Thursday, December 23, 2010

Guerlain Owns My Soul

You probably know Guerlain because they sold a bottle of Shalimar perfume to every woman on the face of the planet at one point, and you vaguely remember some female relative or friend wearing it. My designated relative was my Aunt Cheryl, who is the epitome of glamour and probably to blame for some of my susceptibility to fabulous packaging when it comes to cosmetics. Here's the bottle you probably saw.
You just smelled the woman who wore this, didn't you?

Luckily, only the suspicion that anything my Aunt the glamourpuss would wear cost $1M Adult Dollars kept me from haranguing my parents for a bottle of this stuff. I was dealing in Teenager Dollars Earned at the Greendale Mall Popcorn Stand at the time, so I was in that weird phase where $20 still seems like a fair amount, but you also kind of get that it's not, unlike early childhood when you're like "I have $6, which means I can buy the whole ice cream truck. I am the richest person alive." You know, the more I think about this, the more it might have been better for all involved if I had worn down my parents and gotten a bottle of Shalimar, since I went through first a Love's Baby Soft phase and then a CKOne phase, the latter of which was less a "spritz, spritz, go" process than a bathing experience. I eventually moved on to Dior's J'Adore, which was less offensive generally but I still used in a volume one might consider more appropriate for stunning cattle. Sanity wasn't truly mustered until I moved to DC and discovered Sephora and Demeter perfumes, which are very subtle fragrances that smell like everything from "Wet Garden" to "Gin and Tonic." Now I have several perfumes I use - Lolita Lempicka's Fleur de Corail, Marc Jacobs Daisy, Miss Dior Cherie, Aquolina's Pink Sugar, Demeter's Salt Air, Michael Kors' Very Hollywood - which I like but Rich hates because (cuteness alert, danger) he "likes when I wear the same one because then when I'm not there my comforter smells like me." (Awesome husband for the win!)

So okay ANYWAY the actual point of this was not to give you a detailed history of my perfume wearing history - though I bet a post about vetting perfumes would be interesting...hmm - but rather to explain that the hold Guerlain's Shalimar had on me as a young woman has now transferred easily to their totally spectacular eyeliners that I am addicted to partly because they are amazing cosmetics and partly because they look like I robbed Greta Garbo's vanity. The first one I got was their Terracotta Loose Kohl Powder in brown.
This stuff is magical. Admittedly, I can see how it might make some hesitant, because it gets applied right on the waterline of your lower eyelid with the little stick - you just tap it on - but it's so worth getting over that hump, because it gives you the perfect smoky line for day or night. The brown is just the right color for the day/night switch, though the black would probably be nice if you were getting ready to go out for the night. But you even care how good the makeup is? Look at that goddamn packaging! You own this and you're instantly a makeup professional, even if you can't put on foundation with two hands and a mirror. It is instant glamour for your dresser. It just sits there saying "this woman wears satin gowns for every occasion and smokes from a jeweled cigarette holder but never ever gets cancer because there is too much glamour in her system for it to take hold."

I've been totally obsessed with this stuff since I got it about a year ago on a recommendation from Apocalypstick Now. I am a total pusher, too...people will be like "hey, I need eyeshadow, any ideas?" and I'll respond with something like "sure, get Eyeshadow X but what you REALLY need is Guerlain Terracotta Kohl Eyeliner because it is magical." Probably bad.

A couple days ago, my Mom called me and she was like "hey, I'm getting a Sephora card as a gift, does thee think that I should get something else to complete the gift?" I, being a genius (okay, mostly a pusher), said "you should get a nice eyeliner, since [REDACTED] is an eyeliner master, plus it's a nice small item." Since my Mom isn't a big makeup person, I offered to find a couple options for her to pick from. WELL.
Yeah, Guerlain has a new formulation of eyeliner, and once again, it is effing magnificent. Needless to say, I ordered a tube of this Khôl Kajal* liner for myself, because what do you do around Christmastime but buy yourself stuff**? Again, it's a beautiful smooth product that goes on well and stays put without irritating your eyes, and once again, who cares, because it looks like magic! This one actually reminds me of another Aunt, my Aunt Karen, who went to Egypt with me and my Dad and who cheerfully obsessed with me over how the gorgeous ladies in their abayas did their eye makeup (hardcore, perfect smoky eyes everywhere). Kohl seems the obvious answer, but these women clearly had their ninja certification in application and probably didn't need slick packages like this to produce their looks.

I am such a sucker for packaging, man. Luckily, these products are also excellent cosmetics, rather than just nice packages, because I have definitely bought snazzy looking packages that turned out to be cheap crap. You should all go out and buy yourself some***!

* NB: I went to Sephora's website to check the name of this product, and I noticed that my "previously viewed products" section looks like a shopping list for a drag queen rave. There are five kinds of glitter, fake eyelashes, and random lipsticks (purple) on there. I think maybe Sephora is something I should not have.

** I am kidding, but unfortunately this DOES seem to be A Thing. All of these ads about "getting a little something for yourself" creep and gross me out. Feel however you want about Christmas - too much Jesus, not enough Jesus, too commercial, pointless, whatever - but it is a gift GIVING holiday. Gift giving is not the same as buying crap for yourself. I don't think I should have to explain this.

*** That's right, even you men. Guyliner is a thing now, didn't you hear?

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