I’m proud to say that I’ve had the privilege of meeting Lucia Pica in person. As Chanel’s Global Creative Make up and Colour Designer, she’s responsible for every makeup collection each season; and since she joined the house four years ago, her work has been nothing but stellar (red eyeshadow and lip powders are thanks to her!). For Fall/Winter 2019, Lucia gets inspired by Chanel’s famous code of black and white, and she designs an entire makeup collection around these two colours.
It may at first sound risky and certainly against the norm to shun away from colours for any makeup range, but Lucia actually does none of that, and creates products that are both wearable and innovative at the same time. I speak to her on this new collection and the ways to use the various products.
the beautiful box packaging for the noir et blanc collection
Why a makeup collection in black and white?
Lucia: Black and white for me is very much the essence of Chanel. So they are the colours that represent especially Gabrielle Chanel herself and her life. Black and white was almost everywhere in her life — in the interiors and of course in the clothes that she made. So they’re very much the pillar colours of Chanel. But for me, they are a starting point. So they’re the starting point of the house, but also, I wanted to talk about the city of Paris, which I find very black and white. I find it a very monochromatic city, and I thought I could find inspiration in it. And also, I wanted to play on the light and shadow. So what this colour represents to me is a sort of like a mixture of light and shadow, and I wanted to look at what’s right beneath these two colours.
So we’re talking about black and white of course, and we’re going to have some black and white colours in the collection — and they are the staples. We’re also going to discover what’s right underneath; so what’s under the black. For me, I imagine Rouge Noir; I imagine dark, dark brown. I imagine a grey. I imagine like the bronze of the black in this sort of light that hits the water in a black and white photograph, taking this feeling of sparkle and luminosity, and so it inspires me to do the same tactic. For instance, I wear the top coat in bronze, which is a sparkling, translucent top coat.
Black and white for me, is just the beginning of this collection. I can, for instance, use these two colours on the nails; I can use them on the eyeliners which you know, can be easy to use. But I can also use them in a transparent texture for a top coat that can add some shine on top of other eyeshadows — some from the collection or not from the collection — or it can be used on its own to give this idea of luminosity on the face. But I also wanted the collection to feel quite wearable. And it’s not about not having colours, but it’s about having those colours almost like just in-between.
Are black and white colours?
Lucia: It’s quite mysterious, really. Well, generally speaking, one is seen as the absence of colour, and one is seen as the one that contains every colour. I think we could see it through this collection, we can see it as a start point.
How to use Le Gel Pailleté?
Lucia: I would apply it on the décolletage, on the arms, and maybe a little bit on the high cheekbones so it kind of adds this very, very, very subtle sparkle that would reflect light but in a very subtle way. It’s all very mysterious, not obvious. The texture is light; you can use it on the face. And it does dry to a very moisturising texture.
How to use black makeup?
Lucia: You should try and definitely use the Rouge Obscur lipstick [a deep burgundy] and then put black lip gloss on top. And then put a little bit of balm on your eyes. You know, the Baume Essentiel transparent, with the white top coat. And it’s a very, very beautiful, sophisticated, interesting, natural look. You’re gonna have this transparent see-through finish, almost like glitter, but it’s so fine, a sophisticated type of glitter. I’ve been trying it on a lot of people and I really, really like that look.
What are the top coats for eyes?
Lucia: The top coats can be used on their own [as eyeshadow] because they have this really interesting texture. It’s almost like between a wet and dry texture and it’s very transparent. So if you want a really soft velour of shine on your eyes, you can use them on their own. I sometimes like to put them right on top of the balm, but also, very very interestingly used on the (…), which is a creamy, velvelty nude texture. You use that one, you can make nice colours together, you can use one at a time, two at a time, and then put the top coat on top. And then it will add a lot of shine and they will sort of like set it a little bit.
Why no black and white lipstick?
Lucia: Because I mean, do you want to wear white on your lips? I wouldn’t wear black, but I thought it’s better to do black in a transparent texture so it’s easier to use. In a way, I was thinking about what would be a black and white colour on the lips. And you know when black and white photographs are made, it’s almost like I was looking at a red lipstick. And it gives you that sort of like non-colour, almost like a grey colour. But when you look at a black and white photograph, it looks that way — the lipstick, it looks like a shade of black. And I think for me, doing this rosewood pink or deep plum rouge-like colour but not too much red to it, it would almost be reproducing this effect. But of course I want people to wear it. I didn’t want to be a theatrical collection, I want the black and white to reach everybody’s daily life. And I’m wearing it every day. I like to wear dark colours a lot on my lips.
