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Chanel Highlighters

Chanel Camelia de Chanel Illuminating Powder

January 25, 2017

Camelia de Chanel Illuminating Powder Review | The Beauty Look Book

Chanel launched a new highlighter called Camelia de Chanel Illuminating Powder ($70 for 6 g/0.21 oz, made in Italy). It’s currently available online at and comes in a solid mirrored compact, limited-edition red lacquered case, half-moon brush in a stunning embossed camelia pattern. This highlighter compact literally took my breath away as soon as I opened it – the pattern, texture, shimmer and color are just out of this world beautiful. It truly is one of the prettiest compacts I think I’ve seen. On the skin my feelings are mixed. This is a beautiful highlighter that I think has an exquisite type of prism-like shimmer but I need to apply with a very light hand on the cheeks or only use this on the eyes – otherwise it’s simply too shimmery for my skin tone.

Camelia de Chanel Illuminating Powder Review | The Beauty Look Book

Chanel describes this to be “a sheer highlighting powder” that “captures and reflects light for a delicate, luminous glow.” For my medium-olive skintone I don’t find it sheer or delicate. It’s a champagne highlighter with an intense sparkle with tiny micro sparkle particles. They aren’t glittery chunks but the glow particles are definitely bigger than finely milled shimmer. I know many of my readers are split into those who are anti-shimmer anything and those who love all the glow they can get. I am one who loves as much glow as I can get as long as I don’t end up looking like a frosted or gilded statue. In all the years I’ve collected Chanel highlighters I would say this one is definitely the most glitzy and sparkly of them all. Chanel highlighters have been all over the place from so sheer that you can use as an all over setting powder to a more noticeable glow to a more traditional highlight. If you remember the sparkly loose powders like MAC Silver Dusk or Laura Mercier Candlelight (both discontinued) – this Camelia de Chanel Illuminating Powder has a similar sparkly quality but in pressed form and also in a more beige-champagne color versus the light silvery pink tint the loose powders had.

There’s a slight texture that is noticeable if you swipe the powder with a finger but swatching it on the hand or arm it feels extremely smooth and silky. The pigment is quite intense but can be easily blended out for a more diffused look. I love this on the eyes for a good champagne sparkle highlight. On my cheeks it gives my face an almost wet-look effect with the way the light hits the shimmer – but I will note that some champagne highlighters don’t look good on my specific skin tone because of the way it either matches or is one shade too light. For example Kevyn Aucoin Candlelight looks good on everyone I’ve seen it on but on my skin tone it looks chalky and just plain horrible. By comparison the Anastasia Beverly Hills Glow Kits are some of the most glowy almost frosty looking highlighters I’ve tried – but because the colors contrast more with my skintone I find them more wearable especially if I blend them out with a brush.

A closer look

Camelia de Chanel | Beauty Look Book

Camelia de Chanel Swatch | The Beauty Look Book

Camelia de Chanel | Beauty Look Book

Swatch on bare skin:

I know this one is super blurry but it shows how the light reflects on some of the particles:

Camelia de Chanel | Beauty Look Book

A quick look on the face, photo taken without flash because with one my entire face looked like a glowy shiny mess. I have mixed feelings about this one on my face because I feel like it looks a bit too glowy and also emphasizes texture on my skin. It doesn’t emphasize pores like some highlighters do, but right now I’m working on some exfoliating and peels for my skin so texture is showing a bit on the cheek areas.


On the face:

Camelia de Chanel Illuminating Powder Swatch

Two sets of swatch comparisons for you, Set 1:

  • Hourglass Ambient Strobe Powders in Euphoric and Incandescent (review here)
  • Cover FX Custom Enhancer Drops in Moonlight (review here)
  • MAC Mineralize Skinfinish in Shimpagne (discontinued)
  • Becca Shimmering Skin Perfector Powder in Champagne Pop (review here)
  • Edward Bess All Over Seduction in Sunlight (review here)

Camelia de Chanel Swatch Comparisons | The Beauty Look Book

Set 2:

  • Tom Ford Skin Illuminating Duo in Moodlight (review here)
  • Diorskin Nude Air Luminizer 001 (review here and here)
  • Laura Mercier Face Illuminators in Indiscretion and Devotion (review here)
  • Tom Ford Shimmer Shot Spin Spin Sugar (review here)
  • MAC Mineralize Skinfinish in Soft and Gentle (available here)

Camelia de Chanel Swatch Comparisons | The Beauty Look Book

Quick note and some thoughts on comparisons. The Camelia de Chanel has a similar sparkling quality to MAC Soft and Gentle on my skin, but the Chanel is slightly more sparkly. My personal favorite is still the Diorskin Nude Air Luminizer 001 because it melds nicely with my skin and the color is just perfect for me. This spring they’ve added 3 more shades (review soon). The comparison swatch shows the Dior and Chanel to look really similar but on camera it’s difficult to capture ever single nuance with the shimmer, color and sparkles. If you want to avoid all kinds of harsh shimmer and want just a soft natural glow the Edward Bess All Over Seduction is my holy grail cream highlighter although the Tom Ford Shimmer Shots are quite pretty and easy to wear too.

