Almost Passed on The Beauty That is Chanel L’Ombre Diapason

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D’ya pass on Diapason?

If you recall my no-return rantings in the past posts, well… itwuzdiz one, lovers and friends. I approached the Chanel counter with only this item in my surely to-buy list and so when I tried it on, I think I wasn’t fully objective and critical as I analyzed it on my eyes. All I saw was… it’s so frikkin’ beautiful in the pot, how can I not get it. With a mix of it probably looks good on my eyes, I’m sure, how can it not be. The Chanel counter lights (with the choice of daylight, warm light, incandescent light at a touch of a button!) also contributed to the surrender. To be honest, there was virtually no decision-making involved as soon as the pot was opened.. shut up and take my money, Miss. So yes, there is no one to blame but the bloggers who wore this beautifully that I couldn’t sleep for a few days just thinking about it me. d1 Chanel Illusion d’Ombre in Diapason is one of the two cream eyeshadows released in the Notes de Printemps collection for Spring 2014. The other one is Impulsion, a sheer pink, that was a sure pass for me. Diapason is a luminous deep purple with blue and silver shimmer and a reddish plum base. Of course, being almost automatically attracted to anything purple, I completely overlooked its tendency to look maroon-ish and reddish. I have prominent yellow undertones so anything reddish or maroon mixed with purple on my eyes would instantly, without-a-frikkin-doubt look like I’ve just sparred with Manny Pacquiao. I only realized this the first time I wore it (without base makeup!) and took a photo of myself in indirect sunlight (but with the sun shining brightly around 1-2PM). I almost wanted to cry when I saw the photo… the reddish plum base was jutting out I could almost see the letters R-E-D spelled out on my lids. WHY. DEAR GOD. WHY. I would’ve returned it in a heartbeat had I not happily squished my fingers on it already (I initially thought I couldn’t return items but turns out Rustan’s accepts returns if the item is untouched. Ummm, great.). The bright side of this is I’m forced to experiment and figure out a way to make the product work because even if I consider it a toss, I could never actually just throw it out. Guess what happens, bunnies. d3b

The Lowdown

My first Illusion d’Ombre wasn’t a stellar experience. It was a sheer, glittery shade that made my eyes smaller so I couldn’t really use it on its own. In fact, I am so averse to these Illusion d’Ombres because they are just too glittery and sparkly for my eye-likings (matte or satin, please). However, Diapason looked like it had the most subdued version of sparkle among all the IdOs I’ve seen, swatched and felt. And indeed, it does.


Diapason has the same bouncy, plushy characteristic that all IdOs exhibit. It feels just as smooth, fine and creamy as my previous IdO, Emerveille. The texture is very lightweight and easily blendable.  Truly, I have no qualms about the formula. It does set quite fast though, so I have to work quickly.


That said, my general problem would be in application. I use my fingers but my eyelids are so small, even my pinky is too big to do precise work. Using my regular MAC brushes, the product applies too sheerly that it takes too much work and product. The best thing I’ve done is work with the applicator in applying the product and the tip of my pinky to lightly blend the edges. Still, not the best way of applying that I could imagine. I think I may need to invest on some more eyeshadow brushes, specifically for cream products. Have to say though, even if blending the product is easy, it gets sheered out easily so I find myself reapplying more only to sheer it out even more when I blend it. ACK! #creamshadowproblems I would definitely appreciate suggestions on tools and how-tos on using cream shadows for tiny hooded Asian lids like mine.d4d5

Pigmentation and Longevity

One light swipe of Diapason is pictured above (on my fingertip) – the color is definitely bold and saturated. Also, I’m showing two swatches in different lighting. One is in direct sunlight, where the plummy red base comes out more and looks bleh against my yellow undertones (that are way too prominent in direct sunlight, too). The other is in the shade where my yellow-ness is more subdued and Diapason’s reddish base doesn’t peek through too much, only a little. Do note that the glitter and sparkle are almost non-existent! On the lids, they don’t come out as much as well. Shimmery but not sparkly. One happy little kid here! As for wear, Diapason faded significantly after 7 hours. I didn’t wear a primer underneath though, just an all over cream shadow base so I’m not sure if it would wear longer had I worn my regular eye primer. d6d7

The Look

And so the verdict is… while I’m teh worst at applying cream products, having been spoiled rotten by powder shadows too much, I think I actually am beginning to love Diapason. But that’s not without figuring out how to make it work for me. My first big mistake was applying it bare-faced with nothing else on that my yellow undertones crashed against the reddish base of Diapason. Lesson learned: can’t use this alone without any foundation or atleast a tinted moisturizer and concealer on! Second, I applied it on my lids without a base! That doesn’t work for me, too. My yellowish lids also made the reddish tones come out more. So when I checked the first photo I took when I did this, I didn’t see plum or violet.. I saw maroon/red. Lesson learned: use MAC Paint Pot in Soft Ochre as a base to cancel out yellow tones first. The look I did above consists of Chanel Illusion d’Ombres in Emerveille on the inner half and Diapason on the outer half. I didn’t layer them together so I could show Diapason without any base underneath, except MAC Paint Pot in Soft Ochre which is a yellow beige (more beige than yellow), just to cancel out the prominent yellowness of my lids. d8


