Guerlain – Météorites ‘Cruel Gardenia’ Poudre Lumière Irisée (swatches, review & comparison)


This year, I have fallen head over heels for highlighters, and when I saw the early promotional photos of Guerlain’s ‘Cruel Gardenia’, part of the spring 2012 collection, it was a done deal – love!  Well-known for their bronzers, I was hopeful that my first foray into Guerlain’s météorite line of face powders would not disappoint, which this beauty most definitely did NOT!


gardenia ‘perfecta’ – sublime inspiration


‘Cruel Gardenia’ is a pink hued highlighter, with a twist; while the reflective particles lead you to think that it could apply rather vividly, the tone of this incredibly finely milled powder actually leans somewhat warm, yet still neutral enough to compliment basically all skin types. Due to the density of this product, I experienced absolutely no powder kick-back when I dipped my brush in it, and while swatching it with my fingers yielded a frosty appearance, once applied to my cheeks it actually generated a stunning toned-down glow. Wear time was amazing as well, lasting well over 10 hours without migrating, fading or changing tone, finally settling into a subtle sheen. Tracy of Beauty Reflections did a wonderful review on this gem as well – check it out here.


in sunlight: swatched heavily on the left, blended out on the right

with flash


Even though the single rosette of Guerlain’s ‘Cruel Gardenia’ looks identical to Laura Mercier’s many-blossomed ‘Rose Rendezvous’ (previously reviewed here), the differences lie in 2 factors: colour & shine.  Whereas ‘Rose Rendezvous’ definitely leans more coppery and seems slightly more suited to warmer skin tones, ‘Cruel Gardenia’ with its neutralized pink hue easily crosses all skin type barriers. The more delicate gleam given off by the Guerlain is also in direct contrast to the stronger presence of the Mercier (a lighter hand may be necessary for application), which also happens to be a touch more powdery.


in sunlight: outer swatches – ‘Rose Rendezvous’, inner swatches – ‘Cruel Gardenia’

with flash


Final thoughts: This limited edition product, while pricey (CAD $76.00, but I was lucky enough to pick it up for CAD $66.00 with a beauty discount from The Bay) is an absolute STUNNER! Certainly not a product you will run out of anytime soon, I figured it was well worth the investment for A) how long it should last and B) the fabulous look it gives off. What I love about ‘Cruel Gardenia’ is its versatility, where highlighters are concerned, in that it can easily be worn as an all-over glow when diffused with a large fluffy brush, or as strategically placed sophisticated gleaming touches. Delicately feminine yet fiercely urban at the same time … and now I get the name of ‘Cruel Gardenia’!





*Image credit

32 Responses to Guerlain – Météorites ‘Cruel Gardenia’ Poudre Lumière Irisée (swatches, review & comparison)

  1. Ursula says:

    Well, hey then we definitely do not need the opera or a concert then:))) What good life would be if we did not enjoy it?

  2. Ursula says:

    Right and you got me addicted to the new Dior nail polishes too:))) but honestly sometimes new discoveries are sooo exciting, good or bad that depends, our wallets are probably crying but our faces are happy:)))

    • Eugenia says:

      True; I love learning about just about anything, especially if it’s beauty-related! As to the crying wallets, I live in denial and pretend it’s just singing! :)

  3. Ursula says:

    You should as I do think Rouge Gs are the queens of all lipsticks, I was fortunate to get them on sale with coupons and winter sale before they raised the price, the reds are amazing; I got Garconne and Geisha and the limited edition violety purple Bee, also a coral and a bronze. Especially the more vivid, darker colors are the longest lasting lipsticks ever made, extremely moisturizing and opaque formulas, highly recommend.The only danger is that they are addictive and once you try a Rouge G it will be hard to downgrade:)))

  4. Ursula says:

    Unfortunately I do not think NARS is sold in Hungary but I cna look at other options, I still have some fuchsia lipsticks so I do not need one if I look at it that way I just want one:))) EL had a nice one last year they may still got that, Guerlain has come out with a lot of pinks for the spring but I am not sure I am as into those shades as much as I am into G de Guerlains usually, also now the price is extremely steep here so will think about that. I already got 5 Rouge Gs but they are mostly reds and corals, one bronze and one deep purple, hmm maybe time to swatch some new colors at the stores.

    • Eugenia says:

      That’s too bad, and even though buying online is an option, frequently it works out to be way too expensive. I have heard so much about G de Guerlain and perhaps it’s time I start investigating them further; next time I go to the Guerlain counter, I think I’ll stay and play awhile! If you do go swatch some new shades, do let me know your thoughts!

  5. Ursula says:

    I really love your comments; the makeup will do no good for any woman if she does not feel good in her own skin; one of the reasons I love makeup is that I enjoy it on a daily basis, playing with it and it makes me feel better about myself, which is why we buy things. Since I do have the EL highlighters I may not buy this this time but in the market for pink eyeshadows and perhaps a fuchsia lipstick and I always have the Teal EL chubstick on hold but others are on my list as well.:)))

    • Eugenia says:

      Thank you so much for your kind words, Ursula! As to a fuchsia lipstick, have you seen NARS’ ‘Mexican Rose’? (I need to get cracking on my review of it!)’s vivid, but totally wearable and I swear it lasts forever…best part? it’s in a chubby pencil format! PS: I just picked up EL’s ‘Shimmering Sands’ and ‘Bronze Sands’ quint!

  6. Ursula says:

    Ah, I am still loving this sooo much and knowing the quality of Guerlain products, oh, I so wanted to not like this… now do I need a third highlighter? Definitely not but when is makeup about needing something? Also, my philosophy is not to buy what I need but buy what I really want. It should be about making ourselves happy, no? Lol, we will have a 20 % too, we used to have that almost monthly in Hungary but not right now, next month it will happen though,problem is that I again do not really need anything but I have a long list of what I want already and that will likely only keep growing til then.

