When I purchase makeup, I try to get items that just came out. New things. It's not that I have anything against old things and I do have staples in my collection that I repurchase even when newer items come out. It's just that I'm afraid to fall in love with an item, attempt to repurchase, only to find out that it's been discontinued. It drives me crazy not to be able to find it! But over and above being the latest release, what makes a feature even more urgent is when it's an outstanding value. Case in point, the Guerlain Terracotta (La Sélection de L'Été) Makeup Palette for Face and Eyes.
Guerlain makes top of the line bronzers but a compact can easily run you over $50. An eyeshadow quad, also in a compact, is now $60. When did this happen? I'm not so sure when prices went up again but that's the direction that they inevitably go. Never lower, just higher and higher. For $62, you can have your bronzer, in two shades, and four colors of eyeshadow. You get it in a mirrored compact with a bronzer applicator and one sponge-tipped eyeshadow applicator and a velvet pouch. The packaging is plastic but seems reasonably sturdy, isn't difficult to open or close and looks elegant enough to carry the Guerlain name.
Nordstrom started carrying this palette fairly recently although I'm led to believe that it has been out for a couple of years now in the Asian market. Duty-free hounds are bound to have come across it in the past. While it's definitely made for summer (hello, it's bronzer), I don't see why the color selection wouldn't work year-round.
The majority of the bronzer is on the light side, which works very well for the fair-skinned. There is, however, a small strip in a slightly darker shade, which makes this adaptable to more medium-skinned users or if you like something to sort of contour. I'm not big on contouring and there isn't such a huge difference in the shades but I won't complain about having the option to get things a little warmer. There's also a noticeable shimmer when you look at it in the pan in sunlight but this does not translate to anything ridiculous and shiny on the face.
|Bronzer swatches above left: dark strip, right: lighter section|
The eyeshadows? Winner! It's a versatile combo of gold, taupe, khaki and bronze. I use the colors to describe them loosely although the shades do not appear to be named. (Alternately, you can call them pale gold, rosy taupe beige, golden olive and shimmery warm brown.) The khaki is the real money-maker here and I wish I'd gotten a big square pan of that instead of the gold, which doesn't seem to be of the same quality as the rest of the colors. The gold doesn't adhere as well and has a little grit but the rest of the shades are stellar.
|L-R: bronze, taupe, khaki, gold|
Although I don't usually care to rate applicators (and I won't discuss the sponge-tip because I always remove those and almost never use them), I'd like to mention the bronzer brush that comes with this palette. It's useable! This is amazing to me since every Guerlain brush I've bought has been a total fail. Mostly to do with color-bleeding, foul odors and shedding. This surprisingly works and does not have any of those problems. But if you want to take it along, you'll have to pack it in the velvet pouch which unfortunately is a real dust-magnet. Anyway, you'll figure something out if you really want to use it. None of that takes away from the fact that this is a well-put together palette of practical colors that move day to night in any season for a fraction of what the brand's makeup usually costs. If I didn't have a whole filing cabinet's worth of makeup, I would buy another one, right now. Ebates is offering 14% cashback on purchases from Nordstrom.com only until Monday, May 20th. Link, buy, love. You're going to be happy.