Thursday, June 30, 2011

Collection Byzance de Chanel - Rigard Signé de Chanel Quadra Eye Shadow in Topkapi and Joues Contraste Or Powder Blush

Chanel's opulent Paris-Byzance fashion collection was accompanied by a Byzance Makeup Collection for Fall 2011. Presented on the runway in December, 2010, the collection was inspired by the Byzantine Empire, 15 centuries into the past. Karl Lagerfeld took onlookers to to the banks of the Bosporus, at the heart of the Byzantine Empire, transporting them to a time when Constantinople was not yet called Istanbul. The extravagance of the Lagerfeld's designs was translated into the makeup collection.

Our first hint of the makeup's "decadence" was the release of the Lumières Byzantines de Chanel Palette, a highlighter palette that I was privileged to receive, with a lot of help from my friends in France. Now, Collection Byzance de Chanel has arrived at Chanel boutiques and, and it's generating enormous excitement. Who can't summon an image of golden and colored mosaics or jewel-encrusted glamour?

The collection's theme, gold and rubies, perfectly echoes the ornamentation of Lagerfeld's designs. I nearly gasped when I saw the first photos of the collection, provided a few months ago by a Chanel boutique. I've been anxiously awaiting the arrival of the pieces, which hit the stores last weekend. At last, my anticipation was nearly satisfied. A phone call, a quick trip by FedEx, and the pieces I wanted were mine! I knew the ruby red lipstick and blush would be outside my comfort zone, and I seldom purchase makeup "just to have it." If I can't wear it, I can admire it from a distance - or on someone else. You can see the superbly edited makeup collection at this Chanel link.

What I did want were the limited-edition Rigard Signé de Chanel Quadra Eye Shadow in Topkapi ($65) and the limited-edition Joues Contraste Or Powder Blush ($43). I was thrilled when they arrived.

I took some quick photos yesterday to show you these treasures - even before I applied them. I wanted to share my excitement and let you know to order them quickly if you wanted any of the pieces. The collection won't be around for long. I'm sure the demand exceeds the supply.

The colors are lush. They enliven the face, similar to elegant jewelry at the neck or on the ears. I took swatch photos yesterday in full, afternoon sun. The highlighter was difficult for me to capture, primarily because the gold is light, perfectly light in my opinion. It illuminates, leaving a golden tint, but it doesn't shout loudly.

I applied it very heavily with a sponge-tipped applicator at the top of my arm to show you the hue - one with a hint of antique gold - and I used its companion brush, also heavily, to show you a more moderated view. I tried to hold my arm at an angle to the sun that wouldn't wash out the shade or add excess glimmer. I took photos in shade. I did everything imaginable to get good outdoor photos. These were the best I could do yesterday. If I can get better photos today, I will post them.

You can see that Joues Contraste Or sparkles in sunlight. It's not glittery. Rather, it reflects light, a quality you'll appreciate on your face.

The texture is very powdery for a pressed powder. On first use, you'll find powder inconveniently escaping its boundaries in the compact. I found that it stayed put once applied, perhaps binding to the oil in my skin (what little there is).

The highlighting powder is gorgeous. It works now for a golden summer look, but it will be perfect as fall turns to winter and we transition to the "dress-up months," when many of us delight in wearing a more ornamental look.

I had no trouble getting intense photos of the Topkapi eye shadows in the quad. I applied each with a sponge-tipped applicator for maximum color, and swatched clockwise, starting at the upper left bronze in the compact's top left. As with the highlighting powder, I tried to capture my swatches at different angles to yesterday's strong sun.

The shades are shimmering bronze, shimmering taupe, sparkling gold (a gold that is similar to the Joues Contraste Or on my skin, but without the antique cast), and a satin-matte dark brown. Each of the shades is rich. I would never apply them to my eyes as heavily as I swiped them for the swatch photos.

On the lids, when applied lightly with a shadow brush, they vary in intensity. The gold is sheer and sparkling. The two shades I called shimmering, bronze and taupe, are extremely wearable shades. Different tones of brown, they can be paired for a rich chocolate look that summons fall clothing in my mind. My favorite, simply because of my fair coloring, is the shimmering taupe (second down on my arm). I could use a truckload of the shade!

The matte dark brown is best used as a liner on my eyes. It's a perfect complement to the other shades and ensures you can create a complete eye look with this quad.

I would call Topkapi a must-have. It's luxurious, as you would expect from Chanel and a special collection, one that offers a glimpse of the Empress of Constantinople and creates a desire to pull out the history books.

I took many more photos - may post them today on Twitpic if I have time. I'll leave a comment if I do. For now, if you want any of the pieces in this collection, get on the phone or in your car and head for the nearest Chanel boutique. If you have any kind of patience (or live too far from Chanel), the collection is available at Chanel's Web site. I find their shipping to be speedy.

