Friday, December 27, 2013

Chanel Charming Eyeshadow Palette

Is it December already?  Late December?  The last few months have flown by - it all started with my organization's busy season in early fall, and escalated when we began rescheduling projects in anticipation of the government  shut down.  Luckily we weren't furloughed; instead, our work schedule intensified.  Some of us are recovering.  For a while I didn't have the time to blog (or read blogs), then I lost my momentum.  Ugh!

Anyway. I still managed to pick up some makeup, including Chanel's Charming palette.  I ordered mine from Nordstrom's Chanel studio in Seattle. As you probably know, it is one of the Limited Edition Ombres Matelassées de Chanel, and part of the Holiday 2013 Collection.  Chanel described the colors as soft beige to rich purple...offering "endless opportunities for custom-blending."

Well, no.  I was disappointed when I opened it because it is so plain looking, and particularly because the dark brown/gray shadow on the end doesn't look purple in the pan as  Chanel said it would, and it doesn't pull purple on me either.  The colors look pigmented enough when switched on my arm, but imminently dupable.  How could this be the centerpiece of the Holiday Collection?

Turns out that for my complexion, these colors are just pigmented enough to define my eyes without looking made up.  Like my eyes but better.  

The lightest color on the far left is a peachy pink, with the barest hint of shimmer.  The effect is a subtle, pearlized finish.

The matte taupe second from the left goes on a shade or two darker than than my skin tone, but I'm so accustomed to shimmer or colors that pop on my skin that this just looks blah to me.  I'll keep playing with it.

The center color is the most interesting one.  It's a medium brown infused with just enough golden shimmer to make the shadow glow a bit without adding that ashy, flashy,  sparkling look. Golden shimmer looks really good on warm skin tones - why is it used less frequently than silver?  I use this color on my entire lid and the lower to create a daytime smoky eye.

The brown second from the right is matte, though the shimmer from the medium brown almost always sprays over it, so it's hard to tell.  I use it most frequently on the outer corners, including on the bottom, blended well with the medium brown to complete that daytime smoky eye.

The darkest color on the far right is just an unremarkable brown/black. I use it sometimes instead of the dark brown on the outer corners.  Even when applied wet, it's still not really black, in keeping with the subtlety of the palette. 

Charming comes with two applicators, one double-ended sponge applicator, and the another with a sponge on one end and a brush on the other.  The sponge applicators pick up and apply lot of product without a much fallout.  The small brush was also handy for getting shadow into the corners. 

So why did I keep this palette despite my ambivalence you read here?  It's the only palette I have that gives a finished yet unmade up look that's perfect for meetings in a conservative organization or anytime you may just want to define your eyes.  I grumble when I put it on every morning ("$80 for brown eye shadow? You fool!"), yet I'm so pleased with the final polished look, which I haven't achieved with other palettes.  There are dupes, but they haven't created as subtle and sophisticated look as Charming.  Most of the time I can wear as much flash at work as I want but sometimes a look this subtle is perfect.  Was this Peter's last creation?  


  1. Hope you had a great Christmas, Ava!

    I feel pretty much the same about Chanel's Charming...and kept it for the same reasons :D I read over at Specktra, I think, about the quads getting reformulated - am curious to see how that will turn out. Hopefully, it means the rest of the world gets the nonbaked versions like in the US.

    1. Hi, Radhika, I hope you're enjoying the holidays too! I also heard that Chanel planned to change its quad formula. They absolutely must produce the non-baked version for everyone or lose market share! Can you imagine the hoarding that will occur if everyone gets those awful baked quads? Heh, heh!

  2. I didn't swatch this at all for essentially the reasons you said - 'BO-RING!' - but I can totally see why its actually a great palette to own despite that fact. The shades are so complimentary on you!!



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