Chanel Notorious Ombre Contrast / Sculpting Veil
Chanel Notorious Ombre Contrast / Sculpting Veil ($43.00 for 0.14 oz.) is described as a “mauve-taupe.” It’s a mauve-tinged gray-brown–it is dominated by gray and has a very cool-toned feel. As a contour color, I couldn’t think of anything similar that I’ve come across. As an eyeshadow, there are a few shades that come (somewhat) close. MAC Cloudy Afternoon is lighter and frosted. bareMinerals Exhale is slightly less mauve. Urban Decay Bust is a touch darker and more shimmery. MAC Fashion Fix is less mauve. NARS Lhasa is more mauve and shimmery.
It’s limited edition, becoming increasingly sought after, and is now sold out online but is still available at select Chanel counters across the country. If you’re not so inclined to try and hunt it down but want to try something similar, consider using a powder eyeshadow (potential dupes listed above) instead.
I don’t think I’d run around for hours looking for it nor pay double or triple the price on eBay. It’s an interesting product, and I think for cool-toned complexions, an excellent contour shade. As an eyeshadow, it’s rather sheer and almost feels powdery in that application. The texture is very soft, finely-milled, and a bit powdery, which lends itself to a naturally sheer, barely-there application when used as a blush. If used as an eyeshadow, it seems to apply with more payoff initially, but be light-handed when you blend, as it can sheer out easily. The mauve in this is really what makes this so appropriate for cooler skin tones. The sheerness means it will work best on light to light-medium skin tones. It’s not too buildable, so I would not recommend it for darker complexions. Given how Chanel described it, the pigmentation seems to be a little under what was expected but not by much.
On my skin tone, I needed to layer it several times to get it to show up, and with my warmer, yellow undertones, it looked very bruise-like rather than sophisticated and shadowy. With enough blending and fading, it was wearable, but it was just not naturally suitable with my undertones (MAC Sculpt works better for me and requires far less work for anyone curious!) so unfortunately, I can’t show it at its fullest potential. I’ve worn it a few times now, and it wears well for eight hours with very, very minimal fading. The photos below show Notorious used as a contour alone (left) and with a blush (right; MAC Unconventional).
The easiest contour powders to use are ones that are just right for your coloring; contouring is to enhance the natural structure of your face and for most, the goal is something subtle. For lighter, cool-toned beauties, this might be the sweet spot you’ve been looking for. For medium to dark complexions, this might not show up well.