Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Chantecaille Brilliant Gloss in Charisma, Review and Swatches

Once again I am forced to wipe egg off my face and admit there actually is a lip gloss I can stand to wear.

Chantecaille remains one of my favorite brands. It offers a wide range of options from soft, neutral colors to bold and bright, but the common thread throughout the product range is soft, layerable pigment. This fact polarizes makeup aficionados. Either people love the ability to start sheer and build up, or they complain that it isn't pigmented enough. I fall into the happy camp. I find this brand exceedingly kind to aging skin, including the iridescent eyeshadow formula, which is never frosty and clumpy. Coming from someone who gets dressed at dark o'clock each morning, I appreciate that it would be hard to overdo just about anything from this brand, so when light dawns, my face doesn't frighten away the birds.

Recently, I purchased several tubes of Chantecaille Brilliant Gloss ($32, 1 oz.), as well as the Pure Brilliance Trio. As I experimented with the gloss finishes, I found that some of the colors were barely tinted (such as Love and Charm), while still others packed a luscious punch of color. One favorite color is Allure, a deep, clear  raspberry with no shimmer, and the other is Charisma, a sheer, neutral-warm strawberry red.

Charisma has plenty of shine and a little bit of red and pink shimmer. I prefer zero shimmer, but since I can't feel it on my lips (no grit), it doesn't bother me that much and adds to the illusion of fuller lips, and my lips need all the help they can get.

Unlike most lip glosses, which come with a doefoot applicator, Chantecaille's Brilliant Gloss applicator has a synthetic brush, which is perfectly sized to fit within the lip borders and is neither too floppy nor too stiff. One draw from the tube provides plenty of pigment, so there's no need to double dip.

One dunk swatched on NW15 skin

The finish is a bit goopy, but it does not feel sticky (like MAC), and it sits quite comfortably on my lips with a cushiony, almost jelly-like feel. Yes, my hair would stick to it on a windy day. Oh, well.

This formula appears to be fragrance free, but initial application causes a tingle sensation. I guess the tingle comes from the ingredient called, "Flavor." If there is any "flavor" it is very subtle, maybe the tiniest hint of vanilla. According to Chantecaille's web site, this product contains wheat proteins (so caution to gluten-sensitive people), which are supposed to be lip plumping, but the only "plumping" I see is smoke & mirrors from added shine, which draws the light to my lips. Wear time on me is 2-3 hours.

Bottom line: Worth trying, especially if you love a cross between lip gloss and liquid lipstick.

Ingredients: Polybutene, Hydrogenated PolyDecene, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Silica, Hydrogenated Styrene/IsoPrene Copolymer, Propylparaben, Flavor, Ascorbyl Palmitate, Tocopheryl Acetate, Camellia Sinensis, Leaf Extract, Tetradibutyl Pentaerithrityl Hydroxyhydrocinnamate, Zea Mays (Corn) Oil, Dicalcium Phosphate. May contain Mica, Titainum Dioxide, Iron Oxides, Carmine, Red 6, Red 7 Lake, Red 30 Lake, Red 28 Lake, Yellow 5 Lake, Yellow 6 Lake, Blue 1 Lake, Eosine Y.

All photos taken by me except (1).


  1. I only have one of these-I think it's Charmed? but it's hands down my favourite lip gloss. It just feels so good on the lips! I want to get more of them. This shade looks lovely on you Zuzu!

    1. Thanks, Tracey, I am sure Charisma would look gorgeous on you, too. So do you prefer Brilliant Gloss over Chanel Glossimers?

  2. Beautiful shade! I just finally tried my first Lip Chic but that is the extent of my exploration into Chantecaille. I'll have to try a gloss one day! I really was interested in the cream blushes released for summer so we'll see. ;-)

    1. I don't know how you were able to hold yourself back! Palette d'Olivia has your name written all over it. Right under hers. :)

  3. Wow, this is gorgeous. I don't even know why I was asking you about Burberry when I still haven't taken the Chantecaille plunge. My gut tells me that once I enter the Chantecaille fold that it's all over for me!

    It's most interesting to see you starting to warm up to lip glosses, Zu. Of course, it certainly takes a hell of a lip gloss to take the place of no lip gloss at all for you! You know I'm a total sucker for lip glosses and lipsticks that behave like lip glosses-- so you have really gotten me to start considering Chantecaille more seriously!

    1. If you have access to a Chantecaille counter (I don'! I'd have to drive forever), do treat yourself to a look. The colors and finishes are so subtle. I bet you would adore the Palette d'Olivia, which is made of 7 eyeshadows and one blush, all cool toned.

