I was in a beauty conundrum. I wanted a lip colour that looked like, well, a colour. I am a YLBB (Your Lips But Better) woman at the best of times so this was indeed a challenge. My daughters are so brave and always sporting bright fun lippies and while I love colour, I just felt like they made me look old, weird and clownish. Not for moi. Chanel came to the rescue awhile back with their Rouge Coco Shine line, which is balm-like and basically gorgeous. All colours can be applied without a mirror (check), don’t settle into lines or bleed (check) and condition your lips (check). So I wandered up to the Chanel counter with high hopes and was not disappointed.

I had seen the pic above from Carolina Herrera on Beauty Editor  and had become obsessed with a slightly grape-y lip. Clinique Black Honey, you’re thinking! For some reason, that shade just doesn’t work on me. A tad too dark? I dunno, but it’s not me. As soon as I said SLIGHTLY grape-y, the Chanel SA grabbed Bel Ami. I recoiled as it looks so dark and suspiciously like ACTUAL LIPSTICK in the tube but, lo and behold, I loved it. It is perfect. I feel like a real laydee now, with a (sort of) lipstick to call my very own.

Chanel Rouge Coco Shine Bel Ami


Bel Ami swatched lightly on lower left, more heavily on upper right

I love the lipstick and Chanel trivia behind the name Bel Ami. Coco Chanel’s modiste career started with her hat-making and really bloomed when theatre actress Gabrielle Dorziat wore her designs in the Noziere play “Bel Ami” in 1912. If you haven’t seen the movie “Coco Avant Chanel” with the divine Audrey Tatou, you simply must.

Gabrielle Dorziat in “Bel Ami” and her Chanel chapeau…
Chanel, Chanel Rouge Coco Shine, Chanel Rouge Coco Shine Bel Ami, lip balm, lipstick