CHANEL’s iconic N°5 is celebrating 100 years of celebrity and is the inspiration behind this year’s 2021 Holiday Makeup Collection. The classic golden-yellow hue of the fragrance has been transformed into makeup for face & eyes, while red — the very colour of life — adorns lips and nails. Of course, there’s a little bit of sparkle thrown in as well to help you “zhuzh” up your looks … done in CHANEL’s inimitably elegant style, naturally.
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The lipsticks, eyeshadow palette, & fragrance all come in this crisp white packaging with the ‘5’ embossed in gold — and I’m so loving this fresh take on a classic.
N°5 Les 4 Ombres, limited edition* (CAN $80.00) | Housed in the brand’s signature black lacquer compact with the double C’s done in gold on the outer lid, each of the 4 shades bear a gorgeous embossed pattern, alternating between a ‘5‘ along with the instantly recognizable bottle silhouette. The deepest and the two “white” shades display a beautifully pigmented finish, while the golden hue has more sparkle and can also be layered over other shadows as a topper (or worn solo which is equally lovely). All have a smooth texture that can be effortlessly blended out, while staying power — when worn over primer, is excellent. Another nice surprise is how saturated the black hue is and even when blended out, it doesn’t turn muddy. Honestly, while these shades perfectly embody holiday, I can’t help but think how utterly ‘CHANEL’ all four are.
- Top left – golden amber with gold micro sparkle
- Top right – shimmery golden white
- Bottom right – intense matte/satin black, very subtle shimmer
- Bottom left – glittery white with a gold shift
Ombre Première Laque, limited edition (CAN $43.00/each) | Housed in rectangular transparent tubes (convenient in monitoring product usage), both shades come with a flocked paddle-shaped applicator that can easily pick up & deposit a good amount of product per swipe. What makes these two particularly interesting is the addition of shimmer; just enough to add an elegant sparkle without fear that you’ll wind up looking discoball-ish. You can wear either on their own on primed lids, layered up for intensity, or even layered over powder shadows — just make sure to work one eye at a time to avoid the product setting before you’re done and use a patting motion to apply. As to application, you can experiment with a variety of brushes but synthetic bristles will help provide more intensity, while a natural-bristled brush will yield a more diffused effect. Barring that, you can also smudge them in with your finger for an edgier yet still wearable look.
- 17 Or Noir* – gold flecked black
- 27 Or Ambré – amber gold with bronze shimmer
Or Ivoire Iridescent Highlighting Fluid, limited edition* (CAN $60.00) | This collection has two highlighters (possibly to make up for the lack of a highlighter in the recent Fall/Winter Collection — previously reviewed here) and both are ahhhh-mazing. I’m a huge fan of this liquid format and still reach for my bottle of the original Soleil Tan Illuminating Fluid to this day, although the newer versions are also in my rotation. That said, this year’s iteration which comes with gold double C’s on the cap and is definitely the more golden option in the range, imbued with a delicate yet intricate shimmer that lends itself so beautifully along the skin. Apart from wearing this along the high points of the face, its liquid texture means you can also easily apply this along other areas of the body such as collar bones and/or décolleté. Considering that a little goes a long way and you don’t need loads, this one bottle should last quite a long time. Note that unlike its predecessors, this version does not seem to have as obvious a fragrance, and what scent it does have is hardly noticeable.
Or Baume Essentiel, limited edition (CAN $60.00) | I’ve been a fan of this stick highlighter format since the original Transparent was launched, and this year’s version is a stunner. Housed in a retractable tube with the double C’s done in gold on the cap, this is a balmy highlighter in a soft gold hue with an incredibly fine & complex golden shimmer, which can be used on both face and eyes. As this is not meant to dry down, you’ll need to use judgement as to placement and even at that, re-application might be needed. I notice that even after some of the product has rubbed off, there’s still a subtle delicate shimmer left behind — almost like an echo, which is equally lovely. As with the Highlighting Fluid, this year’s version seems to have a barely noticeable fragrance, unlike previous versions that were more obviously scented.
