Back in 2016 and for her debut launch, Lucia Pica — Global Creative Makeup & Colour Director for CHANEL — created a collection around red, her favourite shade. For Fall/Winter 2020, she revisits this iconic hue with the Candeur et Expérience Acte II Collection … but with a pink twist that explores variations and tones, and still keeping it all within the brand’s recognizable signature. For the record, I’m LOVING every.single.piece.
For me, the standouts of this collection are definitely the three palettes (note that Candeur et Expérience shown above is the original from 2016 aka: my most-used & loved palette of all time). Lucia Pica wanted to explore the duality of women and femininity along with the changing landscape of what it now means to be feminine. Building on the the tone of the original Candeur et Expérience palette, she turned her focus to pink — but subverted it to “travel away from the merely pretty, to become something far more audacious and radical“. Personally, I’d say she absolutely nailed it.
362 Candeur et Provocation, limited edition (CAN $70.00) | All four shades display excellent colour saturation and blendability, and when worn over primer the staying power is bang-on until removed, with no fading or creasing. The shades all work harmoniously together with the matte brown helping to add a grounding touch … but you can always amp things up a few notches by layering up the intense peach shade.
- satin peachy pink (upper left)
- intense muted pearly pink (upper right)
- warm reddish shimmery plum (lower left)
- matte tan brown (lower right)
364 Candeur et Séduction, limited edition (CAN $70.00) | In my opinion, this is definitely the showstopper of the three. All four shades are gorgeously pigmented and blend equally beautifully, and despite the overall intensity of the palette, every single hue is completely wearable. Going in with a fluffy brush will provide a light wash of colour — a great way to wear these shades if you feel they might be a bit much, but I just want to layer them full strength and go wild with all this glorious colour. The lightest shade can also serve as highlighter, so bonus points scored for that. Staying power over primer is excellent.
- matte brownish plum (upper left)
- satin rosy platinum (upper right)
- matte plum brown (lower left)
- matte dusty raspberry (lower right)
268 Candeur et Expérience (CAN $70.00) | As I stated earlier, this has literally been my most-used and most-loved palette of all brands and of all time. Interestingly enough, the shades I reached for the most are the top left and the red, and I was hoping that CHANEL would expound on the theme with more … my wish was apparently answered with this collection. I’ve linked my original review for more details, but in a nutshell: this palette is a must-have for anyone. Note that of the three palettes shown, this is the only one that’s permanent.
- matte warm brown (upper left)
- matte fawn (upper right)
- matte brick red (lower left)
- matte mink brown (lower right)
Stylo Yeux Waterproof, limited edition (CAN $38.00/each) | With a plethora of eyeliner to reach for, time and again these are the ones I gravitate towards. For starters, I like that they’re housed in a retractable format as it keeps them sanitary and the point safe from breakage. Secondly, they apply smoothly and without tugging on the delicate skin around the eyes. Lastly, the colour lasts beautifully — even on the waterline — and stays smudge proof throughout wear. So basically they’re a win-win-win.
- 955 Romance* – satiny rosy brown (with hints of rose gold)
- 959 Psyché – matte eggplant (looks more plum to me)
I pulled out all the CHANEL Style Yeux Waterproof shades in my stash that I felt were similar, but as can clearly be seen in the above swatch, both Romance and Psyché (named for the Greek Goddess of the soul) truly have no comparison, making them worthy additions to one’s collection.
Rosée Baume Essentiel* (CAN $60.00) | The latest addition to the Baume Essential family, this is a petal pink shade that can be worn along cheeks or lips (for those who love a glossy editorial lid, you can also play with it along eyes). The texture is creamy and exceptionally smooth and if you don’t mind the fact that it does not dry down (I don’t), it looks stunning along the high points of the cheeks, providing a light hint of fresh colour along with radiance.
“In many ways, I also wanted to look at the ‘transgression’ of pink; is that an innocent blush? What is innocence? Where does its power lie? It’s the power of youth and audacity. It’s the power of still being sincere” — Lucia Pica
A comparison shot of the other shades in the Baume Essentiel range clearly shows that all are unique from one another.
Le Vernis (CAN $35.00/each) | As someone who has been collecting CHANEL nail polishes for quite some time now (several decades worth, in fact), I love how the shades of this collection not only compliment each other and work beautifully in the theme, but how easy they are to wear. The formula on both is absolutely wonderful, laying down smoothly and in a self-levelling way, leaving behind a gorgeous naturally glossy finish. That said, I do advise laying down a base coat first with Interdit to avoid any potential staining.
Swatches shown below with 2 coats of polish each, no base or top coat.
- 765 Interdit – blood chocolate, crème
- 769 Égérie – pink beige, crème
I pulled out all the similar shades in my stash to compare against both Interdit and Égérie. As seen in the above swatch wheel, the closest (I have) to Égérie might be Organdi, but that appears more beige and muted. With regards to Interdit, it’s definitely closest to the original Rouge Noir (my bottle is a first run from its original release in 1995 and still applies like a dream!) and even Accessoire comes in extremely similar. The differences with all the deeper hues are extremely subtle and while I still detect slight variations in undertone, it’s the amazing formula that really sells Interdit, in my opinion.
As a result of the current times we’re living in, I personally opted to concentrate on the eyes and nails of this collection — but couldn’t resist Rosée Baume Essentiel! There are several lip options available too and from what I’ve seen, all the colours appear to be extremely wearable. For me, this collection has absolutely hit it out of the park and I’m still obsessing over the colours; it’s like CHANEL created these just for me (I wish, lol). Just remember that several pieces are limited edition … you know the drill.
Available at CHANEL counters nationwide
Kindly provided by CHANEL for my unbiased consideration
Products marked * purchased by me