Sep 202010

Glossimers have been a part of my life for so long I almost forget which one I first owned.  They are the first lipgloss that I really loved, and all other glosses that I buy are measured against them.  It’s such a treat to put one one–they have a gel-like consistency that I haven’t found in any other line.

Chanel’s Soho Collection includes one glossimer, Star (148.127)($27 for 0.19 oz.), a cool-toned shimmery confection.  Here is the tube with its familiar doe-foot applicator:

This color has a hint of light cool pink, and like many other Glossimers, an other-worldly sparkle glow.

I found Star to be sheer in color and high in sparkle.  The gloss itself adds a high shine to the lips, and so it goes well with the Rouge Coco lipstick in Stunning also released with this collection.  Star is a highly wearable shade.

I compared to several other Chanel Glossimers that I had on hand, just for color comparison.  I found that it was close to Chanel Wonderland, released a few years ago, but that Star had more mauve than the light pink-white Wonderland:

You can see that Star’s strength is its sparkle and shine–its a beautiful topping on the lips, but the underlying color will show through.

In very soft light, you can see that the color is a whisper:

In their tubes:

Overall, Star is a pretty, sheer gloss with plenty of glimmer.  If you love the look of glossimers, you’ll find that Star is a quiet cool-toned addition to an completely spectacular line of glosses.

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Sep 202010

Chanel’s Soho Story features two nail polish–the red-flecked almost-black Strong (1.48.167) and the anthracite-toned shimmering Steel (148.177) ($23 each).

First, Strong took me by surprise.  The promotional pictures showed a strong purple.

The bottle color is a deep red-violet, with a touch of orange in strong light.  It made me curious, would this be like Space Cadet, reviewed by All Lacquered Up here?

I had enormous trouble taking a picture trying the reproduce the bottle color.  Finally, I learned to relax.  On nails, Strong has a mind of its own.  Rather than fight the color, I decided to enjoy it just as it is. It changes color in different light, but in normal room light and open shade it’s a deep dark, near-black with a touch of eggplant bordering on deep red. I’ve decided that Strong is my new Vamp.

To me, its an aggressive color, cool and uncompromising.  Street with sparkle.  Like many strong statements, Chanel Strong may be an acquired taste.  But I find that it is a taste that I have acquired–it occurred to me quite suddenly that I love my nails wearing this color.   This happened only after I let go of any expectation about what it is supposed to look like.  One coat, no topcoat:

Another, which shows the very subtle shimmer:

I took a picture in direct, warm sun with flash so that you could see the sparkle.  This polish is a color-changing chameleon–I like it in normal light (the above picture) far more.

Two coats:

The formula is  little thick, but I just went with it and it turned into a one-coat wonder.  I love to be done in 10 minutes, don’t you?

Second, Steel is a deep, metallic grey. I searched high and low for my bottle of Zoya Freja to do a comparison, but sadly it did not turn up.  If memory serves, Freja is lighter than Chanel Steel but I’d love to see a comparison.

Like Strong, Steel applied beautifully in one (thick) or two (thinner) coats.  Easy to work with, no surprises, no streaky frostiness.  Just as you’d think it would look:

Although I was not sure that I’d like either of these, I find that I love them.  They’re colors for the fearless, brave with a touch of originality and beauty.  How Chanel is that?

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Sep 202010

Chanel’s Stupendous Quadra Eye Shadow ($56) fits beautifully with the deep brick and cool tones of Soho Story.  The colors are softly graced with the cool tones of metal and blue-red brick.  The two top shades, which border on shimmery nudes, provide a solid foundation for the more dramatic color shades on the lower side of the palette.

The quad includes:

  • At top left, a soft cream-peach shimmer;
  • At top right, a shimmery camel-gold;
  • At bottom left, a shimmery brick-burgundy;
  • At bottom right, a shimmery silver

I will always love this palette for a few simple reasons.  First, it has two very usable nearly nude shades that can be used on their own to give a subtle polished eye, particularly if you add the lower right red-brick-brown shade as a liner.  Second, the silver shade (which is beautiful) gives the whole palette a kick–you can add just a touch of metal shimmer as a pop of color in the center of the eye, or lightly touched in the inner corner.  Third, the palette has lovely pigmentation and softness.  Finally, this palette has something that I’ve been searching for my entire life–a deep red-brown shade that gives me a liner shade that reminds me of the original Chanel Vamp.

