Chanel Notorious Ombre Contrast / Sculpting Veil Review, Photos, Swatches

Chanel Notorious Ombre Contrast / Sculpting Veil
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.

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Chanel Notorious Ombre Contrast / Sculpting Veil
Chanel Notorious Ombre Contrast / Sculpting Veil

Chanel Notorious Ombre Contrast / Sculpting Veil
Chanel Notorious Ombre Contrast / Sculpting Veil

Chanel Notorious Ombre Contrast / Sculpting Veil
Chanel Notorious Ombre Contrast / Sculpting Veil

Chanel Notorious Ombre Contrast / Sculpting Veil
Chanel Notorious Ombre Contrast / Sculpting Veil

Chanel Notorious Ombre Contrast / Sculpting Veil
Chanel Notorious Ombre Contrast / Sculpting Veil

Chanel Notorious Ombre Contrast / Sculpting Veil
Chanel Notorious Ombre Contrast / Sculpting Veil

Chanel Notorious Ombre Contrast / Sculpting Veil
Chanel Notorious Ombre Contrast / Sculpting Veil

Chanel Notorious Ombre Contrast / Sculpting Veil
Chanel Notorious Ombre Contrast / Sculpting Veil

Chanel Notorious Ombre Contrast / Sculpting Veil
Chanel Notorious Ombre Contrast / Sculpting Veil

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We hope you'll consider supporting Temptalia by shopping through our links below. Thanks!


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It’s really shocking what tones are found in human skin. Artists painting flesh tones will frequently add green, blue, purple, etc to their flesh mix to create the proper shadow colour. So, I do see the potential in this product. I have to agree that it would not work well for everyone.

I find it so interesting how one product has such differents effects on so many people! Such a shame it’s seemingly not suited for those with yellow undertones (like me!). I’m still curious though: do you know if it is a US exclusive? I can’t find any information about a French release, apparently.

I can’t tell you if it’s available in Europe right now or not, but it is for sale in Canada (through Holt Renfrew, although not at all counters) and normally whatever we get is also available in Europe. There was some talk of it being released there as part of a small blush collection with a few other shades that had been released only in very limited editions or in certain geographical areas.

Thank you for all the answers! Well, the plot thickens… I assume it should be available in Chanel boutiques, then, and perhaps in the different European department stores, since Selfriges seems to carry it in the UK. I’ll tell you all what I can find!

I’ve been dying of curiosity for this particular product. I’ve read a lot of glowing reviews, but still, the bizarro colour of the product has held me from jumping in. Here I am a month later and I’m still so tempted. I do have the problem of finding most sculpting products to be completely wrong for my skin. Most come off far too orangey and some look like brown mud.. even applied super lightly. So yes, I’m still tempted…

Wendy, I’d look up Kevyn Aucoin’s Natura if I were you. Fabulously silky texture that blends in like butter into the skin. So light that it’s virtually imperceptible on, but it just adds that sculpted look in a natural way. Mine is a wee (weeeeeeeeeeeee bit) powdery but that’s easily dealt with. It also has almost invisible micro-shimmer that somehow doesn’t really go on the skin. In fact, it gives a matte-but-not-quite look. The colour is lighter than the NARS Madly, not as faintly brown as that one, and is extremely subtle. I have the same problem as you with contourers and you know my feelings about orange! The Natura (along with a MAC contourer, Spice, that’s now discontinued) are the ONLY things that give me a sculpted look without looking muddy, orange, dirty or as if I’m visibly wearing makeup. It’s almost too subtle at times! (Natura = the invisible contourer. lol.) It’s hard to find good swatches of Natura online but give it a shot. You know I rarely rave about a non-NARS blush but this one… this one is really good, imo. 🙂

This is interesting. I definitely thought it was an eyeshadow at first. Hm… I can see the grey tones working for contour, but this seems surprisingly purple for that. It also looks sort of shiny and light reflective. It’d be interesting to see on someone with cool tones who found it natural looking.

I’ve heard that Maybelline’s Color Tattoo in Tough as Taupe (Permanent Taupe in Europe and I think Asia) is a dupe for the contouring part of the product. It certainly is an interesting concept!

I took this back so fast. I try not to look like I’ve been bruised or hit in the face. For the eyes, there are so many better products out there. This is a fail big time for me.

I absolutely love this product, but my skin definitely leans cool and I agree that it’s cooler complexions that will be able to work better with this shade. Other contours I’ve tried look like mud on my face because they’re too warm, whereas this looks like a natural shadow. I thought it worked well enough as an eye shadow, but for me it’s principally a contouring product.

Yep! That’s what I was thinking – if other contouring products looked wrong (orange-y), this might work. I don’t like bronzer as a contour generally (too warm/orange-y), so I like neutral browns or browns with a hint of gray. The mauve in this just screamed, “Give me a cool tone to work with!”

