Sunday, January 15, 2012

Guerlain Spring 2012: Cruel Gardenia

Hi everyone! Hope you are having a great weekend. I spotted the Guerlain Spring 2012 collection at Saks and Nordstrom today and thought I'd share a few product photos. Unfortunately, the colors aren't exactly true-to-life due to poor lighting. I hope they are helpful nevertheless, but please do check these items out in person if you have the opportunity! The sales associate was especially enamored with the new Noir G de Guerlain mascara. The packaging is similar to that of the Rouge G lipsticks and it is refillable, which is a nice feature. The four new limited edition Rouge G lipstick shades are pretty pinks and peachy shades, all with a sheer, glossy formula. They are: 72 Rose Innocent, 73 Rose Ensoleille, 74 Rose Piquant and 75 Rose Barbare. I did not try the Meteorites Perles, but it does look intriguing! 

Again, the colors seem to be a bit off here. This palette is more subdued in person from what I can recall! 

I would have gladly taken home everything in this collection but, alas, my budget will not allow it so I purchased just one item: the stunning Météorites Cruel Gardenia Illuminating Iridescent Powder. After viewing a recent YouTube video from the lovely Makeup Never Sleeps which featured this item, I was convinced that it is different enough from Laura Mercier's Rose Rendezvous illuminator to justify purchase. As you'll see in the photos and swatches below it is significantly lighter and more cool-toned.  

Ah, behold the splendor that is.... Cruel Gardenia!
By the way, did you know that Guerlain also has a perfume by the same name, launched in 2008? 


Below is Cruel Gardenia compared to a handful of other highlighters. Dior's Rose Diamond is a long-time favorite of mine, and I just acquired MAC's re-released Mineral Skin Finishes in Blonde and Redhead (love both of these so far). I donated a Laura Mercier Rose Rendezvous palette to the auction over the holidays and was fortunate enough to obtain a back-up to keep for myself before it became sold out. 

When I first saw the promo photos for Guerlain's spring collection I was surprised at the similarity of the design of Cruel Gardenia to that of Laura Mercier's palette. As you can see below, the flowers, while not identical, are incredibly alike! Of course, I love flowers and these are both so beautiful. Cruel Gardenia contains quite a bit of product (9 g.) and I foresee it lasting a very long time. The powder has a smooth texture with no fallout. It is a light, neutral to cool-toned iridescent pink, whereas Rose Rendezvous is a warm rose-gold. 

Cruel Gardenia is similar to the pink shade that results when you mix together all of the colors in Dior's Rose Diamond highlighter, however, it has more of a shimmery finish and is a bit warmer in tone. If you already own Rose Diamond I would say this may not be worth purchasing unless, like me, you are unable to resist the lovely design and packaging. 


I took these photos in my backyard earlier today. Although this is actually a little weed-flower, I thought it was very photogenic! The weather was perfect today, in the 60's and sunny--not too hot and not too cool! If only it could be like this year-round...sigh. 

As I was taking shots of Cruel Gardenia a flock of wild parrots flew overhead. Too bad my camera was not quick enough to capture the entire group! I'm not sure of the breed, but these cute little green-feathered guys are frequent visitors and always a welcome sight. 

One last look -- they sure are gorgeous!


  1. Your Rose Rendezvous looks untouched. How did you manage to keep it this way?

  2. Hi Nina, Although I purchased it in December this is the first time I've actually used it! I guess I was hesitant to ruin the flower pattern. But even after swatching it today it held up nicely! I used a very soft-bristled brush.

  3. Its so helpful seeing them swatched togther, Cruel Gardenia looks suitable for my cool toned skin (I skipped the LM as thought it would be a tad too warm). Thanks for a great post as always x

  4. Love your photos! I don't have Dior Rose Amber so will have to check that out. I am a huge fan of Cruel Gardenia. It is simply gorgeous.

  5. I think there was some gossip about Laura Mercier actually copying Guerlain's flower idea (don't know why in this way, not vice versa). British Beauty Blogger said that this is unlikely because all brands are working with the same trend forecasting agencies and someone just said that flowers will be the trend. But our beauty editors strongly believe that there was something untidy in all this story. Looking at those two I rather believe that one of them had a hint what the other planned to do.

    As for the product it looks great! I haven't bought it because I'm not a big fun of illuminators, but I really couldn't pass by and stopped to watch. I have eyeshadows #12 Les Aqua, one of those pink glosses and couldn't resist buying G Noir mascara.

  6. I can totally understand why you chose this. It's so beautiful!

  7. I'm awe of all the beauty in this's insane! Your shots and swatches are always so gorgeous! :) <3 xxx

  8. Your photos make me want things I would never use! All of those highlighters are so beautiful.

  9. Oh my goodness - I can't wait for these to get to the UK! Going to have to be very disciplined not to get the whole lot :)

  10. Beautiful! I think you captured the difference between the Guerlain and all the other products very well. Sadly, I'm going to be passing on this due to my recent shopping sprees.

    Love the cute weed flower and the flock of parrots! :)

  11. I am very tempted by Cruel Gardenia... I passed up on LM's Rose Rendezvous... I'm kind of regretting my decision now

  12. Oooh, they do look different. But I think I will just admire Guerlain from afar - I'm sure it's sold out at all of the stores near me, anyway!

    Thanks for the photo of the parrots - love birds :)

  13. Hi Replica, thank you! I'm glad it was helpful. I think Cruel Gardenia will work nicely with cooler skin tones. I tried it on my face today and found it to be very subtle on my fair skin. It is a pretty shade though!

    Hi Kristie, thanks for stopping by - loved your review and photos of this product! It is such a gorgeous item, isn't it?

