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Chanel Apparence Illusion d'Ombre Eyeshadow Review, Photos, Swatches

Chanel Apparence Illusion d'Ombre Eyeshadow
Chanel Apparence Illusion d’Ombre Eyeshadow

Chanel Apparence Illusion d’Ombre Eyeshadow ($36.00 for 0.14 oz.) is a new and limited edition “gold bronze” releasing just in time for the holidays. It’s a shimmering, pale bronze with a subtle golden warmth. The finish is strongly metallic with a fair bit of sparkle. Bobbi Brown Bronze is similar, slightly darker, and has chunky sparkle. Urban Decay Maui Wowie is a smidgen darker and has glitter. Giorgio Armani #18 is yellower.

Illusion d’Ombre is a long-wearing eyeshadow with a gel texture and can be worn as an eyeshadow or as an eyeliner.  It feels spongy; you can see in my pot that it’s pulled away from the sides, but a simple push of the product with a spatula spread it back into place.  Upon touch, it hadn’t dried out or anything, either (in case you were curious!).  When applied, it has a slight translucent quality to the overall color, which actually makes it look nice as a wash, but it’s not fully opaque.  It also appears lighter on than it does in the pot, which is a result of the high sheen finish.

When I took it for a test-drive, it lasted for a full eight hours without creasing or fading, and perhaps, more importantly, I didn’t experience any fall out. There’s a sparkle to it that’s not obvious but noticeable, on top of the metallic finish. I think so long as you weren’t looking for fully opaque color, you’ll like this. I can see a lot of Chanel fans more than happy with this shade release.

Chanel Apparence Illusion d'Ombre Eyeshadow
Chanel Apparence Illusion d’Ombre Eyeshadow

Chanel Apparence Illusion d'Ombre Eyeshadow
Chanel Apparence Illusion d’Ombre Eyeshadow

Chanel Apparence Illusion d'Ombre Eyeshadow
Chanel Apparence Illusion d’Ombre Eyeshadow

Chanel Apparence Illusion d'Ombre Eyeshadow
Chanel Apparence Illusion d’Ombre Eyeshadow

Chanel Apparence Illusion d'Ombre Eyeshadow
Chanel Apparence Illusion d’Ombre Eyeshadow


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Faith Avatar

Apparence looks beautiful! I have Mirifique and it’s perfect for adding a little sparkle to a dark smokey eye look. I’ll have to pick up this new limited edition eyeshadow. Thanks for your review.

Anne Avatar

Thanks for your review, I will be checking this one out 🙂 I’m also expecting the blue ones!!!!

By the way, not my case but some people feel there’s a difference in texture between the original 6 IdO (Mirifique, Emerveille, etc.) and Riviere. Would you say Apparence is closer to the original ones or to Riviere, in terms of texture? I’m just curious.

LovelyLace Avatar

Hi Christine …. Some people are using your review photos without even acknowledging, so please do something to protect your photos, put a water mark or something. Your blog is really helpful, and you’re putting too much effort in it, and I really hate when some people steal others’ efforts, so please do something. Thanks for your amazing reviews, Beautiful! 🙂

Becca @ The Beauty Sample Avatar

Don’t get me wrong–this is definitely pretty, but it’s a bit too generic of a shade to warrant the $36, in my opinion. I guess it’s an oldie-but-goldie (no pun intended) but there are just SO many dupes out there that I can’t bring myself to get excited about this. They may not have the same fun, spongey texture but still…

Lauren Avatar

It’s pretty, but too pricey for a shade that looks so similar to other, far less expensive shadows. It seems like almost every line makes something similar.

