I entered the Chanel Beauty boutique at ION Orchard one day, curious about the brand’s blotting papers that I’d only seen online.
A look of surprise flitted over the beauty advisor’s face when I asked about them, which made me think they were probably somewhat obscure in Chanel’s extensive beauty repertoire. A cheery “We only brought in three pieces!” only confirmed this.
Well, that settled it then. The limited quantity, together with my interest already piqued by the print, meant that I left the store with a little white bag. ;)
Made in Japan, this product comprises a trio of parts: a booklet of blotters, a mirrored case and a velveteen pouch.
The blotter booklet nestles nicely in the classy case, slipping into a special slot to sit snugly inside. It contains 150 blotting pages, each measuring 5.3 cm by 8.5 cm.
The slew of interlaced ‘C’s emblazoned across every sheet are so extra but they lend luxury and a touch of whimsy to an otherwise functional, and often unexciting, product.
Each fancy folio tears cleanly off the petite pad, but the binding is secure enough not to loosen the leaves. The sheer sheets feel finer in texture than their conventional counterparts but maintain a traditional flair with their translucent, peach-toned hue.
These thin blotting papers—matte on one side and glossy on the other—easily remove sebum and moisture without disturbing makeup.
I was outdoors for some time on a particularly sunny day, causing my face to become oily, and damp with perspiration. Two sheets managed to control the excessive shine. They didn’t instantly mattify my skin then but lifted enough unwanted oil and moisture to leave me with a subtle glow. I’d expected my makeup to smear but gentle pats with them actually helped to smooth out the unevenness of my base makeup created by the heat and humidity.
On regular days, they usually give me shine-free results without drying out my skin, patting off facial oilies for a velvety finish.
Of course, your mileage may vary; reviews are varied on Makeup Alley but I have to refute the one that says they don’t absorb anything—mine clearly turn almost-transparent after use.
The integrated mirror, a convenient and much-welcome inclusion, extends the function of the case: I like how it can become a lightweight portable mirror even after the blotters are used up.
The holder, made of hard paper, is wrapped in a black faux leather material with a matte finish, reminiscent of a stationery folder found in a hotel guest room.
Its almost-rubbery surface makes it susceptible to scratches and makeup prints, and although it closes without snagging or crumpling the sheets, their sides are exposed.
These issues are easily rectified, however, by keeping it in the protective pouch where it fits vertically. Similar to the ones that hold Chanel makeup compacts, this velveteen pouch has a tendency to attract fluff. It’s also a little plusher, adding bulk to the blotters.
That said, it is a necessary accessory to prevent unwanted scuffs and marks.
In Singapore, these chic sheets retail at S$49. I’m probably mad for purchasing them. Are they necessary? No. Are there cheaper alternatives? Absolutely. But if you want something a little luxe and desire a Chanel beauty collectible of sorts, this is something to look at.
So here’s a fashion sojourn:
Some believe that the logotype came from Coco Chanel’s initials; “Coco” being the affectionate nickname of the grande dame, whose birth name was Gabrielle Bonheur Chanel. Although it makes sense, I found this to be the most simplistic explanation behind the celebrated ‘C’s.
Others think it was influenced by the initials of the Château de Crémat, a castle in Nice with a fine vineyard, where Coco attended parties hosted by Irène Bretz, her American socialite friend.
Then there is the romantic interpretation—that the intertwined ‘C’s represent Coco and Capel.
Coco fell in love with Arthur “Boy” Capel, an English polo player and politician, on an equestrian excursion in 1909.
An affair that spanned 10 years (he passed away in an automobile accident 1919), Coco declared that she had lost everything after his death. Yet she went on to create, and famously elevate from the milieu of mourning, the little black dress.
Paying homage to her past, the Chanel Spring/Summer 2020 show was replete with images from her cloistered childhood at the convent.
And segueing back into makeup…the double ‘C’s were trademarked in 1924—the same year the first collections of Chanel powders and lipsticks were launched. 🖤