Dear Chanel, can we do a pencil (or even better, a liquid) version of this now deep red-brick-brown shade now, please?

Here are some swatches:

This palette has been remarkably difficult to order. If I had not met the wonderfully organized and professional Tim at the Chanel Soho store, I’m convinced that I might not have known the joys of the palette.  I placed a pre-order with him, and this arrived with my order on schedule as promised.

Stupendous sold out quickly online, and then this weekend re-appeared in stock on  While drafting some of these posts, I discovered that the Chanel Soho Story was not up on, only to re-appear hours later.  If you like the palette and you find it, I encourage you to act quickly.  Call Chanel boutiques if you must.  Stupendous has been difficult to find.

Although I am fair and warm-toned, I find this cool-toned palette with intense shades easy to wear.  Perhaps because I have pink-mauve undertones and sometimes-green eyes, I find that using the deep shade as the liner color works beautifully.  Chanel palettes can be used dry or wet for more intensity, so try it both ways to see.  Sometimes, I bring the deep shade to a thicker liner at the outer edges of the eye.  Note that the deep shade is too dark for me to wear as a crease color, however, it would give me a bruised look and make my eyes appear smaller.  Also, adding a touch of silver helps brighten the eye area as well.  Together, these colors bring out the green-blue in my eyes nicely.

Here are the ways that I’ve been using the shades:

Highly recommended.  Act quickly–this is a micro-release as far as I can tell. Once its gone, it’s gone.


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Sep 192010

Chanel’s Soho Story includes their star product Soho de Chanel Highlighting Powder and Blush – Natural Finish ($65 for 0.45 oz.) (Poudres et Blush Lumiere Fini Naturel), which celebrates the opening of the redesigned Soho Boutique.  In my own view, star products are intended to sweep you away, to illuminate your imagination and transport you to their destination.  If these photographs are any guide, this particular destination is imbued with red burgundy bricks, black metal and cool toned asphalt.  As re-interpreted by Chanel, these colors become a beautiful mix that retains its elegance as it interacts with the colors and textures of the street.

Some of the fashion exclusive available for the Soho opening echo this same brick-and-street theme, again with a twist of elegance, for example (photo from

Here is the interior of the redesigned Soho store (photo from

Elegant, yes?  I can imagine how refreshing this space is compared to the crowded street outside… (photo from

The Soho de Chanel powder fits beautifully within this theme of white-on-brick elegance, surrounded by the iconic black Chanel case.  A large section of brown-brick-red occupies a significant bit of palette real estate, providing the primary blush shade.  The creamy white highlighter section occupies the other large section.  The pink bottom strip allow one to soften the other two colors.

Thankfully, rather than the distressingly temporary overspray that so many products were plagued with over the past few years, Chanel chose to decorate the palette with the “Soho” imprint.  Although the logo will wear down, I far prefer the “what you see is what you get” imprint.

I’m really enjoying this blush/highlighter combination.  The highlighting shade is subtle enough to wear during day.  The blush shade is a deep red–almost brickish–a modern take on Chanel’s iconic Vamp reconfigured in this deconstructed palette.

The blush is a more manageable version of Nars Mounia, which I found far too pigmented to manage even with a skunk brush on pale skin.  I find that the Soho blush applies very softly using a standard powder brush.  For more color, I reach for the denser, compact head of my MAC 165–the brush head is compact enough to reach just the highlighter or blush, and allow for good, precise placement on the cheek without streaks.  Another brush to consider is Chanel’s own contour blush brush.

