When I first saw pictures of Guerlain’s Cruel Gardenia floating about last year October, the artistry and design of the powder really captured my attention (and heart). I had missed out on getting Laura Mercier’s Rose Rendezvous and based on a number of reviews I’ve read, it is supposed to be a little similar to Cruel Gardenia. I enlisted the service of my high-end makeup Secret Agent to get me one as soon as or even before it hits the counters.
It is such a delight to view Cruel Gardenia in person. The raised 3D floral design emerging from the pan is absolutely beautiful. I’m not terribly familiar with plant species so I can’t say for sure if the flower is a gardenia but honestly, who cares when it’s so pretty.
My first experience with a Guerlain Meteorites powder was when I was still a teen. My mum had a tiny, little sample tub and I remembered playing with it but being absolutely baffled by what it was supposed to do. They just seemed to be little multi-hued sparkly balls with no real purpose.
Well, many years have passed since and I am now a wee bit more knowledgeable about makeup and understand what they are good for. Cruel Gardenia is my second Guerlain Meteorites after Teint Rose. I regret not collecting a few of the other limited edition releases in the past but I shall remedy that from this day forth.
* photo taken with direct flash to illuminate the shimmer *
Cruel Gardenia is a highlighter that can be used to highlight specific areas or as an all-over illuminating powder. It is a shimmery light champagne-pink shade with fairly neutral undertones. The powder has a very fine texture and feels smooth when swatched. For something so shimmery, I expected it to be slightly gritty but it is not the case with Cruel Gardenia.
It may appear frosty when swatched on my hand but it blends out very well when applied with a brush. In fact, the effect is rather subtle. I use the RMK Face Brush to pick up the product and lightly apply all-over my face, concentrating on the high points of my cheek bones and down the center of my nose. It imparts an inconspicuous glow which helps brighten my overall complexion and look just a tad bit more polished.
My only gripe with Cruel Gardenia is with the packaging as it seems to be rather carelessly thought out. The screw-top cover feels loose and does not actually click in place. I am so afraid of the whole thing falling off whenever I lift it. So if you plan to travel with it, I’d advise to pack it carefully.
I feel a little guilty for posting about Cruel Gardenia as I am well aware that it may be sold out at most places. However I feel it is more a collector’s piece than a utilitarian item, so if you are seeking a more functional alternative, there ought to be others available these days. The Guerlain Cruel Gardenia is sold at RM189 and if you are very, very lucky, you may still be able to get this gorgeous, elusive work of art at Guerlain.