Saturday, December 3rd, 2011

Guerlain Cruel Gardenia Meteorites
Guerlain Cruel Gardenia Meteorites

Guerlain Spring 2012: Cruel Gardenia Meteorites

Debuting in January, Guerlain Cruel Gardenia Meteorites ($67.00 for 0.31 oz.) is a limited edition highlighter than can be used to highlight specific areas or as an all-over glow. It delivers a light pink with neutral-warm undertones with a shimmer-sheen. It reminded me of a lighter, pinker version of MAC Crystal Pink. Chanel Beiges Ombres Tissees is lighter, more beige/white. MAC Light Sunshine is more similar in color but is a bit lighter and has more of a sheen than shimmer.

It looked rather frosty when I swatched it on my arm, but it worked well when I applied it with a brush on my cheek bones to test out the wear. There’s no emphasis of pores, and there’s enough glow and sheen to perk up the face without looking like a disco ball. This is more shimmery than other pressed meteorites in my experience but not by much. I was really happy with the wear, which is really what I liked most about the product, which was ten hours undisturbed. No breaking up, migration, or looking like it was worse for the wear .It didn’t have the typical Guerlain violet scent; there’s a lingering scent, but it’s very, very subtle–I practically had my nose buried in the gardenia! When I finally caught the scent, it smelled a little soapy. It’s supposed to be Cruel Gardenia, though.

The powder is finely milled but dense and firm, which is why it doesn’t turn frosty on the face–the brush picks up the right amount of product. Sometimes a product can be too soft, like when you put your brush to the powder, it loosens a ton of product (more than you need), which can be wasteful. Nevertheless, it’s more of a sheen and shimmer than Parure de Nuit from fall.

BritishBeautyBlogger has an excellent write-up about how/why products can be similar (and looking at these two particular products). Industry insiders know that products are often planned at least one to two years in advance; often, the conceptual phase is 18-24 months out, while prototype production can begin a year or further out from launch–products have to move through various stages like creation, testing, reformulation, production, etc. Color agencies like Pantone often determine the trends we’ll see in upcoming months, so some similarities are entirely coincidental or par for the course.

Design similarity aside, though, the two don’t really compare in the way that matters–color. Cruel Gardenia is distinctly pink, and it will do more to flatter cooler complexions (but it is equally flattering on warmer complexions, because it’s a neutral pink), compared to the more bronzy Rose Rendezvous by Laura Mercier. I wanted to review Laura Mercier’s, but unfortunately, by the time I received my order from Nordstrom (boo, ground shipping!) and tested it (seriously, I photographed and started testing immediately after it arrived), it was sold out.

The Glossover


Cruel Gardenia

If you've been looking for a way to add a little glow and shimmer to the face and never have to worry about overdoing it, the texture of this product makes both of those things easy to achieve. Those who loved the feel and texture of Laura Mercier's Rose Rendezvous will likely love this one, too, and it's nice that they don't resemble each other in hue.











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Guerlain Cruel Gardenia Meteorites
Guerlain Cruel Gardenia Meteorites

Guerlain Cruel Gardenia Meteorites
Guerlain Cruel Gardenia Meteorites

Guerlain Cruel Gardenia Meteorites
Guerlain Cruel Gardenia Meteorites

Guerlain Cruel Gardenia Meteorites
Guerlain Cruel Gardenia Meteorites

Guerlain Cruel Gardenia Meteorites
Guerlain Cruel Gardenia Meteorites

Guerlain Cruel Gardenia Meteorites
Guerlain Cruel Gardenia Meteorites

Guerlain Cruel Gardenia Meteorites
Guerlain Cruel Gardenia Meteorites

Guerlain Cruel Gardenia Meteorites
Guerlain Cruel Gardenia Meteorites

Guerlain Cruel Gardenia Meteorites
Guerlain Cruel Gardenia Meteorites

Guerlain Cruel Gardenia Meteorites
Guerlain Cruel Gardenia Meteorites vs. Laura Mercier Rose Rendezvous Face Illuminator

Guerlain Cruel Gardenia Meteorites
Guerlain Cruel Gardenia Meteorites on cheekbones (Guerlain Les Aquas on eyes)

Product & Review FAQ

Where can I purchase it? How much is it?

January 2012 at Guerlain counters, $67.

Is it limited edition?


Any dupes?

