Chanel Eyeshadow

Ombres Perlees de Chanel

December 21, 2010

Chanel’s Spring 2011 collection includes Ombres Perlees de Chanel ($65 limited edition), a beautiful new confection that redefines texture and glow.  This palette appears to be the product of a collaboration between artists and scientists, who have achieved something completely unique.  I have never seen an eyeshadow palette react to light like Ombres Perlees, the shadows consistency acts just like a pearl.  The effect works precisely the same way when applied to the lid.  I would not miss picking up this palette.

First things first–the palette comes in the rectangular format of a similar size and shape as Chanel’s powder foundations and bronzers, with two small double-ended brushes (3 foam/1 brush):

Inside, the palette has a sophisticated glow without a trace of glitter or shimmery bits.  The texture is a pearly-smooth powder.

In natural light:


The texture is the same throughout the palette, only the colors are distinct:

The colors:

  • A pearly warm cream highlighter
  • A soft peach with a hint of pink
  • A cranberry-violet with black reflects
  • A metallic green that is a mix of a forest, khaki and moss
  • An absolutely stunning deep gunmetal with a hint of deep green with a rainbow of reflects (red, green, blue)

I’m posting several swatches to show how this formulation reacts to light:

Another, tilted away from the light:

I’m going to post two more, because the formula is so unique:

Since this palette only arrived last evening, I don’t have extensive experience using it.  In the one experiment that I did, I found:

  • When applied to my lid, the shadow applied remarkably true to these swatches.
  • The last dark color makes a banging beautiful eyeliner shade (over my Bobbi Brown Black Ink gel liner).
  • I used the center shade as my main lid color, and touched the peach in the inner corner.
  • The peach would make a nice all over lid color (similar to Chanel Abricot, but with a more pearly texture).
  • The pigmentation is quite good–manageable but you don’t need to layer to get a good strength.
  • If you do layer, you’ll get a very pretty opaque pearl.  I would think that the green and the middle cranberry/violet would be gorgeous like this.
  • I found that tucking a little of the creamy white highlighter shade only in the arch of the brow worked best for day–just to add a little light– without placing it all over the brow bone (but do put all over the brow bone for night or for a formal day look).

I love Ombres Perlees de Chanel. Are you still on the fence?  Are you trying to kill me?  You know this is limited edition, right?  Get it, seriously you will want to be wearing this during the Spring.  I’ll be wearing mine tonight.

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  • Natalie December 21, 2010 at 4:36 pm

    I’ve already ordered mine, but I just love reading your review, because your words are like music to my ears! 😀
    Your pictures are absolutely beautiful, too, which I am sure would enable lots of ladies LOL 🙂

  • Adele December 21, 2010 at 5:22 pm

    I’m still confused as to what these shadows are, exactly – are they cream or powder? They look beautiful either way, but I dislike cream shadows, so I would only order this if they were powder.

    • Amy December 21, 2010 at 6:16 pm

      Adele–these are powder shadows. At first there was buzz that they would be cream, but they are not. They are absolutely powder. By the way, you can use your standard powder eyeshadow brushes with these (today, I used my MAC 217 and a Shu Uemura liner brush). Take care and thank you for the question! 🙂

  • Arianne December 21, 2010 at 6:04 pm

    Beautiful photos! You’ve really captured the eyeshadow colours well. I wonder how much these will be in Canada.

  • Mimi December 21, 2010 at 6:22 pm

    Ah! I’m suddenly lusting for this palette now that I’ve seen your gorgeous pictures! I really love complex shadows, the light reacting qualities look amazing.

  • Eileen December 21, 2010 at 6:39 pm

    Wow! Amy! Your pictures do an incredible job of capturing all the nuances of these beautiful pearls. My monitor clearly shows the variation in color that is achieved by different angles and different lighting. That black is particularly lush. It really does capture the look of South Sea pearls with all their deeply luminescent colors glowing from within their black depths. I had not originally ordered this palette, but as soon as I saw Sabrina’s pictures, I promptly did so. Now that I’ve seen yours, I can hardly wait to receive it and begin playing 🙂

  • Nazia December 21, 2010 at 6:44 pm

    I’ve been meaning to say this for a while – your pictures are ALWAYS amazing. You never fail to make me lust over something new! Can’t wait for this to hit our shores!

  • Polarbelle December 21, 2010 at 10:56 pm

    So, if you HAD to choose between this and the quad, which would you choose, (it’s a given that any of us have an extensive collection), so like if you were held at gunpoint and they said choose, which would you choose?

    • Amy December 21, 2010 at 11:25 pm

      Lol okay but only at gunpoint! I’d go with Ombres Perlees because it is so different. Plus Regard Perle is NOT marked as limited edition so I am guessing I could pick that one up later.

      • polarbelle December 24, 2010 at 12:26 am

        YAY! So glad you said that because I have some lovely nordstrom notes that I just used to put in an order online since it’s finally hit nordy dot com. I hope the quad is perm, cuz I’d love to get it, but especially after I saw this palette on liz, I had to order as soon as it hit nordies. I swear, she could make a trash bag a must have. You have a gorgeous daughter!

  • Frances December 22, 2010 at 7:28 am

    Stunning! I did not think I needed this, but you have just convinced me to pop over to Chanel to purchase it, tout suit!

