Friday, September 9, 2011

Guerlain Écrin 4 Couleurs Eyeshadows - 06 Les Fumés Review and Swatches

The Fall 2011 Guerlain Écrin 4 Couleurs Eyeshadows collection has nine eyeshadow palettes available, and each palette offers four textures. According to the Guerlain web site, those finishes are:
  • Iridescent: Tiny pearly particles that impart a luminous, iridescent finish
  • Matte: An extra-matte, ultra-soft finish for ultimate comfort
  • Velvet satin: Perfect glide for a velvety result that feels soft and delicate
  • Alcantar eyes: A metallic finish with unbelievable softness
The other morning I received their Fall 2011 promo, which pairs one of the 9 Écrin 4 Couleurs with a Rouge G lipstick.

Here's a picture of the eyeshadow Les Fumés palette taken in natural light on, unfortunately, a mostly-cloudy day.

Everyone sees colors a bit differently, so here's what I see:
  • At left is a lightly-iridescent taupe with mauve undertones.
  • Top is a semi-matte flesh-pink nude that has strong beige undertones.
  • At right is a metallic pinkish-tinged pewter laced with silver shimmer.
  • On bottom is a satiny, muted, cool taupe. 
All are gorgeous in their own way. The shimmer is more obvious in sunlight:

For someone who was born with a rather uncompromising color palette, most eyeshadow palettes are wasted on me because there's always at least one color—usually more than one—that I never wear. Chanel and Dior have been particularly disappointing in this regard, as overall, they are too warm or shimmery for my tastes. Not so with Guerlain's Les Fumés. Each color is stunning and can be combined in a variety of ways, from the most subtle conservative-office look to a dramatic eye.

This palette is a beautiful combination of neutral/nude with cool-leaning browns, and the textures are amazing. Les Fumés is ideally suited for fair to medium skin tones. That said, the colors are far more pigmented than they appear in the pan, so a little goes a very long way. The first time I used Les Fumés I overdid it. So it's best to start with the tiniest amount of powder on a brush and layer, as needed.

Here is Les Fumés compared to Chanel Prelude. Sorry for no Chanel swatches. I found the palettes close enough in color that I decided to give the Chanel compact as as a gift, unadulterated. I believe either Beauty Look Book or Café Makeup has done a Guerlain/Chanel comparison.

Guerlain Les Fumés compared to Chanel Prelude

Here's are the four colors from Les Fumés swatched on my NW15 skin, applied from left clockwise:

Sun—apologies for the pox; apparently my skin is reflecting the pattern of the screen

Currently, I am wearing Les Fumés as follows:
  1. Pink-nude (top color) all over the lids as a wash, blending out into the brow bone because I have lots of lid real estate and like to bring the color up somewhat high.
  2. The satiny taupe (bottom color) in outer crease, blended up.
  3. A tiny bit of the metallic pewter (right color) in the center of the movable lid and around the tear duct and blended out, flattening with  fingertip after. I hear this method is "so 80s" but I still like the way it looks on me.
  4. The color from the left in the outer v.
Bottom line: A keeper.

All photos mine


  1. We want to see the picture of you wearing the shadows, not just a description :).

  2. Fantastic review and photos! The shades look stunning and the packaging is beautiful. I'm quite a big fan of Guerlain's lipsticks, but haven't tried any of the shadows for a little while. Will have to check these out because they look and sound lovely!

  3. I am having such a hard time deciding between this and Prelude. Maybe I need both?

  4. Martha, tough call. They were so similar I decided to keep the Guerlain and gift the Prelude, untouched.

    Sabrina swatches them side by side here, if that helps:

  5. Goya, it is rare for me to take photos of my eyeshadow, because it doesn't translate well on film. The colors might look dramatic to me in person, but in photos, they look washed out. I tried when I first began blogging, but I quickly gave up. So I leave EoTDs to the other bloggers.

  6. Those are really gorgeous. Do any of these work for your perfect nude crease color?

  7. Veuve, it would appear so, wouldn't it? But NO! These colors are surprisingly pigmented, so every one is too dark for The Nude Eye look I have been seeking. Beautiful and neutral, to be sure, but I'd have to work carefully to achieve a "no makeup" look using this palette.

    You are so totally going to laugh when you find out what combination I came up with as the winner for that look. ;) I am almost embarrassed to update that post.

