Dec 262012
 

Chanel Frivole12a

Chanel Spring 2013 introduces a new blush–Chanel Joues Contraste in Frivole ($43), a rich orange coral. Frivole is the marvelous pressed powder that gives a beautiful glow.

Chanel Spring 2013 Frivole11

Chanel Joues Contraste in Frivole is quite warm–some with cool tones may not enjoy them. Those with warm skin tones may not find it the most flattering everyday blush. However, I sometimes wear clothing with strong bright tones–a rich lapis blue, lime, or a strong coral, that seem to work well with orange toned blushes. Here is a comparison with Frivole and MAC Modern Mandarin (former limited edition product, no longer available, Chanel Tweed Corail, Chanel Espiegle and Chanel Reflex (the non-US baked version).

Chanel Frivole Comparisons1

Here are comparison swatches of all of these blushes. MAC Modern Mandarin is more shimmery and more red.  Chanel Tweed Corail is more pink, and less pigmented.  Chanel Espiegle is pinker and less pigmented. Chanel Reflex is far more shimmery and more brown.

Chanel Spring 2013 Frivole17a

Here is Liz with Chanel Frivole, and the Chanel Raffinement eyeshadow quad on her lids (review coming soon), and a light dusting of the Poudre Singee de Chanel:

Chanel Frivole Look1b

Overall, Liz and I found that Chanel Frivole lived up the Joues Contraste name, having an excellent formulation, finely milled consistency, and overall glowing impression. Whether you wish to have a vibrant orange-coral in your blush selection is a judgement call. For its part, Chanel Frivole is an excellent choice if your answer is “yes.”

This post contains an affiliate link (for more information, please see “About Cafe Makeup”)

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Dec 192012
 

Chanel Ultra Rose4c

Recently, there was a quiet overseas release of Chanel Ultra Rose Blush (#74), which I discovered from reading Reika’s review at Front Row Beauty.  To be honest, I don’t know much about the release beyond Reika’s post–that Ultra Rose appears to be a permanent non-U.S. addition to the line.

Despite Chanel Ultra Rose’s vibrant look in the pan, I found that it applied well with a standard blush brush. It’s a vibrant shimmery cool pink with a fair amount of blue undertone.

Chanel Ultra Rose reminded me of the former Chanel Turbulent, a limited edition U.S. release from several years ago. I pulled out my well-stored backup of Turbulent to compare. along with a few other cool vibrant pinks from my collection. These include Tom Ford Narcissist, and three MAC Pro ShadesFull Fuchsia, Azalea, and Rhubarb. Swatches:

Chanel Ultra Rose6a

As you can see, Chanel Ultra Rose applies more satiny and deeper compared to Chanel Turbulent. The Tom Ford and MAC Pro shades are more deeper and vibrant. Tom Ford Narcissist, MAC Full Fuchsia, MAC Azalea, and MAC Rhubarb must all be applied with a duo-fibre brush on my fair NC15/20 skin tone–these are all very pigmented compared to Chanel Ultra Rose.

Overall, I’m pleased to add Chanel Ultra Rose to my collection. Unfortunately, I do not know if this will be added to the U.S. line. I purchased mine at Izzy’s for $65.

Other reviews:

 

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May 022012
 

For Spring 2012, Chanel released an Asia-exculsive collection, Le Blanc de Chanel (previewed here at Rouge Deluxe). Through the kindness of a fellow beauty lover, I was able to obtain the Fleur de Lotus Joues Contraste Blush (#69). My hope is that this might be picked by a U.S. source and released in this country (and elsewhere in the world).

Because of its current limited availability, this review will be short. Essentially, Fleur de Lotus can be summed up in a single word:  Spectacular. This is a finely-milled, brightening coral that adds a beautiful glow. Yes, it is the baked formula, but we’ve talked about this before. I found that the overall texture of Fleur de Lotus was sufficiently soft, a standard blush brush was fine (I found it similar to Rose Tourbillon in texture).

Here are swatch comparisons with Chanel Malice (which is more pink) and Chanel Espiegle (which is more peach):

I found that the closest that I had in my stash is MAC Hipness, swatched on the far right for comparison.

Obviously, the Joues Contraste formula sets Fleur de Lotus apart.

Maybe if we all contact our favorite department stores (do you hear me Nordstrom?? Neimans? Saks? hellooooo?), and we all do lots of good deeds for others we can all get our hands on one. I’d certainly get another. This thing’s gorgeous.

