The Sample: NEW Chanel Joues Contraste Powder Blush in 72 Rose Initiale (Review, Swatches & Photos)

10 Jul

I almost didn’t type this review out and was just going to leave you with pictures–because honestly, what is there to say when you’re looking at something that gorgeous?!  Trust me when I say you cannot live without this–especially if you are a.) a lover or collector of Chanel blushes, b.) adore pretty (such an understatement) pink  blushes, or c.) are a living, breathing human being. I kid you not–this is some pretty serious stuff. And, it’s my first ever Chanel blush. Hurray for me! I personally don’t think I could have made a better decision to break my Joues Contraste cherry.

Released as part of the Fall 2012 Les Essentiels de Chanel Collection (yes, we’ve gone over this. In the fashion and beauty world, styles are always a season ahead–like it or not), Chanel describes Rose Initiale as: ”[a] Unique powder blusher [that] offers buildable coverage, from natural to dramatic, and imparts a flattering radiance to cheeks. [the] Remarkably silky texture ensures easy application of seamless colour. Applied high on the cheekbone, or near the eyes, it instantly ‘lifts’ and softens the face for a more youthful look.”

Originally, my plan when I made the trip to Nordstrom was to acquire the new Beiges highlighter instead (I was trying to limit myself to one item from the Fall collection…didn’t work out so well. But 2 ain’t half bad! :P). Anyway, I was kinda meh about the highlighter. In my opinion, it just wasn’t luminous enough–instead, all it seems to add is a soft, slightly powdery beige-y color. Nothing special really, especially after the overspray has gone. So I was disappointed for a millisecond…that is, until I swatched Rose Initiale. Thank you Lord–for this blush is truly sublime.

The packaging is your basic black plastic compact–and yes, prone to fingerprints like they are wont to do. It’s sturdy though and comes with the little push-button mechanism to secure the lid in place. There is an accompanying brush, but I honestly don’t like it and would never use it. $43 for a blush and that’s the best they could do? The Shiseido powders come with a very amazing, very usable brush and costs $13 less. The first time I used the brush (just for my blended swatches on my arm), it shed 3 hairs onto my skin. I guess most people don’t use the brushes provided in compacts anyway, but if I’m paying that much for a product, I think the least they could do is give you a usable one.

Click image to enlarge (which I highly suggest doing–you will be delighted by the subtle shimmer closeup)


Based on a lot of photos online, I was under the impression that Rose Initiale was just another rosy-pink blush–pretty, but in a sea of other pretty pink blushes, I couldn’t muster much enthusiasm for it. But honestly, if you felt/feel the same way I did, you have to please do me a favor and swatch it in person before making a final decision. It’s just glorious on the skin! It’s so soft, yet dense–I wouldn’t call it buttery, but it’s so smooth and silky. And the color–my god, the color!!! It’s insanely divine. It’s the prettiest rosy petal-pink but I swear it leans on the warmer side and (in my eyes) has a faint touch of peach that just really takes it up a notch. It really works to brighten and enliven the skin. There is an incredibly subtle gold shimmer to this blush that provides a luminous, lit-from-within glow rather than being overtly shimmery.

I will say, however, that the blush is a tad on the powdery side. When I dip my brush in the pan, there is a shower of powder that gets all over the place–and there is a lot of it! Kind of a shame. Other than that, the blush is easy to apply and blends beautifully. It’s very fine-milled and feels very light on the skin. Like the other blushes in the Joues Contraste line, Rose Initiale is lightly rose-scented. The scent is not nearly as heavy as other high-end blushes I’ve tried (Guerlain and Burberry, for instance). I actually really like it–once you apply it though, the scent is no longer detectable.

Click image to enlarge

Click image to enlarge

Click image to enlarge


On my skin, Rose Initiale lasted only about 3 hours before showing signs of fading–however, I’d like to point out that at the moment, my skin is incredibly oily because the weather is starting to heat up here. But it’s so lovely. It’s also a difficult one to overdo–it’s very pretty and subdued but can still definitely be built up for a stronger cheek. Overall, if I had to use one world to describe this blush, it would be happy. It’s just such a happy color! And it makes my cheeks so naturally flushed that I’m happy. And when I’m happy, well, the world just seems like a better place. So if you want to make the world a better place, buy Rose Initiale!!! :P

 Pros: BEAUTIFUL color; silky smooth texture; subtle shimmer to brighten but doesn’t enhance pores or look overtly shimmery; feels light on the skin and blends beautifully

Cons: a little pricey for just 0.21 oz. of product (for reference, Burberry blushes are $1 less for 0.03 oz. more product); slightly powdery; wear time could be greatly improved–but then again, my skin is a lot oilier than usual

»»Pricing: $43/0.21 oz. (6 g.)

