Chanel Fall 2011: Illusions d’Ombres

This has been an amazing year for Chanel cosmetics. Collection after collection, they’ve just taken my breath away… and I think fall might be their best work yet.

There’s a lot to talk about for fall. The collection is named for the new eyeshadow formula it introduces (Illusions d’Ombres, sparkly “jelly” formula shadows) — but I think I’d like to talk about those last.

Even without the Illusions d’Ombres, fall is all about the eyes for me. Just take a look at Chanel’s new (and permament! Halleluia!) Prelude eyeshadow quad ($57). Its shades are grey taupe with tiny iridescent shimmer; a satin, dully gleaming beige-gold; a soft, sheer, light purple-taupe with tiny iridescent shimmers; and a sheer matte soft-black. I think this could be my favorite Chanel quad ever (supplanting Beiges de Chanel, Smoky, and Mystic Eyes).

And then! (Be still my heart!) — Khaki Platine eyeliner. It’s green-grey-silver, the color of money (American bills, anyway). Beauty too rich for use, for earth too dear. Green-silver is my favorite color, and this is one of the best executions of that color I’ve ever seen. Khaki Platine is a Crayon Yeux, a non-waterproof, regular/non-mechanical pencil. It’s $29, and limited edition.

Last on this arm is Rose Ecrin Joues Contraste blush ($43), a glowy, very soft frozen-pink (the color reminds me of Armani’s spring blush, actually). Rose Ecrin is a permanent shade; I’ve heard it’s slated to replace Rose Dust.
Chanel, fall 2011, swatches, Prelude, Khaki Platine, Rose Ecrin, KarlaSugar, Karla Sugar
Fall is never my season for lipsticks. I know almost everyone in the world loves a mauve lip, but I never feel comfortable in purple.

Chanel fall gives you a plethora of lip formulas to choose from. Starting on the left, we have two Rouge Coco lipsticks ($32 each). Etole is mauvey rose; Plumetis is a muted blue-pink with very tiny blue and pink sparkles that give it a slightly shimmery quality. Both are permanent.

There are two pretty new lipliners, sheeny coral-pink Coraline and matte brick-rose (with a few tiny gold sparkles) Rose Cuivre. They’re $29, and permanent to the collection.

There are three Glossimers. Mauve creme Giggle is a repromote, but Pampille and Braise are new. Pampille is a sheer pinked peach with dense silver and light pink sparkles. Braise is a cranberry rose with pink and gold sparkles. These are $28.50 each.

Finally, there are two Rouge Double Intensite, longwearing, dual-ended lipglosses ($34). They have long-wearing, liquid-lipstick-like, full coverage gloss on one end (which can be drying if worn alone), and clear gloss in the other (for moisture and shine). Cool rose pink Rose Quartz is a repromote. I’ve heard mauvey, berry rose Rose Morganite is a U.S.-only color.
Chanel, fall, 2011, swatches, Etole, Plumetis, Coraline, Rose Cuivre, Giggle, Pampille, Braise, Rose Quartz, Rose Morganite, KarlaSugar, Karla Sugar
At last, the Illusions d’Ombres. These eyeshadows have a dry, resilient, spongy feel, kind of like poking a mushroom. (They’re not very wet, compared to other cream shadows). They also feel remarkably smooth for something so sparkly.

I made my swatches with my fingertips (tapping a finger on the product, then rubbing it along my arm). It would be possible to apply these more heavily, but also to apply them more sheerly.

If I were to distinguish between the finishes, I’d saw Fantasme and Mirifique are glittery, Epatant and Illusoire are sparkly, and Emerveille and Ebloui are shimmery.

Fantasme is glittery white-silver sparkles (with a few pink sparkles). Epatant is an absolutely ravishing sparkly silver-green-pewter (between Epatant and Khaki Platine, I’m in heaven). Emerveille is beige-peach shimmer. Ebloui is shimmery red-brown with a few tiny pink and green sparkles. A lot of people shy away from red shadows, but my sales associate said it’s a great shade for the lower lashline. She actually put it on me (on my lower lashline and above my top-lid eyeliner) and it “finished” my makeup beautifully.

Illusoire is a sparkly, complex, warm silver-brown taupe with a few tiny purple and green sparkles. Mirifique is a blendable sooty black with silver sparkles.
Chanel, fall 2011, Illusions d'Ombres, swatches, Graphite, Quartz, Peridot, Fantasme, Epatant, Emerveille, Ebloui, Illusoire, Mirifique, KarlaSugar, Karla Sugar
These shadows are $36 each, and come in a screw-top jar. Each shade comes with a brush, which is flat (for applying shadow to the lid), with an angled edge (for applying the product as eyeliner). My sales associate says she’s been using a flat, synthetic concealer brush to put these on customers. Creative Director for Chanel Makeup Peter Philips prefers to use his fingers. I’d like to try a fluffy blending brush (which is what I use for my Make Up For Ever Aqua Creams).

My sales associate also said these make an excellent base for powder shadows (if you want a less sparkly final look). She also recommended using Fantasme or Emerveille on the center of your lip, on top of lipstick (for a long lasting dimensional shine).

The Chanel fall nail polishes have (deservedly) been getting a lot of attention. They’re all pretty complex (and they’re each $25). Quartz is a taupey, smoky quartz brown-silver. It sort of reminds me of a darker version of Chanel Trapeze, and I’d like the color if not for the finish. It’s a frost with tiny pink and green microshimmers.

