Jul 182013

Bonjour from Paris! I’m just going to do a very quick post of some things that caught my eye at the local stores.  I should note that the differences between US and European releases have been minimizing over the past few years. Lancome’s eyeshadows are still dramatically different here, the French Pharmacies still look very different from the U.S. ones (I miss you Bourjois!). But many releases are twins–you may be able to find many of the goodies available on French counters Stateside (or available online for shipment to the U.S.).

Many of the releases are later here. The French are already leaving for their summer vacations, and it appears that many makeup companies hold their releases until they return. There have been no sightings of the fall collections of Chanel, Dior, or Nars (which are already releasing in the U.S.).

As this post title suggests, these reviews are just quick impressions of a few products from my sweep through the shops (not the usual in-depth type). I haven’t purchased any of these (yet), just counter-tested.

Guerlain Orchidee foundation

1. Guerlain Orchidee Imperiale foundation (170 euros):  Based on Guerlain’s premium skincare system, this foundation has beautiful coverage. It has a slight silicon feel when applied, and seems to give medium-to-full coverage with very little product. Not pore-emphasizing, this gives skin a very slight natural sheen. I wore this on a very warm day during a rather serious several-hour walk. My thoughts on this very short one-day test:

– This is one tenacious foundation. There was no sight of wearing off or shifting, despite the heat.

– Very little (if any) foundation transfer on my white hat-band despite very uncomfortable heat

– Made my skin look amazing. Erased imperfections with very little layering.

Very moisturizing. Admittedly, this was a warm day but my skin felt like it was visibly wearing a premium moisturizer. This would be amazing for dry skin in the winter. Despite the high moisture content, my forehead had very little breakthrough glow, no fading, no shifting, and no bare patches.

– The price gives me pause. What do readers think?  Is this “in the stratosphere” price point one that’s just too high to scale, given the lovely foundations that already exist? I have a few more days here left to decide (I’m not certain the U.S. will be getting this product, and indeed I’ve heard some unsubstantiated rumors that it will not).


2.  Repetto Eau de Toilette (33 euros/1 oz). According to the company, this has opening notes of pear and cherry blossom “like a cloud of powder.” There is a strong floral rose mixed with orange blossom, and undertones of amber and wood, and a dash of vanilla. According to news releases, this was formulated by Olivier Polge, who is set to take over the formulations of Chanel scents. My quick spritz was very feminine and young.  Truly a perfect gift for a would-be ballerina. I found the pear a little overwhelming at first, although the scent began to grow on me as the initial fruit scents subsided.

Givenchy Reflect Precious

3. Givenchy Reflet Precieux Voile Satine ($49) This is a body bronzer infused with with substantial glowy gold pearl. Several high end companies have released these high end versions of the NUXE Huile Prodigieuse Or (Clarins has one as well right now). Because I already have the MAC Temperature Rising version, I passed on this although I was quite tempted (the shine is quite rich and glowy).  I post this only to point out that the U.S. isn’t getting the full Givenchy color stories.  I wonder why.


4. Speaking of Nuxe Prodigieuse, the line is capitalizing on the fame of the oil by introducing new products including a scent Prodigieuse (roughly 45 euros, depending on the store). It smells precisely like the original oil, except perhaps a tiny bit better.

Diptique roller

5. I’m not convinced that I can leave the country without picking up the Diptique Philoskos Perfume Oil Roll On (38 euros) (there is also a L’Ombre dans L’Eau).  I do not get much wear time from the Diptyque scents, but these oils may be just perfect.

Well, readers, any thoughts?  Am I missing something? I have only a few precious (and busy) days left. Are there any last-minute items to get? Also note that I have a bag of French Pharmacie purchases (I’ll post about those today or tomorrow).

