Monday, January 19th, 2009

Among Guerlain’s Spring Exotic Paradise Collection, they also re-released their single eyeshadows–ten of them. They boast that these are the largest eyeshadows you can find, weighing in at 3.6 grams and priced at $34 each. I’m sure that number means nothing to you, so let’s compare to MAC’s eyeshadow, which is 1.5 grams at $14.50 a pop.

MAC Eyeshadow = $9.67 per gram
Guerlain Eyeshadow = $9.44 per gram

WHAT? How can that be? How can Guerlain be less expensive than MAC? Is the world falling to pieces? So yes, despite quibbling over $34 eyeshadows, you do get more for less on a per-gram-basis. Of course, many of us have dozens of eyeshadows, so the usability factor comes into play. I know that there are only a few eyeshadows that I’ve used so often that I’ve “hit pan” on, so the last thing I need as a selling point is anything being the largest eyeshadow on the market. It doesn’t hurt, though! I would rather get more bang for my buck–I’m certainly not complaining over the size. But I would be satisfied with a smaller price tag and a smaller eyeshadow, too. Enough on price–you’re not looking at Guerlain because it’s cheap–onto the colors!

Eyeshadow Breakdown

Precieux is a frosty white shade–far too white for me to pull off personally.

Charnel is a peachy shade, a color that I don’t feel is given enough due by cosmetic companies. I think it will make a nice highlighter as well as all-over-the-lid wash shade.

Fauve is a dirty strawberry-copper color. I like it, because it’s not a color I’ve seen dozens of times in the past six months.

Cuir is a gorgeous, warm-toned bronzy brown. It has subtle shimmer and it feels smooth and buttery when swatched. I really liked this, but I decided to pass because the Exotic Paradise quad has the most gorgeous brown ever.

Coquin is a soft, low-shimmer, pastel pink. As you can see, it doesn’t give a lot of color on my bare skin. I think it’s a lovely color, and over a good base, I think it would stand out more.

Fleuri is an almost-warm lavender with gold shimmer. It looks really lovely when swatched, and it has one of the best textures of the ten colors. I was all over this one, because it’s unlike other colors I own. If you have MAC’s Lotusland, you have something similar, but without the gold shimmer effect.

Fume is a soft brown-gray. This color may be a little dull or boring to look at, especially sandwiched between Fleuri and Emeraude, but it’s actually a very versatile shade. It’s a good color to own if you don’t already have something similar.

Emeraude is a gorgeous, silky deep olive green with gold sheen and shimmer. It has a lot of green in it, despite being deeper and having olive tones. I love greens, did you expect me to live without this?

Nuit is a smoky gray-black shade. For me, it didn’t swatch as nicely as the others, because it didn’t go on that pigmented, despite looking quite dark in the container. I didn’t find anything unique or standout about this shade, so it’s not on my must-have list.

Indigo is a dark medium blue with subtle sheen and not too much frost in its finish. Unfortunately, MAC completely oversaturated 2008 with this blue shade, so I’m all dark medium blue’d out. Guerlain’s Indigo looks and swatches pretty–nothing wrong with it–but I didn’t need this color so I skipped.

See more photos & swatches


140 Precieux, 141 Charnel, 142 Fauve, 143 Cuir, 160 Coquin


142 Fauve, 143 Cuir, 160 Coquin, 161 Fleuri, 180 Fume, 181 Emeraude


161 Fleuri, 180 Fume, 181 Emeraude, 182 Nuit, 190 Indigo (blue on the top)

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37 thoughts on “Guerlain Exotic Paradise Single Eyeshadows Review & Swatches

  1. Jaana

    Oh, that Emeraude is beautiful! I hate to buy single eyeshadows (except MAC :D ) but I might have to buy that, it looks kind of unique green. Love it!

  2. 181 Emeraude and 190 Indigo are soo beuatiful!

