Les Expressions de Chanel 2012 brings us new options for the eyes. There are new eyeshadow quads, cream eyeshadows, liquid liners and a new mascara. (See the US lineup on La Chanelphile and the European lineup on Café Makeup.) In the US, it appears the whole collection is scheduled to launch Black Friday (at least according to four different counters I’ve talked to in Southern California) although some have reported early sightings at some boutiques and select counters. I think at this time the exact release and availability dates are unclear. I have yet to see the entire collection in person but ordered 36 Intuition and 37 Variation eyeshadow quads online from Neimans ($58 each).
36 Intuition is a warmer but still somewhat neutral option for the eyes. All the shades are medium in shimmer. It has a soft seashell pink shimmer, a warm sheer gold sparkle, a neutral bark brown shimmer and a warmer brown tan. Pigmentation and coverage is medium-sheer. It performs like most Chanel quads and on my eyes works best over a dewy cream base (Edward Bess’s Eye Base or Laura Mercier’s Metallic Cream Shadows).A few others to check out with features on this quad:
37 Variation is a cooler-toned option. The shades are also on the
shimmery side but not quite as sparkly as Intuition. It has a
cool-toned powdery pink satin, a silvery sage metallic, a warm brown and
an eggplant shimmer. I thought this would be my favorite out of the
two, but it’s borderline too cool for my skin. It’s still quite lovely
on olive complexion but I prefer Mystic Eyes to this one. I haven’t seen the European/baked version of Variation in person, but judging from online reviews/swatches, I think I prefer the color payoff of the Euro one better. Some other swatches to check out:
Café Makeup swatched and reviewed the European baked version earlier this year
Kosmetista has the baked version swatched with an eye look
I didn’t have time to do comprehensive comparisons or swatches but caught one slightly blurry photo today for reference. You can see Variation isn’t quite as purple as Vanities, but not quite the same as Mystic Eyes. Intuition is very different from Spices but resembles Dior’s Fairy Golds in color family (which I have not tried yet).
For me Intuition was a lovely surprise. It looked like it would be too neutral or unoriginal but it really is quite lovely. Variation on the other hand was a slight disappointment. The colors are really lovely but needs a bit of warming up for my skintone.
Have you spotted the Les Expressions de Chanel collection yet? I’m still waiting to see the whole collection, but at this time think I will probably pass on everything else. Perhaps I will consider the mascara?
Chanel’s new blush for the holiday is Star Dust #73 ($43 for 6g/0.21 oz). I found this blush to be more of a glimmering highlighter rather than a regular blush. It has a sheer soft pink base loaded with tiny micro sparkles in shades of pink, silver and platinum. It’s quite stunning in the compact. In testing this, I found that I need some kind of a cream highlighter or blush on the cheeks to make this show up (I experimented with NARS Luxor, a few other NARS Multiples, Edward Bess Sunlight and a couple Armani fluid sheers). Alone over foundation and powder (like a regular blush) resulted in a barely noticeable powdery pink cheek. When layered over a cream product, it goes on a soft pink loaded with sparkles. The effect is similar MAC Silver Dusk or Laura Mercier’s Star Dust powder but even more sparkly with a pink base (versus silvery/champagne). Overall the name Star Dust fits the product performance – it gives a sparkle effect to the cheeks. I can only see myself wearing this for evenings out – for me it’s too sparkly for everyday wear.
Swatched you can see it’s very sheer. Even with heavy layering, it’s a soft warm sheer pink:
Star Dust is a warmer pink when compared to other soft pink shades, but it’s still clearly pink (not a peachy pink). I pulled a few comparisons to show, I couldn’t find a dupe in my Chanel or MAC collection. Here are a few views to show the shimmer and undertones. First in direct sunlight: Chanel Ombres Tissees in Beiges (limited-edition from August 2011), Chanel Winter Shimmer (discontinued), MAC Porcelain Pink MSF, NARS Miss Liberty, Le Metier de Beaute Whisper:
Comparisons under artificial light (same set of colors):
Swatches, two views:
I’m not completely in love with Star Dust mainly because it didn’t apply on the face like I expected it to. Based on what I saw in the compact and what I’m used to for Chanel blushes, I expected something more pigmented and not as sheer. I’m usually a die-hard Chanel blush fan but this one was just ok for me – the lightness of the color can look a bit chalky for my skintone and emphasize pores if not applied with a super light hand. Still, as a highlighter it’s very pretty and nice for evenings to add that extra sparkle. It’s unique enough compared to other highlighters in the sense that the shimmer/sparkle isn’t your standard silver or champagne. It’s subtle but makes the skin have a really pretty glow as long as you have a dewy base first.
Did you try Star Dust? What were your thoughts? If you’re interested in this I suggest you check your counters soon to try it. Three counters near me were already sold out – although I think it will be easy to find online for a while.
Chanel has released three new glossimers for the holiday: Allégorie 347, Mystery 357, Intrigue 367 ($29.50 each). The shades are semi-sheer on my lips with the classic natural gloss finish that Chanel glossimers have. They are great neutrals that are suitable for any season, however, those who already own a number of Chanel glossimers may find these have a similar effect on the lips to shades released in prior seasons. The shades:
Allégorie 347 is sheer transparent light sparkle pink (goes on fairly clear on my lips)
Mystery 357 is a warm-neutral nude peachy pink (slight tint but sheer)
Intrigue 367 is a warm reddish pink with slight brown
Swatches show the colors are true to what you see in the tube, on the lips the colors sheer out quite a bit:
A few comparisons to other glosses show that the releases for holiday are different from other releases, however on my lips many of the lighter pinks appear very similar once applied (probably due to my pigmented lip color). I couldn’t find dupes in my Chanel collection.
