How can anyone resist anything with a name like that! “That” in this case, is what Chanel calls a “Sculpting Veil for Eyes and Cheeks”. The idea is to use it to sculpt your features (a more elegant way of saying “contour”).
I have seen many pictures of this online already and just like its name, the views on this product are notoriously divided. People either love it (“OMG! Cheekbones!”) or hate it (“OMG! Dirt on my face!”). I couldn’t quite decide.
I’d read about how wonderful it was on the beautiful Xiao and Arianne, both of quite different skintones, but Christine of Temptalia wasn’t impressed with this one. One fateful day while chatting with Xiao, Arianne and Tracy who all own this, I was convinced to give it a go. I mean, what’s the worst thing that could happen right? I could just join the zombie apocalypse – no biggie! 😀
So I hoofed it down to the Chanel counter (Pavilion KL if anyone’s wondering. I’m not sure if its available at other Chanel counters), plonked myself down in the chair and told the SA to do her worst. Ok, her best. She was quite amused that I had requested to try this powder. My guess is most people take one look at the grey concrete looking dome and pick up the Christmas edition Stardust blush instead (so pretty! I was tempted but passed because it was too sparkly). So she seemed quite helpful in helping show me how I could wear it.
So, am I in the “Cheekbones!” or a “Wash your face!” camp? 😉
Did I say concrete? Yes I did.
I’d been so used to seeing the images online, I wasn’t quite prepared for the real thing. It wasn’t a deep grey as I initially thought. It was in fact a light taupe grey that looks remarkably like concrete. I was reminded of a freshly poured concrete slab that is just dried out. If anyone knows what I’m talking about (There must be some engineers among you yes?!) this is the best description of the colour that I can give you. Its not as deep a grey as that of the 1st photo above, more like the 2nd one.
Here’s another shot of what I think the colour looks like to me. A cool toned concrete grey. I said cool toned didn’t I? I do think this powder, although quite neutral, does tend to the slightly cooler end of the spectrum. Temptalia says that this is why it doesn’t compliment her warmer complexion. However, Arianne (Glittergeek) wears it beautifully on her warm complexion so I think its a case of varying mileage and how one wears it.
Here is it swatched lightly on left and heavily on right. No one in their right mind would wear such a heavy swatch of colour of course. Its just to show you how it looks. There is some shimmer but I didn’t notice it on my skin at all.
You can probably tell that Notorious swatches quite neutral, with both warm and cool tones. Its what has prompted many people to say that it could suit most skin tones. I will however venture the suggestion that while colour-wise it could potentially suit most skintones, it may not suit all face shapes.
Let me explain.
I don’t know how helpful this collage is. I tried my best to show you how a before/after Notorious looks but it isn’t all that obvious because I can’t seem to take 3 similar pictures in a row 😛 I applied Notorious just under my cheekbones and along my jawline. It helps to shade the area, and create the impression of a hollow, which means it creates shadow and by association, anything that isn’t shaded looks raised. Along the jawline, it tricks the eye into seeing a shade where a heavy jawline is, and that makes your face shape look “sharper”.
To be honest, from the front, I see a little definition along the cheekbones and jawline but it is just that – a little definition. It can’t change your face shape drastically unless you go heavy handed, which is great for photographs but not so great when you have to go out and face the public. Grey patches on the cheeks are a little too avant garde for everyday, I think 😛
I did notice however that from the side, it does add more definition. On left is just Notorious and on right is Notorious on cheeks and jawline and blush. I enhanced the colour contrast a little to show you how the powder has added some contour to my cheeks so I look less like a pancake face and more like I have cheekbones and a sharper jawline.
