I often wonder what the inspiration is behind an entire seasonal collection, but after reading what inspired the Guerlain Holiday 2011 Collection I became intrigued…wouldn’t you be after this story?
During the 1920’s and 1930’s, pioneers in aviation accomplished unimaginable feats and these brave pilots became instant, worldwide heroes. It was during this revolutionary period, in 1933, that Jacques Guerlain composed the legendary perfume Vol de Nuit, meaning “Night Flight,” as a tribute to the most famous women aviators of his time. Named for the second book written by his close friend Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, Guerlain’s creation was a bold oriental fragrance that served as ode to all fearless women. Comprised of woody, vanilla and powdery iris notes, Vol de Nuit was for the woman who laughs in the face of fear, for whom nothing is impossible. For Guerlain’s Holiday 2011 make-up collection Belle de Nuit, Creative Director Oliver Échaudemaison takes his inspiration from this legendary fragrance. Evoking the changing shades of the night sky, he created daring tones that are both dark and dramatic with mesmerizing iridescent accents. With lacquered and blue-green details, the products are encased within boxes that reveal the blue and black zebra motif found on the original Vol de Nuit box design. Belle de Nuit is a sophisticated and enchanting limited edition collection that is as fleeting as nightfall.
Let’s take a look at these opulent pieces that will likely inspire some beautiful holiday party looks…
Les Ombres de Nuit 4-Colour Palette
Opening a Guerlain product almost feels like you’re unwrapping a present, and this eyeshadow quad definitely embodies that. Out of the box, you’ll find a black velvet pouch which contains a significant gold compact. Inside, there are four pans of eyeshadow; three that are iridescent/pearlescent, one that is matte. For iridescent/pearlescent—a silvery sky grey, an intense dark sapphire blue, and a pale teal with muted grey undertones. These are paired nicely with a matte black that can be used as a liner—or for those who like to be a little more daring—try wearing a little in the crease, then placing one of the other shades over it for an intense effect. These pigments are not weak by any stretch of the imagination, and they really last on the skin. The textures are nice and velvety, and they don’t seem to break up when you press an applicator or brush into them—often that leads to fallout. I had a little bit of fallout with the sapphire shade, but I was really laying it on—so in that case, I don’t think you’ll experience much of a problem. $59
At first sight, this darker plum hue might seem a little intimidating, but fear not! This limited-edition black-red opens by flicking down the Guerlain “G”, which will reveal the lipstick itself. When it’s time to close, you merely flick the “G” up to cover and protect the lipstick. This collection actually has two limited-edition colors for holiday, but I’ve only had the chance to see this one; #170 Nuit d’Amour, a dark plum with a hint of shimmer. (Also available, #169 Flirt d’un Jour—a luminous soft pink.) The shade I tried wore very well, and for several hours. Once the shine wore off, it left behind a beautiful plum stain which then lasted another three hours. I almost would wear this just to blot it after applying to reveal the matte plum stain—because it was so gorgeous. $35 each
Parure de Nuit Pressed Powder & Blush
This was the piece that caught my eye the most! Parure de Nuit is more of a facial luminizer than a blush, but can function as both. At first I thought the peachy-pink, white, and teal was an overspray—but despite testing this a lot (and quite vigorously too), the shades still remain. Should you want more color, then concentrate your brush in the center on the diagonal, or just lightly swirl your brush over the entire palette. You will likely not get much color from this either way, but it does deposit a soft, light-diffusing peachy-pink that’s more like a kiss than a punch. The design is beautiful and reminds me of peacock feathers, and also comes with a teal goat hair brush which you’ll find in a compartment under the compact itself. This is a pretty piece in a black lacquer case, and I would use this product primarily for contour and highlighting. (slightly violet scented) $67
Météorites Perles de Nuit
If you’ve never owned Météorites, you don’t know what you’re missing! Météorites Perles de Nuit is a small, midnight blue canister of pearls that literally is like having a professional lighting crew follow you around. There are five shades within Météorites; pink pearls to capture light, white to illuminate the complexion, gold to reflect light, orange to boost radiance and silver to add shimmer without whitening the skin. You keep the pearls in the container, swirl a facial brush within them, and then lightly deposit the luminance on your skin. In the swatch, I really applied it rather densely so you could see the softness of the shimmer, as it won’t leave particles of glitter all over your face. If you want people to tell you that your skin is radiant, this would be the product to use. You can apply this on bare skin, or as a light finishing powder for an incredible, light-boosting effect. If you could only take home one product from this collection, I recommend this! (slightly violet scented) $56
Vol de Nuit Perfumed Shimmer Powder for Face & Body
This piece was the inspiration for the entire collection, as Vol de Nuit means “Night Flight” for which Belle de Nuit was born. As you press the applicator, air is dispersed that contains a powdery, shimmering perfume. As you can see in the swatch above, it has a blush tone to it when in concentrated form, but is best worn with just a few short mists for a sheer, twinkling look. It’s almost as if stars are dancing on your skin! It’s very fragrant—somewhat woodsy with vanilla, and very feminine. For holiday, I would recommend maybe misting this lightly into your hair, or on your chest, neck, and decollete when wearing a dress, for a skin-flattering look and a hint of glamorous fragrance. $87
Availability: Guerlain’s Holiday Colour collection is available beginning October 2011 at select locations of Saks Fifth Avenue, Nordstrom, Neiman Marcus, Sephora, Bloomingdales and Bergdorf Goodman.