CHANEL #817 Apparence Illusion d’Ombre – Holiday 2012 (swatches, comparison & review)


One of the other items I picked up from CHANEL’s Holiday 2012 Collection (see previous reviews here and here) was the limited edition ‘Apparence’ Illusion d’Ombre – a richly gleaming bronze-gold hue, that is not only a holiday-ready shade, but in perfect harmony with the rest of this luxurious collection. That, and the fact that I collect these little gems; who can resist owning a little pot of gold?




Apparence (closeup detail)


Illusion d’Ombre in #817Apparence – (CAD $38.00) is a highly wearable golden shade, with its versatility stemming from the darker bronze tints that it bears. Easily worn as a light wash of colour across the lid for a spotlighted yet fresh look, it can also be built up for more intensity and drama, or layered on top of other hues to create completely unique combinations. Applied with a finer brush, ‘Apparence’ also works beautifully as a liner or inner eye corner highlighter; it can also be lightly patted on top of cheekbones for a unique lightly golden gleam. With some taupe leanings in its base to give it some coolness, ‘Apparence’ is an excellent colour for paler skin tones, yet not too frosty for warmer tones either.

For me, worn without primer, the lasting power of the Illusion d’Ombre range is anywhere between 6-7 hours before I see any significant creasing; with primer, that number is easily doubled – an amazing result for such an emollient product. Using your finger to apply this shadow definitely yields the best results, but I prefer the precision and control afforded by a brush; synthetic-fibre brushes work best for depositing an even layer and excellent if you wish to build the colour up. Natural-bristle brushes, on the other hand, give a more diffused appearance to the application and help to blend it more evenly into other shades as well as soften any edges. No matter which you choose, I like how this product gives you some time to play with it, before it sets. Personally, I suggest experimenting with a variety of brushes to find the method and look which works best for you.

Apparence – in sunlight

Apparence – indirect light

Apparence  and the gold shade from the ‘Harmonie du Soir’ quad


I was concerned that #817 Apparence would be too similar to #89 Vision (released this past summer and previously reviewed here), but even a cursory look shows how different they are from each other. Not only is ‘Vision’ a more yellow-toned gold (think gold bricks), but even the application is significantly different, as it bears more of a glide to its texture, giving it a strong foil-like appearance as compared to the more refined yet grittier look of Apparence.

swatches seen in sunlight

swatches seen in sunlight


Final thoughts: Even though the shades aren’t that alike, if you missed out on the limited edition ‘Vision’, then here’s your chance to sate that loss with ‘Apparence’ – although personally, I think that of the two, this release is so much more wearable and compatible with a larger variety of skin tones. Another advantage to this texture, especially for a metallic shade, is that you experience no fall-out in application, and while I like the idea of adding some sparkle to my look, I prefer it to remain contained – not spread around my entire face mirror-ball style.

As the limited edition Illusion d’Ombre shades seem to fly off the shelves, I wouldn’t wait too long in deciding to pick this up … just giving fair warning!

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