Monday, July 14, 2014

Serge Lutens Lèvres en Bôite 1

Someone promise to send me mean emails when you notice that the Serge Lutens tag on this blog has a number bigger than *picking an arbitrary number* say 2 or 3 or ...
I am wondering if there is a brand you make a point of avoiding because you know it is a dangerous place to loiter about.  Serge Lutens is well known as a fragrance house, but it also has a very small offering of exquisite looking products which are offered exclusively at Barney's and on line in their own website.

Why dangerous?  First the price points are about as stratospheric as beauty products can get.  Buying something would force me to eat crackers and water for lunch a few weeks level of expensive.  The kind of dangerous that would make me feel bad actually using it because then a pristine product would be marred.  Also so dangerous because what would happen if I actually LIKED the brand.

Crap.

Shiny, heavy, decadent case of (wallet) doom.
Containing a most elegant assortment of red lip shades.
Shades that span the spectrum of cool to warm and from uber-pigmented to wearable sheer.  Why, RUN AWAY from the counter, Belly.  RUN!

Like a moth to the most exquisite flame, I had to take a closer look and you should, too.

Red
Red
Red
Red
Each individual red has a reason for being and stands on its own, but of course since this is a palette, one can customize by mixing shades to one's heart's content.  That is, if you can actually stand messing up those pristine looking pans.

Speaking of customization, there is an empty well to mix colors, but I prefer to just use the back of my hand.  I don't want this case to get messy.
Also included are two really short lip brushes.  The instructions included note that you should gently separate the bristles before use and to wipe away the extra color on the bristles after use.  I've not used these brushes myself, preferring to use the ones I keep at home (Tom Ford, Chikuhodo Artist Red, Bobbi Brown) and the ones I keep in my makeup bag (Chikudo Artist Red - the travel one, and the Shu Uemura travel kolinsky ones).
How many red lipsticks does one need anyway?  I'm going to say this is just a rhetorical question so we'll just ponder and not give any answers (such as a number less than 4).

Here are the swatches of the colors for my enjoyment, swatched from top to bottom of the palette.
  • The top red is a richly pigmented blue-toned red.  It is opaque and deep.
  • The second red is a slightly sheer pinky red.  This is probably my least favorite of the four, though probably because I own many sheer reds and pinky reds among my lipsticks.
  • The third is a bright and rich warm orange red.  This is not a unique color but absolutely unique in my collection.  I seem to have gravitated to neutral reds over time.
  • The fourth and final red is another beauty.  This is the one I tried on at the counter and made me think, ".....I....I...."  A generally neutral red that has a hint of translucent blue.
The glinting gleam you are seeing in the swatches is the bright natural light reflecting off the colors.  The colors are all without any shimmer.  There are single lipsticks in the Serge Lutens line, but these shades are exclusive to this palette.
But how are they?  How are they applied and how do they feel?  I love richly pigmented colors but many lipstick formulas that are high pigment dry my lips.  Some are more tolerable than others, but most formulas, when worn over consecutive days will completely shred up my lips.

The Serge Lutens reds are not moisturizing.  Well, if they were I would get go out immediately and grab some more (like #3 palette of the vampy shades).  But I find them not drying either, which for me is a wonderful find.  Over the course of the last week or so, I've been wearing these every day and noticing:
  • excellent smooth light consistency that is not thickly creamy, but has enough slip for easy application.
  • not particularly long wear time.  Particularly the red #2, the sheerer one.  I definitely need to touch up during the day.
  • classic soft shine finish
  • didn't bleed, but I don't usually have a problem with lipsticks bleeding
  • not drying!  Yahoo!  Let's not offend my Google Overlord.  I meant, GOOOOOGLE!
I mentioned the price, but did I mention the size?  The case is substantial and may give you the impression that there is a good mass of product in there, but to tell you the truth, it is wee little itty bitty tiny in terms of weight.  Containing a miserly 3.6g of product, it dwarfs in comparison to a Tom Ford lipstick (one shade) at 3g.  It performs a similarly amazing feat of being several times the price of a Tom Ford lipstick.

People often ask me things like, is such-and-such worth the price.  Is this the very best eye shadow-blush-lipstick there is?  Honestly, I have no idea.  It's not like the ingredient list contains pure gold or magical potions.
With worth being a term that is very personal and relative to an individual, I will say, worth it for me.

Since purchasing this palette, I've been actively culling down the reds I own, where if not close to perfection in formula or color, I've let it go.  Bye bye, SUQQU Creamy Glow Karakurenai.

Here are the shades on me, from top to bottom palette order:
 Goodbye, any other blue-based red I've ever owned.
 You're perfectly fine (and in a palette) so I will keep you.
 Hot chili, good grief!
Neutral red perfected.

Serge Lutens beauty is produced by the Japanese beauty giant Shiseido, so some of the sleek aesthetics is reminiscent of that brand/sub-brand offerings.  No scent, no taste!  The lip colors have no taste.  As for me, tasteless for life!

I purchased my Serge Lutens palette in person at Barney's on Madison Avenue in New York.  Elie, the SA was most patient and a dream to work with.  *Must continue to avoid this counter like the plague*  Elie can be reached at (212) 833-2425.

