Inspired by Japanese Akoya pearls, CHANEL’s Perles et Éclats Collection draws on Coco Chanel’s love of these lustrous gems and their complex luminosity, with several pieces here absolutely delivering on that aesthetic. For example, feast your eyes on that exquisite highlighter … I rest my case.
Describing this look in one word: ethereal
374 Allure et Éclat Eyeshadow Quad, limited edition (CAN $76.00) | The palette holds four complimentary shades: soft shimmering peach (top left), pure white shimmer (top right), coppery eggplant (bottom right), and an icy white sprinkled with rose pearly particles (bottom left). All display a buttery smooth texture which blends out beautifully, but that sparkling white is on a whole other level and almost feels ‘wet’ to the touch (plus it also makes for the most incredible inner eye corner highlight) and in my opinion, looks best when applied with a fingertip. I was also surprised by the darkest hue, expecting it to be a touch strong, but that too applies much gentler than it looks — and definitely on par with the whole vibe of the palette. All last amazingly well when worn over primer. Note that the actual shimmer/sparkle of the two white shades is insanely hard to capture in a still photo, making the first one seem somewhat translucent and the second rather 1-dimensional, but trust me when I say that both are much more complex — and gorgeous — than they appear in swatches.
all shades swatched clockwise from top left of palette
Stylo Ombre et Contour (CAN $41.00/each) | These retractable chubby pencils are a staple in my makeup routine; for one, they can be used a number of ways — as a liner both along the lash line or worn along the waterline, as base for powder shadow on top, or even smudged out for a diffused effect. The texture is buttery smooth and glides easily along the delicate skin around the eye, and once they set, they’re pretty rock solid (but I always prime just the same, as my eyelids can get quite oily). Bonus points scored for both being portable, and not needing anything more than your fingers for application.
- 40 Beige Perlé* (limited edition) – bronze brown
- 38 Burgundy Perlé (limited edition) – metallic coppery rosewood
I looked through my stash of Stylo Ombre et Contour and these are the closest matches. I was surprised to see how similar Electric Brown looks at first glance, but Beige Perlé is still a few shades lighter and definitely more shimmery. Burgundy Perlé has no match (in my collection), although I was curious to compare Rouge Noir to it just the same.
Perles de Lumière Illuminating Blush Powder, limited edition (CAN $90.00) | And now for the star of the collection: let’s just take a moment and marvel at this beauty, shall we? Forget the word “blush” in the name, this is 100% a highlighting powder in a soft & shimmery rosy champagne hue. Embossed on the surface are the iconic double C’s encircled by a ring of pearls, with rays of smaller pearls radiating outwards. The texture is finely milled and creamy smooth, making it effortless to blend out along the skin. The glow it imparts is more luminous as opposed to outright shimmer, and makes you look like you’re “lit from within”. Colour-wise, it seems to strike a perfect balance between cool and warm, which means it should be suitable to a broad range of skin tones. Staying power, when worn over foundation/primer, is excellent as well without any significant fading.
I reached into my collection of CHANEL highlighters to find a match, and interestingly enough, I was actually surprised to see that Perles de Lumière stands unique. Éclat du Désert (reviewed here) is in the same colour family, but on a much more muted level and while Plissé Lumière de CHANEL has the same vibrancy, it’s much lighter.
Perlescent Baume Essential* (CAN $60.00) | A highlighting product with a balmy nature, this imparts a ‘wet dewy’ glow to the skin along with an incredibly complex shimmer. The second shade released with this collection is Printanier (not shown) which I passed on, namely because it appeared much too similar to Rosée (reviewed here) and as I had an opportunity to swatch it in store, I found it much too sheer for my liking. In truth, I initially assumed that Perlescent would be similar to the original Transparent (reviewed here), but while at first glance they appear identical, they actually translate completely different applied. Due to its emollient nature, this product does not dry completely down so don’t expect major staying power, but the effect it provides is just so lovely that it makes up for that. As to application, it’s best to dab onto the skin with your fingers, as that gives you more control of placement and avoids moving anything underneath (like foundation). Once again, capturing its essence on camera is quite hard, but basically where Transparent is like applying a clear slick of gel along the skin, Perlescent takes things to a whole new level with the addition of a unique pearly shimmer. Picture liquified pearls, and you’ll understand what I mean.
496 Tendresse Rouge Coco* & 192 Profondeur Rouge Allure*, limited edition (CAN $52.00/each) | The collection includes 4 lip products in total (Éclat Rouge Coco and Douceur Rouge Coco Flash, not shown), all soft & muted rosy shades that work harmoniously with the whole theme. Tendresse is a peachy pink hue, while Profondeur is a warm rosewood — with both shades displaying full coverage from the first swipe along with a satiny finish. Nothing ground breaking here, but I love how both of these shades are wearable and complimentary to the collection. My personal favourite way of wearing each is actually by blotting the colour until a diffused effect remains. Staying power is quite good considering their emollience, with Profondeur fading to a light rosy stain.
889 Perle Blanche (limited edition) & 891 Perle Burgundy* Le Vernis (CAN $38.00/each) | The opalescent qualities of both shades, are totally on point with the collection. The consistency of the formula is easy to work with and self-levelling, coming to a naturally glossy finish. Each has a complex iridescence that makes them unique and displays prismatic flashes depending on how the light hits them. Perle Blanche perfectly recreates the nacre seen on the inside of a shell, while Perle Burgundy is a colour that can best be described as a dusty plum — until it morphs into something completely different when viewed at another angle.
All swatches below are with 2 coats of polish, no base or top coat.
All in all, I have to say that this collection has several winners. Both of the highlighters shown are absolutely gorgeous, the eyeshadow quad has a unique mix of finishes that I’ve not seen CHANEL do before, and the pencils are eminently wearable. Oh, and the nail polishes are stunning and not to be missed. As to the lippies, I like that the colours are very wearable and both have outstanding formulas, so if you’re missing hues like this in your collection, these are certainly worth a look. And yes, most items are limited edition, so get ’em while they’re hot.
Available at all CHANEL beauty counters
Products marked * kindly provided by CHANEL, the rest purchased by me