Puzzled by Smokey Eyes? Maybe the Chanel Enigma Eyeshadow Quad Can Help

Published in: Makeup, Product Reviews

chanel enigma eyeshadow quad review swatches photos

There’s something to be said for tradition. Take fall makeup, for instance, and the Chanel Enigma Eyeshadow Quad ($56). Although I love that Chanel went totally renegade with the summery Rouge Coco lipsticks and Glossimer lipglosses from the Les Contrastes collection, it’s also kind of comforting to get seasonal products that typify the season, ya know?


The moment I saw this quad, the first thing I thought was, “What’s the connection between these shades and the new Rouge Coco colors?” I didn’t immediately see how/if the four shimmery shades of peach, chocolate gray, violet gray and dark plum were related to the lippies, but I think I’m beginning to understand.

Doesn’t the shimmery peach shadow in the quad look related to Rouge Coco lipstick in Chintz? I feel like its golden pink undertones also play off the iridescence in the Petite Peche, Coral Love and Rose Dilemma Glossimers.

NOTE: Eagle-eyed US Chanel-ophiles might notice that the round eyeshadow pans in these pics look a little unusual. That’s because the European Chanel quads come with rounded pans like these (this one happens to be from their European inventory), while the US quad pans are rounded rectangles. Shapes aside, the colors are exactly the same.

As for how the colors within the quad itself relate to one another, I like how the three darker shades contrast with the shimmery peach.

I’d have to say that the deep, dark plum made the biggest impression on me, while the chocolate gray and violet gray almost looked like the same shade when I applied them dry. It took a dampened brush head to fully appreciate the nuances between the two.

Because Chanel eyeshadows are quite powdery, some folks expect them to be hard to work with, but I don’t think that’s the case at all. Enigma’s shadows latch onto my skin like a suntan and with negligible fallout. No need to worry about looking like you just stepped out of Studio 54, Fangtasia or [INSERT FAVORITE NIGHTCLUB HERE]! 🙂

chanel enigma quad review photos swatches fall 2010
Clockwise from upper left: peach, chocolate gray, dark plum and violet gray eyeshadows

chanel enigma quad review photos swatches fall 2010

chanel enigma quad review photos swatches fall 2010

chanel enigma quad review photos swatches fall 2010 nw20
Swatches from left: peach, chocolate gray, violet gray and dark plum on NW20 skin

chanel enigma quad review photos swatches fall 2010 nc35
Swatches from left: peach, chocolate gray, violet gray and dark plum on NC35 skin

chanel enigma quad review photos swatches fall 2010 eye closeup

chanel enigma quad review photos swatches fall 2010 k2

Enigma has the makings of a spectacular quad for everyday smokey eyes, especially if you’re looking for something outside the typical black/blue range, but I still wish Chanel would cut makeup lovers a break and hold a sale (OMG, wouldn’t a fall friends and family discount rock!?).

Be that as it may, when it comes to Chanel, I think the quality is there, if the heart and pocketbook are willing. Consider adding Enigma to the list of hits from Les Contrastes de Chanel. 🙂 Available next month at Chanel counters. Makeup and Beauty Blog Rating: A


You might like the Chanel Enigma Eyeshadow Quad if…

  • You like the way you look in shimmery shades of gray, plum, chocolate and/or peach
  • You’ve been hunting for a flexible smokey eye quad to wear from dusk till dawn
  • You’ve been very good lately and deserve a reward

Added to the list of things to do before I die

I NEED to find a little black hat like this one for Tabs…

Something tells me he won’t be into the idea, but maybe if I bribe him with a little ice cream cone filled with gravy, hmm…

Your friendly neighborhood beauty addict,



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So far, 44 people have commented on this article. How cool is that?

  1. lily says:

    Lovin’ your necklace!
    the quad looks pretty but I was never a big fan of browns =\
    and the kitten is so cute!!! <3

  2. Amy says:

    Hi Karen,

    Enigma is going on my wish list! Can you tell us what eyeliner you used for the overall look? It seems like it’s a deep purple and not black – I love the effect of it!



    • Karen says:

      It’s Cassis from this release — I’m writing the review right now. 🙂

      • Amy says:

        Thanks Karen!

        And thanks for showing the shades on NW20 skin. I’m sure whoever it may be is a friend of yours but a little part of me likes to think it’s your hubby, because that’s something I would make my hubby do!


