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making faces :: chanel's k.i.s.s. for fall

i must be honest: i've been a little disenchanted with chanel for the last couple of years. it's not that what they've been doing is bad, exactly, but that so much of it [and there has been so much] has seemed forgettable or- gasp- trendy. their relaunch of their rouge coco line this year might have been due, but the colours they included seemed like slightly washed out versions of the juicy, bold hues we've been seeing from everyone for at least a year and a half now. same goes for their relaunch late last year of their rouge allure glosses. they got rid of the best and most unique lip gloss shades on the market [no qualifier!] and replaced them with ones that looked a lot like things we've from dior or even mac. note: that doesn't make them bad colours- far from it. but chanel is one of the priciest brands around, so if i'm looking at their products and thinking "this looks a lot like something i can get for much less from another brand", it's not a good sign.

this autumn, though, chanel did something that caught my attention. while every other company was doing the usual job of creating fancy fantasies to sell their seasonal wares, chanel chose one that was completely unexpected: the theme of their autumn collection was "autumn". the fact that that seems weird is evidence of what a ballsy decision that was, but eventually the philosophy of "keep it simple, stupid" was bound to make its way through to the cosmetic counter.

the collection, "les automnales", is an earthy, rustic take on the season, with each piece having a natural inspiration behind it [or at least linked to it in the marketing campaign]. it's a clever angle, because so many people love autumn for its warm colours, the last wildflowers of the season, going for walks in the woods and seeing the forest floor as it prepares for sleep, that a collection of makeup inspired by those things practically sells itself. [its being chanel takes care of the rest.]



i'm late getting to this collection, late enough that most counters in canada and the united states have moved on to the holiday offerings, but the good news is that almost everything from the collection is moving into the permanent assortment. so this review is late but not useless. whew.

first of all, i want to take a moment to appreciate the beautiful, unadorned photography that was used for the collection's marketing campaign. one is at the top of this post, but feast your eyes on the rest:







that's just a selection of the products, but it evokes the wonderful feeling of autumn in the outdoors, but an outdoors you can wear on your face. [i mean, i guess you could rub any of the stuff in those photos on your face, but i'm not sure it would make you feel or look better. let me know if you try it.]

the first thing i found my eye drawn to [yuk yuk] was the new le volume mascara in "coffee". that name is extremely accurate, because it is the colour of black coffee, just a little off black, so that it doesn't look as dramatic or as heavy. being in the le volume formula, it's an excellent mascara that does add volume and a bit of length, which lasts well but washes off easily. i'm a diehard black mascara user, but sometimes, i just want something subtly different.

what i really appreciate about this is that it's a cool-toned brown. most brown mascaras have a warmer, redder undertone to them, which is fine if you have a lot of red in your hair, but irritating if you don't.

as for the more exciting stuff, i couldn't resist the lure of the "tissé d'automne" four-shadow palette. a very seasonal blend of woodsy greens and browns. this is actually my first experience with chanel's new eye shadow palette formula, although it was launched last year. the colours here look like the darker, autumnal sister of the previously released [and also permanent] palette "tissé vénetien".

the formula on three of the shades is frostier, which can overwhelm older eyes. the chanel frosts aren't bad, but they're not quite as forgiving as the ones from rouge bunny rouge. in general, the colour payoff and the wear time were very good, with one caveat that i'll get to shortly. looking at the individual colours, going clockwise we have:

first, a deep, somewhat shimmery khaki green. i feel like the whole palette was built around this rich, mossy colour and it is a rich take on a shade that's done well pretty often.  what makes this one distinct is that it's more green and less gold than a lot of comparable shades and that it's a bit greyed. it's closest to chanel "khaki vert", which is warmer and guerlain "coup de foudre" which is lighter and more golden.

tisse d'automne #1

second, a warm, shimmery orange-beige. this one looks quite light on my arm, but that's a little misleading. i'd say that it's medium-light, too dark to work as a highlight on my skin. women with medium-dark skin tones will likely find this a great, eye-opening shade. it's a bit lighter and more muted than "angelic cockatiels", darker and browner than chanel "complice". i found this one to be a little trickier than its roommates to deal with, a little less willing to apply evenly, so it could look a bit patchy, especially near the lash line.