If I apply Notorious heavily, it does appear grey on my skin and I do look like I have been reading the newspaper and then wiped my newsprint stained fingers all down the sides of my cheeks (This is pre-digital newspapers for all you young ‘uns 😛 ) With a light hand however, I noticed that the colour doesn’t quite show up per se, but there is a definite shadow. The grey isn’t quite grey on my skin either, but a pink based grey. Did that make sense? 😛
Once more for good measure. Image isn’t sharp, but it shows the effect best. I think it does look like my face shape looks a little more defined, especially around the cheekbones area and the jawline too . In person, I was told that my face looked sharper (the word used was “cheem” in Cantonese)
Remember how I said above that it may suit most skintones but not all face shapes? I thought so because my face structure does, under all the chubby chipmunk cheeks, have quite high cheekbones. So, Notorious enhances this. However, if you naturally have a smoother, less defined silhouette, then shading in these areas that are not naturally shaded may result in it looking a bit artificial. The key therefore is to find where your shadow would naturally fall.
The easiest way to do this, is to do the fish face 😀 Look in the mirror, suck in your cheeks and apply the powder LIGHTLY just under your cheekbones. Blend it out, and top off the apples of the cheeks (smile at the mirror) with blush.
Why Notorious works when a bronzer has never worked for contouring on my skin, is because I realised that when I have shaded areas on my face, it is a dark shadow, and not a dirty brown. It might be my skintone, but brown has never been a colour I could comfortably wear. This grey powder however, has done for me what bronzer has done for many – it has allowed me to walk around looking like I have a defined facial structure. Its brilliant!
In a nutshell
The Chanel Notorious Ombre Contraste Sculpting Veil for Face and Eyes is a grey toned powder much like the Chanel baked Joues Contrastes blushes. The purpose of this powder is to enhance the hollows of your face, to define its shape, or contour, in regular parlance. I find that the powder is fine and that it was quite easy to get the hang of. Also, the grey tones, although a weird concept, seems to work on my skin to define my facial shape, and give me more prominent cheekbones, and a sharper jawline. I do not know if this could work for everyone so I would suggest that you try it out before you buy it, because it could otherwise be a costly mistake. It can also be used around the eyes, and to contour other parts of your face e.g. nose but I think I’d keep to creating cheekbones 😀
Pros: Light textured powder is very easy to blend, Works on my skin to create the illusion shading which makes the face shape more defined
Cons: Limited Edition, May not work for everyone
Who will like this: Anyone for whom bronzer does not work as a contour powder
Is this for everyone? Nope, not by a long shot.
If you already have a bronzer or a face sculpting powder you already use and use well, you can easily stick with those. But if you are like me and have never been able to get a bronzer to sculpt your cheekbones without looking like you fell face first into a vat of cocoa powder, then Notorious might just do it for you. I personally feel the grey tone is more natural because a shadow does come in shades of grey – even if not in 50 shades 😉
I do find that having a very defined face structure does make me look a bit more mature (ahem!) even if it also does look a bit more sophisticated. So its great for making people take me more seriously at work, I suppose, but not something I’d be putting on a lot of, when I want to feel and look a bit younger… or more immature LOL!
I am presently using a Shu Uemura Pony #17 brush with this, with a very light hand. I’m not quite sure yet what brush will work, because my face brushes are all large and fluffy and I prefer putting this powder only on a small area. The trick is to use only a little, and blend it out well. It may not look very obvious to you, but when you get someone telling you that your face looks more defined, you know you’ve done something right.
Chanel Notorious – would you give a grey powder a shot for makeup?
I never thought I would get this. I thought I’d never be able to make it work, but its surprised me in many ways. I’m glad I got pushed into this, so thank you, Ladies! 😀 I have a funny story about my discovery of my cheekbones. I’d always had a round moonface (Yes, people called me that – kids are cruel 😛 ) but one day, I noticed that at the sides of my cheekbones, near my ears, was a hollow. It looked like a bruise, so I ran to my Mom to ask her to see why I had a bruise down the side of my face. My Mom look one look at it and said, that’s not a bruise, that’s the hollow under your cheekbones! Cheekbones! Me! I think she was wondering how she ended up with such a “duh” daughter LOL! 😀
Chanel Ombre Contraste Sculpting Veil for Eyes and Cheeks in Notorious Price: RM140 Availability: Chanel Parkson Pavilion KL (unsure about all counters) Limited Edition: Yes