I think I’d have to wear it more and figure out how to apply it best and what other eye colors and products I could use it with. I would also like to rock it on its own but I just feel so ambitious saying that for some reason (I feel that wearing it with other shades is easier and less work than wearing it alone). Is it worth it? I can’t tell for now. I’m a long way from getting the best of these cream eyeshadows but if you love shades like these with a beautiful duochrome property and would like to try out the Illusion d’Ombres but are put off with the sparkles in most of them, Diapason in particular is worth checking out. Also, I picked up a few Maybelline Color Tattoos recently so I’ll be playing around with those soon and see how they compare with these Illusion d’Ombres as they’re both cream shadows but with price tags that are worlds apart.

Chanel Diapason can be found here.

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  1. Raven Ang
    February 5, 2014 / 5:15 pm

    Pretty pretty pretty. 🙁 I think what you can do is apply it with your fibger first then blend it out with your brushes. Will you do a comparison post on the Color Tattoos and Illusion D’Ombre? How much are Illusion D’Ombres here?

    • February 12, 2014 / 7:10 pm

      The Illusion d’Ombres are P1950, Ray! 🙂 And I will do a comparison post. Oh my, medyo nahirapan ako sa Color Tattoos ha. Maybe it melted a little kaya super creamy and I had a hard time (walang wala sa hard time na naexperience ko with this one), so I’ll try to play with them again soon. Thanks for the tip btw!

      • Raven Ang
        February 12, 2014 / 7:21 pm

        I bought Audacious Asphalt last Saturday and I love to use it as a base. It matches Slate from Lorac Pro so well! Mine has an odd texture but it’s still pretty great. I also use a brush to apply it. Patpatpat goes my brush! 🙂

        • February 12, 2014 / 7:29 pm

          Will try it with a brush! THANKS!
          And Audacious Asphalt is a beautiful charcoal grey color! Share if you can your FOTD, babe!

  2. Bea
    February 5, 2014 / 5:37 pm

    Hurray, this story has a happy ending! If there’s a lot of red/maroon in it, you can also use it as a base under grays for an interesting smokey eye. Though it would mean not letting it shine on its own XD

    • February 12, 2014 / 7:11 pm

      Thankfully it did, B. Thankfully! I love the tip you shared on wearing it under grays!! I’ve tried it already and it looks amaaaazing. Will share the look soon. You’re such a guru. Be a Youtube Guru plzz! Will make a petition.

  3. February 5, 2014 / 5:46 pm

    Girl ano ba, ang ganda kaya hahaha

    • February 12, 2014 / 7:11 pm

      Nung una talaga gurl, hinde. As in mukha talaga ako nasuntok. Sobrang red siya tingnan, hindi purple!

  4. Nix Sayo
    February 5, 2014 / 6:07 pm

    Ang ganda! Don’t have any regrets ‘cos it looks so good on you! No joke. I swear. 😀

    • February 12, 2014 / 7:12 pm

      Thanks Nix!! I will take your word for it!! :* Hehe.

  5. February 5, 2014 / 6:20 pm

    Hey Shari, I’m glad you didn’t return it! I have found that the trick is concealing well, and then the redness isn’t as unflattering on our yellow skin tones. I’d totally use the eggplant in Charming with this one. Looks like they’d get along well!

    • February 12, 2014 / 7:13 pm

      Thanks for the tip, Sunny! WILL DEFINITELY DO THAT! I imagine they’d look great together. And yes to concealing well and evening out the skintone!! I swear, I wanted to cry when I saw myself after applying it to my bare-face… ACK. Not a good beauty memory at all. LOL!

  6. February 5, 2014 / 6:21 pm

    Hey Shari,
    It really looks much better on you than it does on me, although I haven’t done any of the mistakes you have written above in the first place. What I found out with this one was that it needs to be applied with a brush! Yes unlike other Illusion d’Ombres which work better with fingers for me. I also found out that once applied sheer, this one looks like you had a punch at your eye! No *shakes head* not pretty. Fatal from Holiday collection will continue to be my favorite IdO together with Illusoire.

    • February 12, 2014 / 7:15 pm

      I’m sad I missed out on Fatal! I think that would look better on me as well (I hope! But oh well, since I cant find it now!). So many likes for Illusoire- i’m so tempted to check it out for myself.

      And yes, I applied this with a brush too which i found worked better than fingers (i just apply Emerveille with fingers, no brush at all!). Ahh the mystery of these illusion d’ombres!!

    • February 12, 2014 / 7:15 pm

      Thanks Katie!

  7. Elaine
    February 5, 2014 / 11:35 pm


    • February 12, 2014 / 7:15 pm

      Thanks Elaine!

