Thursday, December 8th, 2011

Laura Mercier Rose Rendezvous Face Illuminator
Laura Mercier Rose Rendezvous Face Illuminator

Laura Mercier Rose Rendezvous Face Illuminator

Several readers asked me how this compares to Guerlain Cruel Gardenia, in terms of the overall grade/rating. This product is available, but you won’t find it online; you’ll have to track it down in stores. Saks seems to be the only distributor (at least in the U.S.) that has some stock left. If you click the link above, it’ll take you to the defunct product page on Saks, but it will allow you to “find in store.”

Generally, if a product is hard to find or sold out, I don’t review it (my order for this arrived only two days before it sold out everywhere). There are always exceptions, but it’s definitely something I try to avoid doing–same with discontinued or really old limited shades. This is an exception and not a change in the rule! :)

Laura Mercier Rose Rendezvous Face Illuminator ($42.00 for 0.20 oz.) is a gilded bronze with a champagne-bronze shimmer. MAC Rose Ole is a bit more peach but looks similar when applied. It’s also a bit like MAC Crystal Pink, depending on how you combine the two shades.

The texture is soft but firm, and the frosted metallic sheen goes all the way through. It’s not as frosted on as it appears in the pan or in a heavier swatch. It’s more than just a subtle glow, but it’s less than a full-on frost. I call it a shimmer-sheen, because there is noticeable shimmer within the overall glowy sheen. It doesn’t emphasize pores, though.

For me, the major difference between the two formulas is in the wear–with Rose Rendezvous, it wears great for around six hours, but it’s faded by eight.  When I bought the product, I was initially really hopeful about it, because it seemed to be getting great reviews, but the way it looked at the end of the day wasn’t ideal.  Guerlain Cruel Gardenia wore for a shocking ten hours without fading, which was far more than I expected and longer than average. I wore them both over the same foundation (Guerlain Lingerie de Peau). On a very minute scale, Guerlain’s is a little more refined–a smidgen more finely milled, softer, finer shimmer–but it’s such a close call.

They are really different shades (Cruel Garenia is pink, this shade is warmer, more champagne-bronze), even though the products are similar in formula, so it’s more about the kind of shade you prefer and would find more flattering against your skin tone. The price for Guerlain’s Cruel Gardenia is $67, but you’ll get 0.31 oz. worth of product (50% more than Laura Mercier’s), so on an ounce-by-ounce comparison, Guerlain’s costs $216/oz. and Laura Mercier’s is $210/oz. I would expect this shade to flatter warmer skin tones more, while Cruel Gardenia will work well on both skin tones (as it is more neutral in undertone).

The Glossover


Laura Mercier Rose Rendezvous Face Illuminator Review, Photos, Swatches

If this wore longer and better on me (say eight hours), this would be more of an A- product, but unfortunately, the mere six hours of wear impacts the product's overall rating quite a bit. I do think the two products are comparable in texture and composition, but the shades and wear are significantly different.











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Laura Mercier Rose Rendezvous Face Illuminator
Laura Mercier Rose Rendezvous Face Illuminator

Laura Mercier Rose Rendezvous Face Illuminator
Laura Mercier Rose Rendezvous Face Illuminator

Laura Mercier Rose Rendezvous Face Illuminator
Laura Mercier Rose Rendezvous Face Illuminator

Laura Mercier Rose Rendezvous Face Illuminator
Laura Mercier Rose Rendezvous Face Illuminator

Laura Mercier Rose Rendezvous Face Illuminator
Laura Mercier Rose Rendezvous Face Illuminator

Laura Mercier Rose Rendezvous Face Illuminator
Laura Mercier Rose Rendezvous Face Illuminator

Laura Mercier Rose Rendezvous Face Illuminator
Laura Mercier Rose Rendezvous Face Illuminator

Laura Mercier Rose Rendezvous Face Illuminator
Laura Mercier Rose Rendezvous Face Illuminator to highlight, Korres Natural Blush to contour

Laura Mercier Rose Rendezvous Face Illuminator
Laura Mercier Rose Rendezvous Face Illuminator, Korres Natural Blush to contour

Product & Review FAQ

Where can I purchase it? How much is it?

Check your local (or not so local) Saks stores, as they seem to still have some stock left, $42.

Is it limited edition?


Any dupes?

MAC Rose Ole is a bit more peach but looks similar when applied. It's also a bit like MAC Crystal Pink, depending on how you combine the two shades.

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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82 thoughts on “Laura Mercier Rose Rendezvous Face Illuminator Review, Photos, Swatches

  1. Violet

    This won’t work on my pale, pink/neutral skin at all, but I think Cruel Gardenia looks awesome. This one would be a quite pretty shade as an eyeshadow, though.. Any eyeshadow dupes for this colour, Christine?

