This Spring, Chanel has launched a whole new range of Rouge Coco lipsticks that boast a more gentle and lip-loving formula. The full collection includes 29 shades ranging from nudes and corals to reds and plums. Some of the popular shades from the previous Rouge Coco family have been given new life in this relaunch, whilst many more new shades have been born. What is even more exciting, every lipstick has been named after someone special from Gabrielle Chanel’s life. Red symbolizes passion and therefore the shades in this color family are named after Coco’s past lovers. It makes for a compelling starting point, and today I’d like to introduce 2 special lovers – Arthur & Dimitri .
Arthur “Boy” Capel is perhaps the most well-known of Gabrielle “Coco” Chanel’s life, and it is no wonder it is used widely in all the campaign images for the new Rouge Coco Lipsticks. Arthur was Chanel’s most significant lover, and their relationship lasted for 9 years. Throughout this time, he provided financial backing, and emotional encouragement for her to start her own business. The infamous box jacket was inspired by Arthur’s square masculine blazers as was the Boy shoulder bag; and it was one of Arthur’s jerseys which Chanel fashioned into a dress on a chilly day. After Arthur passed away in 1919, Chanel went through a long grieving period during which she claimed the whole world should wear black with her, and whence the LBD was born.
For Chanel fans, this story of Arthur may perhaps have been over-sold, but it does not diminish the passion with which Chanel loved him. And I find it apt that Rouge Coco Arthur is a fiery red that is equal parts orange and red. Not quite cool enough to be vermillion, and yet not so warm as to turn my skin tone overly yellow. There is a surprising color intensity that I had not expected from swatching it on my arm, and it is best shown in the context of a full look. Here is a recent picture taken with Meryl of Memoiselle after we had a private makeover featuring Arthur.
Another significant love in Chanel’s life was Grand Duke Dmitri Pavlovich Romanov, one of a few Romanovs to survive the Russian Revolution. His sister was in business contact with Chanel, and it was through her that Dmitri met Coco Chanel. Even though Dimitri was 8 years younger than Chanel, they fell in love and sparked off a series of Russian-inspired collections from 1922 – 1923. Through Dmitri, Chanel was introduced to the French Russian perfumer Ernest Beaux, which subsequently led to the invention of the Chanel No. 5 perfume.
Just as the Grand Duke Dmitri occurred in a vastly different stage of Coco Chanel’s life from Arthur Capel, Rouge Coco Dimitri (notice the anglicized spelling) is diametrically opposite from Arthur. It is a cool pink-red that is universally flattering, and it is the sort of red that is easily wearable without looking too boudoir. At the same time it is quite youthful and has an overall brightening effect.
And this is how it looked on me:
Both Arthur & Dimitri were silky smooth and feel very comfortable on the lips. This is due to an exclusive mix of Jojoba and Mimosa butters, sunflower wax and added silicone for a luminous shine. I do wish the formula had slightly less slip as they go off with the lightest sip (and I’m constantly sipping away when I’m at my desk!). In order to extend the longevity, I wear it with a lip primer and liner. The colors are amazingly pigmented and have a beautiful lustrous finish that remains true for as long as the lipstick remains on. Do note that both Arthur and Dimitri are just slightly shy of fully opaque, but they are certainly build able.
And before I leave you to your romantic daydreams, here are the swatches of the 4 Rouge Coco reds:
Have you got your eyes on any new Rouge Coco yet?