»»Availability: Nordstrom, Neiman Marcus,, and all Chanel counters

»»Recommended for: those in search of the perfect pink blush!

»»Overall Rating: B+ (it’s definitely not the best blush I’ve tried formula-wise, but it’s just so darn pretty!)


So what did you think–will you be splurging on this particular blush? Have you tried any other Chanel blushes that you can recommend? (because I am now addicted…great. Like I needed another blush to be addicted to!).

On a side note, I’d like to send out a sincere and heartfelt thank you to all who have been there for me. I know it sounds cheesy, but your comments and well wishes really helped me make it through this past week. All my love! 

62 Responses to “The Sample: NEW Chanel Joues Contraste Powder Blush in 72 Rose Initiale (Review, Swatches & Photos)”

  1. Tracy@Beauty Reflections July 11, 2012 at 1:26 am #

    SO PRETTY GAHHH. I have no Chanel blushes and was wondering about this one so thanks for the swatches!
    And I’d miss you terribly so NEVER stop, K? Ok. :)

    • becca July 11, 2012 at 1:54 am #

      YAY thanks Tracy!!! :D

      and of course, I think you definitely need to check this one out. It’s a good first Chanel blush–at least in my opinion. It’s very wearable, very pretty, very easy to blend. It really brightens the face too!

  2. Larie July 11, 2012 at 1:29 am #

    This is a gorgeous color on you! I love how it’s kind of a salmon pink, with a beautiful shimmer…good for you, Becca! We all deserve treats :D

    I haven’t bought any new blushes in a while. I want a wine colored one next!

    • becca July 11, 2012 at 1:56 am #

      Oooh wine–that’s so daring! Well, for me at least. I strictly go for pinks, peaches, corals, or variations of the 3–so no plums, wines, reds, or anything like that in my collection. Maybe if you get a pretty wine then I’ll be more inspired to venture from my color rut :P

  3. Paris B July 11, 2012 at 1:49 am #

    I’m definitely eyeing this one. I’m eyeing it very much! :P I used to be a huge huge fan of Chanel Joues Contraste blushes but I found that over time they’d harden. I’m also told that the US gets different versions from Europe (and the rest of the world) so I’m not sure if we’ll get the same version for Rose Initiale. I guess I’m going to have to find out for myself :)

    The ones I like are Narcisse, Rose Petale, Espegiele and incredibly, Orchid Rose which I previously found too brown. Actually, they’re all good. Sorry, Becca. You might have to pinch those pennies for these blushes hehe… ;)

    • becca July 11, 2012 at 1:59 am #

      I’m obviously no expert on Chanel blushes, but I have definitely heard that the formula for the U.S is different than for other countries. I think it’s that the U.S gets a powder formula while others get a baked formula–don’t quote me on that though. I guess if you have problems with it hardening over time, it probably is baked though. :/

      And yes–I am definitely hooked. I had been wanting Rose Petale and Espegiele for a LONG long time before I finally took the plunge with Rose Initiale–so I think it’s time to finally fulfill my lustings :P

  4. Rinny July 11, 2012 at 2:45 am #

    This is a beautiful color. I love how it has a bit of shimmer but it’s so faint you can’t really tell it’s even there. I hate it when you can clearly see glitter particles all over someone’s face.

    • becca July 11, 2012 at 3:17 am #

      Oh me too Rinny, believe me. It’s especially bad when it’s super glittery AND you have very large pores (like I do). Very bad combination! But this blush is just so subtle and pretty! Love it!

  5. dani@callitbeauty July 11, 2012 at 2:55 am #

    SOOO gorgeous! It blends amazingly onto the skin, too!

    • becca July 11, 2012 at 3:18 am #

      Yes it definitely does! It’s very light in both feel and finish. I reallly like that in a blush!

  6. Rocaille July 11, 2012 at 6:30 am #

    It looks absolutely gorgeous in your photos… and your nails are so chic!

    • becca July 11, 2012 at 6:38 am #

      Aw thanks Rocaille! I actually thought that they were looking a little shabby–so it’s nice to know I did a somewhat decent job with my manicure! :P I’m surprised you even noticed, lol!

