Thursday, September 12, 2013

Guerlain Écrin 4 Couleurs 06 Les Fumés Review and Swatches

I bought this from Tracy during her blog sale for $44 including shipping, which is more than 25% off the full price. It's still rather more than I would normally spend, but I wanted something compact and pretty for the conference. (Ironically, it was so hot that I only did my eye makeup one day out of the 4, but hey, best to be prepared?) Now that I have it, I see myself getting a lot of use out of it for school––between my new hair and the classy eyes this palette creates, I'm gonna get mad respect from my students.
Which is clearly warranted.
The packaging is gold, which is not my favorite, but this is thankfully not as yellow as some brands so its less garish.
It is prone to scratches, though.
There's a decently sized mirror on the inside, and it came with a crummy foam applicator. I'm sorry, but if you're charging $60 for an eyeshadow palette, just leave that out––it only brings you down. That quibble aside, the packaging is compact and I like that it's magnetic, because it makes closing it just so much fun.
in shade
in sun
Les Fumés means 'the smokes', which is a lovely name and quite accurate, as the colors are all somewhat hazy,
In the order described below from bottom left to top right, in sun (left) and shade (right); all
are 2 swipes over primer except the 3rd shade, which is a single swipe

–The left shade is a grey-brown with subtle pink and gold shimmers; these are gorgeous in the pan, but pretty much disappear upon application. It's a really nice shade to wear in the outer corner for a smoky eye, as it's not too harsh.
–The top shadow is a matte mauve-nude-taupe. I find this to be perfect for defining my crease, and it fortunately does not pull too pink on me (ie, no dreaded pink eye).
–The right shade is the lone shimmer, a smooth and beautiful grey-taupe. It's gorgeous. Ugh. I love this as a lid shade.
–The bottom shadow is a dark cool matte brown. I use it as a liner and to add more depth to my outer crease if I'm going for a legitimately smoky eye. This shade is the least pigmented and driest of the 4, but it works admirably as a liner, and the drier texture doesn't mean it's not still blendable.

This palette is my first experience with Guerlain shadows, and I agree with the other reviews with regards to their texture: it's smooth and finely-milled, but somewhat dry and firm. I actually really like it, as it allows for a softer application than other, more buttery formulas (like theBalm or Urban Decay). I find it easier to build up than blend out, and with my crappy vision, having something buildable is really nice. There's also no fallout, since there's never any excess product! If you want really rich colors, you can apply them over a sticky base, but I personally prefer the softer look. I find they last all day over primer, which I always use, and show little to no fading after 12 hours.
Left shade in outer third, top shade in crease, right shade on lid,
bottom shade on my lower lashline
Same eyes as above; hopefully you can see how it defines in
a very pretty, light way
If you like bold, bright eyeshadows, this palette has no place in your home. But if you're looking for a quality neutral-but-not-nude palette, Les Fumés is an excellent choice. (Besides the price, I mean.) I'm not sure how it would fare on different skintones from mine in either depth or undertone; it might become muddy or indistinguishable on those blessed with more melanin, so I would recommend swatching in person if you're not sure.

$60 for 0.24 oz, available from Sephora, Nordstrom, etc.

Quality: 9.25
Effectiveness: 5
Ease of Use: 5
Senses: 5
Pigmentation: 4.5
Duration: 5
Consistency: 4.75
Price: 1
Value: 3.5 (each shadow is 0.06 oz, slightly larger than the average single shadow [ie MAC/UD, 0.05 oz], so if you love all the shades, it's cheaper than buying individuals from less-luxury brands)
Packaging: +0.25 (I'm a sucker for anything with magnets)
Grade: B

What do you think of Les Fumés? Have you tried any Guerlain eyeshadows? 
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