature, this shade is actually quite pigmented and even though this too displays the same powdery kickback as Coco Code, it nevertheless applies seamlessly along the skin. Absolutely STUNNING and a colour that will be universally wearable on so many skin tones.






I couldn’t think of a more appropriate way to kick off CHANEL’s Spring/Summer 2017 Coco Code Collection than with this lovely cheek duo. Apart from the obvious aesthetics, each piece is also eminently worth of adding to one’s ‘blush wardrobe’ (I’m going to make this a thing) and both can easily transcend the seasons by virtue of their wearability — no crazy colours found here, thank you very much. Yes, the price point veers towards the steep side, but that’s not exactly unexpected for a luxury brand; thankfully the excellent quality makes up for that.

Available early January 2017 at all CHANEL counters



PR samples/As always, all opinions are my own

CHANEL · Cheeks, Lips & Nails – Collection Libre de CHANEL



To harmonize with the more somber tones of the eye products in the collection, Lucia Pica selected a vibrant and fresh palette of colours for cheeks, lips, and nails. The theme of the Collection Libre Synthetic de CHANEL is all about the play of shadow & light, texture, and mood, revisited and reimagined in unique new forms. Then there’s that explosive blush shade … you won’t want to miss out on it, believe me.

Previously reviewed from this collection:



Collection Libre de CHANEL · Rianne Van Rompaey, photographed by Karim Sadli for CHANEL



CHANEL · Joues Contraste 360 Hyperfresh


Joues Contraste 360 Hyperfresh, limited edition (CAN $53.00) | Acting as a counterpoint to the more industrial-like shades of the eyes, this blush is like finding a flower blooming unexpectedly in concrete. A vivid and almost neon pink (neon + CHANEL … who would have thought?), this is an über-pigmented hue that needs a very light hand to start with. Bearing the brand’s signature rose fragrance which dissipates fairly quickly once applied, the texture is incredibly refined and appears flawless when buffed lightly into the skin. There’s the lightest whisper of gold thrown in (visible in the macro shots, below) to add a nice touch of warmth, thus making Hyperfresh wearable by a broad range of skin tones. Lasting power (over foundation) is bang on, staying true & without fading until removed.


CHANEL · Joues Contraste 360 Hyperfresh


CHANEL · Joues Contraste 360 Hyperfresh


CHANEL · Joues Contraste 360 Hyperfresh


CHANEL · Joues Contraste 360 Hyperfresh swatches


The only shade that come close to Hyperfresh from my collection of CHANEL blushes, is 270 Vibration (from Fall 2015, which I believe may no longer be available in Canada) and while both are bright pops of colour, there are still enough differences between them with Hyperfresh leaning slightly more peony pink.

As someone who tends to stick to coral-based blush shades, I was surprised to see that I owned 2 more neon-ish shades in my stash: Starscape (LE) from the NARS Christopher Kane Collection (Spring 2015) and Se Pomponner from Surratt Beauty. Again, while both of these are almost retina-searingly bright (especially when swatched heavily as I have here), neither is a match to Hyperfresh. Starscape, while extremely close, does appear to be a couple of degrees lighter & more true pink, while Se Pomponner is more blue-based and definitely the more vivid of them all. Quality-wise, apart from the fact that all are highly colour-saturated, they also display an extremely refined texture that makes them easy to blend seamlessly into the skin (just make sure to start off with a light hand).


CHANEL · Joues Contraste 360 Hyperfresh vs 270 Vibration swatches


CHANEL · 360 Hyperfresh, NARS Starscape & Surratt Beauty Se Pomponner swatches



CHANEL · Rouge Allure Gloss 137 Super Nude & Rouge Allure 247 Ultraberry


There are five lip products in this collection and I have my two favourites to show you here. Playing harmony to the more urban eye shades, both hues are fresh and easily wearable, while the textures offer up a smooth application and continuous hydrating feel to lips.

Rouge Allure Gloss 137 Super Nude, limited edition (CAN $43.00) – I have a total weakness for CHANEL glosses and in particular the Rouge Allure Gloss formula. There’s a nice thickness to the texture that helps it adhere well to lips without feeling tacky, seeming to level out and even fill in lip lines as it settles in. Super Nude is a beautiful mix of both cool & warm undertones which makes it universally wearable by all (without disappearing into one’s skin tone) and probably my fave neutral to date. Staying power is about average for a shade this light, approx. 3-4 hours without eating and/or drinking.