        • Amanda says:

          I think it’s El Hubs too…..but that is just a guess. But if it is we don’t want to embarass him and scare him off! I’m thankful for the swatches on a lighter skin tone, since I’m pale. 🙂

  3. Martha says:

    Thanks for the great review, and I think I will be getting this quad. Lovely look on you!
    .-= Martha’s last blog post… Adventures in Organization =-.

  4. Nina says:

    The dirty plum is <33333 !!! This just might be my first Chanel quad!

    Tabs baby kitty siblig — is that you!!! That hat is adorable!

    • Karen says:

      DO IT! I want to be your Chanel pusher!!

      I need to find that hat, seriously. My life (and uh, Tabs’) will be incomplete without it.

      How was your day? We’re almost to Friday, whee!

      • Nina says:

        My day was okay — did my walk around the `hood and then made some baked chicken breast for nom … Then I started to watch a show I dvrd called Life Unexpected — I made it thru one episode and maybe ten minutes of the 2nd one — pretty good. 🙂

        I will buy that quad – ive been good this month and intend to be good some more so I can buy it w/o guilt!!! Thank you my Chanel pushpushpusher! 😛

        Maybe try Etsy for the hat? It would look so cute on Tabs!

  5. Toni says:

    Oh. My. Goodness! I have to have that quad. I stink at doing smokey eyes, but I think I could actually work with this quad. Is this a permanent quad? Limited Edition? If it’s Limited Edition, is it out now? I was just at the Chanel counter today getting a new foundation (and also came out with an eyebrow pencil and Bikini Peach Glossimer, as well as the foundation). I didn’t see this quad though.

    Sheesh! I am turning into a Chanel junky – I have several items on my wishlist after today and I think I better wait a little while before I buy more, or hubby might divorce me! LOL!

  6. Shadowy Lady says:

    oooh, I want that quad NOW! Thanks for the review Karen 🙂
    .-= Shadowy Lady’s last blog post… Electric Coral =-.

  7. Midori says:

    Beautiful colours! Thanks for the kitten video, it made my day! 🙂

  8. Anna says:

    That peach color is gorgeous! And it looks great on you!! I would never be able to pay that much for a quad though. Oh Chanel ><

  9. BeautyMaven says:

    OMG Beautiful! I might actually splurge on this…. LOVE the shades!!
    .-= BeautyMaven’s last blog post… Maybelline Galore! =-.

  10. Arianne says:

    I want this quad so badly but I may have to look for dupes instead. That price tag is steep! I may get lip or cheek products though! Those Rouge Cocos look lovely!

    That kitty is so cute. Oh and Karen! We finally got a kitten! 😀 she is the sweetest and most playful — I think she would love to play with Tabs. 😉
    .-= Arianne’s last blog post… I’m a Kitteh Momma! =-.

  11. Claudia says:

    Karen, you look lovely. What were you wearing on your lips this time?

  12. Jane says:

    Karen: What would be a cheaper/drugstore alternative to this quad? I don’t think I can justify the cost right now, seeing as most of my cash is going towards diapers and wipes for my two little girls. (Although, I hope my toddler will be potty-trained by the end of the summer….we shall see…)

    Thanks for the great review and awesome pics!

  13. Marie says:

    Hi Karen,

    Thanks for another great review! Oh how I love Chanel…everything you’ve written a review on today looks SOOO beautiful.

    What blush and lipstick are you wearing in the pics? You look fabulous!


  14. beth says:

    omg. must have this. love smokey purples and greys .and chanel. i was always told chanel quads didnt match up to dior quints but this is really calling to me
    .-= beth’s last blog post… poizenisxkandee: Do you know how rare it is that someone like him even exists?…He still believes in true love and magic and soulmates. =-.

  15. Michelle says:

    I think this whole collection is gorgeous and wearable for so many different skintones! You look gorgeous in this pic — serious GLAM going on. Can we be BFF’s and you do my makeup? lol

  16. I’m not a fan of dark colors,but I want this.
    .-= House of Accessories’s last blog post… Soft,Furry Shag Rug Photographer Prop Textured Blanket,Yes Shag is Back =-.

  17. happybadfish says:

    Your pictures of this quad turned out really well. I like this quad, totally wearable, all the colors.

  18. Elle says:

    GORGEOUS. Love the last photo of you!

  19. Amber says:

    Wowowow! Oh wow. Love.

    I am much closer to NW20, and sadly the colors just look so muddy to me in those swatches. But this has me thinking about putting together a custom MAC quad in shades that will show up well on me.
    .-= Amber’s last blog post… Aloha! =-.

