Guerlain Terracotta Teint D´Ailleurs Tinted Moisturizer- Blondes

 Bronzers, Foundation, Guerlain  Comments Off on Guerlain Terracotta Teint D´Ailleurs Tinted Moisturizer- Blondes
Apr 162010

I’ve been testing Guerlain Terracotta Teint D´Ailleurs Tinted Moisturizer ($46) in Blondes, part of the line’s Summer 2010 Terracotta collection.  I was originally skeptical of the product–one might look like one is wearing the wrong color foundation or went over-the-top with a spray tan.

I am a passionate believer in sunscreen.  I don’t use self-tanners, because my skin care regimen would exfoliate off the effect almost overnight. Instead, I’ve gone with powder or liquids applied in selected areas for a more natural look.  Still, I often envy the overall softly tanned look on some that I see.  Also, I thought that if anyone can make bronzer look good (or, at least, natural), it’s Guerlain.  So I ordered the lighter Blondes from to give it a try.

The tinted moisturizer comes in a luxe glass bottle with a gold-colored pump, and a simulated wood-textured plastic cap.  The application is somewhat sheer– I would say about one-half the coverage of a light foundation such as Chanel Tient Innocence Fluid.  This allows a bit of your natural skin to peek through.  As an aside, I used this with my physical sunscreen (Elta MD Physical 41), so combined I had sufficient coverage.

The texture is glowy, allowing the surface of the skin to have a bit of sheen.  Guerlain took the “moisturizer” in the product name seriously, it feels very luxurious, nourishing and moisturizing.  It lasted well through a ten-hour day on my combination skin.

As far as the color, it took my MAC NC15/Chanel Cameo Intensity 1.0 down a good two to three shades.  I got a few questions about whether I had spent some time in the sun from others, and I looked like I had.  I added a bit of darker powder bronzer on the cheeks to break up the “all one color” look, and of course a pink blush.  There were no orange tones on my warm skin, and no shimmer bits either.  It was sort of a sheer wash of color that looked liked I had acquired a light tan.

I know that some “embrace the pale,” but sometimes I enjoy adding some tan look to my skin.  I know that I’ll continue to use the Guerlain Tinted Moisturizer over the summer.  My sense is that it looks about as natural as a good self-tanner (again, the color looked natural not orange or brassy).  I’m going to give this a cautious positive recommendation, but this is very much a Your Mileage May Vary product, depending on your skin tone.  It’s worth looking at if you’d like a bit of a natural glow with a nice, moisturizing feel.  If at all possible, try before you buy so that you can tell whether you’ll like the effect on your skintone.

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Apr 022010

Lately, I’ve been loving Guerlain Parure Gold foundation ($78) in #2 Beige Clair, which I bought at a Guerlain boutique that had provided excellent service.

I’ve now used the product since January ’10, long enough to declare it a real winner.  For the record, I have skin that is highly break-out prone that is combination (oily t-zone, and normal-to-dry in other areas of the face).  I have been using Chanel foundations–most recently Pro Lumiere, Tient Innocence Fluid, Lift and sometimes the Double Perfection powder (typically, in Intensity 1.0/Cameo), depending on the look that I am trying to achieve.  Sometimes I use Laura Mercier’s mineral makeup system.  I have tried to use Dior Nude, which I loved, but had to discontinue when it broke me out.  I’ve tested several others but none have persuaded me to move from the variety of products that I already own.  As an aside, Parure Gold is the most expensive foundation that I’ve ever purchased.

Guerlain’s foundations promise rejuvenation, and in my world where stress, the environment, the sun and sometimes too-harsh skincare products are pretty normal, who doesn’t want that?   Guerlain’s website reads that it has “slipped a magical blend of Gold Radiance Pigments and Precious Rejuvenating Complex enriched with Oil of Myrrh into this fluid foundation. The pigments light up, smooth and correct the complexion instantly, and the complex revives the youthful radiance and vitality of the skin. Evanescent and supple, the wonderfully smooth texture glides over the skin, providing perfect light-weight coverage…”

The packaging is typical Guerlain luxury.  It’s housed in a black opaque container, but there is a clear window on the side to track how much is left. There is a gold-colored pump on the top to preserve the foundation and keep it from contamination.  The foundation lists an SPF 15+.  I typically apply this with my fingers, a few drops is sufficient to cover my face and any little concerns that I have.  I usually add Caron translucent powder.

