Tuesday, August 31st, 2010

Guerlain Rue de Francs Bourgeois Eyeshadow Palette
Guerlain Rue de Francs Bourgeois Eyeshadow Palette

Can this palette really be worth $84?

Guerlain Rue de Francs Bourgeois Eyeshadow Palette ($84.00 for 0.25 oz.) contains six different eyeshadows with a dual-ended natural-bristled brush housed in an incredibly luxe compact.

Guerlain is normally on the more generous side with their products, but this palette–by weight–is more per ounce ($336) than their single eyeshadows ($292) or eyeshadow quads ($295). Like Rouge G Lipsticks, you’re definitely paying (more so than usual) for the packaging. It has a beautiful filigree design on the front of the compact along with Guerlain’s signature bee, and then inside is a flip-top mirror that opens to reveal the actual eyeshadows inside. There’s certainly a nice heft to it, and it feels very solid; it’s not cheap or flimsy in the least bit.

Each palette utilizes a mix of three different finishes: iridescent, matte, and satin. In this particular palette, we have a light-medium beige with a matte finish (which nearly matches my skin tone–NC20 for the underarm–for reference) that would make for a nice highlighter on light to medium skin tones; medium-dark grayed brown with a satin finish; brightly shimmered copper with gold sheen in an iridescent finish; dark chocolate brown with a satin-matte finish; medium brown with subtle peach undertones in a satin finish; and a blackened brown with copper flecks in a satin finish.  The darkest shade can also be used wet as a liner.  None of the shadows are named, FYI!

I’m underwhelmed by the overall color palette but more so by the consistency, texture, and intensity of the eyeshadows. They’re just not as soft, smooth, or rich as Guerlain’s other eyeshadows (singles and quads). The formula is entirely different–they don’t have the creaminess that their other eyeshadows have. The pigmentation is just so-so; they’re not particularly sheer or chalky, but you may find yourself going back for seconds in a look. I will say that they perform better in practice than they do simply as swatches on the skin. Each shadow had a very soft, finely milled texture, but I missed the richness of Guerlain’s usual eyeshadow formula. These are not bad eyeshadows–but they’re not out of this world, either; they’re nice but not phenomenal.

Aside from some concerns about the formula itself, the colors seem very basic. There’s nothing inherently wrong with that (and I’m not taking any points away based on the colors themselves!), but I always have admired Guerlain for their ability to bring out nuances in their shades–particularly noteworthy in the Rouge G lipstick line. I’m reminded of Urban Decay’s Naked Palette (Naked, Buck, Half Baked, Darkhorse, Sidecar in particular). They do work beautifully as a palette, though; I was easily able to use several shades in a look with very little effort, and they applied better than they swatched.

I am big fan of Guerlain, and having said so, have been rather hesitant about doling out the $84 it costs for each of the five eyeshadow palettes they launched with their fall collection. Ironically, the fact that this palette didn’t blow me away was what spurned me to finally purchase one! I ordered Rue 2 Vendome and will review that soon. I’m curious if that one will impress me more!

If you want to know more about how products are evaluated, read out Rating System FAQ! :)

  • Product: 25/30
  • Value: 7/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 5/5

RECOMMENDATION: I don’t think this is the particular palette that’s worth $84. Unless you’re flush, I’d maybe check out some of the other color variations to find shades with that je ne sais quoi.

AVAILABILITY: Nordstrom

See more photos & swatches!

Guerlain Rue de Francs Bourgeois Eyeshadow Palette
Guerlain Rue de Francs Bourgeois Eyeshadow Palette

Guerlain Rue de Francs Bourgeois Eyeshadow Palette
Guerlain Rue de Francs Bourgeois Eyeshadow Palette

Guerlain Rue de Francs Bourgeois Eyeshadow Palette
Guerlain Rue de Francs Bourgeois Eyeshadow Palette

Guerlain Rue de Francs Bourgeois Eyeshadow Palette
Guerlain Rue de Francs Bourgeois Eyeshadow Palette

Guerlain Rue de Francs Bourgeois Eyeshadow Palette
Guerlain Rue de Francs Bourgeois Eyeshadow Palette

Guerlain Rue de Francs Bourgeois Eyeshadow Palette
Guerlain Rue de Francs Bourgeois Eyeshadow Palette

Guerlain Rue de Francs Bourgeois Eyeshadow Palette
Guerlain Rue de Francs Bourgeois Eyeshadow Palette

Guerlain Rue de Francs Bourgeois Eyeshadow Palette
Guerlain Rue de Francs Bourgeois Eyeshadow Palette

Guerlain Rue de Francs Bourgeois Eyeshadow Palette
Guerlain Rue de Francs Bourgeois Eyeshadow Palette

Guerlain Rue de Francs Bourgeois Eyeshadow Palette
Guerlain Rue de Francs Bourgeois Eyeshadow Palette

Guerlain Rue de Francs Bourgeois Eyeshadow Palette
Guerlain Rue de Francs Bourgeois Eyeshadow Palette

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72 thoughts on “Guerlain Rue de Francs Bourgeois Eyeshadow Palette Review, Photos, Swatches

  1. Nikki C

    these are all pretty much the exact shades i use everyday!
    but 84 dollar is a bit much for my budget
    love the packaging though!

