Dubbed Vision D’Asie: L’Art Du Detail, the Chanel's latest Spring makeup collection is the result of a trip through Japan and South Korea which Pica undertook with her friend, photographer Haley Weir.
“We became fully immersed in the details of these places, more so than the landscapes,” says Pica. “Asian culture is so attentive to details and you see this in Haley’s work too. I love how she can transform something that feels quite ordinary into something extraordinary. The way she takes pictures, everything looks like a modern art painting.”
Taking inspiration from the fleeting colours and textures of commonplace objects and scenes captured through Weir’s lenses – glinting fish scales, an urban sunset, neon city lights – Pica crafted a collection that transposes them into makeup. “It’s really about finding beauty in the moments of everyday life,” she says.
Not only does the collection feature vivid but classy shades (along with some subtle, gentle ones too), it has a range of textures and finishes, from gloss and metallic to powder and cream.
“I like bold colours but I also tend to pair them with textures that are wearable and lightweight. This way, you have strength and power but you can also feel comfortable. They’re bold but easy to use, which goes very well with our lifestyles.”
Here, she tells us about some of the stand-outs and how to use them.
Rouge Allure Liquid Powder in #962 Electric Blossom
“I think many Asian women find orange shades like this quite difficult to wear. That’s why I put pink undertone in it so it’s not too yellowish and gave it this neon quality that works very well on Asian skin,” explains Pica.
Her tip: Use an eyeshadow blending brush to paint it onto lips. This creates a blurred, diffused look that’s soft and flattering, and you won’t need to worry too much about keeping the colour neatly within the lip line.
Alternatively, layer it over brown or nude lipstick to tone down the pop-orange to a more corally shade.
Ombre Premiere Crème in #840 Platine Bronze
This metallic cream eyeshadow was inspired by the scales on fish that Pica saw at a market. And don’t worry – it’s not as intense as it looks.
“It goes on quite translucent and has got tiny particles of sparkle and a balm texture, so it’s really a light reflector,” explains Pica. “It actually feels really nice on eyelids and won’t crease or travel down to lashes. I like to use it on its own as a wash of colour all over the eyelids to create a shiny, glassy effect. You can also layer it over gold eyeshadow for more sparkle if you’re doing an evening look.”
In fact, you can also use it as a base under khaki and taupe eyeshadow to intensify them and add more dimensions.
Les 9 Ombres Edition No. 2 in Quintessence
This eyeshadow palette offers soft, muted shades like beige, champagne and gold-green as well as a few strong ones like brick red and deep petrol blue. Though the nine colours come in a range of shimmer, high-shine, matte and cream textures, they are designed for easy layering and blending to create a variety of looks.
The dusty greenish-blue eyeshadow, for instance, is highly pigmented and has a cream-powder formula that allows it to be used as an eyeliner too. It can be paired with the palette’s beige tones to create depth, or applied on the outer corner of eyes as an accent. At the same time, the dark brown, red and platinum shades boast a new cream-to-velvet texture to deliver strong colour while being smooth and blendable.
Pica says: “The colours and textures are very supportive of one another. I always think of how to make the colours more wearable when I’m creating them.”
A photo that captured the light at a particular moment gave Pica the idea to create this gel-balm stick which comes in two variants – Transparent and Sculpting.
The Baume Essentiel Transparent is a clear, subtly pearlised formula that’s a good option for those who want a natural finish. “It’s an illuminating and hydrating balm that’s a cross between skincare and makeup. And what I like about it is that when you put it on, it just looks like your skin is naturally glowing. It’s very soothing and you can even use it on the plane when skin gets dry,” says Pica.
Her preference is to use it as an everyday product, before applying concealer. “It can go onto cheeks, over the eyes and on lips. Even if you do a look where you just wear a lot of mascara and a bold, matte lip, you can use this to add a bit of shine to eyes,” she says.
As for the Baume Essentiel Sculpting, that has a slightly deeper peachy tone and a more sparkly finish.
Pica’s advice is to buff it onto skin with the retractable brush (sold separately) that was made specifically for it to achieve an imperceptible finish with no streak lines. For a more glowy look a la Korean glass skin, apply and blend with fingers.
“Even though it has sparkles, the particles so fine and the balm spreads so thin that you won’t see the sparkles sitting on your skin,” she says. “Their balm texture also means both these highlighters are more forgiving on dry or mature skin as they won’t cake around lines. They’re suitable for all age groups, really.”