Dec 052010

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.


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  8 Responses to “Chanel Collection Côte D’Azur: Promesse Eyeshadow Quad”

  1. Amy, you are one of the *very* few people in the world who could get me interested in a pastel eyeshadow quad.

    • You’re too nice Grace! You know I have an eye for the unusual and beautiful–this is as you suggest an appropriate palette for a micro-release. Not everyone’s cup of tea, just happens to be mine LOL! Take care!

  2. this is so cute! really like it! haven’t seen anything like it before

  3. This still wouldn’t work for me but it doesn’t mean I won’t swatch when I see it in person!

  4. Hi Amy-
    I am so glad you reviewed this because I saw it on and wondered if I would like it. Then I went on your blog and their were the swatches!! I was so happy and you totally sold me and I ordered it!
    What liner would you use with it? Berry, Expresso, Cassis??? I have brown eyes and fair skin.

    • Such an interesting question, Jackie! I’d try it with a coppery brown, like Bobbi Brown Chocolate Shimmer Ink or similar. Cassis would work with the blue or pink tone. I haven’t tried it with Berry yet, but I’m not sure how that would look. Black and deep brown are nice stand-by’s too! Thanks for your comment! 🙂

  5. I am saddened that Chanel is switching us to their baked EU-version… Not sure I will buy… Although the colors look quite interesting. 🙂

    • I agree with Shelpen on this – I always thought the US versions were much more pigmented than our EU ones. I do find I have to work to get colours to show up, although the finish is lovely with some effort.

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