Guerlain came out with the new Parure de Lumière Foundation and as a believer in the Guerlain glow, I thought that it was definitely worth a try. As I've tried a few foundation products from Guerlain before, I used 02 Beige Claire as a reference point when I sat down with an associate to find me my Parure de Lumière shade. We put it on and determined that it was probably a bit too light for me. I ended up purchasing 03 Beige Naturel but when I came home, I realized that the associate had mistakenly given me a bottle of 31 Ambre Pâle.
This turned out to be a fortuitous mistake and I almost believed that the cosmic forces had this coming for me. See, I had been interested in seeing Guerlain come out with more yellow-toned foundations as opposed to the pink-toned Rose line and the neutral Beige shades. It seems the Ambre line was exactly that. The only problem was that in the US, they only released the lightest shade 31 Ambre Pâle, which is too ridiculously light for me.
The associate was highly apologetic and readied the replacement bottle for me immediately but I had a dram of the 03 Beige Naturel and in retrospect, I wasn't completely convinced that it was the best shade for me. Wanting to lighten it up a little and at the same time move it closer to yellow from beige, I decided to combine the two shades and found a much better match. I use three pumps of 03 Beige Naturel and one pump of 31 Ambre Pâle to come up with my own shade. If I had access to shade 32 Ambre Claire, I suspect that I wouldn't have needed to combine shades. But that's a theory, for now.
|3 parts 03 Beige Naturel, 1 part 31 Ambre Pâle|
Parure de Lumière seems to give me moderate to heavy coverage. I had been hoping for something more luminous but I feel that whenever I put it on, I am really quite made up. It does have that glow about it. Not shiny or greasy-looking but dewy. It doesn't look dry, doesn't feel dry and it's not sticky. Really, it's the look I'm going for when I mix some luminizer with my Chanel Perfection Lumière. Guerlain got it down and in a formula that seems to agree with my skin. I try not to put powder on it because I like the finish. I could get away without powdering for about 2 hours and then I would need to lightly touch up at least the T-zone.
Like most foundations, you'd need well-primed skin for this to go on seamlessly. I start with a layer of moisturizer and then primer. I find that the MUFE HD Primer works well with this foundation. Parure de Lumière has SPF 25, which for everyday purposes makes me feel ok about not putting on a separate sunscreen. It dries fairly quickly so you must blend it in well as soon as you can. It stays on the entire day, at least in the cool fall weather. I'm not so sure how this will hold up in humidity but I think it might be too heavy for summer anyway and I'd want higher SPF.
While this works very well for me, I think what sets it back is the lack of proper shade options. I'm not difficult to match and yet I have to mix two shades to get a color I like. Add that it isn't exactly cheap ($58 a bottle), that combination is enough to make you think twice about trying it. I don't know how long it will take me to consume 2 fluid ounces but given that I'm not using them equally, I would run out of 03 Beige Naturel three times faster than I would 31 Ambre Pâle. Note that the shelf life of this product, once opened, is only 9 months.
Guerlain products are typically highly fragranced and Parure de Lumière is no exception. I don't think that it lingers and it doesn't bother me but it is worth noting. I like it better than all the Guerlain foundations that I've tried in the past. In the grand hierarchy of my current foundations, I'd say that I like this about as much as I like the original Burberry foundation. I like it better than Chanel Perfection Lumiere (comparable because of coverage) for those days when I need to look positively done up. It seems to photograph quite nicely and I'm looking forward to having it on for the annual family portrait. For everyday, I think Chanel Vitalumière Aqua is still my foundation of choice (lighter and less perceptible) unless I opt for Tinted Moisturizer, in which case I'm with Laura Mercier. Speaking of which, I've had an opportunity to test the new Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturizer Crème Compact SPF 20. Look out for my review of that soon.