Chanel’s Lucia Pica will make you reconsider so many things: the bangs you once talked yourself out of, black latex pencil skirts, the time it takes to do your “face” and the antiquated makeup notion that unless we’re painting nails and lips, avoid red.
The new Global Creative Designer for Makeup and Color at Chanel introduced her first collection last Thursday in London — Le Rouge #1 — and right away, it broke the red cardinal rule. Red bled from the center of lips, lined models’ eyes and cherried up cheeks in spots where we’re now so used to seeing bronzer or highlighter.
I imagine Coco Chanel would have been pleased. To her, red was the ultimate sign of sensuality and femininity. Pica took inspiration from Chanel’s interpretation of the color, but pulled a great majority of tonal references from the off-beat: mushrooms and melting wax, “ginger” hair, naked women. It was gloriously strange — the 2016 woman’s refreshed perception of glamour.
“I often talk about deconstructed glamour,” she told me after the presentation. “I do want to look glamorous, and I do want to look polished, but there’s a modernity” — a word she makes fun of but notes we’ve yet to come up with a better one — “that comes with being relaxed about the way you look. Relaxed in terms of texture and in terms of application. Yes to beautiful skin — add coverage, but not too much. Your makeup should look like it’s part of you.”
Pica believes in using makeup to express yourself the same way we use clothes — no use in following a prescription to look like someone else.
“There’s something beautiful about everyone,” she said. “Makeup should be about enhancing that beauty.”
(If you’re shocked and possibly terrified that red is the enhancer, trust me, I was, too. But then she did my makeup.)
“Take the pressure off,” she told me. Around the eyes especially, it’s not about perfect, sharp lines. “Start with a bit, smudge and blend, then add more if you want.” The collection, which has taupe and brown undertones, really isn’t so scary once you start to see how red makes features…sorry for the beauty word here: pop.
As for the answer to why Chanel, a French brand, would present in London? For Lucia Pica, it’s home — and a place to draw deeper inspiration from. She moved to London from Naples years ago to pursue her career and stayed for the encouraging atmosphere. “There was an individualism that I was interested in,” she said of the city, “And it’s one that I still believe in.”
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Top five must-know beauty tricks
+When using a pencil or liquid eyeliner, I run it through the lashes, right at the roots, for solid and intense definition.
+I love to use Chanel Rouge Allure lipsticks for a stained lip (Rouge Noir is my favorite). They are highly pigmented so even a little patted on with your finger is enough to create an impact. Also, its hydrating texture means the color can penetrate the lip properly so it almost becomes a memory of a lipstick rather than looking too done.
+To really intensify the color and texture of a bold lip, I’ll sometimes dust a bright, matte pigment onto of the lipstick with a soft blending. It creates a dramatic effect.
+When applying a foundation base, if you find you have overdone it a little with the coverage, you can always pair it back and freshen the look by massaging a little moisturizer onto the cheeks and any areas of thick coverage. This will bring a feeling of ‘realness’ back into the skin.
Top five must-have beauty products:
+Chanel Stylo Yeux Waterproof ‘Eros’ (Ed note: When I asked Lucia Pica what the one question no one ever asks her is, and what the answer would be, she said: Q: What makes your eyes so bright? A: Eros.)
+Cold pressed organic rosehip oil
+Exfoliating face wipes used as a lip scrub
Top five things to keep in your wardrobe
The collection launches July 1st on Chanel.com and all Chanel department and specialty stores. Follow Lucia Pica on Instagram @luciapicaofficial and Chanel on Instagram @chanelofficial. Image courtesy of Chanel.