New Collection: Chanel Autumn/Winter 2011 – Illusions d’Ombres de Chanel

Illusions d'Ombres de Chanel

Where do I even start with the new Autumn/Winter collection? Well should I start with the fact that every major makeup artist that I’ve spoken to in the last month on Twitter or email is in raptures? Kay Montano, Romy Soleimani, Florrie White, Benjamin Puckey – from London to New York they’re all raving about it, using it on shoots and on the red carpet. I’ve been using it on shoots and I’m in love with the colours and the textures.

Let me break it down for you – it’s the best Chanel collection yet. They have these new crème eyehsdaows called Illusion d’Ombre that are like metallic whipped mousses, and it’s a texture I’ve never used before. On the eye they look like foil, giving the most gorgeous metallic sheen. I had (serendipitously) a metallic beauty shoot recently and these gorgeous shadows just came into their own. The colour selection is beautiful as well:

Fantasme – silvery white loveliness
Emerveille – the ultimate peachy shimmer
Illusoire – taupe-plum perfection
Epatant – divine khaki silver (and what Peter Phillips used on the last Ready to Wear Chanel show).
Mirifique – perfect midnight blue black
Ebloui – deep burgundy gorgeousness

Mirifique was used in last week’s Chanel couture show to create the most amazing shiny, mysterious smoky eye (haute couture black lace burglar’s net optional).

The nailpolishes are incredible as well as they are extraordinary metallic duochromes, my favourite of which is Peridot. I used this on the same metallic beauty shoot and it’s like an Egyptian scarab, all gold and green, depending on where the light hits it. These are true stand-out nails! They are easy to apply (although I do like two coats), and I also loved the Quartz shade (not dissimilar to Bacterium from Illamasqua’s Art of Darkness collection). The inky silvery shade Graphite I’m saving for a special evening out next week.

There is a gorgeous new neutrals eyeshadow quad called Prelude, which is difficult to describe in that it’s plum matte black but not TOO purple, and two taupes that are almost khaki-toned, along with a buttery cream colour. It is completely different to all the other Chanel quads I own, so even though it’s perfect for a smoky eye, it’s not the same old greys and deep browns, which is refreshing.

The newest addition to their stable of eyeliners is Khaki Platine, which (as its name suggests), is a pale, shimmering khaki green, and which I know makeup artist Florrie White in London has recently used on Rosie Huntngton-Whiteley for the red carpet.

And last, but by no means least, is the new Rouge Coco lipstick in Etole, which is a beautiful lip shade – the exact colour of your lips (if your lips were perfect, which my lips sadly aren’t). Which is why it’s currently living in my handbag. Makeup artist Mary Greenwell used it on Uma Thurman at Cannes recently. There’s also a new rose blusher called Rose Ecrin which I haven’t tried yet – but given my track record with their blushes, as in the word ADDICTED springs to mind, I know I’ll be checking it out soon.

Just when I think Chanel have reached the apotheosis of makeup heaven there is a new collection, and Peter Phillips has dialed it up a notch again. The Autumn/Winter collection is about as close to makeup nirvana as it’s possible to get.

The Chanel Autumn/Winter 2011 Illusions d’Ombres de Chanel will be on-counter in Australia from the 31st of July.

New Collection! Chanel Summer Les Fleurs d’Été de Chanel

Wow, where do I start with this one? It’s been burning a hole in my kit ever since I got to try it a little while ago – in a word, it’s gorgeous. Chanel’s Creative Director, Peter Phillips, never ceases to amaze me, as he just gets it right, collection after collection. Perfectly what you want to wear when the weather gets warmer, but never clichéd. Check out the new ad below:



First off, the eyesahdow Quad in Lilium. I have blogged about my love for Chanel Eyeshadow quads before and still really, I can’t get enough of them. This one has a deep, hunter green, a citrus-y lime, a pale pink and a gorgeous grey taupe which for all those taupe lovers out there is quite beautiful as it’s shot through with a pink and green duochrome. Lilium’s closest Chanel counterparts would be Garden Party (although the colours on that are much more wintry), and Nymphaea, an oldie but a goodie.

One of the things that people complain about with Chanel quads is their pigment pay-off, which I have to confess is not as strong as other brands on the market (like Illamasqua or MAC), but it is definitely improving. I compared the new Lagons eyeshadow quad (which is DIVINE, by the way), with Bleu Celestes which it is not dissimilar too colour-wise, and the pay-off of Lagons is much better and the colours more vibrant. I love those quads for the colours, and the way they go together, as they’re just unlike anything else and they always have exactly the right amount of shimmer. (Please note I am speaking about the European quads, not the US ones as they are a completely different formulation).

So both Lilum and Lagons have made it into my kit – not that Bleu Celestes has gone anywhere, that’s still a favourite. When will I stop with the Chanel Eyeshadow quads? Someone needs to organize a makeup intervention!