    2. There are several Chantecaiile counters nearby-- including the one at my local Barneys. I still don't understand why they yanked the line from yours-- it just doesn't make much sense. I'm going to make a point to go play with the eye shadows and lip products! You might have to talk to Mr. S after the credit card bill comes in!! :D

    3. No doubt! I think much of the line is designed for Olivia, who is clearly cool toned. Lucky for us! Honestly, there are so few lines that cater to we chillers.

    4. So nice that there is such a great high quality line with us in mind. The eye shadows that are really capturing my attention are: Granite, Sel, & Meteorite. On the more dramatic end Tanzanite and Lapis. Lapis would be a gorgeous eyeliner-- it would be nice patted on top of RBR Vera eye kohl. Any direction would be great-- because I simply cannot afford to buy all 5!!

  4. Sel is the warmest of the trio you mentioned and, in fact, it is very much like the warm golden grey you'd see in raw sea salt. Granite is right up the middle of warmth/coolness (though it leans slightly cool) and it is such a gorgeous taupe color. I seriously would swatch both on the back of my hand on days I worked at home so I could look at them! I could not possibly suggest that you choose Granite over Meteorite--you will need to test for yourself and you might find you love both. I like Meteorite the best because it leans the coolest, and despite looking so dark in the pan, can be so easily layered.

    Another glorious color is Mica. It's harder to find, as sometimes Chante runs out and I fear it will be d/c, but I bought my last pan from Nordies, and I just verified it's in stock.

    Tanzanite is also gorgeous. Just ask Marcia. ;) I think she once said it was her favorite purple eyeshadow ever. It reminds me a little of Laura Mercier African Violet, but it's more creamy and pigmented.

    I think I once owned Lapis (or maybe it was Indigo), and gave it away as being too dramatic for me, but as a Winter, I bet it would look beautiful on your. Especially if your eyes are brown or green.

    Of all three formulas, my favorite is the Shine. It's not at all frosty, more glow.I tend to pat it onto the lid and then press/roll my fingertips onto the finish to get the microshimmers to lie flat.

    If you FORCED me to pick what I think might be your favorites, I'd say Metorite and Tanzanite, but keep Granite and Mica in the back of your mind. :)

    1. Thanks for such a thorough analysis. I am putting all of your suggested colors on my list, and rather then ordering them online sight unseen- I will head to a Chantecaille counter to actually play with all of the colors. Hopefully the ones that I really want all come in the just the refill pans so that I can save on the packaging and just pop them into one of my palettes instead. I saw swatches of nearly every color on Karla Sugar's blog, and OMG is Mica ever glorious. It seems to me that I am building up, rather than narrowing down my list of wants! :D Why or why must I consider adding another high end line onto my list of makeup obsessions!!

  5. Hi there! Love your blog and thank you for your healthy view on aging........... I am so there right now!!! I was recently draped a True Winter. I adore Chantecaille cosmetics and as a fellow "cool" sister I wondered if you might be able to tell me which Chantecaille eye and lip colors would work for me. I don't live anywhere near a counter and have to order everything online. Any help would be much appreciated! Best wishes and thanks for your lovely blog! Kristi

    1. Hi Kristi, thank you for the lovely comments. As a TW, you are definitely in luck with the Chantecaille brand. Though founder Sylvie Chantecaille (who was also the founder of Prescriptives), is warm toned, her daughter Olivia (the brand's main model) is almost surely a Winter, so you can get a very good idea how things might appear with your level of cool contrast by looking at her (though she does model the warmer palettes, like Turtles and Coral--and the camera makes her look good in everything).

      An excellent introduction into the brand's eyeshadow and blush is the Palette d'Olivia. Unfortunately, it continually goes in and out of stock (out now), but it is full of cool (and a couple cool-neutral) colors, some of which can be quite multitasking. For example, I used the Perle Shine Eye Shade (an ivory/pink shimmer) as both eyeshadow and cheek highlighter. I used the Peony (matte pink) eyeshadow to tone/cool down the Joy blush. If you click the Chantecaille label on this blog, you'll find a review of Perle somewhere, as well as other Chante favorites.

      I just had a look at the website to see what's currently available and made some recommendations below. Note that I have no idea what look you are going for, whether natural or dramatic. One of the nice things about Chantecaille eye and cheek shades is that the colors apply quite sheer, so you can layer to the level of intensity you want. If a natural look is what you want, this is your brand. If you're looking for deeply-pigmented contrast, you might be disappointed.

      In the following list, (p) after the color name means it was offered in the last Olivia palette I purchased, though sometimes the colors change slightly.

