The Collection Byzance de Chanel was designed for Karl Lagerfield’s presentation of the Paris-Byzance Métiers D’Art Collection last December. There are four items in this limited-edition collection which include Joues Contraste Rouge, Joues Contraste Or, Quadra Eye Shadow Topkapi and Rouge Allure in Rouge Byzantine. The colors are rich and vibrant and extremely unique.
There are a few lovely preview photos on La Chanelphile and Rouge Deluxe. You can see that this collection is more decorative and costume-like rather than practical for everyday wear. Still, Chanel has managed to create a beautiful collection that can be taken from runway to real-life, although for me, it won’t be for everyday. The window displays at the Chanel Boutique at South Coast Plaza last month were decorated for the new Paris-Byzance releases in leather goods, jewelry, shoes and accessories. The displays were truly breathtaking with the rich and vibrant colors.
Close up photos of the products:
The collection is indeed beautiful and stunning. Even though the blushes are both of the baked formula, they are highly pigmented and apply beautifully. The richness of the collection seems to me like these shades would be better suited for holiday with the red and the gold. With the exception of Topkapi Quad, the other items fall outside of personal comfort zone. I personally do not think any of these are must-haves, although I did fall prey to the “limited edition” factor. I did not want to have Chanel-regret (which can be oh-so-expensive).
After playing with these items this evening, I’ve found that I love the quad, but am luke-warm on the blushes. My swatches turned out horrible so I will not be posting them. After a few hours of looking at the lipstick, I am still too scared to try it. Since my testing/swatching photos will be missing, I’m going to reference other blogs heavily for reviews I found helpful. Below are my thoughts on each item:
Rouge Blush is a stunning red. It’s rich in color and pigment and a little bit goes a long way. For me, this will not be an everyday color. It will be a going-out/special-occasion kind of color. It’s lovely, but too rich for me. I prefer D&G Sole (shown here) because it is warmer toned and works better with my skin. It’s a beautiful shade but I think it will be difficult to coordinate with other lip colors other than red or perhaps a neutral caramel nude? This applied surprisingly smoothly for the baked formula. I expected this to be a high maintenance blush with a slight blotchy finish (because it’s baked). It applied beautifully with a super light hand. The downside is the lack of versatility with this color. It won’t go with just any pink or nude.
Or Blush is a sheer chunky gold shimmer. I’m not a fan. For golds, I prefer something finely milled. This will be lovely for layering over other blushes, however alone, it emphasizes the pores in my cheeks. I don’t love it. This evening I layered Or over Rouge. I could barely see any change. I probably need more experimenting with this, but initial thoughts are “blush fail.”
See some lovely reviews of the blushes here:
Topkapi Quad is the winner of the collection. Any taupe lover will think this is a must-have. The colors are rich with finely milled shimmer. It’s just breathtaking with the dark chocolate, lovely taupe, rich sparkly gold and bronzey brown. The quilted embossed surface is beautiful in classic Chanel style. This seems like a versatile quad to use on any occasion for any season. The sharp contrast of the rich gold is beautiful. This evening I applied these from lightest to darkest. They layered beautifully. Some lovely reviews and looks from others:
Best Things in Beauty
Rouge Byzantin Rouge Allure is a bright fuschia red. Just one look at this and I know it’s not “me.” It’s too bright, too red, and frankly, it scares me. I can’t bring myself to test it out. My mother, on the other hand, loves brighter reds and looks beautiful in anything pink, fuschia or bright. She has a fairer complexion without the olive that I have. This one will be passed along to her. There are lovely swatches:
Overall thoughts: Chanel has released a unique set of colors with the Byzance de Chanel collection. The colors are beautiful, unique and different than most other collections I’ve seen in a long time. However, the timing of the release seems a bit off to me. I believe the Fall 2011 Illusion d’Ombres overshadows this collection by far. Also given the fact that rumors of Byzance surfaced as early as last December, the delay in the release scheduled in the heat of summer seems ill-timed. Combine all these factors with the fact that these shades are well outside of my comfort zone, and the result is that my feelings about the Byzance items right now are luke-warm. As the holiday season approaches and I have more time to experiment with the reds and golds, I will probably change my mind, but I’m still finding myself obsessed with last spring and summer and now fall. I have a lot to keep me occupied and I think these will be stored away until the cooler season arrives. As an updated side-note, my husband loves the Rouge Blush on me. Perhaps I will give this a second look and experiment with it more.
The Collection Byzance de Chanel items are currently available on Chanel.com for a limited time and in select Chanel Boutiques and Chanel Beaute Studios. I purchased mine from Nordstrom Seattle. They have a Chanel Studio at the flagship store which carries special collections including various imported collections.