I’ve included a swatch that mixes the three colors together, but I strongly prefer to use them separately.  First off, swirling the colors creates a bit of a mess if you love the palette’s deconstructed pattern.  Fortunately, a few quick swipes of your brush cleans that up nicely.  I am glad to have the option of swirling the colors together (it increases the versatility of the product), but if I were to use the palette primarily in that way, I’d probably just buy a Joues Contraste blush instead.

More importantly, I love the ability to use the separate the dark blush color from the highlighter, and the effect is quite nice.   The pink shade is essentially a highlighter, or can be used to (slightly) lighten the dark shade.   The small size of the pink highlighter strip does not provide much room for using this with a blush brush.

I love this palette.  The design is good–you really can get a medium-sized brush in there to use the products separately.   The amount of product generous, and the color fits very well with the rest of the Soho Story.  It also fits nicely with Chanel Fall 2010, as it will harmonize with the Vert Khaki single eyeshadow, and of course Les Khaki de Chanel nail polish.

Personally, the Soho Story blush and highlighter works really well on my warm, fair skin for the Fall through Winter seasons.  I find that the addition of the highlighter is a thoughtful way to add luminosity to my skin (no glitter, this is a toned-downed, day-friendly highlighter).  Highly recommended.

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Sep 162010

I am at my desk taking a brief break from several non-blogging obligations, while drumming my fingers waiting for Federal Express to make another delivery attempt of the Chanel Soho Collection.   As The Beauty Look Book observed, Chanel’s release information to anyone not on their press list (as I am not) was quite frustrating.  At first we thought it was only being released in Chanel Soho, and then perhaps online.   Now I’m hearing rumors that there’s going to be a broader release in some Nordstrom stores.   Indeed, I received a call from one of the Nordstrom stores stating that they had received the Les Khakis de Chanel series of nail polishes.  To try to resolve the issue once and for all, when I was in New York, Joeybunny and I made our way to the then-temporary Chanel Soho so that I could order the collection in person.  Now I am hopeful that the order has gone through, and that all this work is worth it.  After all this, trust me, I’m setting the bar pretty high.

Shifting to a more calming experience, when I recently visited the Le Metier de Beaute counter at Bergdorfs, Dustin was kind enough to provide me with a sample of their now-discontinued Persephone Kaleidoscope Eye Palette.  It’s gorgeous as The Beauty Look Book’s review confirms.  The colors are pale and luminous, fitting for an eye palette released in Spring.

Like the Devotion Kaleidoscope palette, the colors are stacked in a round palette topped with a flip-top mirror.

I’m going to use the names of the shadows used by The Beauty Look Book, as I understand that each of these correlates to shadows in Le Metier de Beaute’s standard line.  Each of the four layers appears in order, from top to bottom, starting with the top, a shimmery soft pink Rose Champagne:

Second, a shimmering cranberry Alexandrite:

Third, a soft buttercream color, Canvas:

Fourth layer, a matte deep brown, Sequoia:

The Persephone palette sold for $95 (although look for Bergdorf and Neiman gift card events, which can lower the price of these palettes).  The colors are lovely on their own, especially for those with pale complexions:

Unlike the Devotion palette, I found that layering these pale, delicate colors did not change them dramatically.  I do find that they blend extremely well.  They have a lovely, glowing quality that is absolutely beautiful and very difficult to find in lower-priced eyeshadows.

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Sep 152010

Chanel Rouge Allure Extrait de Gloss features Emoi (#58) ($32), a deep cool raspberry red. Like the others in the Rouge Allure Extrait de Gloss line, the gloss is packaged in a long tube with a modified doe-foot handle that has a shape intended to fit against the lip.

The gloss applies as a deep cool red, although not as deep as the Extrait de Gloss in Fatale.  Emoi leans more to a cool deep pink, compared to the deep vamp blue-red of Fatale:

Here is the full effect on Liz:

For those who are interested, here are comparison swatches of the three red shades in Chanel’s Rouge Allure Extrait de Gloss line:

As an aside, Liz and I get into endless discussions about which pictures and lighting show the colors most accurately–what you see on the site are the ones that we’ve both agreed upon.

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