It reminded me of a lighter, pinker version of MAC Crystal Pink. Chanel Beiges Ombres Tissees is lighter, more beige/white. MAC Light Sunshine is more similar in color but is a bit lighter and has more of a sheen than shimmer.

Discussion and debate are highly encouraged, and we expect community members to participate respectfully. When asking a question, please check the FAQ section (above) for information about purchasing, price, dupes, and the like. If you have general feedback or need technical support, please contact us.

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120 thoughts on “Guerlain Cruel Gardenia Meteorites Review, Photos, Swatches

  1. That’s really beautiful, and I readily admit I might buy that purely for the design. Damn those geniuses at Guerlain! They suck me in, every time.

  2. Very nice make up on this picture !!!

  3. Alix

    “Cruel Gardenia” is just one of the best product names ever!

  4. WOOHHHHH … am breathless … Christine …. you are looking Goddess here … makeup goddess for sure
    beautiful color and you have made it even more adorable 😀 …. i will def. check this out if I have some luck 😀 😀 ..

    Stunning as always and was refreshing page ever since you posted on FB 😀 😀

  5. Charlotte

    So pretty *.*

  6. Beatriz

    Wow! You look so pretty!

  7. Victoria

    WHY DO HAVE TO REVIEW IT? Now I just HAVE TO get it once it comes out. Hehheheh

  8. Amandale

    This “related reading” thing popped on the side and scared the crap out of me lol Is that new?

  9. Jaann

    If I already have the Laura Mercier Rose Rendezvous Face Illuminator, do I need the Guerlain Cruel Gardenia? I’m about NC15, for reference.

    Also, what did you think of the Laura Mercier Rose Rendezvous Face Illuminator? What grade would you have given it?


    • Hi Jaann,

      I swatched both of them in this post – they’re totally different colors, so it really just depends on what color you prefer. Somewhere around B+/A- — I didn’t get great wear with the Laura Mercier one; it was about six hours, faded at eight.

  10. AnGeLwInGz

    That’s so pretty! Just the right amount of shimmer. I gotta start using my highlighters. They just keep accumulating.

  11. Eileen

    Hi Christine

    The fragrance of the new Météorite is actually based on Guerlain’s perfume called Cruel Gardenia. Guerlain occasionally features one of their perfumes in their limited edition products. Remember the holiday shimmer powder called Vol de Nuit? It’s fragrance was—Vol de Nuit!

    I’m glad you mentioned that this product was not going to create the dreaded disco ball effect. Guerlain’s demographic is the 40+ woman so excessive frost, shine, or glitter is never going to be a problem although any shimmer powder will look shiny if it is over-buffed. When lightly applied as a finishing powder or a bit heavier as a highlighter, Météorites veil the skin in flattering soft-focus light.

    Although the sculpted flower motif of this LE looks similar to the one recently released by Laura Mercier, the two products are significantly different. The Guerlain is lighter in color, finer in texture, and more sophisticated in finish than the LM. Women who found the LM too dark or too shimmery should check out Guerlain when it hits counter.

    • Good to know – though it smells soapy, lol! It’s also VERY subtle, which is weird (most Guerlain cosmetic products are more heavy handed in their scent).

  12. Kayvid

    Wow! It’s way too beautiful to use…and you seem to have lost some weight!

  13. Liliya

    Yeah! I’m so glad it doesn’t have violet scent! Really can’t stay by that horrible smell ); Its the reason why I’m not buying Guerlaine products.
    What brush did u use? Thanks Christine.

  14. The flower design on the product is so lovely! I would feel bad about ruining it.

  15. Ebokee

    What are you wearing on your lips? Pretty look btw.

  16. ohhh no :( my purse is not going to like this. This is possibly the prettiest product I have ever seen!!!!! I never usually spend this much on single items but I might have too. Its 3D!!! amazing.

  17. Tabi

    I don’t need this at all and I’m not sure how much I would use it, but it sure is breathtakingly beautiful, both in color and form. =)

  18. JEN

    wow that is soooo beautiful! it’s the price that’s scary!

  19. this is really pretty. I bought the laura mercier face illuminator and I really like it. I think the Guerlain would be less flattering on my MAC C8 skin tone. I love highlighters but I am having the worst luck finding a holy grail. thanks for the post!

  20. Rachel

    This look is so spring-like and absolutely beautiful!

