Chanel's Spring 2011 Collection Les Perles de Chanel Palette Yeux is a stunner. Earlier this week, I received the pieces I had purchased online. On Tuesday, I went over to Saks and picked up the pieces I had purchased over the phone. I bought six items - the first Chanel collection in a long time that has inspired me to purchase deeply into the look.
Over the next few days, I will be showing you the items that sang to me. Today I'll feature Ombres Perlées de Chanel ($65), a limited-edition eye shadow palette that has an unusual powder texture - creamy, almost spongy in the pan.
The palette offers five luminous shades that flatter the eyes a bit differently in every light. The ultra-refined powder formula, with the luster of fine pearls, is presented in five shades: Blanc Perle, Rose Porcelaine, Violine Clair, Gris Vert, and Gris Noir. All leave a beautiful sheen on the eyelids, a sheen that clings. There's no fallout, no micro-glitter, no artificial powder look to these, features that have turned some off to Chanel eye shadows. The texture of Ombres Perlées de Chanel is exquisite.
The magic of this palette comes from its success in mimicking the luster of pearls. Each shade is characterized by the reflective quality or brilliance of the nacre on the pearl's surface. The more lustrous the pearl, the more it shines and reflects light. The more heavily you apply these shadows, the more lustrous they become. The palette is a perfect tribute to Coco Chanel, whose love of pearls is legendary.
Blanc Perle is vanilla-toned, and Rose Porcelaine is a pigmented peach on my skin. The other three shades are smoky. What I like about them is the ease with which I can modulate the intensity of each. I layered them fairly heavily on my arm, using a sponge-tipped applicator. On the first pass, the color is a shadow - exactly what "eye shadow" should be. As I build the color, the personality of each shade appears. This is probably the best photo of the shades I got during the brief snatch of sun we enjoyed yesterday. The shades, shown top to bottom as they are listed above, span a color range that give this palette a flexibility that many don't offer.
My absolute, without-a-doubt favorite shade is Gris Vert - one of the prettiest smoky greens I have seen in a long time. Gris Vert, with the characteristic pearl tones, has the look of a green pearl, rare in nature, expensive in jewelery, but oh so pretty against the skin. I have green pearl earrings I adore. It's a classy shade.
Violine Clair, a smoky violet, is best used on my skin with a light hand, but that's my lavender aversion speaking. It has the same luster that Gris Vert offers - luminously pretty. Gris Noir is more traditional, but sophisticated, a charcoal or gunmetal grey with just a hint of taupe on my skin. In a different light, it might reflect green or blue. It's a complex shade, one that I suspect will adopt the tone of the shadows it's near. I'll know more after I have more time with it. While I may not use Gris Noir to the bottom of the pan, like some of the other shades, it's a stunner on the lids - and a perfect eyeliner.
The shades blend beautifully, so the custom shades you can create for your smoky eye are limitless. Even though I don't think of these shades as "spring," spring in the world of beauty introductions isn't spring anymore. It's winter, the perfect time for a smoky eye. By spring, cosmetics companies will have introduced their summer collections, for a lighter look to wear as your mood and attire lighten.
I've read universally flattering reviews of Ombres Perlées de Chanel (my friends Sabrina at The Beauty Look Book and Amy at Café Makeup have both reviewed it). We're all impressed! That means you should look for it - see if you can resist. You can use the shades with a light hand for day, but you'll find the palette most useful for creating a glamorous evening look. Make sure to wear pearls.
You can purchase Ombres Perlées de Chanel at Chanel's own Web site and Chanel counters everywhere.
Photos at top courtesy of Chanel