Camelia de Chanel Highlighter | The Beauty Look Book

Final thoughts: I think the Camelia de Chanel Illuminating Powder is an exquisite highlighter. I was sent one for review and would have purchased one even if they didn’t send one to me. I think it’s definitely a unique piece compared to previous Chanel highlighter launches and even unique compared to other brands. It has a sparkle that almost feels like it could be fairy dust captured and pressed into a compact. Opening it is a breathtaking experience and they really did an excellent job at creating a one of a kind piece for beauty collectors and fanatics like myself. Quality is top notch – it has a smooth even texture without any patchy issues. As with any powder there will be some fallout in the application but once on the skin I found it stayed put all day long. I love it on the eyes. On my cheeks it’s a bit much for me – even though as you can tell from the comparison swatches above I’m a bit of a highlighter junkie and love a good glow. This one is just not doable for the cheeks for everyday but I will say that right at this moment I’m in that weird skintone transition phase where I’m getting lighter and finding a lot of colors aren’t working for me. I know this will pass as I tan easily and sunshine is in the weather forecast in the upcoming days so I’ll probably get some color soon.

If you bought this I’d love to hear your thoughts! If you can chime in on your skintone to help those who are debating whether or not to order sight unseen that would be amazing too.

The Camelia de Chanel Illuminating Powder retails for $70, currently available online at

Illuminating powder provided courtesy of Chanel for review.





Chanel Fragrance

Chanel N°5 L’Eau

September 12, 2016
Chanel N°5 L'Eau Perfume

On September 1st Chanel launched a new perfume for fall called N°5 L’EAU ($100 to $132) which is modern fresh take on the classic N°5. The new N°5 L’Eau is very different from the original, it is significantly lighter in feel with a very clean almost green zesty feel but floral with hints of musk. Notes per Chanel:

“Composed by Chanel perfumer Olivier Polge, N°5 L’EAU features dynamic, crisp top notes of Lemon, Mandarin and Orange that reveal lightheartedness and transparency. The emblematic heart of the bouquet unfolds with Rose, Jasmine and a new fraction of Ylang Ylang, more modern than ever. Behind this floral whirlwind lies an unprecedented sense of liveliness: the vibrant echo of Cedar, accompanied by soft and cottony Musk notes.”

Smelling this seems to give me that fresh feel of spring but the combination of musk, ylang ylang and jasmine makes it one that I feel one can truly wear year round. Part of me wishes it was launched in the spring though because I would have worn this all season long and loved it. That being said I will wear this for the upcoming season.

Chanel N°5 L'Eau Perfume

Shown above: Les Beiges Healthy Glow Sheer Colour SPF15 in No 20, Gloss Volume, Glossimer in Beige Star (reviewed here), Le Vernis in Organdi (reviewed here), marble tray from Restoration Hardware (less expensive alternatives here and here)

Strength-wise it’s in the Eau de Toilette form and it’s a light scent so I can spritz generously without having to worry about overdoing it. Lasting power is not as good as an Eau de Parfum, but I can smell it from morning until about lunch time before I find it has disappeared completely. I rarely reapply perfumes mid-day even if they fade on me unless they have a travel size you can buy separately. I know there are a number of travel size spritzers and vials that you can fill with your own scent but I feel like they aren’t as well packaged and tightly sealed like the ones that are made by the brands themselves.

Chanel N°5 L'Eau Perfume Styled

To date my favorite Chanel fragrance is the Les Exclusifs de Chanel in Beige. I’ve sampled a number of others each time I’m at a store that carries them (you can’t find them at all counters). Gardenia, Jersey and No 22 have all been tempting but my heart still belongs to Beige. I sniffed Boy last month and found it interesting too, I’m undecided on it as so many fragrances have captured my attention I need to limit myself to ones I truly love. The N°5 L’Eau is a clean floral like Beige, but at the same time it’s very different in overall feel and effect. N°5 L’Eau is brighter, cleaner and has a bit more of a powdery feel by comparison.

