FASHION | My experience buying vintage Chanel, featuring my medium Diana bag in beige lambskin

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I recently picked up my very first piece of vintage Chanel and I wanted to share my experience with you in case anyone was interested in getting one too.

Research

I went into this process knowing the specific model of bag I wanted – the Diana. The Diana comes in two sizes; what I didn’t know was if I wanted the small or medium Diana, so I did a lot of research on the dimensions, weight, what can fit into each size, and how each size would look proportionate to my frame. Since the Diana is a vintage bag (they stopped production of it in the 90s, and while it was reissued in 2015, significant design changes were made for the reissue), I wouldn’t be able to go into a store to try it on and had to rely on internet reviews and photos to decide this. Since you are still spending a good amount of money on a bag that was likely going to be shipped to you from overseas, it was important to do a lot of research to make sure that the bag you are getting suits your needs.

Some amazing resources I found to research the bag itself included My Grandfather’s Things, a specialist in Diana bags who owns multiples of each size so she often does comparison photos and also videos; Facebook, specifically the Chanel Reetzy Groups; Instagram, using the hashtag #ChanelDiana; as well as Youtube. I also found this blog post which I thought was very helpful in pushing me towards one of the sizes.

The price of vintage bags has also changed a lot in the last 6-12 months, primarily driven by the multiple price increases, as well as overall consumer awareness to be more sustainable, so it was important to also understand the price trends so you aren’t overpaying for something. The best resources I found for pricing references are Vestiaire Collective; Tradesy; and Instagram. I found them to be the most helpful because the sold listings continued to be published, so you can see what were the historical prices for the style you wanted, as well as the purchase date so you know at what point in time those prices existed.

Based on my research, the Diana small was sized in between a rectangular mini and a small classic flap, and the Diana medium was sized similar to a medium classic flap. The primary difference in capacity being that the Diana is a single flap bag. Since I’m 5’6 and a US size 8 / UK size 12, and I have one Chanel Jumbo and two Chanel minis, I thought that the Diana medium would be a better fit for my body size and my needs.

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Buying

Because the bag has been discontinued for almost two decades, the next challenge was trying to find the bag at the right condition for the right price. I had wanted the beige Diana, which is harder to find than the black, and usually came in worse conditions than the black because light-coloured lambskin is harder to maintain than black. Another challenge was making sure that the bag is authentic, since there are a lot of fakes on the market, some of them looking very similar to the real thing.

I had around 10 websites bookmarked which I refreshed every day to see if there were new stock that came in. Some of them included Hedy; Amore Japan; and eBay. I also looked at Vestiaire Collective; Fashionphile; The Real Real; Tradesy; and 1st Dibs.

Since I was new to buying vintage, I wanted to make sure that the transaction would be low risk, so I decided that I would buy from a Japanese seller. Japanese vintage sellers are some of the most reliable and trusted on the market, particularly because Japan has very strict laws when it comes to counterfeits, and from what I hear, Japanese bag owners also tend to take better care of their bags, so the condition of the item will be better when it hits the resale market. I also wanted to make sure that if for whatever reason, the bag was counterfeit, I needed an authenticity guarantee which would allow me to get my money back.

For those reasons, I ended up getting my Diana bag from a popular Japanese reseller of vintage bags from eBay, and paid using Paypal. The reseller had over 30,000 positive reviews on eBay, and eBay and Paypal also have authenticity guarantees, so I felt like I was protected in case the transaction didn’t go well.

One thing that came up in my research that I didn’t anticipate to be so common was that a lot of vintage bags are re-dyed or re-coloured. I had asked the seller if the bag had been repainted or redyed, and they did not know. They just said they didn’t do anything to the bag while it was in their possession, but the previous owner(s) could have. This is something to be aware of if you are looking for a vintage bag, particularly if its light coloured. It’s hard to tell via photos if the bag had been repainted; one thing to look out for is if the leather looks wrinkled, if the stitches and the corners and nooks of the bag look like there is paint on it. It should be fairly obvious once you receive the bag, as it significantly affects the feel of the leather.

