Reviewed: Chanel's Spectacular Le Rouge Collection
On any given day, a half dozen deliveries of yet-to-be-released hair, skin and makeup products hit my desk. From Monday to Friday all manner of anti-agers, sublime scents and gorgeous palettes arrive in a conga line of PR send-ins for me to sample. (I won't pretend my job sucks.) After having worked in beauty for years and years, you'd think the novelty would have worn off. It hasn't. In truth, I don't lose it over every last delivery—you've seen one talcum powder, you've seen 'em all—but it's definitely a thrilling part of the job. The beauty geek in me thrives on it. However, this constant level of excitement means that every now and then, when I'm sent something truly exceptional, I get... hyperbolic. "GUYS, these lipsticks are seriously life-changing," I told my team when I first got my hands on Too Faced's Melted Liquified Long Wear Matte Lipsticks ($31). (FYI, I stand by my dramatic initial impression—they are magnificent.) Similarly, Tom Ford's Orchid Soleil ($135) had me misting anyone within reach. "It's really REALLY good, right?" I said with a semi-crazed look on my face.
This dialled-up enthusiasm made just as strong an appearance when Chanel's new Le Rouge collection turned up on my desk in a glossy black bag a few weeks ago. I audibly gasped when I opened the package, tumbling the gorgeous items within onto my lap. Billed as makeup artist Lucia Pica's first colour collection for Chanel Beauty, Le Rouge is (perhaps not unsurprisingly) all about the colour red. Inspired by both Gabrielle Chanel and Pica's individual fascinations with the shade, the range features a stunning eyeshadow palette, several lipsticks, eyeliner, nail lacquer and more. Having long retired my once-signature red lipstick in favour of work-friendly nude, I took one look at the crimson bullets and immediately began questioning why I had strayed so long. Don't think red is for you? Allow Le Rouge to prove you very, very wrong.
Keep scrolling to see the collection for yourself and read reviews of my top picks.
Rouge Allure Velvet Luminous Matte Lip Colour in Rouge Charnel, Rouge Feu and Rouge Audace ($52 each)
Let's start with these three new shades of the brand's beloved Rouge Allure Velvet Lip Colour which I'm calling my "red lipstick wardrobe". There's Rouge Charnel which has a hint of raspberry pink in the mix, making it perfect for pepping up tired skin. (Try it the morning after a big night and thank me later.) Rouge Feu is a vibrant tomato red with orange undertones that looks lush worn with flicks of feline liner. Maybe my favourite, Rouge Audace, gets the gold for drama, drama, drama. It looks wintery in the bullet, but is incredibly fresh when paired with luminous skin and bronzer.
I'm not a huge fan of shimmer so when a matte eyeshadow palette this good comes along, I lock it down. Candeur Et Experience contains three warm brown shades plus a deep burgundy tone. Each shadow is silky enough to be applied as a wash or built up in intensity. A flattering range of hues for all eye colours, these are the kind of shadows you use 'til they're empty.
Confession: I saw a fellow beauty ed wearing this sparkly merlot liner as a simple swish on each lid and knew immediately I was going to copy her. I did, and I received a pocketful of compliments for my trouble.
This hot chocolate-brown cream shadow is intensely pigmented but buildable at the same time. I suggest washing it all over your lid with a fluffy brush then smudging it into your lashline for the easiest smoky eye you've ever created. Side note: A little goes a really, really long way. I wouldn't be surprised if this small pot lasts me several years.
What would a seasonal Chanel colour collection be without the brand's limited edition Le Vernis shades? There is a standard red polish in the collection but my money is on this stain-meets-gel-lacquer for cult status. Imagine semi-sheer orange jelly for your nails, and you're close. The formula is crazy-glossy, and delivers a generous whack of colour. It's love.
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