30 April 2011

making faces :: product review [guerlain]

i've never been quite sure why, but guerlain was my first experience with a pretige brand. it started years ago when i purchased one of their foundations. it aws a very nice formula and i loved its faint rosy scent, but i found ultimately that even the lightest shade was too dark for my skin. i did fall completely in love with their eye kohl, a powder eye liner that makes a crisp line and stays put, something i find most eye liners can't do. i also became a huge fan of their "mitsouko" perfume [and, more recently "insolence"] and all this before i really started investigating prestige brands.

since i have investigated them, of course, a couple of things have become clear: 1. even by the standards of high-end brands, guerlain is pretty pricey and 2. it's really hard to compete with their quality. in the midst of a pretty strong group of spring collections this year, guerlain's brightly coloured, somewhat surprising collection was my overall favourite and this seems to be continuing through the summer.

recently, guerlain has had two launches to titillate the imaginations of beauty fans everywhere: a new and permanent range of lipsticks called "rouge automatique" and a limited collection for summer called "terra inca". both are pure guerlain, with careful attention paid to quality and to presentation and both make me want to squeal with joy [and frustration, given the costs involved]. i've had a chance to sample a couple of items thus far, so here are my initial impressions.

FIND OUT WHAT GUERLAIN HAS COME UP WITH AND SEE THE PRODUCTS IN ACTION!



rouge automatique lipstick :: when i heard of these originally, i thought that they were going to be another lipstick/ gloss hybrid, the likes of which we're seeing from chanel and yves st. laurent at the moment. turns out, i was pretty completely wrong. these are most definitely lipsticks, with full colour coverage, just done in a new, lightweight formula.

the innovative rouges automatiques
the colours are supposed to be long-wearing and hydrating and seem to score on both counts. even a light colour survived eating for me and, while the initial colour faded a little, it was still clear that i was wearing lipstick hours later, post-snack. it felt immediately moisturising going on and, once on, it actually felt like i wasn't wearing lipstick at all. it did, however, feel like i had very soft, kissable lips. who says you can't buy self-confidence?


this being guerlain, the packaging is fascinating in itself. it's based on an original design from the art deco period with no cap, something which allows for application using only one hand. it reminded me a little of a fancy lighter and, despite the fact that it's made of plastic and not metal, it does look exceptionally classy. one press of the slider and out pops your lipstick. you just have to be careful not to push it out too far, because it could break.

cherry blossom
one thing i love as someone who's worked a long time in marketing is how nicely this line dovetails with guerlain's other premium lipstick, their rouge g line. the packaging is smaller [not hard] and sleeker, the price is about $10 less [$40cad compared to $50cad for rouge g] and the colour selection is markedly different. i adore the rouge g line, but i've often lamented the fairly limited and conservative choice of colours available. now that the rouge automatique line has been introduced, i find that the two are perfect complements to each other. the 25 shades of rouge automatique lean towards the brighter, deeper and more daring- there are trendy corals, deep berries and burgundies and a selection of stunning bright reds. rouge g lipsticks, by comparison, have more nude shades, more restrained and understated colour [although even there, the colours are nuanced enough to make them fascinating to look at].

l'heure bleue
i picked up two colours : cherry blossom [#161] and l'heure bleue [#168]. the first is quite possibly the prettiest light pink colour i've ever seen. it looks vaguely like a sating ribbon, with subtle variations in the colour that carry over to the lips. i'm not a huge fan of "girly" pinks normally, but the subtle, whitish sheen and unique cool pink base are incredible. although it may look like the easiest and most standard lipstick colour in the world, i cannot think of a single duplicate. photos really don't do it justice.

l'heure bleue is a deep reddish berry shade. it's one of the darkest colours and, while not terribly dark by my standards, it's certainly the kind of colour that's most appropriate for a night out. it definitely leans cool so, for warmer tones, i'd recommend the shade samsara, which is a warmer deep red.

i appreciate the fact that both colours are pretty much exactly what they look like in the tube. [something that i found to be true with the other shades that i swatched.] based on my first impressions, i'm definitely planning to go back for more of these colours.

available at all guerlain counters. $35usd/ $40cad


terra inca sublime radiant powder :: well, it's not exactly modest to call your product "sublime" is it? in fact, it seems flat-out arrogant. however, having tried it, there's nothing about this powder i don't love. i love the effect it gives my skin. i love the fact that it has a faint jasmine scent in the pan [once it's on my skin, the scent is gone]. i really love the thought that's gone into the packaging. i love the fact that it's hard to overdo. it is, in a word, sublime.

in fact, it's a  pretty straightforward kind of product. it's a shimmery powder, primarily a rosy bronze shade, with a shimmery gold part in the centre. i was a little intimidated by how shimmery the powder looked when i swatched it but somehow, i have no idea how, on my cheeks the shimmer is really downplayed. it becomes just a very nice warm glow.

i think it would be very difficult to use the colours separately, although you could probably move
around the gold centre if you were careful. mixed together they form a beautiful warm rosy peach
colour and while you could never call it a bright or strong shade, it immediately imparts a sort of lit-from-within glow that would be flattering to every complexion. the powder can be built up to give more colour and i did not find that it started to look cake-y at all. unlike some highlighters, it made my skin looked more refined and smoothed over my pores. i think it's the sort of thing you could wear with full makeup, but also just on its own, to give you a natural-looking boost.
 l to r :: outside, inside and blended

and of course, no discussion could be complete without calling attention to the packaging. guerlain, always known for their beautiful and sometimes elaborate packaging, have really outdone themselves here. the powder is housed in an engraved wooden case [with a mirror on the inside lid] that locks together with small magnets. it really does seem like pulling out a small treasure and i've yet to show it to anyone [in person or in pictures] who hasn't been wowed. even by guerlain standards, this is a pretty remarkable looking piece.

as a pale girl who's not that excited by the idea of bronzers, i really like the fact that this is a powder that can give my complexion a bit of a boost without requiring me to
a subtle glow
look baked. it works as a bit of a contour, it brings out a soft radiance and can be applied anywhere you want a subtle glowing effect [cheeks, temples, decollete]. because the magnets can be pushed apart fairly easily, it's not something you can carry with you, but the effect is long enough lasting that touch-ups shouldn't be necessary. and when you've finished the powder [which will take a while, since it's a fairly large amount], you can hang onto the packaging just to look
t to b :: blended, inside, outside
at when you want to see something beautiful.
available at guerlain counters. $70usd/ $66cad [yeah, you read that right. i've no idea if it's a temporary mistake or guerlain have decided to be the first cosmetic company to stand up and face the currency conversion music, but the powder is cheaper in canada than stateside. i'll take it!]


that's all great, but what do they look like in practice? well, here's a look that i did using both the terra inca powder and rouge automatique. i thought the colours worked fairly well with both shades of lipstick, so i swapped them out so you could see each one.

here's what i used ::

yes, i am eating my hair
face ::
nars sheer glow foundation in mont blanc
mac prolongwear concealer nw20

eyes ::
mac dazzlelight e/s
inglot 351 e/s
mac sunset b e/s
mac hepcat e/s
nars night clubbing e/s
mac patina e/s
mac blacktrack fluidline eye liner
wearing cherry blossom
ysl faux cils mascara

cheeks ::
guerlain terra inca sublime radiant powder
guerlain blush g

lips ::
guerlain rouge automatique l'heure bleue
guerlain rouge automatique cherry blossom

wearing l'heure bleue









2 comments:

makeupattitude said...

Lovely post and products!

flora_mundi said...

Thank you! I really seem to get more impressed with Guerlain the more I get from them.

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