CHANEL Ombre Contraste in Notorious – Sculpting Veil for Eyes and Cheeks


I was watching a Pixiwoo video when I first heard Sam praising CHANEL’s ‘Notorious’. Uh, what? A frantic Google search yielded little results, other than to say that it was a limited edition item (shocker) and that it hadn’t been released in North America yet. Then it started popping up on some blogs, and the craving for this product intensified … but what was it exactly? And how can I lust after something when I don’t even know what it does? That, my beauties, is what it means to have faith in a brand: you just know that no matter what they release, it won’t disappoint.

Notorious Sculpting Veil

Notorious Sculpting Veil


Ombre Contraste ‘Notorious’ Sculpting Veil for Eyes and Cheeks (CAD $48.00) – Released as part of CHANEL’s Contrastes Essentiels Collection for Autumn/Winter 2012, this is a multi-purpose product; designed to work primarily as a contour for the face, it can also be layered along with a brighter blush for the purpose of toning down any excessive vibrancy, and finally as an eyeshadow shade. Slightly smaller in size than a regular Joues Contraste blush (4 g/0.14 oz vs 6g/0.21 oz) it’s also priced higher, although its uniqueness helps to balance that out (yes, I do an excellent job of convincing myself!). The colour is a cross between mousy-grey and taupe, although I catch the faintest plum hints in the base, which serve to warm it up and prevent it from looking muddy. There also seems to be a slight lavender iridescent shimmer seen on the powder’s surface which does not translate to the skin when applied, but serves to give an added depth. The powder itself is exceptionally finely milled and there was a touch of kickback when I swirled my brush into it, but I don’t mind scooping up any residue that may fall along the sides – no waste incurred.

My findings: I’m still learning how to play and apply this powder, but upon initial application (over foundation), my first thought was that I looked like either A) I had dirt smudges on my face B) I was going for the gaunt, grunge look or C) an extra from a zombie movie. Then, after working it in with a buffer brush and finishing the rest of my makeup, I literally did a double-take:


Unprecedented. For the first time in my life, I was able to apply contour and make it look like something I was born with. Ok, well maybe not born with, but a really good facsimile of what proper contouring is supposed to look like. Initial application appeared somewhat harsh, but the velvety-smooth texture of ‘Notorious’ makes it super easy to blend out. With grey being the predominant shade of this matte-finish powder, it serves to actually mimic the look of real shadows on the skin, as opposed to brown-based contour powders that just wind up looking unnatural.

A word of caution here: placement of this powder is also key, so take the time to learn your face: applied too low along the jawline, and you run the risk of looking like you need a shave. Also, note that this product is quite pigmented and that a little goes a long way, so choose which brushes to use wisely.

About 10-15 minutes after applying and working it in (I began with the lightest touch along the hollows of my cheeks, then slowly built it up to my desired intensity) it appeared that the powder fused and merged even better with my skin, without giving me that dreaded “stripe-y” over-contoured look, but actually appearing quite realistic. Lasting power was impressive as well, easily going for 12 hours before I noticed any fading at all.

Notorious (indirect light)

Notorious (with flash)

Notorious Sculpting Veil applied – my photo is so NOT doing it justice, trust me!


Final thoughts: Maybe it’s just me, but I love knowing that I’m using a product that was originally created for one of CHANEL’s runway shows. I’ve also wanted to delve more into contouring, but have been resisting. I’m guessing I was subconsciously waiting for the right product to come along, and now that ‘Notorious’ has come into my makeup sphere, I’ll be happily going into previously unexplored territory. The only issue is the fact that it IS limited edition and probably almost sold out, although I’ve heard rumours that there might be more released – CHANEL, I hope you’re listening, because you NEED to make ‘Notorious’ part of the permanent lineup.

I ordered mine through Holt Renfrew’s Bloor St. store in Toronto, although my CHANEL sales agent at The Bay assured me that her counter would be receiving stock as well – I’m thinking back-ups would be smart.

32 Responses to CHANEL Ombre Contraste in Notorious – Sculpting Veil for Eyes and Cheeks

  1. Angie Monroe says:

    is there any chance that you want to sell the notorious blush my dear?? <3 Im slowly dying since it came out and did not got a chance to get it hehe.. lmk! xo!

    • Eugenia says:

      I’m sorry, Angie – but I actually do use it regularly and I definitely will not be parting with it – then again, I would never part with any piece of my CHANEL collection!

  2. I haven’t had the time to contour this week but fiddled around with it a few times and it’s been interesting, lol. I tried contouring my nose with it and totally looked like another person!!!

    It only takes a light touch so I can’t imagine needing a backup but we can always dip into it as eye shadow as well and make a huge dent in it!

    • Eugenia says:

      It’s funny, cause just today I was hesitating on whether or not I finally will shell out the $48.00 for another one; my heart says “get a back-up”, but my brain says “do you really think you’ll ever use even this one up?” In other words, the angel on one shoulder, the devil on the other, lol! I’m worried that by the time I decide, they’ll be all gone….oh well….

      The thing is, once you start getting the hang of this product, then you can’t imagine ever NOT using it. Ok, that settles it! I’ll order a back-up tomorrow!!

      • LOL! I think you’re always one to listen to the heart and I’m sure you will not regret it. :) Like Xiao said to me, this comes along only ONCE!