Receiving the bag

Shipping from Japan was lightning fast via DHL. I paid on Tuesday night, it shipped Wednesday night, DHL got it on Thursday morning, and it arrived in Vancouver at around 1PM on Friday. If you’re buying from a Japanese seller, they have the option of shipping via DHL or EMS, which is similar to Canada Post Xpresspost. If you have the option, you should ask if the seller can ship via DHL. I knew of someone else in the Chanel Facebook group who purchased a bag from Japan and their package was shipped using EMS, and it sat in Japan’s export customs for over two weeks before it even left Japan.

There is always risk of buying something sight unseen. The eBay listing didn’t mention the inclusion of a dust bag or authenticity card, so I thought the listing was for just the bag, but when I received it, I saw that the authenticity card and the original dustbag had also been included. This was a good thing, yes, but it shows that eBay listings can be inaccurate.

The primary thing that made me a little bit disappointed about this bag is that the bag looks to have been repainted. The leather is a bit dry, stiff and wrinkled in the back. It is a 2 series bag from 1991-1994, so I’m not surprised it was repainted since I imagine beige bags are hard to keep in immaculate condition over nearly 30 years. The flap of the bag, though, looks perfectly smooth.

I did pay duty on this when it arrived in Canada, but it was very immaterial compared to the value of the bag. DHL didn’t include a detailed invoice breakdown of the duty and taxes owed though, just said that I owed an amount in duty, taxes and brokerage fees. I paid this over the internet using a link they had sent me, so by the time the bag arrived, the courier just dropped it off with no additional paperwork.

After receiving the bag, I did get it authenticated just for peace of mind, and confirmed that the bag was indeed authentic.

Overall

I’m very happy with the bag I received. I’m super happy with the condition and the price that I paid. Even though it was repainted, the leather still feels very soft. I’m also pleasantly surprised that I was able to receive the authenticity card and the dust bag, which I didn’t expect at all since those are things that can be easily lost. I’ve just started using a leather conditioner to enhance the leather and also ensure its longevity, so I hope that this bag will last me for the rest of my lifetime.

The TL;DR of this is that you should do a lot of research to make sure that you know what you are buying, and in the end, it might not turn out 100% perfect and what you expected, but overall it’ll still be a good experience.

Here’s a photo of me modelling the medium Diana. You can see the proportionally, it looks pretty good for my frame. I’ll provide a more thorough review once I’ve had more opportunities to wear this out.

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HANDBAG REVIEW | Chanel Classic Square Mini vs. Chanel Reissue Mini

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I am back with another handbag / fashion post. In today’s post, I will be reviewing two of my most popular handbags, and then comparing them to each other. The two bags are my Chanel Classic Square Mini in black caviar with light gold hardware and the Chanel Reissue Mini in black distressed calfskin with shiny gold hardware.

Chanel Classic Square Mini

The Chanel Classic Square Mini in caviar is one of the hardest bags to find on the market, not just because they were discontinued in the caviar leather in the last two years, but because Chanel didn’t make very many of them to begin with. Mine was purchased from Saks from the Chanel Spring/Summer 2018 collection, which is either the last or the second to last season that they made the Square Mini in the caviar leather; now all minis are made only in fabric or in the lambskin. It comes with the leather woven chain, similar to other Classic Flaps, but unlike normal Classic Flaps, both the Square and Rectangular Minis only come with two grommets at the top, so you can’t double up your strap and wear it under your arm.

The way I got my hands on this bag was actually through pure luck. The Vancouver Chanel boutique is literally one of the worst stores EVER if you wanted to get your hands on a coveted bag. Unless you buy a ton of stuff there every season, there is little to no chance they will put any popular bag aside for you. It is so bad that despite me owning four Chanel bags, I’ve never actually bought a single bag there, only SLGs, accessories, and shoes. To get my Square Mini, I actually posted about my wishlist on a Chanel Facebook group, and a Chanel Saks salesperson saw it and said they had one Square Mini in the caviar leather left, and asked if I was interested in it. OF COURSE I WAS. While the price at the time, US$3,200, was a couple hundred dollars higher than buying it in Canada after conversion, I knew there was no way in hell I would ever get my hands on one of these locally. I was so over the moon when I received it, even though it is a lot smaller than I expected it to be. I’ve never seen one of these in real life so it was a shock when I saw it for the first time.

