Brrr! Chantecaille's wintry spring palette

I have no idea why Chantecaille would release a glacier-themed palette for spring, but I guess it's appropriate given that we're still getting snow in early March.  Ugh!  I also was not thrilled with the design.  While it's worthy of my collection, I still feel like Chantecaille could have done so much more.  I would have loved to see a jaw-droppingly detailed alpine scene captured in a highlighting/eye shadow powder, similar to these but in a shimmery white, silver, blue and taupe color scheme.  Anyway, it's the usual spiel - you buy the palette and Chantecaille donates 5% of the proceeds to a charity.  This time the money will go to the Extreme Ice Survey.  (The name makes me think of a certain faux energy's not a regular ice survey, it's an EXTREEEEEEEME ice survey!  To the MAAAXXXX!)

I enlisted the help of Makeup Museum staff member Ugly Yeti to showcase this eye shadow trio - as you can imagine, he was quite fond of it since it reminds him of his natural habitat. 


Chantecaille Glacier eye shade trio - spring 2015

The big guy wanted to make sure you saw the pretty, shimmery mountains on the inside of the palette.

Ugly Yeti with Chantecaille

Chantecaille Glacier eye shade trio - spring 2015

Chantecaille's website has some breathtaking photos of glaciers, but if you want more there's also an exhibition of photos and paintings entitled "Vanishing Ice:  Alpine and Polar Landscapes in Art, 1775-2012" at the McMichael Canadian Art Collection currently.

What do you think of this trio?  I'm off to make some hot chocolate for Ugly much as he loves the snow, I think he likes my homemade hot chocolate even more.  :)

Quick post: Chantecaille Save the Bees palette

I don't really have much to say about this palette except the usual stuff I write about animal-themed pieces by Chantecaille, which is that 1.  Five percent of the proceeds will go to a cause that helps the animal or their habitat (in this case, the Xerces Society); and 2.  I'm getting REALLY sick of these 4-pan palettes.  Please, Chantecaille, come up with something that rivals your old stuff.  It's almost like they told some intern, "This is easy - just copy the design from the horses/sharks/ elephants/turtles/tigers/ dolphins palettes."  Meh.


The bee design is nice, but why not make each one a different color instead of all of them being gold?  Or if you want to get really intricate, make the colors of the wings different from the bodies on each, a la the butterfly eye shadows.  I'm also puzzled as to why the neat little honeycomb pattern on the palette case isn't repeated in the backgrounds of the individual pans.  It's not even a flower either, at least none that I can recognize - just a strange, jagged abstraction.





While I'm bored with the 4-pan format, I bought this because it's good for rounding out a spring exhibition (for some reason I associate bees/honey with spring - see last year's exhibition poster) and also because the idea of having a whole menagerie in palette form is appealing to the collector in me. 

Have you gotten stung by Chantecaille's bees or are you keeping your distance?

Yay or neigh on Chantecaille's fall palette?

(top row images from,,; bottom row from,, and

Bird motifs are SO 2011.  "Put a horse on it!" seems to be the rallying cry for many designers this fall, as evidenced by the clothing above.  Chantecaille is on board the trend as well with their Wild Horses palette.  As with previous animal-themed palettes, 5% of the proceeds go to an organization that helps the animals - in this case, the Humane Society.  According to the video at Chantecaille's website, there were over 2 million wild horses roaming freely in the Western part of the United States at the start of the 20th century; that number has now dwindled to just over 31,500.  Horses are quickly losing their land to make way for sheep and cattle.  The Humane Society works to pass legal protections for the horses and to  "persuade the government to manage populations with humane, effective, economical methods"  instead of allowing them to be sold and slaughtered. 







When I first saw this palette, I do what I always do when it comes to animals appearing on beauty products - try to remember whether I'd ever seen horses in an ad or on another palette.  There was Paul & Joe's Carousel collection this past spring which featured horses, but they were really more merry-go-round ponies than living, breathing horses.  So I decided to do a little research and, to my surprise, horses have made it into a number of makeup ads.

Elizabeth Arden first used an equestrian theme in 1937 and revisited it 10 years later.


(images from

Guerlain, 1953:

(image from

And the best of the bunch in my opinion, simply because the ad copy cracks me up, is Revlon's Stormy Pink ad from 1963 (you can still buy this shade today!):

(image from

Hunting scenes involving horses also made it on to several compacts, like these beauties from Tussy (1960s) and Stratton (1950s):

(image from

(image from

So horses in beauty ads and products weren't as rare as I suspected. 

