You need not be an artist to fully appreciate the Guerlain Liu Calligraphy palette

by Paris B on · 61 comments

in Eyeshadow,FOTD,Lipstick,Makeup,Palettes,Product Reviews

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.

guerlain liu7 You need not be an artist to fully appreciate the Guerlain Liu Calligraphy palette

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 icon razz You need not be an artist to fully appreciate the Guerlain Liu Calligraphy palette

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? icon wink You need not be an artist to fully appreciate the Guerlain Liu Calligraphy palette

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.

guerlain liu8 You need not be an artist to fully appreciate the Guerlain Liu Calligraphy palette

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! icon razz You need not be an artist to fully appreciate the Guerlain Liu Calligraphy palette

Oh and yes, if you are wondering, my palette here has been used a few times icon smile You need not be an artist to fully appreciate the Guerlain Liu Calligraphy palette 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! icon biggrin You need not be an artist to fully appreciate the Guerlain Liu Calligraphy palette 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.

guerlain liu9 You need not be an artist to fully appreciate the Guerlain Liu Calligraphy palette

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! icon wink You need not be an artist to fully appreciate the Guerlain Liu Calligraphy palette ) 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.

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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.

guerlain liu You need not be an artist to fully appreciate the Guerlain Liu Calligraphy palette

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! icon biggrin You need not be an artist to fully appreciate the Guerlain Liu Calligraphy palette

guerlain liu2 You need not be an artist to fully appreciate the Guerlain Liu Calligraphy palette

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!

guerlain liu3 You need not be an artist to fully appreciate the Guerlain Liu Calligraphy palette

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.

guerlain liu4 You need not be an artist to fully appreciate the Guerlain Liu Calligraphy 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

guerlain liu6 You need not be an artist to fully appreciate the Guerlain Liu Calligraphy palette

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 icon biggrin You need not be an artist to fully appreciate the Guerlain Liu Calligraphy palette

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 icon biggrin You need not be an artist to fully appreciate the Guerlain Liu Calligraphy palette

Paris B

Guerlain Liu Calligraphy Eye and Lip palette Price: RM239 Availability: Guerlain counters Limited Edition: Yes, Liu Christmas 2012

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[ 61 comments… read them below or join the discussion ]

Mirifique Beauty December 3, 2012 at 8:38 am

i love most products by Guerlain. Great quality and worth the price.


Paris B December 4, 2012 at 10:26 pm

I agree! The only things that don’t work so well for me are the mascara but everything else has been good :)


Catherine December 3, 2012 at 8:41 am

Oh Paris, I resisted to this at the counter but you make me want to have it again :(


Paris B December 4, 2012 at 10:27 pm

Eeps! Sorry :P have to admit its a very pretty palette, although really pricey!


Tine December 3, 2012 at 9:20 am

Beautiful, so beautiful … *wipe drool off keyboard*


Paris B December 4, 2012 at 10:28 pm

*hands out tissues*


Lily December 3, 2012 at 9:23 am

I fell hard for this palette and I still love it! I just don’t get sick of looking at it. Sooooo beautiful :-)


Paris B December 4, 2012 at 10:29 pm

What I love most is that its as beautiful used as it is to look at! :D


Jacqueline December 3, 2012 at 9:45 am

I fell hard for this palette and I have to agree with you that the two lip colours and creamy and wearable. One of my best beauty buys this year I would say. I had reservations about the powder migrating over too but it has not happened to me either. You did some great looks Paris.