  20. Gabrielle says:

    Hmmm…the pinky-peach color is an interesting addition to the quad! The chocolate gray also looks like a unique color. Good job, Chanel, you created an un-typical smokey eye quad! 😀

  21. Kristen says:

    I adorrre smoky plums and blacks. This looks fab. Karen, what black eyeliner are you wearing in these pics?
    .-= Kristen’s last blog post… Create Your Own At-Home Spray-Tan Booth =-.

  22. Bel says:

    Your skin looks so pretty! Are you testing the Tarte primer out? What’s your secret?

  23. Looks good!
    .-= misswhitemilkyway’s last blog post… Review L’oreal Texture Expert Smooth Essence =-.

  24. Gail says:

    I did a similar look this morning – but used Vanilla from MAC under the brow – Love the look on you – Would you recommend buying the pencil – I used to buy only Chanel pencils but have switched to MAC since I can get 2 for the price of 1 Chanel but it looks gorgeous on you. I might have to go back to SAKS & buy it.

    Also ,My SAK’s is having 15% off all Chanel – they want you to bring a friend but it works w/o bringing anyone – Ends Sat.

  25. Chrissy says:

    Far, far too pricey for me but I totally dig the peach for the highlight color here rather than the silver-y whites I’m accustomed to seeing!

  26. Kim says:

    Karen, Tabs is definitely giving you the Lafayette “don’t even think about it, Hookah” look right now about that hat. 🙂 Oh, and speaking of hookers, I’d look like a 95 year old one if I ever tried a smokey eye. I hope you realize how lucky you are that everything looks good on you!

  27. Eileen says:

    I’ve always loved pink or peach with gray so this quad has my name all over it. The addition of deep plum is frosting on the cake and makes Enigma quintessentially autumn. This is on my list for sure along with the Vert Khaki eye shadow single and the cassis eye pencil. I think the new lipsticks and glosses will be a beautiful toned down transition from Chanel’s neon brights of summer to the deeper shades of winter.

    I love how the smokey eye has gotten away from always being shades of gray and black to the use of deep colors instead. It’s so much more interesting.

  28. Andreea says:

    Oh geez, how did you get them already?! I have to write to Chanel these days!
    Well, it just screams my name.
    Save my pences, I just bought an Giorgio Armani quad (after lemming one year).
    Oh, I am a tad envious! In Germany it will be only available in August I am afraid!
    .-= Andreea’s last blog post… CHRISTIAN DIOR Escale aux Marquises – Tiaré, Citrus und Mainstream =-.

  29. Suji says:

    I’m always a sucker for Chanel! Love all their seasonal collections! I might pass on this one though because I think I can find some similar colors in my stash…. the glossimers though, are calling to me (even though I have tons of glosses too!) ahhhh

    and the kitty is SO ADORABLE! did you see the “outtakes” version with that kitten in the hat? an older cat smacks the kitten with its paw, it made me sad! but the kitten was fine 🙂

  30. Wendy says:

    GURL!!! The lipcolor is amazing what is that shade?

  31. Shannon says:

    I love how they’ve taken basic grey/black smokey and added the chocolate/plum twist. SO PRETTY! Me want!

  32. Wincy says:

    the chocolate brown and plum are very similar to the nars duo e/s brousse that I own… they are totally gorgeous and are very workable.. but i always prefer them in winter as it gives u that coldness!!! but def a keeper…. the peach in this quad got me thinking… a very inspirational highlighting colour… but i will def get the eyeliner casis to go with it!! thanks karen.. u totally rocked the colours!!!

  33. Jeanne says:

    Holy Mother O’ Mercy! Too expensive, even for Chanel!

  34. Sabrina says:

    HOT! Love that little kitty video. So cute. I want to bring him home with me now. Where oh where is Chanel fall? I’m anxiously waiting for it to arrive at counters. Thanks for giving us a great preview.
    .-= Sabrina’s last blog post… Current Loves For June =-.

  35. PJ says:

    aahhh do i want to eat ramen and/or cereal for 2 weeks straight to afford this? based on your review and looks, survey says: YES. i must have it! it would be my first chanel makeup purchase 🙂

  36. Kimmy says:

    This looks gorgeous! Can you do a tutorial on this look? Thanks in advance!

  37. christina says:

    WOW. I ve never considered Chanel (if expensive I go for the brand that screams makeup pro for me like MAC, not luxury brand like Chanel or Dior..), but this is GORGEOUS. May have to get it. I cannot believe myself 🙂

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