Tuesday, February 16th, 2010

Chanel Rouge Coco Lipstick

Chanel Rouge Coco:  Sneak Preview

Rouge Coco promises to be one of Chanel’s biggest launches this year. According to Peter Philips’, Global Creative Director of Chanel Makeup, “Rouge Coco fascinates me, because I’ve never seen a texture this comfortable and easy to apply. It’s the ready-to-wear lipstick. Just one sweep over the lips colours them and covers them in a melt-away balm … I like the idea that women from the gloss generation, who are afraid of lipstick, can return to this essentially feminine beauty step with Rouge Coco.”

I’m a big fan of Chanel’s lip products. It took me awhile before I came around, but once I did, woo, boy! Those Rouge Allure Laques just made me fall head over heels in lurve.  I remember first reading about Rouge Coco in WWD back in January, and I was all over it.  I was like, “When? Where?  I WANT!”

Rouge Coco comes in a metal case, but it’s still housed in sleek, black packaging with signature Chanel details. Funny enough, according the press materials, engineers opened and closed hundreds of tubes of lipstick to settle on just the right “click.” Each lipstick is lightly scented with a vanilla rose scent (also supposed to have a “fruity raspberry accord,” but I didn’t catch it–my nose is far from sophisticated!).

When asked, “How do we apply Rouge Coco?” Peter Philips says, “[It] stands out by the freedom that it offers women. It allows you to adjust the intensity of the colour, even though the very first coat offers dense lip pigmentation.”

I wanted to give you the back story behind Rouge Coco, because I know that I enjoy reading about the inspiration behind a new product or collection. It just makes it come alive to me! There is just something special about really seeing and envisioning all of the work that went into a product, whether you buy into the back story or not.

But now, let’s move away from the press release and onto the real deal — do they deliver? what are they like? Based on the back story, Rouge Coco is designed to be a hydrating, satin lip color that can deliver smooth, pigmented color. After testing five shades, I can confirm that back story for you.

  • Perle (02) is a soft pinky-brown with subtle champagne sheen. It gives good coverage without being heavy.
  • Mademoiselle (05) is a medium pink with a brown edge. It’s pink without being bubblegum-pink or pale or frosty. This was one of the richer colors of the five I tried as well. I didn’t feel like this shade had any noticeable shimmer; it had a slight sheen, but it wasn’t frosty or glossy.
  • La Pausa (08) is an orange-based coral with coppery orange shimmer. It applied smoothly and provided good color coverage, though it had a frostier finish than the other four I tested out. I’m not sure why this is put in the “Beige” family, since I wouldn’t say it’s anywhere near beige.
  • Legende (11) is a raspberry pink with a pearl shimmer. It applies evenly to lips and is rich in color. It had less of a satin finish as it did frost. There was a noticeable sheen once applied. What I did like about this particular shade is it could be blotted down for a lighter, more of a pink-stained lip for less intense color.
  • Cambon (31) is a rich, raspberry-tinged red. This one is wickedly pigmented; it’s a vibrant, glowing red. The color didn’t bleed on me, but I would use a lip liner (in practice) just to give it a more defined edge. Cambon had a light sheen, almost a glossy look to it, though still definitely a lipstick look.

Rouge Coco is a surprisingly pigmented, subtle, and smooth formula.  Way better than Hydrabase (which it is replacing).  I wouldn’t even describe these as creamy lipsticks (like Rouge Allures can be), but they apply smoothly, richly, and feel incredibly lightweight.

I tested the wear with two colors, once with Mademoiselle and the second time with Cambon–I got a solid four hours of wear with Mademoiselle before it looked faded (but it persisted decently for another hour); with Cambon, I experienced only minimally fading after five hours of wear with no bleeding (but note, lip color doesn’t tend to bleed on me).

These don’t surpass my Rouge Allure Laques (but they’re almost a completely different animal, let’s be honest) as an all-time favorite Chanel lip product, but they hold their own in the Chanel lip color range.  The wear is excellent, because the color hugs lips without sucking the moisture from them.  I think this is why it’s the bridge between lipstick and gloss–because it feels lightweight, soft, and smooth.  But it’s not a lip balm.  It doesn’t feel slick or move all over your lips.

Overall, Rouge Coco is a good step-up from Aqualumieres and not overshadowed by Rouge Allures.  It’s like the middle ground–pigmented enough for medium-to-full coverage but light enough for sheer.  I like the new formula quite a bit but not quite in love with it yet… perhaps my heart is just waiting to be swept away by that perfect shade.

The Rouge Coco line includes four color families with a total of twenty shades (at least, that’s what the press book listed), each retailing for $30. I believe there may be up to an additional ten shades that rotate internationally. The lipstick will launch February 25th, both online and on-counter. You’ll definitely find me at Nordstrom first thing on the 25th to check out the other shades!

See the range of shades, plus photos, swatches, & lip swatches! Continue reading →