One of my most anticipated Christmas collection purchases this year, is the Guerlain Liu Calligraphy palette for eyes and lips. Now, I’m not the most tolerant person when it comes to having a mixed medium palette, because I actually detest having powders and creams mix together, as is wont to happen. You know how it is when bits of powder shadow fall into the cream lipstick? It all looks so messy and awful after a while. Also, palettes only look pretty when they’re pristine and new. When they are used, they don’t ever look as good anymore, sadly.
So uh… yeah so many reasons not to get it, and only one to – I really really liked how it looked! Gah! :P Sometimes, you just have to give in to that temptation
I had read lots of good reviews but also some that said the shadows were harder and drier than the usual lovely texture in the quads. I was also a little worried about one of the shades, which is a warm bronze. I rarely wear bronze shadow well. It usually makes me look tired.
Still, the evidence is that the Liu palette came home with me in its lovely luxe velveteen pouch trimmed with red, nestled in its box lined in red. I have one comment about the packaging. I wish Guerlain had taken a little more care with their pouch, and trimmed it with a red satin instead of just red thread. They did a lovely job with the pouch of their Blush G Serie Noir which was trimmed with lovely fuchsia satin. I wish they’d taken better care with Liu.
Packaging aside, the palette is a lovely one. Did you give in to this temptation too?
The palette itself is quite large yet sturdy. The black compact case is very smooth with a glossy black finish to the plastic that makes me think of lacquerware. The packaging is very similar to that of their Blush G Serie Noir, which is why I found it so familiar.
One more comment about the packaging. The lid flips up without a catch, which is great, but opening it can be a bit difficult. If you notice that lip on the lower part of the case, its NOT a catch, nor a lip for you to flip the cover open. It didn’t make sense to me either. You have to lift the lid off from the sides but I found a different use for the lip, which is to hold the base of the palette when you open the lid. Yeah, little things but one has to look at the details when its something this pricey!
Oh and yes, if you are wondering, my palette here has been used a few times Its my new policy of not necessarily featuring brand new items on my blog because I can never be sure when I have the time to take photographs, and I want to play with my new goodies NOW! But you may notice that although the shadows have been touched, there’s hardly any signs, is there? I’d already used this palette for almost a week by this time, so yeah, I was pretty surprised too at how “hard” the shadows were, yet how well the colour is picked up by fingers or brushes, and how well they translate onto skin.
It may also surprise you to know that there is little to no shadow fall out, so I did not have a problem with product migration between the powder and cream. It would be nice of course, if Guerlain employed the trick Dior has been using in their palettes, by including a little flap to cover the cream products, but in some ways, it would detract from the beauty of this Liu palette. The shadow colours look a little normal and its the inclusion of the 2 brilliant red lipstick colours that truly make this palette the beauty that it is. In fact, its the reds that caught my eye first (naturally! ) That sort of visual impact would be lost if the cream colours were covered up.
So what can you expect to get in this Liu palette? 4 very good textured, quite universally flattering powder eyeshadows and 2 brilliant creamy lip colours. Here are the swatches.
Descriptions below are my own and for eyeshadows are from top to bottom of palette and for lipsticks, from left to right
- Shadow 1 – Shimmer cream-gold
- Shadow 2 – Shimmer warm bronze gold
- Shadow 3 – Shimmer cool light taupe
- Shadow 4 – Matte charcoal black
- Lip 1 – Cool creamy matte red
- Lip 2 – Warm creamy matte red
Of the 4 shadows, only the black shade does not swatch as smoothly as the rest. I needed 2 layers of that, while the rest are done with just 1 swipe of colour. If you use a brush however, there is absolutely no trouble picking up colour at all. It is in fact, quite pigmented when you use a brush. I was happy to realise that because it was the only colour I was a little concerned about.
The red lipsticks surprised me a little as well, because in the palette, they don’t look very different, but when applied, they appear distinctly warm and cool against my skintone. Lucky for me, both colours are ones I work well with and I wish I knew if they were available separately because I love them! I believe they may be the Rouge G formula, which is creamy and very pigmented yet it is a bit matte on lips with no shimmer at all.
