- 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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I’ve been ready for Summer to arrive since Winter began, and the CHANEL Les Indispensables de L’Été Cruise 2017 Collection (holy moly that’s a mouthful) has just brought me that much closer to the heat I crave. As this is Global Creative Makeup and Colour Designer (another lengthy title) Lucia Pica’s very first Cruise Collection for the brand, she turned to Coco Chanel herself for inspiration, in particular Mademoiselle’s love of bronzed Summery hues and the easy vibe the season imparts. For the record, this thoughtfully curated collection has totally nailed what Summer’s all about: freedom.
The latest additions to the CHANEL Le Vernis range and brand new for Spring 2017, are the four shades featured today (CAN $32.00/each). Out of the four, only one — Tulle, the peach shade — is limited edition and surprisingly it’s not the one I would have expected, but then again I’ll never figure out how brands determine which product gets this designation; I’m just glad it’s not either Androgyne (the deepest hue) or Washed Denim ∗sigh of relief∗.
The Spring launch from YSL is taking its cue from the street, although there’s nothing remotely gritty about this collection, that’s for sure. Bright pops of colour are made wearable by new layerable textures and formulations: now that’s what I call being street & beauty savvy.
Say what you will, no brand understands feminine and dainty better than essie, and this latest Ballet Nudes Collection (CAN $13.99/each) certainly backs up what I’m saying. Of course, the fact that these lacquers come in essie’s new gel couture™ formula doesn’t hurt either; created to be long-wearing, it’s also the revolutionary brush that makes all the difference in the world between a mediocre and totally flawless application. So basically, the nail polish aficionado + ballerina wannabe in me have just come together in perfect harmony.
Inspired by the elegance of the ballet — from the costumes (think: pastel, shimmery tutus) to the choreography (embodied by the uniquely twisted bottle and brush wand design), these shades are meant to be applied to your bare nails, then finished with the specially formulated top coat … no base coat or curing lamp needed.
Note that none of the swatches shown have top coat added — I wanted to show how glossy they are even on their own.
Luxury inspo? CHANEL Fall/Winter 2016-17 Haute Couture Collection
Lace Me Up | A white based baby pink hue that applies relatively streak-free, with any patchiness seen by the first coat easily smoothing out with a second layer. You’ll need at least three thin coats to reach the opacity seen here.
Perfect Posture | Pale lavender/periwinkle hue with white undertones in the base, in a formula that’s was easy-peasy to apply: self levelling, non-patchy & coming to a glossy finish. Two coats seen here.
Satin Slipper | A light nude/beige with ultrafine pearly shimmer that may be a bit difficult to see unless direct light hits the nails, although it does add depth. As this formula has some translucency, you’ll need three thin coats to reach the opacity seen here.
At The Barre | A soft flesh toned nude with pink undertones in the base, thus making it universally wearable by a broad range of skin tones, with a formula that’s quite effortless to apply. Two coats seen here.
Hold The Position | A warm rose hue that’s surprisingly non-streaky in application (for something in this colour family, that is), falling in a self-levelling way and with good opacity as well. Two coats seen here.
Closing Night | A unique mix of light blue & soft-wash grey that’s filled with undercurrents of metallic blue shimmer which provides a slight shift seen in certain lighting. The formula here is a touch runnier than the rest, but still very easy to work with and apply. Any translucency seen with the first coat becomes totally opaque by a second layer. Two coats shown here.
You know that Spring is near when brands start busting out all the pastels (with neons & brights not far behind for Summer), and essie certainly managed to capture the essence of the ballet with this collection. My favourites are hands down Closing Night (I mean, just look at it), and Satin Slipper (even if it does take a bit more effort in application), although Lace Me Up falls totally in my white-loving wheelhouse and At The Barre is one of the easiest nudes you’ll wear. I was actually surprised by how much I liked Hold The Position, but as someone who’s not that big a fan of pink, well …. let’s just leave it here.
Available at salons & retailers nationwide
PR samples/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