- Beauty Journalist & 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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The second of CHANEL’s 2017 launches, the Energies et Puretés Collection includes two new nail polishes: 552 Resplendissant, an electrifying coral, and going in the complete opposite direction is 584 Bleu Pastel, a delicate baby blue. Drawing inspiration from K-Pop culture as well as the East-meets-West aesthetic, Lucia Pica (CHANEL’s Global Creative Makeup Director & Colour Designer) has managed to capture that vibe with just two shades. Now THAT’s a pretty cool trick, wouldn’t you agree?
There’s something about CHANEL highlighters that just grabs you, doesn’t it? Mimicing the exquisite craftsmanship of the house’s Haute Couture creations, the face products of the Énergies et Puretés Collection, namely Plissé Lumière Illuminating Powder, Tweed Coralline & Tweed Cherry Blossom Blush Duos (all limited edition) may have been inspired by a fusion of Japanese aesthetics + Western modernity, but they all have something else in common: undeniable beauty.
The recent showing of CHANEL’s Spring/Summer 2017 Haute Couture Collection was in a word: breathtaking. Held at the Grand Palais in Paris, the venue had been transformed into a veritable world of light via the liberal use of mirrors throughout, the white plush seating for attendees, and the elegant silhouettes of the calla lily bouquets.
One of the newest launches from CHANEL, Le Rouge Crayon de Couleur/Jumbo Longwear Lip Crayon, may very well turn out to be one of their “funnest” (most fun?) releases to date … not to mention ridiculously easy to use. Available in 10 shades at a cost of CAN $43.00/each (I understand that there are more colours available elsewhere. Sigh), these are definitely luxury-priced, but are they worth it? Read on to find out …
Having finally jumped onto the ‘oversized lip pencil’ band-wagon, CHANEL’s version has certainly taken things up a few notches by creating a product with a formula that’s as luxurious as the price tag. Intensely pigmented, each shade offers good-to-stellar coverage by the very first stroke (this is obviously colour-dependant; the lighter the hue, the less intense the pigment), while also keeping lips throughly moisturized throughout the wearing. Application is truly effortless since you literally use each pencil to “draw” the colour onto lips (start by tracing lip contours, then fill in). With a creamy, gliding feel and rich glossy finish, full coverage is reached by the basically the first swipe.
While long-lasting, their emollient nature means that they will move but as the deeper/darker shades also fade to a light stain, at least you still wind up with colour along your lips. TIP: to sharpen, swipe the tip from side to side on a tissue, although personally I do wish there were another way, so as to avoid wasting any product.
N°1 Nude | A universally flattering neutral nude shade that gives just a hint of colour without washing features out. Considering the light hue, coverage is excellent and does not settle into lip lines.
N°9 Beige Rosé, limited edition | A soft pink/nude shade that provides a light layer of colour, as well as a slightly plumped look to lips.
N°2 Rose Violine | A dusky rose shade with mauve undertones, and which leaves behind a gorgeous “bitten-effect” stain.
N°4 Rouge Corail | A vibrant coral-tinged red that while bright, is never gaudy. Totally wearable and one that will be spectacular paired with a light tan (but still gorgeous against paler complexions too).
N°5 Rouge, limited edition | A true red shade with a good mix of both cool and warm undertones, making universally flattering as well as wearable. In a word: stunning.
So to answer the question I posed in my opening paragraph, YES: these pencils are so very definitely worth it. The selection I received are all shades I would have chosen myself and in fact, I’ve been been wearing Nude, Beige Rosé, and Rose Violine in constant rotation. Rouge Corail just begs to be worn while lounging poolside at some tropical locale, and Rouge is the very epitome of a lush & sexy red hue. By the way, Sabrina of The Beauty Look Book has swatches of the entire range you can check out. Final word: I absolutely love each and plan on picking up the rest when they launch.
Available January 27 at all CHANEL counters
Media samples kindly provided, all opinions my own
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