Monday, November 5, 2012

Chanel Illusion d'Ombre Long Wear Luminous Eyeshadow from Les Expressions de Chanel

This is a tale of extremes or contrasts, between day or night, good or bad, delight or disappointment, love or hate, silky or gritty. I purchased two new Illusion d'Ombre Long-Wear Luminous Eyeshadows ($36), and they could not be more different.

Abstraction (#88), shown above, is absolutely gorgeous. You'd never know it from looking in the pot. Vision (#89), shown below, is a mess - another thing you wouldn't know unless you try it. How could the same company make such different products with the same name: Illusion d'Ombre?

Let's start with the one I love: Abstraction. Who would have known that the funky orange color in the pot would be a soft pink-peach on the skin? It has a wearable shimmer that gives it life and makes it flattering. It's easy to apply with a cream shadow brush, and it offers a nice balance between sheer and pigmented. I can wear it during the day; it's office-friendly. I can build the color and wear it at night. It's definitely worth your consideration no matter what your skin tone.

Vision, on the other hand, is the opposite. It's garish. Even worse, it's chunky. It's very hard to apply. I struggle as I try to achieve even color and break down the chunks of glitter that come out of the pot with any applicator. Without a lot of work, what you'll get from Vision is a very sheer gold filled with glitter, some of it in big chunks.

When I swatched for these photos, I used a sponge-tipped applicator, but I tested on my eyes with a cream shadow brush. The little brushes that came with the shadows were stiff and useless - like they were old. I took my photos in full sun. I actually tried to even out Vision for the photos. I should have shown you the chunky mess that applies on my skin.

After I took these photos, I tried to apply Vision lightly, thinking I could show you how it would look when applied with a brush. The light application was even worse than the uneven one you see directly above and below. Just imagine an eye shadow you don't want - especially for $36. There are so many gorgeous holiday golds on the market. Even Chanel addicts should bypass this Vision.

Let's turn back to the gorgeous one, Abstraction. It's so much more fun to talk about treasures. Wear it day or night and look great. The color makes my blue eyes bluer - or green eyes greener - when they decide to be green. It's a great cream eye shadow. Definitely stop by a counter to see it.

There you have it. A tale of contrasts. I'm still shaking my head. You can find Les Expressions de Chanel at Neiman Marcus. It's available on the Neiman Marcus Web site with free shipping in the U.S. (FSFALL). It's also available at Bloomingdale's online. I'm sure everyone will have it soon - or on Black Friday. Since the collection hadn't posted on Chanel as of yesterday, there's plenty of time to order.

Photos by Best Things in Beauty


Jessi G said...

Unbelievable-I never would have known, and I never have time to peruse the beauty counters, I order everything online even though I live extremely close to some very lovely malls. Your readers and I thank you for taking the time to write and maintain a blog, I toyed with the idea, but to do it properly is a huge undertaking that I don't have the patience for. The gold Chanel shade was on my wish list-no more!

Running with Scissors said...

I have had Abstraction for ages now (love it!) and have been dreaming of the golden one, but not any more.

Not only because of your review, but because I decided to get the Dior Grand Bal 524 golden quint as I loved the gold in that.

I've had my quint for only 4 days (I live in Sydney), but it's divine and the gold is yummmmmy!

Cindy's Societal said...

While I do think it deviates quite strongly from the performance of the other Illusion d'Ombres, I still quite like Vision :) It looks pretty when worn as a sheer wash of colour.

The glitter is definitely chunkier, reminds me a little bit the glitter shadows from Shu Uemura.

Sara_BeaTime said...

I think Chanel intented to have the gold version of Fantasma (which is a transparent one with white glitters) with Vision. It suits more on top of other eye shadows to add glitter, not on its own. I compared it to Armani ETKs and other golds, I have nothing more glittery than that, which might be, depending on the occasion, something one wishes for ;-)

Megan said...

Thanks for the swatches!

