Wednesday, 13 April 2011

Strictly Confidential

Strictly Confidential..

Last week I had the immense pleasure of meeting Lisa Eldridge, one of my biggest beauty heroines, at a Chanel make-up and fashion preview. Even more alluring in person (if that's possible) than she is on camera in her oh-so-fabulous make-up tutorials, meeting her literally made my day. If you're not already familiar with her fabulous website/blog, then I highly recommend checking it out (

The big buzz on the Chanel beauty front is the launch of their fabulous new Chanel Make-Up Confidential website (

Solely dedicated to Chanel make-up, this online multi-media destination has been created to satiate our appetites for every aspect of Chanel beauty. From interviews with Peter Philips, Creative Director of Chanel Make-Up, to fabulous tutorials from Lisa Eldridge. The content will change regularly, to showcase the very latest launches and news from the brand, ensuring we all have our fingers on the pulse.

I wasn't sure what to wear, it being my maiden voyage into the hallowed corridors above Chanel's New Bond Street boutique. Given the brand's Parisian origins, I thought I'd channel Gallic chic and opted for a vintage Lanvin dress shirt (acquired from my father - thanks dad), an Ungaro waistcoat (catwalk sample), Westwood harem trousers (catwalk sample), limited edition Lacoste shades (press gift) and some Zara plimsolls (picked up before my holiday in Barbados last Summer), accessorised with a chocolate suede Chris&Tibor bag (press gift).

Getting ready was a bit of a crisis, I felt like one of those flustered women in the movies who try on four outfits before settling on the perfect one for their big date (men have wardrobe issues too, even former stylists). So when I settled on the winning look, it was something of a relief. Having found my fashion mojo and with the sun shining gloriously in the sky, I was ready to pop my Chanel cherry.

I was thrilled to see Glamour magazine's Beauty Director Alessandra Steinherr when I arrived. Always brimming with warmth, she gave me a kiss when she saw me, and we had a quick catch up. On noticing my ensemble, she was quick to remark that she wished she'd made more of an effort, but quite frankly when you're as naturally beautiful and effervescent as she is, you could wear a bin bag and still steal peoples' hearts.

Alessandra and I have history, as we worked together in my first magazine role, back when I was a freelancer at Cosmopolitan magazine and she was the magazine's Beauty Director. I sat opposite her on the fashion/beauty desk, and we bonded one day when she asked me where she could source Venetian masks from and I solved her shoot crisis by sharing that Angels Fancy Dress on Shaftesbury Avenue was her go-to destination, and so a friendship was born. Ever since that conversation, we chatted about everything from make-up and skincare to Balenciaga, and it was clear we had much in common. In fact she, along with make-up artist Daniel Sandler, are the two people I credit for inspiring me to move into the beauty world and become a make-up artist, after a two year stint as the Style & Grooming Editor for GT Magazine.

History aside, once we'd caught up (and I'd recovered from super stylist Katie Grand tripping over my foot), I had the opportunity to briefly quiz Lisa about Chanel's Summer 2011 make-up collection, specifically what she loved most, together with application tips. But before we touch on that, she introduced me to the world of Chanel Make-Up Confidential and her genius make-up tutorials for the website (which are exclusive to the website and won't be appearing on her website or You Tube channels).

In one of the videos, she demonstrates how to apply the "better than skin" Chanel Vitalumiere Aqua foundation. This cult product is something I have used on many of my own clients, many of whom have gone on to snap it up, as it is so delightfully sheer in consistency, yet somehow manages to make the skin look flawless without feeling like you're wearing foundation at all. In the second video she creates a fabulous look using the exquisite Ombres Perlees De Chanel 5-colour eye shadow palette, together with other products from the Les Perles De Chanel Spring 2011 collection (including my other die hard favourite, the Black Pearl nail varnish).

Current uber-model Monika Jac Jagaciak, is the face of the Les Perles De Chanel Spring 2011 make-up collection. Peter Philips chose pearls as a theme as one of the things Mademoiselle Chanel loved most about pearls, was their power to really illuminate the face. All of the products in the collection have pearlescent qualities, in various hues and nuances reflecting the variety of natural pearls.

Chanel think of everything, notice the Chanel pearls, flanked by the Chanel Le Vernis in Black Pearl on the left (just seen) and Pearl Drop on the right (just seen). This was the backdrop to Lisa Eldridges' tutorial on how create the new season face using the Les Perles De Chanel Spring 2011 collection.

The three pearlescent nail shades from the Les Perles De Chanel collection, Black Pearl, Pearl Drop and Peche Nacree.

A model from the Chanel SS11 ready to wear show sporting the super chic and edgy Les Perles De Chanel smokey eye. Notice the eyeliner drawn down the hair parting - trend alert!

I'm obsessed with the Ombres Perlees De Chanel eye shadow palette, the creamy consistency of these shades is divine, experiment by layering the colours on top of each other to create multi-tonal, dimensional effects that truly illuminate the eyes like nothing else. The paler shades on the left double as fabulous highlighters for the cheekbones, brow bones, inner corners of the eyes and cupid's bow.

French national treasure and Chanel muse Vanessa Paradis is the face of the Rouge Coco Shine lipstick collection. She wears the Boy shade, a subtle nude pink that is an effortless everyday option. The cocoa butter in this lipstick makes is delightfully nourishing on the lips.

With so many shades to choose from, there really is something for everyone. My personal favourite is Rebelle, a fabulously punchy coral red that will look divine with a tan come summer. If you want to try red lipstick but are scared of a densely pigmented formulation, this is definitely one to try.

Forever innovative, Chanel debuted a photo booth service when launching the Rouge Coco Shine lipsticks. Having purchased the shade(s) of their choice, customers were treated to a fabulously fun photo booth experience. The machine took four shots, I've posted my favourite above. I liked the play on the word "Boy", above my head, which of course was the shade worn by Vanessa Paradis in the campaign, and sported by some of the models on the Chanel ready to wear SS11 runway.

I love that the theme music for the Rouge Coco Shine video on the Chanel Make-Up Confidential website is Boys and Girls by Blur. Again, referencing the Boy lipstick shade from the collection. Chanel are so rock n' roll.

A shot of the Chanel Make-Up Confidential opening page.

The divine Lisa Eldridge, rocking a Chanel cuff.

A shot of Lisa's "How To Do The New Season Face" video.

A shot of Peter Philips' inspired robot Chanel make-up video. Here it is in all its glory if you haven't already caught it on You Tube:

Lisa's Summer 2011 Favourites

Lisa waxed lyrical about the new blush/bronze compacts. She suggests using the three bronzer shades as a contour, blending the blush shade across the apples of the cheeks to enliven the complexion. The compact is available in two shades, one light, one dark.



The new nail colours in Beige Petale (nude pink), and Lisa's hot tip for summer, Magnolia (canary yellow).

Lisa was incredibly sweet and offered to model the Magnolia shade for me - what a lady!

The Morning Rose nail shade (candy pink), flanked by a new eye shadow duo (loving the metallic khaki green shade).

Register on the Chanel Make-Up Confidential website to be alerted of all Chanel Make-Up news. Just be careful, or like me, your Chanel addiction will spiral out of control. I blame Coco!

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