      Celestite (p)--dark charcoal, almost black but somewhat sheer
      Crystal--shimmery toned-down charcoal (more like charcoal ash)
      Lilac Rose--pearly lavender pink with some brightness (good for the movable lid)
      Mica--satin light blue-grey slate
      Peony (p)--matte soft pink
      Perle (p)--shimmery pale pinkQuartz (p)--shimmering flesh-toned light rose

      Don't be scared off Chantecaille's Shine and Iridescent shades. Not only are they NOT sparkly, a TW can carry off the icier finishes much better than I could ever do (my best finish is matte or satin).

      Colors to consider looking for on ebay and the like:

      Zinc (p)--sooty charcoal, lighter than Celestite but with a hint more brown
      Meteorite--reviewed on this blog. My PCA analyst used it on me. Try ebay.
      Nickel--a mid-toned cool grey
      Obsidian--black with plum undetones

      Colors to try in person if you can:

      Granite (p)--shimmery cool-neutral bronze that turned muddy on me.
      Marble--Seems very promising but I haven't tried it personally.
      Tanzanite (p)--mid-toned plum but it has (or had) subtle gold shimmer.
      Any of the palettes, unless you're a collector. There's always at least one shade that's too warm. But the pans pop out of the palette, so it might be worth it if you find a palette with at least 2 shades you love. You can safely skip Sharks, Coral, Tiger, and Horses. Bees looks interesting, if not for that gold pan. Les Fêtes Trio looks interesting, too, but I haven't seen it in person, so I can't recommend.

      It looks like the Chantecaille web site no longer sells eyeshadow in the compact, and their empty "Ma" palettes are ridiculously overpriced. You can use a UNII or Z palette, or if you want something a little smaller, I recommend buying empty Julie Hewett eyeshadow palettes from You can buy x1, x2, and x4 palettes, and I think they're around $8. They are made of ardboard but are very sturdy with a mirror inside, something the original Chante compacts never had. The JH compacts hold Chante pans perfectly.

      I've tried many Chantecaille blushes, most of which are no longer available. Joy was the best of the bunch, but it leaned slightly coral. My coloring requires something cooler and brighter, like Bobbi Brown Pale Pink.

    2. Who knew there was a word limit on comments. Sheesh.

      It's very difficult to make recommendations for lipsticks. Even among True Summers, we can have different results with color, even if it exactly matches a True Summer fan chip. This is because of our lip pigment and skin overtones. I haven't had the best luck with Chantecaille lip products, finding them too warm or sheer overall. Here are a few to consider:

      Lip Chic in Damask, Rose Delice Violetta, and Heirloom. Dahlia might be too muted and slightly too warm.
      Brilliant Lip Gloss in Berry. Allure was perfect but they discontinued it.
      There was also a Super Sheer Lipstick in Maia that might still be around ebay and the like.

      Since you can't test in person, I would recommend that you order from Nordstrom. They have free shipping and returns, and they don't require that you send makeup back untested.

      Other cool toned beauty bloggers to look at are Best Things in Beauty and Perilously Pale. I know the former has extensively reviewed Chantecaille products. She's a huge fan. If I've forgotten anyone, it's only because I haven't been as active as I once was.

      I hope this helps.

  6. Oh my goodness, thank you sooooo much!!! This is so helpful!!!! I am so excited now as I was so scared that Chantecaille might overall be too warm but this is wonderful news!

  7. Ok, a few more questions please....... what about the grey and navy shades in the shark palette and the cool toned looking taupe and navy blue in the tiger palette from Chantecaille for a true winter?

    1. I did not buy the Shark palette, but if I recall, the shades were nearly identical to Tiger in the Wild. Once I swiped away the golden overlay, I found the navy color to be rich but a little bright for me to use as a contour color. The taupe shade is stunning, but it is cool neutral, so I was unable to wear it. (My face tolerates zero warmth.) Unfortunately. So it really depends on how cool-neutral shades look on you.

      I regret not swatching it, but you can see some cool-toned blogger reviews here:

      Modesty Brown might be cool-neutral, as she certainly handles more warmth than I, but I cannot say for certain. You can see swatches of TitW on her blog.

      Here's Charleston Girl's review with limited swatches. I suspect she might be Light Summer, but it's hard to say.

      Lola of Lola's Secret Beauty Blog did not review Tiger in the Wild (that I could readily find), but she was analyzed as True Winter by Color Me Beautiful years ago. She could be an excellent resource for you, though I believe she is very comfortable wearing warm colors.

      In fact, I'm probably one of the few beauty bloggers who bought (with rare exception) only what I thought would look good on me. I slowed down on my blogging because I thought my limited view was becoming tiresome.


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