Jun 282010

Released earlier than ever this year, Chanel’s Fall 2010 collection includes the Enigma (#19) ($56) eyeshadow quad (Chanel Les 4 Ombres Ombres a Paupieres Quatour /Quadra Eyeshadow).  The word “Enigma” evokes a puzzle or mystery; similarly Enigma evokes a dark smokey sparkle that bespeaks dark magic. In recent seasons, Chanel has introduced quads that have been unusual for the seasons in which they were released–light colors in Fall, jewel tones in Spring.  Breaking this pattern, Enigma is firmly rooted in fall tones of gray, mauve, deep grayed-greens and charcoals.  With one sparkling highlighting pink, the other three tones are clearly built for making a smoky eye with subtle flashes of light and off-blacks that give dimensional color around the eye.  As Coco Chanel has been thought to have said, only black can draw attention to one’s eyes.  The Enigma quad clearly arises out of that tradition.  Even the “mid-tone” shades in this palette are on the darker end of the scale.

I found the texture of the palette wonderful, one of Chanel’s better quad-formatted palettes.

You should note a few different things:

  • The color, density and consistency of application worked better with a base than without for me;
  • The pink is a neutral light pink.  This is a pink that I believe many skintones can wear close to the eye (although I do not typically wear a pink eyeshadow).  There is a lightness to the color that it does not seem as problematic as other pink eyeshadows.
  • Using any of these darker colors as a liner is not only possible, but really beautiful;
  • There is a microshimmer to each of the shades.  On application, it was most pronounced with the two medium colors –the top left and the bottom right.  The deepest shade (bottom right) behaved more closely to a matte, although this was not a true matte because microshimmer was clearly visible.
  • The overall impression that this palette gives is neutral-to-cool.  It will look dramatic on warm skin tones.
  • With the exception of the pink highlighter shade, each of the colors is quite complex.  Like Chanel’s Joues Contraste blushes, putting these colors into words usually requires a combination–such as plum-burgundy-mauve-gray.  See what I mean?

Leave it to Chanel to do shimmer well.  Because the base of these eyeshadows does not have any frost, the eyeshadow when applied did not appear to emphasize any line or irregularity on the lid.  It is not a distracting sparkle or a jejune frost, rather it is a way to add depth to the lid so that the eye is nicely emphasized.

Another swatch:

The following swatch was taken with flash (cooler light):

Here is a picture taken in direct sun, so that you can see the microshimmer.  When applied to the eye, the sparkle is not as obvious:

My thoughts:  Three of the shades in the palette are very dark and smokey, and the combination is obviously intended to make a deep, dark beautiful lid.   Those who love doing a smokey eye will find this palette very intuitive.  If you are looking for a lighter look, consider using the deeper tones very close to the lash line, fanning the deeper color out as you approach the eye crease.

Sometimes those with smaller lids, coloring or particular eye shapes do not like doing a deep or dark crease, because it can make the eye look smaller.  In those cases, a lighter look can also be achieved by covering more of the lid area with the pink highlighter, Chanel Beige (matte) or Chanel Lotus (shimmer).  Other light-to middle toned colors from your collection would work as well, although I would go with a neutral to cooler shade to stay in step with the rest of these colors.  Here is a link to some pictures that include three lighter tone grays to get you thinking.  A cooler gold, a light khaki-green or soft lavender might also work.

Do you need this palette? If the idea of a deep, jewel-toned smoke appeals to you, then yes.  If you are looking for less shimmer, you should look at the singles released with this collection:  Taupe Griséand Vert Khaki (I’ll be reviewing both over the coming days–they are both gorgeous).  Both of these singles evoke similar color tones to Enigma, but do so with heavier pigmentation and less shimmer.  Even so, the colors of all of the Fall eyeshadows are all different from one another.  There are no duplicates among them.

According to an email that I received from Chanel.com, the Enigma quad is a limited edition product (and so are the eyeshadow singles Taupe Grisé and Vert Khaki).

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  19 Responses to “Chanel Fall 2010: Enigma Quadra Eye Shadow”

  1. OMG Amy. You are killing me! I am so torn on this palette. I want to get away from a smokey eye, but the colors are so amazing that I am drawn to it like a moth to flame! Yes. I need this. I sincerely do. And a blush and the taupe single from the fall collection. What else did you get?

