How long is too long to remain on a wait list? Little did I know that when I placed my order for this quad from Chanel, it would take a few months to receive it despite the website (not Chanel’s) saying it was in stock. After watching Belle de Jour with Catherine Deneuve yet again one night late last year, I felt compelled to seek out an eyeshadow quad that only contained matte shades. Apart from Madame Deneuve’s costuming, done mostly by Yves Saint Laurent and the set design, my other favourite aspect of the film is Madame Deneuve’s hair and of course the makeup, done by Janine Jarreau.
Naturally, the eyes are a major feature of the look and so began my hunt. At first, I was deflated by the number of palettes that had too many colours that I’d never use or too many sparkles. Then there was a moment when I was reading a beauty article and there it was. My answer in a quad that was matte. I then proceeded to read countless reviews about Chanel Les 4 Ombres Candeur et Experience, watched too many YouTube videos and peered at too many swatches on various skin tones. Was I sold?
The day the package arrived and I finally held the quad in my eager hands, I squealed and did a little dance, I was beside myself. Chanel’s new Global Creative Makeup and Colour Designer Lucia Pica has to me, reinvigorated the house’s colour cosmetics offerings. Les 4 Ombres Candeur et Experience is part of her first collection for Chanel, Le Rouge Collection No.1. The collection is inspired by of all things, the tweeds of Chanel and simply, the colour red. This may be somewhat subversive for eyeshadow but the collection is stellar and also includes lipsticks, eye stylos, mono shimmer shadows, blush, nail lacquer and mascara. The eyeshadow quad contains two ombre shades, one illuminate shade and one shade for intensifying.
Chanel Les 4 Ombres Candeur et Experience can be described as a warm palette, and every one of the colours are practical for every day, easily wearable, highly blendable and long lasting, even without primer. There is a bit of a learning curve with this palette but because the colours all meld seamlessly into one another, it is a joy to use and easy to master. You may use just the two neutral shades and your eyes are dressed. Each colour is a silky surprise and the best part is there’s no fallout. I’ve worn the colours with primer and without primer and in both instances, the colour remained true and showed little to no signs of fading.
This is what the colours look like swatched. I had to go over a few times for photography purposes, but for those who may think the colours appear intense or dark in the quad, they actually can be dialled up or down to suit your taste. In thinking about Catherine Deneuve’s makeup in Belle de Jour, I had to go in a bit of a different direction because a close replica would likely turn out to be too grey or ashy on my skin. With the lighter of the ombre shades, I can wash my eyelid and still achieve a barely there yet polished look. Same for the other shades as well, although all shades have neutral to brown undertones. The red shade is actually brown based and is much less intimidating when swatched or applied to the eyelid. Of the two true browns in the quad, there is only a slight variation in the shades. The highlighter shade is perfect for underneath the eyebrow and is a welcome option that is counter to the typical, high wattage shades commonly used there.
To be waitlisted was mildly annoying but understandable, as this eyeshadow quad repeatedly sold out once it hit the market because it was initially meant to be limited edition. At $61 USD, Chanel Les 4 Ombres Candeur et Experience is worth ever particle of colour. I know this will be the first eyeshadow quad that I use every last bit of and I’m prepared to do ‘excavations’ with spatulas and the tips of manicure scissors to ensure I get every bit out. This quad is for the person who wants to take the guess work out of eyeshadow. Whether you’re using it for day or for an evening out, this is indeed the little quad that could.