Rouge Allure 247 Ultraberry, limited edition (CAN $43.00) – Having been revamped over a year ago, the Rouge Allure formula provides excellent colour saturation with a rich moisturizing feel. Ultraberry is one of those wine/berry shades that can be worn several ways; lightly blotted to give that “bitten” effect, or layered for more depth of tone. Do note that it will leave a light stain behind, which in itself can also be yet another cool look to this shade.


CHANEL · Rouge Allure Gloss 137 Super Nude swatch


CHANEL · Rouge Allure 247 Ultraberry swatch


chanel-holiday-2016-nail-polish-1CHANEL · Le Vernis 540 Liquid Mirror, 542 Pink Rubber & 544 Hyperrose Glass



The three nail shades of this collection (CAN $32.00/limited edition) each offer up a unique look and texture, and can even be mixed and matched (as seen in the swatches below).

542 Pink Rubber – a white based pale pink hue that has the finest pearly shimmer (seen more in direct sunlight) that applies in a self-levelling way but will probably show some patchiness with the first coat. Giving this shade a ‘rubberized’ finish takes it from dainty to something a lot more modern & unique, and also eliminates the need for using a matte top coat (I do love a matte nail). As seen in the swatches below, adding a glossy top coat (Le Gel Coat used here) gives a more classic look, while a layer of Hyperrose Glass gives a playful twist.

544 Hyperrose Glass – a semi-transparent cool pink hue with blue pearl reflects (and even some random darker pink pieces) in a super glossy jelly-like formula. Worn alone, 1 coat provides a pretty pink flush of colour while 2 coats gives a more colour depth, although don’t expect it to reach opacity any time soon. Layering Hyperrose Glass over other shades creates unique new colour combos, thus adding to its versatility.

540 Liquid Mirror – a dark silver metallic (with a grey/steely undertone) in a formula that’s not without it’s share of issues. On the plus side, the colour saturation is intense enough that you get great opacity even by the first coat, but you’ll need a very steady hand to minimize visible brush strokes. Some lines will level out as the polish dries, but do note that it will be impossible to eliminate them all. Another option is to add a layer of Hyperrose Glass which will not only camouflage some of the more obvious lines, but also provide a really cool mauve-y overtone. Apparently the inspiration here lies in the mirrored look and lines of urban skyscrapers and while I appreciate the imagery, I personally don’t feel it’s one that translates as well worn along the nails.


CHANEL · Le Vernis 542 Pink Rubber swatches (natural light & direct sunlight)


CHANEL · Le Vernis 542 Pink Rubber swatches (with top coat & 544 Hyperrose Glass)


CHANEL · Le Vernis 544 Hyperrose Glass


CHANEL · Le Vernis 544 Hyperrose Glass swatches (natural light & direct sunlight)


CHANEL · Le Vernis 540 Liquid Mirror


CHANEL · Le Vernis 540 Liquid Mirror swatches (direct sunlight & with Hyperrose Glass)


Apart from the fact that this collection is not overwhelmingly large (as so many other holiday collections tend to be), I’m really liking the sophisticated direction CHANEL has taken. As seen in my previous post, the eyes were all about strong & graphic colours, while here the lips, cheeks & nails serve to soften up any harsh edges. Neon pink is not a shade I’d normally reach for but here’s the thing: a light wash of Hyperfresh serves to totally brighten up the face while also adding a youthful hue, and that touch is always welcome. Both Super Nude and Ultraberry are drop-dead stunning and wearable; enough said. As to the nails, I applaud the mix of textures and and I’m having fun with both Pink Rubber and Hyperrose Glass, but Liquid Mirror just didn’t make the grade as far as I’m concerned, and that’s with bringing my considerable polishing skills to the table. I’m not giving up on it yet, however, as I not only love the colour but the name too; I still have a few more tricks up my sleeve to try!

Available November 1 at all CHANEL beauty counters



Press samples/As always, all opinions are my own

CHANEL · Architectonic Eyeshadow Palette & Calligraphie 65 Hyperblack, Collection Libre de CHANEL




While it still feels more like Indian Summer here, the holiday collections have been landing across my desk at a furious pace and one that never fails to get my heart a-racing, is from none other than CHANEL. Taking a different direction this year from the season’s traditional golds & reds, Lucia Pica (the brand’s Makeup Director) has drawn inspiration from an urban landscape to create the Collection Libre Synthetic de CHANEL, a grouping that juxtaposes light, texture and colour.

