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Chanel's Dreamy New Makeup Collection Was Inspired by Fashion's New Favorite Region, California

The brand's Global Creative Makeup and Color Designer Lucia Pica used the colors she encountered en route to Big Sur to develop the pretty new range of products.
Yara Shahidi, Lucia Pica and Rowan Blanchard at a Dinner Celebrating Lucia Pica & The Travel Diary Makeup Collection in Santa Monica, CA. Photo: Getty Images

Yara Shahidi, Lucia Pica and Rowan Blanchard at a Dinner Celebrating Lucia Pica & The Travel Diary Makeup Collection in Santa Monica, CA. Photo: Getty Images

Back in 2007, Chanel became one of the first big luxury houses to stage a show in Los Angeles, choosing an airplane hangar in Santa Monica to showcase Karl Lagerfeld's Cruise 2008 collection for the house. Since then, just about every luxury fashion brand has followed suit, and 10 years later, the house has turned to Southern California for inspiration once again, albeit in a very different, more chill way.

Chanel footed the bill for its global creative makeup and color designer Lucia Pica to take a low-key, open-ended road trip up the California coast from Los Angeles to Big Sur (must be nice). Pica, who is based in London, took on the role at the beginning of 2015 following the departure of Peter Philips to Dior. She took the trip that October alongside photographer Max Farago and filmmaker Clara Cullen. They had no real plan. It all sounded very... not Chanel. "I, thought, 'Why don't I get out and put myself in a situation where I'm not exactly sure what I'm going to get?'" she told a group of editors Tuesday in a lovely, mysterious room with a terrace a couple of floors above the Chanel store on Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills. She said she's always felt "attached" to LA and decided she wanted to go "a little deeper into it."

Photo: courtesy of Chanel

Photo: courtesy of Chanel

"The three of us took off in a big car, and we had some snacks and we had some pocket money they gave us; it was very, very basic," she explained. "It wasn't like a photo shoot. I wanted it to be a personal experience, like something I would do by myself — not like a big Chanel production."

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Farago took photos of scenery the trio encountered along the way while Cullen shot an atmospheric short film. Pica then used the the colors and textures of the photos to develop Chanel's new fall 2017 "Travel Diary" makeup collection, which will hit stores in August. The collection is gorgeous and truly has something for everyone. On the more dramatic end of the spectrum, you'll find a cream eyeshadow in deep navy; powder eyeshadow palettes that incorporate deep brown, lilac, turquoise and copper; and matte lip colors in deep red and bright orange. Pica insisted that all of these bold colors are more wearable than you would think, but I was skeptical. But there were also some solid options for those of us who prefer more of a no-makeup makeup look. My favorites are a "Palette Essentielle" that includes concealer, highlighter and blush in the "Beige Clair" shade, and the matte liquid lip color in "Lost," a nude beige. The line also includes some handy retractable makeup brushes.

As casual as the road trip experience might have been, Pica points out that it represents a new concept of luxury. "We're looking at luxury in a different way. It's not just about buying the most expensive colors; its about going and searching deeper into what I can discover as the creator of the makeup," she said. "It's important there is some authenticity and personal involvement, and I think all of this makes a modern luxury brand."

Indeed, consumers are increasingly choosing to spend on luxurious experiences over things. This isn't the first time we've seen a brand try and incorporate "experience" into a product to entice shoppers, and we're sure it won't be the last.

Check out more images of the products accompanied by their inspiration below.

And the full product range here:

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