What’s the difference between Chanel Quads in the US vs other parts of the world (UK, EU, Asia-Pacific)?
I was watching Wayne Goss’s video on Chanel quads in the US vs UK and decided to do some digging.
If you’ve been considering purchasing one of the delicious looking quads from Chanel, the below is some information you might want to consider before you spend.
Pricing and Place of Manufacture
Depending on exchange rates, Chanel quads are comparable between the US and UK, but significantly more expensive in many other parts of the world (typically at least double the US price in Asia).
As far as I have seen, all quads are produced in France, regardless of which formulation/region you purchase it from.
Weight vs Volume
The weight of the product we get is the major point of controversy here.
- US quads contain 6.8g (0.24oz) of product
- International quads contain 1.2g (0.04oz) of product, which is 5.666 times less material than a quad in the US
Now if you consider that Chanel quads are more expensive everywhere else than the US, the weight alone has gotten many buyers in the EU and Asia spluttering in disbelief and anger recently.
"Why am I paying more for less???"
I cannot claim to know the definitive answer, but judging from the visual appearance and the difference in shadow production methods, I’d say the amount of actual color pigment you get is probably not that far off despite the weight.
Now, unless someone from Chanel makes an official statement about this, we will never be able to tell, but visually, the volume of product you get is no different. Now, if anyone has hit pan on their quad, PLEASE upload and send me an image so we can do a direct comparison between the US/International versions to see if maybe one pan is deeper than the other! (I suspect the difference may not be too big though.)
Texture and Density (Formulation)
Chanel US Quads differ from the International Quads in terms of texture and formulation.
- Chanel US: Pressed, dense. More moist/creamy feeling, more pigmented, satiny, with more binder ingredients. (Think of a chewy cookie or brownie.)
- Chanel International: Baked, dry. Finish is translucent, without the volume of binders in the pressed version to give it weight and opacity. (Think of a dry cracker/cookie.)
- Analogy: The amount of cocoa powder might be very similar; you just get more moisture and other ingredients remaining in the brownie, compared to the cookie after baking.
Baked shadows contain less binder ingredients (oils, waxes, silicones, talc/titanium dioxide, etc), and contain a higher pigment density. However, this does not mean they give higher payoff or are denser. In fact, the opposite is often true because it’s the binders in shadows that allow the color pigments to pack onto onto your lids efficiently and stay there.
Your brush will pick up more product in the US version, and you will get more color-payoff.
If you want a similar rich finish from the International version, you will need to “add the moisture back” by using a moistened brush or sponge tip to pick up and apply your shadow.
- US: Pigmented, rich, creamy. If you like dense shadows and want a velvety feel and a stronger payoff, then this version is probably better for you. It will go on easier and stick to your lids well.
- International: If you are starting out in makeup, or want something that is almost fool-proof to apply and blend, this gives a subtle shimmer and a soft wash of lingerie-like color. Works with water for a richer finish so you have both options.
- US: Color can go on heavier and will take more effort to blend seamlessly compared to the baked formula.
- International: Building up color can be a pain, and sometimes one quad looks almost like another after it’s on, because the colors are so sheer that the difference is not that apparent. Also fades faster through the day, as the pigments don’t adhere to your skin that well.
- US: Apply with a soft fluffy blending brush like a MAC 217 so you can smoke and blend colors easily.
- International: Apply with a damp shadow brush OR just the sturdy sponge tips in the compact! (These are durable so wash them once every week to remove any buildup.)
I wouldn’t go storming off to a Chanel counter demanding for my money back. (Actually, we can’t do this outside of the US, even if we wanted to!) The formula you get is just too different, so you’d be comparing Apples to Oranges.
What I would do though, is caution you to test them at the counter, and think about what you want out of your shadows before shelling out.
I personally prefer pressed shadows to baked ones, because I like stronger color and creamy textures, so if I could choose, I’d go for the US quads though I don’t really mind the baked formula. It’s just that I’d rather be able to get high payoff without having to go through the hassle of dampening my brush.