CHANEL’S MAKEUP MASTERMINDS

Byline: Kerry Diamond

NEW YORK — Some special guests were in attendance at the Chanel Beaute breakfast held last week to launch the company’s products for fall 2000: Dominique Moncourtois and Heidi Morawetz, the creative masterminds behind Chanel cosmetics.
For 20 years, the duo has worked together at Creation Maquillage — Chanel’s international makeup studio on Rue Duphot in Paris — where they head the small team that develops many of the products introduced by Chanel each season.
The two were in town to talk about the new cosmetics for fall, including their latest creation, Lumiere Platine, or Platinum Face Powder, which was unveiled at the beauty breakfast. This limited-edition item is a dome of baked, pressed powder that imparts a shimmery finish to the skin. Launching in August, it will retail for $40.
“We were inspired by the new generation of pigments from our suppliers that can be used on lips, eyes and cheeks,” said Moncourtois, who looks more like a French pop star than a mad makeup scientist. “We feel that silver and platinum are in the air.”
Lumiere Platine is the “star product” in the fall lineup. In 1998, Chanel began declaring one limited edition product each season as the “star of the show.”
“It’ll be worth a fortune on eBay next year,” predicted Jean Hoehn Zimmer- man, Chanel’s executive director of marketing and sales. Morawetz looked perplexed behind her dramatic kohl-rimmed eyes and chic bangs. “What’s eBay?” she asked.
She obviously prefers developing products to surfing the Web. The creative teams in Paris and New York developed more than 8,650 references last year alone.
So what else is new from Chanel? Gemstones, another limited edition product, is a compact that features a gloss for lips and cheeks on one side and a cream powder for eyes and face on the other. It will launch in August and retail for $47.50.
Matte is back, but Chanel’s Velvet Cream Lipstick is not the matte of the last millennium, noted Annette Falso, Chanel’s vice president of product development. “You don’t get that dry feel from this,” she said, handing over the rich Velvet Rouge shade as an example. The $21 lipstick, available in four shades, will hit counters in August.
Line Perfector Face Pencil, coming in August and priced at $22.50, fills in lines and can be used under foundation. Also hitting stores that month is Drama Lash Mascara, a lengthening and thickening formula with a special brush that has stiff fibers on the tip for combing and separating and soft fibers in the back for complete coverage. It will retail for $20.
Chanel also has tapped into the natural-looking foundation trend with three products: Multi-Vitamin Natural Makeup SPF 15, $35; Natural Finished Pressed Powder, $40; and a foundation brush, $32.50. All three will launch in October.