  2. elbas

    In terms of the colors and presentation, it looks like a nice, basic no brainer palette to start off with, but considering the price and the formualation doesn’t sound great… I’d pass. I’d been eyeing these too!

  3. The packaging is quite pretty, but nonetheless, it’s too expensive for what you get – it makes Dior’s $58 quint look like a steal!

  4. serene

    So overpriced for a basic thing… nah, no thanks Guerlain! Beautiful case thou.

  5. NeenaJ

    I’ll stick with my Hard Candy eye palette in “Old Skool” – which has all but one of the medium brown colors, applies like a dream… and is $6.

  6. K7P*

    Nice packaging, but I perfer the colors from Urban Decay Nake Palette.

  7. Hend

    What a beautiful palette,
    I will purchase it just for the packaging :)
    and add it to my collector makeup collection

  8. I bought Rue de Passy (the pink one) from the duty free at the airport, so it was £44 instead of £51 which I thought was better value. I think that’s the prettiest, although I adore the purple shade in Champs Elysees, but the rest is just the same shades of grey. Might get it on eBay, but won’t pay £51 for it in shops, it’s just not worth it for me. Instead I can’t wait for the holiday quad and well, the whole holiday collection, lol.

  9. Amanda

    Really? I disagree 100% !!
    I bought all 5 palettes because I think they were so perfect! I love the way they apply, and I love the way they look!! None the less, maybe the one you ordered will be more exciting to you!!

    • I’m glad you do, Amanda :) I wish the shadows had been smoother/more pigmented for me!

      • Eileen

        Hi Christine! The colors are supposed to blend one into the other to give a subtle, sophisticated look. At that, these palettes are very successful. When worn together, each color seems to re-enforce the other to create an over all illusion of color. For example, Rue de Passy gives a soft, delicate look with a hint of pink and plum. Rue de Sevres gives a soft, misty look that has a slight aqua accord. Champs Elysees is a lesson in autumn greys with a pop of warm violet to bring sparkle to the eyes. Place Vendome is a beautiful selection of subdued golds with a pop of glowing blue sapphire.

        I’m not sure what was wrong with the palette you tried (it’s the only one I don’t own), but my experience has been that the colors are true to pan, blend easily and smoothly, and wear color true all day. Go figure! As for the price point, obviously the silver case is a collector’s item, but that aside, it works out to $14 a pan which is quite reasonable in the world up luxury cosmetics. I sincerely hope you’ll have better luck with Place Vendome.

        • I’m glad you’re enjoying yours, Eileen!

          I find that for Guerlain – these are not up to the standard of quality they have across their other products, including their other eyeshadows (in fact, the formula feels completely different). They’re just nowhere near as pigmented as I’d expect from the brand, and the texture isn’t as smooth as the best eyeshadows are either. They look fine applied, even if they require packing, but they lack the consistency, texture, and depth that I expect from a really good eyeshadow.

          • Eileen

            Guerlain has a bit of a hit or miss history with their eye shadows, so perhaps that particular palette has more than its fair share of misses or perhaps there was a problem with it because you certainly shouldn’t have had to pack the shadows. In any event, good luck with Place Vendome.

    • Eileen

      Hi Amanda! I bought four of them and love each and every one. They really are something to behold! And, since you’ve actually got the palettes, you’ll know what I mean when I say that the pictures on-line do not do these beauties justice. The depth and tonal quality of the shadows and the ways in which they can be blended must be experienced to fully appreciate the thoughtfulness that went into their design. Whether it’s a subtle and elegant daytime look or a stunning and dramatic evening one, these palettes can do it all. And that silver case. . .that silver case is simply breathtaking.

  10. way too much $$$$$$

    they do look super pretty, but Estee Lauder came out with something similar and the colors are much more fun than any of the ones that Guerlain launched. I think they’re about a third of the price too.

    the packaging of the guerlain is TDF, tho ;) I wish I WAS flush, because I’d probably buy it just to look at the packaging lol

  11. This is a really interesting review. I have been lemming this collection for months. Though, I admit, this is the palette that interested me the least. I’ve been crushing on Rue de Passy and Champs Elysees. They’re definitely not cheap (£52 in the UK) so it’s very disappointing to hear that the quality of the eyeshadows may not be the finest. At the moment I have only seen it available online so I will continue to resist the urge to purchase without looking at it in person.

