New for summer 2013: L’Été Papillon de Chanel

Chanel’s beauty launch for summer 2013 is all bright, butterfly shades in deep-see blues and greens, tropical fruits and bright yellow accents – but will you be diving right in?

The big bods at Chanel beauty – specifically, Peter Philips, creative director – have looked to nature for the French fashion house’s summer make-up collection. In particular, they’ve looked to the butterfly, in French, papillon, taking colour suggestions from the iridescence of butterflies’ wings and coming up with a wide variety of eye, lip and nail colours.

So what have we got? For starters, one of the biggest stories is sure to be the three, limited edition – the entire collection is limited, incidentally – Le Vernis shades: Azuré, Bel’Argus and Lilis. The limited edition nail shades (€22.50 each) are usually the ones that are onlyavailable in the Chanel boutiques, often necessitate a waiting list and almost always sell out. Of the three, Azuré is my favourite – a lovely combination of blue, green and yellow that seems to change colour in the light. I think I remember having a slightly similar shade to it in the 1990s, in a slightly darker, grungier tone.Next up in terms of newsworthiness are the Stylo Eyeshadows, in six new shades – Blue Bay, Black Stream, Cool Gold, Jade Shade, Moon River and Pink Lagoon, €28 each. The press release says there are “endless combinations” to be made with the six shades, and despite my inner math nerd suspecting that to be slightly wide of the mark, they sure have made some impressive efforts with the supporting imagery.

Blue eyeshadow, which has always seemed that little bit dated, is brought bang up to date when it’s washed through the lashes and winged into the inner corner. On paper, this shouldn’t work, but here? I’m dying to try it out. But of course that’s not any old coloured mascara – it’s Chanel Inimitable Waterproof (€30), in a limited run of four rainbow-bright shades: Aqua Blue, Blue Note, Lime Light and Zest. I received a sample of Zest, and I’m definitely intrigued as to how I’m going to incorporate it into my less-is-more make-up look.

Perhaps the least splash-making of all of the new items are the lipsticks, Rouge Coco Shine in Idylle and Pygmalion (€30.50 each). There’s no doubting that the colours are gorgeous – in particular, the grapefruity shade has me yearning for some warm weather and a nice beer garden – but they’re not rocking my socks the way the iridescent shades in eyes and nails are.Lest I forget, the collection is rounded off with three Levres Scintillantes lip glosses (€26) – Envolée, Zéphyr and Eden – and a waterproof eyeliner in True Blue (€23). It will be on-counter on May 31st and off-counter as soon as the limited run is sold out. My money’s on mid-July for that.

So what do you think? Will you be taking a closer look at Chanel’s butterfly summer?
Pictures and editorial work provided by Chanel