  • Marina(Makeup4All) December 22, 2010 at 11:23 am

    It is SO beautiful! Thank you for the amazing review and photos. Unfortunately, I haven’t seen this palette here yet but I can’t wait to try it. I love the middle colour (the “purple” one) the best. Can you please share on how they stay on the eye lids? I hope they stay on without creasing for several hours…

  • Magi December 22, 2010 at 11:29 am

    Thank you for the swatches. So pretty pictures. I like the palette. I think it’s a fantastic basic. Unfortunately I have tons of such colors so I will skip, but if not, it would be my first CHANEL Eyeshadow palette I think…

  • Bella December 22, 2010 at 11:42 am

    Okay, Amy, I am baffled. I am beginning to think I got a “dud” palette because the colors do NOT show up on my skin…they just look like frost. I have tried applying them different ways and I had the best luck when I used the included sponge tip applicators. By using those, I was able to get the two darkest colors to show some color but they were still quite light and it took a LOT of work to even get them to show that much on my NC25ish/Chanel Shell skin. I even asked my husband’s opinion (he is used to it) and he said they “looked pretty light…fine but nothing special.” According to posts on MUA, others are finding these pigmented as well. What am I doing wrong? Do you use a base under these? How do you apply them? Or did I actually get a defective palette (which I hesitate to believe)? Any tips would be greatly appreciated as I have been massively disappointed by this palette and it’s frustrating to see it working for so many others!

    • Jellytea December 23, 2010 at 1:05 am

      I was also having the same issue. I had to play around with brushes. So yesterday I used my concealer brush and synthetic liner brush to get the color to show up. I was a little disappointed. But the next day, they went on fine with my regular powder brushes. I honestly think the compact was cold, as it was under the Christmas tree. After being left out on my vanity last night, I was surprised when I tried again. If you do not get the color payoff, I would exchange it because it is very pigmented and I am on the complete opposite end of the color spectrum from you ladies.

      • Amy December 23, 2010 at 7:51 am

        Bella, try a stiffer brush and patting on the product. Most Chanel eyeshadows are meant to be patted on if you want true-to-pan pigmentation. The fact that you had the best luck with the sponge tip applicators means you need to apply it more densely–a stiffer brush and patting will get you there. If it’s still not working, I’d return it–you should love it.

        • Bella December 23, 2010 at 11:27 am

          I bought a Chanel #11 Quick Shadow brush and I am hoping I will have better luck when I try the palette with this!

      • Bella December 23, 2010 at 11:28 am

        I am going to give it another try and see how it goes. I really want to love this!

    • Nancy December 28, 2010 at 5:18 pm

      Hi I had trouble using this palette yesterday for the first time also. I could not seem to get the color to even get on my brush. Today I tried again and it worked a little better. Maybe there is a coating on the shadows that needs to be rubbed off? I am going to try it again tomorrow for the third time but even today it worked a little better. I am a die hard Chanel Fan and purchase almost the complete collection. I am really bummed because I am not understanding the buzz about this 5 palette item. So far I don;t care for it and may return it. I am going to give it a few more try’s yet but I’m not really liking it or the Pearl drop nail polish. I do love the lip pencils, gloss;s and Rouge allure lipsticks and blush

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  • Jennise December 22, 2010 at 6:23 pm

    Amy, are these cream or powder eyeshadows?

    • Amy December 22, 2010 at 10:17 pm

      These are powder eyeshadows, Jennise.

  • Peach December 23, 2010 at 12:50 am

    Thank you for an awesome review 🙂

  • Jellytea December 23, 2010 at 1:10 am

    I love this compact. It reminds me of the Le Metier Beaute shadows in that you can layer and transform the colors. Originally I thought this compact would be a dupe of the same colors I am always attracted to. After getting through my initial application issues, I was pleasantly surprised and I have already purchased another as a gift. A gel-powdery texture, quite hard to explain, but I like it. Maybe a powder of the same vein as those silicon primer powders. Slick but powder. Beautiful photos Amy, thank you.

  • Myrna Beard December 23, 2010 at 3:31 pm

    I was also having the same issue. I had to play around with brushes. So yesterday I used my concealer brush and synthetic liner brush to get the color to show up. I was a little disappointed. But the next day, they went on fine with my regular powder brushes. I honestly think the compact was cold, as it was under the Christmas tree. After being left out on my vanity last night, I was surprised when I tried again. If you do not get the color payoff, I would exchange it because it is very pigmented and I am on the complete opposite end of the color spectrum from you ladies.

  • luv2smilexo December 23, 2010 at 10:26 pm

    I swatched this at Nordstrom today and that middle shade is reason enough to purchase to this. such a gorgeous and complex shade. I really love all of the last 3 shades. Amazing!

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  • Jane December 29, 2010 at 7:10 am

    Good lord. WANT.

  • Michelle (Lipstickrules) January 20, 2011 at 6:54 pm

    I just got this and a few other items from the collection and am IN LOVE. It was your reviews and Sabrina that provided my tipping point. Love your blog!

  • Jocelyn February 10, 2011 at 5:10 pm

    I was so sad because I was late to this and didn’t realize that I wanted it until my city was sold out. Lucky for me today I managed to snag one because I found a counter who had a palette that a lady had put on hold but never picked up! I’m so excited to try this!