Chanel N°5 L'Eau Perfume Styled Shot with Flap Bag

On the nails above, Louboutin Miziggoo

I’ve always wanted a Chanel perfume in that classic bottle that came in a spray form and now I do. I had the original N°5 before (it was gifted) and it simply wasn’t me so I gave it away so I cannot compare it to the newly launched L’eau version.

Chanel N°5 L'Eau Perfume with Roses

Bottom line: modern, clean and fresh that dries down to a powdery floral. As perfume is very personal and scents often shift depending on your body chemistry, I don’t think there is any universal kind of scent. This one won’t be for everyone and if you need something with very strong lasting power, this definitely won’t be for you. I like it and will wear it frequently. You can find the Chanel N°5 L’Eau Eau de Toilette in a 50 ml for $100 and 100 ml for $132, both exclusively online at Chanel. The one I have featured in this review is the smaller size. If you’ve tried this I’d be curious to hear your thoughts! If not, let me know what your go-to is for this upcoming fall season. I always love reading about what my readers are wearing. 

Chanel N°5 L’Eau provided courtesy of Chanel for review.


Sneak Peek: New Chanel Le Vernis Shades

October 29, 2014

Chanel has released quite a few nail lacquers this season in various collections. I have a sneak peek for you today. There is a lot of red this year. I’ve run out of nail wheels for comparisons and my fingers can only take so much swatching each day, so I’ll do comparisons where I can. Many of my polishes are still in moving boxes too, so comparisons will be limited to what I can find easily. (I have a huge amount of respect for full-time nail polish bloggers who put their fingers through so much every week.)

The new shades this season include:

The Holiday and Rouge Allure Gloss collection shades can be found at all Chanel counters and retailers now such as Nordstrom, Saks and Neiman Marcus. The Collection Les Rouges Culte are a exclusive, Sweet Star has been spotted at various Chanel Boutiques and
Here’s another shot, there is a lot of glare from the flash and sunlight but it shows the differences in undertone for the various red options. I do think they are fairly similar in effect and color so for me I definitely did not need all of the reds but as a collector of Chanel Le Vernis nail polishes, I could not pass them up.

I hope to have Phenix and Sweet Star posts completed soon (fingers crossed I can finish them today). For now, if you’ve been debating whether or not to splurge I hope this line up of all the new shades helps you gauge how they look side by side.


Chanel Diwali Le Vernis – Bombay Express

June 29, 2012

Hints of new items from Chanel surfaced late last year at the Paris-Bombay Metiers d’Art Show (see the runway look on Café Makeup). The limited-edition beauty collection Bombay Express de Chanel has finally arrived in the US on (and soon to select counters and boutiques). I purchased two items Diwali Le Vernis and Brume D’Or blush. Diwali Le Vernis is perfectly described on “A glowing mix of pale gold and luminous silver …” It has a highly metallic glow and rich pigment (not sheer like Gold Fingers or Graphite).

Here it is swatched with two coats, there are many different shades of shimmers in the bottle making it appear silver in some photos and then more glowy gold in others. 

The big question is how does this one lineup to past releases? Diwali is a special release and priced at a steep $30 per bottle. It is unique in the Chanel lineup. There are definitely similar shades that I’ll show below. Two views of the same shades. Dior Timeless Gold, Dior Golden Era, Chanel Delight, Chanel Kaleidoscope, Chanel Gold Fingers (prior reviews linked).

Two sets of swatches, note there are some repeats:

I would say that Chanel Diwali is closest to Dior Timeless Gold. Diwali has more yellow while Timeless Gold has more warmth. I personally prefer Chanel Delight from the summer collection for a metallic gold.
I can’t say I think Diwali is a must-have after comparing it to other shades (even though I had to have it). If you’re a huge Chanel fan then I would suggest buying it sooner than later (to avoid Chanel regret and astronomical eBay prices). Diwali is a pretty edgy metallic that I think can be worn year round.
Are you going to buy Chanel Diwali? If you already have what are your thoughts?

Chanel Rouge Allure Velvet La Distinguée 33 and La Furtive 31

May 27, 2012

Chanel’s Rouge Allure Velvet formula was released last fall (see swatches on Karla Sugar, Messy Wands and Rouge Deluxe). Being a huge fan of the luxurious feel of the regular Rouge Allures, I was excited to try the new Velvet formula, however the two shades that caught my eye were not available to the US. Since the initial release, Chanel has released La Distinguée 33 and La Furtive 31 exclusively on for a limited time ($32.50 each). Unfortunately it appears that La Furtive (released online last November) is no longer available on their website. I’m not sure if they will bring it back or not. I hope they do.