    Thank you very much for the honest review, it’s very much appreciated.
    Jane x

    • I’ve heard only positive reviews, so I had some mixed feelings reviewing this, because I was like, “WHY don’t I love it like everyone else does??!” ‘Cause trust me, I WANT to, LOL!

      So maybe I’m just the odd one out :P

      But like you… $84 is hard to commit to without having at least seen it in person!

  12. Kaylynrenee

    Damn that packaging is gorgeous…

  13. Natalia

    What?? EIGHTY-FOUR BUCKS for this little thing?? No way.

  14. Profile wp-user-avatar wp-user-avatar-60 alignnone photo of Melissa Melissa (divinem)

    LOVE the packaging. Hate the shadow colors/textures. NAKED palette seems so much nicer for less. And it’s not a fingerprint magnet.

  15. Amanda Enn

    THAT’S SO EXPENSIVE ! When I saw the swatches, I immediately thought they looked exactly like the UD Naked Palette. The packaging is BEAUTIFUL though . . .
    What a shame.

  16. Profile wp-user-avatar wp-user-avatar-60 alignnone photo of aradhana aradhana

    christine, does it look like it’s designed to allow you to pull out the eyeshadow palette bit when you’re done with it and have a pretty compact left? that *might* make the palette a worthwhile gift for a luxe eyeshadow lover….but maybe one of the other colour schemes would be a little more appealing…

    i was intrigued to find out that 10, rue de francs bourgeois is the location of a guerlain store…interesting concept for product names….

  17. Profile wp-user-avatar wp-user-avatar-60 alignnone photo of Etaoin baby in a corner

    Eventhough guerlain eyeshadows aren’t as overtly pigmented as say MAC or UD, I find that they layer well and blend together really well. They are just a completely different texture IMO.

  18. Natalie

    Absolutely love the packaging! I hope you would like the other palette, Christine!! I know everyone is raving about the naked palette but I hate UD packaging. I just don’t like cheap cardboard packaging at all! If I weren’t going through a NARS obsession, I would so buy one of these palettes.

  19. jaspreet

    that packaging is gorgeous…\\

    LOVE the packaging.
    AND WHEN R THEY LAUNCHING IN CANADA AT SEPHORA PLZZZZZZZZZZ PLEASE DO LET ME KNOW

  20. Amber Tree

    $84!!! I love good quality neutral eyeshadows but really? $84? Maybe they would like my first born child also…

  21. Cheyenne

    Wow the packaging is beautiful <3 I am a package kind of girl. I even like the colors of these eyeshadows…but of course that is a ridiculous price for this. :) It's pretty to look at though.

  22. Ellen Lange

    I know I am a huge sucker for purchasing products solely on the packaging but for $84? I think I’ll pass. Those colors look very easy to find dupes for anyway…

  23. nicci

    pretty packaging, I like the little bee :) but I wouldn’t pay that much! I generally purchase high end brands but $84 for an eyeshadow palette?! esp for colors you could likely find elsewhere…

  24. Rach

    The packaging is pretty amazing. It’s a bit high in price though. I’m going to see if it’s in stores yet so I can see it in person. I wasnt amazed with the single shadow I got from Guerlain. It was a pretty purple but applied super light, even with UDPP. It’s tempting to buy it just for the packaging, pop the colors out, and setup your own palette.

    • Some of the other variations seem more promising – Vendome is the one that caught my eye the most and am waiting for it to arrive this week.

  25. Katie

    Thanks for the review, Christine! I wish you had liked it more. I actually own this palette, and I love it. The weird thing is, I have never bought a Guerlain eye shadow before, so I don’t know how this compares to their other shadows. I found the colors blended beautifully and I used the entire palette to create a look – something I rarely do. I wanted to get another one – the one with the shimmery, aqua blue color in the middle.
    As a side note, I had no idea how much this cost when I purchased it. I was at a Guerlain counter and they had their national make-up artist there (Marcus…loved him) and he used this on me, as well as one of the new Rouge Gs and the new KissKiss Gloss Serum. I bought one without having any idea the price. I was caught up in the moment, apparently! I went back and looked at the receipt later and thought, “What have I done?!” But I do love the palette and use it almost every day. I don’t know what it is about it, but all the colors work so well together. What can I say…I am a sucker for neutrals! I hope you like the other one better!

  26. Diana B

    I love the packaging.

  27. Hilary♥

    The packaging is stunning, so chic and stylish! And the shades are adorable BUT OMG 84$ is totally INSANE lol.

  28. yoyo

    wow. totally dupeable.

  29. Samira

    The packaging is beautiful, but you can find these colors for less than 84$ for the same quality.

  30. CK

    sooooo preeeety packaging!