Paris B December 4, 2012 at 10:30 pm

Thanks Jacqueline :) like you, my primary concern was about the powder-cream migration but it’s so great to know that I needn’t have worried! One of my best beauty us this year too! :D


AnT December 3, 2012 at 9:51 am

The 2nd potrait photo of yours above, you looked so so so so GORGEOUS!! You seem to be so indulged and happy :D Amazing! :)


Paris B December 4, 2012 at 10:32 pm

Eeps! Thank you! :D angles are a wonderful thing ;)


AnT December 5, 2012 at 9:55 am

Angles! Hahahaha! No my dear. It’s your genuine expression, how to describe…~ just simply GORGEOUS!! :D


Paris B December 7, 2012 at 5:38 pm

MUCH too kind :D The expression is the “I’m so blur but I think gazing in the distance makes it look better” look ;)


AnT December 10, 2012 at 10:57 am

Apologies for the late response, just got back :(

LOLL!! You are as humble as always, you~ :D


Rin December 3, 2012 at 10:33 am

Gosh. Gorgeous colours! I was so attracted by Laura Mercier Lip Lacquer a few posts before and now this ^^ I am attracted to this palette too. Quite pricey though. Never had the chance to buy any Guerlain products yet due to the price. This can be my first. Indulge eh? Hehe. Nude/pale coloured lipsticks and me do not go along well. The closest people around me have given me feedback before that I don’t carry those colours well. I like it though when they give honest feedback. Personally, I prefer brighter colours for lips so yeah, aside from the gorgeous eyeshadow colours this palette is offering, I am attracted to the lip colours.


Paris B December 4, 2012 at 10:36 pm

Ah yes, the price is quite a stumbling block. Guerlain is pretty pricey generally but I
Ike to think of it like Hermes. Extra lux ;) I think it’s a very lovely palette to own if you have the budget for it and will use the colours in it. I don’t carry off nude/pale lips well either. I look sick which might be why I gravitate to reds :D


Tracy December 3, 2012 at 11:29 am

UGGGH. WHY did I LOOK??? I was eyeing it this weekend and hemmed and hawed, but NOW-how can I resist it? You look BEAUTIFUL.


Paris B December 4, 2012 at 10:37 pm

Thank you Tracy! :D it’s a gorgeous thing that isn’t a must have, but it sure is nice to have ;)


beetrice December 3, 2012 at 11:39 am

okay, I really need to collect my palette this weekend…beh tahan already, itching to get my hands on it!! :D


Paris B December 4, 2012 at 10:38 pm

Haha it’s awaiting!!!


Teri December 3, 2012 at 12:08 pm

It’s seriously everything you need for the holidays! It’s an amazing palette and I really love the lip products that came with it. I’m like you when it comes to mixed palettes, it looks like a big mzqq going to happen, but Liu was my only exeption :). I really love it on you Paris!


Paris B December 4, 2012 at 10:39 pm

Thank you Teri! :) I agree that this is a lovely holiday palette but thankfully one that can go beyond the holidays. I’m thinking festive season palette :D


lyn December 3, 2012 at 12:09 pm

I did not hear the siren call for this one. It is lovely palette though and you wear the colours so beautifully :-)


Paris B December 4, 2012 at 10:39 pm

Thanks Lyn! I remember you saying it didn’t quite appeal but that’s money saved eh! ;)


Jean December 3, 2012 at 1:11 pm

this palette is good! combine all we need in one!!! love the lip colors too but I still haven’t get use to red on my lips. hmm…


Paris B December 4, 2012 at 10:42 pm

You’re right. All it needed was a blush and it’d be perfect :) can’t have everything I guess ;) Red lips is one of those things. Most people aren’t comfortable with it, so try patting on a stain of colour and up it as you go ;)


xin December 3, 2012 at 1:36 pm

it’s a really beautiful palette! but unfortunately i have busted shopping budget for this month already. funds must be allocated for the next balls :D


Paris B December 4, 2012 at 10:43 pm

Haha looking forward, I see! ;)


Monstro December 3, 2012 at 1:53 pm

OMGee, the makeup is lovely, but your HAIR! This is my first time seeing this style on you–can you share your hair stylist contact please?? I really love it!


Paris B December 4, 2012 at 10:45 pm

Eeps! Thanks Monstro :D I’ve had it a month or two already but got it cut a bit shorter this time around. Are you thinking of getting yours chopped too?


Jyoan December 3, 2012 at 3:05 pm

I like! But I don’t like red lipsticks. It is like bearing with the pain and letting it go. T_T.