Ljana Avatar

I had a pot of Emerveille that I managed to drop on the floor and the entire contents fell out in this weird, coin-shaped solid little blob (if that makes sense!) while the packaging stayed intact. Not sure if mine had dried out or if that tends to happen with all IdO’s, but I do know that I’ve also dropped my MAC paint pots and Benefit creams and they fared much better.
Not particularly excited about this shade, but I’d gladly splurge on Epatant if I knew the incident was a one-off. And I had my pot of Emerveille for barely a month or so! 🙁

Ljana Avatar

It does, thank you! I think I’ll go for Epatant anyway and just try to be more careful this time around. They’re just to pretty to give up on after one mishap!

Dee Avatar

Exact same thing happened to mine. Same shade too. I used it today though and it seemed ok, but it broke a bit and there is no fixing that. Extremely annoying. I also find this swatch too similar to Emerveille so it’s a pass for me.

Quinctia Avatar

Sounds similar to my experience with an Armani ETK–took it out of the package and the whole thing stuck to the plastic “press” in one blob! It was fine and hasn’t done that since, but I had a nice moment of panic since I wasn’t expecting the contents of a $32 jar of eyeshadow to vacate their container like that. XD

Jazzy Avatar

Hi Christine, first off I wanna say that your website is amazing. Ever since I came across it, I never missed one day without checking it out. It also saved me a lot of money because I researched/read your site before buying.

I was wondering…

there are glossimers in this collection – do you know of any similar formula as the glossimer or the best formula for lip glosses? i like that they are not sticky but they are kinda sheer


Kafka Avatar

My cheapskate tendencies come out in full bloom with something like this. Actually, to be honest, with much of Chanel’s line. I truly haven’t been WOW’d by something in ages (except for some nail polishes) and so much of what I see if easily dupeable for much more reasonable prices. Plus, to me, many (not all, but many) of the shades are just small degrees apart from each other or, else, just blur together because of overlapping ranges — collection after collection after collection.

I realise each company has a certain brand image and style but I wish there was greater range or diversity in their stuff. I don’t know, maybe I’m being unfair. And, yes, I know that’s Chanel’s signature look in a way. But the thing is, I have a number of their older quads and duos which have really vibrant, great, contrasting colours — the range and shades of which are totally diff. from what I’ve seen them put out recently and which are so diverse in comparison. Maybe it’s just me.

Anne Avatar

You’re not the only one, I used to own only Chanel makeup before, but then I realized there are many shades that are too close, in particular eyeshadows, so I stopped buying.

My interest came back with Illusion d’Ombre, but I just got 2 of them (Mirifique and Illusoire). After that, Riviere, which I find interesting… and then a couple more. Yet, I keep myself far from quads and singles.

Kafka Avatar

I’m relieved it’s not just my perception about their range, esp. with the quads. Maybe you’re right, the way to go is with the Illusion d’Ombre line and things like the Mirifique (which I think looks lovely). Not, however, with this gold one — for me, at least — as it is far too easily dupeable. The one I have my eye on is the blue-gunmetal grey from the Blue Illusion collection. God, it’s a stunning colour. I hope Christine will review it.

Anne Avatar

I’m waiting for the blue-gunmetal too 🙂

About this one, I will have to take a look before deciding if I’ll get it or not. I found Emerveille meh until I saw it, so maybe that could happen again, who knows? On the contrary, many people like Epatant, but when I saw it in real life, I decided it wasn’t for me.

Wwendalynne Avatar

I find this a yawn as well. If you look at Chanel offerings over the last number of years, there is gold everywhere and while some shades are outstanding and special, others could be replaced with items for a fraction of the cost. This does not look special to me.

While I have a few Chanel palettes, I too do not run out to buy the next. The muted nature of their classic look lends itself to a lot of duplication. The vast majority of their palettes are far too muted for my tastes. I do understand there is a market for and plenty of people who can do this type of look justice. I am just not one of them. Chanel will always be a brand where I pick and choose odd items here and there. However, I do have my closet JC blush addiction too..but that is a whole different story.