  7. Miss Kwong July 11, 2012 at 8:11 am #

    OMG in love with your blog!!
    I’ve some Chanel blushes too and they smell super nice. But some of them are just not very pigmented and I dislike the brush attached… but overall it looks very sheen! i sometimes wear them just for lunch or tea! :)

    Following u now via bloglovin’. Follow me back if you like! ♥

    Say meow to me on:
    Miss Kwong: From Catwalk to Classroom

    • becca July 11, 2012 at 8:16 am #

      Thanks for your sweet comment! Yes, this was my first Chanel blush and already, I’m plotting ways to get my hands on a few more (mainly all the ones Paris from My Women Stuff mentioned in her comment above). I love the light scent–but then again, I am quite partial to floral notes. :)

  8. Kai July 11, 2012 at 8:20 am #

    I’ve never tried these Chanel blushes! Now i have to… but oh god, when will the fall collection come to Hong Kong???? I can’t waitttt…

    • becca July 11, 2012 at 8:27 am #

      Oh no, hold out for it Kai–you can do it!!! It will be well worth the wait, trust me :) Although, I think you will have it in the baked formula, and I’m not sure how you feel about those?

  9. Memoiselle July 11, 2012 at 10:37 am #

    Oh yes I need this!! When I read that you feel the buttery formula.. I definitely going to get this! I love pink blushes a lot therefore this is a must. aahhh so pretty..!

    • becca July 11, 2012 at 10:43 am #

      It really is a must-have–you will just love it! It will flatter a variety of skin tones and really makes the skin luminous and fresh-looking–really, really perks the whole face up! LOVE!

  10. Sunny July 11, 2012 at 11:42 am #

    I want I want! I am normally not drawn to pink blushes (peach and coral are more my thing), so I still have space for a good one or two :) Thanks for the swatches Becca! Psst is that Essie Navigate Her on your nails? I’ve been wondering if I should get that one for a long time!

    • becca July 11, 2012 at 7:25 pm #

      Oh me too Sunny–I just LOVE peaches and if given a choice between peach and pink, I will just about always choose peach…but this pink is just so, so lovely and brightening, I HAD to have it. I think it does have a teensy bit of peach to it though…so maybe that’s why I had to have it? :P

      • becca July 11, 2012 at 7:33 pm #

        Oh whoops–forgot to say: no that’s not Essie’s Navigate Her (though I do have that too and I LOVE it–very unique and wearable. I did do a review on it here if you wanted to see swatches— I’m wearing Nicole by OPI Peas & Q’s with ombred layers of Essie’s Luxeffects As Gold as it Gets. Not sure Peas & Q’s is available anymore–but it’s just a light minty-green shade. Essie’s Mint Candy Apple is a huge hit and would look similar

  11. Caroline July 11, 2012 at 12:59 pm #

    I don’t ever actually WEAR blush (rosacea + round cheeks) but I sure love looking at these pretty pictures!

    • becca July 11, 2012 at 7:35 pm #

      Aw that’s too bad Caroline–blush is one of my absolute FAVORITE products to shop for. So happy and pretty! Does the foundation you wear not offer enough evening out of the redness for you to wear blush still, or do you just prefer not to?

  12. Toya July 11, 2012 at 2:14 pm #

    So…I am SUPER happy for you that you picked up your first Chanel blush Becca – I also don’t own any, and Rose Initiale was going to be my first foray into that arena. However…I am heartbroken (but grateful to you!) to see that there is lanolin in the blush (lanolin alcohol to be exact), to which I’m pretty allergic. Damn it!!!! Lanolin is in so many beauty products, and has really eliminated some major wishlist items :’( I’m quite sad about this, because the blush looks freakin’ fantastic, and you did an AMAZING job of showcasing just how lovely it is, but I’m going to have to cross this one off my list now. Boo x 10!!!!!

    • becca July 11, 2012 at 7:37 pm #

      Nooooooo!!! I’m sorry to hear that Toya :/ Damn you lanolin alcohol! I know…I didn’t read the ingredients list until I was photographing it and when I saw that and the inclusion of mineral oil, I was disappointed–though it wasn’t a dealbreaker for me (I have very acne-prone skin, but don’t think I’ve ever experienced a breakout from any kind of cosmetic…except maybe foundation)

  13. Amanda July 11, 2012 at 2:18 pm #

    Love that color!! I have not bought a Chanel product yet because they are so darn expensive. But this one is very tempting!

