Tag Archives: Chanel Le Vernis

A 1950s Christmas Carol

Carol 2Yesterday I was at a press screening of the most gorgeous-looking film I’ve seen this year. Carol is its title, and it was directed by Todd Haynes – who also directed the similarly ravishing-looking Far From Heaven back in 2002. To be honest, I wasn’t really convinced by the characters or gripped by the plot but I was utterly seduced by the autumnal palette, slightly grainy film and – most of all – the  way the two central characters, socialite Carol (Cate Blanchett) and young department store clerk Therese (Rooney Mara), looked. (Scroll to the end of this post for more images plus trailer.) Anyone who loves and appreciates 1950s style and beauty, as I do, will not be able to take their eyes off the screen!

The plot centred on the love affair between these two women – and it was a bit like watching Grace Kelly and Audrey Hepburn (in Sabrina – pre-Paris transformation) getting together. They both look amazing in clothes designed by costume designing legend Sandy Powell: Blanchett sports chic suits or fitted dresses with silk scarves and elegant jewellery, tidy little hats and a ubiquitous mink, while Mara wears simpler, gamine gear. (Indeed, the pinafore-turtle neck combo she sports for Christmas in the country is a direct lift from Sabrina.)

In an interview earlier this year, Blanchett said: “The mink was old and it kept falling apart. Between takes, Sandy Powell  the costume designer, would sew it back together by hand. I considered changing coats, but when you find the right thing, you know immediately. That coat was the one to tell Carol’s story. It was perfect.”Carol 6

Just as perfect and every bit as striking was the make-up look created for Blanchett by her regular movie make-up artist Morag Ross, who told the MakeUp411 website: “The character of Carol Aird was a sophisticated, wealthy woman, so the make-up and hair had to reflect that. As was the norm of the period, she was always made-up and lipsticked, always put-together and elegant when in public. When the two women go on their road trip the look became more relaxed and free.

“Cate’s look really came together with the immaculate and stunning hairdressing by Kay Georgiou. We took our inspiration from period photos of Grace Kelly who, of course, always seemed effortlessly elegant and beautiful, and we made our aim to channel that kind of look and feeling.” Carol’s coral-red lips, says Ross, were painted with Chanel’s Rouge Allure Lipsticks in Coromandel and Incandescente (used on the middle of the lower lip), while her nails, throughout the film, sport the Lilis shade of Chanel Le Vernis.

And Blanchett’s verdict on her make-up also referred back to Chanel. She said: “I had to pluck my eyebrows nearly every day to achieve that very stern look. I just hated it. I much prefer a natural approach to beauty. You know, Coco Chanel always said to take one thing off before you leave the house, and I think that also applies to makeup.”

Carol is in cinemas from November 27Carol 4

Carol 1

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Carol 3

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Summer Nails

Chanel le Vernis x 2 (3)There’s something for everyone in Chanel’s new quintet of summer nail colours – whether you fancy full-on orange nails or subtle pastel lilac talons. Or both at the same time!

The French beauty house is encouraging Chanel Le Vernis fans to embrace the trend of mixing,  matching and even mis-matching colours for strikingly different looks and effects.

The “Accent Nail” Manicure involves applying  a different colour on the index finger from the other fingers of the hand. Try pairing Eastern Light (a shimmering white) on the index finger nail and any of the other colours on the other fingers, or Pink Tonic on one nail, plus Mirabella on the other nails. OrChanel Le Vernis x 2 Sweet Lilac on its own, and Tutti Frutti on the other nails.

Chanel suggests three twists on the traditional French manicure. The first variation on the “New French Manicure” involves applying Eastern Light to the entire nail and tracing a colour border on the tip of the nail. Or, you can apply colour to the entire nail and trace a white border on the tip with Eastern Light, for a demi-French manicure. Finally, for a reverse French manicure, apply colour to the whole nail and trace a white line on the bottom of the nail.

There are so many possibilities, in fact, that I reckon toe nails will need to be co-opted into the experiments …

* Chanel Le Vernis (£18 each). For stockists, call 020-7493 3836.

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Nailing The Pulp Fiction Look – Again

Pulp Fiction - Uma Thurman on bedIt’s hard to believe that it’s 20 years since Pulp Fiction exploded on to cinema screens, making household names of enfant terrible director Quentin Tarantino and Samuel L Jackson, resurrecting the career of Bruce Willis, making John Travolta cool again – oh, and most importantly for anyone interested in style and fashion, launching a world-wide vogue for vampy dark, blood red, nails. Uma Thurman (pictured) may not have been the very first person to sport Chanel’s Rouge Noir nail polish, but she single-handedly (well, ten digitally) sparked a frenzy for the No18 nail colour in the Chanel Rouge NoirChanel collection.  Indeed, her Pulp Fiction nails were probably the most influential in movie history ..

Pulp Fiction was premiered at the Cannes Film Festival in May 1994, and had its UK and US theatrical release four months later. That year marked the start of both Chanel’s reign as the purveyor of the must-have polish and the waiting list phenomenon (I finally got my paws on a bottle in Copenhagen in 1995) – and signalled the end of the idea that only pretty, neutral or pink shades were acceptable. Rouge Noir opened the floodgates for blue nails, black nails, and anything goes nails. So, “Happy birthday!” to both it and Pulp Fiction. And you can celebrate by painting your nails and/or going to see Pulp Fiction which is being screened in Cineworlds up and down the country for one day only (Tuesday, May 20).

* Chanel Le Vernis in Rouge Noir (£18) is available nationwide. For stockists, call 020-7493 3836.


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