Guerlain Terracotta Sun in the City Illuminating Powder Review, Photos, Swatches

Guerlain Terracotta Sun in the City Illuminating Powder
Guerlain Terracotta Sun in the City Illuminating Powder

Guerlain Terracotta Sun in the City Illuminating Powder

Guerlain Terracotta Sun in the City Illuminating Powder ($70.00 for 0.52 oz.) is a metallic yellow gold with buildable color. It doesn’t take a lot of product to achieve an appropriate amount of highlighting color on the cheek, but it is very blendable so it can be sheered out or applied softly from the start.  When I wore this, it lasted for seven hours with noticeable (but not disastrous) fading by the eighth hour.  I wore it as a blusher, just because it’s easier to identify how well it wears when you cover a larger area, but I’d typically dust this on cheek bones and paired with a warm-toned blush (maybe a coral or natural brown).

If you have a yellow gold eyeshadow, you could likely achieve a similar look with that. Chanel Empreinte de Chanel is a little darker, almost orange-ish, as is Chanel Shimmering Tweed. While Guerlain often has incredibly subtle, finely-milled highlighters, this one is more metallic, more noticeable–it’s therefore easier to dupe (it’s usually that finish that is more difficult to dupe). It still feels soft to the touch, but there’s that metallic shimmer that keeps it from being buttery soft. The way it feels reminds me a bit of Estee Lauder’s Illuminating Gelee formula, though this is less dry.

Guerlain knows how to design a powder; the design looks like fields of golden wheat swaying in the breeze.  The design doesn’t fade away after one use either, which is nice, though eventually you will wear away a lot of the texture on the top, it should take several uses or more.  The compact also contains a brick o’ highlighter–weighing in at 0.52 oz.–and most blushes and highlighters come between 0.15 oz. and 0.25 oz.  It is heavily fragranced, as is typical for the brand, so if you’re sensitive to scents, you may want to check it out in person.  I had this open on the desk where I take photos, and I could smell it from a couple of feet away.

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Guerlain Terracotta Sun in the City Illuminating Powder
Guerlain Terracotta Sun in the City Illuminating Powder

Guerlain Terracotta Sun in the City Illuminating Powder
Guerlain Terracotta Sun in the City Illuminating Powder

Guerlain Terracotta Sun in the City Illuminating Powder
Guerlain Terracotta Sun in the City Illuminating Powder

Guerlain Terracotta Sun in the City Illuminating Powder
Guerlain Terracotta Sun in the City Illuminating Powder

Guerlain Terracotta Sun in the City Illuminating Powder
Guerlain Terracotta Sun in the City Illuminating Powder

Guerlain Terracotta Sun in the City Illuminating Powder
Guerlain Terracotta Sun in the City Illuminating Powder

Guerlain Terracotta Sun in the City Illuminating Powder
Guerlain Terracotta Sun in the City Illuminating Powder (Diffused/Bounced Flash)

Guerlain Terracotta Sun in the City Illuminating Powder
Guerlain Terracotta Sun in the City Illuminating Powder (Natural Light)

Guerlain Terracotta Sun in the City Illuminating Powder
Guerlain Terracotta Sun in the City Illuminating Powder

Where to Buy

Current Sales & Deals

  • Neiman Marcus
    • Up to $650 off, beauty/fragrance excluded, ends 4/11.
    • Free shipping + free returns every day, ends 12/31.
    • 15% off your first order when you sign up to receive Neiman Marcus emails, exclusions apply, ends 8/30.
  • NordstromSpring sale — up to 40% off, ends 4/13. Spring Beauty Trend Event live with gift with purchases + in-store events, ends 4/30.
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About the Reviewer

Reviewer

Christine has normal-to-dry skin with areas of dryness (cheeks, nose, and under the eyes). She has a light-medium skintone with subtle, warmer yellow undertones. Her best foundation matches include: Tarte Rainforest of the Sea in Light-Medium Neutral (best match), Estee Lauder Double Wear Stay-in-Place Makeup in Desert Beige 2N1, Giorgio Armani Maestro Glow in 4.0, Hourglass Warm Ivory Vanish Seamless Finish, Laura Mercier Candleglow Soft Luminous in Dusk, MAC NC20/NC25, Make Up For Ever Ultra HD Liquid in Y305 (140). For more matches, please read our full Foundation FAQ. For more information on our review process, please read our Review FAQ.

