Monday, January 16, 2012

Chanel Illusion d'Ombre Eyeshadow in Illusoire Review and Swatches

This is the product I decided to order along with the Dragon so as not to have to pay for shipping. I'd read no end of glowing reviews of these shadows, a relatively recent (this year) addition to Chanel's line, but had never planned on spending $36 on one. But, circumstances merited such a purchase, and I figured I would just bring it back to Macy's. But then, having it there in my hands, just begging to be swatched and played with, I caved. I told myself I probably wouldn't like it, and that I could just return it anyways (since they take back used makeup). I didn't actually expect that to happen, but lo and behold! It wasn't love. I did take some pictures and swatches before I returned it, though, and will now ramble about my experience.
Illusoire with adorable brush

Illusoire is a purple taupe (too purple to truly be considered a taupe, but definitely a close cousin) with shimmer.
From what I can tell (enlarge to see in better detail!), it has silver and magenta sparkles

The texture is a mousse-gel-powder hybrid that bounces back when touched; it's light and fluffy and completely unlike anything else I've played with.
finger swatch, oh fer pretty!
On my finger, it looks very richly pigmented, but I had a hard time getting it to transfer to my lids with the same intensity. Even building up a lot left me feeling like it never quite came across the same.
this is built up a lot

as is this

It can certainly be worn sheered out, but I thought it lost a lot of its uniqueness and charm when applied that way.
heavy application, sheered out

When lightly applied and sheered out, it just looks like a cool grey wash of sparkle, and even a heavy swatch blended out loses most of the purpley gorgeousness and just becomes smoky shimmer. Beautiful, yes, and highly appropriate for a classy gala, but nothing that I would want to wear on a regular basis (and for $36, I'd damn well better be able to wear it!).

The Illusion d'Ombre shadows come with a flat brush that's really very nice quality and works great for lining, but I found it hard to pick up pigment along the flat side; though I tried using another flat, firm brush (Loew Cornell Maxine's Mop 3/8"), I found that just using my finger was the most effective way of applying.

The true flaw of this product for me, though, was that it creased on me. Every other review I've read have said it wears pristinely with no creasing even after 10+ hours, but on me, within 15 minutes of application, I had evident creasing. Not terrible, but definitely there. And that, dear readers, is completely unacceptable.

I'm by no means a whiz at applying eyeshadow, and I certainly do have oily lids, but the only other product that's creased that quickly on me was Wet N Wild. With Chanel, I expect friggin' miracles. The combination of sheer application, creasing, and high price left me no choice but to return Illusoire. However, I am definitely in the minority with regards to my experience with this product, so I highly recommend reading other reviews for a more rounded perspective. If you like shimmer (with absolutely no fallout, which was the one thing about this I loved) and don't mind plopping down a chunk of change, these eyeshadows are worth a look-see.

$36 for 0.14 oz, available from department stores and Chanel

Quality: 8.5
Effectiveness: 3.5 (creasing)
Ease of Use: 4
Senses: 5
Pigmentation: 4
Duration: 4 (besides creasing early on, it didn't get any worse for 6+ hours [at which point I removed it])
Consistency: 4.5 (cool and unusual, but a little strange to get used to/figure out how to work)
Price: 1.25
Value: 4.5 (0.14 oz is almost 3x larger than most eyeshadows, so you are getting a lot of product, and the brush is quite nice, though for this to be any kind of real value, you have to like and be able to get use from it, which I could not!)
Packaging: +1
Grade: B-

What do you think of Illusoire? Have you tried any of the Illusion d'Ombre shadows?
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