  8. They're both beautiful palettes but I can see why you favor the Guerlain.

  9. Ammie, I know a lot of beauty bloggers would probably want to send me hate mail for saying this, but I really do not care for the Chanel eye palettes. I love the singles, but the palettes leave me cold. Pretty to look at, to be sure, but ick on my skin.

  10. Ooohhh pretty! Is the glittery one as chunky as it looks?

  11. No, PP, it is very smooth and metallic. It would probably be even more smooth on younger skin. ;)

  12. what great taste you have as that was the one I bought as well ;)
    Your review and pictures are spot on. I am tempted to get some more, I was thinking Les Gris and Les Perles.

  13. Replica, did I miss your review?? Shame on me. I definitely have my eye on Les Gris, but am trying to hold myself back.

    I need to go search for which Rouge G's you're loving as I would like to get one or two more. Useful, if silly, packaging, but the texture is to die for, and now that Tom Ford is sadly off my list ...

    Anyway, I need a good rosy MLLB neutral.

  14. I haven't been impressed by the latest Chanel quads myself and I love Chanel. I don't find them very pigmented and the fall Lagons is simply not for a hazel-eyed gal. I have the Guerlain Les Perles and it is beautiful, especially the darkest purple tone but I really don't think it's anything I couldn't live without. My soon-to-be daughter-in-law got me hooked on the Wet'n Wild trios that have similar shades for a couple dollars and I find I use them as much if not more. And, I thought I was a makeup snob! Shocking!

  15. Thanks for the great swatches! :) This looks like a very versatile palette with great pigmentation. I purchased Prelude but haven't used it yet. This one looks even better, though!

  16. Suselew and Makeup Magpie, I cant' speak to the pigmentation of Prelude because I gave it away untouched, but the online swatches of it look gorgeous. I think Gaia (the non-blonde) said she'd give a palette to everyone she knows!

    Les Fumes is gorgeous, and I suppose I can justify it because I don't have anything quite like it, at least not in the different shimmer/metallic formulations. That nude is a very dark nude, and the taupe is unique in my stash, which actually surprised me. But I get a real jolt when I can find drugstore bargains, and I have heard great things over the W&W palettes. I'm more a wannabe snob--I do like the luxe packaging, but what I really want is ease of use and performance. Doesn't matter how pretty it is if it doesn't do the job.

  17. i impulse bought les gris but i wish i'd bought this one! there is a new gorgeous neutral tom ford palette that i really want too!

  18. baby, is the new neutral TF palette the one London Makeup Girl is about to review? I have my eye on that one! It looks quite similar to this, without the flesh-toned pan.

  19. the one i've my eye on has a matte beige, MAC omega colour but darker, dark brown and a shimmery brown - pretty basic but would be handy for travel and everyday.

  20. You convinced me. I've been wanting one and Nordstrom has triple points coming up.

  21. May I ask how the Guerlain shadows wear? I'm soooo tempted by all the glowing blog reviews but everyone seems to be gushing over color and texture, not really wear time on the eye...

    Basically, I am looking for *any* reason not to rush to my local Guerlain counter and spend money. Please help. :)

  22. Elizabeth, my morning application (8:00) lasts until I wash my face around 10PM. I did use an eyelid primer, though: Paula Dorf Eye Prime in Light. I haven't tried it without primer, but I have a feeling it would still be long lasting. This stuff is dense. Sorry! lol

  23. I don't know how you were able to pick one from NINE beautiful palettes. Whenever I start to carefully examine these, I get the compulsion to get all of them and have to flee the scene immediately. Your palette looks lovely - enjoy!

  24. Hello,
    I've not yet reviewed it, so you didn't miss it ;) I have a backlog of posts to do as my makeup spending has been a little crazy of late! x

  25. AMAZING photos; i reallly appreciate being able to super-zoom! i did buy this palette but don't have the guts to use it yet, because i was searching for the perfect nude-flesh color and thought this would be it. i too was wowed by sabrina's initial review and loved that shimmery grey color. the colors i doubt are the two taupe-y colors; i feel i have so many like them. so what i would love to know is; is the nude flesh color warm or cool in your opinion AND if you have any knowledge of B.Brown's previous holiday collection; there was a pewter and silver chrome you think this shimmery color here, leans pewter? Thanks!

