Chanel Ombre Essentielle Soft Touch Eyeshadow 58 Lavande ($28.50) is discontinued, but you can probably still find it on eBay and the like.
Like all Ombre Essentielle eyeshadows, Lavande is buttery soft and applies very smoothly with no fallout or shimmer migration. The name obviously implies a lavender color, but unlike the blossoms from the herb, Lavande is not muted. It is a clear, blue-lavender shade with no grey to soften it.
The clarity in this eyeshadow disappointed me at first, but I have grown to love it over time. I had originally wanted a light purple shade with blue or grey undertones, because I had nothing like it in my small purple shadow collection (forgetting about NARS Violetta and D. Gorgeous), and I was hoping Lavande would be less bright. This eyeshadow makes my blue-grey-green eyes sparkle, but it would look even more glorious on brown-eyed girls, especially those with yellow undertone to soften its vibrancy.
Since I am not warm toned, the logical conclusion would be to pair Lavande with a warm eyeshadow, but I don't wear warm eyeshadow. At all. As in, don't even get it near me. Despite what beauty pundits say about complementing blue eyes, warm, orange-based browns, khakis, and golds make me look ill. I looked for a suitable complement, but I found nothing from my own cool taupes, greys, and greiges that improved the appearance of Lavande. Everything I tried made Lavande look more blue.
So as pretty as Lavande is in the pan, I almost put it into the Mistake Drawer. I have a personal policy about eyeshadow. OK maybe it's not a policy, but it's a goal. Any eyeshadow I purchase must be able to stand on its own. If it requires layering with other shadows to look good, I won't keep it, no matter how pretty the result of the blending. It's one reason why I am not drawn to the Le Metier de Beaute Kaleidoscopes. I can't be bothered with all that layering and blending.
Here are some swatches on my NW15 skin, which does little to enhance this beautiful eyeshadow because my skin turns Lavande icy.
|Lavande in sunlight|
|Lavande in natural light, no flash|
Here are some pictures of Lavande compared to Chantecaille Freesia, Laura Mercier Dusk (reviewed here), and Delicate Hummingbird (reviewed here, which contains a MAC Shale comparison).
These colors are soft, so I hope you can see the differences. Lavande, far left, is the most clear of the four colors shown. Freesia is lightest in pigment and falls somewhere between Lavande and Dusk, being neither too blue nor too pink. Dusk has pronounced red undertones, but it is not a lavender shade--it's a shimmery lilac, so the red makes sense. Delicate Hummingbird is a very complex color that has so much going on, the overall effect is a muted plum, deeper and slightly warmer than the other three.
For fun, Lisa Eldridge uses one of my comparison eyeshadows, Chantecaille Freesia, in a very bright/pastel EoTD.
Bottom line: Lavande is beautiful, and I am happy I picked it up, but wearing color took some getting used to.
Do you have a favorite shimmering purple eyeshadow?
All photos taken by me