Paris B December 4, 2012 at 10:51 pm

Ouch that must really hurt >.< but on the bright side, money saved! :)


kuri December 3, 2012 at 3:37 pm

not going to look, not going to look ;) It’s gorgeous – I found Guerlain’s whole collection quite stunning, but I’m not going to pay their Japanese prices :P
Anyway, I already caved on Shiseido and Addiction LE items :/


Paris B December 4, 2012 at 10:53 pm

Oops! You looked! :D I agree. The collection this year is quite something but I have heard of the Japanese prices and it’s scary! It’s so much higher than anywhere else. I suppose you did make up for it with the Shiseido and Addiction items ;) what did you get?


kuri December 4, 2012 at 11:19 pm

Yes, they’re too scary!

I got the Shiseido Camellia Compact – highlighter and blush compact – and the Addiction Moroccan Rose Holiday set (still thinking about what to do with it, as it’s gorgeous but I’m unlikely to use it enough to justify the cost :P)


Paris B December 5, 2012 at 6:54 pm

Well, you’ve just found out I too am all gaga over the Shiseido Camellia compact :D I saw pictures of the Addiction Moroccan Rose set and its gorgeous! I’m sort of glad we don’t get Addiction or that its not easy to get or I might go broke >.<


kuri December 5, 2012 at 6:57 pm

yup, just read your lovely review!
It probably is a good thing you don’t get Addiction, but it just means you spend your money on Guerlain etc. ;)
I’m trying to force myself to only purchase products limited to Asia, but Western stuff also looks so shiny…


Paris B December 7, 2012 at 6:26 pm

I think with the prices of many high end Western brands in Japan, you are well worth spending it on the Japanese brands, because I think they are extremely high quality even if their prices are staggering. I do find most Japanese brands a little understated. They are less shiny, less bling, but they deliver more often in ways that some Western brands struggle with.


Issa December 3, 2012 at 5:18 pm

Wow! This palette is gorgeous! :) And the color of the lippies look so good on you :)


Paris B December 4, 2012 at 10:55 pm

Thank you Issa, and yes, one of the most beautiful palettes in a while :)


Sunny December 3, 2012 at 5:42 pm

So glad to see you got this one too, Paris! I love it to bits! You should try to use the 4th shade wet as a liner. It holds up really well on me!


Paris B December 4, 2012 at 10:56 pm

Yay, high 5! I’ll try the black wet next time. Never very good at using colours wet lol! Im presently using it as a dry liner. Thanks for the tip!


bita December 3, 2012 at 6:31 pm

ohhh Paris this one is gorgeous! It is so lovely that if I had it I wouldn’t touch it…
BTW your hair is nice as others mentioned.


Paris B December 4, 2012 at 10:57 pm

Thank you Bita :D it is hard to start using something so lovely but I always tell myself that makeup is no use unless one uses it. Really hard though!


Jennifer December 3, 2012 at 11:47 pm

Beautiful palette! Love the way you used the palette for your eyes. Like you, I had a little concern on the matte charcoal black since it’s hardly a colour that I will use but you have managed to get it to work so beautifully! What’s your secret? :) I was so enamoured by this palette that it didn’t cross my mind that the eye shadow fall out might taint the cream lip colours. Thanks for the assurance that it didn’t happen.


Paris B December 4, 2012 at 10:59 pm

Thank you Jennifer! I use the black as a liner! Just smudge it close to the upper lid and it gives a nice natural looking line. I also blend it up a little for depth. I love black shadow. It’s one of the most versatile and useful colours out there!


Wojis December 4, 2012 at 12:31 am

It is beautiful I must say!


Paris B December 4, 2012 at 11:00 pm

It is indeed, Wojis!


Rads December 4, 2012 at 1:24 am

This is sooooooooooooooo beautiful! And the colours look absolutely gorgeous on you…seems like you picked a winner with this one :) :)


Paris B December 4, 2012 at 11:00 pm

Thank you so much, Rads and I think I did. It’s a winner in my book, that’s for certain! ;)


LeGeeque December 4, 2012 at 5:59 am

Those colours are great on you! Like you, I swatched those too but I found them a little warm :( I do think the darkest black could be used as an cream eyeliner but that’s just my take, take it with a bucket of salt!

