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making faces :: guerlain spring 2013, round two

well i did say that i wasn't done yet. along with the lovely lilacs and lavenders that i spoke about in my initial review, guerlain's spring collection also includes some shades that have become so linked with spring that they almost seem cliched. indeed, greens and corals are such a makeup staple that you'd think a lot of brands would have given up on trying them [in fact, for 2013, most have]. but leave it to guerlain to do something stunningly beautiful and somewhat original with the palette.

again, i chose a palette and a lipstick that seemed to blend nicely with it. in this case, the palette is called "coup de foudre", which literally means "lightning bolt", but is also a french expression for being struck by love at first sight. and a lot of people have been struck by this palette. it's definitely received more attention than any other item in the guerlain spring collection and it doesn't take much to see why.

first of all, there's a rich, shimmery khaki green touched with bronze. it has a warm quality to it, but there's definitely that rich, earthy green that comes through. the pigmentation on this one is amazing. it's even and rich without being overwhelming and applies very true to how it looks in the pan.


in fact, there are a lot of shades that look kind of like this one- it's a colour that a lot of companies seem to do very well and that a lot of makeup mavens really seem to love. [no surprise there, it's a complex enough kind of shade that it looks great with any eye colour.] but what struck me looking at some comparisons is that all of the comparable shades i have look more brown/ bronze and less green. chanel "khaki vert" is darker, browner and muddier. rouge bunny rouge "abyssinian catbird" is much more of a bronze. mac "sumptuous olive" is more golden. the deeper shade from nars "paramaribo" is more golden still and a little browner.

l to r :: chanel khaki vert, rbr abyssinian catbird, coup de foudre, mac sumptuous olive, nars paramaribo
the second shade in the palette is what i think is really causing people to sit up and take notice. it's a bright orange-coral with just a hint of a pink undertone and a touch of white sparkle in its almost matte depths. although it kicks up a little powder when applied, there's no fallout and it comes out beautifully rich. use a fluffy brush to get a light wash of colour or a firmer one for something that really pops. or, if you're shy of using a bright coral with greens, do as many have suggested and try it as a blush.


when i saw this shade, i have to admit that it did immediately call to mind something else i'd seen recently: the coral shade from guerlain's fall shadow palette "les fauves". so i thought that was a good place to start with comparisons.



l to r :: coup de foudre, les fauves

FOR SHAME, GUERLAIN!!!

those colours don't look the same. they are the same. i stared at them a good long time, trying to appreciate any difference between them until i realised i was just being silly. they're exactly the same colour, down to the smattering of white shimmer.

now, i don't mind if a company repeats a colour on me. mac has released shades in limited edition on multiple occasions and a lot of people consider it a good way to get back-ups or get a second chance at something they missed. i don't even mind if the repeats follow closely after one another. what i do mind is when a company repromotes a colour and doesn't say that's what they're doing, because it deprives me of the chance to decide if i want to pick up a repeat, or whether or not i like the rest of a palette enough to justify one of the colours duplicating what i already have. in this case, i think i would have taken the plunge anyway, but it would have been nice to have the information in advance.

moving on, we have a medium deep grey with a cool green tint and a lighter colour payoff than the other shades. it's a little drier as well, although it can apparently be applied wet, which would intensify it. this one is a really nice shade for offering a bit of depth in the crease or outer v without being too strong. if you want the real colour to show through, i'd suggest applying other shades fairly lightly, since it's easier to overwhelm this rather subtle colour. i actually think that this one is quite versatile, since it could just as easily be combined with shades of grey or even with pastels.


this is the kind of colour that's a lot harder to duplicate [possibly because it's not a repeat passed off from another palette... throws stink-eye towards previous shade]. shu uemura "metallic olive" is more intense and frostier. tarina tarantino "very wicked" is darker and bluer.

l to r :: shu uemura metallic olive, coup de foudre, tarina tarantino very wicked [l.e.]
and to finish, we have what's probably my favourite shade in the palette. it's a light, cool green with a lot of sheen to it, something that brightens the eye and looks very fresh. it's a little difficult to describe. it's lighter than what you'd call a sage green, cooler than a grass green, greyer than a mint green. the performance of the shade is incredible. it applies smoothly and evenly and never looks too frosted or heavy.

