It’s safe to say that CHANEL holds a special place in my heart (& vanity table) and the Holiday 2020 Chaînes d’Or Collection definitely does NOT disappoint. Setting the tone is the exquisite pattern, but ultimately it’s the performance of each piece that speaks to me. Very loudly, I might add.
For this collection, Lucia Pica drew inspiration from one of the Maison’s iconic symbols, the ‘chain’ as that seen gracing the brand’s coveted bags, for example. Also known for being a pioneer in liberating women from the constrictive clothing of the time, Gabrielle Chanel went a step further and by the simple act of adding this touch — a chain strap to handbags — she succeeded in also freeing up women’s hands. In that vein, one might say that these pieces are a worthy homage to both Gabrielle Chanel and the upcoming festive season.
Ombre Première (CAN $50.00/each) | Housed in black lacquered casings with the Double C’s done in gold, these four opulent shades bear the chain pattern embossed on their surface. The ultra fine texture applies buttery soft and can be worn as a sheer wash of colour, or easily built up for more intensity. For added drama, each shade can also be applied with a dampened brush — but do stick to one small part of the pan for that in order to preserve the dry integrity of the rest of the powder. The pearly finish displays a complex shimmer — and is utterly gorgeous. Staying power over primer is excellent, staying true without fading until removed.
- 925 Or Antique – luminous antique gold
- 926 Or Blanc – platinum
- 927 Cuivre Rose – warm coppery pink
- 928 Cuir Brun – soft khaki brown
Les Chaînes de CHANEL Illuminating Powder Blush (CAN $85.00) | Housed in a black lacquered compact case with the Double C’s done in gold as well, it also comes with a full sized mirror on the inner lid and a demilune natural-bristled brush. The embossed chain motif is absolutely breathtaking –and heartbreaking to mar by using — but I took one for the team (but not before taking a bajillion pictures first). The texture is divine: creamy smooth, easily to blend out, and coming to a luminous finish upon the skin. The ultra fine shimmer adds a lovely radiant touch and while the blush itself is definitely pigmented, you can still sheer it out for a lighter wash of colour. Staying power when worn over primer and/or foundation is excellent.
Rouge Allure Lipstick (CAN $57.00/each) | The iconic lipstick case of this range gets dressed up for this holiday collection, complete with gold touches along all 4 edges (for the record, this case was first introduced with last year’s holiday collection). The formula is super creamy and well pigmented, and the subtle golden flecks within each shade pays tribute to Gabrielle Chanel’s unconditional love for the colour gold. The emollient nature of this formula means that reapplication will be needed at some point, especially after eating and/or drinking, and all except for 107 Or Beige fades to a nice stain, leaving a hint of added colour.
- 107 Or Beige – gold flecked caramel beige
- 117 Or Cuivré – gold flecked brick red
- 127 Rouge d’Or – radiant gold flecked red (aka: the most perfect red)
- 137 Pourpre d’Or – softly shimmering plum
Le Vernis 773 Chaîne d’Or (CAN $35.00) | This shade is pure opulence + the festive season rolled into one bottle. A lush and rich bronze gold shade, the formula has a wonderful consistency and flows easily along the nails. As this is a shimmery hue, keeping your hand as steady as you can during application will yield the most even results. Self levelling, it also comes to a naturally brilliant finish and its combination of both cool and warm tones should make it suitable to a broad range of skin tones as well.
All swatches below are with 2 coats of polish — no base or top coats.
It’s not often that I fall hard for every single item of a given collection, but I have to give it to CHANEL with this one: every piece is a winner. The standouts for me are the blush, the red lipstick (Rouge d’Or) and the nail polish … with the eyeshadows not that far behind. I was also pleasantly surprised by how easy Or Beige is to wear, as beige hues are notoriously tricky to pull off. Fair warning, however: everything is limited edition and if past holiday collections are anything to judge by, I’m betting these lovelies will sell out super fast as well. Better call your local CHANEL counter ASAP and have them hold your faves!
Available November 2 at all CHANEL beauty counters