And here it is: the first beauty collection this year to make me properly weak at the knees.
Let me set the scene: it was 1994. Pulp Fiction was the film of the year – perhaps the decade. Emblazoned across the posters and ads, her nails looking like shiny black cherries, Uma Thurman as Mia Wallace was the coolest and most stylish leading lady of recent times.
Fast forward a year and my shaking fingers were opening a bottle of Chanel’s Le Vernis in Rouge Noir. Thanks to my aunt, my own fingernails were suddenly the coolest and most stylish thing I’d ever seen. Between Pulp Fiction’s modernity and edge and Chanel’s enduring glamour, I felt like I was walking just a little bit taller. It was hard to believe those actually were my hands.
This was my first experience of the transformative power of beauty, and I still remember the dizzying excitement of owning that perfect little bottle of polish. I wore it for about two years straight. It was my first Chanel product, and the start of a lifelong love affair with the brand.
Twenty years later, this iconic cult classic is the star of its own collection. On counters from November 6th, the original deep black-red has been re-imagined and re-worked in a variety of nuances for eyes, lips and nails.
I have three pieces to show you, and I’m wearing them all in this look: Illusion d’Ombre, €30.50, and Le Crayon Khol in Rouge Noir, €21.50, on the eyes, with Le Vernis in Rose Fusion on my nails. I’ve kept things simple elsewhere, with some Chanel CC Cream (with SPF 50!) as my base, Les Beiges bronzing powder in lieu of blusher and a nude-toned Les Beiges Healthy Glow Hydrating lip balm for just a little something on the lips.
I love all three pieces to distraction. The nail polish is interesting: it’s described as a grey-tinged parma violet and it’s a real chameleon of a colour: in some lights it’s a shimmery violet, in some grey and in some, taupe. The metallic shimmer formula is brilliant: it’s opaque in two coats and lasts really well on the nails; I’m on day 5 and counting. The iconic Le Vernis in Rouge Noir will also, obviously, be part of this collection, along with a limited edition, sparkling red and gold top coat, all priced at €23.50.
The Rouge Noir Illusion D’Ombre is possibly (and I say this hesitantly because there are so many that I love – see some of them here!) my favourite of these gorgeous pots of bouncy cream shadow. Red-black on the eyes is not a very ‘me’ look, but this is utterly wearable: the purple and gold shimmers aren’t too obvious on the eyes where the overall effect is a warm-toned purplish brown.
If you missed the limited edition Poesie palette and were lusting after the deepest shade (check out my swatches), then make sure you snap this up. It gets bonus points, too, for the brilliant texture: it blends beautifully and lasts a good 8 hours with minimal creasing. I’m wearing it here with the Rouge Noir kohl on my bottom lash line and I was pleasantly surprised with this reddened black shade and how striking but wearable it is on the eyes.
Other standouts from the collection include the Signe Particulier palette, offering four incredibly pretty looking eyeshadows, embossed and stamped with the double C logo. For €52 this would make a gorgeous gift (hear that, Santa?) and comes with a Rouge Noir shade, a warm gold, velvety parma violet and satin beige. There will also be a Rouge Noir shade of Le Volume de Chanel, €31, which is one of my favourite does-it-all mascara formulas, so I’ll be snapping that up when it lands on counter.
What's calling your name?