The caviar from SS2018 was what people called “shiny caviar,” as it appeared shinier and softer than past seasons. The grains were very shallow and large, and while you still got that grained leather look, it was very soft and supple compared to other caviars. I absolutely love the leather on my Square Mini because it is so puffy and delicious to touch.

This bag does not fit very much. I use a relatively compact wallet (LV Victorine), and while it does fit in the bag, it won’t fit much else after that. I normally put my cards in a zippy cardholder, that way I get my key case (LV 6 key holder), phone (iPhone X, substituted with a Chanel flat cardholder for the photo), and a mini hand cream into the bag. Because of the structured leather, this bag does not have as much give so you can’t just stuff your bag full of stuff – the flap won’t clasp. You probably also don’t want to stuff this bag too full because the structured shape will eventually stretch out, and then it won’t retain it’s cute, compact look.

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In addition to the very small size, another limitation is the length of the strap. This strap is short, especially in comparison to the Rectangular Mini. I’m 169cm / 5’6 and while it does fit cross-border on me, I would never wear it cross-body because it hits me high on hip, almost to my waist (see my comparison pictures below).

One other thing to note is that the sizing of the Square Mini varies depending on the season. Before I purchased mine, I looked at countless Youtube reviews, blog reviews, Instagram photos comparing the Square Mini and the Rectangular Mini and it was clear that depending on the season, the Square Mini can fit more OR less than the Rectangular Mini. I relied on Chase Amie’s Chanel mini reviews quite a bit, and her Square Mini is from a season where it was slightly bigger, so her Square Mini in the caviar leather can fit more than her Rectangular Mini, despite her Rectangular Mini being in a softer lambskin leather. Mine also comes without the edge stitching, whereas some seasons will have edge stitching on the minis (example). I believe the discrepancy is because Minis are seasonal bags, so every season they just change how they want things done.

I wouldn’t think of this, or use this, as an everyday bag. To me, it really is a special occasion bag that I can take out once in a while, or if we’re having a romantic date night / stroll around town, I might bring this bag with me if I wanted something light. I really don’t bring a lot of stuff around with me, but even then I still have to downsize my wallet to a cardholder, which is a little annoying.

Despite all of the issues with this bag, I absolutely love it. I’m so happy that I have this bag in my collection and it really does fulfill a need in my handbag collection. I don’t like holding bags with my hands, even paired with evening wear, so this bag fulfills the need of an evening / fancy clutch. I love that it allows me to keep my hands free to do other things (like hold food).

Unfortunately, Chanel discontinued both the Square and Rectangular Minis in the caviar leather. You can still get it in lambskin, which is an absolutely gorgeous leather, but can be very delicate. As someone who is paranoid about scratching my bags, I only have one lambskin bag which I literally never use.

If you want a mini Chanel bag that comes in a more durable leather, a good alternative is the Reissue Mini.

Chanel Reissue Mini

The Reissue Mini is a new-ish bag by Chanel, first released for pre-fall 2019 in June 2019. This is also when I purchased my bag. I got mine from my friend Orchmelia, who is a personal shopper in the US. She ordered it for me from Saks. I paid US$3,600 including tax and shipping

Mine comes with distressed calfskin in black, which is the most common type of leather in the Reissue line. Similar to other handbags in the Reissue line, it comes with the Bijoux chain, which is the original Chanel bag chain. The bag initially comes “collapsed,” so it looks vintage and distressed. Because it already comes collapsed, the bag is soft and not super structured, and you can fit quite a bit of stuff in here. I can fit my normal wallet in this bag, along with my phone, which is an iPhone X (substituted by a Chanel cardholder for the photo because I’m taking photos with my iPhone) and keys, as well as hand lotion and a lip balm. Despite its small size, it fits quite a bit because it is softer and less structured.

The hardware on mine is shiny gold hardware, which I like but don’t *love.* I kind of wished I waited for the more recent iterations of it, which has the brushed gold hardware, which not only is more scratch-resistant, but makes it look less like a F21 or Aldo knock-off of the Reissue bag.

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The leather is very soft but still durable. I used this bag every day for a few months, and I didn’t notice any scratches or marks on it. With calfskin, you can get that smooth leather look without the risk of damage.

