20 Sept 2012

Chanel Illusion d'Ombre: the Search for Dupes

More dupes!  The turn of the Chanel Illusion d'Ombre shadows...

Chanel Illusion d'Ombre shadows (permanent)
I love the Chanel Illusion d'Ombre formulation.  It's a bouncy, mousse-y, soft, not-quite-cream, not-quite-gel hybrid formulation that feels lovely and applies beautifully.  I prefer to use fingers, but flat brushes also work well for applying these (see this post for more information on lay-down eye brushes).

The shades above and here are those in the permanent line - until recently there were six, but there have been two new additions since, making up the eight shown above and after the jump...

Chanel Illusion d'Ombre shadows (permanent)
How gorgeous are these?  Swatched below, left - right as follows...
Top Row: Fantasme, Vision, Abstraction, Émerveillé
Bottom Row: Épatant, Illusoire, Ébloui, Mirifique

The eight Chanel Illusion d'Ombre shades
I love these for their last-ability, blend-ability and sheer deliciousness, however they're not the cheapest  makeup items on the planet, so I set to, trying to see if I could find alternatives in my stash.  I could not, but I have made a stab at seeing what cream or hybrid products (specifically) could maybe be used in lieu...

Fantasme & Vision

L -> R: Chanel 81/Fantasme, Chanel 89/Vision

Fantasme (translates to: fantasy) is a beautiful brilliant white with silver reflects.  It's a highly frosted finish with very little white pigmentation, so you really need to build this up, or wear it on top of a white primer (see here for more on primers), if you want it to look white.  Otherwise, it gives a gorgeous flash of grown-up silvery glitter on top of another shade.

L -> R: Chanel 81/Fantasme, Chanel 89/Vision

Vision (new permanent shade per Summer 2012) is a very yellow gold, with gold reflects.  Again, it's a highly frosted finish but it's more opaque than Fantasme and used alone, can look gold on the eye used alone.

Left: Chanel 81/Fantasme
Right: l'Oréal Color Infallible 01/Time Resist White

In terms of a dupe, Chanel Fantasme is not unreasonably like L'Oréal Color Infallible #01/Time Resist White.  It is slightly less opaque than the L'Oréal offering and slightly more frosted, but they're not too unrelated otherwise if you're looking for a shadow on its own.  However if you're looking to push highly silvered glitter on top of an existing shade, then the Chanel is a better bet.

Left: Chanel 89/Vision
Middle: Make Up For Ever Flash Color  04
Right: Sleek Molten Metal Gold Leaf
Left: Chanel 89/Vision
RightL'Oréal Color Infallible 27/Goldmine

Chanel Vision proved very difficult for me to dupe.  Amongst my stash, I found the only thing that came close, colour-wise, was Make Up For Ever Flash Colour #04, but it lacks the frost of Vision and it's also a lot more opaque.  It turns out I have very few yellow golds in my kit, most of them are more antiqued (green) or bronzed variants.

Abstraction & Émerveillé

L -> R: Chanel 88/Abstraction, Chanel 82/Émerveillé

Abstraction is also new per Summer 2012 and it's my latest love.  It's a pinky-peachy golden coral with gold reflects, in that same vein as NARS Orgasm and a plethora of imitations.  Again, this is a frost finish.

L -> R: Chanel 88/Abstraction, Chanel 82/Émerveillé

Émerveillé (translates to: rapt with wonder, amazed) is a slightly cooler-toned champagne pinky-beige with champagne (cool silver-gold) reflects, again, another frost finish.

L -> R: Mad Minerals, Make Up For Ever 05, Chanel Abstraction,
Make Up For Ever 09, Benefit Sippin n Dippin

Trying to dupe Chanel Abstraction proved difficult.  I would have imagined that this was more orange-based peach until I saw it up close and personal with a bunch of other orange-based peach cream shadows... in comparison it looks more of a pinky-based coral.  I suspect that it's bending that way due to the pink and cool gold reflects, with the undertone of a browned-coral.

The shades I tried to dupe it against were a (discontinued) Mad Minerals Indelible Creme Eyeshadow in Apricot Frost, Make Up For Ever Aqua Cream #05, Make Up For Ever Aqua Cream #09 and (discontinued) Benefit Creaseless Cream Eyeshadow/Liner in Sippin n' Dippin.  None really were a match and I was forced to admit defeat on this one!

L -> R: MAC Nubile, Make Up For Ever 13, Make Up For Ever 16,
Chanel Émerveillé, Chanel 90, MAC Fusion Gold, Benefit Birthday Suit,

My search for dupes for Chanel Émerveillé led me to swatch the following: MAC Paint Pot in Nubile (LE), Make Up For Ever Aqua Cream #13, Chanel Émerveillé, (discontinued) Chanel ombre d'eau #90, MAC Metal-X in Fusion Gold (LE), Benefit Creaseless Cream Eyeshadow/Liner in Birthday Suit.  It is like a more frosted, more pigmented, slightly more opaque and cooler version of Make Up For Ever #13, the closest shade to it was the (LE) Metal-X shadow in Fusion Gold from MAC, but again the Chanel shade is more frosted.