  31. Andrea

    I have this palette and I actually like it a lot. Being a makeup addict and owning quite a few warm brown-beige-taupe-gold eyeshadows & palettes (including many other Guerlain products) I find this to be a really beautiful collection to work with. I love the texture (soft, buttery, blendable), the color payoff, & it lasts throughout the day. It works great for a smoky eye as well as a more natural look. I’m finding myself reaching for this fairly frequently since purchasing it. I have my eye on a couple more of these beauties in the future.

  32. Beautifull color collection all in one stylish case – Love it!

  33. Profile wp-user-avatar wp-user-avatar-60 alignnone photo of Dini Dini

    Ooooh, thanks for the review. The Vendome and Champs Elysees palettes are at the top of my list of coveted products right now. Thanks for the heads up on the texture. I’m not a regular Guerlain buyer, so I wouldn’t have known about that. Can’t wait to read your next review on this palette collection!

  34. You can get these EXACT same colors in much more inexpensive and smart ways.. I think that price tag is ridiculous

  35. Suzanna

    Great review! I agree with you 100%. I saw these new shadows in Bloomingdale’s the other day and was underwhelmed (incidentally, they were sold out of all but one of the color variations). I had wanted to test Rue de Passy, but the swatches on line were more intriguing than the rather dull actuality.

    I do not think this palette is worth the price.

    Faring better was the new Bobbi Brown collection. It is superb and I snapped up the Black Cherry lipstick. It’s similar to another fave of mine–Nars Fast Ride–with a brighter, slightly cherry undertone.

  36. amy

    The filigree compact is gorgeous but the colours don’t exactly blow me away. Plus it is way to expensive for me.

  37. Katya

    I bought this palette in Champs Elysees and it was quite a dissapointment. I think the eyeshadows are well pigmented, but I found them to crease very quickly, unlike regular Guerlain eyeshadows.

  38. Janet

    Darn… it looks so gorgeous, though… I do love how they named each palette after the street addresses of their boutiques in Paris…

  39. Natalia

    Okay, so it reminds me strongly of this comic strip http://www.geekculture.com/joyoftech/joyarchives/301_999/660.html
    Imagine it’s the Guerlain HQ.

  40. egon

    I really love your honest reviews =) I never bought something U recommended & didn’t like

  41. 53

    it looks like a burmese beauty eye pallete!

  42. Profile wp-user-avatar wp-user-avatar-60 alignnone photo of Jill AnGeLwInGz

    Guerlain seems to be going the same route as Dior, putting lower quality than usual e/s in the gorgeous LE packaging. As far as packaging goes, this is probably one of the prettiest cosmetic items I’ve ever seen. If you think about how much $ some people spend on the little treasures they display in their China cabinets, this doesn’t really seem like a rip-off even if you don’t like the shadows themselves (this is the kind of rationality that has left me with months worth of makeup that I’ve purchased and haven’t worn yet!) If you’re shopping for those kinds of colors and aren’t suckered in by the packaging, Urban Decay is definitly the better choice.

    • I have hope that maybe one of the other color schemes works out better! The packaging is definitely gorgeous, though.

      Guerlain so rarely misses for me, it’s always a shock when they do!

      • Profile wp-user-avatar wp-user-avatar-60 alignnone photo of Jill AnGeLwInGz

        Do you consider Guerlain one of the best eyeshadow formulas (the regular ones)? I’ve been wanting to try their products but there are no Guerlain counters within reasonable distance. Sephora sells some of their products but their testers are sludge. The Opal Pearl Kiss Kiss gloss is calling out to me and I am so afriad to try it on!

        • It’s a very nice formula, but it’s also a distinct formula – some want ultra vibrancy like Make Up For Ever or Urban Decay, which are very bright and bold and pigmented – but they lack the nuances and depth in color that Guerlain’s single/quad shadows have. It’s a good formula, though I don’t think I’d say the best.

          I love their glosses and lipsticks, though :)

  43. Profile wp-user-avatar wp-user-avatar-60 alignnone photo of Etaoin Etaoin

    I think people are missing the point when they say that you could dupe the same colours for a different price. You can get good quality leather handbags for a fraction of the price of a chanel bag but chanel branding, the sense of luxury of owning something chanel is why someone may go for the chanel bag. Similarly with this product. I completely understand that its outside people’s budgets as its outside mine but if I bought it, it would be for the shopping experience of buying such a beautiful item and the luxurious feeling every time I used it. That’s just my two cents! :)

  44. Lurique

    I just got Rue de Passy, It’s my first Guerlain eyeshadow pallete so I can’t compare it to their other eyeshadows. For me, the texture and blendability of these shadows is wonderful and the colors work really well together.
    But seriously, I would have bought the compact even if it just contained the mirror! LOL! It is the most beautiful compact I have ever seen and just sitting here and looking at it makes me so happy:-)

  45. Dariyah

    Please test Rue De Passy palette!