I had heard many good things about Guerlain's Parure Gold Foundation and when I finally decided to purchase myself a bottle, I expected a lot. I first attempted to get a sample at the only Guerlain counter at the mall that carried it but I think that they ran out of the tester for my shade and I was given Lingerie de Peau instead. I wasn't sold on the formula of Lingerie de Peau so I went and ordered Parure Gold.
This is going to be a review for Parure Gold so I'm not going to go into much detail about my brief experience with Lingerie de Peau. However, the shade selected for me was the same on both foundations, 02 Beige Clair, which seems to be the lightest shade offering. First things first, this is not by any means an exact match. If I had to compare it to another brand, I'd say the shade feels most similar to MAC NW25, which I find a smidge dark and too pink. However, applied sparingly with a damp foundation brush or sponge, it dries to an acceptable shade match.
I must emphasize the word sparingly. For one, this is no cheap foundation. At $79 an ounce, you'd probably want the bottle to last forever. But really, it's about the coverage. I find this more of a medium/heavy as far as coverage goes. With one small pump, I get more than enough product to apply to both face and neck.
I tried applying it a few different ways. I used a few different foundation brushes (Armani, Chanel, Sephora Airbush Foundation Brush), attempted different methods of brushing it on. I tried a damp wedge sponge. In the end I actually think the Sephora Airbrush did the best job (mine is included in the set reviewed here). Buffing it in works well. There is no need to go in with a second coat as it will be too much. It dries to a flawless, semi-matte finish. This looks great in pictures, barring the slightly off color. However, I find that within minutes, I sense a dryness to my face. It almost feels as if the foundation is sucking off all of the moisture that I have painstakingly layered on (serum, moisturizer, sunscreen, primer). I tried it with less layers, more layers, with setting powder, no setting powder... in the end, I felt that it was simply drying me out.
Wearing it for a couple of weeks, I also felt that it was probably too heavy for my skin. It takes a lot more effort to remove the product at the end of the day. I try to remove what I can before I jump into the shower with my Clarisonic. With my favorite cleanser (see here) and the Clarisonic, every bit is washed off but that hasn't prevented me from breaking out. It wasn't an all out allergic reaction but since I started using it, I never had one period where I didn't have a zit. After day 3, there was one. After day 5, there were 3. I stopped using it and they cleared up. I used it again and they showed up. Product mismatch confirmed.
That was my experience with Parure Gold. I want to emphasize that it looks great when on and my issues with it are related to how my skin seems to react to it with continued use. Parure Gold does have certain ingredients that are purportedly beneficial to the skin in the long term. Gold radiance pigment, myrrh oil, peptides, honestly, it sounds heavenly. But one of them simply didn't agree with me :(
p.s. Parure Gold is highly scented, with the signature Guerlain cosmetics scent. I think it smells nice but this could potentially bother some, as it does my husband. Just in case you were wondering.