  21. Beautiful packaging and concept, but I don’t think I could use it! too pretty!

  22. This looks so pretty and luxurious, almost too pretty to use.

  23. Pappetee

    The moment I saw Guerlain’s Spring 2012 photos, I had to look twice bec the highlighter looks like a long lost twin to Laura Mercier’s Rose Rendezvous. They are both gorgeous and I appreciate the side by side swatches, Christine! Since I missed on LM’s, I will most likely pick up Guerlain’s come spring time. :-)

  24. jagoda

    price should definitly be added to the rating process! especially with a price this ridiculous in my book it would be at least 1 letter grade lower.

    • Sorry, I disagree — you can always evaluate what price works and doesn’t work for you. Everyone’s budget is different, and it’s unfair to inflate the grades for cheap products and deflate grades because something is expensive. No matter whether you spend $5 or $50, it should be money well spent, which means on a quality product. This way, when you see an A for a product that costs $1, that means it’s A on its merits. When I redid our rating system, I took price out, because it was such a terrible way to grade products. All it does is make cheap products seem better and expensive products seem worse, when that’s really not the case.

  25. Hey Christine!
    Do you think this will also be available at Sephora?

    Thanks ♥

  26. Hi Christine!
    Just wondering, how does this compare to MAC Pink Porcelain MSF?

  27. BooBooNinja

    Christine (or anyone else in the know),
    Which of the Guerlain Meteroites is the least shimmery?
    I’m looking for an all-over beauty/setting powder that will give me a glow but no shine or glitter. I’m NC 20/25.

  28. Vicky

    It’s so nice that you mentioned why a product wasn’t reviewed and, also, included a picture of it swatched anyway!

    As usual, the Guerlain product is beautiful. I love Guerlain <3

  29. To be fair, you didn’t really have to sell me on this one, but your review does make me more certain than ever that I need it. Interesting that your reaction to the product swatched vs. on the face (that it looked almost too shimmery, but then worked fine), is exactly the reaction I originally had to their Summer “Terra Inca Radiant Powder”, which is one of my most beloved pieces and something I use all the time. Although I suspect it’ll come to Canada later, I’ll definitely be grabbing this the second I see it!

    • It’s amazing how different it looks – I agree about Terra Inca – I was like, “WHOA!” when I initially swatched it on my arm, but it works so well. Guerlain seems to know how to really nail highlighters and lipsticks as far as I’m concerned!

  30. Beth

    Hey Christine! Loving the product. Seeing how incredible it is and that it’s from Guerlain, I’m surprised it’s not much more expensive! Just wondering, how’s the packaging? Is it heavy or light?

  31. Emma

    Compared to the Guerlain Meteorites Pearls, how shimmery is this product?

  32. Sara

    I need this in my life. That is SO much product I think it would take 10 years to get through it.

  33. Aria

    Hey Christine! I was really curious, how do you determine what to grade the products? Do you have a special point system? :)

  34. I love the design and packaging!

  35. You look so gorgeous!!
    I am a recent convert to the awesomeness that is Guerlain and it is a slippery downhill slope. I will DEFINITELY get this one, it is too gorgeous to pass. Glow wise is it similar to the meteorites or different?

  36. Oh my! This is stunning! I wouldn’t even be able to use this because the design is so pretty! LOL :)

  37. Melissa

    How would you say this product compares with Amber Diamond (which I know you love)?

    Thanks for a great review, as always! You look STUNNING in the photo above!

  38. I love meteorite pearls, but use that all over my face as a finishing powder. How does this look all over? Is it too shimmery?

  39. Laura R

    Love this look on you!!

  40. Italia

    This look is INCREDIBLY beautiful on you! I love it!

  41. THis is the most beautiful make up piece I have ever laid eyes on and I haven’t even seen the real thing!!

  42. Krista

    This is rally gorgeous and the packaging is to die for! :)

  43. This is such a polished sophisticated look on u!!! Love it.

  44. Lucifin

    how would you compare this to Benefit’s Watt’s up? I know you gave that one a solid review as well. I love the rose design on the Guerlain one but the price is a bit steep for me. I was looking into Laura Mercier illuminator, but from the swatch… doesn’t seem I’ll like it too much.

    • Watt’s Up is more golden, not really pink! They’re all highlighters, so they function similarly, but Guerlain’s will give you a touch of pinky glow, while Laura Mercier will give a bronzy one – Benefit is more neutral.

