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· Beauty Notes: Guerlain Kiss Kiss Essence de Gloss 421 Grenat

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Beauty Notes: Guerlain Kiss Kiss Essence de Gloss 421 Grenat
by Anne

Everyone is going ape over the shadow palettes from Guerlain's Fall 2010 collection. They are indeed beautiful, but they were not what seized my attention. I've tried their new lip gloss in-store (the stupidly-named Kiss Kiss Essence de Gloss) and I was blown away by how lovely and sophisticated—unusually for a gloss—it looked on me, not to mention the way it felt. Essence de Gloss has a light yet substantial texture that nestles on the lips and clings to them lovingly, like the best of lip balms. Indeed, the product is supposed to contain active anti-aging elements (hence the "essence" in the name, I believe) but I do not know how much good that will really do, for it is my firm belief that makeup and skincare gimmicks don't really mix... or at least not in the same product.

A light rose-petal scent is also present throughout—and by "light" I do not mean the scent is faint, for it is quite emphatically there even a long while after application, but that it has an airy floating quality to it that's quite cheering. Simply put, this lip gloss feels wonderful going on, and feels wonderful to wear too.

The color is lovely too, at least in the iteration that interested me the most. I have pale olive skin and dark hair and eyes, so this browned rose with mauve tones goes very well—it is similar to, though rosier and browner than, NARS Sin, which is the best blush on me—though I honestly believe this could flatter a wide range of skintones and colorings. For those whom it doesn't flatter, there are a range of other colors, all wonderfully complex (but, I will warn, on the warm side of neutral). There is 420 Vermillion, a rich red like its name that is not quite as pigmented as lipstick but adds that extra oomph when layered over red lipsticks, 460 Myrrhe, a golden nude with a composite sheen of several different shades of peach and copper, and 441 Tonka, a sheer shimmering toasted bronze (none of which I can wear, but I think would be lovely on the right people). All in all, I'd say that this is one of those rare products that serves both luxury and utilitarian purposes.

The greatest caveat: I very much dislike the packaging, it's way too much bling for me. The only thing that's really stopping me from buying this gloss (apart from the price tag, of course) is imagining how embarrassing it would be to take that case out in public. The strong scent may also be a deal-breaker for some, and from what I hear, the lasting power is not excellent... though that may be only to be expected from a texture so light and smooth.

A brief word about the collection: since I heard that Guerlain started reformulating their classic perfumes—arguably the greatest source of their status as a legend—into new compositions of lesser complexity, I did not have great faith in the brand... or, to be more precise, LVMH, the large company that now owns the Guerlain name (and they still have yet to win my approval on that count). Which is why this fall's collection has honestly surprised me with its immense shelf appeal potential which is sure to last beyond the first euphoria of purchase, excellent products as they are. What's more, Guerlain has done its customers an extra kindness and made these products permanent additions to their line. The always-beautiful face of Natalia Vodianova fronts this collection, as it has for years, but in my view, her richly sensual yet sophisticated look is reflected very well in the elegantly-calibrated products themselves.

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8/07/2010 [1]

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