The new bronzer, Soleil Tan de Chanel in Bronze Rose, is a gradated bronzer with a strip of pink at the end that provides a beautiful wash of colour. It’s not the deepest darkest bronzer around, so those with deeper complexions should definitely try before they buy. It also comes in a coral version, Bronze Corail, which also looks beautiful. I am loving the soft tan-pink flush that Bronze Rose gives.

The bright yellow nail polish, Mimosa, I wasn’t sure if I could get into but three coats of this sunshine in a bottle has made my feet feel like – well like this:


(Although not the bit about dancing in a squat, or her makeup, which needs to be locked in a vault labelled “Never to Be Released”, but the song, yes.) Mimosa has just enough pearl in it to lift the yellow and make it wearable since matte yellows can be quite hard to wear.

Probably my favourite of the collection though has to be the Stylo Yeux Waterproof in Rose Platine. It’s a shimmering icy pink-y taupe that isn’t frosty or nasty, but has just the right amount of light reflection to give your gaze that little extra something – the one that says “I am gorgeous” but you can’t tell why. Not “Hi! I have a strip of pearlescent eye highlighter going on! I look like a disco ball!”

Like all Chanel collections this one just makes you feel like you should be on a yacht somewhere, cruising past Cap Ferrat or St Tropez on the way to some fancy party, and quite frankly that’s how you want to feel after dropping serious money at a makeup counter. Well I do, anyway. On this, Chanel ALWAYS delivers.
The Chanel Summer Collection is currently on-counter in the UK, and will be available in Australia from the 29th May.

Les Fleurs d'Été de Chanel


New Collection – Lancome Ultra Lavande

I’m very excited about this week’s launch of Lancome‘s new collection for Spring, Ultra Lavande – and there’s a few reasons why. One, because it’s shades of purple and lavender which never go out of season at MM HQ, two because it’s Aaron de Mey who created it (one of my makeup artist crushes), and three, it has Julia Restoin-Roitfield as the new spokesmodel. I did her makeup in London and not only is she gorgeous with the style you’d expect from someone who basically grew up at Paris Vogue, she’s also a really lovely, friendly girl. Check out the behind the scenes video of the making of the new Ultra Lavande commercial. Then go get your lavande on (I know I will be).


NARS is a brand that, quite frankly, had me at hello, but of late it has been reaching new heights of rocking my socks off. I give you:

Exhibit A – the new Spring 2011 collectionNars Spring 2011
How tasty is that? Warm browns and bronzes, a judicious (but not flashy) use of gold and divine rich blues.

Not to mention the campaign image with the stupendous model Iris Strubegger , who’s one of my favourite models of the last couple of years. She looks tough, sexy, androgynous yet gorgeous – love her. I did her makeup in Berlin a couple of years ago now and she’s as lovely on the inside as she is on the outside, not to mention being an otherworldly beauty when she hits that catwalk.

Exhibit B: The new VGPs (I just can’t help myself with the acronyms.)
Or Velvet Gloss Pencils. I mean really, just when you thought it couldn’t get any better! I have a Crayola like stash of NARS VMPs (Velvet Matte Pencils) in my kit at all times, so I can only guess how many of those shiny new GLOSSY bad boys are going to be snuggling up next to their matte cousins by the end of the season.

Just because it’s beautiful, here is the new VGP video with the lovely Heather Marks.

So God, if you’re listening I’m going to be needing: NARS Douceur and Sex Appeal blush, VGPs (all), Matte Lipstick in Tashkent and Volga, Hollywoodland eye pencil, the new Eye Trio in Calanque, Nouveau Monde and Bateau Ivre eyeshadow duos, and Coconut Grove single eyeshadow. I think that’s it for now.
(Although it’s OK if you’re a bit busy at the moment to fulfill my NARS request. Just, you know, when you get time).

The new Spring collection is available in the UK and US, and available in Australia through Mecca Cosmetica from the 21st February.

Santa’s Little Helper – MAC A Tartan Tale

Mac Tartan Christmas CollectionMAC have just released their Christmas collections which are, quite frankly, always worth waiting for. This year is no exception with A Tartan Tale, packed to the brim with tiny, bite-size makeup goodies that make you want to go on a spending spree to end all spending sprees.

What I like about the MAC Christmas sets (apart from the super cute packaging) is for a makeup artist, they are a great (excuse?) chance to stock up on miniatures for your kit. The glitter, pigment and gloss sets are all a fab way to expand your kit, because, let’s face it, how often do you use that acid yellow glitter pigment? Maybe a couple of times a year. Does that mean you shouldn’t have it in stock? Hell no! What kit isn’t complete without a whole range of bonkers glitters and pigments, and MAC at Christmas is the perfect place and time to stock up. Plus as it is Christmas it’s a great chance to put the hard word on your nearest and dearest and explain the dire consequences of you going YET ANOTHER YEAR without your acid yellow glitter pigment. A scary thought, I know.

Their brush sets are also a great way for aspiring (and working!) makeup artists to expand their brush collections – and we all know you can never have too many brushes, don’t we? MAC’s brushes are very comprehensive, great quality and reasonably priced, so now’s the time to get your kilt on and check out A Tartan Tale.