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
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’
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’!