May 272011
 

From this interview in Muse Magazine, Chanel’s Director of Makeup Peter Philips gave this response to the question of whether makeup is the essence of femininity:

Not necessarily. It’s just a part of it. You should consider personality and self-confidence. You must find a balance, your way, your own beauty. There are different ways of makeup. If makeup is used just to hide the flaws, you then can not speak of beauty, but of a mask. Makeup should never be worn as a mask, but as an additional element of self-confidence, only then the authentic beauty emanates from your face. You just decide where you like to place the emphasis: on the eyes or on the mouth. This is a positive approach instead of trying and hiding flaws, which can be a source of stress since the makeup must look natural and not like a disguise. Vanessa Paradis is beautiful but not a model. She wears lipstick very good: she is beautiful because she is self-confident. In “Matrimonio all’italiana” Sophia Loren experiences all states of mind: from sadness to anger, from joy to sorrow, she is both wife and lover. This transformation makes her beautiful. This is the real essence of femininity, also when you get older. Young Gabrielle [Coco Chanel] was full of life, she enjoyed a spontaneous life: this is the concept of beauty and femininity.

I find this response very Chanel.  I never worry when high end makeup seems sheer.  Although some products (like eyeliner) are typically opaque, letting a woman’s skin show through fits with the idea that makeup is an accessory and not a cover.  Sometimes makeup is for emphasis, to sit lightly on the skin.  The skin and a women’s features, her expression, her personality, are the main event.

Yes, we always have those days.  But a woman who has an inner confidence and lives life with a full range of emotion looks alive and beautiful, regardless…  It’s personality and spirit which count the most.  Elegance in one’s interactions with others is a state of mind.

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May 262011
 

Chanel Autumn/Fall 2011 will feature an Illusion D’Ombre theme, which has been previously discussed on Cafe Makuep (they had me at “smoking lava”). We now have more complete information about the entire collection.

[Edit–Cafe Makeup has now done detailed reviews of these items.  See our overview and final recommendations at this link!).

Enjoy!

First, there are six shades of a whipped gel eyeshadow, Illusion D’Ombre, which have a shimmery effect:

Illusion d’Ombre in Fantasme:

Illusion d’Ombre in Emerveillé:

Illusion d’Ombre in Ebloui:

Illusion d’Ombre in Epatant:

Illusion d’Ombre in Illusoire:

Illusion d’Ombre in Mirifique:

Le Crayon Yeux in Khaki Platine:

Joues Contraste in Rose Écrin:

Les 4 Ombres in Prélude:

Lèvres Scintillantes (Glossimer) in Pampille and Braise and Crayon Lèvres lip pencils in Rose Cuivré and Coralline:

Rouge Coco Plumetis and Rouge Coco Étole:

Le Vernis nail polish in Graphite, Peridot and Quartz:

Swatches of these shades are here at Sophy Robson:

Some of you may recall this Style.com video in which Chanel Makeup Genius Peter Philips explains the collection:

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May 202011
 

Although Burberry Beauty Brush No. 2 (price not yet determined) is not yet for sale, I was able to obtain one during the last Holiday season when Nordstrom had a gift with purchase that included this lovely, incredible brush.  This is an unbelievable powder brush.  It’s dense, it’s luxurious, and it works.   It’s absolutely perfect for either a light dusting of setting powder, or a very soft application of bronzer or blush on pale skin.

The handle is substantial without being too heavy.  It’s held up beautifully through weekly (or more) washings for the past five months.  I had no lost bristles, it dries perfectly overnight.

Is “brush-gasm” a word?  Like Chanel’s Euro face powder brush (reviewed here), Burberry Face Brush No. 2 has a wide, flat side that contours beautifully to the face.

Turn the brush sideways, and you will see that the top of the bristles narrow down to a chisel in a way that allows a very light application of powder.

I found a number of similarities between the Burberry Face Brush No. 2 and Chanel Flat Powder Brush #3 (Pinceau Poudre Flat). Here is a side-by-side:

Bottom line:  Highly recommended.