  2. Gorgeous photos. I got this yesterday and love it. I think it’s a must have for fall. Truly stunning. Great review and photos. They are very helpful 🙂

    One question though – I’m sure you’ve posted it before, what is your skin coloring? Can you tell us what foundation shades use? Thanks!

    • I am NC15/ Chanel Cameo, Sabrina, so this quad is quite dramatic on me! (I use sunscreen constantly so my foundation shade is pretty stable year round). This is one of my reasons for emphasizing that this quad can be quite dark. With my pale warm coloring and relatively small lidspace, I’ve got to be careful with this one! That being said, you and I both agree on this–this quad is beautiful and I absolutely had to have it. Thanks for your comments!

  3. The moment I’ve landed my eyes on this pallet-i loved it, and yes: I NEED and WANT it :). Amy, do you know when it will be released?

    • Goya–In the U.S. it is already being released. I bought this from Bergdorf Goodman in NYC by phone order last week. If you are an online shopper, it is up online at Chanel.com now. It will probably be on other sites (like Nordstrom, etc) soon, call their Cosmetics Hotline for the earliest accesss (it’s an 800 number listed on their website). They should be out on all U.S. counters over the next two to three weeks.

  4. Amy, I am a fair-skinned, blue/green/hazel-flecked-eyed honey blonde (whee! that’s a mouthful!); I love a smoky eye and do it all the time, with Chanel quads and now Dolce and Gabanna. How do you think I’d do with this particular quad? My fav Chanel one is Mystic. Do you think this would be too much? Also, do you think this is too much like Chanel’s spring Kaska Beige quad?

    • Susie–I think this is completely different than Kaska Beige, which had the golden tone. Plus, the mauve in Enigma is cooler with a lot of grey. If you love a smokey eye, I’m quite sure you could pull off Enigma, particularly if you love Mystic. The collection is now available on Chanel.com—or wait and swatch it at your local counter. My guess is that you will rock it– enjoy!! 🙂

  5. Wow! Thanks for getting back to me so fast. And I am going for the taupe grise softtouch too. You are wonderful, Amy!

  6. Amy,
    This is killing me. I love me a smokey eye – especially in the Fall/Winter. I need this and my bank account will be very disappointed in me but my eyes will thank me!

  7. Amy, I hope the sites you’ve mentioned hip outside of US, will have to check this out :).

    • Hi Goya! I believe that Nordstrom.com just recently started shipping outside the U.S., but I am not sure whether they ship to your country or not. They will carry this collection as well. Enjoy!

  8. We won’t get this collection here until the actual Autumn. I’m not sure I can wait! I definitely need the quad, the nail polish and one of the JCs.

  9. Thanks for the swatches….I really like this palette and it has all the colors I normally use. I will be linking to your article tomorrow in my Chic Enjoyed Reading post. 🙂

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  11. Lovely review Amy!
    I love the entire collection but I am wondering if it will be too much on me:

    +Warm/Yellow based/Olive/Year-round tanned skin *yes, I’m South American*
    +Brown eyes (with deep honey flecks)
    +Jet black hair

    I am often discouraged by the “cool” factor in the coloring of Chanel palettes but I do have Nymphea and all the shades in it (minus the green one bc I really don’t see how I can make it work for me) are okay on me.

    I suppose that I want a flawless look and not something that came out of a crowded night club at 10 in the morning…

    For those of you reading this and are wondering about the European launch date, I have heard the 13th of August is the big day!

    • Hi Claudia–It’s got a coolness, but it’s not overwhelmingly so. The one hesitation I have is that this is a dark, smokey and sparkly palette. If you love dramatic eyes, it would probably be quite lovely. I hope this helps!! 🙂

  12. Hi, Amy.

    I ordered this palette after reading your review — just as I did with Rivoli after seeing your pictures a few months ago. As I type this I am waiting on a few new Rouge Allure Laques! Whee! I have to fully credit YOU with starting my new addiction to things Chanel! 🙂

    Quick question — can you please recommend a light colored (cream?) single or another quad that has some deep browns and light shades that I can use as the base for a neutral eye? I think the pink in Enigma is pretty but I need something that is more on the cream side.

    Thank you in advance!

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