  3. Kiu

    I really like fume :) Also, NARS eyeshadows are cheaper than MAC too when you calculate the price per gram :)

  4. Anitacska

    It’s funny I swatched Fleuri when I bought my quad and for me it was just a faint golden shimmer, not lilac at all. Maybe I’ll give it another go, because it is such a gorgeous colour in the pan. Indigo is lovely too. It’s good about the size, but I’d rather pay half the price for half the size. If you want to get 3 of them, that’s already $100! :(

  5. cloudburst

    Oh I love Fume! Guerlain makes good eyeshadow, I have this great single from years ago that’s a very warm black, I’ve yet to find a dupe for it.

  6. Avatar of Jenn jenn

    Fauve looks just like French Cuff to me.

    • Hmm, they are definitely similar! Fauve has way better texture, IMO, and it doesn’t get everywhere as easily as French Cuff. But you’d pay a lot more ;P

  7. Jan

    I like the packaging…so sleek, solid heavy kind. The colours are okay I guess, to me nothing to go running to the counter to get it.

    • When I buy Chanel/Dior, they use so much plastic in their products, that I don’t feel like they’re as worth it compared to brands like Guerlain, where you can feel your money going into packaging.

      Not to say that either/or matters in the end, but if you’re paying the same price, you’d probably want the luxury feeling.

      • Jan

        Yes! Guerlain is pure luxury as compared to luxury brands of Chanel/Dior. Unfortunately so is the price! I have one lipstick from them, I know this is weird but I always feel satisfied when i close the cap with heavy, solid sounding click!

        • Haha, I know exactly how you feel, Jan!! :) I would say that I feel it’s just about as pricey as Chanel or Dior, though, so if I have to pay $1 or 2 more, it’s not a stretch if you’re already willing to pay for Chanel, y’know?

  8. Ashley

    Guerlain is one of my favorite bradns. I think it’s very underrated!

  9. bec

    Wow, I gotta get me some Guerlain eyeshadow! hehe.
    I like Emeraude, it’s a perfect dupe for Anna Sui Eye Color Accent L/E #901

  10. My-Linh

    I really like 142 Fauve

  11. Jessica

    I wouldn’t buy a $34 eyeshadow. Even though MAC is more expensive by the gram…it comes in a more practical size. Who seriously needs 3.6 grams of one color?! The fancy packaging is also unnecessary.

    • It’ll depend on why you buy makeup; if you’re an addict, you don’t *need* a lot of any shadow. At the same time, you might love to get lots of brands and colors and get it anyway!

      OR if you only buy a few, key pieces, then sometimes large shadows might serve you well, too.

  12. 142 Fauve, and 143 Cuir are the only ones that are interesting enough for me but I still wouldn’t buy them. MAC is still cheaper overall for eyeshadow singles, but not my the gram and MAC still comes in a practical size and tend to last long if you know how to spare them.

    These Guerlain shadows would be just things to entertain me as I’m touring makeup counters, I’d rather spend $34 on 2 MAC eyeshadows instead of one.

  13. So you got Emeraude, Fleuri, and which other one? I really like to know what you get/have…as strange as it sounds…I like trying to keep up with what you have so that I can recreate your looks :-) They’re all beautiful! Thanks for giving your run-down!!

  14. Vivian

    ooh, baby. Out of guerlain Spring collection, the shadows rule! They’re pigmented – are they over a base? Anyway, but I don’t see myself buying this anytime soon; I can’t even finish a trio shadow I’ve had for two years.. sigh, i WISH THEY MADE THIS SMALLER, but that’s just me

  15. Lena

    I would love to get one of these beauties as a gift. They are beautiful.

  16. fauve look gorgeous, haven’t seen such sweet and rather neutral colour :) nice nice but I think its will be certainly too pricey for my budget. sigh

  17. champagne

    i totally agree you with the peach
    its so underrated and looks absolutely gorgeous on the lid
    peach colours make ppl look more alive i find
    thanks so much for the post, i love guerlain the heavy metal substantial feeling is so luxurious.. I feel like the MAC Hello Kitty collection and this guerlain collection are totally different ends of the spectrum…

  18. Lena

    These are really stunning. Also, I checked out their quads and was very impressed with the amount of pigmentation.