      • Eugenia says:

        Here’s one time where I’ll be praying that Xiao is wrong; I’m really hoping CHANEL sees what an indispensable product this is and decides to make it part of their permanent lineup! :)

  3. Melissa says:

    It came today! I’m so excited to try it tomorrow!

    • Eugenia says:

      YAY!!! Congrats! Just remember that you start with a light touch, blend, build and blend some more! Also, I find that it looks better about 10-15 minutes AFTER it’s applied, so don’t let the first impression be your guide! Let me know how it turns out!

  4. I love mine too Big Sis!! It’s amazing and I want a backup too!

    • Eugenia says:

      You were so right about this, Lil Sis! I’ll be ordering a back TODAY!! PS: SO happy to hear you got good news for Marky — can’t wait to learn what it is! :)

  5. olivia says:

    I was about to do a post on the importance of a contour color or taupes but it keeps being moved back due to my brain not having enough RAM at the moment.

    I do not have this one but knowing it is a Chanel, just makes it special and collectible (<–did I spell it right). Anyway, they should keep it as a regular since it is an IMPORTANT color. I do wish they kept their cake mascara too in the various colors. I miss those! I didn't mean to get off the subject. Just hoping they read your blog and notice the comment! LOL

    • Eugenia says:

      HAHAHA! I wouldn’t hate it if they read my blog *insert Cheshire Cat grin here* I don’t know why I’m drawing a blank on the cake mascara, but I have the 2 cake eyeliner compacts that the brand produced. I also have a bunch of other cool oldies but goodies – mental note to self to prepare another “from the vault” post…

      Getting back to the contouring, I would KILL to pick your brain on contouring how-to; something tells me you’d be able to steer me right, right?! Lol!! WRITE THAT POST, OLIVIA!!!

  6. Maribeth says:

    This is so fascinating! I am a firm believer in contouring, and this seems like such a cool alternative to using a typical bronzer type product! Very, very cool!

    (Also, I giggled out loud at “…you run the risk of looking like you need a shave”. bahahahahah! <3

    • Eugenia says:

      You’re a few steps ahead of me, my friend when it comes to contouring – I’m still feeling my way through, lol! This is a totally cool product and if CHANEL doesn’t make it permanent, I think I’ll cry – backups won’t be so easy to find, I’m afraid :( !

      Five o’clock shadow on a woman, especially a “beauty blogger” is never a good look…..!!

  7. Ahhh, this makes me so sad, lol. I’m glad you love it and that the colouring works for you! I wanted it, but the ingredients don’t work for me…I’m still on the lookout for the perfect contouring shade! Most browns are too warm X_X

    • Eugenia says:

      Awwwwww……and now I feel bad *deeply sad face* Since I’m a newb when it comes to contouring, I can’t really offer any advice as to what else may be out there that works for you in terms of colour and ingredients, but I’ll keep a look out just the same AND cross my fingers you’ll luck out too!

  8. Melissa says:

    Eugenia, this is beautiful! Should I start calling The Bay in Toronto to find one? It’s so gorgeous! I’d love to see it as an eyeshadow too.

    • Eugenia says:

      Thanks, Melissa! By all means call The Bay and see if that leads to anything, but right now your best bet would probably be the Bloor St. Holt’s store. As to the eyes, in the photo of my face which I included, I had actually applied ‘Notorious’ along the outer crease to add some depth and soften the edges of the other shades – might not be too clearly visible, but it looked amazing!

      • Melissa says:

        I called Bay Queen and she said that its only sold in the USA so I’m going to call Holt Bloor next.

      • Eugenia says:

        What was I saying about less-than-well-informed sales associates? Only in the US? Riiiiight. Luckily, the Chanel counter staff at Holt’s Bloor are super friendly AND know their stuff. Good luck!

      • Melissa says:

        You were right Eugenia, Holt Bloor had it and its ordered! Thanks for the great swatches & review and all your help in finding it!

      • Eugenia says:

        You’re more than welcome, Melissa! Have fun with your new gem when it arrives! :)

  9. acidkitty says:

    I, too, ordered mine from the Bloor Holt Renfrew (still waiting for it to arrive), but the Bay in Ottawa told me they wouldn’t be getting it, that it was a Chanel Boutique exclusive. I also checked with Holt’s in Montreal and Ottawa and they don’t expect to receive it. Good thing the Bloor Holts were so easy to deal with over the phone 😀 I can’t wait to try this!

    • Eugenia says:

      So happy you were able to snag one too! :) I was under the impression that it was a CHANEL Boutique/Flagship store exclusive as well, but I’m still hoping that my Bay Chanel SA might be right – will save me the trouble of having to track down another one somewhere down the line, lol! Thanks for the info!

    • Sanda says:

      you could also get it from Chanel boutique on Bloor , I just got 2 today from there! :)

  10. Ahh sounds so promising. How I wish this would be released in Asia too (I’m based in Singapore). All the reviews that I read gave a very positive review, Do you know anything similar to this?

    • Eugenia says:

      I’ll keep my fingers crossed for you that it does come out there !

      Personally, I have nothing in my collection that comes close; ‘Lhasa’ from NARS is similar in colour, but the texture is off and it bears shine, so I wouldn’t recommend using it as a contouring product. There may be eyeshadows in a close colour & finish, but again, it’s a matter of texture; ‘Notorious’s’ secret is that it’s so wispy soft and finely milled, making it perfect for realistic contouring, although I’m still working on perfecting it as well!

What are your thoughts, beautiful?