Serge Lutens has probably the most expensive makeup line you can find today, it is also certainly the highest quality you could ever dream of.
I bought the eyeshadow palette a long time ago, before I even imagined starting this blog. I don’t know what pushed me to buy such an expensive palette, probably just the curiosity and exclusivity of it. I was actually able (and proud) to resist this line, until the day I swatched them…
The only Serge Lutens style and makeup looks I can find online aren’t looks for an everyday wear -well they aren’t for me- , they are ethereal, white face, strong lipstick, dramatic eye sculpting, dark lower lash line, they are totally in line with his perfumes and photo shoots, very artistic but not very realistic for a customer like me. Gorgeous but the question is, will you wear it ?
Let’s start with the blusher…
The blusher was a recent purchase, not something that usually seizes my attention, too orange and dark for my skintone (NW20) but when I swatched it, I just couldn’t resist it any longer, it’s so finely milled that when you apply it with a soft brush it becomes totally wearable and flattering.
I don’t even know what shade this blusher is … on the website it’s mentioned they have shade 1 and 2, this looks more like the number 1 but I am not sure about it, not sure that it’s mentioned in the box either. The other shade looks more pink so I may try to get it too, they don’t have it at the counters here and without knowing which one I own today, how could I safely order the other ? hmmm I have to look better, if by any chance you know, I’ll be pleased to get that info !
My go-to is the TF Terra. This Serge Lutens is more orange but since the powder is so incredibly finely milled it just gives a warmth to the skin without shouting bronzer.
Sometimes I apply a different blush, more pink and then this SL blusher as a setting powder on top all over the face, it looks even more natural.
I bought the refill only, they are already very expensive so I decided I would skip the compact, I can remove it and put it inside an empty Z palette, that doesn’t bother me at all.
The back of the refill :
Some very heavy swatches for comparison, the RMK is clearly a sculpting shade, the Chantecaille Capri is more pink brown and that’s more flattering on my skin than orange bronzers/blushers but maybe it’s because of the quality of the powder that the SL still works for me. It doesn’t have a matte finish, it’s glowy and has no sparkles or artificial shine.
It will be more appropriate in summer but luckily I still can wear it in winterish spring, I am tired of waiting for warmer days… , I actually needed something to bring me closer to summer, to make me feel warmer. This weekend I wanted to cheat our horrible cold weather so I applied summery shadows and this blush as a bronzer.
I apply it either as a blusher or a bronzer, or both at the same time. My favorite brushes to use with it are the Chikuhodo Z-9 for an all over bronzer or the Tanseido YSC17 for blush application, they both deliver a soft natural application very easy to control, since it may turn orange, better get brushes that will not pack on too much pigment to start with.
In this picture I am not wearing contour, just this SL blusher as blush and bronzer. Wearing Cle de Peau Lipstick in T5, Mac eyeshadows (Night maneouvres and an unknown coral peachy shade), RMK extra deep W mascara, Ellis Faas foundation.
I have been given a tiny little sample of the Chanel Les Beiges in shade N°40, of course it’s not my shade at all but this allows me to see if it would be comparable to the SL blusher. Although the Chanel is meant to be a Healthy Glow Sheer Powder, since I have extremely dry skin that product will not work as a healthy glow on me, it’s actually too mattifying on very dry skin but the Serge Lutens here does deliver the healthy glow I was looking for in this Chanel.
The Chanel sample is the cutest thing (if you can get one, it’s worth trying) :
You don’t see much difference on the skin but the SL is more glowy. Here the swatches have been applied very heavy otherwise it would be difficult to see any difference between the shades. The SL does last longer.
On the left a more blended application, on the right very heavy swatches :
Below you will see them swatched together with the SL Teint si fin in shade B40, at the counter they matched me with I20 shade, which is the lightest shade and absolutely not my shade at all, unless they wanted to go for the SL promotional pictures with the very white geisha skin. B40 is not my shade either but it’s the only samples they had, at least I could try it and see if that would be an appropriate product for very dry skin. When I applied it, it felt nice, not drying but still, not a product for winter for me. So I’ll try it again in summery days.
Swatches below : the 3 face products and the eyeshadow palette.
The eyeshadow palette
Today my eyes need eyeshadows that are luminous without being too glittery or shimmery. At my age, matte shadows have to be handled with much care, they have to be heavily pigmented because the more I’ll layer them, the more they’ll emphasize my ageing eyelids. Serge Lutens has this perfect balance, very pigmented, don’t feel chalky at all, the 3 dark shadows feel more like airbrush or laser painting than powder.
Some of my favorite shadows to compare with the Serge Lutens palette :
I have tried to find a similar shade to the off-white/vanilla shadow in the SL compact, the Houglass Neo-Classic (the more matte one) is the most similar although compared to the SL it’s more pink based than yellow.
What I like about this SL is that it’s a nice base and a subtle browbone shade, it has tiny micro sparkles that won’t show on the skin. The off-white shadow is the only item from the palette can you can buy refills of.
The 3 darker shades are not that unique, you can probably find similar shades that are less expensive, but the quality is probably the best of all. The burgundy shade is a shade I use either in the crease or to set the gel eyeliner or to smudge the bottom lashes, it can look very vampirish… but I like that 😀 Sometimes I tone the burgundy effect with some of the black shadow.
