Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Guerlain Ecrin 4 Couleurs in Les Cuirs from Mirror Mirror Collection for Fall 2011

Guerlain has introduced nine Ecrin 4 Couleurs eye shadow palettes ($59) with its Mirror Mirror Collection for Fall 2011. This morning, I offered a quick peek at Les Verts and Les Gris. We will return to them. As I explained, I wasn't happy with my swatch photos of those gorgeous palettes.

I wanted to show you Les Cuirs (07) today too, the palette designed for me. OK, just kidding. I would love to think it was made just for me, but Les Cuirs (the leathers in English) will appeal to everyone who loves neutral eye shadows.

Each palette offers shadow tones in four finishes, all of which are creamy powders that apply evenly with ease.
  • Matte, with an ultra-soft finish
  • Iridescent, with a micro-pearl look
  • Velvet Satin, for a soft, delicate, velvety finish
  • Alcatar’s Eyes, with a soft "metallic" finish
Here's a photo of the display at Neiman Marcus. Les Cuirs is pictured third from the top on the right side of the display. If you love brown-toned shades, your eyes will go right to it.

I took swatch photos in full sun. Because I wasn't happy with the photos I took of Les Verts and Les Gris, I gave my arm a foundation this afternoon. I applied a teeny tiny bit of Luminous Silk Foundation to my arm to provide the shadows with a "primer" so that they would adhere nicely for my photos. It made all the difference - either that or the sun's angle. I applied each shade with a sponge-tipped applicator. The shade on the left side of the palette is shown at the top of my arm. I swatched clockwise, ending with the shade at the bottom of the palette shown above.

The medium brown at the top is the metallic shade. In Les Cuirs, I'd call it shimmering. Metallic seems like such an over-the-top descriptor, and it's not outré. It's simply gorgeous. The creamy shade at the top of the palette is shown below. It's the matte base color that coordinates beautifully with the other hues.

To my eye, there's only a slight difference in the look of the Iridescent and Velvet Satin shades. Both offer a very subtle shimmer. One is a shade I call "tan" because that's how it looks on my skin. Others might call it a light camel. On those with darker skin, the shade will have a different effect. I'm sure. The shade shown at the bottom of my arm is a drop-dead stunning taupe. Pull out your wallets, taupe lovers!

Every one of the shades offers Guerlain's extraordinary micro-fine powder texture that applies and adheres like a dream come true. Use a brush to apply the shades in the palette, and you will be able to build color easily. You can go light and natural for a day look or layer the color of the two darker shades for a look that will take you into night (but without major drama, if you wish). At first glance, you might think the shades are more of the same: nudes we know so well. Each has its own unique hue and quality, though. You must play with Les Cuirs to appreciate it fully.

You can play now! The collection has arrived at Neiman Marcus, where I purchased my palettes. That means it will be at all Guerlain counters very soon, if it's not already.

I'm having fun with my new palettes. So many colors, so many looks! They make me feel pampered. How will I resist buying three more?

Photos by Best Things in Beauty


Unknown said...

Do you think there is an issue with the pigmentation of these palettes that caused your poor swatches? The shades certainly look gorgeous but I like high pigmentation!

Charlestongirl said...

PP, the "swatches" (or shadows) weren't what I would call poor. My photos of Les Verts and Les Gris didn't please me. There wasn't enough light when I took them, and I rushed too much because of today's schedule.

Some of the paletttes/shades, particularly in Les Gris, are highly pigmented. If you look at Amy's Guerlain photos of the nine palettes, you will see that they vary in intensity from light palettes to rich ones. I'd call Les Cuirs one of the light ones. There are gorgeous greys - so many I couldn't decide - and they offer varying intensities and combos.

Unknown said...


Eileen said...

I can hardly wait to give these a test drive, but wait I must. They won't be on counter here for another two weeks :-( I loved the "Six Couleurs" palettes which were introduced last year and ultimately ended up with four of them. If these new palettes are anything like those beauties, there is sure to be something to please everyone. There is a teal palette that appears to be a deeper version of Rue de Sevres that I find particularly alluring and actually I think Les Cuirs is very attractive and suitable for the woman who wants warm autumn leaf shades but still wants to keep the over all look light. If the promo picture is any indication, I think we'll all find at least one "precious" to take home.

