Can you believe it’s mid-November already? I think it’s time to get cracking on those Holiday 2014 collections, but for some reason I’m feeling rather uninspired this year. Maybe it’s the result of having over-indulged all through the year… maybe I need to go eat a leaf like the Hungry Caterpillar, hide away in my own cocoon… and emerge a beautiful butterfly in the spring. But it would be churlish of me not to at least show you what is out there, and to take a critical eye on the offerings.
Collection Plumes Precieuses de Chanel is inspired by the feathers and sparkling diamonds of Gabrielle Chanel’s original fine jewelry collection, and seeks to replicate the softness and grace for the complexion. The centerpiece of this year’s collection (in my opinion) is the stunning Camélia de Plumes Highlighting Powder.
It seems that Chanel is out to get us all with their limited edition highlighters, each more beautiful and intricately designed than the last. Camélia de Plumes Highlighting Powder features a lush array of feathers arranged in the shape of a camellia flower. This is no ordinary embossing, but is an almost 3-dimensional sculpture lying atop the pan. There are curves and angles and deep-set cuts in the design that sets a chill running down my spine as I marvel at it.
The powder itself is a cool-toned silvery gold filled with iridescent shimmers. It is soft and smooth, and one of the more pigmented highlighters that I own. Due to the shimmers, Camélia de Plumes gives a frosty finish, and is much more noticeable than the previous Chanel Dentelle Precieuse Illuminating Powder [reviewed here]. On me, this takes a bit of getting used to, and I’m not altogether certain if I love it yet. As I had discussed in my review of Kevyn Aucoin’s Candlelight Celestial Powder [read here], I find soft shimmery highlighters to work better on my skin than those with strong sheens. This is of course very personal, and I know many others love the finish of Camélia de Plumes. Of course, this is more than just another highlighter, but a work of art for the collectors out there. Priced at USD72 for 0.28oz, Camélia de Plumes is actually pretty “good value for money” amongst the high-end luxury highlighters.
Since Chanel reformulated their eyeshadows this year (and I loved every one of the new Les 4 Ombres), I had very high hopes for this year’s holiday palette. And so, it was quite a let-down when I saw Chanel Oiseaux de Nuit Les 5 Ombres.
Oiseaux de Nuit Les 5 Ombres de Chanel is a rather monotonal white and black palette with a dirty-gold thrown in almost as an after-thought. I have to say that this color combination does not speak to me at all. Just because it is a holiday palette, does not mean we have to resort to a gold shade. The shades, from left to right are:
I did not end up purchasing Oiseaux de Nuit Les 5 Ombres de Chanel so I cannot tell you how it performs on the lids. At USD80 for 0.26oz of product, it is priced the same but with quite a bit less product than last year’s Ombres Matelassées Charming Eyeshadow Palette which had 0.32oz.
Chanel Joues Contraste #180 Caresse Blush is a soft warm-toned golden peach blush that contains flecks of shimmers. It is not very pigmented, and due to the lightness of the color, needs to be layered on more to show up on my NC15-20 skin. However, it gives a very ethereal, soft healthy glow to the cheeks which looks so beautiful it makes me want to sweep it all over my face!
If you are worried about the shimmers, rest assured that most of them will get trapped or dropped when applied with a brush. However, it leaves my cheeks looking luminous, and allows me to skip an additional layer of highlighter. It also lasts a good 7-8 hours on me, which is not always the case with Chanel Joues Contraste blushes. At USD45 for 0.21oz, Caresse is the cheapest powdered product in the entire Plumes Precieuses Collection, and one which is easiest to wear on a daily basis.
Overall, Chanel’s Holiday 2014 Plumes Precieuses Collection felt a little incoherent to me thus far. I may go back to check out the Illusion d’Ombre in Envol and the lip shades, but from what I can see of the key pieces of the collection, there are certainly hits and misses. For a brand that has always been immaculate in presenting complete wearable looks, this is rather disappointing. I loved the artistry behind the Camelia de Plumes Highlighting Powder – the design is spectacular and the color is not something I already own. The Joues Contraste Caresse Blush is love at first swatch for me, and I can see myself wearing it through spring-summer-fall next year (in fact, it is probably better suited for those seasons than winter).