Beauty Class with Guerlain

Yesterday I had the pleasure of attending Guerlain's fall beauty class, taught by International Beauty Artist Maxime Poulin. 

He spoke at great length about the many fall (yes, we're starting to get ready for that!) beauty items that will be in-stores starting this Friday, September 1st, but also gave an eye-opening lecture on the history of beauty and makeup in general. Perhaps even more applicable than those interesting anecdotes are the many tips he gave on makeup application.

I'll share a few of my notes with you here.

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On picking the right shade of lipstick

Maxime spoke a great deal on matching the correct lipstick shade to your own features. First, identify how contrasted your features are—as in, are they sharp and defined, or are they soft and gentle (this had me studying the mirror and enlisting the boyfriend's opinion as soon as I got home). Also, you can have different sections of your face of different contrasts. Neither is good or bad, it's just how your features are. 

Now, if your features are of higher contrast, stick with bold lip colours (think reds) or nudes to complement your sharper features. Maybe even add in some lip liner for further definition, to keep the lips crisply shaped. If you lean towards the more gentle end, pick up something a bit softer (think beige pinks) to blend in with the rest of your features. Keep things natural and blended.

Of course, not everything beauty is black and white. These are just some guidelines from an expert in his field, something to keep in the back of your pocket the next time you're shopping for a new lipstick.

And one last thing which he recommended, which I am guilty of never doing (or even owning until now), use a lip primer! It will prevent your lip colour from oxidizing and help it stay on for so much longer. Personally, as soon as I start eating or drinking, no lip colour will stay on my lips, so this is definitely something that I'll be testing. The Kiss Kiss Lip Lift Primer is supposedly amazing for this, but I'm afraid I can't give you my personal review until future use.

On contouring the French way

As you can probably already expect, contouring should be kept natural. Instagram and social media has created a whole culture of extremely done up and intensified makeup, which to be honest I used to be somewhat into, but nowadays I am all for going au naturele. I loved the way Maxime approached this topic, like how applying too much makeup only really works for photography and the stage. In real life, and I think you will all agree, it's very easy to tell when someone is wearing way too much makeup. 

When contouring, Maxime gave the advice to use a light hand with everything. When he demonstrated, it barely looked like the brush even touched the skin, but that's just it: the goal is not to create visible makeup. As with everything that the French do, beauty the same: it's about being effortless (or rather, the appearance of effortlessness). He also taught that we should apply highlighter first as it helps to create a soft, underlying glow, and enhances the effect of the bronzer afterwards. When demonstrated, the Meteorites Baby Glow Touch created the most beautifully subtle yet glowing highlights. Again, depending on your own features, you can approach where you want to emphasize using highlighter. If you want to elongate your face, focus on creating highlights down the middle of your face (triangle on the forehead, down the bridge of the nose). To create balance with a longer face, focus on highlighting outwards (along the cheekbones).

With the bronzer on the other hand, make sure you don't bring the contour too inward. In the hollow of the cheek, it shouldn't extend past your pupil. For the jawline, only the inch or so extending from your ear. Lastly, use an even lighter touch on the nose. Something else I learned yesterday was that Guerlain actually created the first bronzer, which has been improved upon over the years. One of the resultant products from this year over year improvement is the Terracotta Sun Trio Bronzing Contour Palette. Some days I don't know what I'd do without bronzer, so they definitely have my thanks.

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On face oils

On the topic of beauty and since makeup and skincare go hand in hand, the conversation turned to face oils, particularly the reformulated release of the Abeille Royale Youth Watery Oil. Made with Guerlain-exclusive products, Ouessant Black Bee Honey and exclusive Royal Jelly, both ingredients have a long list of benefits. The primary being several "anti"s:

  • Antibacterial: Balance and preservation of the skin's integrity
  • Antiflammatory: Improvement of skin respiration, allowing the skin to function as intended
  • Antioxidants: Reduction in the production of free radicals, anti-aging properties

The Youth Watery Oil is designed to repair the inner skin at the dermis and epidermis level, and the new formulation actually includes tiny beads which are designed to further help and repair scars at the surface-level. 

I've actually been testing out the Youth Watery Oil for the past 2 weeks, and it really is the most lightweight oil I have ever used. It absorbs seamlessly and leaves no residue, only the feeling of ridiculously smooth skin. I learned yesterday that the redesigned formula has actually been improved at the molecular level. What this means is that the actual molecules making up the oil are smaller, resulting in a texture that feels more like an essence than oil. If you're someone who has been scared of trying out oils, this would be the perfect gateway face oil. Not to mention, it smells divine—I swear, sometimes I want to apply it just to smell it. Maxime's own tip is to apply a thin layer before foundation, or to mix a small amount with your foundation/brush, for a glowy and dewy finish.

Lastly, because it's good to be transparent and aware of what is going on with the bees. As part of an effort on eco-responsibility and to ensure sustainable business practices are followed, Guerlain has actually participated in a continued partnership with the Brittany Black Bee Conservatory in Ouessant. The goal is to create 10 million new bee colonies by 2025, and Guerlain has been working with over 30,000 volunteer beekeepers to realize this vision and give back to the Earth from which we all take from.

To wrap up this uncharacteristically long post: in honour of the bee, which also happens to be Guerlain's own iconic symbol, Guerlain has also partnered with local Canadian jewelry maker MYEL to design the Alvéole collection. Did you know that bees like to create "perfect" hexagons where all six sides are even lengths? The Essaim Silver Chain from the collection features three uncomplicated, perfect hexagons. A simple yet elegant design, just like how your beauty routine should be.


Disclaimer: Thank you to Guerlain for gifting me with the products mentioned in this post and inviting me to attend their Fall Beauty Class, all opinions and creative content are my own.


Tags | beauty, review, guerlain, collaboration