First look: Chanel's Collection Libre makeup

First look: Chanel's Collection Libre makeup

Lion's share

Text: Renée Batchelor

Chanel's new Collection Libre brings a new brand talisman to prominence

Wild creatures are always easy prey. From Kenzo's tiger to Cartier's panthère there's a reason that luxury houses tap on these powerful, lithe and feral cats as their brand symbols. Although it is more closely associated with the camellia — you'll find it on tweed jackets and accessories galore — Chanel presents another, lesser-used symbol of the house: The lion."By pinpointing and intensely researching a classic symbol of the house, I'm able to invest those existing images and ideas with new energy and spirit," explains Lucia Pica, the director of makeup.

The lion head is embossed onto key products in the range, including powder shadows and a face powder, making them instant collectibles. Not for shrinking violets or tamer creatures, there is a certian power to these makeup products. Says Pica, "The woman who wears Maximalisme de Chanel doesn't hide, she loves being looked at. She treats makeup almost like she would an accessory — an adornment that brings subtle drama to the mix without necessarily drawing attention to itself. She chooses between products to create striking oppositions."

Lily-Rose Depp models the more is more aesthetic of Collection Libre

The star product is surely the gold-toned leonine face palette, that's very Crazy Rich Asians in its more is more aesthetic — albeit done the stylish, Chanel way. In the curated collection of eyeshadows, that range from a soft copper powder shadow, called Cuirve Lamé  to a sophisticated khaki green called Vert Lamé. These lush, metallic textures feel rich and empowering... one senses that wearing these will take some amount of derring-do.

The rest of the collection is restrained but elegant. Standouts for us include the iridescent blend of dragonfly wing-inspired metallics in the Le Vernis in Opulence and the La Palette Caractère, a limited lip palette with rich, pigmented cream colours. The palette has such a fresh selection of colours — we seriously love the shades that range from orange to coral to mauve — that any lip look seems a possibility.

$48- $110. Available from 25 October at Chanel makeup boutiques