Épatant & Illusoire

L -> R: Chanel 84/Épatant, Chanel 83/Illusoire
Épatant (translates to: dandy, splendid) is a greyed silver-green with silver reflects.  It's quite ethereal and I found this the one that needed the most building-up (aside from Fantasme) in order to achieve a reasonably opacity.  It was probably the least long-lasting of all the shades.  Again, another frost finish.

L -> R: Chanel 84/Épatant, Chanel 83/Illusoire

Illusoire (translates to: illusive, illusory, deceptive) is a lilac-purple-based taupe with pink and silver reflects.  One of my absolute favourite shades for winter time, it's a frost finish and works really nicely with a bunch of Chanel eyeshadows in either taupe or purple.

L -> R: Chanel 84/Épatant, MAC Greenstroke, MAC Warm Thunder
L -> R: L'Oréal Color Infallible 09/Permanent Khaki, Chanel 84/Épatant

Chanel Épatant dupe attempts led me to trying out MAC Paint Pot in Greenstroke (LE), MAC Extra Dimension in Warm Thunder (LE) - Épatant is a dirty silver-greyed green which can bend slightly blue-grey, or silver-grey green, depending on light.  The closest thing I found was MAC Paint Pot in Greenstroke (sadly, LE and discontinued), but it's not a perfect match by any stretch.  Pushing MAC Warm Thunder Extra Dimension shadow on top of Greenstroke yielded a closer match, but still no cigar.

L -> R: Chanel 83/Illusoire, Benefit Gossip,
Benefit Gossip + L'Oréal 
#13/Flashback silver
L -> R (with flash)Chanel 83/Illusoire, Benefit Gossip,
Benefit Gossip + L'Oréal 
#13/Flashback silver 

Trying to dupe Chanel Illusoire led me to trying out Benefit Creaseless Cream Eyeshadow/Liner in Gossip, but this was too lilac and a flatter colour (no reflects).  The closest I could find was the (discontinued) Chanel Ombre d'Eau #75 with L'Oréal Infallible in #13/Flashback Silver pushed on top of it to give the pink reflects (evident in the flash picture above), however the Ombre d'Eau shade is darker (although the same tone family) as the Illusion d'Ombre in this instance.

Ébloui & Mirifique

L -> R: Chanel 86/Ébloui, Chanel 85/Mirifique

Ébloui (translates to: dazzled, starry-eyed) is a brown-based cranberry-shade of plum with pink reflects.  It's an unusual colour in that it can appear more brown or more plum, depending on what it's blended-out with and/or paired with.  It's reasonably opaque and quite warm, again it's a frost finish.

L -> R: Chanel 86/Ébloui, Chanel 85/Mirifique

Mirifique (translates to: wondrous) is a black with silver and blue reflects, another frost finish, this is reasonably opaque (needs a bit of building) but quite frosted and shimmery.  It works well as a frosted black primer/base or on its own.

L -> R: MAC Rich Core, Chanel Ébloui, Make Up For Ever #14,
MAC Constructivist, Make Up For Ever #17, Michael Todd

This one, Chanel Ébloui, was just impossible.  I really thought I'd have something similar.  Of the swatches, I made - MAC Extra Dimension in Rich Core (LE), Make Up For Ever Aqua Cream #14, MAC Paint Pot in Constructivist, Make Up For Ever Aqua Cream #17, and Michael Todd Long Wear Creme Shadow in shade "Michael Todd", the closest shade I think was Make Up For Ever Aqua Cream #14, but it didn't have the reflects or the subtle duo-tone of the Chanel.

L -> R: Shiseido Caviar, Chanel Mirifique, MAC Blackground

Possible Chanel Mirifique dupes might look a little like either the Shiseido Shimmering Creme Eye Color in Blk912 (Caviar), or the MAC Paint Pot in Blackground.  The Shiseido bent a little green on close-up inspection (not evident in the photo), and the MAC bent a little blue, whereas the Chanel was more of a charcoal green base and highly reflective; neither of my two dupe attempts had the reflects of the Chanel (but something like Make Up For Ever Diamond Powder pushed on top of the Shiseido would approximate the Chanel reasonably well).


The Chanel Illusion d'Ombre shadows are largely a Thing Unto Themselves, in terms of both shade and finish.  This post took me several hours of swatching and trying to find equivalents (aside from the writing and editing time) and I have not included the three-to-four-times-more swatches I took of other dupe attempts that were major failures.  In addition, some of the best approximations (that I could find) involved LE (limited edition) and/or discontinued shades.  Bottom line, these are difficult enough to dupe.

Summary of possible dupes:

FantasmeL'Oréal Color Infallible #01/Time Resist White
VisionMake Up For Ever Flash Colour #04
Abstraction: ???
ÉmerveilléMake Up For Ever Aqua Cream #13 or MAC Metal-X Shadow Fusion Gold (LE)
ÉpatantMAC Paint Pot Greenstroke (LE) + MAC Extra Dimension shadow Warm Thunder (LE)
IllusoireChanel Ombre d'Eau #75 (LE) + L'Oréal Color Infallible #13/Flashback Silver
Ébloui: Make Up For Ever Aqua Cream #14 
MirifiqueShiseido Shimmering Creme Eye Color Blk912/Caviar + Make Up For Ever Diamond Powder  

Read more posts on Chanel Illusion d'Ombre here and here.  I give up.  I'm going to bed!


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