This collection was inspired by the 1933 Guerlain fragrance Vol de Nuit (Night Flight) — which, in turn, was inspired by a book of the same name by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry (author of The Little Prince).
Furthermore, this year’s limited edition bottle of Vol de Nuit shimmer powder was patterned after the original bottle of perfume — which is not only beautiful 1930s art deco, but is also intended to evoke an airplane’s propeller. I’m just swooning.
Enough about the packaging; let’s get to the swatches. First, there’s a new, limited edition eyeshadow quad, 10 Les Ombres de Nuit ($59). WOW. It is not the color combination I’d expected for holiday, but it is gorgeous just the same.
This palette includes a cool grey-silver shimmer; a dirty, muted aqua blue with subtle gold and green shimmer; an incredibly rich blackened sapphire shimmer; and a near-black (brown-grey, very dark taupe) matte. The matte is slightly chalkier than the other four shades, but it certainly doesn’t want for pigment (and you may not even notice the textural difference in application).
There are four holiday lipsticks, though Rouge G 26 Gardner is actually supposed to be exclusive to Europe. Somehow (glitch in the matrix), my counter got a tester to swatch — but no product to sell. It’s a warm, very fall, almost orangey rose with very subtle orange and gold shimmer.
Rouge G Le Brillant B21 Bianca is a repromote, a sheer warm red-pink. Both Rouge G and Rouge G Le Brillant lipsticks are $47.
There are also two limited edition holiday Rouge Automatiques ($35, with a “capless,” slide-to-open mechanism). 169 Flirt d’Un Jour is a beiger pink than Bianca, with tiny, subtle blue, green, and purple sparkles. It’s quite sheer. 170 Nuit d’Amour is also sheer, a red-plum violet berry.
Of course, it wouldn’t be a holiday collection without highlighters, and Guerlain gives you several to choose from.
First is the Parure de Nuit pressed powder and blush ($67). In terms of packaging, this compact will probably remind you of last spring’s stunning Blush G Serie Noire (that compact’s brush had pink bristles, this brush is dark teal). The powder is decorated with stylized peacock feathers, and that pattern is the key to the powder/blush designation.
Guerlain says to swipe your brush vertically over the powder to pick up a pale pink highlighting powder. Swipe it diagonally across the peacock feathers (which are predominantly red) for a blush that’s cool pink with fine silver shimmer. I suppose you could even avoid the feathers altogether if you wanted a non-pink highlight.
I’ve remarked before that Meteorites Perles (the loose, multicolored balls that are perhaps Guerlain’s signature product) are nearly impossible to swatch. There is a new and limited edition set for holiday (Meteorites Perles de Nuit, $56), and they’re so pretty I had to TRY swatching them. So I rubbed each color one-by-one onto my swatching sponge (for an even distribution of the shades), then transferred to my arm.
The pearls are pink, orange, white, pale gold, and a sparkly silver that actually comes off SO subtly. The mix is a heavenly, pale gold, ultra fine shimmer. I don’t think my camera captured the effect, but I absolutely love it.
And finally, for as long as I can remember, Guerlain has released a limited edition shimmer powder atomizer for holiday (here are bottle pics from 2008, 2009, and 2010). The bottles are exquisite, and they dispense an ultra-fine shimmer powder suitable for face, body, or hair.
This year (for the first time), the powder is scented — with Vol de Nuit — and the spray is a rainbow of very fine sparkles. It’s $87.