Laura Mercier ‘Rose Rendezvous’ Face Illuminator Moonlight Collection Holiday 2011 (swatches, comparison & review)


When I first heard of this collection and saw the early promotional photos, I quickly dismissed this illuminator as something I would rarely, if ever use. Then the whispers began about how amazing it was; I heard them, but still wasn’t convinced. But as they say, when something is meant to be, it will be so a few days later while shopping at Holt Renfrew (Montréal), I strolled by the Laura Mercier counter to ask about ‘Rose Rendezvous’. I was told that there was one left (basically in the entire country), but that it was “on hold” for another customer.  Leaving my name & number with the sales agent in the unlikely event said customer might miraculously change her mind, I left with a heavy heart dramatic sigh. Later that afternoon, I got THE CALL: if I wanted it, it was mine! A true Christmas miracle, lol!  The rest, as they say, is history.



Holding the closed compact as though it were one of the ten commandment tablets, I gazed lovingly at its iconic brown surface, and realized that it was basically embedded with almost holographic-like particles…a harbinger of things to come, perhaps?



Carefully opening up the palette, I laid it on top of the box to admire it some more. This lasted for several seconds … or maybe even minutes … hours … lost track of time at this point …



‘Rose Rendezvous’ – even the name conjures up images of a lovely, yet somewhat virginal maiden about to enter into her first illicit tryst (obviously, I read WAY too many romance novels in my youth!), is a visually stunning assault on your eyes. The very first thing you notice, is the incredibly detailed raised rose pattern of the palette itself. Then you become transfixed by its gleaming rolex pink gold and coppery hue. How on earth could I possibly bring myself to actually mar this beauty’s surface? But after taking a million photos, I dove in.  The powder, while looking almost scarily sparkly, turned out to be incredibly smooth; so finely milled that it felt like ground velvet to the touch, it applied with an almost dream-like consistency.  I’m serious.  Easily buildable, a single swipe gives whispery gleaming touches where applied.  For a more intense look or to be worn as an eyeshadow, it can be layered for a more dramatic appearance. What I absolutely love, is that unlike other highlighters which can either lean towards gold or silver, this one is actually almost more natural looking as a result of its copper/pink undertones and will therefore add glowing touches of warmth to compliment its highlighting capacity. It must also be noted that I experienced absolutely no fallout with ‘Rose Rendezvous’ and it lasted well over eight hours with very little fading; it actually almost seemed to become even more luminous as my skin’s natural oils rose to the surface.



Seen in various lighting conditions, you can appreciate all of its nuances, from the most subtle shimmer to the highest gleam.



… this is love …



Looking at the above closeup, you can actually see how finely milled the powder is – no separation visible – and the most subtle gleaming particles that account for that incredible glow.



From this angle, you can see that the raised pattern adds the most stunning 3-dimensional effect to what is already an item of surpassing beauty.



I’ve included this photo, taken without flash, as I love how it showcases the distinction of the roses against the illuminator’s background.



The above swatch taken in natural light (applied heavily on the left, blended lightly on the right), gives you a clear indication of how well ‘Rose Rendezvous’ works on the skin, without ever coming across as too much.



The same swatches, but seen here with flash to emphasize the gleam factor, displays that under a focused light, this product still manages to work so beautifully on the skin.



Naturally, I needed to compare ‘Rose Rendezvous’ to two other highlighters in my collection, MAC’s ‘Stereo Rose’ (right), as well as CHANEL’s ‘Lumière Sculptée’ (top, previously reviewed here).



In the above photo taken in natural light, and for the most part swatched with a heavy hand for comparison purposes (‘Stereo Rose’ on the left, ‘Rose Rendezvous’ middle two {heavy,blended}, and ‘Lumière Sculptée’ on the far right), you immediately notice how white the CHANEL appears beside the other two, and while the MAC is very close in tone, it still seems a touch more coral leaning with a completely different look in its composition. From the three, The MAC had the grittiest feel to it, while the CHANEL was the most powdery (somewhat chalky in comparison), but ‘Rose Rendezvous’ was “just right”, as the fairy tale states!



The same swatch, but seen here with flash, clearly indicates the differing levels of shine provided by each, with the MAC coming off as a more subdued version of ‘Rose Rendezvous’, while the CHANEL imparts an understated subtle glow.


Final thoughts: I am so, so glad that I allowed myself to swayed by my two friends’ eloquent reviews on ‘Rose Rendezvous’, as this is not only a completely unique product in my beauty arsenal, but so amazingly easy to work with. If you’re not a fan of anything shiny, then walking away from something like this shouldn’t be a hardship, but if you’re like me (fairly new to using highlighters and deathly afraid of looking radioactive), and looking for that certain extra “something” that completes your makeup look, then ‘Rose Rendezvous’ is that perfect product that can give your face an artfully stunning illumination.  I understand that it’s been sold out on both Laura Mercier’s website as well as Sephora since it first launched, but perhaps a diligent search through stores that carry the range, might provide fruitful – it happened to me!



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