  8. Kathryn
    February 6, 2014 / 3:21 am

    I’ve only tried the IdO in Impulsion but I agree with you there, the texture is so soft and easy to blend. I find the longevity is brilliant too, and Impulsion is a wonderful eye brightener. I’d love to try Diapson, I think it looks great on you. x

    Kathryn | effievanity

    • February 12, 2014 / 7:15 pm

      Hi Kathryn! Their textures are definitely unbeatable and incontestable. I will take a look at Impulsion, definitely. Thanks!

    • February 12, 2014 / 7:16 pm

      Thanks Xanh!

  9. February 6, 2014 / 5:00 am

    I think it looks pretty on you.. but of course it’s up to you to decide whether something suits you or not! I like how these Illusion d’Ombres feel, the texture is nice to work with but it does take some getting used to.

    • February 12, 2014 / 7:17 pm

      Their textures are truly one of a kind and incontestable. Chanel really did a great job! But the color on my eyes takes too much work – which I dont want cream eyeshadows to be! For the price though, I’m willing to make it work 🙂

  10. February 6, 2014 / 11:24 am

    You are making me want to buy a lot of Chanel products right now. Haha. It looks so pretty! I love purple shadows myself, just don’t wear them as often as I used to. Hehe. And you are going to love the Maybelline Color Tattoos 🙂

    • February 12, 2014 / 7:19 pm

      HE HE HE. Sorry naman, gurl! I just can’t seem to resist the offerings of this brand despite my commitment to remain steadfast and resist. Haha.

      I’m having quite a hard time with my Maybelline Color Tattoos BOO. They melted a little so naging super creamy at mej I think I used too much. Will play around with it after it has gone back to its normal consistency! Too early to tell 😉

  11. February 7, 2014 / 12:46 am

    I like the duochrome effect. It pulls a complicated shade in between purple and brown so it has that interesting jewel note but also has the wearability of a neutral. UGH. *flies away before she gets tempted*

    • February 12, 2014 / 7:19 pm

      Love your description, tellie. Super swak!! Dont fly away, stay. He he.

  12. maxine marcelino
    February 8, 2014 / 2:38 am

    you have got to be the one of the funniest bbloggers ever hahaha! anyway, I’m also super attracted to anything purple right now! 🙂
    I think it the swatches look gorgeous, actually. And your eye look is very pretty! 🙂 Nevertheless, I don’t think I’m willing to splurge on a tiny pot that costs as much as gold just yet! haha. I have a couple of maybelline tatoos as well and they work wonderfully! 🙂

    • February 12, 2014 / 7:20 pm

      Funniest…. or maybe just CRAZY? Ha ha ha. What are your current purple loves right now, Max? Heeey long time no see!!

      And may I ask how you use the Maybelline Tattoos? I mean finger application lang? how do you blend two shades together?

  13. February 9, 2014 / 1:53 am

    … Sorryyy, but I disagree. Diapason looks PERFECT on you! I esp like it paired with the lipstick you’re wearing. I actually like red-toned purples, and I like Chanel’s Ebloui which is even redder than Diapason I think… But I’m sorry to hear that application of the Ilusion d’Ombres are so tricky :

    • February 12, 2014 / 7:22 pm

      Quinn.. you’re too sweet!! :* Thank you thank you! How do you apply your Ebloui, btw? I really wanna learn how to make it work and apply it easier than how I currently do it.

  14. February 11, 2014 / 9:51 pm

    Love it! It looks absolutely beautiful on you.

    • February 12, 2014 / 7:22 pm

      Thanks Rere!!

  15. February 12, 2014 / 3:40 pm

    bummer that it was so much trouble! I think this looks good on you though now that you have figured it out! 🙂 I always have been hesitant to buy one of these too bc they are just so so shimmery. whenever i look at the counter it always seems to be more shimmer than pigment! I’ve always wanted illusoire to be less shimmery lol bc it seems like a nice cool toned purple. Ah well!

    • February 12, 2014 / 7:23 pm

      Ive been so curious on the texture that I gave in to one last year. Then, one too many bloggers raved about this particular one and how it’s not as shimmery as the regular ones which tempted my low EQ even more. LOL! I think Illusoire is perfect too if it werent SUPER shimmery!! You have some Dior Matte Fusion monos right?

      • February 13, 2014 / 11:44 am

        I returned the one dior fusion matte mono thingy i got cause i wasn’t totally 100% in love with it lol. Figured it’d be better than hoarding lol

  16. ddld
    February 17, 2014 / 9:29 pm

    I’m reeking with envy right now. 😛

  17. October 26, 2014 / 5:55 pm

    Without having read this review beforehand, I was instantly drawn to this shade when I visited the counter. I was looking to swatch New Moon kasi. Diapason is pretty, but I also find it intimidating for the same reason that you initially wanted to return it: When done incorrectly, it could look like a shimmery bruise.

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