Monday, October 22, 2012

Guerlain Liu: The Legendary Name Adorns the 2012 Christmas Makeup Collection

"From the heart of the breathtaking fragrance Liu, Guerlain takes us on a refined, mysterious journey to the golden mists of Shanghai with the Guerlain Liu Christmas Makeup collection. A limited edition collection that focuses upon the extreme splendour of tapered eyes, glistening skin and a blood red mouth; a heroine whose beauty is noble and bewitching. From her incarnation in the roaring twenties, Liu is reinvented for the 21st century, even more radiant than the original but still with the same precious rituals, extreme femininity and sense of detail".

Guerlain continues to use its illustrious archives for coming up with dreamy names to baptize their latest makeup products, from their -by now- customary Christmas loose powders in gorgeous bottles with bulb atomizers (see last years' Vol de Nuit shimmer powder) to their Rouge Automatique lipsticks in all the colors of the rainbow.

The star product of the Guerlain 2012 Christmas collection is the show-stopping Liu loose powder in the sublime deco bottle above ($88.00) Drawing its inspiration from Jacques Guerlain's iconic Liu perfume from the 1920s [ed.note: itself inspired by Puccini's opera Turandot] this precious beauty ritual softly illuminates the body with a mysterious, refined and festive air. "The black lacquered bottle is a talisman all of its own. Styled in the image of the original Liu perfume bottle, which in turn was inspired by traditional Japanese tea trays, this legendary fragrance is transformed into a desirable objet d'art".

The Guerlain Liu Christmas 2012 Makeup Collection also includes: 
Guerlain Liu Calligraphy palette (includes three iridescent eyeshadows in golden bronze, copper and glistening white, with a matte carbon black eyeliner that can be used wet or dry and 2 pigmented lip stains in carmine red and blue-toned red).
A LE of Meteorites powder beads in Perles du Dragon
A LE of Meteorites powder mosaic in Wylong
Guerlain Ecrin 4 couleurs 500 Les Ombres Turandot (includes Dore Clair, iridescent gold; Rose Satine, rosewood in matte; Prune Aubergine, plum in matte; and finally Beige Mordore, iridescent brown).  Guerlain Shine Automatique in 700 Altoum (gold) and 760 Lou-Ling (deep pink).
Guerlain Liu Nail Lacquers in 03 Altoum (gold with shimmer) and 04 Lou-Ling (deep plum).

To refresh your memory, here's a perfume review and comparison of the vintage Guerlain Liu fragrance and the modern Liu Eau de Parfum in Les Parisiennes boutique line.


  1. It's a lovely collection for sure, but would it have killed them to do a LE of the fragrance for wider distribution too?

  2. Hi there!

    Good point (and it would have been rather lovely, wouldn't it) but I suppose they're concerned whether it would create a loss of "image"/exclusivity for their Eau de Parfum Liu in the Parisiennes edition. (Sort of the same reason that made them withdraw the Vetiver pour Elle from duty-frees...).

    Makes business sense? Probably. Do we have to like it? Not necessarily. So thanks for mentioning it! I hope people at Guerlain see this kind of comments and maybe reconsider at some point.

  3. Anonymous18:12

    It's beautiful. I loved the Ltd edition powder from a few years ago-not sur which scent it was-it just smelled fresh, and reminded me of the new skin care products.

    I'm off to read your Liu reviews!

  4. Miss Heliotrope01:41

    "the extreme splendour of tapered eyes"

    Is this another of your pieces on racism?

    Not to be racist, but to draw stereotypes based on nationality - the French aren't great at non-euro cultural/ethicity stuff, are they?

  5. Yes - better if they did the scent!
    I rarely buy their make-up and never their skincare!

  6. Merlin10:06

    Well it turns out that Turandot (the Puccini opera from which the name Liu is taken) was banned in China for a long time because it was thought to portray the Chinese badly.(though it seems the tale was meant to have been set in Central Asia/Persia) - Just to add another layer to it all!

  7. Carole,

    I don't remember that either. They did do a Meteorites violet-scented loose powder (the same scent as their LE fragrance), didn't they? Could it be it?

    Thanks for dropping by!

  8. C,

    it's rather funny, as you say, especially since the French have had their own intermixed population for much much longer than other European countries thanks to their colonialist past.

    On the contrary here for instance (to draw but one example), back 25 or 30 years ago seeing someone from another race or ethnicity was as rare as seeing the tail of meteorite crossing the sky and as impressive! (I distinctly remember being indelibly impressed by a statuesque black lady by the name of Yvette who was an athlete and a model appearing on TV as a kid; she had created the impression that all black people were as queenly as she was)

    In the end, I think that using cliches is appealing to a gut instinct created through repeated exposure to a "claim". It usually doesn't really make sense logically and it can be infuriating (even if complimentary) to the races/ethnicities involved, but it's used for its instant recognizability by the companies and the advertising machine. There you have it...

  9. M,

    I would have jumped with joy for a saner priced (even if LE) Liu for wider distribution. But I don't think it's probable, in all honesty.

    Oh, the makeup is usually quite good (stellar sometimes) and some of the skincare is good as well (the L'Or serum is really great), though my experience with the latter segment isn't adequate by any stretch.

  10. M,

    obviously the reference is so well known (and revered artistically and visually) that they're willing to bypass that "technicality"?
    I'm not surprised that the Chinese had banned it. High art can be controversial and create tensions as well. ;-)


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