"The most beautiful makeup for a woman is passion, but cosmetics are easier to buy."
                                                                                              —Yves Saint Laurent

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

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Beauty Notes: Purple Passion
by Dain

After Lisa Eldridge, I made my own Estée Lauder by Tom Pecheux haul:

In spite of my eyeshadow habit, it takes an extraordinary palette to justify a purchase (such as the Guerlain sextet 2, Place Vendôme, a lemming courtesy of Gaia at The Non-Blonde), but I was determined to possess one of the new eyeshadows. Most luxury brands have recognized consumer expectations, so the new singles are silky light in texture, yet deposit pigment at full intensity. But these are special: you could apply these shadows with fingers, sponge tips, or crappy brushes, and the finish looks professional, every single time. In that user-friendly spirit, every single shade is meticulously calibrated for maximum appeal (they're extremely useful or extremely pretty), but that leaves me with a quandary, I don't need any of these colors, because I own them already. I was attracted to Glacial Blue, but went with the inanely titled Purple Passion, a cool vibrant violet shimmer, because it is a shade new to my stash. While I was at it, I picked up the Pure Color Gloss Stick in Orchid Dream, a glossy-finish, semi-sheer fuschia with a purple-blue sheen. I have plenty of reds, but this bright pink has an equal consonance with bright purple eyes. I'm not so ecstatic about the lipcolor's formula, it can go on a little unevenly if you try to build up intensity, but the color is phenomenal.

In Korea, you receive samples with every purchase. I received Advanced Night Repair Synchronized Recovery Complex, Advanced Night Repair Eye Synchronized Recovery Complex, Hydrationist Maximum Moisture Lotion, and Double Wear Zero-Smudge Lengthening Mascara.

Purple Passion is saturated throughout with shimmer pigments, from subtle to sparkle, so it washes out under the flash. Check out my beige/navy French manicure. ; )

Other than Purple Passion and Orchid Dream, there isn't much on my face. I didn't even bother to do my brows, so there they are in all their naked, patchy glory. There's some of Laura Mercier's undereye concealer, Chanel Poudre Universelle to diminish shine, and black mascara, but that is the intensity you achieve without primer or layering a creamy pencil underneath. My coloring absorbs the vibrancy of most pigments (the bright pink lipcolor essentially registers as a tinted lip balm on me), so keep in mind that they will be harsh on most people, and you will want softer colors or a lighter hand to recreate this delicacy.

My eye shape is very different from Lisa Eldridge's, so I've gone with a time-tested formula on my tiny lidspace, a thick, hazy smudge on the upper lashline, and just a faint trace on the lower. Contouring looks ridiculous on me, as does any kind of elaborate paint-by-number eye scheme, but this really flatters the almond shape. I packed on pigment with Laura Mercier Smoky Eye Liner, and blended out the edges with Shu Uemura 5R.

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8/28/2010 [3]

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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