Guerlain Summer 2011 includes Terra Inca ($70- Poudre Sublimatrice / Sublime Radiance Powder), a softly bronzed illuminating powder. Every summer, Guerlain has introduced a stunning bronzing powder. As has been Guerlain’s tradition, the pan size every year is quite large. At $70, this year’s Inca is the largest offering in recent memory at .51 ounces (14.5 g). A quick review of their earlier offerings shows that this is almost twice as large as a few years ago, and one-third larger than last year’s. This large size is very practical for a product that can be used for both the face and body.
The packaging is a sleek, low-profile back case with a gorgeous sunburst engraving on the outside. I was quite happy to see that this is not made of cardboard, it has the feel of wood or a wood composite. It’s beautifully executed, and designed as a richly-textured, sturdy accent to your makeup table.
The top is not hinged, rather it pulls off entirely to reveal a large, usable mirror underneath. Like Guerlain’s other elaborate summer offerings, these are not made for travel. When closed, the Terra Inca lid is held in place with three small magnets–one pair of these magnets is pictured just below. These magnets release with slight pressure, which is wonderful for a makeup counter but not for a suitcase. If you wish for something on-the-go, as you likely know Guerlain makes gorgeous Terracotta bronzers in compacts that are better alternatives for travel.
This bronzer is made of a intricately carved powder–really, it’s quite beautiful in its execution.
As you can see, the pan holds a powder that has a fair amount of glow and shimmer. Here is another picture:
Here is a very close look at the beautiful workmanship on the top of the pan, which shows the pearly quality of this beautiful powder. It’s been my experience that Guerlain is a company that has a particularly sophisticated understanding of powders, as well as bronzers. I find myself unable to miss their annual summer bronzers, because really the best of both worlds comes together in these offerings. As you can see, this powder catches the light beautifully, a quality which translates when worn on the skin:
My general sense is that this year’s Terra Inca is primarily designed for those with lighter skin tones. Although deeper in tone than Guerlain Terracotta Light Sheer Bronzing Powder, it is gently tinted although buildable. If you are looking for something in the range of Nars Casino, or are deeper in tone than MAC NC 40, this is something you would need to try at a counter before purchasing.
Here is Terra Inca on Liz, who is a Mac NC15/ Chanel Cameo-Ivoire Intensity 1.0. She applied it lightly all over the face, then added more over the cheek area. She topped Terra Inca with a touch of Chanel Pink Explosion blush (reviewed here).
Some of you may have seen Liz’s reaction on Facebook to Guerlain’s Terra Inca. Generally, we both concur that Terra Inca is an excellent bronzer. It has a beautifully natural, yet pearly texture that adds a glow and tone to the skin that looks quite beautiful (no one would mistake Liz’s bronzing technique for that used by the Jersey Shore’s Snooki, that’s certain). In a one-to-one comparison, we should note that we preferred Dior’s Nude Glow Summer Powder in Aurora (reviewed here, $46) over Terra Inca.
We’ll post more thoughts tomorrow, although for now we found that Dior’s Aurora is smaller in size (about .35 ounces), although less expensive ($46 for Dior, and $70 for Guerlain). We liked the pink tinge that Aurora gives for a “just out from the sun” look particularly on the face. Although we appreciated the beauty of Guerlain’s packaging, we liked Dior’s Aurora compact better for travel. Guerlain’s Terra Inca is more traditional bronzer color, which means adding a touch of blush on top. None is necessary for Dior’s in our opinion. We found that both gave an excellent glow. We should also note that Liz wore Guerlain’s Terra Inca all day in the hot sun (over sunblock and foundation), she was complimented several times for her skin texture, glow and overall look. I completely concur, Guerlain’s Terra Inca was absolutely beautiful on Liz. Also, keep in mind that Guerlain’s is designed for both face and body. Dior’s Aurora is for the face.
We both highly recommend Guerlain’s Terra Inca, but if you must choose just one, stay tuned for tomorrow’s more in-depth review of Dior’s Aurora.