The size is pretty much the same as the Chanel Reissue 224, but it does not come with the double flap so capacity is a lot larger compared to the Reissue 224. It is very similar in height and depth as my Square Mini, but slightly wider as it is more of a rectangular shape. The bijoux chain is longer than the Square Mini, but not as long as the Rectangular Mini. I can wear this both cross-border (it hits me slightly below the hip) and also single strap on the shoulders. I love love love that it comes with the four grommets, as that means I can also double up the chain and wear it under my arm.

When Chanel announced the Reissue Mini, I jumped on it despite not being completely in love with it. After almost a year of owning it, I still don’t feel super passionate about it. When I feel and see my Square Mini, I get butterflies, but with the Reissue Mini, I feel just okay about it. Don’t get me wrong, this is one of my most loved and used bags in my collection. But I love it because it is such a practical bag, and not because of how it makes me feel, if that makes sense.

The one major downside of this bag is that, like I mentioned earlier, a lot of fast fashion brands have essentially stolen the square turnlock flap bag style and made their own versions of it. I find that sometimes I wonder if people think I’m wearing an Aldo or F21 bag because it is so widely copied. While the quality of the bag is quite good, from afar it’s really hard to tell the difference. Even though I don’t wear my bags for other people to look at it, sometimes I do wonder if I could have spent that money on something else that isn’t so ambiguous in terms of Chanel branding.

Comparing the Square Mini with the Reissue Mini

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You can see in the photo above, and in the modelling shots below, that the Reissue Mini’s strap is about 1-1.5 inches longer than the Square Mini strap. This 1 inch makes a huge difference because the Reissue Mini sits comfortably on me cross-body, whereas I wouldn’t wear the Square Mini cross body.

As described earlier, the softer leather on the Reissue Mini means that I can get more stuff in the bag, compared to the Square Mini which is way more structured and requires you to pare down your belongings when you go out. As a bag for function, the Reissue Mini is way better in terms of everyday wear.

That being said, if I had to choose one of the two, I would still hands down choose the Square Mini because it just brings so much joy to me every time I use it. The CC turnlock is so quintessentially modern Chanel, and it elevates any and all outfits I wear with this. I also love how puffy and soft the quilts are. The quilting on the Reissue Mini is more distressed and flattened, so it’s not as fun to touch.

Sadly the Square Mini is no longer available in the caviar leather. You can still get it in the lambskin, which gets released pretty regularly a few times a year. The Reissue Mini has been available for a few seasons and I don’t see it going anywhere in the time being. Regardless, both styles are very Chanel and you can’t go wrong with either purchase.

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Hope this was helpful!

Top 4 tips for buying Chanel

I’ve purchased a few Chanel pieces in the last years. I am in no way a Chanel expert, but I have picked up a few tips and tricks along the way which can help you find the style that you are looking for. I found that buying Chanel isn’t anything like buying other luxury brands. It can be like buying Hermes, where the styles are extremely hard to find, especially in Canada. Whereas I find buying Louis Vuitton or other brands much less stressful because they don’t tend to limit the number of styles that come out each season. Chanel comes out with a very high number of bag styles each season, but each style only comes in a limited number of pieces, which can be annoying when you have your eye on a certain style. Hopefully these tips can be helpful if you are looking to buy your next Chanel piece!

1. Work with a salesperson

As a luxury brand, Chanel primarily works on relationship sales. I.e., if you have a good relationship with one or many salespeople, they will try harder to get you the styles you want. This is especially true if you are looking for a highly sought after style, for example a Classic Mini. Salespeople will always, always save the best stock for the people they already have an existing relationship with.

Now in order to build a relationship, you can either buy lots from a single salesperson, or if you are just looking for a specific bag, go visit the store often and chat with a particular salesperson. You want them to get to know you as a person and not just as a customer, and once you’ve built up that relationship, you can see if they are willing to find things for you. Keep in mind that each salesperson works with many clients, so they’re not going to remember which styles you are looking for – you really have to proactively ask them, and ask often, in order to get them to remember you and the style you’re looking for.

