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Diary of a Chanel makeover |

Fashion and Beauty

Diary of a Chanel makeover

#NOFILTER - Chonx Tibajia - The Philippine Star

Coco Chanel said that black — the absence of color — has everything. Its beauty is absolute, a perfect harmony. So I decided that today, I would wear all black, as if I don’t always. I am off to a Chanel makeover, manifesting all possible signs of sleep deprivation. Black seems to be the color to wear if I want to look instantly put together, right?

At the Chanel counter in Rustan’s Makati, Marthinus, makeup artist from Chanel Singapore, greets me. His perfectly groomed eyebrows are the first things I see. Immediately, I feel underdressed — because one cannot be put together and have overgrown brows. It just ruins everything. But he tells me he likes my choice of outfit and that my hair is fun. I love him already. He asks me about my habits, my beauty regimen and skin issues, and I recite a litany of problems, products and phobias: my fear of using moisturizer and foundation on my oily skin, my habit of using every product at my disposal every day, my lack of faith in primer, my unrequited love for bright lip color.

The makeover starts with cleansing and prepping with appropriate skincare. Chanel Eau Doceur is a cleansing and balancing tonic that fights pollution. Marthinus wipes the solution on my face, using light but sweeping strokes from the chin up. My complexion is brightened using the Brightening Moisture Lotion from Chanel’s Le Blanc range, a toner infused with Pearl Protein and Licorice Extracts to balance out the yellowness in Asian skin — an undertone, I learned, that gets even more intense with age. (We all get Simpsonized sooner or later.)

He whips out a bunch of products from Chanel’s Hydra Beauty range — the Hydra Beauty Lotion, Eye Gel, Serum, Gel Crème, and Nourishing Lip Care. The line has the purest of intentions: hydration, protection and radiance. It uses camellia flower extracts to promite optimal moisture retention within skin cares, and blue ginger, which works intensely to keep skin from drying. The products are soothing on my moisture-depleted skin. I can almost feel my cells rejoicing as they get drunk on it. Finally, my face is massaged with Le Jour de Chanel, a reactivating serum meant to be used on mornings, especially on days that you know will be more or less be serving you an extra platter of stress. In the way that some people need coffee or orange juice to jumpstart their system, the skin needs Le Jour to energize the skin so it can adapt to its environment throughout the day. It uses grasse jasmine extract to invigorate the skin and salicylic acid to gradually exfoliate to visibly minimize pores and refine skin texture.

While the rest of my body still feels like dissolving into bed, my face feels like it had just been to a spa, radiant like I’ve never seen it before. Yet I fear part that follows: makeup. I am wary of having my makeup done because the results have almost always been less than stellar and insulting to a certain degree — like someone else had imposed his or her idea of beauty on my face, treating it like a blank canvas than a part that is attached to a human being with a personality, with preferences, and things with imperfections she doesn’t feel the need to hide. (But that’s just me.) Marthinus, however, gets me.

He starts with Le Blanc de Chanel Multi-Use Illuminating Base, which can be used under makeup to make it go on better. Used alone, it renders the skin with freshness, ideal for those who like the fuss-free, no-makeup-but-made-up look. He unloads products from Chanel’s autumn collection — including the felt-tip eyeliner of my dreams, Écriture de Chanel. It feels like a Sharpie in my hand and the firm, felt tip makes me feel more in control of my strokes.

He applies foundation, Chanel Perfection Lumière, using a brush, which is more respectful of the face. A tip I learned: A woman should own at least two different foundations. In the same way that we don’t always wear the same shoes with every dress we own, pick your makeup according to your activities for the day. You don’t have to wear the same face all the time. He brightens my undereye area with concealer. Apparently, wearing black is tricky — it can make you look polished but make your face look tired, so you have to even out your skin tone all the more. He gentle dabs concealer on the sides of my nose and laugh lines, because he believes that we have to brighten the center of the face because it’s the part that faces the world. Makes perfect sense. He picks a peachy blush to complement my Simpson skin, and finally, draws on the most beautiful cat eye I have ever seen. “I’ve been doing it all wrong,” I tell him. “This is the cat eye I didn’t know I needed.”

When he swipes Chanel Rouge Allure Extrait de Gloss in Rèflexion on my lips, all is set. I take several photos just to make sure I am able to recreate the look at home (as if, but I click on anyway).

“I can’t understand how a woman can leave the house without fixing herself up a little, if only out of politeness,” Coco Chanel once said. “And then, you never know, maybe that’s the day she has a date with destiny and it’s best to be as pretty as possible for destiny.” So if you see me sporting a cateye that’s more graphic, more deliberate, more pronounced than usual, know that I drew it for you and everyone else I am destined to meet along the way. Coco made me do it.

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Chanel is available at Rustan’s The Beauty Source.

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