Guerlain’s Holiday 2011 offerings include a star product, Guerlain Parure de Nuit Pressed Powder and Blush ($67/0.35 oz.). The product comes housed in a formal, lacquered housing that is well-designed and sturdy.
One half (or more) of the bulk of the compact is due to the brush housing, in a lower compartment:
I must admit that this product is not within my particular demographic. The peacock pattern, I’m guessing, may be released to evoke the New York City Waldorf’s Peacock Alley to celebrate the re-opening of Guerlain’s Day Spa at that location. However, peacock feathers seem to evoke my mother’s generation rather than my own.
This violet-scented product has a glittery clear glaze that sparkles like diamonds in the sunlight, but sweeps away easily after the first few brush strokes. If you look in the mirror reflection in the photograph below, you can see how dramatic the overspray diamond effect is:
Is clear glaze the new overspray? It appears to be; although I suppose its slightly preferable because one can see the product colors underneath a glaze (whereas metallic overspray covers it entirely). However, I’m a texture fanatic. I don’t like anything that gets inbetween me and the powder, thank you very much. I’m now patiently awaiting the demise of a clear glaze trend. After brushing away the glaze layer, Liz and I started to use the Guerlain Parure de Nuit highlighter.
Here is the result–above is a picture of Liz wearing Guerlain Parure de Nuit in full sun (thank you, Liz, we know posing in full sun is not so fun). There is some bronzer on her lower cheek under her hairline. The largest percentage of the Guerlain Parure de Nuit powder is a nearly-invisible peach tone that is near a fair skin tone. The circlets of more intense apricot give the powder some very subtle color when applied. The effect is a more shimmery, pinker version of Nars Sex Appeal blush (reviewed here). The effect when wearing foundation is very faint pink-peach color, a near-nude that glimmers in full sunlight.
My sense is that you are either going to be very attracted to the packaging and presentation of Guerlain Parure de Nuit, or you are not. Or perhaps there is a friend or family member that would adore this compact based on their individual taste–for a bit, I flirted with the idea of shipping mine off to my mother rather than reviewing it here (my mother prefers accessories to makeup, so I declined to do so). For me, this Guerlain does the highlighting/subtle blush job beautifully but no more so than others available at a lower price point with a less elaborate presentation. My sense is that you could do just as well with a Dior Star Shimmer Powder at $44, or several other options reviewed on this site, and tuck the remainder away toward the Spring ’12 collections.