2. Check Purseforum

I am obsessed with Purseforum’s Chanel subforum, which may or may not be a good thing. Chanel releases a plethora of bags and accessories each season, but not every store will order the same things. Purseforum has an abundance of users who post what they see at boutiques, as well as what styles are available based on what their salespeople share with them.

Vancouver, and Canada in general, is like a Chanel deadzone because the stores here don’t order much of each season’s stock, so if you want to plan ahead to what is going to be available, check out the Purseforum. Not only does the U.S. get way more stock that us, they also get it a few weeks earlier so you can see what’s available and then call up your salesperson to ask for stock availability.

3. Call Chanel to check stock

Each Chanel product has a dedicated product code that comprises of three parts – the style code, leather code, and leather code. The code is something like 15 or 18 characters long, and is unique to a particular style, in a specific leather and colour. If you are having issues finding the stock you want, you just need to do a bit of internet research to figure out what the code is for that style, and then you can actually call Chanel’s phone number listed on their website to find out which store has what stock. I am 99% sure this is how personal shoppers help their customers find products. Save yourself that personal shopper mark-up, and find it yourself!

4. Buy pre-loved versus new

There comes a time when you need to decide to pick up a product new or pre-loved. You’d be surprised that buying pre-loved doesn’t always mean you can save money – a lot of times very popular pre-loved styles can come with a steep mark-up. Leather type can also affect the pre-loved price, for example pre-loved lambskin will usually not sell as well as caviar, so if you are looking for a lambskin style, you can likely find one in good condition for a good price.

Some styles you have no choice but to buy pre-loved, for example if you want one with hardware that is real gold plated versus just gold coloured. Also some styles are so popular that you’ll end up waiting more than a year for it, so you might have to buy pre-loved if you are wanting to get your hands on it sooner rather than later.

Depending on the style you want, it’d be a good idea to stalk consignment sites such as Fashionphile or Ann’s Fabulous Finds to see the trend of prices for the style you are looking for.

Just based on what I’ve seen, some styles that have pretty good pre-loved prices include any lambskin styles, and the classic Medium/Large flap in beige clair caviar leather in either gold or silver hardware. Styles that are very marked-up on the pre-loved market include the rectangular and square minis in caviar, as well as any coveted seasonal colours, such as the oil slick rainbow hardware Boy bag from a few seasons ago, and any styles in the light gold / rose gold chevron caviar from last year.

Hope these tips were useful for you!

Chanel Perles et Fantaisies Illuminating Powder – a must-have for all Chanel lovers!

Chanel Perles et Fantaisies review and swatch

Chanel releases a Le Blanc collection each spring. Historically this collection has been an Asia-exclusive or Nordstrom anniversary sale exclusive, but this year distribution of the Le Blanc makeup collection has been widespread. I’m extremely thankful for that because this year the star product of the collection is the gorgeous Perles et Fantaisies Illuminating Powder. I’m warning you now because this product is an absolute must-have for all and any Chanel fans.

The Chanel Perles et Fantaisies Illuminating Powder (C$76) is a dual highlighter in one pan. The left side is a frosty white highlighter and the right side is a pink highlighter with peach and gold pearl. The pan is pressed with a pearl necklace embellishment and the Chanel signature double-C logo – it is truly a work of art. I purchased mine from Nordstrom, but it should also be available at Holt Renfrew.

Chanel Perles et Fantaisies review and swatch

I’ve read some mixed reviews of this highlighter – some people love it, some people think it’s just okay – but I have to say that I am in the love camp. The highlighter is absolutely breathtaking. The white side is a frosty white that is extremely pigmented; a tiny bit goes a long way. It kind of reminds me of Becca Pearl in a white that it’s just a pure silvery white highlighter. The pink side is even more beautiful. In addition to being a very soft texture that’s finely milled and very smooth, the pink also has a gold and peach pearl that’s almost a duo-chrome. The colour is a lot softer than the white side in that it’s just a beautiful shimmer and not frosty. The two colours mixed together also work well, even though the white is more dominant because of how frosty it is, so you get less of that peach and gold pearl from the pink.

