Why Chanel’s Easy, Approachable Beauty Strategy Is Worth Stealing Right Now

If there was just one word to describe today’s Chanel show in Paris, it would be fresh. The descriptor on everyone’s lips was inspired by everything from the stripped-back set (an abstract, black and white interpretation of the River Seine) to the clothes, which took a more casual tack with less adornment, more streamlined silhouettes, and a predominantly monochrome color palette. This newfound simplicity was mirrored by the beauty, which was both radiant and entirely wearable.

As the sun finally made an appearance, it beamed through the windows of the Grand Palais, quite literally highlighting the supernaturally clear and bright complexions. “The vibe and the energy of the make-up is very heightened freshness with a ’70s twist,” explained makeup artist Lucia Pica backstage. “It’s about girls outdoors in nature having blushed cheeks, [and a] glow on the skin.” After a sheer wash of Les Beiges Eau de Teint, Pica dabbed Baume Essential on the high points of the cheekbones and across the lids. “It gives a feeling of dewiness to the look,” said Pica of the balmy stick highlighter. “It gives a really modern feel to it as it’s very natural and, at the same time, very effective and light reflecting.” Cheeks were then shaded, ever so subtly, with the pearl pink blush from the Palette Essentielle in Beige Medium, applied at the tops then blended downwards to “give the idea of a natural flush,” explained Pica. Then, for a “touch of glamour” she slicked the lips with gloss for a translucent-vinyl effect. The look was finished with brushed-up brows, swipes of mascara on both sets of lashes and, in some instances, a matte taupe shadow pressed into the eye sockets sans balm.

Photographed by Corey Tenold

There was a similar lush and natural feel to the hair, with hairstylist Sam McKnight crafting dreamy half-ups, many of which were topped with large black bows. “It’s French girl the ’70s,” McKnight echoed, using a medium-barrel curling iron to create soft, loose waves, and teasing the hair up at the crown with mists of his Easy Up-Do texture spray. To emphasize a “gothic Victoriana” sensibility, a few face-framing curls hung free. “I call it misty morning romance,” McKnight added.

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