Chanel has just released a limited edition Hong Kong collection which features the Chanel Ombres Matelassées Pearl River Eyeshadow Palette ($80). This is available from Chanel.com online, Chanel Boutiques which carry the beauty line, and Chanel Studios (I purchased mine from the counter at Nordstrom Seattle, which is a designated Chanel Studio location).
The palette consists of a range of shades, all shimmery except for the deep brown which is a satin:
- A cool pearly white highlighter with strong blue tones
- A light shimmery yellow
- A medium shimmery gold
- A medium toned shimmery orange
- A cool satin brown with a slight touch of taupe
There is a delicacy to the texture of the shadows:
Although these are a pressed powder format, the powder in four shades has a very high level of pearl compared to most palettes. These are not gel or translucent like the former limited edition Chanel Ombres Perlees.
As fitting for the “limited edition” niche, this palette is not likely to have mainstream appeal. There is a delightful edgy-ness to the palette that breaks “the rules” just enough. The bright and soft pops of yellow-gold color combined with the strongly blue-toned highlighter are quite striking.
One of the reasons that I love Chanel as a line is that the company provides high quality with a high fashion twist. I suspect that less innovative companies will do edgy looks based on this palette in two or three years, when Chanel has already led the way. Still, Chanel Pearl River isn’t entirely new. It feels a bit like a more sophisticated, wearable, and coordinated re-mix of the colors like MAC’s Gold Dusk pigment of yore (which had texture issues of its own, although it was a popular shade).
We found that the pearliness that appears in the pan and on the arm became much more subdued on the lid. Liz applied the middle gold color as an all-over wash, with just a touch of the brown in the crease and moving into the lid area. We don’t love bold eye looks on Cafe Makeup, although I’m sure you could spice this up by adding the orange and deep brown if you prefer to do so:
I actually found the Armani Eyes to Kill Shimmer in Mirage #10 to have a stronger pearl effect once applied to the eyes, compared to Chanel Pearl River. Here is Chanel Pearl River on Liz (open eyes):
Liz is also wearing Yves Saint Laurent Rouge Volupte Shine in #4 Rouge in Danger. She’s also wearing a mix of Burberry Coral Pink and Rose blush, over Chanel Vitalumiere liquid foundation. I think that Chanel Pearl River is a nice balance to the bright orange Hermes scarf (it would also balance well with a bright saturated blue). This is also a palette that looks good with a soft aqua or teal.
For reference, here is Chanel Ombres Matelassées Pearl River Eyeshadow Palette swatched next to Armani Eyes to Kill Shimmer in Mirage #10.
Overall, Chanel has created an unusual palette based on gold, yellow and orange. These are colors that you don’t see often coordinated in a palette. In the pan and on the arm, these swatched in a stunning way, but we found the texture far more satin-like on the lid. The pigmentation was quite good, although not quite as stellar are Chanel Topkapi. A limited release, this palette would be lovely as a go-to for a summer color. Those in the market for a more mainstream version are more likely to gravitate toward the Armani Eyes to Kill Shimmer in Mirage.
This post includes affiliate links. For more information, see About Cafe Makeup.