Product Review: Guerlain Ecrin 4 Couleurs Eyeshadow Quad in Les Sables (#15) — with swatches

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I’ve mentioned before that Guerlain has been one of my beauty-product obsessions of 2014, and the Autumn 2014 collection has been on my mind for the past few weeks. I was curious about one of the Ecrin 4 Couleurs eye shadow “quads,” but I wasn’t certain how it would look in person or whether it would work for me.

I had my chance to find out a few weeks ago, when I had my makeup done at Bergdorf Goodman’s Guerlain counter last month and the Guerlain regional makeup artist selected Les Sables from her pile of products and began using it on me.

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As it turns out, Les Sables’s colors are a bit cooler than they appear in the official product photo (at top). They don’t have individual names or numbers, but they include a medium terracotta brown (matte); a frosty ivory (pearl); a medium cool rose (matte); and a deep chocolate brown (matte). The three matte shades are embossed with a decorative pattern, and the pearly shade is marked with the Guerlain “G.”

The makeup artist (also named Jessica!) used the rose/pink shade on my eyelids, the chocolate shade in the creases of the lids, and the ivory shade in the inner corners of my lids and along my browbone, then blended the shades together gently. Depending on amount of product you use, and the lightness or pressure of application, you can achieve anything from a natural daytime look to a deeper, more dramatic layering of shades.

Here are some color swatches on my arm:

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Here’s a shot taken outdoors in the shade. You can see the shimmery quality of the lightest shade, as opposed to the matte finishes of the other three. The rose shade, at far right, almost blends into my skin (which is why it works so nicely as a base color for my lids).

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And here’s a shade in direct sunlight.

All four shadows are finely milled and very buildable. I’ve been duplicating the method that the Guerlain makeup artist used; I’ve also been applying the lighter brown on the lids, or sticking with the rose for the lids and then using a mix of the two browns in the crease. (Pro tip from Jessica the Makeup Artist: The ivory shadow can also be used as a highlighter, brushed lightly onto the cheekbones or décolletage.)

I’ve been wearing these shadows over primer (Urban Decay Eyeshadow Primer Potion), and they last all day.

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Les Sables is now #15 in the Guerlain eye color collection. Here’s a back view of its compact (with clouds and sky reflected in the goldtone case). Guerlain cosmetics are made in France, as you can read on the label—that’s increasingly rare these days, when so much manufacturing is done in China. I like the tiny schematic in the upper right, showing the color layout of this product.

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Here’s a final shot, just for fun. The gold case closes solidly and includes a generously sized mirror (as well as a double-ended sponge applicator, in case you don’t have any brushes handy.)

As you can tell, Les Sables is a new favorite for me. I own fewer eye shadows than you might expect of someone so fascinated by makeup, and this is the most luxurious eye shadow set I’ve yet acquired. The colors are just right for my complexion, the quality is flawless, and the presentation is elegant. High marks all around.

Guerlain’s Ecrin 4 Couleurs in Les Sables can be purchased at Guerlain counters at Bergdorf Goodman, Neiman Marcus, Saks Fifth Avenue, and other high-end department stores, as well as the Sephora website. I purchased mine at Bergdorf Goodman. You can contact Bergdorf’s Guerlain counter at (212) 872-2734.

Images: all photos by Tinsel Creation.

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