How to Attend a Free Chanel Master Makeup Class

Published in: Makeup, Makeup Tips/How To, News


Did you know Chanel provides free makeup classes for customers? The sessions are called Chanel Master Classes, and I went to my very first one last Saturday at my neighborhood Macy’s store.


Department store-sponsored makeup classes typically involve a group of customers observing how an artist applies makeup to a model. I’ve been to a few of them before, and while they’re fun (especially if you go with a friend) and good for a tip or two, they aren’t hands-on and can be kinda boring.

But there was nothing boring about the Chanel Master Class. Chanel makes sure you get your feet wet, so to speak. Instead of merely observing someone else apply makeup, you also get to do your own.

Interactive, Small Classes

Class sizes are kept small — just 12-16 students — so you don’t feel lost in the crowd. You get your own work station, complete with hand-held mirror and a cup filled with gloriously silky Chanel brushes. As an instructor demonstrates each technique on a model in the front of the class, you get to follow along with them, duplicating each technique on yourself.

In addition to the main instructor at the front of the class, a Chanel artist also sits with you to help you pick out colors and to be available to answer any questions you might have. Education + makeup + fun + snacks (cookies, crackers and bottled water) = Karen’s idea of a hella good time. πŸ™‚

These courses are more than simply an opportunity to learn (not that there’s anything wrong with learning); you also get to play with soooo much Chanel. The entire Chanel makeup line is at your disposal to test, touch and drool over. HOLLA!

And if you know what products you want to try beforehand, you can ask your makeup artist for help. So awesome!

Going into the class, I knew I wanted to try the Emerald Coast eye shadow duo and Indigo Inimitable mascara…


I ended up doing a light smokey green eye with nude lips and cheeks.

The Chanel Products I Chose to Use

Here’s a picture I took of the look at home before I left for Costco later in the afternoon.

Notice the pained expression? I hurt my back running the day before and forgot to take pain killers the morning of the class. I still had a blast, though.

A Few Tips From Class

  • When looking for foundation, match a shade to the color of the skin located at the point where your chin and the top of your neck meet. This area doesn’t get a lot of sun, so it serves as a good example of your natural skin color.

  • Once applied to the skin, foundation oxidizes and darkens within five to 10 minutes. When choosing a shade, error on the side of a lighter shade, not a darker one, because the color will most likely darken slightly once it’s on your face.

  • For big events where you anticipate having your picture taken, use Mat Lumiere or Pro Lumiere foundations for full, long-wearing and photo-friendly coverage.

  • Place your palm upward, and then use your thumb to press down at the tip of your pointer finger. Notice how your fingertip darkens? Find a blush shade that matches that darker color to get the most natural looking flush on your cheeks.

  • Chanel’s two ranges of blushes offer different types of color coverage. The Silky blushes offer a lighter veil of color, while the Joues Contraste blushes provide more color intensity.

The class was filled with useful information, but at some point during the class the pain in my back affected my ability to concentrate.

How to Attend a Chanel Master Class

Several large department stores like Macy’s, Nordstrom and Bloomingdale’s offer Chanel Master Classes. Call or stop by your local Chanel counter to find out when they plan to host a class in your area.

The classes are “free” and last from 2-3 hours. What do I mean by “free”? Well, they won’t cost ya one red cent to enroll in, but there’s an ancient, unwritten makeup counter rule which states that you should always purchase at least one item before heading home. Chanel products usually cost upwards of $25 each, so plan to spend a minimum of $30 during or immediately after your class. It’s not a requirement, but it keeps you in good graces with the artists, instructors and counter folk who assisted you in class. πŸ™‚

Your friendly neighborhood beauty addict,



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So far, 63 people have commented on this article. How cool is that?

  1. Jess says:

    What fun! Yea Karen, thanks for writing this. I’m definitely going to check into these classes!

    • Jennifer says:

      I’m so glad I found this post. What a great idea to invite my future daughter in law and Bridal party to for bonding time and get tips for the big day

      Thanks! Jennifer

  2. TUPRNUT says:

    So, did you buy anything? What are your thoughts on the foundation?

    I’m so jealous… I wish we could all fly to San Francisco and go to a master class together… that would be a blast! πŸ™‚

  3. Brittany says:

    Awesome. I definitely want to check into these classes because they sound like I’d learn some things. Plus, I’m not that familiar with Chanel makeup, so I’d also like to check it out just for that aspect πŸ™‚

  4. Elena says:

    Ahh, gotta love Chanel. I walked past a counter once and the SA tried that blush on me and I fell in love. Then she told me the price and I politely fled. One day… πŸ™‚

    What did you end up taking home? You look great in the photo! Did you snag any of the eyeshadows?

  5. Karen says:

    Hi Jess,

    You’re welcome. πŸ™‚ I really hope you get to go to a class because it’s really fun and very educational.

    Hope you had a good day!