Getting back to the Chantecaille palette, this isn't my favorite.  First of all, I'm not a horse fan.  There I said it.  I just don't understand how they're considered the "graceful, majestic creatures" they're usually made out to be.  To me they're just not...attractive.  This doesn't mean, of course, that I think they should be wiped out or that I'm indifferent to them being rounded up and slaughtered, but purely from an aesthetic standpoint I find them to be rather uninteristing and ugly - awkward, smelly and somewhat dangerous, with no real redeeming qualities.  The other reason this isn't my favorite offering from Chantecaille is that this is the 6th animal-themed palette in a row (following sharks, elephants, turtles, tigers and dolphins) with the same four-pan design, so frankly I'm getting bored.  Would it kill Chantecaille to shake it up a little and come up with a different design?  I wish they would revisit their glory days of the Protected Paradise palettes.

Anyway, what do you think of this palette? 

Swimming with Chantecaille's sharks

This was actually a spring release but I thought it was more appropriate for summer.  Chantecaille is helping rescue yet another animal in 2013.  Proceeds from the Save the Sharks palette go to the BLOOM Association, a group that works to "ban all unregulated shark fin trade".  I'm glad, since shark fin soup sounds pretty gross anyway.  




Instead of depicting a whole shark, Chantecaille opted to show only the fin, which I guess highlights the plight of the charity they're working with.  However, it may have been more visually interesting to make a bigger face or eye palette that would accommodate the full shark.  Plus, while the pleasing color harmony and shimmery textures counter any sort of menacing effect, there's still something a little Jaws-like about showing just the fins.






And here's a tiny dose of art history.  John Singleton Copley completed Watson and the Shark in 1778, which depicts a 14 year-old cabin boy named Brook Watson struggling to escape a shark attack in Havana Harbor.

(image from

While it looks like Watson is a goner, in reality he survived (although the shark did claim the lower part of one of his legs).  So, while we have two wildly different representations of sharks, both point to the majesty and danger these animals embody.

Group portraits: Chantecaille

(Click to enlarge)


Top row:  Protected Paradise compacts

Middle row:  Coral, La Baleine Bleue, La Baleine Blanche

Bottom row:  White Tiger and Bengali Bronzer compacts


Top row:  Save the Sharks, Coral Reefs

Bottom row:  L'Éléphant, Les Dauphins, Sea Turtle


Top left:  The Shadow and the Rose

Middle:  Garden in Kyoto, Elephant Cheek Shade, Ethereal Eyes

Bottom:  Les Papillons eye shadows

Petals, up close and personal: Chantecaille holiday 2012

While not as impressive as some of their other animal-themed palettes, Chantecaille released a nice little compact for the holiday season.  Les Pétales de Rose highlighting powder is inpired by the "marvelously soft color and texture of crushed rose petals", while the "kaleidoscope of colorful powders blends seamlessly onto the skin, offering a subtle veil of radiance." 

(image from

This does, in fact, resemble bits of crushed rose petals.  I found an excellent comparison in the photos of Horticultural Arts on Flickr.  These images, like Chantecaille's palette, show that the beauty of crushed rose petals can be heightened by chaotic scattering.



(via Flickr)

I like this new take on the rose - a refreshing update on Chantecaille's (and other brands') usual rose-shaped powders.  Still, I go back and forth as to whether it's Makeup Museum-worthy. 

What do you think?

Elephant walk with Chantecaille

As we've seen with the Bengal Tiger powders, Sea Turtles palette and many other items, Chantecaille has demonstrated a commitment to preserving wildlife.  This fall, the company will donate 5% of the proceeds from their L'Éléphant palette to the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust, an organization that "rescues, fosters and release baby elephants orphaned by ivory poaching."


The colors are Ivory, Grasslands, Iron Ore and Red Earth and were inspired by "the trends seen on the fall runways and the lustrous colors found in the Kenyan landscape."  Eeek.  If I were talking about the fact that elephants have long been hunted for their tusks, I wouldn't celebrate it by naming one of the shades Ivory.

I also don't think it would have hurt to have some more detail on the elephants themselves.  I mean you can tell it's an elephant, but compared to the intricacy of, say, the Protected Paradise palettes, Chantecaille could  have done a little more.





With flash:


There is also the blush in Elephant Fun (5% of proceeds from this blush will also be donated):



With flash:


This isn't the first time elephants have appeared in makeup design.  You might remember Lancôme's Sun of India palette from fall 2008, or Guerlain's summer 2009 collection, which featured elephants on several of its products.  More recently, for its 21st anniversary Fresh released a set of three limited-editon soaps with illustrations by R. Nichols, one of which has an elephant.

(image from

(I think I'll do a post on the soaps, as I'm branching out into collecting pretty bath and body items as well!)

Bringing attention to the plight to save the elephants as well as their environments is the focus of many contemporary artists' work.  Some of the most notable is that of South Africa-based artist Andries Botha

Wounded Elephant, 2008:


You Can Buy My Heart and Soul, 2006:



The artist's statement on this piece:  “In African mythology the elephant reincarnates carrying the soul of a murdered God. It is thus the embodiment of the transmigration of souls. It is also the metaphor for the world’s preoccupation with Africa as an exotic location. The elephant thus embodies the world’s romanticism with Africa. In part it is the Colonial panacea: wildness can be contained, civilised and taken back to the ballrooms of the First World as a trophy.”  The elephants (constructed out of driftwood) therefore remind us not only of the ugly business of ivory hunting, but the larger issue of colonialization.