Photos courtesy of Chanel and Chic Profile (does anyone know where Tavia went?) and by Best Things in Beauty


Unknown said...

Beautiful!! I'm so in love with the quad, red JC and the Rouge Allure from this collection!

Anonymous said...

Amazing! Thank you for the post. :)

denise_22315 at yahoo dot com

Charlestongirl said...

Hi PerilouslyPale!

How are you going to wear that red blush? :)

Charlestongirl said...

Hi Denise!

Amazing - that's another good word. I keep running out of superlatives to describe this beautiful collection.

Lena said...

Shadows are beautiful! Thanks to you I ordered mine yesterday! Did you notice that the gold blush is very much alike Facettes D'OR Gold Fever? Or is it ?

Charlestongirl said...

Lena, it's very similar to Facettes D'Or Gold Fever. You've got a good eye!

Anonymous said...

I ordered this stunning eye palette as soon as it went up on the site yesterday. Can't wait to see it in person! I also bought the red lipstick. I think it will feel right for this fall/winter. Between this and the other fall collection, Chanel certainly has my heart and my make up budget!


Lena said...

Thank you for your replay!

Eileen said...

I received "my precious" yesterday afternoon. When I asked the FedEx guy what he must think of being greeted at the door by some woman grinning like a loon, he laughed and said, "Well, it beats being a process server!"

Anyway, I dashed upstairs and promptly began playing with my trésor de byzance. Just one look and I knew exactly what I wanted to do with it, and it worked like a dream. I used a wash of the taupe over the eyelid to just above the crease, the bronze in the outer > and smoked along the upper and lower lash line, the sable as a liner slightly blended into the bronze, and the gold as a spotlight on the center of the eyelid and on the brow bone. Blend! The look? Soft, sexy, smoldering, come hither, you get the idea :-)

Now, what I tried next, is definitely NOT for the faint of heart, but is dramatic and beautiful none the less. I was captivated by the red line that Philips had painted on the models to replicate the eye crease as seen on the Bysantine mosaic portraits. So, not having purchased Rouge, I reached into my stash for LMdB in Fire Lily. I applied it very lightly on the upper edge of the bronze and blended. It was just enough to give that gold and ruby look you mentioned. I think this will be a spectacular holiday party look.

I've really rambled on, but Topkapi is just so exciting!

pretty addicted said...

I also ordered the quad and highlighting powder ... I'm fair like you and the red blush and lipstick are definitely out of my comfort zone.

I think the shadows will look great in the fall all smoked out with a peachy lip and cheek, highlighter on top. I also think they will look great now, scaled back a bit. I can't wait for them to arrive!

Charlestongirl said...

Eileen, I was just contemplating a long weekend without any deliveries when I saw your comment. Love it! Your FedEx guy has a great sense of humor.

You've experimented even more than I have. I doubt I will be trying the runway's "red stripe," but you mitigated it nicely, with a look that sounds beautiful.

I just love this quad!

Charlestongirl said...

Frances, don't you think Chanel outdid itself with fall? So exciting!

Charlestongirl said...

Hi Pretty Addicted,

Come on back after they arrive and let us know how you like them. :)

Nemo said...

Dearest Charleston Girl: there is another beauty blog called front row beauty. Asian. The fair-skinned blogger also bought the red blush, wondered & worried about it, then blended it on her cheeks with the gold. Beautiful! I am a fair-skinned, blue-green-eyed honey-blonde (lots of hyphens here, huh?), and I will use the brighter lip and cheeks colors to bring out my coloring. A little goes a long way, but the result is gorgeous. Love your blog.

Charlestongirl said...

Thanks, Nemo!

Not sure I want to go to that much trouble to make a blush work when I must have hundreds of them. LOL!

I appreciate the tip, though. Sounds fun.

Radhika said...

Loved the shades and the swatches...I want the red and the gold blushes..

Unknown said...

Mine is on its ways from Nordstrom Seattle's Chanel Studio!

kilxover said...

Damn, that quad is so beautiful! Do you know if non-usa versions will be a baked version and not have the pretty pattern?

Charlestongirl said...

Sorry, Kilxover, I have no idea! Maybe one of our French readers can help with that answer.

Anonymous said...

I would absolutely LOVE if you could swatch the Lumierès Byzantines palette! I am so tempted to buy it and I've got one waiting for me but not for long! I would be indebted to you!
Sarah :-)

Charlestongirl said...

Sarah, it is here:


Anonymous said...

ITA agree with you. This quad is a must-have. I just received mine today and although I have hundreds of MAC, Urban Decay and Givenchy shadows, this is a very special quad. The colors are amazing! No regrets for the $65 + shipping here.

They were sold out for a few days, but it looks like they're back in stock.