Chanel Collection Côte D’Azur includes Promesse Quadra Eye Shadow ($56 Les 4 Ombres Eyshadow Quad). This is one of the most unusual eyeshadow palettes that I own. According to some lovely Café Makeup readers and blogs, Promesse appears to be the same palette that was released in Asia during Summer 2009. Promesse required me to re-conceptualize my application technique, but after some thought and practice I can see that this palette is highly usable.
First, the palette evokes a long line of Chanel fashion that includes pastels, particularly in their spring collections. Any honestly, Chanel does pastels quite beautifully. The quality of the materials and the sophistication of the execution allows Chanel to pull off these lighter tones–it looks luxurious, expensive and beautiful. Given a choice to wear any of these pastels, I’d say “yes” immediately of course. Wouldn’t you?
So why not try them on the eyes? So I did and I was pleased to see that this attention to quality carried through on the Promesse quad. Pastels can go so wrong, especially on the eyes. After I used Promesse with a light base (a MAC Bare Canvas paint, because it was handy), I found that the sheerness and depth with which Chanel executes its sheer silks carried through to the eyeshadow. It looked expensive and appropriate, although I had never thought to choose to wear these colors by any other brand.
Second, the formula of Promesse is creamy without glitter sparkle (except for the Pink shade, which is infused with a silver microsparkle and seems a little more fragile than the others). I have been careful about Chanel’s new eyeshadow formulation–the round pans are a texture that I’m not accustomed to and, as I understand it, part of Chanel’s company-wide effort to consolidate its cosmetics manufacturing in France. Promesse is part of that tradition, it is made in France:
Let’s be honest, I’m happy that Karl Lagerfeld is being recognized by the French government for his contributions. He’s a genius, he deserves the honor and more.
That being said, I do not care to wear eyeshadow and blush that doesn’t look amazing. As you can see, Promesse uses the European formulation that was previously unavailable in the U.S. on a regular basis. You can see the baked texture in the little round pans that is emblematic of the non-U.S. eyeshadow quads:
When I examined Chanel’s Tentation Cuirvee quad from the Holiday 2010 collection, I noted that it had a sparkle fall-out quality that is common to some of the non-U.S. quads. I was pleased to find that Promesse’s texture was creamy and pigmented applied dry, which is very difficult to do with a pastel that is capable of maintaining some sheerness when desired.
Second, Promesse is a very light-toned eyeshadow quad–to the extreme, really. Promesse includes three (3) pastels and a medium toned copper brown.
There is a soft powder blue, a sparkle cool pink and a light mint green. The medium brown is shimmery without sparkle.
Swatches, showing that the colors apply true to the pan colors:
Reader, I can hear you–you don’t think these colors will work for you. I thought so too!
I was shocked to discover that these do, at least on my warm toned fair skin. The key to this palette is the bronze-brown shade, which I used to visually support the lighter shades. As the insert describes, use the bronze-brown liberally on the lid and into the crease. Use one of the light shades as an accent in the corner and above the medium bronze-brown. Voilà!
I promise you–there is nothing jejune about these colors when worn this way, especially if you add Rouge Coco Baroque as your lip (which coordinates beautifully with the bronze-brown of Promesse). Click to enlarge:
I would not be able to use more than one pastel at a time, nor could I attempt to use this as a standard U.S. palette. The color combination is so unusual that I consider this a niche palette. In other words, right up my alley.
As an aside, I did try the light blue and light green eyeshadow layered on the lid (blue on top), with the bronze-brown in the crease before I went to have my hair done, so I could see it effect in the large mirror for the hour or so that I was there (together with a staff of people that can be, well, critical of one’s appearance). I was impressed that I could pull off this look quite nicely. I do not believe that I could do this with a lesser quality eyeshadow, however, as light tones on my lids can look quite chalky. Fortunately, with the solid MAC Bare Study paint base, and the creamy quality of these eyeshadows convinced me that this is a look that I will wear again. If you like, you can add a matte ivory brow bone shade to complete the look.