Chanel Neapolis: Poudre à Lèvres

chanel neapolis makeup collection review

A great surprise beauty find in a week of not so great surprises; the Poudre à Lèvres from the Chanel spring/summer Neapolis collection. Look, I’m going to just come out and say it: I don’t find Neapolis to be the most wearable of makeup collections. On paper I’m a fan – the colours look vibrant and utterly beautiful when you lay the products out, especially when they are all artfully arranged on the gorgeous press release, which is huge and shiny and virtually a coffee table book.

chanel neapolis makeup collection review


(There was also a Chanel newspaper in the press pack, which I found wildly impressive, for some reason. We’ve touched on this before, but there’s something about Chanel’s branding that gets me really hot under the collar. In my garage I have a Chanel exercise ball, in my beauty cupboard I have some Chanel cotton wool pads, in my desk drawer, a Chanel pencil. If anyone ever tried to remove them, gently or forcibly, from my possession, I think that there would be blood shed).

chanel neapolis makeup collection review

Where was I? Colours. They look amazing on paper, but if I try to wear vibrant things upon my face I end up looking like Bobo the Clown. And so it was a nope for the lovely green and blue eyeshadows, especially when worn in conjunction with some of the brighter lip offerings, and even the dark-teal eyeliner made me feel a bit too circus-y once I had a summery red on my lips. The nail polishes were pleasingly opaque and reasonably long-lasting – great summer shades (although be wary of the yellow one which doesn’t look too good against a pale, pinkish skin-tone) and a lovely glossy finish.

chanel neapolis poudre a levres

But it was the Poudre à Lèvres that turned out to be my pick of the bunch; a soft, almost weightless lip balm to moisturise and prep the lips, coupled up inside its little compact with a bold, hot-red powder to be pressed on over the top.

chanel neapolis poudre a levres

I love both the concept and real-life results of this lip powder, which is surprising because a) I hate mess, and the quickest and best way to apply this lip duo is with a fingertip, which unavoidably gets stained with red powder and b) I am usually all about the lip-liner, to save my disappearing lip-line, and this is an effect diametrically opposed to the diffused, blurred finish of the Poudre à Lèvres.

chanel neapolis poudre a levres

The finish is just so soft and beautiful. Perhaps the press release, with photographs of a hot and dusty Naples, made me unusually sentimental because I kept imagining that I was a painter pressing pigment into a canvas, or that the vivid red powder was some sort of rudimentary cosmetic and that I was a Roman maiden, painstakingly making up her face. (Blatantly I need to work more on keeping focus during work hours and not allowing my imagination to run away with me!)

chanel poudre a levres

The balm, which is so light and non-greasy as to be almost matte, provides the perfect base to fix the powder into place whilst allow it some movement for blending and patting out. It’s also possible to build up colour easily, creating a velvet-finish lip stain, should you want a bit more than the wash of colour that I personally prefer. It’s true that you can get a similar look by pat-patting on a matte or semi-matte lipstick, but I do think that the powder gives a less uniform finish. It’s just dusty and romantic and beautiful and I find the process quite charming.

chanel neapolis makeup collection review

I have Rossa Pomeiano, which is the brightest of the three shades available. It’s £31 from Selfridges here* – obviously not an everyday staple, this one, but if you’re enthusiastic about makeup and want to give something new a try. I love how Lucia Pica (Chanel’s makeup director) keeps everyone on their toes when the new collections launch – there’s always something a bit different and novel. I suppose the flip-side is always going to be that some items will be less universally appealing, or perhaps more difficult to wear or use, but Chanel have so many excellent makeup staples in their permanent collection that it’s a breath of fresh air when they play about with the limited editions…

(The wonderful optimistic yellow shirt is from Marks & Spencer here* – £25.)

© 2018 A Model Recommends®: all opinions are my own and any sponsored or paid posts will always be clearly marked as an AD in the title. I accept press samples and receive product and services to review as part of my job. *Outbound links are affiliate links, which means that I receive a very small percentage of any sale made. This does not affect my content in any way and does not cost you anything, but you are most welcome to Google the products on a new page if you prefer. Please see here for full "about" section and disclaimer. A Model Recommends and Ruth Crilly are registered trademarks.



  1. February 22, 2018 / 6:29 pm

    I can imagine this would look so pretty on many skintones and I love the concept. A great one for Spring / summer

  2. Alexandra
    February 22, 2018 / 8:18 pm

    God, i adore what Lucia Pica is doing with Chanel Beauty. The products look stunning (on their own and on you).

  3. Justyna
    February 23, 2018 / 1:15 am

    You look like Marie Antoinette from Sophia Coppola movie, especially on the last photo. The colours, the hair, the make-up, the mood… I love it! It’s the most useless comment, but whatever… Let them eat cake!

    • Maja
      February 24, 2018 / 5:49 pm
    • Maja
      February 24, 2018 / 5:49 pm

      It’s the best comment, it’s so true!

  4. Julie
    February 23, 2018 / 5:22 am

    Yes Ruth you are looking very lovely ! Warm thoughts from Boston……

  5. Gosia
    February 23, 2018 / 7:10 am

    I love it. I bought mine in Rosa Tempera, which is unusually bright and light for me. The finish is very soft and elegant, as opposed to many matte lipsticks offerings.

  6. J
    February 23, 2018 / 8:14 am

    Meh. I used to do this with Vaseline and a god awful bright red blush my mum had when I was too young to own lipstick haha.

  7. February 23, 2018 / 7:45 pm

    I tried to recreate the look the model is wearing for a video of mine and it looked horrendous on me. Clown like is a great way to put it. Stuck in the 80s was another thought that came to my mind. Somehow it never looks like that on the models in the ads.

  8. Bella
    February 25, 2018 / 8:00 am

    I used to be able to buy entire Chanel seasonal collections and use everything. This is the so manieth collection I am skipping in its entirety. I yearn for Chanel to come up with something new but wearable again. I am a busy working mom and I don’t have time to take 5 minutes to apply a lip stain and end up with dirty fingers…

  9. RenePineur
    February 27, 2018 / 7:47 am

    Ruth Crilly, thank you for this post. Its very inspiring.

  10. Kate B
    March 1, 2018 / 2:58 pm

    Ruth, this is a great post, as usual. I just wanted to say that I have the dark teal cream eyeshadow (the one in the pot) and it’s actually less ludicrous than it would initially seem! I’ve actually taken to pressing a bit into my lash line, top and bottom (just a tiny bit on the bottom, blended quite a bit), and then covering it on top with black winged liquid eyeliner. The result is that you can see a bit of the blue, but it’s blended out and mellowed by the liquid liner. I just paired it with a cool-toned nude lip and it actually looked quite nice. I never thought I’d be the kind of person to wear blue eyeshadow but I genuinely quite like it.

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