    Hi time4beauty, thank you for the interesting information! I did think it was kind of strange to have two such similarly designed items released around the same time, but I suppose that's the way it goes in the beauty biz! :)

    Hi Vita, it is lovely--although it's not like I need another highlighter :) but I was unable to resist! :)

    Hi Rachel, Thanks so much!! Your video actually reminded me about this collection - I didn't even know it was available yet! xx

    Hi ihavemostlybeen, Thank you!! I know what you mean, I don't use highlighters on a daily basis, but now that I have I have accumulated quite a few I am trying to remember to use them more often so they don't go to waste! :)

    Hi too_busy_to_stitch, I find the spring collections in general to be very tempting, and Guerlain has quite a nice group of products here :)

    Hi Liz, Thank you, aw, well don't feel too bad, although this is a nice item to have, I know there are other products out there that will create the very same effect for a LOT less $$. I know I will now have to be good and cut my spending, until I win the lottery ;-)!

    Hi Lucy, Definitely worth trying this out in person if you can. It is not the type of product that has a huge color payoff. For example, on my fair skin you don't really see it except in certain lighting. But it is nice to add just a touch of shimmer to the face, which I guess is all it's meant to do. I believe it may show up more on darker skin tones.

    Hi Larie, Thank you! One of the best things about living in the tropics is I get to see these parrots and sometimes larger blue & gold macaws from time to time. They are so pretty! :)

  14. I completely missed out on the Laura Mercier illuminator and I feel like I'm hesitating again on the Guerlian. I know if I do I'm going to regret it but I can't bring myself to pulling the trigger and keep finding other things I want.

    This post is amazing. The colors and the photo composition is so amazing I just keep going back just to look at the photos. You take really great pictures and I'm so glad I came upon your blog.

  15. Hello, honey!!!
    I think that your blog is really really faboulous!!!

    If you like my blog too,WE COULD FOLLOW EACH OTHER!!! ;) ;)

    Love, Julia,

  16. All the products you've swatched are so beautiful, including Cruel Gardenia. I can't help but wonder how the name 'Cruel Gardenia' was inspired.

    I love the parrot flock as well. I didn't even know they existed in the US!

  17. hi!!! i adore your reviews and website, it's absolutely great and informative. can this be used as a blush? i'm very pale. i want the exact look natalia is wearing on the display and, you can see a definite cheek color. guerlain has not produced a new blush, that i know of, since spring of 2011. it just bothers me, just like fall collection. it disheartens me to pay alot of money for cruel gardenia and then buy a blush as well. thankyou for all your great photos!!! xo

  18. Hi Anakiya, Items like this that are so pricey definitely need a little thought before purchase :) Thank you so much for the kind words!

    Hi Julia, Thank you!

    Hi Dovey, Thank you!! :) I was wondering about the name as well - it's definitely different! I love parrots - they are so pretty. In Miami, there is the Parrot Jungle park and I heard that years ago after some of the major hurricanes some of them escaped. Don't know if these may be descendants of those! :)

    Hi Anonymous, Thank you! This product, in my opinion, is too pale to be used as blush and would really only be useful as a highlighter or even an eyeshadow. I agree, it would have been nice to see a blush included in this collection! :)

  19. I love love your review. I'm waiting for these four highliters, Mac LM and Guerlain and really want to know the difference of them. After seeing this blog, I believe that it's really hard to make a decision. Probably four of them!! :P

  20. Hi Anonymous, Thank you! :) Such a tough decision - they are all slightly different but I don't think you could go wrong with any of these! :)

  21. Hi there,
    That's just gorgeous - I could make this highlighting powder my very first Guerlain product! Love that weed flower!

  22. Hey Lexi, :) It is so pretty to look at! But the color is lovely as well :)

  23. Thanks for the swatches, they are all so pretty, I'm definitely getting Cruel Gardenia.

  24. Hi Jacqueline, thanks for commenting! Cruel Gardenia is like a little work of art :)

  25. You take the loveliest, most inspiring beauty pictures.

  26. What gorgeous pictures! I just got my Guerlain e-mail blast today and was wondering about it. I love the gentle glow of Cruel Gardenia, maybe even the most of all the swatches, and it's got some tough competition. As for your outdoor photo shoot, color me jealous. Is that green I see? And flowers! Nothing but grey skies and snow here.

  27. Thank you Zuzu's Petals! You described Cruel Gardenia perfectly - it does indeed have a gentle glow. We are so lucky to do without harsh winters but I am already dreading the arrival of summer and hurricane season :) This is the best time of year to visit Miami :)

  28. I would like to wish you, first of all, the greatest year, since so many of your dreams are about to come true and I truly wish you the best, eventhough I do not know you in person; but I guess that when a person decides to share a bit of her life with total strangers, and those on the other side decide to follow those flashes willingly, effortlessly and eagerly we kind of become friends. I´m from Portugal, I do not post very often but I follow your blog daily, anticipating with excitment what the news are going to be this time, never disappointing and always revigorated and inspired. Secondly I’d like to thank you for letting a door open for us, so that we could appreciate the way you’ve evolved into someone so inspiring, so creative, so meticulous, so spontaneous, but above all, so genuinely true to yourself. Thank you, for I have also grown with you. I’ll keep on coming here, visiting you, hoping that if you come to my country one day, I’ll have the pleasure of welcoming you personally, opening then the doors of my house to you and hoping that you’ll feel at ease, just like I do, everytime I come to your blog. Cheers to you doll! Keep on being very Happy! I'd love if you visited my blog!

  29. Thank you Aida for the kind comment. Wishing you all the best this year as well! Cheers! :)


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