For me, there’s few things that are able to take the sting out of Summer ending — one of them being the arrival of CHANEL’s Fall 2017 collection. Taking cues from a California road trip, CHANEL Global Makeup and Colour Designer Lucia Pica created Travel Diary. Inspired by the play of lights & colours on the landscape from earliest dawn to nightfall, as well as the vista from the coastline all the way to gritty downtown LA, these hues capture those fleeting photographic moments … in makeup form, naturally.
Kristen Stewart for CHANEL
Les 4 Ombres 288 Road Movie (CAN $68.00) | I simply cannot get over Kristen Stewart’s mesmerizing eyes in the above campaign shot and with the help of this quad, I intend to do my best to recreate this look. The four earthy hues in this palette are pretty much representative of the theme behind this collection: water, earth and air. The textures on all are luxuriously rich and well pigmented (keep in mind that I swatched them all rather heavily for photo purposes) and blending is effortless. Staying power over primer is excellent as well, staying true without fading until removed.
Ombre Première 818 Urban, limited edition (CAN $40.00) | Tweaking the original Illusion d’Ombre formula (let’s just say that it needed it), I’ve yet to meet an Ombre Première that I didn’t love. Urban is no exception, as it combines the velvety smoothness of a cream texture with easy blendability + excellent staying power (over primer — necessary if your lids tend to get oily like mine). With its inky/indigo hue, this shade can easily be worn solo for a sultry/smokey effect, or layered under eyeshadow to act as an anchor and/or provide depth.
Signature de CHANEL 10 Noir (CAN $45.00) | This eyeliner is unique in many ways, although it’s not without a learning curve. If you’ve ever used a fountain pen (still my fave), then you’ll immediately recognize the little cartridge it comes with that you need to click into the body of the pen prior to use. Once that’s done, you need to press the tapered brush flat against a surface for about 3 minutes (make sure to protect your surface with paper towels) until the ‘ink’ has had time to saturate the brush — and you’re good to go. Made with a high concentration of both water and pigments, you get intense and even colour, while the soft yet flexible brush applicator helps you easily create either fine or thick lines, all dependant on the pressure you apply as well as whether you use the brush along its side or the tip. Long-lasting without cracking, peeling, or flaking, it’s best to use a dual-phase remover to clean it all off. By the way, in the swatch below I created little fringes — mainly because it was fun to do so (and I wanted to see how fine a line I could get) plus I felt it went well with the whole Cali vibe.
Stylo Sourcils Waterproof 808 Brunettes Clair (CAN $38.00) | Bearing an tapered angled tip that helps to easily cover larger areas as well as draw in finer strokes along the brows, this pencil also has a spoolie conveniently placed on the other end to aid in combing the product through. Since the formula is meant to be waterproof (although I’m thinking that it’s probably more along the lines of water resistant), it’s a little harder texture wise than what I’m used to and takes a bit of working in — perfect for those times you want to ensure your makeup stays put (i.e.: equally useful for both special events and swelteringly humid days).
Palette Essentielle 160 Beige Médium (CAN $85.00) | Brand spanking new from CHANEL is this triple-threat palette; available in 3 shades (Clair, Médium & Intense), it is comprised of three separate pans: a concealer (largest portion), a blush, and a highlight. All are cream textures and blend absolutely beautifully into the skin (seriously; there’s nothing like this texture for the most natural-looking finish). Staying power is surprisingly good as well, considering that this it has much more slip than powder, and does not oxidize throughout the wearing.
My issue upon opening the palette up, was in how I could possibly make a ruddy brown shade work as a blush. Surprisingly, it turned out to be the prettiest berry hue I’ve seen and blends out to this incredibly natural-looking flush of colour. Of course, you can always layer it for more depth — but then you run the risk of looking slapped, so I wouldn’t go there. The highlighter in this palette has a soft golden hint peeking through, making it easily wearable by both cool and warm complexions alike. Concealer is not a product I regularly wear, as I don’t really have dark undereye circles or blemishes, so I like using this part of the palette in a totally different way: more along the lines of foundation, but only in key areas that can benefit from a little evening out.
EDIT: I received 170 Beige Intense after I had already taken all my product shots and swatched the products, so unfortunately it’s not included in this post.
Retractable Dual-Tip Concealer Brush (CAN $66.00) | I am a huge fan of CHANEL makeup brushes and basically have them all which I’ve collected (or been given as Christmas gifts) over the years. The quality on all is superb and they continue to be stellar performers through countless washings as well. Earlier this year, CHANEL introduced several new retractible brushes (reviewed) and here’s where I’m a little torn; on the one hand, I really like the idea two brushes in one, as the price point is more attractive and the portability makes it fabulous to travel with (think of the space you’ll save in your makeup bag), but I’m still not fully on board with the caps on these as I find they don’t always fit that well and can catch (and therefore kink) some brush hairs if you’re not careful. That said, I’m happy to say that the quality of each brush is excellent and they do work quite well just the same.
Rouge Allure Ink 158 Highway (CAN $43.00) | CHANEL’s take on the liquid lip is slightly different than the norm; the finish is not fully matte which basically means it’ll be much more flattering for those whose lips are heavily lined (like mine) and the texture is lightweight enough that you pretty much forget you’re wearing anything at all. According to CHANEL’s website, this pink/peachy hue is listed as limited edition, although my press info has it as part of the regular lineup. Either way, it’s a shade that will be flattering on a broad range of skin tones and really just so dang pretty, no?
Rouge Allure Velvet 64 First Light (CAN $43.00) | As someone whose comfort zone lies in neutral hues, I have been a touch obsessed lately with finding that perfect orangey/red lipstick shade; one that’s neither too orange leaning (so not flattering on less-than-blindingly-white teeth) or too red (way too intense for daily wear) and from the second I swiped on First Light, I was hooked. The texture is exactly as the name implies: velvety … as well as highly pigmented and super creamy-feeling along the lips. In case you’re wondering, yes, my search is now over.
Le Vernis 576 Horizon Line, limited edition (CAN $32.00) | A shade that’s a little hard to pin down, this is a dusty/muted/faded sage green in some lighting, and a bit more grey-leaning at other angles. The crème texture has a good density (neither too thick nor thin) and lays down in a totally self-levelling manner, although there is a slight jelly-esque feel and look to the finish as well: cushiony-looking & super glossy.
Coats: 2, plus Le Gel Top Coat
Le Vernis 578 New Dawn (CAN $32.00) | So, I was pretty sure that out of the two, Horizon Line would be my favourite, but once again, CHANEL has managed to surprise me. It’s notoriously difficult to find a nude lacquer shade that suits one’s skin tone, but something tells me that the filtered mauve/beige hue of New Dawn will work on a wide variety of skin tones. The formula is slighter thinner than Horizon Line, but the coverage is the same, reaching full opacity by the second coat, coming to a lovely natural glossy finish.
Coats: 2, plus Le Gel Top Coat
Predictability — not a word I’m fond of when it comes to beauty, as I do love a nice twist here and there; it keeps things interesting, if you know what I mean. So I do like CHANEL’s take on ‘outrageous’, done with strategic pops of colour (Road Movie, First Light) to balance out the more subtle tones of the rest of the collection. There’s a continuity to this Travel Diary that speaks to me, as I find the colours are not only a wonderful representation of everything that comes to mind when I think of California, but are all eminently wearable. As to favourites? You already know the answer: everything.
Available August 4 at all CHANEL beauty counters
Media samples kindly provided, all opinions are my own