Sep 202010

Chanel Soho Story includes Rouge Coco in Stunning ($30), the sweet spot in the collection that will work beautifully for nearly everyone.  A crowd-pleasing warm pink nude with the moisturizing Rouge Coco formula–yes, a thousand times yes.  This color is a sure thing that you can tuck in your bag and use virtually any time, any where.

As with the other Rouge Coco’s, the lipstick is a heavy, luxurious case that closes with a satisfying “click.”

This color is so universal, I was almost sure that I had something similar already.  Not so:

You can see that Rouge Coco in Stunning is more nude than Mademoiselle, and less pink that the Chanel Rouge Allure in both Naive and Troublant.  After looking through numerous other options, I found that the closest that I have is MAC’s Sharp Beige (lustre formula), which was a limited edition release with the Catherine Deneuve collection several years ago.  Of course, the MAC formula is quite different, and Rouge Coco stunning is a more intense, slightly deeper shade than Sharp Beige.  If you look very closely, Sharp Beige tends to be a touch more brown compared to the slightly more mauve Chanel Stunning.

Chanel Rouge Coco is a delightfully easy color to wear, and it integrates seamlessly with the rest of Soho Story.  Highly recommended.  The secret of this shade is that it makes the wearer look Stunning, by showing off her natural beauty.  The color flatters but does not overwhelm, it does not call attention to the lipstick but, instead, to the woman who wears it.

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Sep 202010

Like many products in the Chanel Soho line, Chanel’s Rouge Allure Laque in Stunt ($32) has an edge.  The Rouge Allure Laque line resembles a liquid lipstick–these products deliver full pigment, but with the shine and ease of a gloss.

Unlike other Rouge Allure Laques, Stunt gives pure color.  To say that this is unforgiving color is inaccurate–the Rouge Allure Laque formula melts on the lips without creating any lines or harshness.  Further, Stunt is a cool mauve with a touch of red and brown.  Stunt is not a jarring Pepto Bismal pink or a vampy plum.  Really, Stunt can be quite flattering by bringing out the pinks in one’s skin.

It is more accurate to say that Stunt is uncompromising in its color tone–there is no glimmer, glow or shimmer to break up the color and add dimension.  It’s a statement color because it is so flat–liquid with a touch of edge. Therein lies the drama, this color means business.

Swatches and comparisons:

You can see that it’s a wearable color, but one that stands out from the rest. Sabrina at The Beauty Look Book’s review includes a picture wearing Stunt–I think it looks fabulous on her.

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Sep 202010

Chanel’s Stupendous Quadra Eye Shadow ($56) fits beautifully with the deep brick and cool tones of Soho Story.  The colors are softly graced with the cool tones of metal and blue-red brick.  The two top shades, which border on shimmery nudes, provide a solid foundation for the more dramatic color shades on the lower side of the palette.

The quad includes:

  • At top left, a soft cream-peach shimmer;
  • At top right, a shimmery camel-gold;
  • At bottom left, a shimmery brick-burgundy;
  • At bottom right, a shimmery silver

I will always love this palette for a few simple reasons.  First, it has two very usable nearly nude shades that can be used on their own to give a subtle polished eye, particularly if you add the lower right red-brick-brown shade as a liner.  Second, the silver shade (which is beautiful) gives the whole palette a kick–you can add just a touch of metal shimmer as a pop of color in the center of the eye, or lightly touched in the inner corner.  Third, the palette has lovely pigmentation and softness.  Finally, this palette has something that I’ve been searching for my entire life–a deep red-brown shade that gives me a liner shade that reminds me of the original Chanel Vamp.

Dear Chanel, can we do a pencil (or even better, a liquid) version of this now deep red-brick-brown shade now, please?

Here are some swatches:

This palette has been remarkably difficult to order. If I had not met the wonderfully organized and professional Tim at the Chanel Soho store, I’m convinced that I might not have known the joys of the palette.  I placed a pre-order with him, and this arrived with my order on schedule as promised.

Stupendous sold out quickly online, and then this weekend re-appeared in stock on  While drafting some of these posts, I discovered that the Chanel Soho Story was not up on, only to re-appear hours later.  If you like the palette and you find it, I encourage you to act quickly.  Call Chanel boutiques if you must.  Stupendous has been difficult to find.