  6. Karen says:

    Hi Tuprnut,

    LOL, I walked out with the bare minimum, although I was so tempted by, um, everything. πŸ™‚ I left with Nude Lip Liner (it’s the shizz… you’ll see it in a Lip Look later this week). Be sure to visit it next time you and Grace go to Chanel.

    I really liked the liquid foundation. It didn’t feel heavy on my skin and it wasn’t too disco-ball shiny. What I was really surprised with was the concealer, though. It gave great coverage and stayed put all day.

    That would be so much fun if we could do that together. Then afterwards we could go get cocktails, WOOT!

  7. Karen says:

    Hi Brittany,

    It would be a great way to get to know the line. I have to warn you though, Chanel can be addictive!

  8. Karen says:

    Hi Elena,

    Yah, but they last you forever! Which blush was it?

    I left with Nude Lip Liner. I still really want Emerald Coast, but that will have to wait for another pay check, LOL. πŸ™‚

  9. Music_Is_Freedom says:

    Oh, that sounds like fun…I don’t know if there are any in the near future where I live (Montreal), but I’ll definitely look into finding/attending one! They might have something similar for MAC, though, and it would be waaaay easier for me to buy something from MAC after a lesson-thingy.

  10. Marisol says:

    Wait a minute? Did they have the class on the cosmetics floor or did they take you somewhere else? I would hope they would take you some place less distracting especially since that part of the store is always busy with peeps.

    I have been to the classes MAC offers at Nordies and they are so much fun. You have to prepay $40 or something like that but you get it back in product.

    Marisols last blog post..I realized why I am in a funk today.

  11. Miss QQ says:

    Hi, Karen. I would love to go to a Chanel master makeup class but I havenÒ€ℒt known of any here yet. IsnÒ€ℒt it pure bliss to play with all the Chanel products? Just to share with you, this Thursday, I am invited to go for an exclusive preview of Chanel Fall 08 collection! IÒ€ℒm so excited that I keep thinking about which product I should buy after the session to start of my Fall collection. I hope your back gets better soon. Back pains are one of the worst pains to endure in my experience.

  12. Dao says:

    Wow, this is so fun! I hope they have one in my town, that’ll be cool! Thanks for the tip Karen, hope you’re feeling better now. The pain in the back is painful πŸ™

    Daos last blog post..The 5-Minute Makeup Challenge

  13. Karen says:

    Hi Music_Is_freedom,

    I’ve attended a few MAC ones and they are taught lecture style. They are still fun, though!

    One of these days I’ll make it to Montreal… I love to travel and always wanted to go there!

  14. Karen says:

    Hi Marisol,

    It was held on the floor, right next to the men’s suits. It was a bit distracting and the light was challenging, too.

    Yeah, I’ve been to those MAC classes, too! You learn so much and get lots of great tips. Too bad they aren’t as interactive.

  15. Karen says:

    Hi Mis QQ,

    That’s so exciting! You will go NUTS over the Glossimers. Speaking of fall, I wore the Gold highlighter today. πŸ™‚ I can’t wait to hear your thoughts on the collection!

    Thank you for the well wishes on my back. It’s feel much better today.

  16. Karen says:

    Hi Dao,

    I hope you get to go to a class in your town, too. You’d have a lot of fun! And you’d get to show off your makeup skills. πŸ™‚

  17. Karen B says:

    Looks like a lot of fun and your look’s cute ^^
    Good tips πŸ™‚

    Karen Bs last blog post..flist is ♥

  18. Karen B says:

    Looks like a lot of fun and your look’s cute ^^
    Good tips πŸ™‚

  19. Marisol says:

    Weird that they held it there. You think that they would make it more of a private event.

    Have you ever attended the MAC ones with the Daniel or Victor C from MAC? Those two are awesome!

    Marisols last blog post..I realized why I am in a funk today.

  20. Jaimie says:

    omgosh, i want to go! i’ll have to stalk the macy’s near me.

    Jaimies last blog post..Read My Lips

  21. Lisa says:

    I am so jealous.

    I am definitely going to look for these classes. I have a friend who works for Chanel as a freelance makeup artist, and she has never told me. I might have to beat her with a glossimer.

    The emerald-coast shadow looks great – those emerald greens are really pretty on you. I remember that the garden party shadows looked great on you, too. Greens are your color!

    And the nude lip pencil is the best. It is a real work horse.

  22. Glosslizard says:

    That’s so cool! I will do that one of these days! Thanks for the heads-up! πŸ™‚

  23. Karen says:

    Hi Karen B,

    πŸ™‚ Thanks! I hope you guys have one of these in your town so you can go, too.

  24. Karen says:

    Hi Marisol,

    I know! The Nordstrom ones are usually held in a conference room, so I thought it was a lil’ odd that we were right there in the middle of all the men’s suits.

    I met Victor C. last year at Fashion Week. πŸ™‚ I haven’t gone to one of his classes yet, though. He’s so talented and I bet his classes are fab. What MAC classes have you gone to?

