Guerlain’s Spring 2011 collection “Sur mes Levres” includes Ecrin 6 Couleurs in Rue de Rivoli ($84), a limited edition palette in the same format as the other lovely six-pan, elegant series introduced last Fall (reviewed here).

Rue de Rivoli is a series of muted mauves and beiges to create either a tone-on-tone look, or to go full smoke when more of the deeper colors are used.  The highlight color is an incredible pearl white, it has a beautiful glow that I have not seen in any other highlighter.  The center features an intense fuchsia, which can be sheered to act as a cool pink wash over another color, or intensely as an accent.  According to Guerlain, “the key ingredient Moonstone offers its silvery and bluish reflections to adorn the eyes with its lamellar structure and allows for the eyeshadow to stay on longer and look fresher.”  There is a very unique iridescent quality to these eyeshadows that is luminous and beautiful.

At first, I found these palettes very intimidating.  That was before I started using them.  Then I realized that these are incredibly easy to get a beautiful look.  They really are beautifully harmonized, it is almost impossible to go wrong.

Let’s take a closer look at Rue de Rivoli:

  • Shade 1 is high pearl, iridescent highlighter white.  This is highly pigmented, with a very soft texture.  The texture held together quite well on the brush without fallout.  Gorgeous shade.  This can be quickly built up to an opaque color, so I am inclined to use it sparingly–for example, touched in a thin line in the arch of the brow bone, rather than all over the upper lid.  This is wonderful for an inner corner, or touched very lightly on the lower lashline.
  • Shade 2 is a golden pearl with a soft, very subtle pink-mauve duochrome when applied (this does not show in the pan, but nicely in the swatch below).
  • Shade 3 is a light mauve which has a very low level pearl texture, it is the sheerest shade and has the tiniest micro sparkles, which I would not expect to be very visible, rather their effect is rather subtle to add a little bit of light.
  • Shade 4 is a soft matte medium cool brown;  deeper than a wheat.  This can be used to break up the pearl colors in the palette.
  • Shade 5 is an incredible cool deep fuchsia, that sheers out like heaven in a pan.  Incredibly feminine and pretty.
  • Shade 6 is an iridescent duo chrome violet.  This can be applied sheerly as a smokey color, or patted on in layers using a brush edge to build up a gorgeous liner.

Rue de Rivoli was part of my larger purchase from the Guerlain Boutique at the Bellagio in Las Vegas.  By chance, Guerlain National Makeup Artist Marcus Monson was visiting that boutique the same day that I called.  I couldn’t resist asking the store to do an eye chart using Rue de Rivoli to post on my blog–to my surprise– they agreed!  I cannot believe what wonderful service Guerlain provides.  Guerlain is a smart, cutting edge line that has this incredibly rich heritage, and they always leave me impressed and enriched by the experience.

Here is Marcus’ lovely chart.  Notice that in the top right, there is a reproduction of Rue de Rivoli with numbers corresponding to the eye are where the color has been used.  The blush in the picture is the pink shade from Guerlain’s Série Noire Blush G (review forthcoming), and Guerlain’s Rouge G #24 Rouge Sensuel. Note that the lips scanned more red than they appear on the original chart, where they coordinate nicely with Shade #5’s fuchsia tone (click to enlarge):

I would feel very comfortable using this chart as a guide.  Of course, I will use this palette to make simpler looks.  For example, I just did a quick eye with a black eyeliner, with Shade #2 as a lid wash, the deep pearly violet #6 patted over my liner as an intense accent, and tucked a touch of #1 highlighter in the top of the brow arch and in the inner corner of the eye.  I added a sheer wash of the #5 fuchsia shade over the lid and loved the effect.  Rue de Rivoli is a very easy palettes to use; in fact, it’s very difficult to go wrong–trust me on this.  These really are made for anyone.

Here are a few more ideas that come from Guerlain’s product insert (click to enlarge):


Over the past few months, I’ve really come to appreciate how well-engineered these palettes are, even compared to other high end palettes.  I do not know if this happens to you, but do you know those little brushes in most palettes? For me, they go flying when I tilt the palette to use the mirror.  So annoying!  This has literally never happened to me with the Guerlain, because the palette opens to the side.  And the mirror is huge, which is great for seeing every single detail.  I end up using these for tweezing or other eye work.  You can see how widely they open too-like an elegant ballerina stretching back.

I’m very happy with Rue de Rivoli–it exceeded my already-high expectations.  The shades work well together, the textures blend beautifully together, and the compact is elegant and well-built.  The two-sided bristle brush is actually usable, unless other lines’ sponge throw-aways.  To be frank, I would rather work with this palette for $84 (at a cost of $14 each), than try to patch together other lines’ eyeshadows that sell for a similar price but are not as consistent, and not always as luminous or complex.  Gorgeous.  Spring.  Palette.

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