When you picture the iconic Givenchy product, you’re probably imagining a compact with the four Gs on top, and a “pillowed” powder inside. The “Prisme” compact was first launched in 1989, a quad of face powders (kind of like a pressed version of Guerlain’s Meteorites) and it has become Givenchy’s signature item.
Givenchy recently reformulated their Prisme offering (and upgraded the packaging), and I just got it all figured out, so I thought I’d share what I’ve learned.
There are two “Prismes” for face: Le Prisme Visage ($45) and Le Prismissime Visage ($53). (Technically there’s also Prisme Libre, the loose powder ($63), but this product has been discontinued in the U.S., so when it’s gone, it’s gone.)
Le Prisme Visage compacts are quads of matte powders in 7 “classic” shades and two “sun harmonies” — for “summer” (tan) complexions. The updated, reformulated Prisme Visage incorporates particles capable of reflecting light at an unusually wide angle, for a glow without shine. The powder itself is extremely fine, and each particle is purportedly of uniform size and shape for a soft, velvety finish. Only six of Le Prisme Visage shades are available in the U.S.: 83 Peach Plumetis, 84 Beige Mousseline 85 Amber Organza, 86 Toffee Taffeta, 13 Sun Mango, and 14 Sun Cinnamon. (The other shades are 81 Pastel Tulle, 82 Rose Cashmere, and 87 Pink Velvet.)
Le Prismissime Visage is the “extreme” version of Le Prisme. These compacts contains 9 different shades. The outer two rows are matte, the center is pearlescent, for a more radiant finish. Only 73 Sun Caramel is available in the U.S.
The newest eye offering from Givenchy is Le Prisme Yeux Mono ($29). These petite palettes offer four texture variations on the same color: matte, iridescent, pearlescent, and glitter. There are 16 shades, of which 11 are available in the U.S. Those are Showy Black, Hip Grey, Fancy Coffee, Modish Brown, Smart Nude, Casual Khaki, Elegant Taupe, and Couture Beige — New Look Mauve, Must-Have Blue, and Dressy Indigo are also available, but only online.
Givenchy also offers several shade options in its Prisme Again! Eyeshadow Quartet ($50; four different shades, two different finishes), and right now there’s just one available option of the Prismissime Eyes compacts (with 9 shades on a theme), 55 Tempting Chocolate, $53.
There are two different Givenchy blushes “out in the market” right now: Le Prisme Blush is the newer formulation, replacing Prisme Again! The “Prisme Again!” items (the blush and eyeshadow quads) were released in 2004.
Le Prisme Blush ($43) is available in 6 shades: 23 Aficionado Peach, 24 It-Girl Purple, 25 In Vogue Orange, 26 Fashionista Brown (as well as 21 Inspiration Rose and 22 Vintage Pink, which aren’t available in the U.S.).
Le Prisme Again! Blush — should you stumble across it — was available in seven shades: 01 Timid Rose, 02 Loving Pink, 03 Euphoric Orange, 04 Charming Violet, 05 Smiling Brown, 06 Red Passion, and 07 Pop Candy.
Bonus Givenchy trivia: Why does the word “L’Interdit” appear so often in Givenchy product names? Hubert de Givenchy had a fragrance commissioned for his friend and muse Audrey Hepburn. The popular (and utterly charming) myth is that in 1957 when he decided to release it to the public, he said he was going to name it after her and she responded, “Je vous l’interdit,” (I forbid it.)
The truth (which is not nearly as much fun) is that Givenchy named his fragrance “The Forbidden,” knowing that people always want what they can’t have. (The interview with Givenchy himself, in French.)