  26. Hi LissaSioux, to my eye the pink-flesh color is neutral, leaning ever so slightly warm, but that is very likely because my skin is so cool. Everywhere I read a review (Sabrina, Amy, Replica...) the general consensus is this is a cool palette.

    As for the BB 2010 Holiday collection, I did not buy Silver, but I have Chrome, and I do not think it is anything like the metallic color on the right, but now you have me curious. I haven't worn BB Pewter in a while, but memory tells me it has a very faint vertigris patina.

    I am going to be away all day tomorrow, but if the light is good Sunday, I will swatch and update this post. I'll also take a look at what I have in my stash for pink-fleshy colors and see if I can do some comparisons of those, as well. I buy almost all cool makeup, so it might be interesting to see how the pink in this palette compares to, say, Chantecaille Quartz.

    I should caution you that we're in the middle of a heavy rain pattern with no immediate end in sight, so if I can't get to photo taking this weekend, I will put aside time the first nice day we have. If I take too long, please feel free to e-mail me and remind me!

  27. oh my! that would be amazing! i sincerely appreciate it- i'm in the process of trying to severely pare down and edit my MU collection and those comparisons would help greatly! if i could buy a single (say chantecaille quartz) as opposed to this palette, if indeed that shimmery color is inline with BB's chrome shadows, that could be great!

  28. The lighting is impossible today, too dark and cloudy for comparison pictures, which require the best light possible for picking up subtleties. If the light improves later, I'll get busy with the camera, but I thought I would give you some impressions I made, based on a few swatches on the back of my hand.

    Bobbi Brown Pewter #3 and the far-right side of the Guerlain palette are nothing alike. They have comparable metallic shine, but Pewter's silver-and-gold combination gives it an almost green undertone on my skin, whereas the metallic pan from Guerlain has pink undertones. So not the same at all; in fact, I could find nothing in my collection to match that one Guerlain color, other than, perhaps, mixing Laura Mercier Topaz with Chantecaille Quartz, but even if the color came close, the result was darker and muddied.

    Now, onto Guerlain's matte pink-beige color. First, it's matte, so right off the bat Chantecaille Quartz is not going to be a good dupe, because Quartz is in the Shine formulation. But finish aside, they are not the same color at all. Quartz is a very lightly-greyed pink with subtle shimmer (more shine than shimmer), similar to what you would see in the stone itself. The shadow from Guerlain is a more deeply-pigmented pink that leans beige/brown. I swatched it with MAC Malt and Painterly, Urban Decal Illegal, Prescriptives Mushroom, Chantecaille Agate, Julie Hewett Dolce, Shu Uemura M Beige 804, and some others. The closest I got was a cross between Rouge Bunny Rouge Solstice Halcyon and Gracious Arasari, but they are not matte eyeshadows (more a satin or demi matte--not sure if that's important to you). Even still, a single RBR eyeshadow is over $35USD.

    I absolutely understand when it's about not creating extra same-of-the-old-version-of-taupe in your eyeshadow collection. I have also been paring down so I don't feel so overwhelmed with choice.

    So far, the Guerlain palette is unique to at least what I still have laying around. Pictures to come, but if the sun doesn't come out today, I might not be able to get to it until next weekend. Luckily, the Guerlain palette isn't going away any time soon. I am fairly certain it is not limited edition, but you'd probably want to verify that and not take my word for it.

  29. thanks SO much for taking the time to give those comparisons- i was looking through my own stash and re-fell in love with some Burberry eyeshadows i have and since the pigmentation is so amazing, i was thinking of trying to find the perfect matte flesh-nude-pink from them. i guess it's just looking bleak for the Guerlain palette :(
    now the Edward Bess Soft Smoke trio i can get behind!

  30. I gave away my Edward Bess Soft Smoke trio because it was a little too dramatic for my very pale skin, and that smoky eye just isn't my life anymore. That said, I recall the darkest grey being very cool and black-blue based and the middle color was a warm grey. Am I remembering wrong? I don't think the EB colors are anything like Les Fumes, which are more muted.

    Shopping your own stash is the best. I love it when I rediscover things, which is why I am no longer so hasty to toss something I don't love. I'm fickle, and I tend to have love-hate relationships with my makeup. I can't imagine falling out of live with Les Fumes, though.


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