My personal favorite is Mystery. I think this shade filled a gap in Chanel’s glossimer releases – they needed a good neutral pink-peach shade. Intrigue is also lovely for a healthy tint that’s still natural. Allegorie is gorgeous in the tube but is best as a layering shade over other lipsticks (alone it’s virtually clear). I personally give them all a thumbs up but I feel that Mystery is the only one that I can say is a must-have.
Did you check out the Chanel glossimers for the holiday? What were your thoughts?
I chose three items from the Chanel Holiday collection: Apparence Illusion d’Ombre, Nuit-Claire Eyeshadow Duo and Harmonie du Soir Quadra Eye Shadow.
Apparence Illusion d’Ombre ($36 for 4g/0.14 oz) is a stunning brassy-gold metallic. It’s quite sparkly but not too over-the-top when blended on the lids. When swatched on the arms it’s quite warm, on the eyes it balances out to appear a bit more neutral, but still warm and golden. The shimmer/sparkle factor is still fairly high but I experienced no fall-out. Like all other Illusion d’Ombres, this has a spongey hybrid gel/cream like texture with bounce. I like to use the applicators for intense pigment, but use a small shadow brush for a sheer wash. For everyday wear at a conservative work office, it’s borderline too sparkly to pull off. Blending for a sheer wash and combining this with other shades makes it ok for me, but I probably would save this one for special occasions or any time other than just to work. (That’s just me though.)
Nuit-Claire Eyeshadow Duo ($42 for 2.5g/0.09 oz) is a combination of soft classic black satin and champagne shimmer. It’s very subtle and natural looking. Those who think it resembles last holiday’s Noir-Ivoire are correct. This year’s Nuit-Claire is a cooler version with a pinkish champagne compared to last year’s duo, but without comparing them side-by-side, they appear almost identical. (Scroll down for the comparison.) The shimmer in the pale champagne side gives a subtle glow to the lids which is really quite lovely. The black is sheer but layerable for a smokey eye. I don’t think it’s a must-have because the colors are just so basic but if you’re looking for something subtle and refined without too much shimmer then this is definitely something you should check out.
Harmonie du Soir ($65 for 4 g/0.14 oz) is a quad in the Regard Signé de Chanel Quadra Eye Shadow formula. It’s the same formula as Topkapi with the embossed print texture and rich metallic smooth pigment. I didn’t think the colors were a must-have but the formula of these shadows is so good, I caved. The shades include a strong metallic gold neutral, plum-taupe, lilac-pink-mauve and a cool reddish shimmer. The only shade I have issues with is the reddish color, but it adds a nice touch of warmth when layered softly over the gold and plum taupe. To apply, I’ve taken the gold and lilac mixed softly all over the lid, followed by the taupe-plum 1/2 way up the lid with more emphasis on the outer corners and then finished with a soft pop of the red on top blended. To me it’s not an easy combination of colors to apply easily – it takes a lot of blending for me but with a bit of time it works.
Here they are swatched:
Comparisons below to a few other shades:
Out of all three new items for eyes, the only thing I feel is a must-have is the Apparence Illusion d’Ombre simply because I adore neutral gold shimmers, especially for the holiday. The other two items are very pretty, however I’m not quite as smitten with them. (It’s like but not love.) I just found Nuit-Claire a bit too basic and the combination of colors in the Harmonie du Soir aren’t easy for me to pull off. Still the entire collection has a lovely festive feel that’s perfect for the upcoming holiday season.
Chanel Malice #637 ($26 for 13 ml/0.4 oz) is the newest nail polish release for holiday this year. I found mine at Neiman Marcus in-store, but the entire holiday collection had not yet arrived (and there were no testers). It’s a stunning drop-dead gorgeous dark wine vamp infused with red shimmer. It’s quite dramatic and deep. The finish is a smooth shimmer. It’s not quite as shimmery or frosty like Delight or Island, but the shimmer isn’t invisible like it is with shades such as Distraction or Jade Rose. I’ve worn this color for three days now with no wear/chipping/peeling. I haven’t been this smitten with a nail color since Black Pearl. I do find it different enough from Vamp to justify owning both.
When the light hits Chanel Malice, the ruby red shimmer glows:
Here it is without direct sunlight hitting the polish:
Malice is a full-coverage polish. One coat was sufficient for full nail coverage but two is better:
Without a flash or sunlight, it looks like your basic vampy polish. A few shots below shown with the latest addition to our family (still not yet named):
I closest shade I could find to Chanel Malice is OPI’s Glove You So Much (from holiday 2009). There are definitely other shades similar in effect and finish. I didn’t find another exact dupe but here are some comparisons to: OPI The One That Got Away, OPI Glove You So Much, Rescue Beauty Lounge Black Russian, Chanel Gondola, Chanel Tulipe Noire, Chanel Rouge Noir, Chanel Red Dream, Dior Icone, Dior Apparat, Chanel Rouge Fatal and OPI Black Cherry Chutney.
Full nail wheel – lightened so you can see the shimmer undertones:
Full nail wheel, same shades/order – darker lighting (more true to the real color):
I think Malice is definitely a must-have. Many may find it too similar to Vamp to justify owning but I adore Malice. I have yet to see the entire Chanel Holiday collection in person yet. I did purchase all the glossimers, the quad and illusion d’ombre. I will do my best to review them in the upcoming week – however right now I’m fully distracted by our new kitty.
Have you seen Chanel holiday yet? Thoughts? I’m dying to see the new blush and eyeshadow duo and anxiously waiting for them to arrive instore.