The entire story is in the pictures. These Chantecaille Mermaid Eye Color cream eye shadows first appeared as available for pre-order at Barneys last month and I bought all four, and that was based on stock photos. I just knew. A few weeks later when they arrived it was clear that I was right. Chantecaille Mermaid cream eye shadows have a dense texture (compared to whipped ones like Charlotte Tilbury, Tom Ford, or Vincent Longo) that's rich in pigment. They can be patted on, buffed, sheered, applied with a dense or a precision brush, used under a powder eye shadow to intensify the color, mixed, matched, or used alone. All that was clear within the first tests.
Then there's tenacity and longevity, in which they outperform many cream eye shadows (waving hi to Charlotte T.). I use a primer, just as I do with any eye color product, and the Mermaid colors retain their gleaming finish, their pigmentation, and most important: the shape and placement I create, so there's no migration or flaking. I have yet to test them under exceptionally humid conditions, so I can't guarantee how they'll behave on an August day in NYC (or for a beach wedding in Florida), but so far they've been holding like cement from morning to night on my primed normal lids.
These four colors are all that's available, at least for now. Three are classic neutrals and one, Lagoon, is a jaw-dropping dramatic color that really surprised me when I opened the lid. Lagoon is a teal green to reddish brown duo-chrome. I have a very soft spot for this kind of pigment and tend to acquire every eye shadow that offers a variation on this theme (the classic MAC Club, the ultra shiny Urban Decay Moondust Eyeshadow in Solstice, Makeup Geek Havoc, and Ellis Faas E305). It's not something I'd wear for the Passover dinner (but on second thought...), yet it can be a stunning focal point for an otherwise quick and easy makeup look that keeps everything else simple and low-key.
Then we have the glistening yellow sand of Seashell, the rich coppery brown of Starfish (is there a more classic summer color?), and the grayed wet sand (almost light taupe) of Triton, which Saks website comically mis-typed as "Trinton". Triton and Lagoon are natural bedfellows, but they work in every combination. My recommendation is to work in very thin layers if you're over age 20, because piling up shiny creams can emphasize the texture of one's eyelids. Fingers and brush work well, so it's up to your preference, but I also suggest that you try silicone applicators. They're like little spatulas that are ideal for creams, gels, and anything that isn't straight up powder. You can but them at Sally Beauty (I order online, $1.99 for a packet of six double ended applicators). I keep them in various drawers, next to lip products and cream eye shadows, and they're a good tool for patting on these Chantecaille Mermaid Eye Colors before blending.
Bottom Line: Under the sea/ When the sardine/ Begin the beguine/ It's music to me
Chantecaille Mermaid Eye Color- Lagoon, Seashell, Starfish, and Triton ($34 each, made in Italy) are available from Barneys, Saks, Nordstrom, and under select location.