One thing to note is that this highlighter is quite cool-toned, so if you’re a warm-toned lady then it won’t work as well on you. Burberry has a new highlighter for Spring/Summer 2016 that’s in a pale gold shade that would work well for my warm-toned friends; I’ll be reviewing it soon so keep your eyes out!

Chanel Perles et Fantaisies review and swatch

Even the box is beautifully embellished with the pearl necklace design. The details on this highlighter is just so incredible. I already own at least five other highlighters, and I’m not one to buy dupes of products but I just had to have this. So after all that, are you convinced that you need this?

The Chanel Perles et Fantaisies Illuminating Powder is available now at Holt Renfrew or Nordstrom counters across Canada!

Chanel Perles et Fantaisies review and swatch

Swatches

Left white side, right pink side, then subtly mixed

Chanel Perles et Fantaisies review and swatch

In alternate light so you can see the gold and peach pearls in the pink side

Chanel Perles et Fantaisies review and swatch

Chanel Perles et Fantaisies review and swatch

Red lips for all occasions! An overview of eight red lipsticks in different textures and finishes

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I love a good red lip. I used to be intimidated by strong lips but now they’re my favourite “statement piece” to wear. Over the years, I’ve accumulated a ton of red lip products today I’m sharing some old favourites as well as some new discoveries.

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From left to right: Burberry Kisses in 109 Military Red, Chanel Rouge Allure Laque in 75 Dragon, Estee Lauder Pure Colour Envy Shine Sculpting Lipstick in Empowered, Guerlain Rouge G in Rouge Parade

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  • Burberry Kisses in 109 Military Red is a new recent discovery (full review to be posted soon). It’s a blue-based red in an almost gel texture. It’s more opaque once layered compared to the Estee Lauder Pure Colour Envy Shine in Empowered, but you can also sheer it out by wearing less layers.
  • Chanel Rouge Allure Laque in 75 Dragon is one of my all-time favourite reds. It is a cult classic product that has sadly been discontinued, but it is a very blue-based red with gold shimmers. This is probably one of the more high maintenance reds, since it stains the lips significantly so you need a lip brush to get the most precise line around the lips, and then to fill it in. The end result is a gorgeous, rich red that’s most fitting for any black tie event.
  • Estee Lauder Pure Colour Envy Shine Sculpting Lipstick in Empowered (reviewed here) is another recent discovery that has quickly become a favourite. This is one of the few reds I’ve found that doesn’t stain the lips (woo hoo!). It’s an orange-based red that starts out sheer, almost jelly-like, and can be built up to fuller coverage.
  • Guerlain Rouge G in Rouge Parade (reviewed here) is another all-time favourite red. Even though it was just introduced late last year, the Rouge G formula has been one of my favourites for years due to its rich colour payoff and creamy formula. Rouge Parade is a neutral red that just brightens up my whole face when I wear it. I’m also loving the limited edition red lacquer case, which is a nice bonus.

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From left to right: Lise Watier Baiser Velours in Eternal Kiss, Paul & Joe Lipstick in Rosebud, Revlon ColorStay Moisture Stain in New York Scene, Shiseido Laquer Rouge in RD413

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  • Lise Watier Baiser Velours in Eternal Kiss (reviewed here) is a recent discovery and the only matte red lip on this list. It’s hard to find a matte lipstick that doesn’t completely dry out the lips, and this one fits the bill. It is a more neutral, leaning blue-based red that has a matte, velvet finish. I like wearing this when I want a long-wearing red lip without the maintenance (you can just top up with lip balm to refresh the colour).
  • Paul & Joe Lipstick in Rosebud (reviewed here) is a good option for those who want to try the red lip but is intimidated by its intensity. This one is the sheerest of the bunch, and is also the easiest to wear, even appropriate for work lunch meetings.
  • Revlon ColorStay Moisture Stain in New York Scene (reviewed here) is one of my favourite low-maintenance lip formula, in a beautiful raspberry red tone. The ColorStay Moisture Stain really does stain your lips for hours, meaning you can wear this when you’re out and about without needing to worry about touchups.
  • Shiseido Laquer Rouge in RD413 is an orange-based red with an interesting wet laquer formula. It’s like a gloss and lacquer in one, giving up extreme shine with intense colour. The wet formula, while glossy, is also very light and not sticky at all, so this would be great for those who like that glossy finish without all the downsides of one.

