Stalwart and standout. Those are the two words I think of in relation to the house of Guerlain. How many of their products have pride of place in your beauty portfolio? Les Meteorites, Terracotta Bronzer or Kiss Kiss Lipstick? Whichever it is, you are in possession of makeup gold. From the earliest stirrings of the house dating back to 1838 starting with fragrance, then moving onto colour cosmetics and skincare, this brand has held my attention since I was a little girl. It was the 80s, and thumbing through my mother’s copies of Vogue and Cosmopolitan, I clearly recall the glossy advertisements for fragrances such as Shalimar and Samsara, the brilliant reds of the lipsticks and the distinct smell of the magazines.
Guerlain offered up their first lipstick around 1870, with inspiration coming from a candle maker. Pierre Francois Pascal Guerlain, a chemist, used pink candle wax that was scented for the first lipstick creation. Ne m’oubliez pas (Don’t forget Me) was born, then came Rouge d’enfer (Red Hell), followed by Rouge Automatique (Automatic Red). And that is but three highlights from a French Perfumer that has carved deep lines into the creation and existence of the modern beauty industry. As we gingerly step inside this house, we begin with that substance that can transform a face with a swipe and blot…lipstick.
Within the past two years I’ve come to realise that I am happier to splash out on a proper lipstick than on lip gloss. Not to take away from the extraordinary gloss formulas that have emerged, but a proper lipstick elevates everything. Can you imagine the character Alexis Carrington from the television series Dynasty (played by Dame Joan Collins), slicking on some gloss and still being Alexis Carrington? Unlikely.
Guerlain Divinora is an incredibly soft, transparent formula, yet the colour is evident. It wears comfortably and is shimmery but not gritty. Divinora offers the perfect upscale shine that can be layered on your lips without looking like peeling paint. I’d say it is an excellent choice if you are averse to lipstick, because it behaves similarly to lip gloss. Though short on extreme longevity while wearing, Divinora leaves your lips feeling very hydrated and can be applied without a mirror.
Guerlain Kiss Kiss in Orange Fizz is similarly soft but with more opacity. It shimmers as well but in terms of wearability, I found that it’s staying power was less than that of Divinora. Thus, the longevity of Kiss Kiss is boosted by using a lip pencil. Where this formula triumphs is that it leaves a stain even after it has worn away. It won’t make it through a sandwich or a beverage if you’re drinking directly from the glass, but it does offer a trusty option for those averse to completely opaque lipstick. Add this to your bag for a tropical getaway or for casual days when you’re running errands.
Guerlain continues to excite and innovate in several ways. From their ongoing efforts to repackage products using sustainable materials, to efforts to preserve bee colonies, to delivering cutting edge technologies and formulations across all product lines, I continue to be enthralled. In some circles Guerlain is known as the ‘Vatican’ of fragrance, which to me is fitting because they have given the industry some of the best fragrances ever created. Such excellence is further demonstrated via the words of Jacques Guerlain, “The creation of a fragrance is a work of emotion and intuition”. I am an unabashed Guerlain lover and that is unlikely to ever change. Click the comments below to share your Guerlain favourites, your thoughts about the brand and the items you may wish to try.
ALWAYS A PLEASURE AND THANKS FOR READING