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  12 Responses to “Random Speed Reviews: Guerlain, Diptyque, Repetto, and Givenchy”

  1. That’s quite the price on the Guerlain foundation, but I knew right away I had to have it! I spend the same amount (or more) on skincare, because I want to look my best, so why not on foundation? I almost find it a little bit strange that there aren’t more in that price range already, and I definetly think there is a market for it. I hope it will become available in the UK, so I can buy it on my travels. I have a strong feeling we won’t be seeing any of it in Norway. It might not become a foundation I always repurchase because I use it so seldom I usually throw away half full bottles, but if it’s in my colour, I would definetly like to wear it to my wedding at the very least.

    • Hi Kaja, the foundation is showing up for sale already on Selfridge’s site (and perhaps Harrod’s as well).

  2. Wow, that is an astronomical amount for a foundation! That said, I know, for myself, that foundation is the hardest product for me to buy and I have wasted more than that on consecutive bad purchases. In fact, I have yet to find the right one, so if it worked …

    I love Repetto. Those shoes have been my Parisian indulgence before. I just saw that they launched their perfume and was quite curious about it. Fascinating that it’s an Olivier Polge creation. Can’t wait to see what he does at Chanel. Thanks for the review!

  3. I was initially looking forward to the Orchidée foundation, but the steep price does give me pause. I knew it would be expensive because it is part of the luxurious Orchidée line, but €170/$223 ? Gulp! I love Orchidée as it is very kind to my rosacea prone skin, but I’m not sure just how much skin care benefit the foundation contains and so my enthusiasm has been curbed a bit. For me, it’s a wait and see proposition. Besides, I’ve also heard the unsubstantiated rumor that it won’t be coming to the US which would make it all a moot point. Perhaps Guerlain decided it would be better to launch their new, more modestly priced, long wear foundation this August when the dog days of summer have most women clamoring for a tenacious foundation that is less emollient.

    • Eilleen-I’m worried about falling in love with a foundation that I won’t be able to replace. Maybe I’ll wait to see if it is at the Duty Free in the airport…. still thinking. I’ve got good skin care, I’m not sure that I need the skincare within the foundation too.

  4. I love Guerlain and generally feel their products are worth the expense, but I admit that product gives me serious sticker shock. I have good skin and prefer my foundations sheer, so I could never justify a USD$200+ foundation for my own use. This being said – to each their own; I’m sure more than a few people would love to ask why I think owning hundreds of dollars worth of red lipstick is acceptable. 😛

  5. La Roche Posay Lipikar Huile Lavante is supposed to be a great shower gel. You can’t get it in the US and shipping costs are exorbitant. I’d love it if you did a review.

  6. I caved a few weeks ago and purchased the Nuxe body oil and the one with shimmer, so I will probably cave on their new release as well. Oils are taking over the world, from hair care to skin care to body care.
    Givenchy is one of the lower key luxury brands, I don’t think they’re getting the press they deserve, their line is absolutely amazing. I’d like to look into that bronzer. I don’t need the bronzer part seeing as how I have deep toned skin, but anything glowy or shimmery is up my alley.
    As far as the Guerlain foundation goes, OH MY GOD! I’m not the best at math, but 170 euros would total well over $200. I’m 17 and just getting into makeup and skincare, and while I’m not frugal when it comes to cosmetics, there’s no way I could ever justify that. I could see more seasoned people who are still searching for their perfect foundation and have spent countless amounts on it being able to justify the price, but I can’t. What’s the shade range like? I know a lot of higher end foundations normally don’t make foundations that fit deep skinned girls like me.

    • The Guerlain shade range is remarkably narrow–only 2 pink-based light shades and 2 yellow-based beige shades. To be honest, neither seem darker than an equivalent to a MAC NC/NW 25-30.

  7. The Guerlain foundation sounds totally amazing but I’ve never heard of a foundation remotely as expensive as that! In shock. It sounds like a foundation with skincare benefits but still… SKII makes such foundations but they’re not nearly as expensive.

  8. This Guerlain foundation is sold in Canada for the last couple of months. I haven’t bought it because I normally don’t wear foundation in the summer. I might get this for the fall season, but I really love my La Prairie Caviar foundation.

  9. Oh I die! There is a Nuxe perfume??? I absolutely adore the scent of the Huile prodigueuse!! they better carry this out in Mexico or else……

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