    • becca July 11, 2012 at 7:38 pm #

      I personally think it’s worth the money just because I love it so, so much. It’s really super wearable and goes with a lot of looks and will flatter many skin tones. Are you in the market for a pretty perfect, slightly shimmery pink blush? :P

  14. Shivani July 11, 2012 at 4:05 pm #

    That is just too pretty! *sigh*
    Just can’t read your blog anymore – you enabler, you! JK :)

    • becca July 11, 2012 at 7:39 pm #

      Oh no!!! I’ll be good, I promise! No more enabling–just stay, ok? :P

  15. Dovey July 12, 2012 at 3:59 am #

    What a beautiful color! Rose is always a perfect shade to take you from season to season :)

    • becca July 12, 2012 at 5:18 am #

      That’s exactly what I told myself when I was trying to justify the purchase :P

      In reality though, it truly is a very wearable shade and I think it’s very worth the price!

  16. sjbkk July 12, 2012 at 8:47 am #

    What a pretty colour! I’m not sure if it would suit my skin complexion, though ;) I never had a Chanel blush and I would love to get one.

    Cheers :)

    • becca July 12, 2012 at 8:53 am #

      I really think it will suit both warm and cool tones because there is just a touch of peach in it that really livens it up. It’s gorgeous–if you can get your hands on a tester, I say swatch it up because you WILL love it!

      I will say, though, that if you are prone to redness, you will want to be sure and do proper tone-correcting before applying. For some reason, lately my cheeks have been very sensitive and get red/pink easily. When I applied Rose Initiale too heavily, it really accentuated it :/

  17. Lola July 12, 2012 at 4:19 pm #

    What a fantastic review, Becca! I swatched Rose Initiale the other day, and now it’s definitely on my list!

    • becca July 12, 2012 at 8:41 pm #

      Yay–I’m glad Lola. You will LOVE it! :D

      • Lola July 18, 2012 at 3:47 pm #

        This was a great first JC to inaugurate you into the world of JC blushes– there’s no turning back now! xo

  18. popblush July 14, 2012 at 1:27 am #

    How could a blush look so beautiful!!!! It looks so great your skintone hun.

    Sadly, I don’t own any Chanel blushes…. yet! I am planning to haul on my future trip to the US or Europe. Cosmetics are quite inflated here where I am =(

    • becca July 14, 2012 at 2:05 am #

      Thanks!!! :)

      I’m excited for you. Do you have the trip already planned or just sometime in the future? I LOVE this one and am also eyeing the new limited-release Fleur de Lotus blush. If I get it, I’ll be sure to tell you which I like better!

  19. BurbBeauty July 14, 2012 at 5:00 pm #

    Very beautiful color! I wouldn’t buy simply because it’s too light for my skin tone, but I do enjoy the JCs that I have.

    • becca July 15, 2012 at 6:44 am #

      Ooh I’m curious now! Which ones do you have?

  20. Joyce July 15, 2012 at 4:52 am #

    Pretty!!! I’m glad you are enjoying it!! I don’t really wear pink blushes much either, so I didn’t even look at this. But lately I’ve just felt like there are so many high end brands out there that have better formulas than chanel too, which makes me sad! I used to be a huge chanel fanatic… but now not that much!

    Hmm… I think i have 2 or 3 JC blushes at home (including rose petale!) so I should definitely break them out once I am at home.. I feel like I haven’t touched them in at least a year – crazy!

    • becca July 15, 2012 at 6:45 am #

      Oh I definitely agree–which is why I didn’t rate it higher. I’m so spoiled now that I’ve tried Burberry’s blush formula. Have you tried it? GOD, it’s truly magnificent. Sigh. :P

  21. Bonnie July 15, 2012 at 8:40 pm #

    Chanel makeup is fantastic. It wears so well.
    Twitter: @GlamKitten88

  22. Joyce July 15, 2012 at 10:38 pm #

    The color, rose initiale, does look really gorgeous from your swatch! I’ll have to try it out one day. Nice to hear that it has silky smoothe texture. 3 hours doesn’t sound too bad~ the color seems like it would still give a person a natural “glow” after sweating lol. cool stuff~

    keep in touch :)

    Do you like beauty products?
    We’re holding a giveaway @

    • becca July 17, 2012 at 8:19 am #

      Yes it really is beautiful. Do you own any of the JC blushes?

