We may be in full-throttle winter mode, but I’m already looking ahead to warmer weather — and something about CHANEL’s recently launched Les Fleurs Collection for Spring/Summer 2021 hits all the right notes. For starters, it has the words “spring/summer” in it (yay) but who are we kidding? You guys know I’m ALL about CHANEL anything …
For this collection, Lucia Pica drew inspiration from the world of flowers, in particular poppies, anthuriums, carnations, and the favourite flower of Gabrielle Chanel herself, the elegant camellia. The colour harmony this time around leans somewhat warmer overall (imagine: turning your face up to receive the sun’s rays — that kind of warmth), but still maintains some earthy elements to keep it all grounded. I should note that there are 2 eyeshadow quads that appear to have been released in Europe but as of now do not appear to be in either Canada or the US, although I really hope that changes as both palettes are stunning and totally in my wheelhouse, aka: I WANT them.
Fleur de Printemps Highlighter Blush Duo, limited edition (CAN $90.00) | With a raised floral embossed pattern on its surface, this is the undisputed star of the collection. Bearing a satiny/peach highlighter on one side (although those with very fair complexions can possibly also use this as a blush) and a pink/coral blush on the other, each portion is large enough that you can apply them individually — but in my opinion, their true beauty comes through when the shades are combined. The texture is incredibly fine milled and lays down beautifully along the skin without any powderiness at all, while staying power (when worn over primer and/or foundation) is excellent as well.
My first thought was that the combined shades of Fleurs de Printemps appeared similar to that of Les Chaînes de CHANEL from the Holiday 2020 Collection (reviewed here), but the swatch above shows how different they are from each other.
120 Metal Terracotta Le Volume de CHANEL, limited edition (CAN $43.00) | I’ve gone through countless Le Volume tubes mascara since the day this formula launched years ago, and this version excited me for many reasons. But first, the formula: I’ve learned through trial & error that it takes a few uses before you experience its full volumizing effect (probably due to oxygen getting in after opening) — after that, it just keeps getting better & better. This unique new shade will look amazing on everyone, but its deep coppery hue will really pop for those with green eyes (like mine). You can obviously wear it on its own, but a few other tips are to wear it along the lower lashes for a more subdued effect, or applied over a coat of black mascara on the upper lashes for an interesting twist. I should also mention that this mascara doesn’t flake or leave smudges under the eyes, and removes easily without stressing lashes by using a dual-phase remover.
The top photo was taken with flash to best show the metallic coppery glint, while the indirect lighting of the bottom photo displays how it usually appears.
136 Pivoine Noire Rouge Allure Velvet Extrême (CAN $48.00) | One of two lipsticks released with this collection (136 Éclosion, previously released – not shown), this is said to be a “dusty berry-red” although I see it more as a darkened poppy; the name Pivoine Noire translates to Black Peony, but I literally see poppy — and even mistook the word Pivoine (peony) for Coquelicot (poppy), but I’m grateful to a savvy ready who noted the correct floral name. The texture is buttery smooth and totally velvet-like, as well as being highly colour saturated and opaque from the very first swipe. In general, I tend to stick to more hydrating formulas but I make an exception for this, as it feels super moisturizing throughout wear. Staying power is excellent as well, and even though it doesn’t fully dry down (which means reapplication will be needed at some point), it does fade to a nice deep rose stain.
The collection also includes 2 other lip products in the new Rouge Allure Laque formula, not shown.
Le Vernis (CAN $35.00/each) | I have been collecting CHANEL nail polishes for over 30 years now (yes, 30) and while there have been some misses, overall I’d say that the hits are what still keep me invested. The 3 shades of this collection may not initially appear ground-breaking; who hasn’t seen nudes or reds, am I right? But it’s the formula and brush that stand out for me. Each flows easily and in a self-levelling way and comes to a naturally glossy finish.
All swatches below are with 2 coats of polish, no base or top coat.
- 883 Pensée (limited edition) | Who else remembers the “mannequin hands” craze of a few years ago? Well, this soft peach hue with its ultra fine pearly shimmer (seen more in direct sunlight), is the modern take on that and probably one of the more flattering nudes I’ve seen in a long time. One word of advice: wait several minutes between coats in order to avoid any “bald” patches.
- 885 Anthurium | Literally a “OCW” (one coat wonder, another blast from the past term), this lush raspberry red shade is incredibly pigmented and so, so creamy. I will caution you to not skip base coat here, as something this saturated always has stain potential.
- 887 Metallic Bloom (limited edition) | A quick stroll through my instagram feed will show you that I have a lot of red CHANEL shades (seriously: check out my Instagram post dated January 2nd to see how I display my collection … and feel free to follow me if you haven’t already! ☺️) but this colour is absolutely unique. A fiery metallic tomato red with an orange undertone, it’s like molten lava and something tells me it’ll be my summer 2021 shade (wearing it on my toes right now).
This is collection whose shades are filled with the promise of spring and summer, and I have nothing but good things to say about everything I tried. Of course the fact that several key pieces are limited edition means you’ll have to move fast, but what else is new? For now, I’m going to keep my fingers crossed that CHANEL launches those two gorgeous eyeshadow palettes because travelling to France to get them is definitely NOT an option.
Available at all CHANEL beauty counters
Kindly provided by CHANEL for my unbiased consideration