Chanel Notorious Ombre Contraste - Sculpting Veil for Eyes and Cheeks ($43 for 4g/0.14 oz) is a new limited-edition release from the Contrastes Essentielles Collection. We first saw a glimpse of this back in March as seen on Café Makeup's Chanel Runway Report. It finally arrived on counter just a few weeks ago. I purchased mine from Saks NY, it is available at select Chanel counters and right now on Chanel.com.
Chanel Notorious is a multi-purpose contouring product for both eyes and cheeks. The description "mauve-taupe" suits the product perfectly. On me it's more taupe with a hint of mauve-grey. It has a satiny finish - glowy but very subtle on the shimmer factor. The texture is soft and blendable - based on the pan, it doesn't resemble the European/Asian baked formula, but it doesn't quite resemble the US formula either. I suspect since this is more for eyes and cheeks it has a completely different consistency than the Joues Contraste blushes.
Based on the runway previews I expected a pigmented grey that was layerable for a strong contoured effect. It does layer well for a more intense effect, but I found the formula rather sheer. For me, the color didn't show up well on the face - I suspect it's my medium-tan skintone that prevents it from showing up well. I tried a number of techniques with different brushes, no luck. A number of others have shown this to be a success on the face - I suspect they are lighter in skintone than I am.
On the eyes however, I absolutely loved it. Notorious provides a wonderful contour. It's one of those magical shades that is so versatile. It layers well over metallic creams or sheer shimmers, it looks amazing layered with other colors, it's a wonder-product to help blend out harsh edges for a smokey eye. The sheerness and layer-ability helps contour the eye to create a soft gradient. It's a much-needed shade in my collection. In the compact it's the same color as what I envision a space-rock to look like.
I pulled a few other greys and contouring shades to compare: Chanel Furtif, Gris Exquis, Burberry Pearl Grey, Burberry Earthy, MAC Emote and NARS Notorious (discontinued). I found Chanel Notorious to have enough warmth to suit my olive skintone as the perfect contour - other greys tend to be quite a bit more silver/blue-based (which is nice, but more sharply contrasted with my skintone).
Update: I've added one more comparison photo below. Some have commented it resembles Burberry Rosewood. It's in the same family, but I feel quite different. I apologize I don't have time to swatch these but I hope this helps as a reference guide. It's definitely likely there are dupes - in doing a quick search I couldn't find any, but I didn't search for all the possibilities. Below: Burberry Rosewood, Le Metier Corinthian, NARS 413 BLKR, MAC Satin Taupe, MAC Smoke & Diamonds, NARS Ashes to Ashes.
I really like Chanel Notorious. I didn't like it as a blush/contour, but I love it on the eyes. Perhaps it will take more experimenting for it to show up on my face. For reference on other skins, see it swatched on Blondy Candy, Messy Wands, Best Things in Beauty and Indigo-Kir-Royale. As an update, a darker-skinned follower tweeted me an additional look at Notorious on darker skin at Adventures In Makeup.
If you're considering this, I recommend you order soon. It's limited-edition. Did you try or buy Chanel Notorious? What were your thoughts? If you tried it - can you share your skintone too for my other readers below?