Here are my thoughts:

  • Holy gorgeous skin.  It adds a believable level of luminosity and no more.  Without any glitter bits or metallic sheen, there is a soft brightness that looks natural.
  • The texture is really amazing–it seems to melt into the skin and make it better. No cakiness, just a very my-skin-but-better.
  • Extremely good coverage without using very much product.  I wonder if this foundation has a superior pigment in a very small bit of fluid?  If there are areas of concern on my face, I can build up more foundation there without the product turning cakey.
  • Lightweight.  My skin feels like it can breathe.  I don’t feel like I’m wearing anything.
  • No break-outs or pore-clogging.  Yes, I use an oil cleanser and a Clarisonic twice a week.  Still, there’s a noticeable clarity.
  • Extremely long-lasting.  This foundation powers through a sixteen-hour day like nothing I’ve ever tried before, and looks as fresh as the morning.  Seriously.  No shifting, no sliding, no caking up, no disappearing act.

Because of my oily t-zone, I do have to touch up with a powder on my forehead after five-six hours.  Parure Gold doesn’t promise to mattify, and I’ve always had to do that.  Overall, Parure Gold has been wonderful.  Highly recommended.

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Mar 302010

Guerlain’s Terracotta 2010 collection includes two Eyeshadow and Liners (Fard Metal Fard & Paupieres Liner) ($35 each) in 01 Gold Rush and 02 Smoky Metal, designed to look beautiful on summer skin.  For the past few years, the Terracotta line has included eyeshadows in very creative formats–once an exotic looking shiny pot, another a loose powder pigment. I’ve used these unusually packaged products as staples all the way through winter.  In the past, the eyeshadows have been neutrals with a shimmery kick.

2010 continues that tradition.  These eyeshadow/ liners are a shimmery cream twist-up plastic-encased pencil and their texture is rich and beautiful.  There is a very warm yellow-gold Gold Rush, and a shimmery brown Smoky Metal.

These apply with a sort of effortless buttery-ness–the texture is really lovely.  The shimmer factor is high for a creme textured shadow and there are no obvious sparkly bits.

They are similar to MAC Shadesticks, but they work much better in my opinion.  They are softer and provide a nice even color tone effortlessly.

The brown color goes on very softly–those with medium to dark skin tones may find that the color disappears into the lid, leaving just the sheen.  If you are looking for a drama, look elsewhere or be ready to add the drama with your liner color (a liquid gold and deep chocolate brown–such as the Mystic Kohl– might be amazing).  Smoky Metal is far less striking than the gorgeous Deep Metal powder eyeshadow sold two years ago.  Likewise, it does not have the complexity of the Holy Smoke eyeshadow powder pigment released last  year.  Rather, it’s a softer shimmery, glowy brown that you can wear to a casual outing or put on easily without worrying about precision.

Gold Rush is a shimmer yellow, which will look nice on warmer medium to darker skin tones.  Gold Rush is a medium-toned color, so my guess is that it will be too dark to use as a brow bone highlighter on many.  I expect that lighter, cooler skin tones will find that Gold Rush clashes with your natural coloring so swatching before spending $35 is worth the trouble.  I found that the colors worked well together by using Gold Rush as my inner corner color and Smoky Metal as my all-over lid shade.  An ivory brownbone color finished off the look.

I wore these without a primer for a very long day, and did get some very minor creasing.  I’ll have to update this later today, after I try this with a primer.

Here are some swatches:

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Mar 292010

The Guerlain Terracotta 2010 collection includes the Mirage Kohl (Guerlain Terracotta Loose Powder Kohl/ Khol Poudre Libre #6)($35) is another in Guerlain’s loose powder eyeliners.  I find that although I love the look of most of Guerlain’s collections, their annual Terracotta offerings are the ones that I find the most impossible to resist.  Their bronzers and summer products are so beautiful, and they work quite well.

Guerlain’s loose powder kohls continue to surprise with their ease of application and durability. Essentially, the little container includes a highly pigmented powder that is applied with a straight metal rod, depositing the very fine powder at the lashline.  When I am really in a hurry, this is always the eyeliner that I reach for.  I find them much faster than pencils.  It’s a quick swipe, swipe and done. Guerlain includes a handy little product insert sheet which teaches the two most popular application techniques.

Mirage comes in the same familiar packaging with the clear container that looks like it is holding an exotic and very precious substance.  I’ve never experienced any spilling with these containers.  The color is a very deep chocolate brown:

Here is a very quick swipe.  As you can see, the color applies as a matte chocolate brown to give a very defined look.

I played with this on the back of my hand, and as I smeared it around in direct sunlight I did notice some extremely tiny microsparkle as I sheered the powder out completely.  This must be so fine that it doesn’t show when applied in a more typical swatch, but must help give some dimension to the powder.

I know that Guerlain makes another brown kohl called “Brun,” (or sometimes “Golden Brown”).  I don’t own Brun, but my sense from looking at pictures and reading reviews it that Brun is likely lighter, more shimmery and more golden than Mirage.

