Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Killer Packaging: Estée Lauder Limited Edition Graceful Seahorses Powder Compact & Givenchy Magnolia Couture Edition Le Rouge Lipstick 306 Carmin Escarpin

Sometimes it's the packaging that reels me in and gives me that MUST HAVE NOW twitch. Of course, the makeup product has to be really really good, because I'm not a collector.  I buy stuff that I'm going to use or I leave it at the counter. I don't have the storage space for dead weight, and I already have a makeup collection that makes civilians question my sanity. However, the siren song of these two limited edition items was impossible to resist. And they made sense, each one in their own way.

Givenchy  Le Rouge Lipstck in 306 Carmin Escarpin is not a limited edition. It's part of the regular Givenchy makeup line, and I even had it in the regular bullet (click the link to see swatches)for over three years. It was one of my fail-safe red lipsticks, and the sturdy case made it an ideal makeup bag and purse resident, because it never opened accidentally. My Le Rouge Carmin Escarpin has traveled, went to events, and  dined out. I've managed to use up so much of it that I did't even flinch when it started to go off and emit a rancid smell. I got my use out of it. And I already had a replacement lying in wait: the same lipstick in Givenchy's Magnolia Couture Edition packaging.

Th lipstick is the same great satin finish poppy red. It has a makeupy scent that I'm not loving, but goes away quickly, and that's the only complaint I can think of when it comes to this favorite color and excellent lightweight and long-lasting formula. The magnolia print part of the case can be transferred to any other Givenchy Le Rouge lipstick, which I most definitely do at some point. For now, order has been restored to my universe and I have my Carmin Escarpin back in rotation.

I only have one other limited edition Estée Lauder compact, and it's the Zodiac Scorpio one from 2012 that holds the smaller Lucidity pan (I've refilled it once since buying). Lucidity is a great powder in a slightly luminous finish. I like it a lot, but have always wished for the larger pan (2" compared to the 1.5". I was surprised to see that the powder in the new and stunning Graceful Seahorses compact is a pressed version of Lauder's Perfecting Powder, a more mattifying product with a sheer finish. I don't mind, since right now I actually need a powder like that for upcoming travel, and I can refill the compact at any point with the large size Lucidity ($12, by the way, wherever Lauder products are sold).

The somewhat eyebrow-raising thing is that at this time there's no refill option if you want to stick with the Perfecting Powder. As a matter of fact, Estée Lauder doesn't offer a regular version of the pressed Perfecting at all. Also, the box says that the color of the powder in the Seahorses compact is "01 Translucent". As far as I could find out, Lauder's loose Perfecting powder comes in four shades, labeled "light", "light medium", "medium", and "deep". I have no idea if the powder in my new compact is a limited edition seasonal item or something that will be available in the future. In any case (pun not quite intended), I bought this for the seahorses and to use for many years to come, with any of Lauder's 2" powder pans that I feel like putting inside. It comes in a velveteen pouch for protection, which is a good idea. I'd hate or this beauty to scratch or lose a crystal.

Both items are obviously a limited edition products. Estée Lauder Graceful Seahorses Powder Compact ($175, made in Italy, though the box doesn't specify if the entire thing was manufactured there or just the powder) is exclusive to Neiman Marcus and Bergdorf Goodman, in store and online.
Givenchy Magnolia Couture Edition Le Rouge Lipstick in 306 Carmin Escarpin ($38, made in France, and ditto on manufacturing/assembling) is available from Sephora and Barneys. The regular Le Rouge lipsticks, including Carmin Escarpin, are $36 at Sephora, Barneys, Saks, and Neiman Marcus, as well as on net-a-porter.com, where they may be also selling the Magnolia version at regular price (or perhaps they just haven't updated the stock photo).

Background used for the photo is the book Model as Muse: Embodying Fashion from the Metropolitan Museum of Art. The famous photo of model Jean Patchett is by Irving Penn, 1950.

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