I meant to post this last week, but got distracted by two little ones, my niece and nephew, who're visiting and filling the house with some serious cheer, Nick Jr., and craft projects. Bob wants the world to know that he'll be taking a nap (he's actually great with the kids. Endlessly patient and always ready for more cuddles. Most of the younger cats are also happy to join the fun and maximize the belly- rub quota). The kids are out with their parents right now (there was no chance I was going to join a tour of Liberty Island in the middle of the summer), so we can talk Guerlain.
The Terracotta Bayadére Face & Eye Limited Edition Palette came out along the other Guerlain Fall 2015 collection but it's not officially a part of it. It's more of end-of-summer item, if you ask me, but it is adorable. From the packaging, the pink coral pouch, the little brush: everything about it is tempting I saw somewhere that it was labeled "a contour palette", but it's not, and I don't think that Guerlain has claimed so. This is mostly a face color palette, with products that can double up as eye shadows. As you can see below on the card that comes with the palette, the two darkest shades are from Guerlain's range of Terracotta bronzers: No.03 and No. 05. They're very warm-toned, quite intense and have a light touch of the finest shimmer. They'd be too much as a contour for most skin tones, and their glow doesn't create the shaded effect needed for a true contour. What they do, instead, is create that much-coveted sun-kissed warmth, and as Guerlain bronzer fans already know, they only needed the lightest hand when applying (and the right brush. I prefer fan brushes: a large one for the hairline and the cheeks, and a small one for the nose and chin).
The other two items in the Bayedere palette are a gorgeous coral blush/eye shadow that looks incredibly similar to the one in Guerlain Coup de Foudre palette for fall 2013, and a champagne highlighter that's very high in shimmer. As you can see, the pans for these two are extremely narrow, which requires the use of a small brush (not necessarily a bad thing), and a steady hand (which I don't have). I find it to be quite a pain aiming only to touch one of the colors at a time, so at least for now that it's still summer I can get away with swiping the aforementioned large and fluffy fan brush (Louise Young LY20, available at Nordstrom, if you didn't know) and carefully doing that all-over glow thing. It works for me and ends up looking like I actually have a healthy color to my face without overdoing it. And it's fun.
The little pouch that holds the palette includes the pink brush and a pointy eye applicator. It has two additional slots where you can add your own mini brushes as you see fit, which is a nice (and kind of necessary) touch. I did also tried applying the colors with my fingers, and it works well, but finger-painting lacks the Guerlain refinement, doesn't it?
If I were to go for a more precise application (or if I were fair and cool-toned), I don't think this palette would have suited my needs. Yes, I did manage to use small highlighter brushes (Hakuhodo have several fantastic options) and eye shadow ones and enjoyed experimenting with placement, and it's a great item for collectors, Guerlain fans, and bronzer addicts. But between the awkward release timing and the structure of the palette I'm not sure if this is the one face product to buy this season.
Bottom Line: gorgeous, but definitely not a must-have.
Guerlain Terracotta Bayadére Face & Eye Palette Fall 2015 ($70, made in France) is available at select department stores.