Kafka Avatar

I think you’re definitely right that a lot of the palettes are muted. NOW. But they weren’t before — at least not with the stuff I have. One of my favorites from them is a quad w/ a dark emerald green, a dark plum purple, a lighter moss-y green (almost khaki) with gold shimmer, and a pale pink. Another has graphite gunmetal grey, dark DARK orange, a bronze-y dark gold, and a smoky chocolate brown. I even have a duo that has a glowing violet purple with electric turquoise teal!! I could go on, but you get the idea. Seriously pigmented too!

Such a contrast between those colours and the array of endless taupes, pink-y beiges, pink-y browns, medium browns, frosty beige-y creams, and golds in recent years… *sigh* Sure, there are a few occasional exceptions here and there but they are most definitely exceptions now, not the rule. (And that’s yet another reason why I prefer YSL to Chanel, btw.) Oh well, it’s great for someone and I know a lot of women on whom those colours look gorgeous. I’m just not one of them. lol

Kafka Avatar

Gail, I wish I knew. They don’t make it any more and labels on the back of many of my quads have totally faded. In fact, out of my older ones, the only one whose name I know for certain is the old Coromandel (from around 1988!) because it was a pretty big deal at the time & because they still use “Coromandel” as a name for diff. things. I keep it for nostalgia reasons and because the colours are so pretty: iridescent blue-violet, matte baby powder pink, bronze terracotta, and shimmery dark chocolate brown. But that green-plum-pink palette is one of my favorites and I still use it often.

You know, if you have UD’s Loaded or NARS Night Porter, UD’s Rockstar, a light-medium green-gold and a pale matte pink, you can try to replicate it a bit. 🙂 The medium green is the hardest one for me to think of a dupe because it’s a really unusual shade: not moss, not mint, not exactly khaki, not UD’s Vert, not Mildew… gah. Sorry. But hopefully the other similar eyeshadows will help you. 🙂

Mariella Avatar

I love these shadows from Chanel and have 3 of them but I think I will pass on this – the glitter in it isn’t nearly as refined as in the other Illusions d’ombre that I own.

xamyx Avatar

I just swatched it over the weekend, and I really like it. The *only* reason I’m not considering it is because I already have too many similar shades. I don’t know if you’re familiar with LORAC shadows, but the palette has the same texture & pigmentation as the singles. I can’t attest to longevity, creasing, etc, as I almost never have any issues with eyeshadow, but they are soft & rich. HTH

Ana Reid Avatar

I love putting on make up but I never tried Chanel products like these. Upon reading your review, it got my attention and I would like to give it a try even though it costs a lot just for an eyeshadow. I hope it looks good on my skin type. Well I will give it a try for there is nothing to lose. I will get back to you guys of what I think of it. Wish me luck!

Sara Avatar

As she says in the review, “It feels spongy; you can see in my pot that it’s pulled away from the sides, but a simple push of the product with a spatula spread it back into place. Upon touch, it hadn’t dried out or anything, either (in case you were curious!).”

Mietta Avatar

I got so excited when I so this, I thought it would be like the Illusion D’Ombre in Vision that I bought (and am too scared to use because its soooooo beautiful and I haven’t found ANYTHING that resembles a dupe!! Or anyone who knows a dupe! =C ) It’s certainly not as beautiful but I’d have to swatch it on myself to see if I fall in love with it.

Christine, would know a good dupe or combination of products that would resemble Vision? I’m desperate!! Much love xoxo

raj Avatar

Hi, how would you apply this. i know you can use it alone but if you wnat to make it more dramatic would you apply as a base or apply it over an eyeshadow to give it more depth?

S Avatar

Hi Christine! This is the first time posting a question/comment but I want you to know I find your swatches, photos and reviews and to be extremely helpful when deciding what I just have to have and what I can leave behind as each new season approaches…please keep it up! I LOVE Chanel Illusion D’Ombre in Fantasme. I would like to buy either Apparence or Vision – can you tell me how they compare? Thanks so much!

S Avatar

Hi again…just read further in the comments – and see that you do not yet have Vision at this time. Looking forward to hearing your input if/when you do get it! 🙂

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