Chantecaille Eye Define Palette looks like an eye shadow set. However, if you try using it the way you'd normally approach a Bobbi Brown or a Lancome palette you will soon realize that these mostly dark colors with their intense pigment don't really work for a traditional highlighter-crease-liner look. Even the shimmery gold is too dark to highlight your brow bone, and using two or three of the palette's colors together is more likely to turn one into a reject goth.
So what's the story here? It's all in the name. This Chantecaille palette is really all about defining and contouring. The colors are dark gold with a very warm undertone, milk chocolate, an intense tealish blue, a very cool toned dark inky purple (no red in there, so it will not make one look bruised) and a dusty charcoal. Each one of them can work as an eyeliner, even the gold. You can use them dry as I did in the first swatch or apply with a damp brush for even more color intensity. Each color works perfectly on its own, and while you can always experiment with layering and mixing, this is not the best palette for it- it's an opposite approach to Le Metier de Beaute's kits and kaleidoscopes and the final result is decidedly different, but no less fetching.
The textures are near perfect, as you'd expect from a Chantecaille product. The charcoal is the only color that had minor crumbling, but the debris is easy to clean and doesn't affect application or the finished look. The shadows/liners stay firmly in place and maintain the color integrity even when you blend and rub them for a softer look (see third swatch). The palette is sleek and elegant and the included eyeliner brush is of good quality and quite useful.
The one thing missing is either a real highlighter or a light neutral base color to make the look more polished. Some people actually prefer to only wear a strong eyeliner and leave the lids otherwise naked, but my opinion is that it works better on the very young, while the rest of us need a little more than that. Thus, I always have to use an extra eye shadow or two with my chosen color from this palette, making it less than ideal for travel and quick fixes.
Chantecaille Eye Define Palette ($68) is available from top department stores, online and in store. I bought mine from Neiman Marcus.
All photos by me. Finding them on other sites with no credit makes me cranky and also creative in finding ways to hunt and haunt content thieves. Don't say I didn't warn you.