While nothing in Chanel's holiday collection has moved my credit card, it's probably as good a time as any to talk about Vanites 08 Quadra Eye Shadow that Chanel released earlier this fall as part of their Sophisticated Eye Collection (together with Lagons). This eye shadow quad was added to Chanel's regular line (i.e. not a limited edition); hopefully it'll remain there for a very long time.
The colors in Vanites are somewhat of a departure from my comfort zone. Purples can be a very big miss on me, raging from a bruised skin look to the appealing shade of a corpse. But Chanel infused Vanites with very subtle gold undertones, making it surprisingly flattering.
A few words about the texture of Chanel eye shadow quads: It's pretty amazing and confusing how much the quads vary from one another. The cause is most likely the specific shimmer and the amount of it used in each quad. To make things even more confusing, Chanel quad eye shadows often don't swatch well on one's hand. They require a very smooth base and a more delicate skin. So if you're testing at the counter, try applying on your inner wrist and not on the back of your hand, where the skin is rougher and will make the texture look uneven. Sometimes this is not enough and you have to ask for a brush and try blending the eye shadows, or best of all: have your Chanel specialist apply it to your lids so you can have a better idea if the quad you're eyeing is among the smooth ones or a fall-out central.
Vanites 08 is somewhere in the middle: it's actually a lot smoother than it appears at first and blends beautifully. However, there is a lot more shimmer fall-out than should be for a quad this nice. I use a good base and excellent brushes, but end up having to do an annoying amount of cleanup.
The real story of Vanites, though, are the colors, and I do love them and find them wearable and flattering. The dark violet is, of course, gorgeous. Using it damp as a liner brings out the best in brown eyes. The two light purple colors (lilac and an icy pink lavender) show very well on my lids and work well blended with the brown(ish) mauve, which I use extensively. It's a very complex shade that work well for me.
Bottom Line: recommended, as long as you're willing to deal with fall-out.
Chanel Vanites 08 Quadra Eye Shadow ($57) is available at the counters and on chanel.com.