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.

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