Chantecaille's La Baleine Bleue for Eyes ($98) is a soft, feminine trio of up-to-the-minute, marine-inspired eye shades. Two highlighting blues, a sheer pale blue and deep blue-grey, combine with a beautiful, iridescent champagne base that is rose gold to my eye. Together the collection is shimmery, chic, and charming - and hard, really hard, to photograph.
A complement to La Baleine Bleue for Face, it is packaged in a gorgeous artisan compact with the image of the Blue Whale and her calf. Like most Chantecaille palettes, it's elegant - a museum piece that is almost too pretty to use.
Unfortunately, mine arrived in pieces. Even though Chantecaille carefully packs every order and puts their gorgeous palettes in silk pouches to protect them, mine arrived shattered. I am "dead sure" some USP guy threw my package down somewhere in transit (sorry UPS, I love you guys, but it happens), and the compact broke into about 10 pieces. I was really reluctant to call Chantecaille to tell them. After all, it wasn't their fault! I thought about it for a few days and did call. The gentleman with whom I spoke was delightful (with a darling French accent too), and he immediately offered to send me a replacement - no hassle, no need to send back the shattered compact. I love this company! I loved Chantecaille before; I love them even more now - if that's possible.
Yesterday, I took a few photos of the three main colors in the palette applied dry to my arm using a sponge applicator. The thin lines you see at right didn't satisfy me. The photo was taken in afternoon indirect light to minimize the shimmer. In my opinion, yesterday's swatches didn't demonstrate how stunning these shadows are. They look nice, but they didn't fully capture the rich essence on the skin.
Today, I tried again. This time, I used a wet shadow brush, carefully trying to pick through the shards of my shattered shadows to get more pigment on my arm. I took photos in sun (way too shiny) and light shade. At left is the winner of the "swathathon," taken in light shade. It's not fabulous either, but I think it shows more clearly the difference in tone between the light grey and champagne/rose gold shimmer shades. It also gives a better view of the deep blue-grey whale color, which is exquisite in color and depth.
The compact has two levels, with two usable brushes in the lower level. As you can expect from Chantecaille, it's rounded and feels good in the hand. Everything about these compacts is luxurious, from their appearance to the product within. The powder shadows are creamy and blend with ease. They offer buildable color, one of my favorite features.
Chantecaille is always generous, supporting my favorite causes. Proceeds from La Baleine sales benefit the International Union for Conservation of Nature to help protect the high seas and their inhabitants. If you haven't read this information on Chantecaille's Web site, here's a summary.
The high seas cover nearly half of our planet. By definition, the high seas exist 200 nautical miles beyond each country's coastline, and there, without international regulation and jurisdiction, they are rapidly and ruthlessly being destroyed. Laid waste by industrial fishing, acid toxicity, floating plastic garbage, sonar pollution, and other human causes, the high seas have become an international feeding and dumping ground, a marine frontier where nothing is controlled, and nothing is sacred.
More than any creature, the Blue Whale symbolizes the health of the high seas. Stretching up to more than 100 feet long and weighing up to 200 tons, this endangered species travels enormous distances, roaming the farthest reaches on its migratory route, as it criss-crosses the high seas. Along the way, it continually experiences threats from humans. Hundreds of whales die each year from entanglement in fishing nets. Sonar pollution, noise from container ships, and undersea drilling and exploration disorient whales, hindering their communication and causing physical damage. Thousands of whales are hunted and killed each year in spite of the official moratorium on whaling, as several nations find their way around legal loopholes [ed: or just condone ignorance and greed] and support hunts of this extraordinary creature.
In order to safeguard our planet, we must work together to protect the high seas. To help with that effort, Chantecaille is donating five percent of the sales of La Baleine Collection to The International Union for Conservation of Nature. I love beautiful makeup, but I am doubly thrilled with it when I know that part of my purchase could help save whales!
You can purchase Chantecaille from their Web site, where there is often a special offer. If you need to see before you buy, you can find Chantecaille at Neiman Marcus, Bergdorf Goodman, and select Saks and Nordstrom stores.
Photo at top courtesy of Chantecaille