The. Best. Mascara. Ever. Chanel Exceptionnel

Oh how do I love thee, let me count the ways:

 1.    Your fat, squidgy brush snuggles against my lashline and oh so gently follows the curve of the lashes until, hark! All the lashes are evenly distributed with a dense, perfect pigment, and not in any way spiky, clumpy or Liza Minelli-esque. The brush itself is like Chanel Inimitable on steroids – it solves the problems of that brush by adding in an extra layer of bristles so you don’t get spiky prongs for lashes.Chanel Exceptionnel

 2.    You don’t flake, smear or end up needing to be repaired halfway through a shoot (or a long day at work since I love you so much you are also in my personal makeup bag, which I might add is gradually improving since I shamed myself in a previous post with the sadness of my personal makeup collection).

 3.    You can be layered, for multiple coats that give full, glam lashes and not the crunchy ones that you can’t drag the wand through. (That is nasty!)

 4.    As well as brown and black you come in gorgeous colors with a hint of color, like Smoky Violine and my favourite, Smoky Marine which is amazing on blue eyes.  It’s not obvious that it’s a deep navy, it just makes blue eyes pop (fear not those who think this might be straying into Lady Di territory, it’s a deep, rich cobalt, not an electric Duran Duran turquoise).

 5.    Your packaging is exactly what we would expect in one of the greatest fashion brands ever – sleek, slick and iconic, and makes you feel like a rock star every time you pull it out.

 6.    Apparently it is an “intense volume and curl mascara”, which makes sense as thick, gorgeous lashes is what we’re all craving – it’s hard to bat your eyes seductively with a fringe that is stick straight and stumpy.

 7.    The ad, which can be viewed below is gorgeous enough to make me do pretty much anything this mascara asks. (Except maybe volunteer to talk to a clown at the circus, because I’m really scared of them).

 You really are Exceptionnel (Chanel that is)



Beauty Breakdown: Rosamund Pike & Toni Collette

Total excitement, we have our first celebrity beauty breakdowns! This is what Kay Montano used on the lovely actresses Toni Collette and Rosamund Pike on a shoot recently for a new Chanel sponsored coffee table book.

Rosamund PikeRosamund Pike

Foundation – Chanel Vitalumiere in Clair 20
Concealer – Chanel Eclat Lumiere concealer in Beige Clair 20
Powder – Chanel Natural Finish Loose Powder (just in T-zone)
Blush – Chanel Joues Contrast Blush in Rose Dust

  • Chanel L’Ombre d’Eau in 60 (glistening taupe, on lid)
  • Chanel le Crayon Kohl in Ambre (a deep brown on lashline, smudged into the lashlines with a finger)
  • Chanel Magic Night eyeshadow (a deep plum, over the crayon khol, at the lashline)
  • Chanel Smoky Eyes quad grey (blended on socket line)
  • Chanel Ecriture de Chanel in black, nestled right along the lash lines and subtly winging upwards


Mascara – Chanel Exceptionnel mascara in Smoky Black, and lots of it!
Lips – Nude Skincare lipbalm on lips

Toni ColletteToni Collette

Foundation – Chanel Vitalumiere in 30 Cendre (as Toni is quite tan at the moment)
Concealer – a mix of Bobbi Brown Eye Brightener in 3 and Clinique Airbrush in Medium.
Powder – Laura Mercier Loose Translucent powder brushed on T-zone. Blush – Chanel Orchid Rose Blush.

  • Chanel Le Crayon Khol in Ambre (brown) applied and smudged into and around top lashes followed by a subtle, wide smudge of Bronze Chanel eye pencil underneath.
  • Ecriture De Chanel liquid eyeliner subtly applied on the root of the upper lashes.

Mascara – Chanel Exceptionnel Mascara in Black.
Lips – Bobbi Brown Blush lip pencil smudged in with Suvana Paw Paw & Honey lip balm.

NB The pictures of Toni and Rosamund are simply press pictures and NOT examples of the makeup that Kay created for each of them. To see that, you’ll have to wait until the new Chanel book comes out!

Eyeliners that Rock My World

This was an excellent question asked after my last post on smoky eyes, and I thought I’d do a whole post on it, as eyeliner is a key and very misunderstood product.

Eyeliner applied correctly can make your eyes look bigger, your gaze more smoldering and generally more like the all-out diva you want to be. Eyeliner applied incorrectly will make you look like Uncle Fester back from an all night rave – possibly not the look you’re going for. So to begin:

Eyeliner comes in three forms – pencil, gel eyeliner (in a pot), and liquid, usually in a pen or inkwell type arrangement. And in intensity, that is also the order – pencil is softest, gel is next in terms of strength and depth of color, followed by liquid, which is the mack daddy of all liners but should be used with caution – it’s also the hardest to apply (although with practice it can look amazing).


Chanel Eye Pencils

My favourites are Chanel and MAC. MAC Smolder is the best soft black for a rock n’ roll smoky eye, and MAC Coffee is a beautiful brown. If you’re feeling creative you can mix the black and the brown for a gorgeous color which frames every eye color beautifully. MAC also has pretty much every color under the rainbow, so if you’re feeling like getting experimental with a fluoro orange eyeliner one morning, MAC is the place to go. Chanel I like for the more discreet range of colors like navy and bronze, plus a top range of browns, and when you may not want so much smudgability (‘cause you know, some days are just like that).

Gel eyeliner

bobbibrowngeleyelinerThis is a favourite of mine and a fairly newfangled addition to the eyeliner pantheon. My favourite by a long shot is Bobbi Brown Long Wear Gel Eyeliner in Black Ink, and believe me, I’ve tried them all. It’s a really true, rich black and it glides on (with a brush and a steady hand!), but then it doesn’t budge. Or flake. Or smudge. All day. Love it.macliquideyeliner

It also comes in lots of other colours which manage to be both ladylike and arresting. I particularly like Bronze Shimmer Ink and Sepia Ink, but there are about 15 gorgeous colors to try in all.

Liquid liner

And last (but by no means least), is liquid eyeliner. This is the strongest type of eyeliner and so requires a bit of practice, but nothing beats it for instant drama. I am currently using MAC Bootblack liquid eyeliner, although I usually use a proper brush, not the little pen applicator thing it comes with which I don’t find precise enough. A tip if you’ve done a smoky eye but it’s not making your eyes pop – add a thin line of liquid liner just above your lashes. This will frame your eyes to give you the Bambi-like gaze (the doe, not the stripper, if you’ve done it correctly) you’ve been looking for.

Chanel eyeshadow in Smoky Eyes

chaneleyeshadowsmokyeye1How perfect is this little one-stop-shop nugget of shimmery grey goodness? It really is everything you need for the perfect smoky eye – it has a deep charcoal/black which is perfect for lining the eye, a gunmetal grey with just the right amount of shimmer, a soft silver (and it’s elegant silver, not nasty silver which can be too blue), and iridescent white for highlighting if that’s your thing.

 If you want to add the dramz, nestle either a soft black kohl pencil in at the lashline and then add a swipe of black liquid liner over this. Mascara is a must, false lashes are optional, flirting, mandatory.

And like all things Chanel it is chic, glamorous and just the packaging has the ability to make your heart go pit-a-pat. And since greys and black look good on every coloring, all you need is a swipe of beige lippie, a wink and a smile. Because who needs a boy to make your eyes sparkle when you have Chanel?