  25. Karen says:

    Hi Jaimie,

    I hope you get to go. Be sure to check the other big stores around your ‘hood as well!

  26. Karen says:

    Hi Lisa,

    Oh no, don’t beat the Chanel artist with a Glossimer! πŸ™‚

    What are your Chanel faves?

  27. Karen says:

    Hi Glosslizard,

    I’ll give you the jingle when I hear about the next one. πŸ™‚

  28. Marisol says:

    Well the first class I attended was at the Nordies in CM with Victor and another MUA. It was for the release of Naturally Eccentric back in 2005. He was sooo funny. Because of him I bought Soft Brown e/s. Great crease color! That same year I also went back to another seminar led by Victor but I forget what the collection was.

    Also in 2005, I went to the MAC Pro Store in SF for a one on one Tips & Techniques seminar with and MUA named Naomi. That was by far the coolest experience because it was after hours and there were ten people there — 5 MAC MUA’s and 5 MAC enthusiast. I was there for two hours and she did three different looks — daytime, night time and dramatic/colorful. I learned a lot.

    In 2006, I went to an seminar in at the same Nordies and Daniel was the one leading the class. I think the collection was Culturebloom. If I remember correctly. he talked more about day looks and not so much the collection.

    I haven’t gone to a seminar since because I am not near any good locations near me.

  29. Karen says:

    Hi Marisol,

    Aww, shoot! I was kind of hoping you’d say that you went to the Barbie Loves MAC one in CM… we would’ve crossed paths unexpectedly.

    Hopefully when you get to move back to the bay (and become a weather wimp like me) you’ll be able to go to more of the classes.

  30. Glosslizard says:

    Sweet! Thanks! πŸ™‚

  31. Karen B says:

    I’m afraid not. I don’t know a store where they have counters… Ah well. It’ll have to wait until I marry Fernando Torres and move to Liverpool πŸ˜‰

    Karen Bs last blog post..flist is ♥

  32. Marisol says:

    I hope so and if I do, I will let you know. How fun would that be?

    Marisols last blog post..Loose Leaf Tea

  33. Thanks for posting this! I’ll have to check this out next time I’m at Nordies!

    Candi- Teal Chics last blog post..What’s Your Style?????

  34. RJ says:

    I called my local Macys and Nordstrom – they never heard of the Chanel Master Make up classes. Is there a special way you need to ask?

  35. Whitney says:

    I am super interested in doing this! I am addicted to Chanel make-up and would love a lesson or two! I have been trying to contact Macy’s and Nordstrom’s… Nordstrom’s did not do it where I live, so they told me to try Saks or Neiman’s… I’ll keep checking. How did you hear about this, Karen?

    Whitneys last blog post..Girl Anthem

  36. Maria says:

    Do you you know if they are still doing this? I asked someone at the Chanel counter at Macy’s if they are doing this and they said they’ve never heard of this.

  37. crystal says:

    Thanks so much 4 posting about this!! Will def b lookin in2 this!!!!

  38. Smiley says:

    This sounds great. $30 isn’t TOO bad for a Chanel lesson. πŸ˜› Hope your back gets better!
    .-= Smiley’s last blog post… Got To Be Real =-.

  39. RJ says:

    I have been looking for these master classes everywhere in my city and no one working at Macys, Nordstrom, Neimus, or even Bloom knew what I was talking about. I finally used my head and e-mailed Chanel and below is the e-mail they sent me.

    Regrettably, classes at L’Ecole De CHANEL are open only to CHANEL
    employees. However, to find CHANEL Makeup Events in your area, please
    visit the Local Events section on

    Thank you for your understanding and continued interest in CHANEL.

    Best Regards,
    Consumer Relations
    CHANEL, Inc.

    Client #:166438

  40. RJ says:

    Thanks Karen. I am new to make-up and your blog is a big help. It has guided me to some great purchases and some unscary looks.

  41. RJ says:

    I actually do. You did a great tutorial and review on Chanel Les Naturels de Chanel. I loved how natural you looked without looking like, “hi, I slapped make-up on”. So, I’ve been lurking and just looking at your techniques and buying some things here and there.

    You also made me think of primer. I finally bought some, I actually have two because sometimes it looks like I’ve fried chicken. It was a horrible oil slick that I would soak up with toilet liners. I still have to do a press but it is not nearly as much oil now that I use primer. I use Philosophy Never Let them See you Shine.

    Since, I bought the primer, I thought I would tackle another problem I have in the summer which is oily eyelids. I know they say there are no oil glands but my eyelids are super oily. I know use the Urban Decay eyeshadow primer even on days I don’t wear eye make-up and it makes a difference.

  42. TB says:

    I have been looking for these master classes everywhere in my city and no one working at this!tory burch flip flops

  43. Sumaira says:

    That was so helpful! Thank you!!

  44. Jill says:

    Do these classes still happen??

  45. Nisha says:

    Do these classes still happen? Also are they in Chicago?

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