Favourite products from the collection:
Lucia: Oh, I have a few. One of my favourites is the Noir Suprême eyeshadow palette. Second favourite is Rouge Obscur lipstick. Third favourite is Laque Noire [Rouge Coco Gloss]. I have a fourth favourite as well — I like the Carte Blanche Top Coat. I like the Pénombre Top Coat as well; too many favourites! Too many favourites but it’s five out of sixteen. Not too bad. Out of sixteen, only five favourites.
The products that will be most popular:
Lucia: I don’t know; it’s very hard to say to be honest. I don’t like to think about that too much. I want to be surprised and I want to see what the people are reacting to so I can learn from that as well. When I did my first collection, it was so surprising that you know a lot of people really, really went for the red eyeshadow and the red eyeliner and they were my favourites. I didn’t think they were difficult to wear, but I thought maybe people would find it difficult to wear. But in fact, it was very well-received. So I’m hoping for this one as well.
Challenges with a black and white collection:
Lucia: The thing is, I don’t actually think there is a void of colour. There’s like a different approach to colour. It’s just not bright, and it’s not colours that are perhaps expected or conventional. It’s more in the gradation of them. You have colour. You have Rouge Noir on the eye, you have brown, you have grey, you have bronze. You have Rouge Allure [Liquid Powders] for the lips in beige and a rosewood. So I would say there are quite a few colours. And then there is of course the black and white.
A MAKEUP COLLECTION IN
BLACK AND WHITE
above: le gel pailleté – limited edition, $64
above: les 4 OMBRES 334 modern GLAMOUR, $94
above: OMBRE PREMIÈRE TOP COAT 317 CARTE BLANCHE – LIMITED EDITION, $55
above: OMBRE PREMIÈRE TOP COAT 327 PÉNOMBRE – LIMITED EDITION, $55
above: STYLO YEUX WATERPROOF 949 BLANC GRAPHIQUE, $38
above: LE VOLUME ULTRA 90 NOIR INTENSE – LIMITED EDITION, $54
above: ROUGE COCO GLOSS 814 CRYSTAL CLEAR – LIMITED EDITION, $48 / shaz wearing the lip gloss
above: ROUGE COCO GLOSS 816 LAQUE NOIRE – LIMITED EDITION, $48 / amelia wearing the lip gloss
above: ROUGE ALLURE VELVET EXTREME 128 ROSE NOCTURNE – LIMITED EDITION, $52 / amelia wearing the lipstick
above: ROUGE ALLURE VELVET EXTREME 130 ROUGE OBSCUR, $52 / shaz wearing the lipstick
above: ROUGE ALLURE LIQUID POWDER 974 TIMELESS, $52 / shaz wearing the liquid lip powder
above: ROUGE ALLURE LIQUID POWDER 978 BOIS DE NUIT, $52 / amelia wearing the liquid lip powder
above: LE VERNIS 711 PURE WHITE – LIMITED EDITION, $40
above: LE VERNIS 713 PURE BLACK – LIMITED EDITION, $40
The Chanel Fall-Winter 2019 Makeup Collection Noir et Blanc is available from 11 July at chanel fragrance and beauty boutiques, and from 19 july at all chanel fragrance and beauty counters.
le gel pailleté – limited edition, $64
les 4 OMBRES 332 NOIR SUPREME – LIMITED EDITION, $94
les 4 OMBRES 334 modern GLAMOUR, $94
OMBRE PREMIÈRE TOP COAT 317 CARTE BLANCHE – LIMITED EDITION, $55
OMBRE PREMIÈRE TOP COAT 327 PÉNOMBRE – LIMITED EDITION, $55
STYLO YEUX WATERPROOF 949 BLANC GRAPHIQUE, $38
LE VOLUME ULTRA 90 NOIR INTENSE – LIMITED EDITION, $54
ROUGE COCO GLOSS 814 CRYSTAL CLEAR – LIMITED EDITION, $48
ROUGE COCO GLOSS 816 LAQUE NOIRE – LIMITED EDITION, $48
ROUGE ALLURE VELVET EXTREME 128 ROSE NOCTURNE – LIMITED EDITION, $52
ROUGE ALLURE VELVET EXTREME 130 ROUGE OBSCUR, $52
ROUGE ALLURE LIQUID POWDER 974 TIMELESS, $52
ROUGE ALLURE LIQUID POWDER 978 BOIS DE NUIT, $52
LE VERNIS 711 PURE WHITE – LIMITED EDITION, $40
LE VERNIS 713 PURE BLACK – LIMITED EDITION, $40