Guerlain Spring 2011 Picks: Série Noire Blush G, Rouge G & Ombré Éclat

January 10, 2011

I’m venturing into newer territory with Guerlain this spring. I haven’t tried much from the line except a few seasonal items here and there over the past years. I’ve loved everything I have (quads, singles, rouge g) but for some reason still find their high prices and glitzy packaging a bit intimidating at times. However take the Twitter buzz and excitement from @naturalNchicmak and @CafeMakeup and combine it with the beautiful swatches from Yuki’s Lazy Channel and the cause-effect outcome is that I had to check it out.

Série Noire Blush G, Rose Desir Rouge G, Ombré Éclat in L’instant D’une Ondee 186 & L’instant D’une Soupir 187

The most highly-anticipated item of this collection is the new Blush G, Série Noire ($67), which is labeled on the compact as the “Secret to a Healthy Glow.” It is indeed glowy with four layers of embossed shimmers. NaturalNChicMakeup has lovely swatches on her blog as well and really captures the shimmers in great detail (see her review here). She also has a great feature on the packaging.

So does it really give a healthy glow? Yes, but it’s almost too glowy. When all shades are swirled together it creates a vibrant golden-pink blush but at the same time it applies cool on my cheeks (even if it swatches warm on my arm). To me, this is like a cool-pink version of NARS Orgasm blush. It also applies similar in the sense that it’s very easy to go one swipe too heavy and end up looking sunburned. The pigment is a difficult thing to describe – the texture is finely milled and very soft which allows you to build up layers to suit your preference. I had a difficult time playing with it today, it either looked too sheer or too fake. I have a similar experience with Chanel Fresque which is a lovely light peach, but one stroke too many leaves me looking like a clown.

I personally prefer something a tad bit warmer on the skin like Bobbi Brown’s Antigua Illuminating Shimmer Powder, but the Guerlain Série Noire is unique and beautiful. I will simply need more practice and experiment with different blush brushes to see which one will give the best application.

All the lipsticks from the Guerlain Spring Collection are beautiful. Due to the high price tag, I decided to limit myself to just one, Rose Desir #71 ($47). It’s very sparkly on the back of the hand, but on the lips it sheers out and you get a healthy pink tint. Those concerned that these might be too sheer to show up need not worry. They definitely show up! They just have a glossy shine with has a soft texture. I couldn’t detect a scent and it feels nice on the lips. The packaging this spring is still the metal mirrored tube but this season’s color is black. I like it much better than the silver ones which tarnish easily.

The last items I wanted to feature include two of the new eyeshadow singles, Ombré Éclat in L’instant D’une Ondee 186 & L’instant D’une Soupir 187 ($36 each).

I’ve found the Guerlain single shadows to be hit and miss. Some are simply too sheer, but the ones that do have a good soft texture show up better. #186 is a cool dove-grey with very subtle shimmer. #187 is a high frost bronzey taupe.

Overall thoughts: This collection has the most beautiful packaging this season. My interest in Guerlain is growing as I start to explore their primers and foundations. Still the high price tag prevents me from putting this brand at the top of my list of things to check out. I personally have avoided the Guerlain counter (like the Cle de Peau counter) simply because I find the price points intimidating, but easy to justify with an eager sales associate there to help push you along. Still, the quality is excellent and formula/textures beautiful. The packaging is a true work of art down to the little details of the embossed powders and clever mirrored lipstick.

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