Lucia Pica, Chanel’s global and creative makeup and colour designer, notices details. Objects in a room, light and shadow, the subtleties of the woman in front of her, and most vividly – the world of colour.
Similar to Pica’s first ever collection for Chanel – in which she created a collection based on a single note of red threaded throughout – the Chanel Fall-Winter 2020 beauty collection, named Candeur et Expérience: Acte II, has the challenge of the colour pink at its core. A colour Pica more often steered away from, rich in stereotypes she never wanted to embrace. But this time, she subverted the colour, blending, deepening, lessening and heightening its impact throughout.
Here, Pica gives insight into the world of Chanel's new makeup collection; her favourite products, and how she uses them.
“I think I’ve always had this certain rebellious side and I was thinking of pink in this sort of ‘punk’ way,” explains Pica.
“How it can be used in a non-stereotypically ‘girly’ way, which I’m less attracted to.”
She isn’t here to dictate rules and standards but is offering only a suggestion. “You don’t have to be a certain thing. You don’t have to look a certain way. The collection will adapt to your personality but will give you the opportunity to explore should you need that,” she explains. “Should you want that.”
Gabrielle Chanel famously said: “A girl should be two things: who and what she wants.” And these two things are how Pica came to frame her use of pink. From the passion and power of red then blended with the stereotypical innocence and purity of white. Through the use of pink she found her duality.
While the collection has been created with pink forming the basis for each product its boldness varies from product to product. The lips and nail collections see pink blended with brown, beige, caramel and taupe to create wearable interpretations of the colour. Her hero product, the Baume Essentiel, comes in a Rosée variation – a soft pink reminiscent of a blushing cheek. But when it comes to Pica’s most audacious use of the colour? For this she focused on the eyes.
For Act II Pica balanced the softness and strength of pink to give the user opportunity to embrace a bold beauty look.
Each palette has both elements, the eyeliners sit at opposing ends of the colour spectrum. How you choose to wear pink – with a powerful intensity, or an innocent sincerity – that she’s left up to you. When eyes can communicate our innermost selves most readily, here she’s given you all the contradictions to play with.
It is easy to demean beauty as frivolity. But it’s a deeper thinker that can see the power of expression and how makeup can be an important tool in communicating.
For many of her previous collections it was travel – the cities, the light, the textures of new places – that inspired the colours and palettes of each. So when travel and distance and newness form such an integral part of your creative journey how does one stay inspired in a world forcing us to stay still?
Pica describes herself as someone who is bored easily. And she utilises this boredom instead of being crippled by it. To keep on creating, no matter the circumstances.
From fresh flowers in her home, to a perfectly designed chair, Pica notices beauty in the everyday. “As everyone else, I am looking at the world closer to me. So I am not worried about not finding inspiration,” she tells. “You don’t stop looking at beauty around.”
Read the full interview with Chanel's Lucia Pica in the 'Courage' issue, out now.
Image of Lucia Pica courtesy of Chanel. The Chanel Fall-Winter 2020 beauty collection photographed by Gabriela Hidalgo.