- Proud Montrealer with a passion for beauty in all its fabulous diversity. "Beauty begins the moment you choose to be yourself" - Coco Chanel
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Filed In: Chanel
The CHANEL Collection Méditerranée for Summer 2015, draws inspiration from the French Riviera, that luxe seaside resort area of France that was so beloved of Coco Chanel. Drawing upon the intense colour palette of azure skies, vivid beach umbrellas, and glowing tanned bodies, one of the undisputed stars of the collection is the Lumière d’Été Illuminating Powder Limited Edition: a heart-stopping beautiful bronzer in the form of the brand’s signature camellia blossom and a product you won’t want to put a brush to … it’s THAT stunning.
Vintage poster from the 20’s of the French Riviera
CHANEL | Lumière d’Été Illuminating Powder, ingredients list
CHANEL | Lumière d’Été Illuminating Powder, velour sleeve and included brush
Lumière d’Été Illuminating Powder, Limited Edition (CAN $76.00) is a soft beige/tan bronzer bearing an ultra finely-milled shimmer to achieve that gorgeous sun kissed glow, in a perfect blend of both cool and warm tones that render it wearable by basically all skin tones along the spectrum (with the exception of the darkest complexions, for which this will be much too light to appear). Encased in a protective velour sleeve with an outside pocket to hold the included brush (well made quality-wise and great for on-the-go touchups, but I still prefer to use my own brushes – in particular CHANEL’s N°2 Powder/Contour brush that works beautifully with this product), the powder comes in the shape of the brand’s signature camellia blossom, with each petal clearly visible and bearing a cross-hatch pattern on the surface, delicately scented and virtually undetectable once applied.
As with all bronzers, bear in mind that it will develop; in other words, after initial application, step back and wait a few minutes before going in with more product, since the colour will deepen as it merges with the warmth and natural oils of your skin (this tip will save you from accidentally overdoing it).
The surface of the powder is slightly hard (similar to that of CHANEL’s baked products) but does not affect what the brush picks up whatsoever; in fact, there is hardly any kickback at all (at least, none that I could see) when you swirl your brush across the surface, making for less waste overall. The shade is a bit of a paradox and depending on the angle/light, can appear either cool (beige) or warm (tan), but once applied that’s when the magic happens; what emerges along the skin is like stuff dreams are made of (ok, that’s probably going a little far, but seriously … it’s like CHANEL has found a source of unicorn dust to infuse this product with. Yeah, that was a stretch too ∗shrugs∗). As stated earlier, the product begins to fuse with the warmth and natural oils of the skin, and takes on a sun kissed lustre, giving a ‘fresh from a beach walk’ appearance and overall super healthy glow (an effect due to that ultra fine shimmer, I suspect), becoming even better with the wearing. As to longevity and when applied over foundation or primer, I easily get 9-10 hours of wear, before noticing any fading.
CHANEL Lumière d’Été swatch, direct sunlight – applied heavy & blended out
CHANEL Lumière d’Été swatch, alternate light – applied heavy & blended out
If you’re a bronzer or CHANEL enthusiast, you NEED this. With the multitude of bronzers recently released for the Summer season from every imaginable brand there is, the Lumière d’Été Illuminating Powder still manages to stand out by virtue of its impeccable finish and tone. Combining a distinctly elegant visual aesthetic (seriously though … that camellia flower pattern is to die for) with unbelievable quality, is something that CHANEL has become known for, and I am totally planning on getting a backup – something you might want to think about as well, especially since it is a limited edition product. Just saying.
Available as of May 4 at all CHANEL counters across the country, find more information on the brand by visiting chanel.com
Press sample kindly provided for my unbiased consideration
Press sample provided for my unbiased consideration
CHANEL’s latest addition to their foundation lineup is the recently launched Vitalumière Loose Powder Foundation (CAN $80.00/available in 5 shades and which comes with its own mini kabuki brush). This is a product that is somewhat of a hybrid foundation/face powder rolled into one and meant to give medium to full buildable coverage, all in a lightweight texture that feels undetectable on the skin but which still provides a flawless finish. Then there’s the totally adorable mini kabuki brush it comes with, which feels and behaves exactly like CHANEL’s larger version (reviewed), but better equipped size-wise to handle those tricky & smaller areas of the face. And just so damn cute.
According to the company, this product promises to provide a ‘second-skin effect’ via:
- A new generation of high-definition light pigments that makes it possible to capture and diffuse softer light that is more flattering for the complexion
- Mica powder, which optimises light reflection for a natural satiny effect
- Canola oil derivative, which improves skin suppleness and provides a sensation of comfort on application and all day long
- A sunscreen for SPF 15 protection (I’m guessing that some bizarre Canadian regulation doesn’t permit the SPF amount to be listed on the packaging – as always)
I was kindly send shade N°30 to try out, which turns out to be an absolutely perfect match for my skin tone (although I suspect against a light tan, I’ll need to go up a shade).
The flattened round container comes with a protective & removable seal; underneath & helping to keep the contents under control is a mesh sifter to prevent the powder from flooding the upper section. There is a lovely floral scent to this foundation (reminds me of CHANEL’s Hydra Beauty skincare range), that becomes relatively undetectable once applied, but still worth mentioning for those with sensitivities. The stretchiness of the mesh sifter is genius; it has a ‘give’ when you press the brush down upon it, acting as both a barrier to excess powder being kicked up, as well as enabling you to get the right amount of product per use. CHANEL recommends that you tip the closed container over & tap it once on the bottom before righting & opening it, in order to release the powder into the upper compartment, but I find it just as easy to press my brush firmly down upon the sifter to pick up what I need.