So tell me, have you already been indulging heavily into Serge Lutens?  What are your recommendations (but it's not like I really want to know.  BUT I DO!) from this brand?  Any other brands you avoid because falling in love would be tres dangereuse?

25 comments:

  1. @_@ this is one orgasmically red palette! All of them look perfect on you, particularly like the chilli that brings hawtness to the summer weather! I've read a few amazing reviews for SL makeup, and have always been intrigued. Perhaps its for the best I can't easily get my hands on these (and Suqqus and Addiction and...)

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    1. There are some pitfalls to easy accessibility. ;__;
      The orange red is really spectacular and I like how complementary it is to my skintone.

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  2. I literally Ooooohed as I scrolled down and saw the first red on you! Drop Dead Gorgeous! A real luxury and droolworthy purchase. I think I must maybe avoid the Serge Lutens counter -AT ALL COSTS!

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    1. Oh Jo. When you are here in NY, you just need a tiny peep at the Serge Lutens counter. You can tell Elie you just want a tiny little look. Just tiny. Dats all.

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  3. I think my wallet hurt just looking at the blog post title LOL!! I try to avoid looking when I'm on the Barney's site, but sometimes that's rather impossible whoops. Gorgeous choice, dear Belly!!! xoxo

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    1. It's been a really long time since I've studied French, but I can tell my skills are lacking when I go: Box of Lips? Boxy Lips? Box full of Lips? Sounds fanceh, though.
      Gummykins, have you had a chance to play with these in person? Are they in Chicago?

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  4. You look beautiful in them all. Some day I want to get Serge Lutens pretties, but it would probably add up to a mortgage payment, which is more important. Right??

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    1. :) thank you so much, LP! *stomps foot* Children don't need college education, do they? Right? Right?

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  5. I will just look away from this post.. but I can't. It is so lovely, so well-executed, the colors. And no scent did you say? NO TASTE?? Be still my heart...

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    1. Eeeeep, eeeeeep. This purchase was inspired by one of the regulars on Makeupalley, who was posting one exquisite picture after another of her wearing this. THe more I saw, the more I was put into a weakened state. And then trying one shade at the counter pretty much sealed the deal. They are really beautiful reds and something to behold when put into one palette, aren't they? NO SCENT! NO TASTE!

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  6. They look FABULOUS on you!

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  7. I love all the colours on you but for some reason I really like the 2nd one.

    Good thing I don't actually like wearing red on lips *avoids spending more $$$ on lip stuff.
    My brain is like $40 per colour isn't too bad...but it only has 3.6 grams of product!

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    1. The second red is perfectly nice. :) It doesn't seem to save the same oomph as the other three. I think that shade would make a nice mixer shade to the others due to it's sheerness, too.

      $40 per color isn't so bad, exactly. .... Yes, exactly, I tell myself, real loud-like.

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  8. Oh belly!!! Serge Lutens is the next brand I want to try, and godammit it's expensive!!! I didn't know it's by Shiseido though... hmmm..... hmmm..... I liked that chilli red on you, oh i really do!

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  9. Those reds are positively gorgeous on you but I must say, I'm so glad (well actually wallet is) that SL isn't available here, way trop dangeureux!!! *puts cover back on iPad, slowly, very slowly*

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    1. Helene, me, I find that hard-to-find aspect is what makes things even more tantalizing.

      Nuts, c'est moi.

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  10. Stunning shades on you, dear! This palette seems like a great choice despite the ridiculous price. Hope it lasts a while! :-)

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    1. Thanks, Nicole! I agree they are stunning and also completely fully agree on the ridiculousness of the price. I can imagine actually weeping bitter tears when I hit pan.

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  11. Each image was legit like, BAM-BAM-BAM-HOTNESS. Holy mother of GOD these are amazing!!!!

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    1. TOTALLY BAM! It is one sexy palette of reds.

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  12. Happy Friday Belleh! That lip palette is VERY likely to have its own town car and driver. Have you checked?! Astronomical price aside, the palette is worth the monetary woe since you wear reds fabulously well. The last neutral red is especially flattering against your complexion!

    And since you asked about Serge Lutens's other offerings, I am so tempted to yank you down the rabbit hole that is Uncle Serge's fragrance line, unless, of course, you are already there! I just recently smuggled home a bell jar of De Profundis. The purple blob now peers down from a top shelf to mock me for spending all that monies. Sigh. At least I smell nicer than subway musk. *flares both nostrils*

    -Josie

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    1. It's weekend time Josie! WHEEEE! Golly, I've been sniffing myself all week long... since having purchased a full bottle of Datura Noir. >:) It's quite shameless and practically masturbatory if you ask me. Please stop talking to be about the bell jar, mmmkay? Need to preserve some money to spend on stuff like food. :)
      I bet you smell like a dream! *SNIIIIIIIIF*

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  13. Thanks for posting the ingredients. I've been searching them everywhere. And yes, the formula is not something special (looking at the ingredients). Nice colours, I love the neutral red on your lips!

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