Guerlain has done it again! The Spring 2011 Sur mes Levres Collection is irresistible. Last week, I shopped by phone, enabled by my friend and super sales associate Kathy Shoreman at Neiman Marcus. She sent me display photos using her iPhone, and I selected - a lot - from the collection. This week, as sunlight allows, I'll be taking photos to show you why I think the new colors are irresistible.
I shouldn't have worried that I wouldn't be able to shop while recovering from surgery (she says with a big grin). See Kathy's display photo at right. It was almost as good as being at the store! Kathy even sent gloss swatch photos.
Guerlain found a winning design last fall with its Écrin 6 Couleurs Eyeshadow Palettes, and the company created another gorgeous array of coordinating colors with the limited-edition Rue de Rivoli ($84.00) for spring. One case and six colors - the perfect equation to adapt easily to the complexion and eyes of each woman, with no risk of a shade coordination error. Tone-on-tone - natural, couture, or smoky - the results you can achieve with this palette are breathtaking, no matter what pairings you select.
The color in the center is said to be intensely fuchsia. I think I would describe it as a rich rose. The other shadows play up the softness of nude, delicate gold, and pearly ivory to highlight the eyes and make them sparkle. The liner (shown at right in the palette) provides a deep plum-toned brown to trace the eyes in a soft way for spring. The matte, iridescent, and satiny textures of the shadows guarantee you many options for combining and layering to customize your look.
I had only one opportunity to grab a swatch photo of the palette over the weekend, and that photo turned out to be useless. The colors are sheer and subtle, and even though I applied a primer to my arm, I had a hard time applying enough color to make the swatches contrast with my pale skin. I had no time for a re-do over the weekend. It's quite a production to swatch, get outside with my walker, and balance the camera and myself to take a picture (or seven). So I held this post until I could try again this morning. Despite the overcast, pre-snow sky, I got a "usable" photo - not great, but the swatches below do provide an adequate representation of the colors.
I swatched using a sponge-tipped applicator, starting at the upper left of the palette with the light mocha shade. You can see at the top of my arm that it's a medium brown when applied heavily. The next shade, moving clockwise in the palette, is a matte pink. It's slightly darker than my skin tone and should provide a subtle contour anywhere it's used. The shimmering gold and white shades are stunning - either used as highlighters or a base for other colors as you layer a "look." If you like to wear a highlighter on the inner corners of your lids, these shades will work perfectly. The rose shade in the center is an enigma for those like me who tend to look like albino bunnies with rose on our eyes, but it will be stunning on my chocolate-skinned friends. I played with it as a blush and found the color to be delightful on my cheeks. It's not my personal best on my eyelids. On my arm, the bottom swatch is the liner shade, shown at the far right in the palette. You can see that the overall effect is brown, but there's a hint of lavender/plum/heather to it that allows it to coordinate beautifully with the soft looks you can create with the palette. When applied with a light hand, it can be used as a contouring shade, which allows it to do double duty - nice!
The first thing you notice about each Guerlain Écrin 6 Couleurs Eyeshadow Palette is its weight. The palettes are heavy - luxurious. Before you even open one, you get a sense that there is something very special in your hand. The silver case, the lacy cut-outs, the bee etched into the design - all of the compact's features contribute to its glamour.
Then you open the palette, and the wow factor magnifies. When you open the compact, you see the double-ended brush and a protective covering that is carefully designed to flip out to the right. The black cover protects the eye shadows from any damage. Only after you flip up the cover, do you glimpse the eye shadows and liner - color-coordinated beauties. Guerlain calls them "tailored harmonies." Opening one for the first time is like discovering a secret. Even after experiencing the fall introductions, I was smitten again when I opened Rue de Rivoli. I felt like I had spoken the magic word, earning me entry into a special place.
Over the next few days, I'll share with you the other pieces of this gorgeous collection I now call "mine." I think the shades and look are perfect for spring, a season defined by a reawakening of fresh, clean, and tender colors after a grey, cold winter. The charm is undeniable.
You can find the collection at Neiman Marcus, Saks, Nordstrom, Bloomingdale's, and anywhere you normally purchase Guerlain.
Photo at top courtesy of Nordstrom; photo of display courtesy of Kathy Shoreman