OOH, I love a new Chanel Collection, and this one particularly appeals because it’s all about red. I love red. My hair was red for years. I almost exclusively wear red lipstick, so, Chanel’s new Le Rouge Collection is a treat!
This came out in August, but I missed it up until now – how could that happen?!
RED IS THE COLOUR OF LIFE, OF BLOOD, I LOVE RED. – Coco Chanel
Red, say Chanel, is the colour of life and death, love and desire, innocence and experience. Conained with this colour of extremes are many metaphors for the emotional dichotomies of life.
Those emotional extremes inspired Lucia Pica, Global Creative Designer for Makeup and Colour at Chanel, in her debut Chanel Beuaty collection. Red has a classic status in beauty for lipstick, blush and nail varnish. What Lucia has done with this collection is see red differently, in a beauty sense, and take it into unexpected realms, particulalry in eye makeup.
Of course, red is a Chanel classic. Introduced in 1924, Chanel’s red lipstick, both a signature of Coco Chanel’s personal style and an icon of the beauty
house, has never been out of fashion or out of production. Through its many incarnations, it has been used from the beginning for both its attractive and combative qualities, with Coco Chanel saying ‘mettez du rouge et attaquez’ – which means ‘put on lipstick and attack’.
It was a fascination with this iconic red, and her own personal obsession with the colour in general —red is often a signature in her editorial work— that led Lucia Pica to explore the colour further.
And I am delighted she did! The collection is full of beautiful reds, and complementary tones, and some interesting products. Let’s start with The Face, and the Joues Contraste Rouge Profond blush (£31) which is a pretty full-on brick red. Just be uber-careful with how much you apply here and wear it lightly for a natural look, or go full on vamp with a little more!
The Lips are the highlight of the collection for me. Red lipstick has travelled through the ages from disreputable painted ladoes, to Elizabeth 1, to Marilyn Monroe, and Coco Chanel herself. It is feminine, powerful, sexy, desirable, and strong. There are two lipsticks here – super smooth Rouge Allure (£26), in Rouge Ingénue, a warm and dusty pink, paired with Rouge Tentation, an intense red.
Then there are four Rouge Allure Velvet (£26) shades, rich in texture and colour. Rouge Charnel is a powerful fire red, Rouge Feu, luminous orange, Rouge Vie, deep rosebud and Rouge Audace, rich chocolate burgundy.
Don’t forget your lipliner, with Le Crayon Levres (£17.50) in orange-red Désir, and rosebud brick Séduction.
The Eyes are strong with red, an unsual, yet compulsive shade to add to your eye palette. There are two shades of Stylo Yeux Waterproof eye pencil (£19) – Eros, a brown burgundy red,and Agapé, a rich brown with a slight red undertone. The Dimensions De Chanel mascara (£25) comes in Subversif, an aubergine black. The ever-present Les 4 Ombres powder eyeshadow palette (£40), Candeur and Expérience, is a medley of browns —warm, light and deep— which have an idea of innocence subverted in a contrast with a deep brick red.
The Illusion D’Ombre Velvet (£25) eye single is a luxurious and sensual matte cream deep chocolate brown, Rouge Contraste, whilst Rouge Brulé is a high shine copper orange Illusion D’Ombre Luminous (£25).
Nails shoud be red too, of course. Did you know that nail colour denoted wealth and status in ancient China? And the power of red nails still resonates today. It is THE nail colour, right? So, Chanel bring you Le Vernis Gloss (£18) in Rouge Radical, a really high-shine, jelly and transparent vibrant orange-red. Le Vernis Longue Tenue (£18) in Rouge Puissant is an unmistakeable bright, bold, powerful red.
Chanel’s Le Rouge Collection No1 is available now at Chanel counters.