I rather DO wish you'd show products as they apply, though, and not try to make them look nice for photos. I'd much rather know what Vision looks like as applied, and not packed on/cleaned up/made to look presentable, because that's not what I'll experience on my eyes. The same with shadow swatches...I love how you get the vibrant colors to show up, but most of us don't use a ton of product put on with sponge-tipped applicators. I'd love to have a more accurate idea of what colors will actually look like in use--maybe with a shadow brush over primer?--more like how a person would actually be using it. It's tough to tell, sometimes, whether you're just trying to show us the color that's in the pan, or whether the shadow's pigmentation really is that true. If that makes sense.

Anonymous said...

I really think that your review about the "Vision" is not fair. I have it for several months now (since they were lunched at UK) and absolutely love it. The purpose of "Vision" is to be a topper for the eye shadows (like "Fantasme"), it's not meant to be worn alone and as a topper they're absolutely perfect - no fallout, crease resistant, easy to apply (had no problem there)and looks gorgeous!

Anonymous said...

First time commenter! I have been reading your blog for quite some time now and love your thorough and well written reviews. I live in the Netherlands and have Vision for some months now. I actually do like it. It is indeed a golden version of Fantasme, intended to use as a sheer wash over other eyeshadows. However, I agree that it is very glittery and certainly not office friendly. I think it's more of a high fashion/fun shade. I did a little experimenting on how to be able to wear it more often. I found you can tone it down by applying Vision first and then apply matte neutral shades on top. It's a high maintenance shade and it takes a bit of effort to make it work. Apparence from the holiday collection would be the better choice for sure, but I like having Vision in my collection. Claudia

Charlestongirl said...

Hi Jessi,

Thanks. It is a huge undertaking. Sometimes I think I'm crazy. :)

Charlestongirl said...

Hi Christy,

That is indeed a beautiful Dior palette.

Charlestongirl said...

Glad you like it, Cindy. I just don't understand how Chanel could put out a shade that is so different from the others and not explain in their product sheets that they intended a different application or use.

Charlestongirl said...

Hi Sara,

It's the same concept Bobbi Brown has applied to her glittery shades. I know they can be worn as shadow toppers. Personally, I find that I only need one or two of them.

Even when trying to use Vision as a sheer wash, I got those darn clumps of glitter that I had to blend out with effort. Not worth it for me. There's just too much glittery gold eye shadow out there.

Charlestongirl said...

Hi Megan,

Yours is a good idea. Unfortunately those as-used swatches don't photograph well. There are a lot of great bloggers who show the products on their eyes, and I hope you are reading them too!

Charlestongirl said...

Hi Anonymous,

I'm glad you like it! It's not for me, and I can't write the everywoman blog. My opinions are only that - opinions. Always keep that in mind.

Charlestongirl said...

Hi Claudia,

Definitely has a place as a high-fashion item. Glad you pointed that out. I live a very boring life. :)

Megan said...

@CharlestonGirl--Oh! You know, I didn't even think that you'd end up with washed-out swatches if you applied them as you would to your face. That makes sense.

Anonymous said...

I just wanted to point something out. There are TWO new gold CHANEL illusions d' ombre that are being released around the same time. One is VISION, which you reviewed here. The other is APPARENCE. I don't want people to get confused. I bought APPARENCE the other day after doing a swatch test and comparing it to Vision. Vision is very BRIGHT yellow 24k gold and very much like Fantasme in how it applies.
Apparence however, is quite different. It is a warmer gold, much less flashy, more bronzed and more traditional in its application like other illusions d'ombre. It provides much more color as opposed to glitter. I was not planning on buying it at all but I really loved it.

Charlestongirl said...

Featured here on October 10.

I don't think anyone would mistake Apparence for Vision. It's another night and day comparison.

Mona said...

I used the gold one over a shadow for evening, I just lightly dab the glitter over the shadow just to give it a bit of a evening look. Otherwise I would never be able to wear it. Try it on a brownish color (that is not a matte shadow) and lightly dab the gold over it.
I got a lot of compliments at a wedding.