  2. you should still post barely sold out products since collections tend to launch later around the world! we havent seen this nor cruel gardenia in australia yet :)

    • Hi Miss Kitty,

      I really have to think about how it would effect the majority of my readers – because when I review one product, say this one, that means I might forego reviewing another product – so I would rather review products that may be interesting and available than start restricting/limiting them :) I’ve already received a few emails today from upset readers for wasting their time posting about a product they can’t buy any more!

      • Mango the mango

        Holy cow, really?!? “Wasting their time”? That’s…not very nice of them, IMO. :(

      • jillian

        But isn’t it likely to be available again, anyway? To me, its not a big deal- I wanted to see the review so I could know whether to watch for it. (I always hope you don’t tend to get dramatic type complaints about things like “wasting peoples time”…so silly)

        • It’s limited edition and sold out, not out of stock at most online retailers (I don’t know of any that have it – most are listing as “sold out – check local stores” or have removed the product page entirely). I believe Sephora is the only one that simply says “out of stock” but I don’t know if Sephora ever marks something as sold out. I asked Laura Mercier, Nordstrom, and Macy’s, and they all said to check local stores as online is done but most stores are sold out as well.

  3. Angie

    I almost bought this, but it was a little pricey for me. Considering the wear isn’t the best, I’m glad I skipped out on it.

  4. This is soo pretty! I want it so bad! I can’t believe how gorgeous it looks in the pan and swatched!

  5. Neha

    Can’t say abt the product but you look STUNNING!!

  6. Are you still using Guerlain Lingerie de Peau as your foundation in the photos?

  7. Nadia

    This is stunning! So is Cruel Gardenia. I probably need two more highlighters like I need a hole in the head. Not purchasing. SORELY tempted. Must and will resist.

  8. jasmeet


    what colour are you wearing on your lips? Looks lush!


  9. I love your lip gloss here!

  10. Tori

    Love your makeup in this pic!! Can you give us a look breakdown?

  11. This actually looks quite lovely!

  12. Josiane

    Your make up is sooo nice here!

  13. Rabia

    i jusy had to say!
    Christine you look amazing! and oh so pretty!!!! :) <3

  14. I think this one might be a bit warm for me. Hope I don’t regret letting it pass. You look beautiful as usual.

  15. Suselew

    Great review, Christine. I have the Estee Lauder Illuminating Powder Gelee and from other reviews it seems they are almost exact dupes. So I passed on the LMercier one but am anxious for the Guerlain one. I’m pretty fair with pink undertones so I can only use the EL (hence, the LM one)as a blush or eye shadow. I am hoping the Guerlain is more versatile.

  16. Christina

    Hi Christine,

    I tried this product when it first released (lucky me!!), but it was a tad too dark and shimmery for my tastes! It looks pretty on you, though!

    As a side question, what are you wearing on your eyes? It goes really well with the rest of your look!


  17. Kristen

    Thank you for reviewing this! I got the last one at my Sephora, but now I wish I had waited for Guerlain’s…Oh well.
    Two questions, what are you wearing on your lips? And have you tried any Beaute Cosmetics? Thanks Christine!

    • I posted this look a week or so ago :)

      I tried their lip products, and they burned my lips off. I had bleeding and peeling lips after just swatching 6-8 of their lip products, so I hadn’t even worn them for an hour or anything. Unfortunately, it was a very painful experience that made it difficult to eat, drink, or talk for 2 weeks.

      • Kristen

        Oh damn! I’m sorry to hear that :(
        Thank you for the quick reply :)

      • Mairyn

        Wow, that is an intense BAD reaction to products :O I’m sorry to hear that.
        Has that ever happened to you before? I’ve never heard of anything like this happening before with ANY products.

        • Not as a reaction – I’ve had drying lipsticks that have wreaked havoc, but that is usually after 6-8 hours of wear and doesn’t take two weeks to heal up.

        • jillian

          I was actually going to ask if there was a forum about that sort of thing- I got what appears to be contact dermatitis or a minor chemical burn from mixing Tarte Smooth Operator with their Recreate foundation and some of it getting on my eyelid. It just affected my eyelid, but it burned my skin so bad, its been stinging and peeling for over a week. It spread over the rest of my eye area and I couldn’t put anything on it or touch it! I actually put pink eye shadow on the other eye all week so it wouldn’t look quite so crazy 😉

  18. Katherine

    I missed this one. It would almost be impossible for me to track it down in a store unfortunately given where I now live but thank you for swatching this! It is lovely and looks great on you. I wanted it for the design mostly. I saw where Estee Lauder Spring 2012 includes another gelee highlighter so I’ll settle with that one.