      • Lucifin

        Thank you for the comparison. I went to Sephora today and although Laura Mercier was not in stock, they still had one on display that I could test. Um… yeah… I noticed what you meant by “coppery” lol; Seems like I might have to cave and get Guerlain’s.

  45. Rawan

    I do wish if u posted the review for laura mercier highlighter
    Coz, if it was sold out in the US, its not yet for other countries.
    Plus, Temptalia is now international LOL

  46. Jenn

    Thanks for the fabulous review. I have been dying to see this swatched since I saw the preview photos for this collection. This is definitely on my list! I can’t wait until it arrives at stores!
    The laura mercier one is amazing too! I saw a review online and fell in love with it. I checked everywhere online and it was sold out…. I was devastated! Yesterday I was at Saks to pick up a few things and stopped by the laura mercier counter just on a whim and I was in luck!!! They had four left, so I ended up buying 2 :-))
    It was the best Christmas present to myself :-))…. So if anyone is looking for one still try Saks, you might luck out too. :-))

  47. Violet

    Freaking love this, Guerlain makes my heart beat faster.

  48. Venice

    Hi Christine! Have you tried Laura Mercier Face Illuminator? is this the same as that one? that one have good reviews too. Thanks.

  49. Wow, looks amazing! ♥

  50. this entire Guerlain collection is simply gorgeous. The highlighter
    looks out of this world. This is one highlighter that I am going to
    purchase two of since it will be a liminted edition. It is just
    beautiful on your face, but what makeup doesn’t. Just love your
    website. My husband says everytime I read your review it costs him
    money. Ha! Happy Holidays

  51. Lily

    Do you know if this would work on Darker skin tones? I am about a NC42-45 and I couldnt find the laura mercier any where :(

  52. Guerlain has done it again with its breathtaking packaging and design. I’m taken away… such a product I want on my desk and stare at all the time! Hahhaa – if I ever get one, will cherish for many years to come! :)

  53. Hannah

    Does anyone know if this is still available and where I can get it from? I’ve looked online at Nordstrom, Neiman, Dillards, Sephora and none of them have it online. I know I’m a little late in the game, but can’t see myself spending $100 for it on ebay :)

  54. This looks lovely!
    Does it compare in texture to the Modern Mercury highlighter from Estée Lauder?

  55. Mariella

    I just saw this yesterday at Shopper’s Drug Mart here in Canada. It’s close to 80 bucks, I think (either 73 dollars or 78) which seemed awfully steep, even for something so lovely (I’d spend it for foundation or for skin care). Still, I’m very likely to break down and buy it the next time SDM has their “20X the points” offer – a deal that makes it very, very “easy” to buy more cosmetics!!! (Canadian gals will know what I mean!)

    • Nancy

      I just got mine at Shoppers tonight while getting snacks, haha. It’s completely sold out in the States :( so I had no choice but to fork over the extra steep price.

  56. Nancy

    I missed out on this and was so disappointed but I saw it while I was in Canada this week & it retails in Canada for $85 before taxes.. but I was just happy to finally have it, very beautiful and elegant :)

    • BooBooNinja

      That’s strange. I was at my local Shoppers Drug Mart for $76 before taxes. In any event, you’re enjoying it so the few dollars probably doesn’t matter. :)

      • BooBooNinja

        oops. Sorry for the poor grammar.
        It should read: “In any event, you’re enjoying it so the extra few dollars probably don’t matter.”

  57. Jennifer

    I’m so sad–I bought this product but was completely bummed/let down–even paid extra to have it shipped from a store b/c when I bought it (right after it was released!) it was sold out online. I found I was scraping at the product to get it to even come onto my brush and even then, it practically disappeared on my fair-toned (NC/NW 15) skin! :( But the packaging/design is so gorgeous I just had to hold onto it. Do you know of any highlighters that could be better for lighter skin? I’m so sad because it looks absolutely gorgeous/amazing on you! Then again, you’re always gorgeous. :) Thank you so much in advance. I adore your reviews Christine!

  58. sunshines

    I still love love love this highlighter. It is my staple. If anybody can get his/her hands on this do so. It also without bismuth oxychloride which irritates my skin. Huge plus. Hope they will make a repromote of this. I would also love to see other shades.