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.