I was quite curious to see how it looked on you but patiently read the review before I jumped to the pictures! I guess it would work better for paler, cool toned skin.

I love matte bronzers for contouring. I’m neutral toned but they work quite well for me without making me look orange-y.

I loved your eye makeup here especially the lashes. I actually saw your image on Pinterest before I read this review and noticed how neat and ‘spiky’ (for lack of a better word!) your lashes look here!

Bronzers are usually too warm for me, but I can definitely see them working on neutral complexions! Finding the right contour powder can be tough.

Thank you!

I was very curious about this but it sold out so quickly I didn’t get the chance to check it out. I kind of figured it would be something “cool” but nothing that I would use too often.

I think this is a fantastic and extremely stand out contour product! It is not really beneficial to the every day person who uses a bronzer to “contour” you really have to be structured and know your contours in your face extremely well before using this product… I was really happy to see a grey color contour product released because I find it to be the actual color of a “contour” color!

I am a medium complexion (NC 35 to be exact) and this shows up on me beautifully 🙂

I don’t use bronzers personally, as I find they’re orange/too warm as a contour. I prefer grayish-browns, but on me, this didn’t work well, unfortunately!

I love cooler-toned products and I love how pretty your eye makeup is here, esp. with the pink lipstick. Your Guerlain Wu-Long looks as AMAZING as always on you. There, I was positive.

But that’s about as much positivity as I can manage. I certainly can’t manage it about the product you’re actually reviewing. I’m afraid it looks muddy on you, imo. In fact, I think it looks like a faint dirt streak on your cheek on the left in that first full-face photo. While I normally opt for cool-toned things, I think this would make me look beyond dirty and muddy with my pale olive skin (which has a grey-green undertone to the yellow as it is). For contouring, I think I’ll stick to my Kevyn Aucoin Natura or the old, discontinued MAC Spice I have.

I think so too about it being muddy on Christine’s face. Everyone always says that gray toned contour shades look the most natural (which does make sense) but unfortunately, on me, just end up looking really ashy. I tried the MAC pro sculpting creme in Coffee Walnut but it was terrible. With my warm skin, I think I should stick with warm sculpting products. 🙂

I think you look quite lovely in these photos, I dont find it looks dirty at all.
I have this product and I love it, but I can see how it wouldnt suit everyone. I have lots of red in my complexion so maybe that helps make it look more natural on me.

I am really interested in this. I have struggled to find a contour shade for my pale skin. Looking at my face with no makeup I do see some taupe-y shadow under my cheekbone so I think this might be what I have been looking for. Unfortunately I hesitated in buying it and now its gone.

His is the best sculpting powder I have ever used. I am actually a very pale yellow with slight green undertones, and this does not at all look unnatural. Most bronzers, no matter how light or sheer, look orange and muddy on me. This truly just looks like a shadow on my face. In theory, this should work for many people because, let’s face it, shadows aren’t exactly brown; they’re kind of a grey-ish shade.

I think the trick is to use very little of it. I don’t swipe more than once to pick up pigment, and I blend it well.

I’m NC45 and this is the best sculpting powder I’ve ever owned. Surprisingly flattering and effective. I was tired of the brown shades and this is a great change. Plus, it makes a pretty nice eyeshadow.

I wear Chanel 104 Ambre, similar to Bobbi Brown Almond. I have yellow undertones. I love this product too. Application & blending is key. I agree with your assessment 100%

This def would not work for me as Im an NC42 / BB Honey / NARS SG Syracuse. What has worked for which I have done for a year amd half is BB E/S in Flint sometimes mixed with Taupe. Its the same principle as the grey mimics the shadows on the face. Not sure about the shimmer aspect though.

Possibly because theyve given the shade a name they may bring out another colour perhaps? They may have just bought one out to test the waters. Who know maybe other brands might try for the same concept… We shall wait and see.

Christine what is your favorite face contour sculpting product? You and I have the same skintone. I recently got harmony but am on the lookout for at least one more product.

I’m very pale and cool toned and use a purplish grey eye shadow similar to this to contour. It’s the exact colour of the natural shadow that falls on my face, any purpose built contour products I’ve tried are all far too brown. Refreshing to see something like this!

I use it quite often now, I’m definitely cool toned so there isn’t much else out there for me. Still mad that the MAC Sculpting Cream didn’t come in a cool shade.

I love this stuff! It’s magical. Kinda difficult to use, but once you learn to blend it it’s pretty neat. I think your skintone will determine how much you will need and how well it’ll blend. On you, Christine, you said you needed a lot to get it to show. I’m quite pale, so I need to use a very light touch.