    • Eugenia says:

      How eloquently you put it; yes indeed, more often than not, makeup is not so much about the needing but the wanting! And if you are able to afford it, then why why not go after the products that make you happy? There are many ways to look at this ancient hobby (after all, cosmetics have been around for millenia!), but in the end, it’s about how it makes you feel, both inside & out! There is definitely something for all budgets, and if you can also benefit from a 20% discount, then that it even sweeter! (PS: I know all about the long lists…I’m almost afraid to look at mine, lol!)

  7. Latoya says:

    Oh man…I really want to get in on this stunning highlighter trend, but I just haven’t found ‘my’ pick yet! I liked this a lot when I swatched it in stores, but not enough to shell out the big bucks. I think if I had gotten to swatch Rendezvous, I would have picked it up, but by the time I got to Sephora they were long gone. But it’s on my radar now so every time another fabulous highlighter comes out, I’m gonna be the first in line to check it out!

    Anyway, they both look great on you – would you say you have a neutral complexion Eugenia? Everything seems to work for you! Or do you lean a bit olive-toned??

    • Eugenia says:

      I definitely have olive leanings in my skin tone – I am of Greek descent, after all, so no lily-white skin for me! I can’t really pull off cooler tones unless they have a warmer twist to them – so I tend to stick to what I know will work for me. There’s been such a rich choice of highlighters from so many brands this year, that it’s actually been a little overwhelming…I’m sure your perfect highlighter is waiting for you!

  8. Maggie says:

    I don’t need it I don’t need it I don’t need it I –


    • Eugenia says:

      Maggie…you’re totally cracking me up! Of course you don’t NEED it, but………yeah, dammit about sums it up, all right! Lol! Seriously, I adore this highlighter….not helping, I know!!

      • Maggie says:

        Heh. I have strong feelings about makeup when it’s that beautiful. =)

        And yes, you are definitely not helping, lol!

      • Eugenia says:

        I have a feeling that you and I will develop a long “enabling” partnership, lol! I understand those strong feelings about beautiful makeup…really, I do!!

  9. mara says:

    I tried it today after reading your blog and I have to say it’ s stunning!! I had seen it before but I didn’t pay it attention because I thought it was too pink for me…
    I’m sorry to say that it’s just perfect! Now I need it! And it was with 20% off… I mean, I HAVE to buy it, i think I will regret it later!
    You have to put a warning on you’re blog, like “be careful, don’t read it with you’re wallet empty” lol

    • Eugenia says:

      Hahahaha! Mara, you’re too funny! First of all, I’m so glad you gave it a shot and liked it! 20% off? Girl, I would be jumping all over that!! I love it when you can score a great product like this AT A DISCOUNT!!! Thumbs up!!

      • mara says:

        Actually it’s al the beauty section at 20%… so tomorrow i’ll see what comes home with this beauty :) Maybe waterlily…

      • Eugenia says:

        Wow….thank God that deal isn’t near me; I would probably empty my entire bank account on all the products I’d love to have, lol! Lucky, lucky you, Mara … enjoy and let me now what you come home with! :)

  10. Oh, beauty! In hindsight I prefer this over the Laura Mercier but I’m perfectly happy with my choice and am glad you get to enjoy both! It really is the year of highlighters, isn’t it? I have half a dozen highlighters already so hopefully our favourite brands will stop coming out with such gorgeousness like these and let us happily enjoy what we have! lol

    • Eugenia says:

      Amen to that! I was thinking something similar just the other day, where I was looking forward to NOT being tempted by any more luscious highlighters, lol! I seriously want to use the ones I’ve already picked up….please!!

  11. Shimmer says:

    AAAAaaaaaaah! You are forcing me over into the world of luxurious highlighters! The Laura Mercier “Rose Rendezvous” has been HAUNTING my dreams ever since I first saw you post about it. (I absolutely NEED to track one of those down!!) and now THIS! Wow! I love it, and the fact that the design is gorgeous is just a bonus! Beautiful!

    • Eugenia says:

      Awww…thanks, Maribeth! Ok bad news: Laura Mercier’s Rose Rendezvous sold out faster than you could say “jack rabbit” (although I’m sure some ebay seller is charging major $$$ for it), and while the Guerlain is a recent launch, as it’s limited edition, you can be sure it’ll be selling fast as well…so, if it’s striking your fancy, don’t delay, my friend! Of the two, I definitely recommend Cruel Gardenia for it total wearability factor! :)

  12. I’m so glad you were able to get this too Big Sis! It is great! I’m so glad I skipped Rose Rendezvous as this is much better for my skin tone. I’m glad it works for you too!

    • Eugenia says:

      I remember having the product on hold the very day it launched, but I wasn’t sure about it (I even took home a counter swatch to compare!)…until your post on it, Lil Sis! YOU were the tipping point, lol! I’m so happy that it’s not a dead-on duplicate of Rose Rendezvous and I confess that I was worried this might be too pink on me, but like you said: it works!

  13. k Elizabeth says:

    Beautiful, beautiful post. Thanks for sharing & doing the comparison swatches. So helpful. :)

  14. Oh, so pretty, so pretty. ._. I’m glad both you and Tracy have it – I’ll just watch from afar. Not creepy at all, right? 😛

    • Eugenia says:

      …not unless you’re wearing a trench coat, lol!! I was on the fence about getting this, then when I realized that both Tracy & I picked it up AND SHE LOVED IT, I breathed a sigh of relief….not too crazy, huh?!

What are your thoughts, beautiful?