For CHANEL’s Eyes Collection 2018, Lucia Pica (the brand’s Global Creative Makeup & Colour Designer), drew inspiration from the magic of the night — in particular the way colours can both hide and reveal themselves, whether under artificial or natural lighting. The interplay of colour and texture is at the heart of this collection, but in my opinion, the true beauty is in how wearable everything is.
Longwear Eyeshadow Primer (CAN $39.00) | It’s no secret that I love cosmetics, but I can honestly say that out of everything in this collection, it’s this primer I was the most excited about; having lids that tend to get oily, I need something that will ensure my carefully (or even messily) applied makeup stays put.
Housed in a narrow tube with a frosted exterior, it comes with a soft flocked applicator for ease of application (I don’t have an issue with using my finger to smooth out primer on my eyelid, but I have a major pet peeve with those that require you to dip into — just NO). The formula contains cornflower water and glycerin — for both hydration and a smoothening effect, with soft-focus blurring powders and elastomers to also help [slightly] fill in any lines/wrinkles. The gel texture has a slight peachy tint which in turn becomes transparent, with its volatile oils evaporating once applied & set, all of which will ensure your makeup not only lays down smoothly on top, but will last without creasing. In fact, I put this baby to the test the second it came in — and under pretty extreme conditions too: playing tennis outdoors for a couple of hours with intense heat and enough humidity to make you melt. I may have actually melted, but my makeup stayed put. Completely.
N°304 Mystère et Intensité Les 4 Ombres (CAN $70.00) | One of two new palettes released in this collection (N°306 Splendeur et Audace, not shown), these colours made my heart skip a beat as soon as I opened it up — but its their application that almost gave me a full on heart-attack (not really, but you get the gist). CHANEL has really upped the stakes when it comes to their eyeshadow textures, and this palette is no different; smoothly applying, highly pigmented and colour-fast (when worn over primer), there is nothing I don’t absolutely love about this quad. Full stop.
- copper brown with golden glints
- intense red-violet
- soft matte blackened charcoal
I decided to prowl through my stash of similar hued eyeshadow quads from CHANEL, and the one that looked closest (in the pan) was Éclat Énigmatique (from the Cruise 2018 Collection), although the swatches tell a whole other story, as seen below.
N°836 Vert Métal Ombre Première Cream, limited edition (CAN $42.00) | One of two shades launched with this collection (N°838 Ultra Flesh, permanent — not shown), This is a golden iridescent khaki green that is absolutely exquisite — whether worn as a sheer wash of colour, or layered up for major impact. Each Ombre Première comes with an included sponge-tipped applicator, but for the most part I prefer using a flat synthetic brush to pick up the colour and usually finish up by blending with my finger for a diffused effect. Another brush I reach for when working with these cream eyeshadows, is a lip brush whose densely packed bristles make for a great lining tool. You can also use this layered under a similar hued shadow to give that extra bit of depth and pop of colour.
With the exception a very few, I have basically all the Illusion d’Ombre and Ombre Première Cream shadows CHANEL has produced, so I was surprised to find that Vert Métal had no duplicate. That said, I spent quite a bit of time looking for one particular shade I was sure would be a match (Épatant), which for some reason appears to have gone missing from my stash, but I’m fairly certain that while the two may have similarities colour-wise, the texture on this version makes it a true standout just the same.
N°44 Bleu Sélène Ombre Première Powder, limited edition (CAN $42.00) | One of two limited edition shades released with this launch (N°46 High-Profile, not shown), this is a highly pigmented powder eyeshadow with a smooth application and excellent blendability. You can wear it across the lid as a sheer wash of colour (so dreamy, am I right?), layered up for depth of tone, or applied with a dampened brush for maximum impact. Whichever way you opt for, its stunning gunmetal blue/grey hue will totally bring out your eye colour. Great staying power when worn over primer.
Stylo Ombre et Contour Eyeshadow Liner-Khol (CAN $40.00/each) | First launched with the Fall/Winter 2018 Collection (shown here), these are eye pencils that can be used a variety of ways; applied and smudged for a diffused effect, layered up for intensity, along the waterline, or even worn under powder shadow to provide longer staying power and more depth of tone. Housed in a retractable pen format (my fave — for hygienie and portability), the texture is unbelievably creamy but not so much that it slides around, while also enabling you to blend them out easily if desired. Unless you’re going for a “lived-in” look (which can be fun), I recommend applying primer first.
- N°02 Bleu Nuit – magnetic blue-green
- N°04 Electric Brown – deep brown with coppery shimmers
- N°06 Nude Éclat – rosy pearl-like ivory
- N°08 Rouge Noir – intense blackcurrant
My eyes lit up when I saw that CHANEL created a Rouge Noir in this version; as someone who is a longtime fan of this shade (seriously: I bought a first-run bottle of the nail polish, followed by the lipstick … and everything else Rouge Noir the brand has created), I was curious to see if it lived up to the legacy and am happy to report that it does … perfectly. Rummaging through my stash, I pulled out the Illusion d’Ombre of the same name, but forgot to include the matching liner (you can see a swatch here).
First of all, thank you CHANEL for finally creating an eye primer that totally works, not to mention having just ousted the one from NARS I’ve been using for years. As to the eye products, ALL have an absolutely stellar formula and are amazing to work with — asking me to pick a favourite is an impossible task, but if pressed, I’d have to say that the quad and Rouge Noir have my number. To sum up: one winning collection.
Available as of September 4 at all CHANEL beauty counters
Kindly provided by CHANEL for my unbiased consideration