Nov 012011
 

The Holiday 2011 Holiday Sculptee de Chanel Highlighting Powder ($72/ .46 oz.) has a gorgeously textured, glazed finished.  The compact is the large Chanel version that matches the size of Chanel’s powder foundations and bronzers and comes with a well-designed, usable brush.  The compact and velveteen sleeve:

Designed as an elegant gift, the glazing on the highlighter looks beautiful and brushes off easily with a few brush swipes:

 The powder is soft and the pattern wears down quite easily.  Here is the same compact with the glazing removed and after the highlighter was used once on Liz:

This highlighter did not live up to my expectations.  I found that the texture was not as finely milled as Chanel’s Pearl Glow, and the highlighting was so subtle that the product acts more as a very slightly glowy finishing powder.  Here is the powder applied heavily on Liz’s cheek over Chanel’s Tweed Brun Rose blush (reviewed here) in sun:

Typically, this type of lighting maximizes the highlighting properties of any powder product (compare Guerlain’s Parure de Nuit here).  Neither Liz or I found that Lumiere Sculptee de Chanel had reflectivity.  Here is a comparison between Chanel’s Lumiere Sculptee, MAC Lightscapade, Chanel Pearl Glow (reviewed here) and Guerlain Parure de Nuit (which picked up some color from the peacock color shapes):

To be honest, I was disappointed (and a bit surprised) with Chanel Lumiere Sculptee. As beautiful as the product looked in the promotional pictures (really, it absolutely glowed with the pretty glazing), I found the product delivers a finishing powder-type look. Worse, I didn’t find the powder very finely milled.  I’d give this a “pass,” even for collectors.  Particularly at this price point, this did not work for me.

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Nov 012011
 

 Chanel Les Tissages de Chanel Blush in Tweed Brun Rose ($45 / #70) is a finely-milled, complex blush with subtle shimmer.  The color is a mix of brown, rose, gold and peach.  Here is the pan as it arrives from Chanel, with a light dusting of gold overspray.  A quick sweep removes most of the gold shimmer.

The color virtually melts into the skin, the quality is really excellent.  I’ve worn this over Ko Gen Do Foundation, and thought that the effect was extremely natural.  Although pictured here on Liz wearing a light pink lipstick (Chanel Crystal, which is no longer made), Tweed Brun Rose will look lovely with red, beiges, peaches and nude lip colors as well.

 Chanel Tweed Brun Rose applies as a pink-peach-nude. It has more color than most other nude blushes, here pictured with Nars Madly, Nars Loveljoy, and Chanel Fandango.  Tweed Brun Rose is much more nude/bronze compared with last year’s Chanel Espiegle:

 I didn’t expect to like Chanel Tweed Brun Rose, but after playing with the color for several days it won me over completely. The color is tenacious–it doesn’t fade.  The texture is beautiful in that it does become part of the skin without looking powdery.  The texture is not as “glowy” as blushes from Chanel’s Joues Contraste collection, the overall impression is slightly more matte with a tiniest bit of shimmer.  The color is gorgeous–a beautiful, natural, year-round shade.

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Oct 302011
 

Chanel Le Vernis nail polish in Rouge Carat ($25 /#587) released for Holiday 2011 is a festive rich red infused with fuchsia sparkle.

As Chanel polishes go, Rouge Carat is one of the “good” formulations (meaning superb).  It gives a smooth, even, completely opaque coat of color with a single coat, although I prefer to give two coats just to spread the gorgeous texture and give a completely smooth appearance.

Chanel Rouge Carat is a beautiful classic color, although perhaps not one that is entirely unique.  Unlike some of the taupe, greens and blues that we’ve seen from Chanel lately, Rouge Carat is a rich, traditional color that is Holiday appropriate.

The sparkle is noticeable at close inspection in sunlight, although the color is entirely work (and party) appropriate:

Here is a comparison with numerous other reds in my collection, showing that Chanel Rouge Carat bears some resemblance to Chanel Shanghai Red and OPI Thanks So Muchness (click to enlarge):

Also pictured here are OPI Big Apple Red, Rescue Beauty Lounge Chinoise, Dior Trafalgar, Chanel Dragon, Chanel Rouge Fatale, and Dior Gruau.

Overall, the formula of Rouge Carat makes it worth the price to me.  Although not a terribly unique color, I love a polish that gives a gorgeous glossy, pigmented color in a single coat.  Having said that, I don’t think that Chanel Rouge Carat is a ‘back-up worthy’ color.  Although it’s a beautiful color, I’m more likely to reach for the classic Chanel Dragon (which long ago stole my heart as my favorite Chanel red).

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Oct 292011
 

Chanel Ombre Essentielle Soft Touch Eyeshadow in Blazing Gold ($28.50/#407) is a medium yellow eyeshadow with large shimmer particles.

I feel the same way about Chanel Blazing Gold as I do about many of the items in Chanel Holiday 2011.  That is, these Holiday items are amped up, or glitzed-up, versions of other items that Chanel has done before. I’m not criticizing–Holiday is not the time for fashion-forward, necessarily.  Niche collections like Fashion’s Night Out or mini-collections for boutique-only release are for pushing the envelope.  Holiday can be for making the beautified version of the familiar, a classic with a little more, I suppose.  Sometimes I wonder if Holiday collections are for women who buy makeup once a year.  We see the large, blockbuster palettes (Bobbi Brown), the well-priced sets (everyone), another highlighter with a twist (everyone) and the metallic infused color versions of the permanent line (Dior, perhaps?).  Those with more extensive collections should be selective.

Here is a comparison swatch of Chanel Blazing Gold next to Chanel Soft Touch Eyeshadow in Gold–as you can see, the colors are very, very similar.  The difference is that Blazing Gold has larger shimmer pieces for evening wear and the texture is not as smooth.

For context, I included a soft yellow Lancome Moonlight which is only sold in Europe (reviewed here).  Also, I’ve included  a metallic gold (Bare Escentuals True Gold) to show that Blazing Gold is far more in the “yellow” category rather than a gold metal.

Someone’s going to look amazing in Chanel Soft Touch in Blazing Gold.  Unfortunately, I’m not one of them.  I can make it work (sort of), if I confine its use to a very small lid area or inner corner highlighter.  But in general yellows don’t favor my fair, warm toned skin.  Those who already own Chanel Gold should evaluate whether Blazing Gold makes sense given their similarity.

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Oct 282011
 

Chanel Ombre Essentielle Soft Touch Eyeshdow in Beige Lamé ($ 28.50/ #417) is a very subtle, sophisticated eyeshadow.

 As many readers know, Cafe Makeup has a soft spot for beautiful neutrals with a kick.  In the case of Chanel Beige Lamé, the color is a soft neutral beige embedded with barely visible pink, teal and clear microsparkle adds a little depth.  Never over the top, Beige Lamé is a soft spoken shade.

 Here is Chanel Beige Lamé on Liz’s lid:

 Chanel Beige Lamé is a Chanel version of MAC Naked Pigment.  It’s a very neutral medium beige with a hint of shimmer. The texture is lovely, it goes on easily with one swipe.  Its a very easy sweep of color for a pretty, neutral lid.

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