The dark brown is an excellent crease shadow, again I also use it to line the lashes and set the eyeliner.
The black is just the sexiest black ever (how can a black be sexy ???) not sure, maybe the way it blends, when I set the gel eyeliner with this shadow and I blend it very slightly further up, it then becomes incredibly sultry, adds a lot of depth to the look and removes the harsh line of the eyeliner much better than any other black eyeshadow.
The Chantecaille black and the SL are my favorite blacks out there. The Chantecaille is easier to work with than the SL but the finish result is just more long-lasting with the SL, it will remain “black” for longer.
I love the Chantecaille Olivia palette, it’s even cheaper than the SL (135$ vs 160$), so if you ask me, yet I’d rather recommend you the Chantecaille because of what you can do with it but if you already have similar colors and you just want a luxury item with the most unique texture, then I’ll recommend you the SL.
There is another review of the SL palette by Cafe makeup, please have a look if you want to see more shade descriptions and swatches.
They also gave me samples of some of their lipsticks. I already had Votre Sienne but I was happy to try more. I don’t really like strong and dark lipsticks, I don’t wear them well, I have very masculine lips and that doesn’t help at all, I look more like a drag queen actually 😛 but I still took a few pics for you, please be kind to me 😀
Below you will find some pictures of the look I have created with this palette, it’s a wearable look but not appropriate for the office (not for me). I wear that look to go out to parties or when I need extreme long lasting power. They will remain intense until I take them off.
In the next pictures, I am wearing Chanel Vitalumière Aqua, Rose des Glaces lipstick, SL blusher, RMK extra deep W mascara (one coat).
Even though I have a lot of pigmentation irregularities I didn’t want to cover them completely, I am not expecting from makeup to transform me completely, not only can I not wear full coverage foundation with my very dry skin but I would not like it. Of course I’d rather have a flawless face but unfortunately that’s not the case ! well, at least you can see what the palette looks like on a “not perfect” face 😀 and with my application skills that are actually quite basic :
The white shadow as a base, the brown in the crease, the aubergine and black smudged on the bottom lash line, the black on the outer V and outer crease blended towards the center.
I took pictures from different angles, I don’t have the studio with the lights ready yet so I did what I could… hope that helps.
Just remember that my eyelids are not 20 anymore and I have very hooded lids…
Below some more pictures but this time with stronger lips, no lip liner because I didn’t want to alter the color, usually when I wear a dark lipstick I line my lips in order to give them a very subtle correction so that they look more feminine. This is wearing Mise à Mort (I love this name, so insanely provocative). One coat, with a lip brush, no lip liner.
Still same look but wearing Votre Sienne, one coat with a lip brush, no lip liner. What I do usually is apply some soft gloss to soften the effect, here it’s just on it’s own.
This is another eye look with the same palette but a more subtle one, aubergine shade in the crease and the black smudged around the eyes. This time I am wearing the SL teint si fin and Roman Rouge lipstick, no lip liner.
Actually I am wearing the Chanel new mascara (Le Volume) but it just doesn’t work for me, what I need is curl and separation and it doesn’t deliver enough, I still very much prefer the RMK extra deep W. I actually had a lot of problems applying the Mascara, it touched the skin and messed with the makeup … Even if I apply one coat and it thickens the lashes more than the RMK, the final result with the Chanel is less flattering than with the RMK.
Same look as above with SL Teint si fin, on the lips Rose des Glaces but my lips are feeling terrible and when I apply a lipstick at this moment it takes a while to settle correctly… after having played with the SL, my lips felt nice and soft but at the beginning (in this picture), they were a total mess !
Mauve de Swan looks awful on my lips but I am very tempted with the shades Garde Rose and Mise à mort (just because of its name, that’s pathetic!) 😀
The lipstick I bought after trying the samples is Rose des Glaces, it delivers shine with micro sparkles that for once I cannot feel at all on the lips and the sensation of the lipstick is very hydrating, it feels just wonderful. I apply it on top of lip liner or on its own.
Below I took a picture of the 2 refills, I don’t have the actual lipstick bullet because I am going to first test the refillable ones I own from other brands (that I don’t use), then if they don’t work for these, I will buy them somewhere else where it’s cheaper…
I can carry them like that but I have to be very careful, they have a little cap and you can twist them, it’s ok to use them like that but it’s a temporary solution.
There is not much product on the lipsticks but a little goes a long way… except for the Rose des Glaces, it’s sheer so you’ll apply more, and more often, the hydration sensation lasts 5 hours on me which is pretty good, but if I want some nice shine to last I have to reapply it more often, probably every 2 hours.
On the left the bottom of the refill (it has no cap but you can’t reach the product), on the right the top with the cap to protect the product.
I actually carry it inside the SL box it came with to protect it from direct dust.
Teint si fin :
I hope you found this helpful, I have not covered all the aspects of this so please don’t hesitate if you have questions !
I don’t think the SL is a must-have, specially at those prices, you can achieve similar results with similar shadows, but I admit I am extremely happy to use it and I will repurchase it when I finish it.