Today’s post focuses on the eyes — stay tuned for my upcoming post on the rest of the collection. By the way, I’m totally obsessed with the model’s look (below) and plan on wearing it on repeat. Slicked-back hair & black turtleneck included.



Collection Libre de CHANEL · Rianne Van Rompaey, photographed by Karim Sadli for CHANEL


Collection Libre de CHANEL · Architectonic Eyeshadow Palette & Calligraphie 65 Hyperblack


Collection Libre de CHANEL · Architectonic Eyeshadow Palette & Calligraphie 65 Hyperblack



Collection Libre de CHANEL · Architectonic Eyeshadow Palette



Architectonic Eyeshadow Palette, limited edition (CAN $70.00) | Housed in the brand’s iconic black lacquered casing, the five eyeshadows it holds are nestled within a mirrored insert. The innovative new texture combines the smoothness & almost fluid-like quality of a cream with the finish of a powder, offering not only excellent colour payoff but a superb lay down of all the shades. Alternating between matte & subtle shimmers, this colour harmony pays homage to the materials of a cityscape, perfectly rendered in makeup form.

  • Matte Midnight Blue – deep navy
  • Metallic Blue – steel blue
  • Platinum Grey – exactly that: platinum grey
  • Cement Grey – brown-based grey, matte
  • Mirror Grey – silvered grey

Displaying all the qualities I look for in a palette (excellent colour saturation, easy blendability, + wearable shades) the Architectonic Eyeshadow Palette goes a few steps further to also provide incredibly well crafted textures. The two matte shades provide a perfect counterpoint to the rest and both can be dialled up or down, depending on how deep you want to go (note: the navy is highly pigmented and needs a light hand), while the shimmery hues have just enough complexity to keep things interesting (without going overboard), laying down smoothly & without any fallout. Wear time over primer is spot-on, staying true and fade-free until removed.


Collection Libre de CHANEL · Architectonic Eyeshadow Palette


Collection Libre de CHANEL · Architectonic Eyeshadow Palette (applicators)


Collection Libre de CHANEL · Architectonic Eyeshadow Palette swatches


Collection Libre de CHANEL · Architectonic Eyeshadow Palette



Collection Libre de CHANEL · Calligraphie 65 Hyperblack


Collection Libre de CHANEL · Calligraphie 65 Hyperblack



Calligraphie 65 Hyperblack Longwear Intense Cream Eyeliner (CAN $40.00) | A cream eyeliner in an ultra-black shade that also comes with a portable angled brush. The texture is unlike any other cream eyeliner I’ve seen to date; dense yet incredibly easy to apply, long-wearing and apparently water-resistant (although I haven’t put it to that test … yet) and one that won’t crack and flake off once dry. Once applied, you can also add to the intensity without fear of disturbing your initial layer, a welcome bonus — while dry-down takes about a minute; once it’s set, it becomes almost budge-proof. I prefer using my own brushes for the job (the NARS #47 Angled Eyeliner Brush is my go-to), although the one included works surprisingly well, considering its tiny size.


Collection Libre de CHANEL · Calligraphie 65 Hyperblack


Collection Libre de CHANEL · Calligraphie 65 Hyperblack (brush detail)


Collection Libre de CHANEL · Calligraphie 65 Hyperblack swatches


Collection Libre de CHANEL · Architectonic Eyeshadow Palette & Calligraphie 65 Hyperblack


Don’t get me wrong; I love seeing the more traditional-like hues that most brands release for their holiday collections, but even now & then I like having things shaken up as well and The Collection Libre Synthetic de CHANEL actually made me go “oooh” (I’m serious). The Architectonic Eyeshadow Palette manages to still stay within my neutral-loving comfort zone, but provides enough of a twist to amp things up. And while I may not have mastered the ART OF LINING (yes, it all deserves caps because props to those of you who can line without needing a billion do-overs), I’m proud to say that I’ve been doing a pretty decent job with the help of Calligraphie Hyperblack. Final verdict: both pieces are a total thumbs up and well worth investing in (heads up: the palette is limited edition).

Available November 1 at all CHANEL beauty counters



Press samples/As always, all opinions are my own