Les Expressions de Chanel 2012 brings us new options for the eyes. There are new eyeshadow quads, cream eyeshadows, liquid liners and a new mascara. (See the US lineup on La Chanelphile and the European lineup on Café Makeup.) In the US, it appears the whole collection is scheduled to launch Black Friday (at least according to four different counters I've talked to in Southern California) although some have reported early sightings at some boutiques and select counters. I think at this time the exact release and availability dates are unclear. I have yet to see the entire collection in person but ordered 36 Intuition and 37 Variation eyeshadow quads online from Neimans ($58 each).
36 Intuition is a warmer but still somewhat neutral option for the eyes. All the shades are medium in shimmer. It has a soft seashell pink shimmer, a warm sheer gold sparkle, a neutral bark brown shimmer and a warmer brown tan. Pigmentation and coverage is medium-sheer. It performs like most Chanel quads and on my eyes works best over a dewy cream base (Edward Bess's Eye Base or Laura Mercier's Metallic Cream Shadows). A few others to check out with features on this quad:
37 Variation is a cooler-toned option. The shades are also on the shimmery side but not quite as sparkly as Intuition. It has a cool-toned powdery pink satin, a silvery sage metallic, a warm brown and an eggplant shimmer. I thought this would be my favorite out of the two, but it's borderline too cool for my skin. It's still quite lovely on olive complexion but I prefer Mystic Eyes to this one. I haven't seen the European/baked version of Variation in person, but judging from online reviews/swatches, I think I prefer the color payoff of the Euro one better. Some other swatches to check out:
More photos and swatches below:
I didn't have time to do comprehensive comparisons or swatches but caught one slightly blurry photo today for reference. You can see Variation isn't quite as purple as Vanities, but not quite the same as Mystic Eyes. Intuition is very different from Spices but resembles Dior's Fairy Golds in color family (which I have not tried yet).
For me Intuition was a lovely surprise. It looked like it would be too neutral or unoriginal but it really is quite lovely. Variation on the other hand was a slight disappointment. The colors are really lovely but needs a bit of warming up for my skintone.
Have you spotted the Les Expressions de Chanel collection yet? I'm still waiting to see the whole collection, but at this time think I will probably pass on everything else. Perhaps I will consider the mascara?