Aug 142011

Chanel Les Aquarelles Collection includes Chanel Joues Contraste Blush in Pink Cloud ($43/ #66) is a soft, shimmery light pink blush.  Pink Cloud is made in the baked formula that is traditional of Chanel blushes sold outside the U.S.  It runs slightly warm, and is one of the tonally lightest blushes that Chanel has produced in the past decade or so. By comparison, Chanel Joues Contraste in Narcisse is quite cool, less shimmery and more pigmented (I’ll try to do a comparison tomorrow).

The other light, softly pigmented blush that Chanel has recently produced is Chanel Joues Contraste in Winter Shimmer.  As you can see, Winter Shimmer is cooler in tone, and is the traditional U.S. powder formulation:

Here are some comparisons with Pink Cloud, Winter Shimmer.  I also threw in Chanel Joues Contraste in Rose Petale as a contrast.  Indoors with flash:

 Same blushes, outdoors with flash:

Quite possibly, Pink Cloud is one of the most subtle blushes that I own.  My facial skin tone is MAC NC15/Chanel Cameo-Ivoire.  Some with pale skin tones will find it gives a perfect, subtle shell glow.  Those with deeper skin tones may wish to consider Pink Cloud as a soft highlighter.  If you have red or ruddy tones in the cheeks, you will wish to use a foundation with sufficient coverage before applying Pink Cloud.

Here is a swatch with Chanel Pink Cloud, Chanel Joues Contraste in Narcisse and Chanel Joues Contraste in Nude:

Chanel Pink Cloud has a shimmery texture, which when applied to face is quite wearable.  Chanel Pink Cloud is an unusual blush in its very light tone, and I’m glad to have it in my stash.  When applied to flawlessly applied foundation (or your natural skin, if it is flawless), it gives an incomparably subtle and natural look.

I honestly tried to capture the feel of Pink Cloud in these swatches–if you find that the effect is too quiet, keep looking.  However, if you are searching for something that is noticeable, but just barely there, you have found a treasure.

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Aug 032011

I rarely photograph used items for review on Cafe Makeup, but I was unable to resist using Burberry Beauty Light Glow Natural Blush in Earthy ($42) long enough to put it in front of my camera.  To be more precise, I couldn’t stop using Burberry Earthy after I learned to use it at a recent makeover.

When I first received Burberry Earthy, I tried using it as a traditional blush.  When I did that, I was very confused.  The color didn’t apply as a blush on my warm NC15/20 (Chanel Cameo/Ivoire) skin tone at all.  Although I’m a fan of nude blushes, Earthy left me a little cold at first.  However, an excellent Burberry makeover artist explained that Earthy is a perfect contour color of pale skin tone girls.

Of course, it is possible for one to use a bronzer to contour and I frequently do.  This tends to look best with warm toned makeup looks, or for those with a brighter or beachy style. Here’s a picture of Paris Hilton, looking gorgeous as always (love her!)   This is a classic bronzer contour look:

The bronzer (topped with a touch of highlighter and soft pink blush) has a warmth that echoes her bronzy arms. In contrast, look at the contouring on Burberry runway:

This has a completely different contour look compared to the lovely Paris’s beachy look.  Another, also from Burberry runway:

As you can see, the Burberry runway pictures have a contouring that is more subtle, less warm, and coordinates nicely with the rest of the look. Although slightly warm, Earthy gives the impression much more like the pictures on Burberry runway, not Paris Hilton. It’s a softer, less golden and looks more natural. I do not (and cannot) use Earthy as a traditional blush.  Rather, I place it at follows:

  • On top of forehead around the hairline
  • On the side, stay near the hairline
  • Bring the color in slightly over the brows and cheek hollow
  • Add a touch under the chin to define
You can add a touch of blush (Burberry Tangerine was used at my makeover), plus a touch of highlighter (Burberry Fresh Glow) on the upper cheek and around the eye area.  Here are some comparison swatches with Burberry Earthy and other nudes and bronzes in my collection:  Nars Laguna Bronzer, Mac Taupe blush, Shu Uemura M Amber 83, Bobbi Brown Sandstone, and Chanel Joues Contraste Tempting Beige blush.

