The new Rouge G Le Brillant formula is sheer and glossy, while still packing enough pigment to leave a stain on the lips after the first cup of tea. Like the original Rouge G it's creamy, comfortable and moisturizing, making my lips feel soft and hydrated throughout the day. While the color doesn't smear or migrate where no lipstick should ever go, I find that grounding it with a lip liner can improve Le Brillant's performance significantly and make it last a bit longer (though still not as long as a regular Rouge G). One thing to be said for the double-mirrored case is that it makes reapplying on the go very easy (and is a great conversation piece).
The lip liner I chose, Guerlain's Crayon Levres in Rose Indien (60) is an almost nude (on my lips, that is, not so much on my wrist) rose that fits well with Bella as well as with many other colors I wear regularly. The texture is soft enough to draw and define easily, without compromising on what you need from a lip liner- to firmly stay in place through thick and thin while blending with your skin and your lipstick. It comes with a sharpener and a built-in lip brush, which I love. I can never have too many lip brushes.
A few weeks ago I had the opportunity to have my makeup done by Pamela Morgan, Guerlain's national makeup artists. It was a wonderful experience (the total opposite of the clown face incident) and she gave me a few tips and hints for successful makeup application. One of the best tips she gave me was a subtle way to enhance the top lip without doing the Pamela Anderson thing. You don't need to draw a line outside the lips, just barely over your cupid's bow, so while it erases the bow itself, the upper lip looks fuller. I've tried it with several colors and liners and found that at least in my case, this works exceptionally well when wearing sheer and/or nude lip color. As always, it's the smallest things that make a difference.
Back to Rouge G Le Brillant, the bottom line: Another winner. I wish they'd make refills (like Serge Lutens). It would make a lot of sense.
Guerlain Rouge G Le Brillant ($46) and Crayon Levers ($28) are available from most decent department stores (the lipstick is also at Sephora). I bought them at my local Bloomingdale's.
All photos are mine.