you'd be looking at a picture of it now, except that i forgot to take one of the colour by itself.

although i have a green army at my disposal, i don't have anything very close to this. mac "juxt" is much yellower. mac "aquavert" is a lot lighter and closer to what you'd call a  mint green.

l to r :: mac juxt [d.c.], coup de foudre, mac aquavert [l.e.]
i sort of tipped my hand earlier by saying i would have bought this palette despite the duplication. it's true. i love these shades and, yes, the pairing of the coral with the greens is a little stroke of brilliance. it's' hard to resist the vibrant allure of "coup de foudre" when it's staring up at you. i like the fact that offering these shades together makes you want to try them together, something which you definitely should.

i've mentioned before that i think guerlain's eye shadow quads have actually been getting even better with the last few releases and the spring palettes support my argument. this is a beautiful addition to anyone's collection. unless you have "les fauves" and the coral duplication is a deal-breaker for you.

of course, guerlain was also nice enough to include a new rouge automatique shade in their spring launch that goes with this palette just perfectly. it's called "ballade" and it is the sleeper of this launch. do you have lots of coral lipsticks already? you don't have one that's like this. have you shied away from corals because they don't always look great against your skin tone? this might be the one to make you change your mind.


i might be a little biased here. i have a troubled relationship with corals because those ones that are supposed to be "universally flattering" are often hideous on me, because the orange in them looks completely wrong against my slightly pink undertones. because "ballade" leans a little cooler and a little pinker, it harmonises with my complexion very well. it's got the peachiness of a coral, but it also gives my face the sort of radiance that comes from a really fresh, clean pink.

plus, of course, it's got that gorgeous rouge automatique formula and its ultra-fine shimmer that makes lips look fuller and more lustrous without look glittery. i'm really hard-pressed to say whether i prefer guerlain's rouge g or rouge automatique formula, because whenever i get a new one of either, i change my mind. what i will say is that all of guerlain's formulas are consistently vying with armani's rouge d'armani as my very favourite in the whole world. and i am a woman who knows her lipstick.


when swatched, the colour looks similar to nars "mayflower", but on the lips, they're quite different, owing to the fact that "ballade" is opaque whereas "mayflower" is semi-sheer. i know that my stash of coral lipsticks, already feeling a little neglected of late, is going to have to have difficulty drawing my attention away from this new adoptee. might be my favourite coral shade ever.

l to r :: ballade, nars mayflower
here are two looks featuring the "coup de foudre" palette, one with ballade, since i wanted to show a little of the versatility of it. and this is assuming that you use all four colours, which certainly isn't required [although i have a bit of ocd that drives me to use all the shades from a palette and no extraneous shades, with the possible exception of a highlighting colour].

first up, something that showcases the potential of that coral as a bright pop of colour, combined with ballade on the lips:



for this look, i used the light sage green in the inner corners and the khaki-olive shade on the outer third of my lids. the green-grey i used to darken the outer corners and smudged along my upper lash line. along my lower lash line, i mixed the grey-green and khaki shades. i think it's reasonably clear where i placed the coral shade here.

on the lips is "ballade" and on my cheeks i used guerlain's "chic pink", which is fast becoming my default blush for early spring.

on the other hand, of course, you could emphasise the greens in this palette while making relatively subtle use of the coral.



in this case, i blended both the light sage and the khaki over my lids and blended the grey-green into the outer corners and crease. the coral i blended very lightly along my brow bone, which was subtle but really makes the look, because it makes the greens more intense. i used mac "smolder" along my water lines for emphasis.

the blush in this case is mac "stereo rose", which i wish i'd blended a bit more, but which didn't seem to look so bold in person. the lip gloss is from mac as well; "sonoran rain" from the "blogger's obsessions" collection.

both these products are available at guerlain counters everywhere. "coup de foudre" is limited, but i believe that "ballade" is joining the ranks of the permanent collection.

and in case you're wondering what the deal is with that picture at the beginning is, that's me wearing the first look i showed you, the very first time i was trying out the products. i'll always remember it, because it was the day that lulu adopted us. so maybe there's some springtime/ st. patrick's day good luck in these greens, as the old legend would have it.

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