Charlestongirl said...

Eileen, the one that looks teal in the advance publicity is actually Les Gris. The colors in those early photos are so deceiving. It's a gorgeous palette, and the teal in the one shade did not show up well in the morning's photos. That's why I plan to try again tomorrow - to capture it's gorgeousness.

Les Cuirs is very pretty on me. Someone with dark skin (not you) may find it too light. We'll see as the reactions come in.

There are several I think you are going to adore. Make sure to see 04 Les Bois de Rose! Even with the one rich pink shade, I was VERY tempted.

Lucy said...

I cannot wait to see these in person based on your swatches, Charlestongirl! My skin is similar to yours so these give me a pretty good idea of what to expect. :)

Charlestongirl said...

Lucy, with a little weather luck tomorrow morning, I should be able to get better swatch photos of Les Verts and Les Gris. Going to try!

Eileen said...

Thanks for the recommendation. You know when it comes to pinks or oranges, I can't get enough :-) Rue de Passy was one of my go-to palettes last fall/winter so I'll definitely have to take a look at Les Bois de Rose. I'm really liking Les Cuirs, though, and will want to try that one as well. It looks like it would make a soft, warm, elegant eye the color of autumn leaves. It reminds me of the line from the song Windmills of Your Mind (Thomas Crown Affair, 1968) "When you knew that it was over were you suddenly aware that the autumn leaves were turning to the color of her hair." When I saw your swatches, that bit of lyric popped into my mind along with the image of Faye Dunaway's pale blond beauty. Isn't it funny how certain pictures get catalogued in our brains, ready to be pulled out at a moments notice?

Charlestongirl said...

Wow, Eileen, that is one of my all-time favorite movies. I'll bet I've seen it eight times. What a great memory to trigger!

The music was great, along with Dunaway and McQueen, the story, the drama - the whole package! I wonder if the "kids" realize the 1999 version was a remake.

Nina said...

I've played with all nine but ended up with Les Verts only. I found the quality of these to be better than the 6 Couleurs and Terre Indigo. No matter what the finish is - matte, shimmer or sparkle, the pigmentation is wonderful. They all are so gorgeous! I would get ALL of them if I didn't have so many similar colors already...

Charlestongirl said...

Hi Nina,

There is a point in makeup "collecting," when few palettes offer entirely new shades or combinations. What I've seen is continuous improvement in formulations. My favorites from a few years ago now seem "primitive." That's a good thing, right?

Eileen said...

You've raised an excellent point, Charlestongirl, and that is the evolution in formulations. Sometimes I'll hang on to an old favorite past it's prime but just as a color reference until I come across something similar in a new formulation. Once I've found it, though, I toss the oldie out without a single moment of regret. It's those differences in texture, finish, nuance, etc. that keep our look fresh and modern. Also, sometimes it is the change in formulation that makes a color more accessible. Then, too, sometimes we decide that "old faithful" just no longer works the same kind of magic that it used to do and that it's time to move on.

I've never understood the woman who hoards a dozen of an out-dated item or keeps buying the same old thing ad naseum when there are newer and better similar things from which to choose and at all different price points to boot. Woo-hoo! I love being a girl :-)

lovethescents said...

Hmmmmm, I don't know why I'm hesitating here. The colours look gorgeous on you, but the few times I've tried Guerlain powder shadows (not those gorgeous creams you all taught me to use :-) ), they've creased on me. I don't use a primer, but I do use concealer. Guerlain powder eyeshadows love my creases! Eeek!

Charlestongirl said...


Do you have a counter nearby? Go play if you do.

Loyd Cassler, one of the best MUAs I let touch me, uses concealer as a primer. I find that works well for certain skin types (like mine), but not others. Anyone whose lids get oily may find a concealer too creamy. In that case, a primer specifically for eye shadow is the best bet. Some are creamier than others. One that seems to work for all skin types is the NARS one.

Vesna said...

I'm really looking forward seeing these beauties in person! I like 3 palettes, I wonder how they perform :)

Charlestongirl said...

Hi Vesna, they have a lovely texture and finish. Hope you like them!