Jul 052010
 

Chanel’s Les Contrastes collection includes Pink Explosion #64 Joues Contraste Blush ($42) (Fard a Joues Poudre Powder Blush).  I knew that I would love Pink Explosion before I ever saw it, when I called Bergdorf’s counter in New York City and they had sold out.

Let’s review here.  First, it’s Chanel.  Second, it’s called “Pink Explosion.”  Third, Bergdorf’s sold out in one week.  The evidence was piling up pretty fast.

Yes, I know that this blush is not the same as the U.S.-textured Joues Contrastes of the past.  Yes, I can see that there are tiny glitter bits in the pan.  And Chanel has released two incredible cool pinks already- Narcisse and Turbulent.  Bobbi Brown makes fabulous pinks.  And don’t get me started on Shu Uemura’s Glow-ons.  That’s tough competition.

Chanel Pink Explosion

Pink Explosion is medium deep cool pink.  Pink Explosion is between Narcisse (light, less pigmented) and Turbulent (deeper, more pigmented). And I have been hoping for a blush like Pink Explosion for a long, long time.

I happen to love cool pinks.  My skin tone is light (NC15/Cameo) and warm.  When I wear foundation, a cool pink stands out from my warmer skin tone.  It brings out the blue in my eyes.  When I wear bronzer, it gives some needed coolness to the warmth of the bronzer.  It keeps me from looking too warm.

Your coloring and preferences may vary from mine, but personally, I love Pink Explosion.  I find it gives me a very fresh, glowing look that is noticeable but not overwhelming.  I applied this with a MAC blush brush and was very pleased with the results.  I can see using this one up.

Swatch applied with a blush brush:

Heavy swatch:

If you are considering investing in Pink Explosion, you may already know that not all bloggers are in agreement about Pink Explosion.  For example, Sabrina at The Beauty Look Book, who I respect, gave Pink Explosion a less than satisfactory review.   For me, Narcisse was too light and Turbulent too pigmented (and therefore difficult to work with).  I find Pink Explosion a stunning pink that is very easy to use, looks very polished, but has a little fashionable kick that I really love.

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Feb 252010
 

Chanel Joues Contraste in Rose Petale (currently available, $42) is a sophisticated pink.  The color seems to be appropriate for both young and old, providing a pretty skin-brightening fresh tone.

This has a subtle rosy glow that always looks appropriate.  It is neither dramatic nor extreme, and yet I can’t think of anything else that quite duplicates this color.  As with other Joues Contraste blushes, the finely milled powder invites layering for more dense color application.

This has a very “lunch at the Ritz” or “tea with the Queen” feel to it– that is, I can be comfortable wearing these on even the most proper occasion and feel perfect.

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Feb 232010
 

Chanel Joues Contraste in Mocha (currently available, $42), is a recent addition to my makeup collection.  Here’s my question:  Why did I wait so long to buy this?  It’s beautiful!

Mocha applies as a mauve-rose with a touch of brown, and has a very glowy, shimmery appearance.  When applied lightly, it applies as a dusty rose-mauve.  Applied more heavily, the brown tones start to show.  Bobbi Brown Bahama Brown Shimmering Blush ($22) behaves similarly, and is in the same color family.

Here are some swatches of Chanel Mocha, side-by-side using different brushes:

So far, we’ve seen several brownish-toned blushes from Chanel.  How are they different?  Here’s my take, doing the best that I can to describe how I see them:

  • Mocha is a highly-pigmented, high-shimmer red-mauve-brown.   Lightly applied, the blush looks red-mauve with a hint of brown.  More heavy application brings out the brown tones.
  • Nude is a softly-pigmented very light tan that is nearly matte in texture
  • Fandango is shimmery and pigmented.  Fandango’s undertones are more yellow-based, leaning more peach but with a hint of rose.  It does not have any mauve tones.
  • Enchantresse is a shimmery warm bronzy-brown that has a tiny hint of red.  It gives a bit of of a sun-tanned effect.  Like Mocha, it’s highly pigmented and shimmery. It’s more bronze than Mocha.
  • Imprevu is a shimmery bronzy-peach.
  • Tempting Beige has a peachy-brown tone with a faint hint of rose.  It is less shimmery than Mocha, Enchantress and Imprevu.  It gives a softer, simpler color wash–it does not have the complexity or depth of those three.

Of course, these do look different on different skin tones.  Playing with the testers at a counter is always a good idea before investing.

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Feb 222010
 

Chanel’s Joues Contraste in Fandango (currently available, $42) is a lovely deep red-brown that seems to work on a variety of skin tones.

I knew when I saw Fandango for the first time that I would use one up.  I’m so happy that this is a part of the current line, it’s a universally flattering blush that can be used to add a touch of sun.  This gives an absolutely beautiful shimmery bronze-rose glow.

The shimmer is not over-the-top, there is no glitter but rather a natural deep flush.  This seems to apply well with a standard powder or blush brush.  No special handling required, worth every penny to me.

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Feb 192010
 

Chanel’s Joues Contraste blush in In Love (currently available, $42), is a softly pigmented peach-toned blush with a touch of pink and gold.

This blush gives a soft glowy look.  The effect is subtle.  If you are looking for pronounced color this is not your blush.  Perhaps Nars Orgasm or Bobbi Brown Calypso Coral is the better route. I typically use In Love over a bronzer to add a bit of fresh color.

Chanel has released another blush under the same name, “In Love,” in their now-discontinued Irreelle series with the quilt-impression surface and rectangular pan.  As you can see, the Irreelle version is much more pink than the Joues Contraste version.

The Irreelle version has more pigmentation than the Joues Contraste version.  Here is a comparison of the two:

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