Peridot is a green-gold duochrome shimmer that can look green, gold, amber, or olive, depending on the angle. It’s like a beetle shell.

Graphite is a true looks-gritty-feels-smooth foil (it feels incredibly smooth even without a topcoat). It’s a dark steely silver foil with a lot of gold glitter. So it’s definitely, obviously grey-silver in sunlight, but looks warmer as it moves under indoor lighting. I painted one hand as I was making my arm swatches. (This is three coats, no base coat, no top coat.)
Chanel, Graphite, swatches, sunlight, KarlaSugar, Karla Sugar, fall 2011
Chanel, Graphite, swatches, indoors, Karla Sugar, KarlaSugar, fall 2011
Are you as rapturous as I am? Come discuss it on Talk!

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17 Responses to “Chanel Fall 2011: Illusions d’Ombres”

  • Gail says:

    I am so excited for this collection. Thanks for the preview.

  • Gail says:

    I wear the Rose Petal how would you describe Rose Eurcin in comparison?

  • Pami says:

    Ooooh, I didn’t think I would like the quad until I saw your swatches! Bee-you-tee-full!!!
    Epatant and Khaki Platine – LOVE!!!

    Appreciate the SA suggestion to use Emerveille on the center of your lip. I almost always dot something light and shimmery there, and anything that can multi-task is always a bonus…

    All 3 nail polishes look amazing too, with Peridot being the most unique I think. Now if only I can find the $$$…

    Thanks so much for the great swatches, descriptions & SA comments/tips!

  • Leah says:

    What a gorgeous collection! The e/s quad looks fantastic!

  • prettified says:

    wow. I was hoping that I could skip Chanel fall- but I made the huge mistake of checking out your site! Now it’s at the point of I NEED these. Past wanting. Now I have to see how many boxes of macaroni and cheese I can eat so that I can use my food budget on makeup :)

  • I’m fairly certain that quad would look terrible on me. I think I will try to skip for now. It’s driving me nuts the Illusions d’Ombres aren’t up on Neiman Marcus online yet when the rest of the collection is?! I must have that liner and I think Coraline lip liner.

    How close do you think Rose Ecrin is to the spring Armani blush? I have and love it and had planned on getting Rose Ecrin but if they are dupes then I may pass….at least for now.

    You have the most beautiful nails! long, slender nail bed. So jealous! I have Graphite and Peridot arriving this week and I can’t wait!

  • KarlaSugar says:

    Gail, Rose Petale is my favorite Joues Contraste. It’s a very different color from Rose Ecrin though. It’s more pigmented, warmer, peachier. Rose Ecrin is a cooler, softer pink. (It’s too *pink*, not enough peach for me.)

    prettified, I am with you on the mac and cheese. Maybe we can mix it up with ramen.

    Perilously Pale, I think you can probably skip Rose Ecrin if you have the Armani blush (the Armani seemed more pigmented). If you change your mind… Rose Ecrin is permanent, so it should be around for a while.

  • Jenny says:

    Overly sparkly/shiny isn’t really my style but that eyeliner and the neutral quad…oh man. Thank goodness the quad is permanent so I can bide my time/money a little. Coraline also interests me though it may be a little too orange. Thanks for the amazing swatches Karla! This whole collection looks amazing – channel cosmetics is really stepping up their game.

  • Evelyn says:

    Epatant is just so amazing! Chanel is evil for putting out such lovely items that we must buy.

  • Chantal says:

    Yes, graphite is lovely. Our collective drool has not been wasted.

    But hold the phone! Your nails and cuticles are looking absolutely fantastic. How have I never noticed before that you have nailbeds that go on for miles? Instead of “Look at my Nails!” your nail posts should be titled “Look at my Nailbeds!” O_o

  • Eileen says:

    Periously Pale,

    I hate to contradict Karla, but Rose Écrin is completely different from Armani Spring. Rose Écrin has a hint of peach and beige which makes it a soft neutral rose that blends seamlessly with the complexion. Armani Spring is pink with cool undertones and is more intense than the Chanel. I have both. Trust me, they are completely different.

  • Jean says:

    Must…have…Prelude! Beiges and Mystic Eyes are two of my favorite quads, so I have a feeling Prelude will be right up there with them!

    The Graphite polish looks great on you!

    Are the Illusion d’Ombres more creamy-textured than Armani Eyes to Kill Excess shadows? Also, are the Chanel ones going to be permanent, or are they LE?

    Thanks, and have a fab day!

  • Eileen I thank you…and my credit card does not! LOL

  • The Peridot nail polish…my God, I must have it. I wonder if they would paint a car in that shade?

  • Bridal Gal says:

    I LOVE chanel’s colors! Thanks for posting! I’m always surprised when they do something that isn’t classic though (and classy). I don’t think they should dilute their brand with weird trends, but maybe that’s just me!

  • Excellent swatches and preview! Thanks! Just love this collection!

  • KarlaSugar says:

    Eileen, your feedback is always appreciated! I can see Rose Ecrin being slightly peachier than the Armani blush, and it’s more glowy… and it swatched very sheerly. But the colors still look like the same family to me… I don’t own either, so Perilously Pale, I’ll be waiting to read your review.

    Jean, the Chanel Illusions d’Ombre are permanent, and the texture is… different from the Armani shadows (but I wouldn’t say creamier, exactly). The Chanel shadows have a dry, resilient, spongy feel. The Armani shadows are like damp, loosely packed sand (if that makes sense).

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