  23. karin July 17, 2012 at 4:22 am #

    I think I need this now!!! Did you look at JC Fleur de Lotus, of so what do you think? Corals like orgasm and Benefit Coralista doesn’t look wow on me, but Fleur de Lotus is getting so much love from bloggers that i don’t know whether i should order it or not!

    • becca July 17, 2012 at 8:18 am #

      I haven’t swatched it personally, but I do believe I will be picking this one up. What didn’t you like about Orgasm and Coralista? For me, I didn’t like all the shimmer–I like shimmer, but too much of it accentuates my already large pores. If that’s what you didn’t like about them too, then I think Fleur de Lotus would be perfect. It’s supposedly softer and with a more refined shimmery sheen. I hope that helps–stay tuned, with any luck I will be able to provide you with swatches of it shortly! :P

      • karin July 18, 2012 at 6:07 am #

        …thanks for your reply…Orgasm and Coralista just doesn’t seem to brighten up my skin tone (NC20 asian skin w/ some green undertones if that makes sense). I’m worried that Fleur de Lotus would also look blah on me. I bought a BB matte pink blush this spring (LE) and I loved the way it brighten up my face.

        • becca July 18, 2012 at 7:20 am #

          I think if you’re looking for a blush that really pops and “brightens” the face, go for Rose Initiale. If you’re looking for one that subtly warms the face, I would say to go for Fleur de Lotus. Here are some great swatches I found online of Fleur de Lotus for you if it helps at all:

          I hope that was at least a little helpful! Hopefully I’ll have Fleur de Lotus in my possession soon, so I’ll do a few comparison swatches if you like

          • karin July 19, 2012 at 3:02 am #

            Thanks Becca, that is extremely helpful !!!! I hear that this is a permanent addition in Asia (??) just like Rose Turbillion. I think I better wait when I’m next in Asia to swatch it, but still looking forward to your swatch. Rose Initiale…here I come!!!

          • becca July 19, 2012 at 3:09 am #

            According to Haru over at Rouge Deluxe, yes–Fleur de Lotus blush is a permanent item. Of course, since I don’t live there I can’t verify 100% but it certainly looks to be that way. Do you travel to Asia often? If you do get Rose Initiale, you must be sure to come back and let me know how you like it! :)

  24. Makeup Morsels July 19, 2012 at 5:43 am #

    LOL ‘if you want to make the world a better place,’ how is anyone supposed to say no to that? Lovely review and pictures, as always. I don’t even wear blush (as we have discussed), but even I’m not immune to this gorgeous shade. I’ll just stare happily for awhile ;)

    • becca July 19, 2012 at 6:48 am #

      lol just tellin it like it is, MM ;) But still, I have failed. You will not buy it. One day…one day

  25. ~ Claire ~ July 20, 2012 at 11:15 pm #

    That colour is so pretty! I think Chanel blushers are a bit overpriced but I still love them >.< They always look kinda subtle (ok, when there is no glitter bomb of course). And I agree, sometimes when the quality is kinda meh but the colour tdf, it's worth having.

    • becca July 20, 2012 at 11:27 pm #

      I agree! The JC blushes are DEF not the best blush formula I’ve tried–so at $43, that’s a little disappointing…however, it’s still lovely and the colors they have in the line are magnificent!!!

  26. JoanneP July 22, 2012 at 5:02 pm #

    I’m currently obsessed with Rose Initiale! Thanks for the great pics!

    • becca July 22, 2012 at 8:55 pm #

      Of course! Glad you like them. Did you get Rose Initiale too?

  27. Jacqueline July 28, 2012 at 2:42 am #

    I’m contemplating getting this as I hear the fall collection has just hit the counters, the swatches are so pretty.

    • becca July 28, 2012 at 8:27 pm #

      It really is nice! I actually prefer Fleur de Lotus for my coloring, but Rose Initiale is definitely a stunner :)

  28. svetlana August 3, 2012 at 4:05 am #

    I know what you mean. I have to literally wipe the drool from my lips as we speak. I have to ban myself from some of these wonderful products… my fiance is putting me on a makeup buying diet. oh sigh… gorgeous! just gorgeous…

    • becca August 3, 2012 at 8:19 am #

      Oh no!!! That’s horrible–I can’t imagine anything worse than a beauty budget :P

  29. JoanneP August 6, 2012 at 12:48 am #

    I just got Rose Initiale. Love it so much! Great swatch!

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