What are some of your favourite red lip products, and have you discovered any new ones you want to try recently?

Review: Chanel #4 Blush Brush

chanel blush brush review
I’m constantly on the lookout for that HG blush brush. I’ve come pretty close to it with the Rock & Republic blush brush, which I bought about 3-4 years ago but it has already been discontinued. A few months ago, I had a gift card from Holt Renfrew that was about to expire and I couldn’t find anything to spend it on, thus I bought the Chanel #4 Blush Brush. This brush, priced at $52 CAD is not at all affordable, but when I played with it at the Chanel counter, I was set on getting it.

Chanel revamped their brush collection two years ago and the #4 Blush Brush was a part of the revamp. The blush brush is made of all natural hairs. The size is relatively small, you can see a comparison of it below with the MAC 168, and the hairs are short and bushy. I love that the size is smaller than other blush brushes on the market because I like to be very precise about where I deposit my blush, and this brush is great at applying blush right on the apples of the cheeks. In addition, the bushy-ness helps to blend out the colour to a very natural finish.

chanel blush brush review

The brush is super soft; even on my sensitive cheeks I can’t feel any scratchiness at all. The softness of the brush helps to prevent any powder flyaway when the brush is being swirled around even the softest of blushes.

The downside is that it is quite expensive, at $52 CAD and $54 USD. It is also Made in China, which I was surprised to find out after I brought mine home. Regardless, the quality is superb and I can imagine myself using this for years to come.

Have you found your HG blush brush yet? Please share it with us!

chanel blush brush review
chanel blush brush review
chanel blush brush review

Everyday favourites – blushes!

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My morning makeup routine is very simple – foundation, powder, blush, mascara. I work in a relatively conservative environment so the makeup I wear is minimal. I like to make it more interesting (as interesting as it can get!) but switching up my blushes to suit my outfit for the day.

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I am a major hoarder of blushes, but I routinely reach for just a few of them. In addition to the Marcelle Jelly Cheek Flushes, I’ve been wearing (from left to right) Chanel Joues Constraste in Rose Initiale (original review), Chanel Joues Constraste in Espiegle (original review), and MAC Prim and Proper, from the Liberty of London collection a few years ago.

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Rose Initiale is a true blue-based pink, Espiegle is a peach with gold shimmers, and Prim and Proper is a beige with some plum and brown undertones. These blushes are all super easy to apply as it is hard to over-apply them, especially during the morning rush while I am still likely half asleep.

My blush brush of choice is Chanel brush #4, which is the perfect size for my cheeks. I also use Rock & Republic blush brush, which was my favourite blush brush before the Chanel one came into my life, but sadly has already been discontinued.

Which are your favourite blushes to use on a daily basis? Please share!

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The one that got away: Chanel Joues Contraste in Rouge

Chanel Joues Contraste in Rouge review swatches

Have you ever wanted something but restrained yourself, and then have it be taken away forever? That longing for something you no longer have because it’s no longer produced, but the sane part in you refuses to pay 2x the mark-up to acquire it for your collection. That was my experience with Chanel Joues Constrate in Rouge, a once limited edition blush from the Byzantine de Chanel collection released for pre-Fall 2011.

The first time I tried this blush on, I was on the fence about it. I was unemployed at the time and freshly graduated from university, so I felt like I didn’t deserve another blush, albeit how much it was different, limited edition, and looked so amazing on my cheeks. I didn’t buy it, and of course it was sold out almost immediately and I regretted my decision for the next two years. I refused to pay the high prices from eBay, so I waited it out to see if I would find it anywhere else.

Chanel Joues Contraste in Rouge review swatches

Luckily for me, I learned that Chanel re-released this product into the permanent collection in Asia, and I managed to snatch one from Strawberrynet, one of my favourite, and most reliable online retailers for cosmetics (no, this post is not sponsored). I recently received it and it was every bit as beautiful and unique as I had remembered it to be.

