chanel fw2017

November 8, 2017  |  Chanel, Product Reviews  |  No Comments

Ah Chanel. What an easy win this was for you, designing a fall-winter makeup collection around the colours of LA, my second home. It hits me right in the feels because we’re actually in the process of selling our house here, and very soon this beautiful collection will be a vivid reminder of the city I loved and left. I know that sounds a little sad, but I actually can’t think of a sweeter way to remember a place than by painting myself in its colours.

So let’s talk colours.

LA is famous for its dusty desert hues, gorgeous pink sunsets, and – let’s be real – smog. I love that the colours of this collection are brutally honest about the many shades of grey we see every day on the horizon. The best-named item in this collection has got to be New Dawn, a taupe nail polish that absolutely nails (see what I did there) the colour of the sky at daybreak.

chanel new dawn nail polish

I’m not the best at painting my own nails, but here are some swatches of the colour as-is, and then with dabs of rose gold glitter to…ahem…camouflage mistakes.

chanel new dawn

Another win in this collection is the Les 4 Ombres City Lights quad, made up of pigmented taupe-browns. The colours are mostly neutral in tone but lean ever so slightly cool on my skin. City Lights may not present the most innovative colour combo but of all my non-warm quads, this is definitely the easiest one to wear and I have been reaching for it a lot lately.

chanel fw017 city lights 2

chanel fw017 city lights 1

chanel city lights

Not part of the Califoria collection but also new to the Les 4 Ombres family is Tisse Merveilleux – another cool quad that’s lately had me uncharacteristically turning my back on red and orange shadows. I’m sure you can understand why though. The colour combination here is merveilleux indeed!

chanel les ombres tisse merveilleux 1

chanel les ombres tisse merveilleux 2

chanel tisse merveilleux

Bonus trivia: it should look familiar to SUQQU fans, specifically owners of Awafujisukashi. Just for fun, I did some comparison swatches. Awafujisukashi’s white-pink duochrome is extremely compelling, but I have to say that the icy lavender of Tisse Merveilleux is much more magical than the former’s equivalent shade. What do you think?

suqqu vs chanel

The collection’s Ombre Premiere Cream eyeshadows in Urban (dark blue) and Memory (golden bronze) were both beautiful, but my pick was Pourpre Profund, a rich and complex burgundy brown. It’s both amazing on its own and as a deepening base for smokier eye looks, and pairs really well with City Lights.

chanel ombre premiere Pourpre Profund 2

chanel ombre premiere Pourpre Profund 3

I’ve also recently had the pleasure of sampling a couple of Ombre Premiere powder eyeshadows that Chanel introduced earlier this year. My picks were Talpa, a truly elegant “one and done” shade, and Titane which is so buttery and pigmented that I was legitimately shocked when I first swatched it. All the metallics of this line are scene-stealers though. If you’re into golds, I highlight recommend Poudre D’Or as well…I’m thinking about going back for it myself!

chanel ombre premiere talpa

chanel ombre premiere titane

Here are some swatches of Talpa, Titane and Pourpre Profund:

CHANEL ombre premiere eyeshadow swatch

Last but not least, here are some of the lovely lip products I sampled from the FW collection: Rouge Allure Lip Inks in Lost (a warm nude) and Highway (a white-based light coral). I have to admit that while Lost is slightly easier to wear, I’ve found that finishing an otherwise neutral look with Highway is very rewarding as it adds a pop of unexpected colour without looking jarring – on me, it’s worked with both cool and warm eyeshadow looks.

chanel lost highway allure ink

From the permanent line, I tested some other 2017 additions to the Chanel lip lineup: Le Rouge Crayon de Couleur in Fuchsia, Rose Violine, and Cassis. If you’re a fan of fuss-free comfortable lipstick, these are great. They twist up (no sharpener required!) and are creamy yet pigmented. Because the formula is a little slippery, I generally prefer to sheer Cassis out rather than wearing it at full pigmentation though I do go full-on with the other two shades.

Chanel Le Rouge Crayon de Couleur 1

Chanel Le Rouge Crayon de Couleur 2

Here are some swatches of all the lip products mentioned above:

Chanel rouge allure ink crayon


This post features products that were provided as press samples, however all opinions and observations are my own and not influenced by the brand or its PR team. This post contains affiliate links.

chanel gabrielle launch

September 2, 2017  |  Chanel, New Launches  |  No Comments

Sorry for my absence everyone – we’ve been on a bit of a travel bender lately, going from LA to Tokyo to Singapore to Melbourne to all around New Zealand’s North Island, and I’ve only just unpacked my suitcase…right in time to head back to LA in a couple of weeks, of course!

While I’m in Singapore however, I’ve been doing my best to cram in as much as possible so I was delighted to be able to catch the launch exhibition of Chanel’s new pillar fragrance, Gabrielle. Chanel hasn’t released a pillar fragrance in 15 years (the last one being Chance) so this is really quite the occasion. As someone who’s worn their perfumes for many years, I couldn’t pass this up. Here’s a quick recap of my visit last friday.

