CHANEL · Collection Libre 2018 Maximalisme de CHANEL

“I used my penchant for all that shines to try and reconcile elegance and fashion”

Gabrielle Chanel

For this year’s Collection Libre, Lucia Pica drew inspiration from one of Mlle Chanel’s beloved talismans, the lion — a symbol which represents strength, courage, and even, dare I say, flamboyance (that mane, am I right?). Spotlighting the way interesting new colours can be seen when light & shadow reflects off mettalics, this collection is both bold and elegant … and absolute perfection for the holidays. Be warned, however: everything is limited edition.



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It’s always the little details that grab me, such as how the double C’s for this collection are in a glimmering gold tone versus the usual white

Le Lion de CHANEL Illuminating Powder (CAN $80.00) | One of the stars of this collection (I use that term loosely, because in my opinion everything here is simply stunning), this is an ivory-gold highlighter bearing an ultrafine complex shimmer, a semi-sheer texture, and a buildable finish. The beautifully rendered lion on the powder’s surface is a raised detail and even though it will wear down with use, it’s still something to behold, wouldn’t you agree? The colour is actually an excellent balance of both warm & cool tones and thus wearable by a broad range of skin tones. Apart from being used as a traditional highlighter, you can also wear it along eyes — just add a few coats of mascara for an elegant yet impactful look, or even dusted along collar bones if you’re feeling extra.

Ombre Première Metallic (CAN $45.00/each) | Also available in Electrum Lamé & Vert Lamé (not shown), and bearing a mini lion head each that’s just as finely wrought as that of the highlighter, these are highly pigmented eye shadows in a lush metallic finish. The texture is almost creamy to the touch and a little goes a long way; start with a light amount and build up if need be. Easily blended out, you can also apply either with a dampened brush for mega intensity — just stick to one corner of the pan for that to keep the rest of the powder pristine. Wear time over primer is excellent, staying true until removed.

907 Cuivre Lamé | Intense copper bronze with complex shimmer

908 Noir Lamé | Sooty charcoal black with iridescent shimmer

La Palette Caractère Lipstick Collection (CAN $90.00) | Bearing some of Lucia Pica’s favourite shades, this palette has 5 lip hues in a range of finishes: sheer, satin & matte. Also including two mini dual-ended brushes that are not only travel-friendly, but work amazingly well, each colour is large enough to accommodate your finger for application. It should be noted that the second and third shades (from the left) have the highest colour payoff and will fade to a nice stain, while the first & fourth are much more emollient and semi-opaque. The last shade, regardless of how scary dark it may look in the pan, is actually the sheerest and has a balm-like feel upon the lips. Wear time will obviously depend on selected hue, along with whatever eating/drinking you plan on doing. Another perk is that you can even mix and match any of the colours to create a unique and customizable new shade. The breakdown below starts from the palette’s left:

∗ I’m sorry I couldn’t include actual lip swatches, mainly because I had broken out in a fever blister when I began reviewing this collection. Not a pretty sight, let me tell you.

  • vivid orange, satin finish
  • true red, satin finish
  • deep crimson, velvet matte finish
  • berry, satin finish
  • marroon, sheer finish

Le Vernis (CAN $33.00/each) | Rounding things off are the two varnishes of this collection, shades that in my opinion, perfectly exemplify the holiday mood. Both have a sublime texture, flowing easily along the nail with excellent density, are self-levelling and come to a natural brilliant finish. In the past, I have lamented the quality of the CHANEL brush, but it appears the brand has stepped things up, because each brush here works wonderfully and bears an excellent splay along the nail bed.

917 Opulence | A multi-chrome hue with flashes of pink, green, copper, olive, and antique gold that’s also filled with metallic ultra fine bronze shimmer. The first coat lays down semi sheer but becomes fully opaque with a second layer. I recommend keeping your hand as steady as possible to minimize any vertical lines, although I feel they add to the charm of this shade. Non-staining upon removal.

Coats: 2, no top coat

918 Flamboyance | A blue based red crème that’s brimming with ultra fine metallic red oscillating sparkle, giving this shade that “lit-from-within” effect. Excellent opacity seen even with the first layer, two coats provides even more depth and intensity. Relatively non-staining upon removal, provided you wear base coat underneath.

Coats: 2, no top coat

My first thought when I beheld Opulence, was that it looked extremely familiar and rummaging through my collection, I pulled out Troublante to compare (Fall 2015, no longer available). Looking at them in the bottle, they are identical with perhaps the shimmer in Troublante appearing a bit larger and a touch more obvious. Even the application was the same, each showing a sheerness with the first coat and full opacity by the second. If pressed, I’d have to say that Troublante seems a bit thinner to me texture-wise and the brush is not as well crafted as that of Opulence. Bottom line: they are almost identical and if you missed out on Troublante, here’s your chance to make up for that.

The holiday collection I anticipate the most, is without a doubt that of CHANEL, and this year’s offering definitely does not disappoint. Each piece is not only a visual treat, but displays a stellar performance as well. There are several more items in the collection that I did not receive, but have already earmarked and will definitely be picking up, in particular the N°5 Rouge Allure Velvet lipstick with its limited edition red case — no way am I missing out on THAT. It goes without saying that everything here is limited edition, so if these are on your wishlist or you’re planning on gifting, I’d suggest contacting your nearest counter to hold items because something tells me this collection will fly …

Available November 5 at all CHANEL beauty counters

Kindly provided by CHANEL for my unbiased consideration

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