More recently, Botha completed Loxodonta Africana (2011):

(images from

Like the earlier Wounded Elephant, on the surface this sculpture depicts the pain these animals are caused as they are hunted.  On a deeper level, Botha's work touches on the opposing themes of burgeoning life and untimely death.   It also points to the shrinking elephant population, which is the result not only of hunting but the destruction of their natural habitat.   He states:  "For some time now I have been mesmerized by embryos floating palely and ghostlike in bottles of formaldehyde hidden in back rooms of laboratories, museums and similar such dark archives.    They are forms of arrested life, hauntingly beautifully swimming eternally, having us muse about life under- realized. In December 2010 I did a long travelling pilgrimage into the more arid regions of South Africa pursuing bushmen cave paintings of the Cedarberg mountains I found many more paintings of elephants, ironic testamonies to an abundance now no longer present...At that time the haunting image of  Andrea Mantegna's 'Martyrdom of St. Sebastian' kept floating into my sub-conscious.  I decided to shoot a number of arrows into the 'Loxodonta Africana'. The unborn elephant hunted in the womb.  A thought came to me then of illuminating the elephant from the inside and that the arrows took on the character of a type of spectral halo, transforming or recreating the dichotomy between two extremes, mortality and beauty.  It struck me in retrospect that 'Loxodonta Africana' could be interpreted as a silent protest from within the contemplative embrace of my studio...our ever expanding industrial sensibility increasingly diminishes the natural habitat of the elephant.  The very idea of living within a 21st century industrial capitalism that finds a place with enough space for the elephants to be wild and free, would be the challenge and the symbol of a humanity that begins to pay more attention to an ever depleted natural universe."

Makeup and massive sculptures are two very different ways to raise awareness of a particular issue. Botha's work is a more meaningful, poignant way of drawing attention to the problem of elephant poaching.  He is an individual person putting a lot of time and work into this cause, while Chantecaille is a cosmetics company whose charity efforts come second to its primary goal of making money.  Having said that, both are contributing to the common goal of eliminating elephant hunting (or in the case of Chantecaille, fostering orphaned baby elephants).

What do you think of the palette's design?  And of Botha's work? 

(Andries Botha was brought to my attention by

Coral revisited by Chantecaille

Back in 2007 Chantecaille released a beautiful highlighting powder featuring a coral reef design.  Five percent of the proceeds went to Reefs of Hope, an initiative to preserve coral reefs run by the Institute for Ocean Conservation Science.  This spring, the company has released a cheek and eye shadow palette and is once again donating proceeds to help save the reefs (but this time, profits go to the Marine Conservation Institute).

The paper insert showing which colors go where is a nice touch:





With flash:


Buying a beautiful palette is a great way of contributing to saving the coral reefs, but there's also a pretty interesting art-based approach to help raise awareness for the reefs - the Hyperbolic Crochet Coral Reef project.  Run by the Institute for Figuring, the HCCR project is a participatory community art project that invites people to submit their own crocheted coral pieces to be displayed in galleries and museums worldwide.  You can read more about how it works here.

A couple of examples from various exhibitions - I think the second picture most resembles the coral seen on the Chantecaille palette:

(image from

(image form

So that's your dose of art/environmental activism for the day.  :)

While I love that Chantecaille comes out with these truly gorgeously designed palettes and that they donate a portion of the profits to good causes, I would like to see more than 5% go to those organizations.  I think a major company like Chantecaille could spare it.  Still, it's nice to see them donate anything, so I can't complain too much.  Also, this is one of those collectibles that I wish I could buy two of - one to use and one for the Museum.  The colors are so pretty and versatile.

What do you think about the palette and the HCCR project?

Shine on: Gems and jewels for the holidays, part 1

Whew boy, makeup companies just love putting crystals on stuff for the holidays/winter.  Because I can't figure out how to install a slideshow widget on the blog (I'm a little slow with technology,  sigh) here instead is a collage of some bedazzled offerings for the 2011 season.

Lise Watier Festive palette, Art Deco Forever Glam collection, Chantecaille Evening duo, and Lorac Bejeweled palette trio:

Crystals 2011 part 1
(images from,,, and

And this is just part one - there is more sparkle coming up!

What do you think of all this bling?  Tacky or tasteful?

Quick post: C is for crappy

Chantecaille's fall palette is disappointing in terms of design.  If you're just going to do a capital letter, at least make it an interesting font.  This looks like boring old Baskerville.

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Normally I don't mind a clean design, but this looks like a business card.  I think debossing letters works best on paper, not makeup.  Oh well.  I'm sure the quality is great, but this is not a museum piece.