Guerlain L'Or Makeup Base looks both beautiful and scary in the bottle. It has tiny (real) gold shavings suspended in clear liquid- not exactly your typical cosmetics product. My first encounter with L'Or was when I had my makeup done by Guerlain national makeup artist, Pamela, so I didn't have to think too much about application and how it might or might not work. I loved the result and it proved to be an excellent primer, so when it was time for me to start testing and experimenting on my own I didn't waste too much time just staring at the gold flecks swirling in the bottle.
Here's what you need to know: Guerlain L'Or is, indeed, a makeup base/primer. It doesn't contain silicone, so those sensitive to dimethicone/polydimethylysiloxane can use it happily. It contains glycerin and is scented, though, so take that into account (I love the way it smells). The gold particles don't actually appear on the skin- they melt when you touch them, so L'Or Base isn't actually shimmery, glittery or sparkly. Any errant flecks can be easily smoothed. The base settles nicely onto the skin and locks in your moisturizer- my skin feels happily plumped every time I use L'Or, even on a crazy cold and dry winter day or night. The suppleness lasts for hours, so that's a great thing on its own.
It takes about five minutes for the full effect to show- skin looks more even and there's a very subtle glow to it, like you just had the best facial. The smoothness created by L'Or helps foundation and any other makeup you use stick and stay in place. It might not be as cement-like as silicone primers but I find it more efficient than the luminizers I've tried (Chanel, Cle de Peau, Shiseido). I've used this Guerlain primer several times over the summer and had great results- my makeup didn't melt or migrate.
Bottom Line: Golden.
Guerlain L'Or Makeup Base ($70, 1.1oz) is available from Sephora and your favorite Guerlain counter. A free press sample was sent for my consideration by the company.
All photos by me.