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49 Comments

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Wow, you just wrote about the upcomming series of Guerlain products and also shared your review on one of the products in the limited edition series! That’s just amazingly fast! And is a proof for why you have this much followers. 🙂

Do you have the ingredients list? 🙂
I bought Guerlain’s Cruel Gardenia because of your swatches and your pic of its ingredients! 😀
Terracotta Sun in the City looks a little bit too yellowish for my liking, but if the ingredients are any good I could definitely purchase it as I’m in love with Guerlain’s highlighters lately 🙂

You look so so lovely in this pic are you wearing Mac’s Industrial on waterline?
And so nice earrings, you look absolutely gorgeous!

Christine, I love your earrings. So pretty 🙂

I just bought this from Nordstrom and I love it. The price is quite high, but it’s Guerlain AND you get so much product. The compact is huge. I was surprised at how big it is. I’m sure I’ll never need to get another one of these.

The patterns on the compact is so pretty. Too pretty to touch and mess up 🙂 I’ll enjoy using this as a highlight on my face and to also dust over my chest area.

It looks super pretty in the pan, but I’m sure this is way to yellow toned for my skin. I also don’t like heavily scented products, and the typical guerlain scent gives me a migraine (I can actually still smell the bronzer on my skin 10 hours after I put it on).

I have mixed feelings on this illuminator. It’s a beautiful design, it swatches great on my hand and I even enjoy the smell. However, it doesn’t quite illuminate as much as I’d like it to on my face. I bought this one anyway, though and it adds a little something to my overall look, but the price is too much for how it actually performs. I will use it all until it’s gone though b/c I paid for this baby

This is a really pretty gold highlighter, and I absolutely love the look you’re rocking in this picture; it feels so summery and is really flattering on you!

It actually looks really pretty….. I’m one of the people that do like the metalic look… I wouldn’t attribute the selling to the design (I mean it doesn’t look special at all)…

Application wise, it’s very pretty … yes not the natural look someone might want,,, but it gives sophisticated shine …. shame it is too pricey!

Collectors usually snap up these products because the design attracts them, which is what all the sales associates have been saying to me 🙂

I was really hoping that this would be a lighter, more golden version of last year’s Terra Inca, which I still use all the time. It looks like it’ll probably be too yellow for me, though. 🙁

I guess my wallet will be happy…

OMG this looks awful. What were Guerlain thinking of? I usually love Guerlain face products but this is disappointing. Shame o them ;p

It looks gorgeous on you, but I’m not sure something that yellow and warm would work on my skin. Oh well, it’s not like I needed to blow $70 on an illuminator anyway. 😛

The imprint is beautiful, it looks like brocade fabric.

I’d prefer it to be more gold than yellow honestly but I can see it working as a decent highlighter.

Thanks for the review!

Amazing gold highlighter by Guerlain!! I was in London last week and purchased it at Harrod’s dept store. Wore it last night for the first time as a highlighter on my cheeks, inner corner of my eyes and brow bone. Even my hubby commented on how nice the glow on my face was. Before highlighting my cheeks I swept Guerlain’s Mosaic Terrocotta Bronzer on my cheeks then on the apples of my cheeks I swept Chanel Blush Horizon Soft Glow. IMO, Guerlain has the best highlighters out there, pricey but worth it!

You’re very very pretty on this photo! Can you tell me please which blue pen are you wearing under your eyes? I love it! Thank you very much!
Pd- Excuse me for my english, I’m spanish :p

looks great on you christine, i think it’s going to be sold out based on your fotd alone lol!
the foundation looks good on you too!

OMG I just saw this today. I went to the Guerlain counter and saw this beautiful compact. At first I thought it was a sponge so I tried to pick up the darn thing and ruined the design lol!I think this would look really pretty on someone that has a darker skin tone. 70 is a lot to pay for this product but I’m not sure if this can really be duped. MAC’s soft and gentle has a different texture and the glitter IMO picks up but sun in the city is very smooth. I think it would last forever because it’s huge..I swatched it on my hand and next time I going to try it on my face and see how it looks..

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