Eyes / High End / My Favorite Things

Guerlain 2, Place Vendôme | Packaging Review & The Story of Our First Meeting

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While putting this post together, I realized that it was reaching unreadable, epic-length proportions.  Instead of covering the product, swatches, and looks in one post, I’m splitting this review into several parts.  So let’s start with how I first met my new favorite eyeshadow palette.  Oh yes.  IT’S STORYTIME.

A month ago, I promised myself that if my grades reached a certain (what I assumed would be unattainable) GPA, I could buy myself any high-end beauty item which caught my fancy.  And when grades finally did come out, I suddenly found myself debating the merits of a Chanel quad versus a bottle of Diptyque Philosykos.

As I was strolling past the beauty section at Nordstrom one day, I had a sudden premonition.  I’ve only had that sense of something marvelous lurking  outside my peripheral vision once before, and it led me straight to my favorite pair of leather boots.  True story.  So of course, I went over to investigate this mystery palette.  The more I looked at it, the more I loved it.  It was neutral, as in perfectly neutral, not too warm and not too cool.  The packaging was to die for.  And the finishes were just what I had been searching for, subtly luminous and entirely wearable.  I decided to go home and think it over, since I was having trouble getting over the sticker shock (the list of things that can still give me sticker shock after 3 years of beauty blogging is quite short, so well done, Guerlain).

Despite the exorbitant price tag, I couldn’t help falling in love.  I went back the next day to pick it up, and unfortunately, it wasn’t the best experience.  I rarely mention customer service when reviewing products, but I must say, paying upwards of $90 (the sales tax here is ridiculous) for a piece of makeup only to be called ‘sweetheart’ multiple times in a condescending tone and then told, “You don’t look like you wear much makeup” when inquiring about application techniques?  Not my favorite thing in the world.  I’ve come to expect good customer service from Nordstrom, and I don’t think this SA had evil intentions, but her manner put me off from wanting to give her an undeserved commission.  In the end, though, I couldn’t bring myself to leave empty handed.

Back to the product.  Let’s talk about the packaging of the Guerlain Écrin 6 Couleurs Eyeshadow in 2, Place Vendôme ($85).

It’s glorious.  Observe:

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The world’s most expensive oyster shell?

This palette is one of those pieces that has such heft that you just know whatever’s inside must be truly special.  The lid is decorated with curlicued cutouts and an engraved bee, which you can read about here.  It also comes with a black velveteen case, which I’ve neglected to photograph because it’s frighteningly good at attracting dust, and I do not enjoy Photoshopping out dust particles.

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The lid features a magnetic closure, which keeps the compact securely shut while making it easy to open.  Inside, Guerlain includes a double-ended brush and a black lid which latches over the eyeshadows.  I suppose this is an extra security measure to protect the integrity of the shadows within, but honestly when I first tried to get this thing open without covering it in fingerprints, all I could think was oh god I can’t take this suspense anymore.

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Alright, let’s open this thing.

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Wait for it…

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WAIT FOR IT…

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The underside of the black cover is actually a mirror, a design element I’m quite pleased with.  I have no idea why I’m enamored with the idea of a flip-out mirror, but it lends a sense of…movement to the palette.  While I’m willing to bet no one else gives a fig, it made the shooting experience feel incredibly dynamic (I read that back and I realize I sound ridiculous right now, but it’s true.  I hardly do nighttime shoots these days because it’s a complete pain in the ass, but for this, it was worth it).

In anticipation of the next installment, in which I promise to actually talk about the eyeshadows:

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Anyone else drooling over this palette?  Has bad customer service ever prevented you from purchasing something you really wanted?  What’s your favorite item from Guerlain?

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26 thoughts on “Guerlain 2, Place Vendôme | Packaging Review & The Story of Our First Meeting

  1. Yep, this is pretty drop-dead gorgeous (and I laughed out loud several times reading this tale!). Congrats on the GPA! But I’m sorry about the crappy customer service, that’s so infuriating :( I can’t wait to hear all about the palette! (I feel like this comment is really disjointed, but we’ll pretend it’s avant-garde or something.)

  2. *Claps for story time!!*
    Good job on the good grades, MM! The lack of sleep was sooo worth it in the end!
    Boo @ that SA though. What a fool.

  3. STORYTIME IS THE BEST TIME. Not only are they fun to read but I bet they were fun to write. ;) This is why I’m still wary of SAs at department stores. I don’t know, I just feel like I look like a kid who doesn’t know anything to them so I try my best to stay away LOL. Also, a post devoted to just the packaging of a product, especially one like this, is A-ok with me. Those curly cutouts are just ah-amazing!

    Yay for good grades, MM! :)

    • Exactly! Story time is everyone’s favorite thing amiright?? Ok, I look young, but I don’t exactly look like a kid. And in my opinion, that’s irrelevant. If I’m spending the money, you should at least make it feel like it’s worth my time. hahah glad you liked all the packaging shpiel!