I know that I’ll get a lot of use out of Mirage, it’s a nice basic color for a quick and beautiful eye.  If you like this format for eyeliner, this is a very useful color to have.

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Bobbi Brown Spring 2010: Integrating the Collection with Your Own

 Bobbi Brown, Chanel, Guerlain  Comments Off on Bobbi Brown Spring 2010: Integrating the Collection with Your Own
Feb 122010

Bobbi Brown’s Spring 2010 collection includes a variety of lip glosses and lipsticks, and a Neiman Marcus exclusive lip & eye palette.  I did not pause to consider them, because I knew that I could easily integrate my favorite pieces with things that I already own.  That’s the reason that I’m so comfortable using these products right away.

For example, I already own several pink, peach and coral lip colors that will work well with these cheek and highlighter products.

As some examples, these Chanel Glossimers can easily be worn with any of the coral products:

Here are some easy neutrals that can work, here the Beiges de Chanel eyeshadow quad, Guerlain Terracotta Fard Indien Mineral Eyeshadow in Paradise Sand and Chanel’s Soft Touch eyeshadow in Island.

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Jan 062010

As promised, here are product reviews for two items purchased at Guerlain’s boutique in Las Vegas, Nevada.

First, the Terracotta Kohl in Oriental Metal ($34) (Khol Poudre Libre) is a shimmery, multi-dimensional silver-taupe.  This loose powder is packaged in a glass vial.  The ornate cap opens to reveal a long, semi-rigid stick to which the loose powder adheres.  To apply the loose powder, you simply draw the long stick along the lashline with your eye closed (called the Eastern Method).  I learned how to use this by watching this video.  Of course, you can run the stick above the lashline instead if you prefer (the Western Method).  But try the Eastern Method as least once, you’ll be surprised how well it works.  Guerlain’s directions are here (click to enlarge):

I own this product in a few other colors, including black.  Surprisingly, this eyeliner applies much faster than any other eyeliner I own (pencils, gels and cake) and lasts all day.  When I saw Oriental Metal online, it looks sort of grey and dull.  However, in real life this kohl gives a glowy sheen that looks beautiful next to the eye–it enhances the natural color rather than overwhelming.

Second, I bought a Guerlain Rouge G lipstick in a neutral shade, Garance (#6) ($45).  Although this is an outrageous price to pay for a lipstick, the price is not out of line for a piece of costume jewelry that delivers a really unparalleled lipstick formula.  As you probably know, the lipstick is sold in a beautifully-machined compact with two built-in mirrors, designed by Lorenz Bäumer, a jeweller from Paris’ Place Vendôme. Although I’ve used many high-end lipsticks, I’ve found that this formula is rich, moisturizing and looks like it has (as Guerlain advertises), crushed rubies in the forumula.  There is a sparkling glow that I haven’t found in any other product.  If you want to know more, Guerlain has a somewhat dramatic website that can walk you through the product (there’s a soundtrack, so if you’re reading this in your office with the door open….um…)

Because these lipsticks are somewhat an investment, I highly recommend trying them out before you purchase.  One’s own natural coloring can mean that a lipstick which looks one way on one person, can look quite different on another.

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Shopping Report: Guerlain Boutique, The Palazzo Hotel & Casino (Las Vegas, Nevada)

 Foundation, Guerlain  Comments Off on Shopping Report: Guerlain Boutique, The Palazzo Hotel & Casino (Las Vegas, Nevada)
Jan 052010

The Palazzo Hotel & Casino is a high-rise situated between the Venetian and the Wynn on the Las Vegas Strip.  The second floor — which sits just above the casino–is jam-packed with high-end boutiques from many of the world’s major cities.  These include stores that do not have a dense population on the west coast, including Barney’s New York, Christian Louboutin and Van Cleef & Arpels.  Tucked in with these other luxury stores in a delightful Guerlain boutique.

Small in comparison to La Maison de Guerlain on Paris’ Champs Elysees, this boutique features a pleasant array of perfumes, a long stretch of makeup testers and several mirrored makeup stations.  When I walked in, it was mid-morning and therefore extremely early by Las Vegas standards.  If you want good service in Las Vegas, go before lunch.  It’s sort of unbelievable.

Have you ever met someone who truly loves their job?  They are so perfectly enthusiastic about it, you can’t help loving it too?  This describes the sales associate in the Guerlain boutique at the Palazzo.  His card reads “Beauty Advisor,” but he was more like “my friend who knows all about Guerlain and is going to be perfectly honest with me and yet does this without making me feel like I need to cake on makeup to really rock it.”  Although I’ve since flown home from Las Vegas, I would not hesitate to call for advice.  By the way, he pronounced the company’s name as “Guuurr- lan” with the second syllable using a flat “A” that rhymes with “pan.”

