Friday, June 17, 2011

What I've learned about the Chanel Glossimer

This post is part of the "What I have learned" feature that I write occasionally on my blog. I have intended to write an extended post about Chanel Glossimers for ages. I remember writing a blurb on an old blog, when all I had were my first four Glossimers (pictured below). Now I have a few more. And this is what I've learned from buying and using them.

My "first four": Spark, Praline, Magnifique and Meteore

It's kind of hard to categorize Chanel Glossimers. The brand sorts them by color family: reds, pinks, beiges and browns. I often wonder, what about the corals? I've found that colors I think of as corals often end up with either the beiges or the browns. Color aside, what they don't tell you is the level of sheerness, will there be frost and whether or not it has an apparent glitter finish. As you can see from the picture below, these glosses can get really sheer.

Chanel Glossimer in Petit Peche and Charming

Sheer shades, I've found, often have a lot of glimmer and sparkle. Not always, but often. Rightly so, if there isn't much color to show. They look ever so slightly different in the tube but when on, they look pretty much the same so it doesn't make sense to get different ones.

Chanel Glossimer in Charming (top) and Petit Peche

When you see the shade in the tube, what you're looking at is primarily the base color. But you can't really tell if it's sheer or opaque unless you put it on. A lot of times, the base color becomes secondary to the glitter. So much so that when you have it on, all you really see is the glitter. However, I've found that with the not so sheer shades, the color is pretty true to the tube. It will interact with your natural lipcolor but when swatched on a lightly-pigmented surface such as the arm, you will find that the color translates pretty much as it appears in the tube. Some are more opaque than others and a select few, such as Praline below, do not have glitter.

Praline swatch and tube
Swatches from left: Praline, Magnifique and tube of Magnifique on right

Personally, I think that Chanel Glossimers have the most awesome sparkle. Sometimes they're just one color, sometimes two or three and still other times, you get a whole rainbow. But it's rare that I feel grit. Texture-wise, while on the tacky side, I think that they apply really smoothly if you can get enough on the doe foot. The design of the tube, while not ground-breaking, prevents too much gloss from getting on the doe foot applicator when you take it out of the tube.

Doe Foot Applicator of Wild Rose Glossimer

I prefer putting gloss on with a brush so this is inconsequential to me. Sometimes, I mix colors on my hand first, before applying. This is especially useful when I find colors in my collection that don't get much use. Spark and Muscat are among those that I rarely reach for. But mixed together, I can tone down the red tones in Spark with the otherwise bare beige Muscat and I get a color that looks more like something I'd wear. When mixing, note that subtraction is not an option. What you end up doing is combining the base shades. If there's glitter, it will stay there.

Spark and Muscat mixed together

The doe foot applicator is best for slicking on bare lips. It isn't very good for more meticulous and detailed application. I tend to use Glossimers on top of lipstick for a shiny, wet look. For this reason, I still prefer applying with a lip brush.

Bottom of tube (numeric label)

Glossimers have a number at the bottom of the tube. Most of the time, the only thing you have is that number. This annoys me because I have a hard time remembering numbers. This numbering system, I've been told, is an attempt to make it easier to shop around the world. So if you run out of Magnifique and you're stuck in an airport terminal/shopping mall where noone speaks your language, just tell them #83 (you may have to write that down) and no problem if you can't pronounce Magnifique in intelligible French/Franglais. I have also found that this number is useful for shades whose names are undeniably French. I think associates are less likely to push shades whose names they can't get their tongues around easily. But they can readily reach for a number. I, on the other hand, once I've tossed the box (the box has the name and number), reach for my trusty label maker and I label the tubes that only have a number using clear tape.

From left: Spark, Magnifique, Meteore, Muscat, Charming, Wild Rose, Petit Peche, Praline

Of the more opaque shades in my small collection, Wild Rose is probably my favorite. It's a very neutral pink and because the shimmer isn't multi-toned, the effect is simply a silvery sheen. I would wear this shade alone, anytime. I have a couple of regrets in my collection though. What I've learned from buying those? Try on glosses at a counter first. If you end up buying one that you don't like and can't return, allow an associate to suggest a matching lipstick. (Although you may end up with the lipstick too). Otherwise, find another shade to mix it with.

Swatches from left: Praline, Magnifique, Muscat, Wild Rose, Spark
Chanel Glossimer in Meteore

Meteore is one I rarely reach for because the glitters are intense. It's way too much for daytime use. I really can't remember why I bought it. Other colors I rarely use are Muscat and Spark but I only have them because they came in a set with another color. Chanel will be having another set out for the holidays (and I think Spark is in that one too) but I don't think that I will be getting another one this year.

Glossimer sheers: Maline, Aragonite and Star

I've reviewed MalineAragonite and the Limited Edition shade Star in this blog. Which reminds me that the brand does come out with Limited Edition shades. You don't always know which ones those are going to be so it would be good to ask. I try hard not to get sucked in just because something won't be available forever. The point is, how much use are you going to get out of it? Limited Edition shades often have a very high number (think 3 digits) and some, like Star, don't have a number at all. The label at the bottom says Star. I wish they were all labelled that way.

From left: Praline, Spark, Magnifique, Maline, Muscat, Wild Rose, Charming, Star, Aragonite already has the fall collection available for purchase and they are currently offering free shipping on any order. This offer is good until just before midnight on June 20th.

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