I have oily/combination skin (although paradoxically as I’ve gotten older, my skin seems to need a lot more hydration – but the oily part is still alive & kicking, unfortunately) and while I’d love to be able to pull off the ‘dewy’ look, 99% of the time I wind up just looking greasy. Mattifying foundations are usually recommended for my skin type, but those can sometimes feel a little mask-like on my skin while having the added effect of emphasizing fine lines – which is a total deal breaker. Powdered face products meant to keep oiliness at bay can frequently look aging upon my skin, so finding that balance between toning down shine while providing coverage AND detracting from facial lines, can sometimes be a challenge. Enter CHANEL’s Vitalumière Loose Powder Foundation, or as I like to call it, my saviour.
It was recommended to me that using this foundation in conjunction (and on top of) Le Blanc de CHANEL (an illuminating primer and one which totally deserves its own post/spotlight) is the way to go, and after having experimented with applying this foundation several ways, I absolutely have to agree. After moisturizing my face (I give this step about 15 minutes to settle in before continuing with makeup application), I then apply a thin layer of Le Blanc de CHANEL and ensure it’s fully blended in (I give this a couple of minutes to settle in as well), then I’m ready to follow that up with the Vitalumière Loose Powder Foundation. After loading product onto my brush, I start with the fleshier part of the cheeks and blend out towards the ear/hairline; ears, jawline and neck are given a light sweep at the very end.
The initial appearance of this foundation upon the skin, is nothing earth-shattering, but as it warms up and begins to fuse with your natural oils, that’s when the magic happens: my skin simply looks luminous and flawless. It even seems to get better with wear, all while doing an excellent job of keeping shine away throughout the duration (although I do experience the slightest sheen at the end of the day – but nothing that makes me want to instantly reach for blotting paper). My only caution is that for those with dry skin, test-drive this foundation at the counter first, because my instincts tell me it probably won’t produce the same results I get. As to lasting powder, there’s some slight fading at the end of the day but the coverage manages to stay beautifully in place just the same, without any signs of oxidation.
I have tried a few powdered foundations, and none have impressed me enough to want to continue using them. Loose face powder is also not a staple in my makeup regimen (unless I’m doing a more evening look) and while CHANEL claims that this Vitalumière Loose Powder Foundation can provide full coverage, I would have to say that that depends on what your definition of full coverage is. I’m fortunate enough to have pretty decent skin to start with and prefer my foundation to be medium coverage at most – which is exactly the effect I get with this product. The beauty of this formula, is that you can basically dial up the level of coverage by which brush you opt for application (fluffier brushes will provide the lightest veil of colour, while dense Kabuki-style brushes give more opacity), but what has made this foundation hit Holy Grail status for me, is how gorgeous my skin looks throughout the wearing and how well it manages oil without any ensuing cakiness. Sigh of relief, I tell you.
The three lacquers of CHANEL’s Rêverie Parisienne Collection – N°641 Tenderly, N°643 Désirio, and N°645 Paradisio, are a trio of shades that herald Spring in a traditional and classic way. Looking at them together, I am reminded of visiting the Jardins Tuileries in Paris during my honeymoon (which was in the Springtime, 25 years ago this April 28th) and admiring the riot of flowers planted there – and in exactly these colours that completely capture the spirit of the season, in this intoxicating city.
N°641 Tenderly is a soft dusty mauve hue in a jelly-esque formula that applies in a self-levelling way and comes to a high gloss natural finish. Slightly sheer at the first coat, full opacity is reached by a second layer, displaying very good colour saturation. I absolutely love the plush cushiony tone of this shade and due to its nature, you can expect a slight ‘spring-back’ bouncy effect during application (although it doesn’t affect how it lays down along the nail). Non-staining upon removal. Coats applied: 2, plus top coat
CHANEl Spring 2015 | N°641 Tenderly
N°643 Désirio is live at first swipe! This is a lush magenta crème hue in a formula that can be described in one word: spectacular. Highly colour-saturated, no more than 1 coat is actually needed for full opacity, as it applyies in a self-levelling and über-glossy manner. Simply gorgeous and with the perfect balance of colour & brightness to make it universally wearable by all skin tones. Coats applied: 2, plus top coat
CHANEL Spring 2015 | N°643 Désirio
N°645 Paradisio (limited edition) is a fresh pale mint green hue with pearlized shimmer that just borders this side of frosty (although it never quite fully gets there, thankfully). The formula applies semi-sheer with the first coat, with full opacity reached by a second layer. Uniquely, any obvious or visible brush strokes seen at initial application seem to smooth themselves out as the polish sets, although applying a ridge-filling base coat first (as opposed to a regular base coat), will ensure the best foundation for this type of lacquer and provide the smoothest finish. Coats applied: 2, plus top coat
CHANEL Spring 2015 | N°645 Paradisio
Going through my collection of CHANEL lacquers for similar shades was not as successful as I initially thought it would be – which is a very good thing, in this case (I didn’t include other brands for comparison, as that would take eons with a collection as vast as mine). All three of these lacquers have a uniqueness to them, be it the finish or actual tone, and cover all bases: fans of vivid hues will adore the 1-coat-wonder that is Désirio, while those who lean towards smokier colours need Tenderly. I don’t usually care for frosty/shimmery hues such as Paradisio, but I can totally see this as a gorgeous & highly complimentary pedi shade against a light tan. Online, CHANEL lists all three as limited edition, but my brand contact confirmed that only Paradisio is in fact limited. Still available at all CHANEL counters but as the Summer collection will be rolling in very soon, don’t wait too long to check them out in person.
Find more information via chanel.com