This Guerlain Holiday release is really something isn’t it? I got my stash of Dragon Pearls and Lou Ling (yay!) and they’re both beautiful.


Paris B December 4, 2012 at 11:11 pm

Thanks Geek!the deepest shade I use as a dry liner, but someone else has suggested using it wet so I might try that. Yay for the Dragon Pearls and Lou Ling! I am using that lippie next :D


Fizz December 4, 2012 at 7:57 am

Aaargh! Gorgeous! The colours look lovely on you! Had a look at the palette last week while I was out shopping for skincare at Guerlain. Wanted to buy it but my credit card was already smoking :P Maybe next month…. Paris, just a q, which do you prefer between the Parure de Lumiére & Lingerie de Peau foundations?


Paris B December 4, 2012 at 11:14 pm

Thank you Fizz! Your card must have been fizzing hehe… ;) I just got hold of Parure se Lumiere so I haven’t tried it yet and can’t compare. I used Lingerie de Peau again just 2 days ago and it stunned me Ll ver again just how lovely it is on skin! Once I try Parure de Lumiere I’ll have a review and (hopefully) remember to compare the two for you ok?


lisa December 4, 2012 at 8:41 am

My X’mas wish list has the Guerlain Ecrin Couleurs Eyeshadow Palette in
1. 2Place Vendome
2. 68 Champ-Elysees
My current 29 Rue De Sevres from last year’s X’mas is one of my best buys ever. I use it almost every other day. I really want more. But the pricing is pulling me back. I will probably feel less guilty if i buy it from DFS. ;-)
I say no to this year’s Guerlain’s X’mas offerings though. I don’t really like the idea of cream and powder in a palette. Unless it’s done like the Glamour To Go Spun Sugar Edition by Too Faced’s kind of partitioned casing. It’s such a nifty little palette, great for traveling and the pricing is a great factor for gifting this season. And i am wanting the Shadow Bons Bons too. But i really should stop myself. I think it will end up like my naked palette which i’m hardly touching these days.


Paris B December 4, 2012 at 11:16 pm

Aww you like the Ecrin 6 colour palettes? Place Vendome and Champs Élysées are very pretty! I personally prefer the quads, because I find the texture in the quads better than the 6 colours. Personal preference I guess :) you know what? I haven’t tried anything from Too Faced yet! For some reason, every time I go to the counter, nothing grabs me. Maybe it’s the packaging. I don’t do cute stuff very well lol ;)


lisa December 5, 2012 at 8:49 pm

yes, the texture on the Ecrin 6 palettes is different from the quads which has a more buttery feel and better pigmentation. Though used frequently my palette still looks new. A little goes a long way with a good eye brush and these are one of the best grey taupes i can find out there which suits my skin colour. Somehow greys and blues don’t usually go well on my skin tone. Hence, i really appreciate this range of palettes and it’s quality (it lasts all day on my lid with no creasing whatsoever) which works well of me.

I know what you mean about cute stuff.
They don’t go well with me either ‘usually’. And i’ve yet to own anything from the brand. Oh wait, i used to own the eye primer which did not work for me and i gave it away after a few tries to make it work. I bought the nifty little palette for some girlfriends last year. And i have some of them hinting me to gift them this again this year. ;-)
As for the Shadow Bons Bons, i do not know why but when swatching it at Sephora, this particular palette i somehow like it. ;-)


Paris B December 7, 2012 at 6:30 pm

Aww your friends must love you, their makeup fairy :D It does look very enticing, I will admit. Lovely wearable colours. I do find that the Ecrin 6 palettes are nice to layer on colour. Not very in your face sort of buttery pigment but when layered, they have nice depth and complexity as well. I only just discovered this recently after trying out another palette :D Still not my fave formula but I know it’ll work and you’re right. The quality is very good!


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