I wanted to title this post “Why You Should Get a Makeover When You Travel,” but allowing people to find Chanel swatches by post title pushed me toward the one I did use.

However, I do want to talk about both because there’s something about a makeover in a different country that is well worth thinking about…

So many wonder about French women’s beauty secrets, or how others in different countries achieve their looks. One of the best ways to find out is to get a makeover while you travel.  Although this answer sounds quite obvious (duh!), I did not discover this fact until a few years ago when I (an American) went to a Parisian department store (staffed by French makeup artists) and sort of stumbled into a Bobbi Brown makeover (an American line).  To tell the truth, my French wasn’t strong enough at the time to decline politely.  It turned out to be a completely eye-opening experience.  Using very few products that I didn’t already own, I learned how a French woman can apply American makeup to my American face in a very French way.

We might be reluctant to ask, especially if you don’t know the language well or local customs. Well, having my pronunciation and American expectations endlessly corrected by the French (I think I’ve made every possible mistake) has humbled me to the point where I decided to get over myself and go for it.  If you do the same, I guarantee that you will expand your options well beyond your comfort zone.  You may actually love what you see.

Here’s what was used on my during a Chanel makeover that I recently had:

Notice the lack of any added eyeshadow, contour or bronzer.  The look was extremely “your face but better” but with a sheer pop of shine and color on the lips.  The Vitalumiere foundation looked very moist and glowing (but knocked down to a nice finish with the powder).  No added eye color–just an added emphasis of my natural features.

To me, that look is very French.  The skin looks flawless but natural, healthy and is really the main event.  There is only one–two at most–areas of the face with added glow (here, the lips).  The rest is intended to enhance (but never change) your natural features.   When I try the look myself, I know that I’ve done it right when people on the street ask me for directions.

One of the products used was Les Tissage de Chanel/ Blush Duo Tweed Effect in Tweed Corail ($45/ #20), a blush that I’ve probably looked at 1,000 times in the U.S. without a second thought.  It’s one of the few Chanel products that I don’t own.

The color is a soft color with a touch of brown.  There is a gold shimmer overspray that disappears after the first few uses.  Although the blush has a sheer effect, the toned-down coral has a definite impact.  The color glows, but the softer coral tone mixed with a slight brown undertone knocks the color down and keeps it looking young and natural.  In other words, this is not your mother’s coral.


The above swatch is applied far too heavily for normal use, but necessary to show the color in the picture.  Applied that heavily, it does look a little bit like our mother’s coral, so don’t do that. Instead go soft, sheer and glowing.

Do keep in mind that every makeover that I’ve gotten in France has been with different color palettes and using different products.  Not all would come out this same way, of course.   I did enjoy this blush enough with Chanel Rouge Coco Shine in Monte Carlo that I thought it was worth picking up so that I can recreate the look at home.


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