tisse d'automne #2

third, a nearly matte deep brown-grey-green. the colour payoff on this one is intense, even more on the eye than it is swatched. it's silky soft, but it's not prone to blending away too easily, as a lot of darker shades can be. [nor does it look black, which is a pet peeve of mine with darker shadows.] i'm very glad that this shade is there to cut the frost factor of the other colours and ground an overall look. this is one that i don't have a good analogue for. mac's "bottle green" is cooler and clearer, less murky looking.

tisse d'automne #3

finally, we have a shimmery, warm brown with a copper tone to it. it looks almost luminous in comparison to the other shades in the palette, but looks softer on the eyes. again, it's an excellent colour and while there are a lot of good examples of this kind of colour, it's the sort where subtle differences can show a lot. urban decay "toasted" is similar, but deeper and looks frostier on the eyes.

tisse d'automne #4

now, before deciding that you want this palette, it's important to keep one thing in mind [this is the caveat i mentioned earlier]: with a range of shades that don't get exceptionally light or exceptionally dark, you aren't going to get a high-contrast look unless you think outside the palette. instead, this is a combination that will be great for soft gradients, shimmery natural looks and earthy smoky eyes. it also means that, as the shadows wear, the colours will tend to meld together even more. so if you want something with vivid colour that can give you sharper, well-defined looks, this probably isn't your baby. if you do want something that's slightly warmer, darker and more muted, then it's absolutely something you should look into.

finally, i picked up one of the lip products from the collection. i'm sort of proud that it's only one, because i was deeply tempted by the "chêne rouge" glossimer pictured above. i ended up pulling back at the last moment because i don't wear glosses often enough to justify buying more of them until i run out of at least a few. that said, it's a gorgeous warm red colour and it's fairly close to the limited edition mac shade "sonoran rain" that came out [and quickly sold out] in 2011. so if you always wanted that one [it's one of my favourite glosses of all time], this one is just a little sheerer.

i did, however, pick up téméraire [a french noun which is the root of the english word "temerity"], one of the new, more pigmented rouge coco shine lipsticks. it is a gorgeous berry-red that pulls cooler on me, but which i suspect will look warmer on those with warm undertones.

temeraire

having been underwhelmed by the relaunch of both the rouge allure and the rouge coco lipsticks, the pigmented rouge coco shine formula has risen to become my favourite of theirs. they're semi-sheer, so they never look too bold and they do indeed maintain a nice sheen even as they wear off. being a semi-sheer formula, of course, they're not the longest lasting, but i think that those who like this sort of coverage are willing to put up with reapplying.

i'm a bit of a berry hog, so it didn't surprise me that, not only did i have a shade that was somewhat similar, but that it was also from chanel and also a rouge coco shine. "fiction" is cooler and more purple than "téméraire" and it has some shimmer to it, so that the finishes look rather different. i see them both as great options for ladies [or gents!] who can handle a fair amount of colour, but want something a little more toned down than the bold ultra-matte shades that are so popular right now.

l to r :: temeraire, chanel fiction

finally, i've combined all of these things in one look, to give you an idea of what they look like together.

along with the "tissé d'automne" palette and le volume "coffee" mascara, i'm wearing mac brow fluidline in "deep dark brunette" as an eyeliner and mac "dazzlelight" as a brow bone highlight. the cheeks are a combination of nars "amour" and hourglass "luminous light".




to get this particular eye look, i used the dark grey-green and the moss green over the mobile lid, with the lighter colour concentrated on the centre. i used the bronze brown to soften the edges around the greens and then used the lightest colour to soften the edges even further. finally, i tapped "dazzlelight" along the brow bone and smudged the bronze brown along my lower lash line.

so while everyone else may have rushed forward to the holidays, i suggest that you take some time to enjoy fall while we still have it. go for a nice walk in the cool air, to your nearest chanel counter. 

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