Guerlain’s Ecrin 6 Couleurs palettes have been accumulating in my stash for a few months, and I thought it timely to take a look through them to compare, examine and play with them. At $85 each, this permanent line of palettes landed last Fall with some controversy. They are among the high end for prices on a single palette, their packaging is on the high side of luxurious and their colors are understated. To me, these palettes are quinotensentially French–high quality, neutrals and with a beautiful finish that can be appreciated once applied.
Previously, I did an overview of the architecture of these palettes. Since that post, I’ve come to appreciate how well-designed these palettes are. The come with a magnetic closure that would never dream of breaking your nails and a highly usable dual-ended brush that I’ve used several times to a nice effect. Also, the lid of the palette closes over the pigment completely so that, if disaster strikes and the powder breaks, the lid sits flush against the bottom pans so that the powder will stay its compartment. The mirror is enormous, a real pleasure to use.
Also, there’s a balance to the palette which I didn’t appreciate until I compared it to another line’s–with Guerlain’s, the brush does not go flying out when the palette is tipped to use the mirror. It’s a nice touch when one is already rushing to get ready on busy mornings.
Here’s a close-up of 29 Rue de Sevres (click to enlarge), which presents an unusual mix of colors that harmonize beautifully together:
- First, a pearly light blue that can be used as a pop of color on the lid, or in the inner corner. This is a chilly blue, that looks fabulous with the warmer soft tones in this palette.
- Second, a shimmery soft beige highlighter, that looks like a cross between a pearl and a cafe au lait.
- Third, a matte black.
- Fourth, a complex grey-teal-burgundy with blue reflects, which gives a very steely effect.
- Fifth, a pearly brown with red reflects.
- Sixth, a shimmery oyster-toned beige-khaki.
Once I understood the tone-on-tone application technique, I found Rue de Sevres extraordinarily easy to use. The pearly highlighter (shade #2) is beautiful on the browbone, and the matte black can be used as a liner or softly smoked in the crease. Then, I chose an overall lid shade– #6 works well, with either #4 or #5 in the crease.
#6 is also nice under the eye. Shade #1 is a nice color to dot on the center of the lid to add some dimension and light. I would not wear #1 as an overall lid shade, but it is a fabulous accent.
One of the reasons that these palettes have been controversial is that many find the colors too similar to each other–in fact, I find that they really lend themselves to a tone-on-tone look. They’re so easy to use. These palettes are the very first ones that persuaded me to wear dark colors on my lid–the colors have a luminescence and they are designed to work together in a way that enhances (rather than overwhelms) my fair coloring.
I wish I could tell you that these shades are so common that there are duplicates everywhere. Unfortunately, I cannot. As one complication, these average to about $14 per shade so duplicates may run higher than the Guerlain originals. Plus the quality of these shadows are particularly delicate and beautiful, I could never assure you that a similar color could give you the same wearable eyes.
Rue de Sevres is beautiful. As a side note, if you are near a Guerlain counter ask for some pointers on their use; although I consider myself quite experienced with eyeshadow, I learned a lot about how to get the most from the palettes with one-on-one advice.