Rouge (now assigned a number like all other permanent Chanel blushes – 79), is a fiery red blush with specks of gold shimmer. It applies incredibly smoothly and non-patchy. This comes only in Chanel’s baked blush formula, which usually means that it is sheer, but this one is actually super – with a lot of emphasis – pigmented. The swatch you see is just from one swirl in the pan with my index finger for both the heavy swatch and the blended one. You only need to touch your blush brush to the pan ever so slightly and you will get an intense colour.

My cheeks are naturally quite red, so I need to do a decent amount of cover-up before I apply this, otherwise it will just accentuate the redness in my skin.

All in all, I’m very happy to have finally found this. While this takes more effort to apply in the morning due to how pigmented it is, it does give me the more natural blush of colour. I doubt I will ever need a backup, but that also means I can focus on finding other things that are on my wishlist but are too late to buy retail.

Thanks for reading!

Chanel Joues Contraste in Rouge review swatches
Chanel Joues Contraste in Rouge review swatches

You can more clearly see the gold shimmery-sheen that is subtle and just beautiful.

Chanel Joues Contraste in Rouge review swatches
Chanel Joues Contraste in Rouge review swatches
Chanel Joues Contraste in Rouge review swatches
Chanel Joues Contraste in Rouge review swatches

Sneak peek: Chanel Superstition fall 2013 makeup collection, including new cream blushers!

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A beauty editor in Japan, Abe Sawako tweeted two photos of the upcoming Chanel autumn (fall) collection for 2013. You can see the original photos and tweets here and here. From the photos, you can see that there will be a new line of cream blushers in 6 shades, an eyeshadow quad, some single eyeshadows, 3 nail polishes, and some new shades in the New Coco Shine range as well.

Like how Dior has done it with their cream blush release, it looks like the Chanel cream blushes are colour coordinated with a lipstick for each of the blush shades.

Excited? I most definitely am!

[UPDATE] I was able to find more photos on Specktra and Freshnet (a swedish magazine). To see the original photos, please go back to the respective sites, thank you!

[UPDATE II] This collection should ship to counters on June 10, 2013.


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Chanel Le Vernis in 575 Starlet… a preview of summer!

Chanel Le Vernis in 575 Starlet swatch and review

Chanel released a capsule collection for Spring/Summer 2013 called the Avant Premiere de Chanel. The collection is comprised of four new and limited edition nail polishes, with complementing Rouge Coco and Rouge Coco Shine lipsticks. From the collection, I picked up a nail polish (surprise, surprise) called Starlet.

Chanel Le Vernis in 575 Starlet swatch and review

Starlet is a watermelon-coral shade with beautiful gold pearl that has become almost a signature for Chanel’s polishes. The gold pearl is subtle but brings depth and uniqueness to a colour that is pretty commonly seen around this time of year. Even though it is a relatively bright colour, I still think it is office-appropriate enough to wear during the daytime.

Chanel Le Vernis in 575 Starlet swatch and review

The formula is not the best I’ve seen from Chanel (that honour goes to Rose Cache). It is slightly more viscous and not as liquidy and light as most of my other Chanel polishes that glide on effortlessly. This one takes a bit more work to get it evened out and smooth. Wear time on average for my Chanel polishes is about a week.

Do you need this? Probably not. You can likely find very similar colours in drugstore or other non-luxury brands. When I brought Starlet home, I noticed that it looked super familiar, so I brought out my stash of polishes and found that under my bedroom lights, it looks like almost a dupe of Paul & Joe Marrakesh polish from Summer 2010. When I did a swatch of it side by side though (see comparison shots below), it looks very different so now I feel better about my $30 indulgence. Marrakesh is much more orange and the gold pearl is much more pronounced than the subtle gold pearl in Starlet. Marrakesh is borderline shimmer/metallic, I would have to say, especially under sunlight.

Chanel Le Vernis in 575 Starlet swatch and review
Chanel Le Vernis in 575 Starlet swatch and review

Starlet on left, Marrakesh on right
Chanel Le Vernis in 575 Starlet swatch and review

I also did a comparison with Rose Cache and Distraction below as well. You can see that Distraction is a cooler pink with iridescent shimmer, whereas Starlet is warmer and leaning towards almost a rose under certain lights.

From left to right: Starlet, P & J Marrakesh, Distraction, Rose Cache

 Chanel Le Vernis in 575 Starlet swatch and review