  19. Polly

    Best part is, I feel quite proud having MAC Crystal Pink since it is dupable for both shades.

    Worst part is, I still want them all! Eventhough Cruel Gardenia looks a lot like outer color of Crystal Pink and Rose Rendezvous look quite alike the inner.

    These two didn’t hit their counter here yet til January so I still have some time for saving! Yay!

    Ty for sharing <3

  20. Lucifin

    Someone asked on the Sephora facebook if this would be available again and the answer was probably in 2-3 weeks. Of course, with new stock… it’s quite possible of not happening last minute etc, but just a bit of possible info for the hopefuls.

  21. Katie

    I bought this on a whim when I got a $20 off a $50 coupon from Sephora! I’m glad I did. I enjoy it 😀 I didn’t know it was hard to find though :-/ I have seen it in Sephora stores recently so people searching should look there.

  22. nicole

    I was lucky enough to find the last one that sephora had last week. While Christmas shopping with my mom , not looking for it at all, thinking it would be sold out so why get my hopes up, there it was just sitting there calling my name. She ended up buying it for me as a Christmas gift … I have been waiting so patiently for Christmas. I can’t wait to try it out.

  23. Is this very similar to NARS – Orgasm?

  24. Lilastar

    I got this during the VIB sale, I swatched it and I just had to have it. I didn’t even look at the price (I live in Canada and pricing is different here so I still don’t know how much it was, shame on me!) I LOVE this. It became my go to highlighter (and I’m obsessed with them) It seems to last a bit longer on me, I have normal combination skin, so that might be why… It won’t stop me from getting Cruel Gardenia though if I can get my hands on it!

  25. Rosie

    Wow Christine this looks super beautiful on you!!!!!

  26. I’m not so much commenting on the product you’ve reviewed but on how absolutely stunning you are looking these days! Beautiful skin and gorgeous makeup in all the photos I’ve seen lately. Kudos pretty girl!

  27. Can I ask what brush you used to apply this? You look lovely!

  28. Michelle

    That highlighter and blush combination is so flattering on you!

  29. Venice

    Hi Christine! Yey! thank you for posting this review! :) This is still available in Philippines. Yey!

  30. Ginnia

    Looks gorge on you!

  31. Jess

    What lipcolor are you wearing? :)

  32. Jennifer

    I think the color of this really did me in when it came time to choose between LM and Guerlain’s Cruel Gardenia. I loved how Rose Rendezvous looks like rose gold! It really struck me as the more unique/interesting shade between the two :)

    For those still looking, I’ve seen it in stock at several Sephoras and Bloomingdales (in store, not online) so don’t give up hope!

  33. Jinete

    I am curious about how the Estee Lauder Illuminating Powder Gelee compares with the Laura Mercier and Gerlain products.

  34. I got this during the VIB sale at sephora and I went back and forth on ordering it. I love the look and the color of it on my skin. It is a wet-looking sheen…that might sound awful but its really beautiful! But I was thinking that it seemed to wear quickly. I have oily skin type so I attributed it to that. But you have dry skin type and noticed it also.. oh well….I still love the color ! thanks for the review!

  35. Ali

    I really like that lip color on you(:

  36. Amy Nicola

    I don’t usually comment Christine, but personally I think it’s crazy that people were upset about you posting this review. However, if anyone else reads this, I know it has been out since October time, and is mostly sold out, but please just call around local stores, and even stores in nearby cities that could send it to you for a small fee and get your name on a waiting list. I did this at the beginning of the week, and just got a call that by luck one had just been received at my local store!

    Just wanted to let everyone know that there is hope :)

  37. Ayesha

    How similar is this to the Dior amber diamond in colour and finish?

  38. judith

    I was unable to get this in stores or online, since it was a limited edition. Do you have any dupes or comparable products that are exactly or close to like it? MAC Crystal Pink is not available, since that too is a limited edition. Thanks!

  39. Kathryn McCurley

    Christine – I recently saw an online post that claimed one of the colors in Laura Mercier’s Shimmer Bloc in Pink Mosaic is the Rose Rendezvous Illuminator. Do you know anything about this?? I am dying to get my hands on the Rose Rendezvous but I can’t swallow the price they are selling for on eBay. Are there any other blog sites that you know of where I could check that might be selling the Rose Rendezvous? I will buy the Shimmer Bloc if it is the same. Thanks!!

    • The texture of her Shimmer Blocs is pretty different. Have you considered one of MAC’s new Extra Dimension Highlighters? Similar texture!

  40. Amanda

    Why are Laura Mercier and other retailers still posting this to buy but it is out of stock everywhere! Gr! Are they coming back with this????? Why do they do that!