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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