Rouge Allure Velvets come in the same packaging as the regular Rouge
Allures. I love the pop-up feature of the packaging and the sleek simple
black tube. The coverage is full on me and the lipstick adheres well to the lips. To me these are like a velvet/cashmere blend for the lips. Even though these are described as matte, there is still a slight sheen to these and the texture is soft/smooth. They glide on the lips without any tugging. Lasting power is medium. Finish is rich but natural coverage. Texture settles in to mimic the feel of your natural lip.
  • La Distinguée 33 is a peach-pink with a velvet matte finish. There is a slightly luminous mixture of peach and pink in the color which gives it depth and a soft glow, even with the matte finish. La Distinguée goes on my lips a brightened peach tinged with pink. On my lips it leans more towards the warm/peach side. It glows and definitely brightens the face without looking too bright.
  • La Furtive 31 is a satiny peachy nude. This shade was featured on the runway at the 2011/2012 Fall/Winter show (as seen on La Chanelphile and Café Makeup). This color is borderline too nude alone. It doesn’t make me look completely washed out, but almost. I think this one would look best with a slightly deeper liner blended over the lip first. While I feel the color can be easily duped by other neutral nudes (MAC, Bobbi Brown come to mind), I think the formula is absolutely to die for in terms of application and feel. I really hope Chanel brings this back online.

Photos and swatches below.

La Distinguée 33:

La Furtive 31:

Overall, a huge thumbs up for both shades. If I had to decide between the two, I would highly recommend La Distinguée 33. US girls note this is limited edition on, if you are contemplating this shade, order soon!

Chanel Beige 565 Le Vernis – First Look

May 22, 2012’s exclusive Le Vernis shade in Beige 565 just arrived yesterday ($26 each). Here’s a quick look at the color plus comparisons. I couldn’t get good nail swatch photos before the sun went down. Hopefully I’ll be able to post better photos this week. Chanel Beige 565 is a true beige. I was hoping it would be a pearly beige with pinkish/pearl tones like the promotional photos online. It does have a luminous pink glow that flashes (much like Jade Rose, Rose Cache, Distraction) but it’s more of a nude-yellowish beige. I personally find it flattering and polished looking, although I’m not sure that fairer skins will like this. It might have too much yellow. Initial impressions are that this has decent coverage but it doesn’t apply flawlessly like Dragon, Riviera, Blue Boy etc. It’s not quite as difficult as say Mimosa or Riva to apply though. More thoughts to come later, but I’m happy I purchased this one.
You can see the shimmer when you hold the bottle at an angle in direct sunlight.

Comparisons to other beige-nudes below. Note that Chanel Beige Petale was not swatched because it’s so sheer. You can see it reviewed here though. I believe most of the other shades swatched have been reviewed in the past (use the search bar to find more detailed reviews and swatches). You can see that Chanel Beige is fairly unique and more of a beige-yellow nude. All photos by me. Kindly respect the copyright and do not republish without permission.

Chanel Royallieu #58 Rouge Coco Shine

June 30, 2011

Chanel Royallieu #58 Rouge Coco Shine is currently a Limited Edition exclusive. It’s a relatively new release in the US and I would describe it as a lovely pale cool-toned pink. In the tube it appears slightly faded with a slight greyish undetone. If you look closely, you will see the prettiest tiny micro-sparkles. As soon as I opened the tube, I was worried it would be too pale on the lips. Royallieu Rouge Coco Shine is actually quite a bit paler than I anticipated, but I was pleasantly surprised to find that it is sheer enough to not wash out the lips, but pigmented enough to give a soft pale wash of pink shine.

Here it is swatched on my lips, I’m a Chanel Vitalumiere Aqua in 30 now:

If you love pale pinks, you will love Royallieu. It is similar to a few other shades I have so I wouldn’t say it’s the most unique, however it is a pretty pink that is very wearable. Of the existing Chanel lipsticks, it’s lighter/pinker than Mythic. Also shown below, Dior Urban (shown here) and Rose Comete. I find that Royallieu reminds me a bit of MAC Oyster Girl Lipglass (not shown).

Overall I think for me this fits the bill of a goof-proof go-with-everything lipstick. I will be able to wear it for any occasion and apply without needing a mirror. I love that it goes on smoothly and streak-free. I envision this looking great with a smokey eye, in particular the Prelude Quad from the fall collection!