Saturday, June 25, 2011

Chanel Illusion d'Ombre à Paupières Iridescente for Fall 2011

Now for the drama! Chanel's Fall 2011 Ready-to-Wear Collection during Paris Fashion Week showed us Peter Philips' laser-sharp focus on the eye. Study the images of the models on the drab grey, scorched earth runway, and you'll find that their looks were accented with Illusion d'Ombre Long Wear Luminous Eyeshadow ($36). Even though the backdrop to the gorgeous clothing and beautiful models was drab, their glowing eyes were anything but.

Before I received Illusion d'Ombre, I anticipated something similar to Giorgio Armani's Eyes to Kill Intense: cream shadows with a high shimmer and limited (for me) wearability. Gorgeous, but certainly not office-appropriate without great care on application. Luckily, this Chanel collection of six shades has something for everyone - the social gal on the town and the woman who wants to look polished and professional, but still pretty.

Illusion d'Ombre was designed to be used as eye shadow or liner. The formula, created with silicone and a patented silicone elastomer gel, yields a texture that is soft, with a glide to delight on application. The product is cushiony in the jar. Press on it with your fingers, or the shadow/liner brush that comes with each jar, and you'll detect a definite give. The brush applies a generous amount of product, even when swept lightly across the pigmented cream. The Chanel representatives at Neiman Marcus recommended using my finger to apply Illusion d'Ombre, and after trying it with the applicator and my finger, I prefer a finger application. That's because I'm not setting out for a runway, but rather real life. I love the watercolor wash I can achieve with a light, smudged application.

I purchased Émerveillé (#82) and Épatant (#84). Émerveillé is peach, and Épatant is a dreamy, ethereal green, which can be dark and dramatic or light and minty, depending on your application technique. I had planned to purchase Épatant, but Émerveillé forced its way into my bag when I visited Neiman Marcus. It's gorgeous too. The other shades, left behind, were aubergine/eggplant, pink, black, white, and a rather strange purple-red shade.

For some reason, Épatant wants to photograph charcoal in the pot. It's not. The sparkling khaki shade is better viewed on the skin. Here's the small brush that fits in the box with the shadow. Take the cap off, and insert the brush into the cap, and the brush becomes long enough to use. The angled bristles make it easy to use the shadow as a liner. I probably won't use the special brush at home. I have better synthetic brushes for cream application.

For my first swatch photo, I applied Illusion d'Ombre with the brush. I found that even a careful, light application with the brush resulted in dramatic color. It was actually a little "pebbly" in places, but blending back and forth with the brush helped me even it out. My photos were taken outdoors with a miffy sun that kept disappearing behind the clouds. Here you see the two shades - intense, dramatic, and exquisite.

Once I had taken a few photos of the unblended shadows, I decided to blend out the swatches on my arm. I was partially successful because they hadn't dried completely. I wanted to show you how you could smudge the shades to achieve a slightly less dramatic look. Now, we're talking office-appropriate. I would wear them as shown at left during the day. I was convinced I had discovered their secrets. Wait, though, it gets even better for day wear.

These two shades can be applied very lightly with your finger for a subtle wash of color. Two photos, one in more direct sunlight than the other, show you how Émerveillé and Épatant can become watercolors, subtly shimmering washes of color on the lid that will enliven your eyes and make you look like a summer gal. Now, I know why we'll be using a Fall 2011 Collection now! These shades are brilliant. Illusion d'Ombre will carry you from June through winter, allowing you to select your own look. I'm very pleased with them!

Whatever you do, tighten the cap on these shadows after you use them, or they will dry out. Protect your investment!

You can purchase Illusion d'Ombre and the rest of the fall collection (I have more to show you) at Chanel's Web site or your favorite Chanel counter. I bought my pieces online and at Neiman Marcus. I'm sure Saks, Nordstrom, Bloomingdale's, Lord & Taylor, and the rest of the counters have or will have the collection. Although it was scheduled to launch at counters in July, it arrived a week early.

Photos at top courtesy of Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images Europe and Vogue; other photos by Best Things in Beauty

22 comments:

PerilouslyPale said...

Beautiful! I thought I could escape without wanting these but I'm quickly changing my mind!

Ava said...

Chanel has outdone itself this year. Byzance will put them over the top! Can't wait for the quad.

Charlestongirl said...

Hi PerilouslyPale,

No such escape, gal! These two shades are right up your alley.

Charlestongirl said...

I agree, Ava! This has been an amazing year.

I'm still waiting for the boutique to call me about my Byzance quad. Maybe I'll check in with them tomorrow.

Eileen said...

Thank you, thank you, thank you for the application tricks and the accompanying pictures of the resultant looks. Since this formula is so novel, it's taken awhile for successful application techniques to make the rounds. It sounds like you hit upon a real winner with that "watercolor wash". That's the technique that convinced me I need to get Epatant after all. Super helpful review, Charlestongirl :-)

pinkribbons said...

Gorgeous! I'm more in love with these eyeshadows after seeing how sheer you can apply them.

lovethescents said...

If you hadn't swatched them, I wouldn't have been interested. Those swatches are certainly enticing! Now I'll have to swatch too :-)

too_busy_to_stitch said...

Oh, these are gorgeous - I hope they get over to the UK SOON :)

Eileen said...

Hi Ava,

There are some great pictures of Topkapi at Front Row Beauty. The lovely Reika also did an EOTD with it. Collection Byzance was evidently released in Australia this past week. Hopefully we'll have it here any day now.

Charlestongirl said...

Ava, Eileen, it arrived on our shores!

Anonymous said...

Hi Charleston, I'm back and it's delightful to see the beautiful make-up Chanel has prepared for our autumn: thank you for your gorgeous swatches and reviews which will help choosing what to buy! Here this make-up won't be available before August (the second half of the month):-)

Clarisse said...

Sorry, I went too fast and forgot to write my name: it's Clarisse and not Anonymous!-)

Clarisse said...

Sorry Charlestongirl and not Charleston, I'm really tired!!!!!

Charlestongirl said...

Oh no, Clarisse!

I don't understand why you chic gals in France have to wait over a month after we get our hands on these lovelies. You would think you'd have first choice!

Jo said...

I'd really not planned to purchase any of these, but if they are usable for the office, I must check these beauties out in person!

Charlestongirl said...

Just apply lightly, Jo! They are so pretty.

I can't encourage you to purchase the other shades because I haven't used them - not perfect for me.

Eileen said...

Woo-hoo! Byzance is here! OK, Ava; OK Charlestongirl, get those wallets out :-)

Ava said...

Charlestongirl, Eileen, I ordered Byzance from the Nordstrom Chanel Salon in Seattle! (Rubs hands together!) It wasn't clear whether it would arrive in the DC stores.

Charlestongirl said...

Mine is on its way from NY. Should be traveling tomorrow!

Bonnie C. said...

Very pretty! :-) Thanks for the review and photos.

Anonymous said...

Hi Charlestongirl,

I wonder how Epatant compares to Shu uemura's silver Khaki released back in their spring collection this year.

I would not have paied attention to Emerville but was pleasantly surprised after I saw your swatch.

Thanks

Daisy

Tracy@Beauty Reflections said...

NEED. These. NOW. :)
I'm going to stalk my Chanel counter every day until they are launched in Canada...