Although I am fair and warm-toned, I find this cool-toned palette with intense shades easy to wear.  Perhaps because I have pink-mauve undertones and sometimes-green eyes, I find that using the deep shade as the liner color works beautifully.  Chanel palettes can be used dry or wet for more intensity, so try it both ways to see.  Sometimes, I bring the deep shade to a thicker liner at the outer edges of the eye.  Note that the deep shade is too dark for me to wear as a crease color, however, it would give me a bruised look and make my eyes appear smaller.  Also, adding a touch of silver helps brighten the eye area as well.  Together, these colors bring out the green-blue in my eyes nicely.

Here are the ways that I’ve been using the shades:

Highly recommended.  Act quickly–this is a micro-release as far as I can tell. Once its gone, it’s gone.


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Sep 192010

Chanel’s Soho Story includes their star product Soho de Chanel Highlighting Powder and Blush – Natural Finish ($65 for 0.45 oz.) (Poudres et Blush Lumiere Fini Naturel), which celebrates the opening of the redesigned Soho Boutique.  In my own view, star products are intended to sweep you away, to illuminate your imagination and transport you to their destination.  If these photographs are any guide, this particular destination is imbued with red burgundy bricks, black metal and cool toned asphalt.  As re-interpreted by Chanel, these colors become a beautiful mix that retains its elegance as it interacts with the colors and textures of the street.

Some of the fashion exclusive available for the Soho opening echo this same brick-and-street theme, again with a twist of elegance, for example (photo from

Here is the interior of the redesigned Soho store (photo from

Elegant, yes?  I can imagine how refreshing this space is compared to the crowded street outside… (photo from

The Soho de Chanel powder fits beautifully within this theme of white-on-brick elegance, surrounded by the iconic black Chanel case.  A large section of brown-brick-red occupies a significant bit of palette real estate, providing the primary blush shade.  The creamy white highlighter section occupies the other large section.  The pink bottom strip allow one to soften the other two colors.

Thankfully, rather than the distressingly temporary overspray that so many products were plagued with over the past few years, Chanel chose to decorate the palette with the “Soho” imprint.  Although the logo will wear down, I far prefer the “what you see is what you get” imprint.

I’m really enjoying this blush/highlighter combination.  The highlighting shade is subtle enough to wear during day.  The blush shade is a deep red–almost brickish–a modern take on Chanel’s iconic Vamp reconfigured in this deconstructed palette.

The blush is a more manageable version of Nars Mounia, which I found far too pigmented to manage even with a skunk brush on pale skin.  I find that the Soho blush applies very softly using a standard powder brush.  For more color, I reach for the denser, compact head of my MAC 165–the brush head is compact enough to reach just the highlighter or blush, and allow for good, precise placement on the cheek without streaks.  Another brush to consider is Chanel’s own contour blush brush.

I’ve included a swatch that mixes the three colors together, but I strongly prefer to use them separately.  First off, swirling the colors creates a bit of a mess if you love the palette’s deconstructed pattern.  Fortunately, a few quick swipes of your brush cleans that up nicely.  I am glad to have the option of swirling the colors together (it increases the versatility of the product), but if I were to use the palette primarily in that way, I’d probably just buy a Joues Contraste blush instead.

More importantly, I love the ability to use the separate the dark blush color from the highlighter, and the effect is quite nice.   The pink shade is essentially a highlighter, or can be used to (slightly) lighten the dark shade.   The small size of the pink highlighter strip does not provide much room for using this with a blush brush.

I love this palette.  The design is good–you really can get a medium-sized brush in there to use the products separately.   The amount of product generous, and the color fits very well with the rest of the Soho Story.  It also fits nicely with Chanel Fall 2010, as it will harmonize with the Vert Khaki single eyeshadow, and of course Les Khaki de Chanel nail polish.

Personally, the Soho Story blush and highlighter works really well on my warm, fair skin for the Fall through Winter seasons.  I find that the addition of the highlighter is a thoughtful way to add luminosity to my skin (no glitter, this is a toned-downed, day-friendly highlighter).  Highly recommended.

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