N°5 Rouge Allure Lipstick, limited edition (CAN $58.00/each) | In keeping with the theme, the there are 5 lipsticks in the collection and all come with a raised ‘5‘ on the pop-out cap (which technically then becomes the bottom of the lipstick). The shade number of each can also be found printed on the inner casing, so no worries if you forget which colour goes into which outer case. The Rouge Allure format is one of my absolute faves from the brand: highly pigmented, buttery smooth to apply, and just so comfortable to wear. There’s a red here to suit every complexion, from the fairest to the deepest, as well as a small, but still nice variety of undertones. And while yes, red for holiday may not be groundbreaking, CHANEL tends to make some truly amazing reds and I’m loving how timeless and classic — not to mention so absolutely wearable — all five of these are.
- 99 Pirate* | blue-based red
- 147 Emblématique | powerful red
- 157 Légendaire | garnet red
- 176 Indépendante* | fiery red
- 191 Rouge Brûlant* | warm coral red
914 Rouge Intemporel*, limited edition (CAN $38.00) | Housed in the brand’s iconic square-capped bottle but bearing golden double C’s on the cap (as opposed to white, although the inner cap has white double C’s), this is a powerful statement-making red crème hue with just the right balance of both warm & cool undertones, thus making it wearable by a broad range of skin tones. Displaying a self-levelling formula that comes to a naturally glossy finish, the texture is amazing and lays down effortlessly along the nail. Intensely pigmented, you can almost get away with just one coat, but two coats really give this shade an “ooh-la-la” factor. Unlike many other strong reds, there’s no staining left behind upon removal but I still recommend laying a base coat down first and sealing it all with a top coat for protection and extra brilliance.
Swatches below are with 2 coats of polish, no base or top coat (for photo purposes)
Marion Cottilard for CHANEL
N°5 Eau de Parfum 2021 Limited Edition* (CAN $205.00/100 ml) | This year’s Holiday edition comes with a fitted white biodegradable paper pulp outer packaging complete with an elasticized black seal around the neck, while the bottle itself is made with recycled glass — a first for the House. Personally, I love these touches because A) they’re forward-thinking, B) give this classic a fresh & youthful update, C) reduces excess packaging and D) shows a mindfulness to both consumer needs and the environment. When Gabrielle Chanel created N°5 in 1921 (the actual perfumer behind the fragrance is Jacques Polge), I don’t think that even she realized how ground-breaking this would be; for the first time, single note fragrances were finally displaced by something innovative & new, breaking free of convention and basically revolutionizing the perfume industry. The composition includes:
- Top: Aldehydes, Ylang-Ylang, Neroli, Bergamot, Peach
- Heart: Iris, Jasmine, Rose, Lily-of-the-Valley
- Base: Sandalwood, Vanilla, Oakmoss, Vetiver, Patchouli
As a long time CHANEL lover from the time I was a little girl, I always wanted to wear this fragrance, and yet it was one that sadly never meshed with my body chemistry. That fact didn’t stop me from proudly displaying it on my vanity, however. Fast-forward a few decades, and I’m so happy that I can now finally wear this, albeit in light doses as I have a bit of a sensitivity to scents. As I’ve previously reviewed this icon, you can find more details in my post here.
I’m a traditionalist at heart and that side of me is absolutely loving every single piece of this collection. I’m also a CHANEL collector, so the unique packaging plus limited edition-ness of this group speaks to that side of me. It doesn’t hurt the cause that every single piece absolutely delivers. So if you’re anything like I am, then you won’t want to wait on these pieces because I can guarantee you that everything here will 100% sell out. RUN, don’t walk … then, enjoy!
Available at all CHANEL beauty counters for a limited time
Products marked * kindly provided by CHANEL for my unbiased consideration