If there is an award for the most beautiful packaging, Guerlain would be the uncontested winner, as well as holder of the runner-up spots and honourable mentions. I’m lucky to have acquired quite a few examples of their elegant, beautiful containers of goodness in powder, liquid as well as cream form – and with a huge thanks to my BF’s parents I’ve recently come into posession of two more of their most practical inventions.
I’d asked my BF’s mother to keep a look out in the tax free upon leaving France for Guerlains Kiss Kiss lipsticks. She, however, set out to find it in store to bring back as a gift. She was disappointed to find that apparently these didn’t launch until later on, so she decided to purchase the closest thing she could find to it and presented me with Rouge Automatique in # 165 Champs Elysées and #121 Rouge d’Enfer – two shades I’d been lusting after ever since I saw Sunny wear Shalimar -she’s a hazard to my paycheck – last year and upon hitting the shop to swatch for myself simply couldn’t decide which I liked the most.
Back to the fantabulous casing, the Rouge Automatiques – with the exception of last years holiday edition which was a combo of sleek black and funky neon orange – is a gorgeous gold with a square button on the side and no cap. That’s right – No. Cap. Instead you slide the button down the side and along with it comes the lid, while the lipstick itself is pushed up – leaving your other hand free to hold your fancy Guerlain compact. This actually isn’t a modern mechanism, but derives from a design used in the late 1930s by the brand – with a few modifications, of course. There’s a little piece of history in all things Guerlain, don’t you think?
The casing’s plastic, though, so very little heft to it. The first time I was slightly disappointed by this, but it doesn’t hurt to have a little less weight to carry around in our bags, and the overall appearance makes up for any complaints to the packaging.
In general, I find the Rouge Automatiques to be somewhat sheer upon application, although these two are more opaque than the others in my collection – namely #660 Illusion and #143 Nahema which are fairly shimmery as well as glossier than my new addions. Due to the microshimmer found in Nahema and Illusion, I find Rouge d’Enfer and Champs Elysées to apply smoother and creamier by comparison, as the glitter particles adds an almost unnoticeable “grit” to the former.
I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again, I’m no good judge of longevity when it comes to lipstick. I work in a very dry environment, so a lot of the time my lips will feel parched, so whether I use a balm or a lipstick that day, I reapply frequently. That said, I do appreciate when a lipstick can be applied in lieu of a balm, or I only need to apply balm a couple of times during the day without my lips looking flaky or the product appearing caked, and it has to feel comfortable. I find that to be the case with the Rouge Automatiques. This is also a bonus on nights out when you only want to bring the bare necessities.
In spite of the light-weight, balmy formula, you really get a punch of colour from these beauties. I also find that in spite of my frequently pressing my lips toghether, which I do a lot, I don’t have much of a problem with feathering. I know, I know, I should use a lipliner to alleviate this problem, but I prefer lipliner to be an option and not a must in my purse. And I prefer being able to slick on one shade at the beginning of the day, and if I change my mind during, I can just slick on the next without the hassle of lugging around a liner or three as well. Yes, I am aware of the colourless options on the market, I still want it my way.
On me I find Rouge d’Enfer to be a fresh but wearable red. Somehow my skin seems to bring out the yellow in it in photos, but when I look in the mirror or swatch on the back of my hand it’s more of a blu-toned red. There’s a slight sheen to it – just enough to bring dimension to the lips without being glossy.
Champs Elysées is what I’d like to describe as a reddened pink. It’s quite vibrant, but while it appears fuchsia in the photos – taken outside one fine summer’s day – once more, my skin seems to bring out the yellow in it, leaving me with a lovely, almost warm pink that’s not too flashy for everyday wear.
Finally, my one real gripe with the Rouge Automatiques – and with any new luxury lipstick for that matter – how do I bring myself to tarnish the perfect surface? The answer is to just close your eyes and swatch it first.