Have it under brown and taupe. And make it matte. CHARMAINE LEE reports on Chanel’s unexpected yet wearable takes of its iconic colour from London.
To say red is the colour of Chanel (both the founder and the brand) is an understatement. It ran in Coco’s veins – she called it “the colour of life, of blood”; it was the only lip colour she wore; and it was in her apartment – and a deeper shade lines the iconic Chanel 2.55 bag till this day. Coco loved it because it isn’t just attractive, and a standout, but also because it has a combative connotation – dangerous, risky, rebellious; a fire starter that maybe even gets on the wrong side of the law. Red is also Lucia Pica’s favourite colour. That’s why for her first seasonal makeup collection for Chanel as its new global creative makeup and colour designer, she decided to focus on this classic yet controversial colour and give it a fresh perspective. Called Le Rouge Collection No. 1, with 17 items, it’s made wearable for everyone, not just the eccentric, stylish or Jessica Rabbits. “People have the misconception that red is too strong and edgy a colour to pull off , but I think it can be quite glamorous and sophisticated,” says Lucia, the Italian-born, Londonbased freelance makeup artist who was hired by Chanel to fill the newly created role 22 months ago. Well, I told her that’s not how Asian women think of red makeup. We associate it with Chinese opera. Have it under brown and taupe. And make it matte. CHARMAINE LEE reports on Chanel’s unexpected yet wearable takes of its iconic colour from London. Lipstick aside, red is just not a colour we’d normally wear on our eyes. She may not have factored in our cultural differences when she created the collection, but here’s what she did do: To make red easy to appreciate (read: not scary or wayang-like, and not a dominant colour except when it’s on the lips or nails), practical and versatile, she used it as the undertone of taupe and brown – two of the most universally pleasing colours. So what we see in the eyeshadows, liners and mascara are neutrals (from light to dark), burgundy and plum with different degrees of red undertones. The other thing that helps make red friendlier? Make it matte. The eyeshadow palette, one of the two eyeshadow pots and four out of six lipsticks are matte, while the blusher and lip liners are semi-matte. Le Rouge Collection No. 1 comprises: a four-shade eyeshadow palette, two single eyeshadow pots (in dark chocolate and copper orange), two waterproof kohl eyeliners (in metallic brown-burgundy and a rich mahogany), a deep aubergine mascara, a powder blusher, two lip pencils (in orange-red and brick), six longwearing lipsticks (in five shades of red and a dusty, pinky nude) and two nail lacquers (one looks like red jello but goes on opaque orange-red, the other is a true red). From $32 to $90 each.
When red isn’t literally red-eye: deep browns with red undertones make for a cool smoky eye. On model: Les 4 Ombres eyeshadow palette in #268 Candeur et Experience ($90), Illusion D’Ombre eyeshadow in #128 Rouge Brule ($52), Stylo Yeux Waterproof eyeliner in #929 Agape ($36) and Rouge Allure in #168 Rouge Ingenue ($49). Outfit, Dries van Noten.
When red perks you up: “I find red works really well when you’re feeling tired. People tend to cover their dark circles with concealer, and they keep piling it on,” says Lucia. “My trick is to add a touch of bright poppy red to not only draw attention away from the dark circles, but also to make you look more awake and youthful.” Note: Do red blusher with the lightest hand. You want a natural-looking flush (only on the apples of the cheeks), and not look like someone punched you. On model: Stylo Yeux Waterproof eyeliner in #928 Eros ($36), Dimensions de Chanel Mascara in #40 Subversif ($53), Joues Contraste blusher in #320 Rouge Profond ($70) and Rouge Allure Velvet in #57 Rouge Feu ($49). Outfit, Gucci.
“With red, it’s so easy to create a strong look with just three products,” says Lucia. This look has exactly three products: mascara, lip liner and lipstick. On model: Dimensions de Chanel Mascara in #40 Subversif ($53), Le Crayon Levres in #98 Seduction ($32) and Rouge Allure Velvet in #58 Rouge Vie ($49). Jacket, Gucci.