 Another, indoor light:

Some thoughts:

  • Nars Laguna is a traditional bronzer (see, Paris Hilton)
  • MAC Taupe is quite dark for pale skin tones, and can look muddy
  • Shu Uemura M Amber 83 can be used as a blush (it has a peachy pink undertone) or a contour
  • Bobbi Brown Sandstone applies on cheeks with a definite pink glow and is more of a traditional nude blush
  • Chanel Joues Contraste Tempting Beige is slightly warm and pink-peach, and can be used as a traditional blush
  • Burberry Earthy is far more subtle than the others and works best on my pale skin as a contour
If you’ve purchased Burberry Earthy, how are you using it?  How do you like to contour?

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Jul 052011

As I mentioned during my opening post on the Chanel Byzance Collection, Chanel’s boutique releases can include edgier products.  Chanel Joues Contraste Powder Blush in Rouge  ($43 #3901) is such a product.  To put it clearly, this product requires care in application.  This very rich, highly pigmented blush is a red version of Chanel’s former limited edition Joues Contraste Turbulent—highly pigmented, dramatic and yet (paradoxically) can work beautifully on an extremely wide variety of skin tones.

As appropriate for a color introduced at a pre-Fall couture show, Chanel Rouge seems geared for winter weather.  Evoking a ‘just in the from the cold’ flush, red blush can look remarkably natural and pretty as the weather turns cool.

That would be a distorted view of this blush.  Chanel Rouge actually looks beautiful in summer.  And all year round.  On all types of skin tones.  As Gaia at The Nonblonde points out, red is a natural color of skin and so it should not be surprising that it makes a versatile and flattering blush color.   People do not blush peach or coral.  They do blush variants of reds.

On pale skin, Chanel Rouge blush gives a pale wash of strawberry-red that looks very fresh and natural. The difficulty with Rouge (just like the difficulty with Turbulent) is raising to the challenge of getting this remarkably, extremely pigmented blush to work on very light skin tones.


Here are my application tips:

  • Start with flawless skin— If you have any red spots or rosacea, those areas will need to be covered.  If you have any doubts, watch this video by Lisa Eldridge–it’s life-changing.  I wish I could show it to so many women.  It shows you how to cover imperfections without adding a “too much foundation” look.
  • Set your foundation first–  If you applied sunscreens, serums or foundation that hasn’t completely settled yet, wait a few minutes.  If there are damp areas, Rouge will not apply evenly.
  • Use a duo fibre/skunk brush— or another brush that is intended for light application of powder products.
  • Barely touch the fibers of the brush onto the surface of the blush– It’s more of a dabbing motion.  Your brush should look barely flushed, not as red as the product.
  • Swirl the brush into the compact mirror—  this seems to shake off excess, and spread the pigment more evenly across the brush head.
  • Apply lightly at first–  It’s easy to overdo, so touch in light layers.  Hold the brush so that it touches the cheek more or less evenly.
  • Apply in a small area at first– If you are used to casually brushing all over the cheek (top of cheekbone and down), it may be “too much.”  I focused on the highest point to my cheekbones only, and liked the effect.  Another way to try is to keep in back near the hairline.

The effect is incomparably natural and pretty if done right.  Rouge is a beautiful blush–really, the color is so flattering that it’s worth a bit of care.

Swatches, using different brush pressure.  I’ve also added one from the only other red blush that I have–Shu Uemura P Red 19D, a blush that was only available for a limited time and now is completely unavailable.



You can see Rouge applied on pale skin at Front Row Beauty.  Also, you should read Gaia’s review of Chanel Rouge at The Nonblonde for her thoughts and get her tips.

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