Tuesday, December 02, 2008

A few notes about Chanel 2008 Holiday Collection and a rant about the eyeliner duo

When it comes to limited editions and seasonal collections, people either love them with a collector's passion or get grumpy and annoyed about the gimmick and the fact they disappear from the shelves within a couple of weeks only to appear on eBay at an inflated price. Cranky and jaded as I might be, I actually belong to the first group. My reasoning is that in an over-saturated market, with new products coming and going, I no longer expect a favorite lipstick to be there forever. Instead, I'd rather have the newest and most interesting colors. By the time I hit pan, there will be so many other things to love I doubt I'd mourn the disappearance of my red du jour.

All of the above means I expect the limited editions to be interesting, exciting and maybe even daring. All the things the current crop isn't (except for very few. More in a day or two).

I'm the biggest fan of Chanel's seasonal collections, but I couldn't find a reason to buy any of the Holiday 2008 items. Don't get me wrong: everything there is very pretty, but for me, the end result was either "meh" or simply redundant. Consider, for example, the Beige eye shadow quad. It's a beauty, but do you need another set of mostly sheer browns? Me neither. The lip colors, all of them nicely done, were too pale when I tried them on (except for the Red Shine Glossimer), and the one item I really wanted, the Haut Chocolat nail polish sold out before I even had the chance to see it in person (note to self: next time order online as soon as you get the press release and before the mass newsletter goes out).

Speaking of the Haut Chocolat polish, you can find them for $30-$40 on eBay, and I admit to considering the option, before taking a look at my nail polish stash and realizing the silliness. Unless it's really your dream color and nothing can compare to it, I wouldn't do it. Besides, rumor has it that just like last year's Tulip Noir which has made a comeback this season (saw them at my local Nordstrom and Bloomie's), it will be relaunched sooner or later.

There's also another gold highlighting powder, this one is loose and even more expensive ($75)than fall's Facette d'Or. Why?

But the thing I really wanted to talk about is the eyeliner duo that comes in the little compact. It first appeared as part of the Smoky Eye collection in a color called Noir-Lamé, which I promptly ignored. I definitely didn't need another black eyeliner. But I was curious about the supposedly new texture (Chanel's description: "Mistake-proof eyeliner duo enables every woman to achieve the perfectly lined eye. Stray-proof, powder-based formula easily mimics both the precision of a liquid eyeliner and smudged look of a kohl pencil. "), so the limited edition Brun-Lamé seems worth checking, even if I suspected it was too light for me (I prefer brown to black for everyday use, but it needs to be a very dark brown).

You know what? This product is not "Lamé ". It's lame.

Sorry for the silly pun, but this eyeliner has earned it.

Because it's not a real eyeliner. Basically, it's a very tightly pressed powder eyeshadow. It's so stiffly packed that despite what they say, it can't be used efficiently while dry. And that's not just me saying. The sales assistant who did my makeup admitted to it right away. You need to use it with a (very) wet brush, which you can do with most eyeshadows on the market. Not only is the concept not new, there are actually some great products on the market to be used instead of water, to make the eyeshadow into a more stable eyeliner. I've been using the Paula Dorf Transformer for years, and it makes for a never-ending eyeliner wardrobe.

So, why do we need two more brown eyeshadows to serve as eyeliners? I'm not sure.

As for the Brun-Lamé, while in the compact, the difference between the two sides was much more pronounced than when wet and on skin. The shimmer almost disappears on application. The color itself is very nice, but as predicted, too light for me. It would probably look a lot better on a very light skin, especially if you're pale blonde and usually prefer brown mascara. But even then you'd do just as well with one of the brown eyeshadows you probably already own.


  1. Not that it will make you feel any better, but Haute Chocolate was so lame I bought and returned it for something else. It just dies on the hand -- all that beauty in the bottle and it's a not very pretty, not very shimmery brown, and I love brown. China Glaze Prize-Winning Mare is 3x better at 1/3 the price. I'm not the only one who thinks so -- one of the nail bloggers (Scrangie?) thought it was dullsville too. Kaleidoscope was pretty fabulous but not as good on my pale skin, too gold.

  2. I have always been slightly disappointed at the low pigment content of Chanel quads, though the singles are quite nice, if dastardly expensive. I mean, why get that when you can get NARS? Two more, for the exact same price, and just as many redundant browns and beiges.

  3. I like Chanel products(their lipsticks are perfect for me) but at the same time I'm always sceptical. For instance Chanel Blanc Ceramic nail polish is a complete disaster:-) every time I put it on my nails I take it off right away. After such bad experience I learned that it is safer for your economy and conscience to buy things that you really must have and like despite it's marketing position(buzz).
    By the way it is good to read about Hot Chocolate polish...I'm relieved now that I can't get it here in Sweden:-)))

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