I was interested in Guerlain’s Parure Gold foundation ($78), so I got a “light” makeover–that is, I kept my eye makeup on but replaced most of my present foundation so that we could test colors.  This foundation is a new addition to Guerlain’s line, and it feels and looks remarkable.  It seems to add luminosity, it feels very light and moisturizing, but doesn’t give me “forehead shine” hours later.  It lasted all day without shifting or breaking down.  This was topped with some Meteorites (or Meteor-eeetes, as I now think of them) powder.  It’s packaged in a black container with a gold pump, and along one side is a slotted window so that one can tell how much foundation is left.

While at the boutique, I examined Guerlain’s Spring 2010 line, primarily the Jeu D’Ombrelles eyeshadow palette and Blush Eclat.  Both of these products are beautifully embossed and packaged.  The eyeshadow palette read very violet on me in a way that doesn’t compliment my skin tone.  Unfortunately, even a good healthy does of the Blush Eclat applied was not fully visible even on my fair skin.  The color leans peach with a hint of pink, but applies very sheerly.  Although I had wanted to get both, I have decided not to purchase either.

I left with my Beauty Advisor’s business card, Parure Gold in #2, and a few other products that I’ll review tomorrow.

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Shopping Report: La Maison Guerlain, Champs Elysees (Paris France)

 Guerlain  Comments Off on Shopping Report: La Maison Guerlain, Champs Elysees (Paris France)
Jan 042010

In the summer of 2006, I learned that Guerlain was discontinuing the iconic lipstick Divinora 480, described as the “perfect nude.”   I’ve since learned that “nude” is a term of art that applies to a wide range of color shades, but I somehow thought that if Angelina Jolie wore this shade that (somehow) I needed it too.

By that time, it appeared that sources for this shade were quickly disappearing in the U.S.  I had heard that the Guerlain boutiques in Paris had the best selection of their products, so while I was in the city I stopped into La Maison Guerlain on the Champs Elysees to investigate.  The store is just next door to the large Sephora and is a must-see for anyone who loves perfumes.  There is an impressive conservative marble lower floor, populated by some of the line’s latest and most popular products.  A staircase leads to the upper floor which is where the real action is for beauty and perfume lovers.  A beautiful series of pictures of the store, including a little guided tour of La Maison, is available on Guerlain’s website.

The second floor has a very unusual architecture (a picture from Guerlain’s website appears at the left).  Just at the top of the stairs is an area that has warm golden, organic walls, created by a mosaic of tiles.  It’s a little Versailles-meets-Whoville.  Sorry, I mean no disrespect.  I know that this represents an institution, not a mere corporation or a brand.  And truthfully, it’s stunning. This is a space where both Chanel flats and very tall Louboutin’s can be comfortably worn.  As if to prove my point, an impeccably dressed woman carrying a beautifully manicured dog stood in this foyer as her purchases were totaled.  My more practical Teva’s, which seemed so perfect for my several-mile walk through from the Marais, suddenly seemed very wrong.

There are a few rooms upstairs–the largest of which has the greatest selection of Guerlain perfumes anyone could ever imagine.  I’m not knowledgeable about perfumes, but honestly if you are then you must place this building near the top of your lists if you go to Paris.  This space is dripping in glass-bead curtains that are evocative of the round glass stopper on the top of many of Guerlain’s perfume bottles.  Again, the picture to the right is from Guerlain’s website.

There is a separate room for makeup.  There, I used my very rudimentary French to get a few tubes of Divinora 480.  The sales associate looked at my coloring worriedly, suggesting another Divinora lipstick with more pink.  Or perhaps something with a little shine?  I declined, a decision I now regret.  If someone that knowledgeable offers to help you out, I’ve learned to now accept and take notes.  Not literally “notes,” but you know what I mean.

I also asked to see their selection of Meteorites, Guerlain’s multi-colored finishing powders.  When I asked for them, I said “Meteorites” using the standard English pronunciation as one might refer to the celestial bodies traveling through space.

“Meteorites?” the sales associate asked.  “Qu-est-ce que c’est?”  Uh-oh.  When a Guerlain makeup expert doesn’t understand my pronunciation of one of their most famous products, it is not a good sign.

I looked around for their selection, finally resorting to pointing to Meteorites after I found them.

“Ahhhhhhh! Meteor-eeeeetes!” the sales associate exclaimed.  “They are right there.”  She gestured to where I had been pointing.  Unfortunately, their selection was no different from those available in the U.S.  But, now I know how they are pronounced.

I paid for my lipsticks.  Which, as the sales associate probably suspected, didn’t work at all for my coloring.  The picture, below, is the image I photographed to sell my unused tube on eBay.  By the way, Guerlain used to sell these with a nifty little mirror in the cap.  I’m told that they discontinued the mirror around 2004 or 2005.

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