  4. Hahaha. I love that last series of shots! It’s excellent.

    I used to just sort of bite my tongue around rude SAs, but lately, I’ve decided that it’s my money, and I deserve at least politeness. I’ve gotten bolder over the past few years, and am not above asking for another Sales Associate to help me. At this point they usually realize that they’ve gone too far and try to make up for it, but by then I’ve usually made up my mind. Anyone else in the beauty department can help me, so too bad.

  5. Yay for storytime! I loved the way you did this post, and honestly, anything of epic porportions from you does not scare me! I love reading all your witty comments on things. This is beautiful—I mean, the craftsmanship alone is to die for. I feel like Nordstrom SA’s are so snotty some times, so I avoid the counters :(. But congrats for good grades, this is well deserved!

    • Aw, thank you Margo, you’re always so sweet! I know right, the packaging lured me in, nothing I could do about it. And the Nordstrom SA’s at my local counter are usually quite pleasant and do not treat me like a 5 year old, which is why I was quite taken aback this time around.

  6. I hear you girl. It’s really a beauty! Are you going to use it? Haha. I very much enjoyed the story. The woman at the counters can be such a pain, I know :-( the flip up mirror is amazing and I hope it bring you joy for much more time to come. Or at least to the next. Although the packaging is extraordinary on this, I’m having a similar experience with a TF palette, I must!

    • hahaha yes, I’ve been using it every day since I bought it! Took a bunch of pictures, and then dove right in :) It’s incredibly versatile, can’t wait to show you guys. Ohh, is it their most recent one? I was looking at that collection, and it was so incredibly gorgeous.

  7. Yes I have purchased stuff from snotty SAs but I shouldn’t have! It only encourages them hmph!

    But back to Place Vendôme. It is a beauty *drools*

  8. I swoon over that packaging! Can’t wait to see the swatches, dear MM!!! :D

    And I TOTALLY get you. I feel like customer service in my area has REALLY been lacking lately. I like to think I spend quite a decent amount of money at the makeup counters, but I am ALWAYS treated like crap nonetheless. I am ignored, given attitude, talked down to, denied samples…a couple of weeks ago I had the same thing happen to me, too. A girl that was probably about 7 or 8 years younger than me kept calling me “honey” and “sweetheart” in the MOST condescending tone ever, talking to me like I was a child. There is NOTHING that bugs me more!

    • Swatches being edited as we speak! I know, that’s the worst thing….that ordering online actually gets me samples and a relatively painless purchasing process compared to going in store. It just….doesn’t seem right LOL. Yeah, that really gets me. My mom and grandma can call me sweetheart if they wish, although they would never say it in that tone. Strangers trying to sell me something? Um, no!

  9. You are KILLING me with the suspense, my dear! First you show a sneak peek, now this…a little more, a little more…c’mon! :P I think these palettes are absolutely breathtaking. Sometimes it makes me think that I should stop buying other makeup altogether and just save up for these kinds of items – an absolute masterpiece! I’m so happy for you (and your kickass GPA – you GO, MM!).

    Also – shitty customer service pisses me off. I probably would have skipped out on her and bought it somewhere else (though I don’t know if you had another place to buy it?). Especially since I’ve been in the industry in some way for 14 years, and I know how to treat a customer, it makes me royally ANGRY! Mentally bitch-slapping her for you! >_<

    • hahahah not doing it on purpose, there’s just no way to cram this all into one post! Ok, maybe I’m being a little evil…..

      I’m starting to think so too. The only drugstore quad I use on a consistent basis these days is Maybelline Chai Latte, which of course they had to go discontinue/reformulate… -__-

      The closest location that had this in stock was still pretty far, so I just decided to get it, although next time I think I’ll do Larie’s thing and just ask for another SA. Look, I get that SAs are not there to cater to my every whim, but I do expect common courtesy, especially when I’m handing over that much money. Is that asking too much?

  10. I don’t know what it is about makeup counter SAs but they’re so bipolar. Either they’re fawning all over you or completely ignoring your needs. I haven’t come across a rude one like that in a while but the last time I did, I let her think I was going to buy the product and left her high and dry at the cash register, LOL.

    The palette is STUNNING in every tiny detail. I love the little bee and didn’t know about its history! I was trying to take pictures of the bee in my Aqua Allegoria perfume but the reflections off the cap made it impossible. x__x I bow to your superior photography and storytelling skills, MM. ;)

    • Ok, don’t know how I managed to miss this comment, but at least I got it this time around! LOL you are hilarious, ahh wish I could’ve seen the look on her face.

      About the bee, try holding black or white paper in front of it to control the reflections :)

  11. I am scared of just about EVERY SA lol. I am not remotely talkative so i’ve pretty much perfected the art of making sure they say little to nothing to me. ANYWAY! I had no idea how pretty these palettes were! I love the black lid with the mirror! :) EEEE

    • I want to talk to SAs though! I got this really really nice one at the Chanel counter last time, but I think he was just working there for the holidays. I mean you’d think since I like makeup and they are surrounded by makeup and I buy things and they get a commission there would be a better rapport -___-

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