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Mar 192012
 

 When I heard that Chanel was re-releasing Chanel Pink Explosion (#64/ Fard a Joues Poudre Pink Explosion)($43), I didn’t realize that the color had been reformulated. If you’ve been watching Chanel for a while, Chanel originally released Pink Explosion as part of the Fall 2010 makeup collection in a baked format (the former version is reviewed here and here). Currently, it is being re-released into a new, powder texture that is common for Chanel U.S. releases on the Joues Contraste formula.  For an overview of the differences between the U.S. and non-U.S. formulas, see this post. Generally, this powder formula has a softer texture that is much easier to pick up on a brush. Also, the U.S. powder Joues Contrastes give a lovely, glowing look to the face. The baked, non-U.S. formulas requires a stiffer brush and tend to have a more obvious shine/sparkle. As you can see in the above picture, the new Pink Explosion has a deeper pink hue, with subtle sparkle, and a touch of cherry red (compared to the softer, lighter pink of the former version).

Both the former and current version have the same name–Pink Explosion–and designation number, #64. Both are made in France. How can you tell the difference? For one thing, the older version that I have in my drawer is numbered #2605, and the new one is numbered #4401. Here is a comparison of the back of the compacts that show the precise number designations:

Also, the older version has 0.14 oz. and the newer one has 0.21 oz. of product. As you can see, the new Pink Explosion has the hatch marks of the powder formulation, a smooth texture and a slight touch of sparkle:

 A bit closer:

 

Here is a swatch comparison between the old and new Chanel Pink Explosions. I’ve also added a comparison with Chanel Tumulte (reviewed here), as well as Chanel Rose Tourbillon (reviewed here).

 One more, using slightly different lighting:

As you can see, the new Pink Explosion is slightly deeper in its pink tone. Working with the new formula is certainly easier, as you can imagine. The softer Chanel powder blush is a dream to apply with any standard powder brush. By comparison, the new Pink Explosion is deeper than Chanel Tumulte, and less red and lighter than Chanel Rose Tourbillon.

As with my other Chanel blush reviews, more will be posted as I work with the formula.

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Mar 192012
 

Chanel Joues Contraste Tumulte (#70/ Fards a Joues Poudre Tumulte)($43) is a cool, soft pink with a soft near-matte texture.

Chanel Tumulte is a light, cool pink that is very girly and fresh. Here are swatch comparisons with the former Pink Explosion (reviewed here and here), the new Pink Explosion (just released now), and Chanel Rose Tourbillon (reviewed here).

 As you can see, Chanel Tumulte is the lightest of the group, a very soft color that I find more usable than Chanel Narcisse (which did not show up well on some medium to dark skin tones). Chanel Tumulte is less red than Chanel Rose Tourbillon, and lighter than both of the Pink Explosions. Chanel Tumulte is far less pigmented than the now-discontinued (but legendary) Chanel Turbulent.

In the interest of getting this pictures up quickly, I’ll have supplement with more information after I play with the blush more than I have so far.

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Jul 112011
 

Chanel Joues Contraste in Rose Tourbillon ($43 at Nordstrom Anniversary 2011/ # 67) is a candy pink confection of a blush.  If you love fresh pinks, it is very difficult to resist.  This is a fantastic color, has a refined texture, and there is a beautiful glowing and natural quality when applied.

This cool pink is a gorgeous color when worn.  Although there are some sparkles in the pan, the look when applied is very natural and glowy.  That famous Joues Contraste texture works the magic with this amazingly versatile color.  As with any color this strong, you will want to focus the color on a portion of the cheek.  If you place in the upper cheek, the contour, or brush it back near the hairline, you will get a pretty, flushed and lovely glow.

Some comparisons–here, you can see it is cooler than the limited edition Chanel Joues Contraste Pink Explosion (reviewed here, no longer available).  However, Rose Tourbillon is more pigmented than Pink Explosion–that is, this swatch has several layers of Pink Explosion built up compared to 1-2 layers of Rose Tourbillon.   Next is Chanel Joues Contraste Turbulent (reviewed here, no longer available).  At the end, I swatched Chanel Joues Contraste in Rose Petale (reviewed here) so you would have a comparison to a warmer, peachy-pink blush.

 

Liz did a look using Rose Turbulent applied lightly over foundation (no bronzer).

Here, Liz is wearing the Chanel Topkaki eyeshadow palette (reviewed here) and Chanel Rouge Allure lipstick in Joyeuse (reviewed here.  We’ll do a more detailed post breaking down her application after we finish Le Blanc de Chanel.

 

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Jul 102011
 

Le Blanc de Chanel was released this spring as an exclusive collection available exclusively in Asia.  As originally released, the group included foundations, skincare, and makeup.  Rouge Deluxe has a lovely overview of the entire line as originally released at this link.  This year, the Nordstrom Anniversary sale brings the collection to the U.S.  Nordstrom card holders can buy the collection now, and everyone else will have access on July 15th.

