Many of the cosmetic purchases I’ve made lately have had one thing in mind: have I tried this before? As a person who likes change, I gravitate toward the unknown (for the most part). My aim with makeup lately is to try either a brand I’ve never used before, or check out a product within a brand that I’ve not yet investigated. My most recent purchase in this regard was Chanel’s Vanités quad, from the Sophisticated Eye collection (fall 2011).
It’s strange: while I don’t tend to wear a lot of color on my eyes (preferring to do so on my lips, or even cheeks!), I often choose eyeshadows that have more of a *pop.* When perusing the Chanel quads, the only one that really grabbed me was Vanités. Having recently read a glowing review on the quad, being in the market for a nice lilac shade, and feeling spend-y, I picked it up and immediately brought it home to try out.
My first thoughts were that the quad was lovely. Indeed, the violet tones are quite captivating – and check out that gorgeous gold-flecked mauve!!
However, once it came time to actually try the shadows, I was sorely let down. Keep in mind that I do not have any experience with Chanel quads (and in fact, was unable to try this in-store as there were no testers available), so I wasn’t prepared what to expect. After reading further reviews, Chanel quads it seems tend to be on the dry, stiff side, something to which I can agree with (and also – gritty-feeling) and that I would have likely avoided if I had known. Also of note is that the quads here in Canada are of the baked variety, while I hear in the States they are different. So, all points to keep in mind.
Here are the shadows when swatched:
These swatches took many layers to achieve this much pigmentation, aside from the darkest shade, which was fairly pigmented in one swipe. I tried to take photos of me wearing this quad, but it almost looked like nothing was worn, and certainly not enough to show shade and depth.
I realize that Chanel’s makeup philosophy leans toward a soft look; also, the brand caters more to fairer skintones rather than my darker ones. So it is to say that though I was disappointed in this quad, I was not at all surprized. Additionally, oddly enough when I looked at the ingredients of the shadows, they contained lanolin – though in the American versions, they do not (alternately, Chanel’s blushes in the US contain lanolin, but in Canada they do not). So, combined with the disappointing pigmentation, gritty texture, and inclusion of an ingredient I am allergic to – I took the quad back.
For reference purposes, I did take a few comparison swatches against shades I already own:
You can see that none are dupes, though the mauve shade and MAC Shale are similar, and the lilac shade and the lighter shade in the Hourglass Exhibition duo are close as well. I believe the nuances of these shades would be more pronounced with a better formula, and most definitely with a paler skintone. On me, sadly, they just fall flat.
Have you tried Vanités, or another Chanel quad? Have your experiences been positive or negative? Has anyone tried both the Canadian version and the US version and can comment on how they compare?