Monday, November 09, 2009

Guerlain Le Rouge G Lipstick (Gracia 66)

Here's the thing about Guerlain Le Rouge G lipstick: It annoys me. Not because the lipstick is not good. It's great, actually. Not because the colors are off. The colors are beautiful and I found a perfect medium rose, Gracia, no. 66, that looks perfect day and night and has been my go-to color the last couple of weeks. The packaging is also gorgeous, which is where the problem starts for me, even though I'm a sucker for luxurious packaging.

While the lipstick itself is a standard size, the double mirror flip top case is heavy- 91g or 3.125 oz. I weighed it on my kitchen scale. It's not refillable so the case cannot be recycled, which is a huge waste. Then there's the marketing hype about the formula with its crushed ruby powder. Do we even want to have makeup that contains crushed gemstones? And put it on our lips? I looked at the ingredient list, which wasn't an easy thing to do, as it's printed in super dark gray fonts on the black background. You have to hold the box a certain way against the light to be able to read it. Synthetic ruby powder is somewhere in the middle, right after perfume and before myrrh extract, so I'm guessing it's not that significant. So why is it even there? It's not like Rouge G is shinier than any lipstick ever made. It's pretty, shiny and looks right there with other great lipsticks from Chanel, Armani, Chantecaille and other excellent brands.

Since it's obvious we're paying more for the packaging than for the actual lipstick, it reminds me too much of Guerlain's instant-lux perfumes. Things like the $9000 bottle of Mon Precious Nectar or the $420 sugar fest of Le Secrets de Sophie. It makes you wonder, and not in a good way.

Add to that the attitude I was given at the Bergdorf Guerlain counter. I was asking about the formula, the difference between Le Rouge G and Kiss Kiss Maxi Shine and wanted some more info. All the SA had to say was "it's made with real rubies". Why, thank you. Since they were out of No. 66, I was happy to go and give my business to Saks. Not that it helps with my Guerlain annoyance, but at least the commission went to someone who would actually smile at me.

Bottom line: The lipstick is great, LVMH is still evil.

Guerlain Le Rouge G lipstick ($45) is available from most decent department stores. I bought mine at Saks in NYC.

All photos are mine.


  1. Thanks for the review. I agree with out about the cumbersome, expensive packaging. And I've received rude, dismissive treatment at Bergdorf's Guerlain alcove several times, so you're not alone there!

  2. Gracia was my first choice as well, and even though I was skeptical about all the hype, I have to admit the formula is gorgeous - emollient, non-slip, and just the right opaqueness. I can't justify all that bling for something that can't be refilled, though, so I don't think I'll be buying any more Rouge G's unless they bring out another colour that I really love.

  3. I bought a Rouge G lipstick just last week in 'Greta' (22) and I love it. However, I had exactly the same thoughts as you regarding the casing. In this age of recycling it doesn't make sense to throw away such a lot of packaging, particularly when it's so beautiful; and my boyfriend agreed on this point. When I finish my Rouge G lipstick, I'm going to attempt the vintage trick of freezing a lipstick with less glamorous packaging and putting it into my Rouge G lipstick holder. It's such a pity they don't make refills.

    I think the main difference between this and the 'Kiss Kiss' line is that the Rouge G lipsticks are much more moisturising. Whilst the colours are gorgeous and longwearing in the 'Kiss Kiss' line, I always find myself reaching for the lipbalm about two hours into the weartime. Then again, I guess this could be said about copious examples of longwearing liptick.

    As for the ruby dust, I just dismissed it straight away as marketing hype, and decided to buy the lipstick anyway.

    - Sarah

  4. Which lipstick is refillable ? There are some high-tec lipstick cases from Chanel as well, so we shouldn't judge Guerlain (o.k., not as hype as the G). If you want to go there - don't buy it and stay sustainable ! Easy. (I work in the packaging industry, more specificaly with sustainability)

  5. The only refillable lipstick I can think of off the top of my head is Serge, and at that price it had better be!

    The packaging puts me off the Guerlain too.

  6. Hi there. I know it's a little old post but couldn't help commenting it. About the non-refillable thing. It's actually refillable! Not "officially refillable", but it is. Just buy a tester, tug off the lipstick tube; do the same with your Rouge G and put the tester lipstick tube on it. And voila!

  7. I've been considering Gracia, to go with my fall rosy-pink looks (Grand Palais, Les Bois de Rose). The instant I saw it on your arm, I knew it would be perfect. (even though we're completely different colors, LOL). Such a beautiful shade...I hope it will work for me as well as it does for you.


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