The Gabrielle exhibition is essentially a beautifully-staged art show that breaks down the various elements that go into making a would-be iconic scent. There are insightful visual representations of fragrance creator Olivier Polge’s inspiration, an opportunity to smell the different notes of the perfume as separate entities and appreciate how they are combined…

chanel gabrielle 3

chanel gabrielle 2

…as well as an in-depth exploration of the unique bottle its packaging (easily the highlight of the exhibition for me, as a design geek), a behind-the-scenes look at the Gabrielle promo video and overall a well executed sensory journey that goes well beyond scent.

chanel gabrielle 1

chanel gabrielle 4

There are a couple of interactive displays too, one of which is a faceted tunnel that is like the most chic funhouse mirror ever and pretty awesome for photos (which the Chanel staff will print for you upon request).

chanel gabrielle 8

chanel gabrielle 9

The exhibition at SOTA closes today, but the lovely Chanel fragrance experts (and presumably…hopefully?…some of the displays) will move to Paragon next so you can chat them up there and try the perfume on.

chanel gabrielle 7

My personal take on this might be a wee bit biased because I’ve been wearing Chanel No.5 since I was a teenager, but I really REALLY like Gabrielle as a lighter, ever-so-slightly fruity alternative to my staple scent. They actually share a couple of floral heart notes so if you like No.5 but want something fresher (that isn’t L’Eau, which as a fan of the original I personally find too derivative) and equally sophisticated, then I definitely recommend having a sniff of this for yourself.

chanel cruise 2017

May 23, 2017  |  Beauty, Chanel, Product Reviews  |  No Comments

I’ve always found summer makeup collections to be the most freeing – light textures and fun colours galore – and Chanel’s cruise 2017 line does a lot to reaffirm that opinion. The main colours are bronze (naturally), coral (of course) and a rather unexpected deep emerald green.


The first thing that caught my eye from this collection was undoubtedly the Les Beiges Healthy Glow Luminous Colour powders. I’ve heard so many good things about the amazing quality of Chanel bronzers from friends and fellow makeup lovers before, but hadn’t tried one till now. This new addition to the Les Beiges line is sort of like a subtly illuminating bronzer meant for all-over use. It gives your skin a warm, luminous glow and because it’s quite sheer you can use it pretty liberally without worrying about turning yourself orange. I was recommended the Medium Light shade for my (NC15) skin, and although I was surprised at first to be matched to something other than the lightest colour, it totally made sense once I realized how sheer the formula was. As with all Chanel powder products, this has a light rose scent to it.

chanel les beiges healthy glow

The star of the cruise 2017 show was (for me at least) the limited edition Inimitable Waterproof Mascara in Vert Profund which was, indeed, profoundly green. I don’t think I’ve ever used mascara that wasn’t black, so although I approached this with a healthy dose of skepticism I ended up being thrilled with the final effect. It’s a dark enough emerald green that it didn’t look downright kooky in real life, while still being interesting and very eye-catching. Like, very VERY eye-catching. I noticed a couple of people I interacted with during the day did double takes, so if you want to really draw attention to your eyes, this would be the product to buy!

Chanel Inimitable Mascara Vert Profund

The Stylo Yeux Waterproof in Horizon is another limited edition colour for the season, and though it looks quite black it actually smudges out to reveal a grey-green undertone that beautifully compliments the mascara. Unfortunately despite my best efforts I couldn’t really capture the subtle green hue, but it’s definitely more evident in real life, especially when paired with emerald lashes! I had a preconceived notion of pencil liners being very clumsy to use, but the fine tip of this stylo coupled with a great formula (i.e. one remained workable for long enough to carefully smudge out with a brush before setting fast) made me forget my allegiance to liquids and gels.

Chanel Eyeliner Stylo Horizon

Finally, I got to test Rouge Coco Shine in Golden Sand from the collection’s lip products. It’s weird – I seldom pick up brown nudes for myself, but whenever they find their way into my stash they end up being the shades I reach for the most. This swatched a bit rosier than it looked in the tube, and turned out to be a fabulous example of what I like to call a “No-brainer Nude” aka the kind of colour that works any look and that you end up reaching for over and over again.

Chanel lipstick golden sand

Here are some swatches from the collection:

chanel cruise 2017

And so you can kind of see them in context, here’s a FOTD I did using all of the above as well as some nude-ish mattes from the Make Up For Ever Artist Palette Vol 4 on my lids for definition. It just isn’t in my nature to skip eyeshadow!

chanel cruise 2017 4

The grey-green of the eyeliner is a little more evident in this shot, as is the glow from the Les Beiges bronzer:

chanel cruise 2017 3

When I was finished, I was struck by how editorial the look turned out to be. The green mascara really pushed this into the category of makeup that is simple yet striking and although I worried at first the nude lip would be too bland, it really pulled everything together while allowing the eyeliner and mascara to be the focal point (as they should be).

chanel cruise 2017 2

chanel cruise 2017 5

This post features products that were provided as press samples, however all opinions and observations are my own and not influenced by the brand or its PR team. This post contains affiliate links.