Friday, September 9, 2011

Chanel Illusion d'Ombre Mirifique

I wanted this as soon as reviews and swatches started appearing on blogs.  I didn't have any cream shadows, and this was miraculously a paraben-free Chanel offering.  I needed to have it.  Of course, at $36 each, I couldn't have all six, or even a couple; I just picked one: Mirifique, the most beautiful, sparkly, intense black cream I've seen in a long while.  Looking at it in the pot, it looks like asphalt; that may not seem appealing, but am I the only one who's ever thought that asphalt is pretty sometimes, when the sunlight catches it just so?
Chanel packaging is refined and luxurious; the glass pot is heavy and sturdy, and the shadow comes with a brush that is actually pretty useful, especially for lining.
It is a gorgeous, gorgeous, gorgeous black - intense and pigmented, but also easily sheered out, if that's your preference.  I find that with this, it's easier to start with too much and sheer it out, versus the usual case of having to laboriously build up a shadow on your eyes.

Blurred, so you can see the sparkles!
I was surprised by the texture.  Everyone described it slightly differently, so I wasn't quite sure what exactly to epxect.  It does feel slightly springy when you press against it with your finger, but if you touch it, even lightly, your finger will come away with black cream and sparkles.  Setting a brush to it will create lines in the pot; sticking a brush into a new pot is kind of like sticking a knife into a new jar of peanut butter.

In terms of application, I'd say your best bets are your fingers or a sponge-tipped applicator.  The brush it comes with is great for lining your eyes; you can turn it on its edge a bit to shade in your lids, but that's not the easiest or most efficient way of going at it.  Using your finger to shade in areas covers a lot of surface area, but it's not the easiest to control exactly where the shadow goes with this method (and there's no need to stick your finger directly in the pot!  You can just dab some out of the pot with the brush, pop that on your eye, and then spread with a clean finger).  Fluffy, big brushes with soft bristles don't pick up much shadow at all, so I wouldn't recommend that.  Basically - use the brush it comes with for lining your eyes, or for looks that require thin lines and precision (it's actually not a bad brush for that), and a sponge-tipped applicator or your finger to spread it all over the lid.  Once applied, it sets, and I didn't notice any creasing though I did experience some smudging when I wore it as liner.  The sparkles don't flake off excessively though, which is nice.

This is a permanent addition to the Chanel line, so you can start storing pennies to save up for a pot of your very own!  I wanted to jump on them as soon as they came out, but waited, convinced myself I didn't need them, waited some more, and then gave in and went for it.  No regrets here!  I think this color is the most unique of the six that have been released so far, so I'm not after any others right now.  I will say, though, that a little goes a long way!  I used this on a top-secret-not-really EOTD look, and just a teeny tiny bit was enough to cover both eyes in a razzle-dazzle manner (stay tuned.  That look is coming up soon!).

Try it if: You want a luxurious, smooth, versatile black cream shadow.
Skip it if: You're not a sparkle person - this is packed with the sparklies.

$36 for 0.14 oz at Chanel counters or