Here is an overview of the items available through the sale:

  • Poudre Lumière Perlée Pearl Glow Powder Highlighting powder $60
  • Rose Envolée Quadra Eye Shadow Palette $57
  • Joues Contraste Blush in Rose Tourbillon Blush $43
  • Rouge Allure Lipstick in Désinvolte and Joyeuse ($32 each)
  • Glossimer Lip Gloss in Blossom and Liason ($28.50 each)

I’ll be posting reviews of the items to help you put your shopping list together.

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Jul 062011
 

The Byzance de Chanel Collection evokes a golden time with Joues Contraste Powder Blush in Or (meaning “gold”) ($43 #144.337).  This baked powder blush provides a slight yellow-gold finish.  As a soft highlighter, Or is the warm twin sister of Joues Contaste Luna (reviewed here).  Although called blushes, these act as shimmery powders that add a slight glow and only very soft color.

In Fall 2008, Chanel released another baked gold blush, the Facettes D’Or Highlighter in Gold Fever.  I pulled my Gold Fever out to compare:

I found that the colors are similar enough that I was unable to tell any difference once swatched on the skin.

Another:

According to sources, Peter Philips paired Chanel Joues Contraste Or with Chanel Joues Contraste Mocha (reviewed here) on for the Pre-Fall Byzantine runway show.  Paired with the deeper neutral pink-brown, one can see how such a blush could be used creatively to add a subtle but unusual twist to a makeup look.

I must admit the subtle cheek on this image is beautiful. The color picks up the gold on the model’s eyes, which is the gold shade from the Chanel Topkapi Eyeshadow Quad (reviewed here).

Bottom line:  Chanel Joues Contraste Or fits well within this unusual Byzance de Chanel collection for the niche buyer.  You might check your drawer to see whether you already own Chanel Facettes D’Or / Gold Fever or a similar gold powder blush before investing.

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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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Jun 302010
 

Chanel Plum Attraction #63 Joues Contraste Powder Blush ($42) is a deep, dark red-plum blush that looks quite dramatic.  When I opened this compact, all I could think was “This is so 1980’s.  How can I make this modern?” Chanel has a way of challenging my makeup routine, and that is why I love the line.  The products are so beautiful and intriguing that I cannot help but try to figure them out.  Makeup is fashion;  fashion is supposed to push new visions.  I vowed to give Plum Attraction a try.

Still, I’m not going out with massive color on my cheeks.  I’m quite pale and have warm undertones, with hints of mauve in my lip coloring.  I think this mix allows me to wear both warm and cool colors.  Yet Plum Attraction is such a deep dark shade; care is needed on lighter skin tones.

First, I covered my face completely in foundation to get a flawless canvas.  I rejected the thought of applying this blush as I would any other Chanel Joues Contraste blush, which is primarily from the apple of the cheek to the hairline.  That would overwhelm. I tried applying the blush very gingerly to the center of the cheeks only, using a MAC 187 very lightly.  This was not successful for me–it had a “just in from the cold” look but the strong color drew attention to my cheeks.  Who wants to emphasize their cheeks?  No good.

Second, I looked at Chanel’s promotion picture for Fall 2010.  Notice how she has a very open front cheek–there is very little blush applied to the center of the face:

Notice also that the blush is applied with a very soft edge to avoid the “1980’s blush streak” that would date the look (and probably add a few years to her in the process).  Using this as a guide, I found this blush looked best on me when applied the blush very far back on the cheek, much closer to the hairline.  With my duo fiber brush, I was able to obtain a very soft application that could be built up slightly so I could carefully control the color.  No hard edges at all.  As you can see on the model, this gives a slight contouring effect and draws attention to the eye. This works best for me, at least based on these first few days of experiments.

A few words about this blush:

  • This strong color worked well on a flawless face.  If you have any red areas on the skin, you would do well to conceal them first.
  • The pigmentation level is very high and needs a light hand.  I’m using this with a MAC 187 duo-fibre /skunk brush to help me control application.
  • The powder is very, very soft.  Any brush stroke brings huge fallout in the compact.  I found that the powder adhered well to my brush, so fallout during application was not a problem.
  • There are shimmer bits in the pan.  The blush applies somewhere between a matte and a very slight glow. I didn’t notice any shimmer bits on my cheek after application, but it is likely to happen.  If this troubles you, you can try blowing on your brush before applying to knock them off, or brush them off if they make their way onto your cheek.

You can see that the blush can be applied very lightly on the right, yet still show color:

This swatch shows how heavily this blush applies with a standard blush brush.  If you look closely, you’ll see a few shimmer bits peeking through:

Bottom line:  A great blush for Fall, but not for everyone.  Plum Attraction can be a challenge, and can deliver dramatic results.  I do occasionally enjoy wearing strong colors and so find this blush works for me.  If you buy the blush, I propose that you do a practice run the first time to find a look that suits you.

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