The eyeshadows feel a little hard to the touch and not quite as silky as their regular quads but they are beautiful on skin. The shimmer is just right, without being overdone and it just adds a lovely sheen to the lids. I use a brush, and it is absolutely no trouble to pick up colour and apply on skin. They are pigmented enough. The best part, as I have noted, is there is little to no fall out when I use a brush so I don’t have a problem with the shadows mixing up with the cream lip colours.
I did 2 quick looks for work using the Liu palette just to show you how lovely and versatile it is, and to show how the 2 lip colours work against my skin.
This was a very simple one with just the black to define eyes and the bronze shade. I paired it with the warmer red lipstick which is gorgeous, gorgeous!
Close up of the eye and lips, just to give you an idea of how it looks. The shimmer on the lid is not over done and I was very pleasantly surprised to find that the bronze colour was quite lovely on its own and blends in beautifully with the black shadowed for definition. On lips, the warm red is quite noticeably warm with slight orange tones. I used a lip brush and applied just 1 layer. If you want more intensity, layer on the colour. It hardly budges for hours!
If you have been following the blog, you may remember this look from my post on the Chanel Notorious Sculpting powder. I piled on more colours on the eyes, with the black to line and shade, the taupe all over the lid, and the bronze to warm up the outer part of the lid. The creamy gold was used to tie in the colours and blend. With this one, I paired it with the cooler toned red lipstick in the palette.
Slightly more intense colours on the eyes, yet not over done, especially the shimmer. The lip colour is noticeably cooler with quite obvious blue tones and on my lips, takes on an almost fuchsia-red tone. Again, this was just 1 layer of colour on the lips which just tells you how pigmented it is. If you are afraid of something this red, it is very easy to just dab on the colour then spread it out so it looks just like a lipstain. The colour really lasts on lips, which reminds me a lot of the staying powder of their Rouge G L’Extrait liquid lipsticks. Excellent stuff!
In a nutshell
The Guerlain Liu Calligraphy Eye and Lip palette is a limited edition palette for the Christmas 2012 collection. The palette holds 4 powder eyeshadows, 2 creamy lipsticks and 2 applicators. The eyeshadows are a little hard to the touch, but a brush picks up colours very well and they are pigmented enough so the colour translates well onto lids. The shimmer is not too much, and imparts a lovely sheen of colour on the lids. It also stays on my lids well without a primer, but I do not have oily lids in general. The lip colours are 2 gorgeous gorgeous creamy red lipsticks. One has a noticeably warm tone which on my lids have an orange undertone, while the other is noticeably cool with a blue tone. The texture is lovely and they are very pigmented. They also last well on my lips for hours. Very impressive. It was quite clever to include both these tones because they complement the eye colours beautifully. With such strong lip shades, you want eye colours that are neutral and not too easy to overdo. Guerlain got it right in this Liu Calligraphy palette.
Pros: Powder eyeshadows adhere well to skin without looking overdone and stays on well, Eyeshadow colours are easy to pick up with a brush and blends well, Lip colours are very pigmented and are very pretty layered on or as a stain, Lip colours have very good lasting power and are not drying, Palette is compact and easy to tote about, Powder eyeshadow has little to no fall out so there is little to no cross-contamination
Cons: Pricey, Limited Edition
Who will like this: Anyone who likes a good high quality palette for eyeshadow and lip products, Anyone who is a fan of Guerlain makeup
Do you need this? Of course not. Its far too pricey for me to tell you to run out and get it, lets be practical eh? But if its within your budget and the colours look like something you might wear, I think its a good catch. I’m really fussy most times, and yet I managed to make every single colour in this palette work. If I can do it, so can anyone
Did you fall for the Liu palette as well? Does a palette like this one catch your fancy?
As I said right at the top, I’m usually not a fan of mixed-medium palettes but I’m very happy I jumped into this one feet first, and that I love it
Guerlain Liu Calligraphy Eye and Lip palette Price: RM239 Availability: Guerlain counters Limited Edition: Yes, Liu Christmas 2012