Thursday, April 27, 2006

My Adventure at the Chanel Counter

‘Tis the season for new makeup, new looks and the general renewal. Combine that with my sister’s upcoming wedding and you see why I was heading to the Chanel counter at Saks. Well, my formal excuse was that I was running out of my beloved Vitalumier foundation (in beige. I’ve never had a foundation that matched my skin tone so well). Also, I’ve come to realize that the dark under eye circles have won permanent residency on my face and are about to apply for citizenship, so with a special occasion looming ahead there might be a need for a good concealer.

The Chanel lady insisted that I try a stick concealer. I’m not a fan of those, because they are just too heavy for my under eye area. But I relented. It was awful. Even the warmest beige turned ash grey on my skin (that’s what green undertones would do to you) and it was cakey and pasty, setting into the skin in a way that aged me 20 years, and not in a graceful way. The thin barely-there crow feet became instant wrinkles.

A quick clean up and my friendly (but tired and not very interested) Chanel lady has produced the liquid stuff. Medium beige, and this time it was the right color, right texture, just a dab erased the green and I was happy enough to start playing with the new eye shadow palette- Goldrush.

I’m usually a bit skeptic about shadows so light- too often they don’t have enough pigment in them to actually show. But these were great. I can use the gold and bronze for evening and the shimmery pink and beige for day. It’s the kind of pretty that makes you happy.

While the helpful lady was at the back I checked the Glossimer and nail polish. The nail colors were not for me- one too coraly and the other one too shimmery. I did get the Glossimer in Summer Plum. It only adds a hint of color to my naturally dark lips, but again with the pretty.

Then came the disappointment- they were out of the concealer. Unfazed, I paid for my other products and went across the mall to Bloomie’s, where I’ve learned that Chanel have actually discontinued their liquid concealer. You can still find it at a few stores and online retailers, but the formal Chanel retailers (like and others only offer it in one color- roselight, which I suspect that is very wrong for me. I ended up getting my medium beige from It’s the first time I’ve bought something from them, so I opted to pay with PayPal. We’ll see how it goes.

That was my Chanel adventure. It reminded me why I don’t like cosmetic counters, but sometimes they are necessary evil, since my local Sephora (and the other one I frequent more, near my husband’s Union Square office) don’t carry Chanel, so I can’t experiment on my own.

And on a side note, the big online stores need to improve the way colors and textures are displayed. What you find at Chanel’s is so 1999. Lancôme’s web site is way better in this regard.

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