Saturday, February 20, 2010

Guerlain Terracotta Loose Powder Kohl Liner

Price: $34 for 1g, .03oz

What they say:
"An exceptionally elegant eye makeup innovation, this ultra fine, loose powder, with a touch of iridescence, can be applied as an eyeliner using the wand applicator or applied as an eyeshadow using the brush. "

What I say:
After that review I did on their blush, I thought I would review something from Guerlain that I did not think totally sucked.  Terracotta Loose Powder Kohl Liner (henceforth known as "kohl") is a decent product, but one that is not an immediate success, unless you know what you are doing.

First, the video link: how to apply kohl the Eastern way.

As you can see from that video, the way that this shines is the fact that you can put it on your waterline very quickly, without any tools but the one that came with it, and basically without a mirror (if you get good enough at it).  Yes, it does look a bit scary, but after having done this a number of times myself, I can attest to the fact that it is in fact not painful at all, and actually really simple to do.  If you can put on contacts, you are more than capable of doing this maneuver.  Hell, contacts are scarier, since you aren't watching this with the eye you are doing it with.

This power does not hurt at all when it gets in your eyes.  I have gotten it in my eyes a lot, and never felt a thing.  The powder does end up in your inner corners of your eyes, but you can just take that out when it gets there.

Lasting power: it's good.  I do notice a little migration if I don't prep properly beforehand, but that's my own fault, and the fault of my slightly oily, watery eyes.  This stuff, when it finally migrates to my lash area (which it does, but seriously, it looks like you meant it to be there, and just makes your lashes pop), does not want to leave.  Oil cleanser can take care of it, and it is easier to get off than mascara, but sheesh, it can be a bastard.

Colors are limited, but the ones that I have tried are nice (brown and black).  I want to get my hands on 00 Glow and 04 Oriental Metal.

Price is ludicrous, until you think of how little you are using each time.  You're supposed to tap off the excess back into the jar, so really, all you are using is what little powder sticks to the plastic stick, which is basically nothing.  Yes, it's only 1g, but it lasts a really long time.

Which actually leads me to my next point.  Sanitizing.  You sanitize a eyeliner pencil by sharpening.  You sanitize eyeliner pressed powder by spray and wiping off the outer layer.  How do you sanitize this?  The key is the stylus.  It is hard plastic, which is incredibly easy to sanitize.  Just wipe it off/sanitize it after each eye, and before putting it back in the product.  Since it is hard plastic, unlike a brush, it dried pretty much immediately.  If you are uncomfortable doing that, using a toothpick that you rounded the edge off is something that I have read online, though I have not tried that myself, so don't quote me on that.

So, overall, do I feel it's worth it for the price?  Well, yes, and no.  Kohl that is safe, and lead free, is actually harder to locate than you might think.  Colors are nearly impossible to find.  While this stuff is quite expensive, I look at it in more than one part:
1) It come with its own applicator, which is convenient.
2) It comes with its own nice looking container, which is nearly unheard of.
3) It is safe for your eyes, unlike many kohls and kajals on the market (that are easily accessible).
4) A little does last a really long time.
5) It does not contain lead.

So yes, I do think it's worth it, at least as a gift.

4/5  (-1 for price being so high)


  1. Just wondering -- where do you get the info that it definitely does not contain lead? I've assumed that it doesn't, since it comes from a seemingly-reputable French company. But I'm not enough of a chemist to look at the ingredients and know that none of them are derived from lead, so I'm curious to know where you got your info!

  2. Ingredients: Talc, Nylon-12, Octyldodecyl Stearoyl Stearate, Phenoxyethanol, Sodium Dehydroacetate, Tetrasodium Edta, [+/- Mica, CI 77891 (Titanium Dioxide), CI 77491, CI 77492, CI 77499 (Iron Oxides), CI 77007 Ultramarines), CI 77288 (Chromium Oxides Greens), CI 77289 (Chromium Hydroxide Green), CI 77510 (Ferric Ferrocyanide)]

    The information that I got that it had no lead was from the company itself, and from many reviews, some of them done by people with more chemistry training than myself (makeupalley, online review searches, reviews on other powder kohls with comparisons). While I don't know 100% for certain that it does not contain ingredients that are derived from lead, I have not heard a single report that it does, and in fact have only heard reports that it is one of the few powder kohls that are easily accessible that does not. The lead that kohls usually contain is called lead sulphide, which the ingredients certainly do not list, so that is a good indication that this product does not contain lead, or the same lead derived ingredients that most companies use.

    (Sorry that I don't have the links, but my computer decided to eat many of my bookmarks, so I lost the ones that I did have. I do remember that it didn't take too long to find. I was able to retrieve these: )

    If you haven't heard of this site:
    I highly suggest checking it out. It gives information about ingredients, companies, hazards and violations, and many other useful information for people who want to avoid certain ingredients.

    I did make a page for this product, but because reviews are often looked over by a person, it can take some time to show up. According to the report, none of the ingredients were derived from lead, but like I stated earlier, you cannot be 100% certain of these things. Just because the norm for an ingredient is safe does not mean that this particular company did not do something different.

    I hope that was helpful. Sorry I couldn't give a 100% yes or no answer, but unfortunately, without working for the company itself, that would be impossible. I would say it is a safe bet, though, and that contacting the company with your concerns would definitely not be a bad idea.

  3. Thank you for the links! I appreciate the info!

  4. Here's the EWG Skin Deep ingredient safety page I made for this product: