I resisted Guerlain Terracotta Joli Teint Bronzing Powder ($53) for a long time after it was released earlier this year. I have (and love) the Chanel Les Beiges Healthy Glow Sheer Powder ($58)(reviewed here), and Guerlain’s offering fits into the same category. Both are designed to give one a lightly sheer wash of a soft, healthy bronze glow during the summer months. Essentially, this give your skin a French “bonne mine” beautiful appearance that brings your natural skin tone down a touch, as if you’ve spent your days sipping wine in an outdoor cafe, gathering shells on a beach, or other delightful outdoor activity. I was glad that I did pick up Guerlain’s Terracotta Joli Tient Bronzing Powder so that I can compare the two for you, as well as to enjoy. Guerlain Joli Tient Bronzing Powder is available at Nordstrom, Sephora, Neiman Marcus, Bergdorf Goodman, Bloomingdales and other Guerlain sources.
Lately I’ve been testing three of Guerlain’s Terracotta 4 Seasons Bronzers in Nude 00, Naturel Blondes 02, and Moyen Blondes #04 ($75 each/ 0.35 oz.). These were part of a recent comprehensive release by Guerlain, which considerable expanded their shade range for the 4 Seasons line. You can see all of the shades here at The Beauty Look Book. These come inside a tortoiseshell compact that is both beautiful and quite strong and sturdy. The shape fits comfortably in a side pocket of one’s purse, beach tote or carry on.
Although I am beyond pleased to see this French company offer shade ranges that will look beautiful on women of all skin tones, I chose Nude (Nude #00), Natural Blondes (Naturel Blondes #02), and Medium Blondes (Moyen Blondes #04) because they fell at the lighter end of the spectrum range to coordinate with my skin tone (MAC NC15/20, Chanel Claire/Ivoire, Guerlain #2).
Although the price point of these is high, the quality level is excellent. These are incredibly finely milled. Applying them is a luxurious feeling, and they meld beautifully to the skin. These bronzers would never even come close to highlighting or creating imperfections. The formula is truly superb. As you can tell, these bronzers each have four shades that allows you to emphasize certain tones in different seasons for different effects. I think the brush head would have be fairly small to get precise effects (something like a small face highlighter or small contour). I use my standard brushes and swirl over the top.
Here are my thoughts about the colors that I’ve tried on my skin tone. Starting with Guerlain Terracotta 4 Seasons in Nude 00, this color gives a barely perceptible, natural glow.
The slight pink mixes with the warmer bronzer colors to give a very natural finish. This adds a touch of natural color that helps me look alive, especially when I’m wearing a medium coverage foundation which covers my natural skin tone variation. It’s a good “winter bronzer” color, when you aren’t expected to show much sun (although it certainly could be worn by those with pale skin tones who love to enhance their natural coloring with just a touch).
Nude is a good daytime office bronzer, it doesn’t look like I’ve flown to Hawaii over the weekend. Instead it’s a “is she wearing bronzer?” type of natural look.
Guerlain Terracotta 4 Seaonss in Naturel Blondes 02 gives me a standard bronzer look, sort of similar to Edward Bess Daydream in tonality. I cannot say it more accurately than this–> Naturel Blondes will be a perfect everyday bronzer for summer.
One of the quarters has a very slight touch of shimmer, which mixes with the other powders to give a natural skin effect. There is nothing over the top about this shimmer. Here is Liz wearing Guerlain Naturel Blondes, topped with Burberry Coral Pink Blush and Nars Satin Lip Pencil in Yu.
Guerlain Terracotta 4 Seasons Bronzer in Medium Blondes (Moyen Blondes) on my skin tone is a high drama bronzer that I absolutely love.
As the sun is filling out California spring skies, I’ve enjoying it’s beautiful glow. As with the others, the powder is excellent quality, so that it melds with my skin. Unlike the others, this one does give me a “I’m just back from Hawaii” tan glow.
Although this color will not be for everyone (some may find it too obvious), I find that I love this bronzer particularly when I’m wearing nude tones (which otherwise cause me to fade out), or very vibrant corals and pinks (when my face needs some color for balance).
Here are swatches of all three shades, which don’t do the bronzers justice. One really has to try them on the skin to see how they look once applied.
A reader asks a good question–how does Nude 00 compare to last year’s Burberry Sheer Summer Glow palette? Here are some swatches that show that Burberry’s Summer Glow is swatching much more bronzy/shimmery than Guerlain’s 4 Seasons Nude 00:
Overall, this trio is a beautiful selection of shades. The quality is excellent, really worthy of a luxury line.
Available at Nordstrom.com and other Guerlain counters.
Cafe Makeup received Nars Yu without charge for consideration for review. This post includes affiliate links (for more information, see About Cafe Makeup)
Guerlain Sun Scrub ($65/5.1 oz.) has just been released for Summer 2013. This cleanser is unusual, with a niche appeal, yet fits a market need so well that it’s worth a look. This scrub has very subtle self-tanning properties that will appeal to those who frequently exfoliate. This will be a bit of a surprise to some, as the descriptive material does not mention this quality. I learned about the self-tanning aspect through my discussion with the extremely helpful Guerlain Las Vegas Boutique. We tried it, and it does work on us.
First, Guerlain Sun Scrub is an all-over body scrub. The tube is big, with a relatively generous 5.1 ounce. It has a lush, summer-in-St. Tropez scent that gives me a sort of relaxing “I’m on a beach” effect. The moisturizing gel has microbeads in the formula to give you a softening, moisturizing and exfoliating effect. According to Guerlain, the primary purpose of this product is to prepare the skin for tanning. I’ve used this all over, including on the face, without any breakouts or concerns and it’s quite a luxurious way to start your day.
There are a group of women and men who exfoliate frequently, including those who use retin-based products or overnight exfoliators, masks, shower scrubs, Perricone MD Blue Plasma and/or brushes and textured cloths. Gentle, frequent exfoliation is a wonderful way to get glowing skin, but makes a self-tanner temporary. I haven’t wanted to spend time waiting for self-tanner to set and dry, only to start over the next day.
Guerlain, apparently reading our minds, has added a gentle, self-tanning property to this scrub that gives just a very subtle tan effect. So as you wash, you tan. If I were to estimate the effect on me, I would say it’s about 1/8 to 1/4 step between foundation shades. It’s a nice effect on winter-white skin. Of course, it’s Guerlain so it’s a flattering non-orange color. The effect is cumulative–if you wash twice in a row, the effect is stronger.
I realize that the price point and the niche appeal of this product will not have everyone rushing to the counters. Yet I found the idea ingenious, so I thought this was a review worth publishing for those looking for just a boost of color as we transition from winter to spring.
Guerlain Sun Scrub is available at Nordstrom.com and other Guerlain counters. I don’t yet see this on Sephora.
This post contains affiliate links. For more information, see About Cafe Makeup.
Guerlain / Emilio Pucci Terracotta Eye Khol in Blu Acqua ($36) is a violet kohl eyeliner. The packaging is beautiful, and the color is a vibrant, shimmery violet with only a touch of blue.
The Blu Acqua Kohl is not the typical pencil design, but rather the shorter, wider open kohl design. I’ve asked several Guerlain sales associates how they are sharpened. One advocates simply using a standard sharpener. The other professed that this is “self sharpening,” which only seems possible to me if you continually apply the kohl held at an angle.
Despite its name, the kohl really is much more in the purple/violet category which I view as a plus. It’s an unusual, striking color but deep enough in its tone to work in almost any setting.
I like wearing this pushed up into my top waterline, among the mascara. It seems to brighten the whites of my eyes. I noticed that I had to use a few layers to get a good rich color (a few swipes). The texture of this is far softer than many of the kohl pencils that I’ve tried.
Verdict: Pretty color, if you swipe a few times I think you’ll fall in love.
Guerlain has numerous bronzers, including the permanent Blondes and Brunettes bronzers with the iconic mosaic pattern surface. As someone with a lighter skin tone, I found that Guerlain Blondes, although recommended for those in my coloring range, was too subtle for my personal taste. I gifted mine to Liz, who I suspect rarely uses it.
This summer, Guerlain’s limited edition Terracotta collection includes two new shades, Guerlain Terracotta Sun Blondes (04) and Sun Brunettes (05) ($50 each), which are stronger versions of the permanent shades.
Longtime brand fans might remember Guerlain Terracotta Blondes Hâlées released in 2o10. I found that the 2012 Terracotta Sun Blondes and Blondes Hâlées are remarkably similar. You can see the same mosaic pattern in this comparison between my new Sun Blondes and my well-worn Blondes Hâlées:
The difference that you see in the above picture is because the Blondes Hâlées on the right is well-used. If the products were both in the same condition, they would be quite similar.
Swatched side by side, they both shared the similar pink-bronze tones, and a very similar texture. I found that the Blondes Hâlées swatched slightly darker. The difference was so subtle that I felt some might be due to the fact that my Blondes Hâlées is quite well-used by now. The powder might simply come off more easily on the more worn product. Both applied heavily:
I’m going to call these “close enough” to be duplicates. You should note that we tried to apply Sun Blondes on Megan, but given her medium skin tone we found Sun Blondes too light. Those with skin tones roughly NC30 and higher should explore Sun Brunettes (05) instead.
I really love this more pigmented version of the Guerlain Blondes bronzer. It has enough tone, looks natural, and has a touch of textural glow that I find very flattering. The pink tones don’t substitute for a blush, but sometimes I wear the bronzer alone for a very natural glow. If I hadn’t worn down so much of my Blondes Hâlées, I might have skipped Sun Blondes. However, I do use my bronzers up all the way to the bottom pan, so I know I’ll get good use out of this years version.
Guerlain Summer 2011 Terracotta line includes the Ombre Fusion Water-Resistant creme eyeshadow in 02 Havana ($35) a browned-khaki cream with bronze shimmer. How did this green-eyed girl wind up with another khaki eyeshadow? Fortunately, this is one of the prettiest. I only wish I’d known that before purchasing the others!
As with Maya and Bahia, Havana is a gorgeously-textured cream. If you look closely at the swatch, above, you’ll see a fair amount of bronze shimmer and undertone which sets this one apart. If you like this color, you’ll love this shadow.
Here are some comparisons:
The brownish tones of Havana really show with the light swatch, far left. Havana is creamier than the liquid Chanel Ombre D’eau in Torrent in the middle, but similar in color tone. The powder single Chanel Ombre Essentielle in Khaki is a softer, powder finish. Also pictured at the far right is Bobbi Brown’s Shimmerwash in Golden Leaf (limited edition and no longer available).
Generally, I think that this trio from Guerlain (Bahia, Maya and Havana) are the best summer trio since the Tajine metals (although the smoky pigment set that included Holy Smoke were pretty nice too). These types of special, star products are well worth a look. Unlike some makeup companies that have flash limited editions that sell out in days, I expect that Guerlain’s Ombre Fusion will be on counter at least for several more weeks. These are easy, no fuss summer shades. Most days, a swipe or two of Maya and I’m out the door. They will look awesome with summer tans or a bronzed look, together with a nice clear summer lip (a coral, shimmer peach of pink). Highly recommended.
Guerlain’s limited edition Terracotta collection for Summer 2011 includes Ombre Fusion in Bahia ($35), a creamy light multi-dimensional light peachy pink shadow.
Unless this color is applied sheerly, it does not work well as an overall lid color unless you are going for a retro-60’s beach look. Rather, it’s best to use with a deeper color, such as Guerlain’s Ombre Fusion in Maya (or Havana) layered on the outer 1/2 of the eye or a deeper powder shadow. It’s a pretty highlighting color on the browbone, again with a sheer touch. Here’s a comparison with the light and dark swatch:
You can see how lightly the creme skates over the texture of the skin. This next picture really drives this point home. Here is a comparison between this Guerlain Ombre Fusion with my pink Chanel Ombre D’eau in River #87. You can see how different the texture of these products are. Bahia sits nicely on the skin, filling ridges, where the Chanel looks dry. I must admit that this comparison is a bit unfair. This is because this particular Chanel River does not have a good texture and seems flat compared to the other Chanel Ombre D’eau line (many of which are much nicer than River). But you can certainly see that Guerlain Bahia has a much nicer texture and richer tone.
I love the quality of Guerlain Terracotta bronzers, but I find the variety confusing. With 8 shades in their standard Moisturizing line, plus the variations such as the 4 Seasons, Mineral Flawless, loose Bronzing Powder, Tan Booster and Tan Booster, plus the limited edition shades, there is a lot to track.
I just received this brochure from Neiman Marcus, which helps decode the color system from the standard Terracotta Moisturizing and Long Lasting line:
Even better, I found Guerlain has set up a site that helps you choose your perfect bronzer from their entire range, located here. You put in your hair and skin tone, then choose the level of shimmer or matte that you prefer. Pretty cool, right? I’m feeling so bronzer-empowered.