Another tip is to only use this in the deepest crease, blend it down, then blend your blush over it.

I’ve been very curious about this product simply because the colour kind of scared me lol. I am quite fair skin with neutral undertone but not sure if I could pull it off. Even thought it’s sheer it kind of intimidates me.

Hi! What contour product would you rec for an NC25-35 that isn’t orangey? I saw on your post below that bronzers are too warm for you, and I feel the same way!

I love this product so much that I bought a backup immediately. However, I have MAC NC30/35 or NW30 skin, and fall into the neutral beige category on most other foundations. I don’t find it to be muddy looking at all, but normal brown contours look fine on me also. So this would most likely work for fair, light, and light-medium complexions with cool to neutral undertones.

I’m with you! I bought this and I’m NC 25-30 and it looks gorgeous and natural on me. I use quite a bit less than Christine did in her photos though. It just looks like a shadow on my face. LOVE IT! Beautiful on the eyes also. I don’t think this is for everyone for sure as it can be tricky if you over apply or don’t blend properly and then it CAN look like a bruise. Like you, normal brown contours look fine on me also.

It would seem a product like this, which obviously commanded a great deal of interest, would be made permanent. This would be used as a staple product, I presume, so what would one use once they ran out? They would have to look for a new product, and may just turn to a different brand altogether. I honestly don’t get what these companies are thinking when they release great products as a one-time only deal.

I hate to say this, because you’re GORGEOUS, but this shade almost comes off looking like dirt! It seems odd, almost for any person’s coloring! Maybe it might work on someone, maybe for really intense shading or something. But all I can think of when I see it is, “GOD! I want that as a shadow!!” LOL! I wonder if anyone bought it to use as a shadow.

Hi Christine, may i know which region of chanel site (or other store like nordstrom, saks, etc) that sell this item online?
i already checked at USA, but they don’t have it. I just can buy it online, bcuz im living in Asia, n the whole chanel make up counter in my country don’t have it either. I really want to have this one n desperately searching for this item 🙁

I have this and love it. I’m very pale with blue undertones. Even most so-called taupes look orange on me.

I don’t think the product itself is spectacular but I love the colour. I have a couple of eye shadows that sort of work for contouring but it’s so much nicer to have this in a better size for a larger brush.

I hope more brands make a contouring product in this sort of colour. I’d love a cream!

This is definitely not for everyone though.

So, I love it on the pan but I share the same undertones as you do Christine ….I don’t think this would show up on my NC40 skin. But my first thought, when I saw this post, was Whow, I want this!

I just tried out mine yesterday for the first time & I absolutely love it! I used it as both an eyeshadow and contour. I used it very lightly on the hollows with my Real Techniques setting brush to blend & voila! instant cheekbones. After applying the contour, I then added my blush to complete the cheeks. I also used Notorious along my jawline. It really slimmed my face and gave me the cheekbones I’ve always wanted. A little goes a long way with this product. I’m so happy with Notorious! It looks so natural on me. I really never found the perfect contour product until now. All the ones that I’d tried in the past made me look orange & muddy. I’m debating on looking for a backup but like I said, a little goes a long way so this may last me a while. I hope that they make this item permanent! Btw, I’m NC25.

I really want to try this! I don’t contour often, but it would be nice to have this in my arsenal. For someone around NC05, it would be a dream-come-true to have a contour shade that doesn’t run too orange or brown!

Ah, it’s a shame it’s LE. I wanted to try my hand at contouring to see if I liked the effect or not, but that dampens my enthusiasm to know I’d run out if I liked it. 🙁 I might try my Nordstrom’s Chanel counter anyway, since it would be perfect for my fair skin.

I’m so happy you’re pretty happy with this! I trust you the most and this product is an ABSOLUTE GOD SEND! I’ve tried different taupes on my skin and everything just turns dirty and warm on my very very fair neutral skin ;( so the strong gray in this makes my heart giddy! I hope I can get my hands on this! I was so excited when I heard about it a week ago!

I’m both pale and cool-toned, so i think I could make this work for me, but I doubt by this point I’ll be able to find it. Given that I don’t know how to contour, maybe it’s for the best?

The Chanel boutique in Ala Moana Hawaii still have some left! You can ask if they’ll ship. Other boutiques in Hawaii probably still have it too. I am NC/NW 5 and it’s amazingly easy to contour with this.

Hi Christine! The Chanel boutique in Ala Moana Hawaii still have some left! I’m pretty sure they would ship people can call and ask if they’ll ship. Other boutiques in Hawaii probably still have it too.

I’m NC/NW 5 and it truly is amazing on my skin. It looks just like a shadow and the sheerness (not super sheer) makes it hard to mess up contouring! 😀 I am so happy to finally find my HG contour product! Too bad it’s LE ><

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