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May 172011
 

When Chanel recently launched the new Vitalumiere Aqua foundation, the  line also released a new series of concealers, the Chanel Correcteur Perfection/ Long Lasting Concealer ($40).  I purchased B10 Beige Clair.  This is a liquid concealer packaged in a clear tube, with a sponge-tip applicator.

My undereye area is problematic–the circles are not the darkest that I have seen but I certainly need all-day, pigmented coverage to avoid looking tired.

I have tried every concealer that Chanel has released in the past fifteen years, along with numerous products from others lines.  These include Cle de Peau, Lancome Effernances, Le Metier de Beaute Peau Vierge, Laura Mercier, Bobbi Brown’s Corrector and Concealer, and By Terry’s new hydrating concealer.  Many times, I use two under eye products–the Bobbi Brown Corrector has been invaluable in laying down a good, stable foundation for almost any other concealer out there–it lasts for hours.  I’m on my third pot.  Then I add another concealer on top, especially for days where I know my makeup has to look good all day long.  The Cle de Peau (even as re-formulated) has also done extremely well for me.

Most sales associates (even those that work at Chanel counters) have steered me away from the Chanel concealers in the past.  In fact, two years ago during a Chanel makeover, an artist at a Chanel counter lost patience and pulled a concealer stock from Bobbi Brown. Having set the bar quite low, let me start by saying this–Chanel’s Correcteur Perfection is the best concealer that Chanel has ever made. But seriously, it is becoming one of my favorite concealers right now.

After using Chanel’s Long Lasting Concealer for a few weeks, here are my subjective impressions:

  • Like Vitalumiere Aqua, Chanel Correcteur Perfection/ Long Lasting concealer is rich with pigment.  You do not need much product to get good coverage.  This is important, because too much concealer shows. Thin textures are better because they adhere closely to the skin and look more natural.
  • Chanel Long Lasting does not promise any skin care benefits (unlike Le Metier de Beaute’s Peau Vierge Concealer -reviewed here). If we were looking only at coverage and price, I give a slight edge to Chanel between these two.
  • My unbeatable combination for bullet-proof coverage is Bobbi Brown Corrector with Chanel Long Lasting on top.  However, using the Chanel alone looks more natural (brutal honesty here).
  • Chanel’s Long Lasting looks slightly less dry than Lancome’s Effacernes.  Because it looks more natural, I’d re-buy the Chanel before I’d re-buy the Lancome.
  • If forced to decide between Cle de Peau and Chanel, I would be unable to decide.

Of course, Chanel Long Lasting Concealer is elegantly packaged–I love the frosted tube and sleek black top.

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May 152011
 

Lumieres Byzantines de Chanel Palette Highlighters ($250 – 0.35 oz.) was created by Peter Philips for the pre-Fall 2011 Byzantine clothing collection. Because this release is limited to 1500 palettes worldwide, it is expected to sell out very quickly. In the U.S., this is sold in five Chanel boutiques (mine came from the Chanel Bal Harbour boutique). Based on my calls around the U.S., I believe this is also sold at Chanel Soho and the Las Vegas Wynn Boutiques, although I suspect that they received only very few each. I do not know whether it will be offered online on Chanel.com at all. As far as I know, it will not be offered at Chanel Studios (such as Nordstrom Seattle or Bloomingdales at South Coast Plaza).

Do note that there will be some additional items for the Chanel Byzantine collection, featured here at Rouge Deluxe. I expect that those gorgeous items will be available over the next few months.

I’m posting pictures of the Lumieres Byzantines palette for your reference and to enjoy. I have not decided whether to swatch it. The palette comes packaged with this beautifully illustrated instruction card:

Hand-numbered:

The other side of the instruction card explains that this palette was created by Peter Philips to celebrate Chanel’s Artistic Design House, and inspired by Baroque-style jewelry crafted for Gabrielle Chanel during the 1950’s. These are cream highlighters to capture “all of the light of the Orient.”

The palette:

Close up:

I’ve heard that only 130 are sold in the U.S. I do not believe I have ever seen anything like this before.

It’s interesting to see how these palettes were made by hand:

Shaping the product, prior to placing the product into the case.  I can make out the palette of creamy colors in the background and below the area where the artist is working:

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