Here are few items set to launch from those lovely geniuses at Guerlain, from their Terracotta 2011 collection, due out March 15, 2011. As background, Guerlain annually launches several products to anticipate the bronzed looks of Spring and Summer, and several have been show-stopping excellent.
Guerlain Moisturizing and Long-Lasting Bronzing Powder ($49), available in eight shades. Between us, Guerlain is one of the few companies that understands the relationship between powder, the skin, and a truly glamorous bronzed look.
This is not marked “limited edition,” and are the same as Guerlain’s standard Terracotta line with new packaging.
Terracotta Skin ($49) is a healthy glow foundation that have a matte and velvety finish. This has a sheer bronzing color of the Terracotta powder, plus the perfecting action of a foundation. This is intended to blur imperfections, and provide a matte, velvety finish. This product includes:
- Spherical powder mixed within, to reflect light;
- Volatile oils that evaporate on application, leaving a “second skin” on the face
- Elastomer gel, for a creamy and comfortable fee.
It looks like Terracotta Skin is this year’s version of the Teint D´Ailleurs Tinted Moisturizer (reviewed here). The lighter version was probably a bit too dark on my NC15/Chanel Cameo-Ivoire skintone to wear alone particularly in winter, but turned into awesome magic mixed with foundation (the glow and skin care properties, plus a dose of natural color). I’ve actually used up about half of mine, so I’ll be looking for this one. By the way, the press release does not mark this as “limited edition,” so I am hopeful that this will become a standard in their line.
Terracotta Jambes de Gazelles ($59) (limited edition) is a spray mist for legs, for temporary color. According to Guerlain, Jambes de Gazelle has a tan booster to prolong a natural tan, and is enriched with Sweet Orange Extract “for a relaxing and cooling effect.” It sounds like heaven, actually.
Terracotta Serum ($59) (limited edition). For those who tan, a few drops of this tan booster into your normal skincare product is said to extend your tan and moisturize your skin. It’s recommended that you use two drops for face products, and four for body products.
- Fragrance free
- Clear honey color, that does not add any tint
- Formulated to prepare, activate and prolong your natural tan.
- Includes a soothing ingredient to soften skin
Also, I’m hopeful that Guerlain will release the Terracotta Inca collection, featured here at the British Beauty Blogger, that features intriguing-looking powders and glosses.
Guerlain’s Terracotta Light Summer Bronzing Powder in Blondes Hâlées ($50) is a reformulation of its formerly-released Terracotta Light Sheer Bronzing Powder. Although the products look similar at first glance, the formula, color and tone of the products are quite different.
As both versions are still being sold, and it is worth a pause so that we can tell the difference.
The packaging of both is nearly identical. There are two differences to look for: First, the older versions are called “Blondes” and “Brunettes.” The new versions are called “Blondes Hâlées” and “Brunettes Hâlées.” Second, the limited edition version for Summer 201 uses the phrase “Summer Bronzing Powder” on the packaging and compact. The older version does not. Also, the new Hâlées have a slight pebbled look to the ornate embedded logo on the compact. The older version is simpler, without the dotted texture that surrounds the swirling, embedded “G’s.”
This review focuses on Blondes Hâlées, which I recently purchased and compared to my former Blondes.
The primary differences are:
- The texture of Blondes Hâlées is much softer and easier to pick up on the brush. The older Blondes seems quite hard by comparison.
- Blondes Hâlées is a deeper, darker color.
- Blondes Hâlées is a more intense, more dramatic bronzer.
- Blondes Hâlées has redder undertones, which is more akin to a tiny pink-red that looks more like sun-exposed “tan with a touch of red”.
- The older Blondes has a sheerer golden tone.
Hare side-by-side swatches:
I prefer the new formulation. Blondes Hâlées has a beautiful natural tone with a pretty golden shimmer. I had to beat the pigment out of the former Blondes to get sheer coverage. Blondes Hâlées gives a more natural look and is much easier to work with.
Here is a comparison — on the left, no bronzer. On the right, Blondes Hâlées:
Although Guerlain Blondes Hâlées is a deeper color tone, I find the effect quite natural. Her skin takes on a pink tone, without any trace of orange.
Below, Liz added a pop of pink blush (Bobbi Brown French Pink) on top of Blondes Hâlées:
So, between the Edward Bess Daydream that I reviewed last and the Guerlain, which do you prefer?