For the first time ever, I met Olivier Echaudemaison, Creative Director of Guerlain, at the preview of Terracotta 4 Seasons. I’ve met lots of creative directors and make up artists and although I love make up, I’m never terribly interested in meeting those that create it. Rather shallowly, I’m far more interested in the finished product and not the often far fetched ‘inspiration’ behind it. However, I now have an exception. Olivier was lively, unpretentious, funny and wearing the biggest pair of glasses I’ve ever seen on a human, other than possibly Deirdre Barlow. He addressed a gathering of grey-black-less-is-more editors dressed in velvet with purple socks and still managed to make it look entirely sophisticated. He is almost without inhibition – forgetting editor’s names, looking entirely blank when re-introduced to someone he’s met before and clapping a hand to his face in horror because he has no recollection whatsoever of meeting them! He nearly took my arm out of it’s socket on impulse to quiz me about the Chanel tattoos I was wearing (I suggested Guerlain should follow suit with a Henna version) and resolutely stuck to English when others approached him with a stream of French greetings. He wanted us to drink champagne (not wanting to be rude, I took a glass only to find that I was the only one who did, ironically for someone who rarely touches alcohol, I ended up looking like the lush), explained his fascination for Natalia Vodianova (who has had a longer run than any other Guerlain face), and talked us through the range.
So about the make up:
Terracotta 4 Seasons is a palette with 4 tones of bronze to customise your tan look available in two colourways – one for blondes and one for brunettes. And, yay!!, it’s sparkle-free.
Teracotta Touch: Something of a genius idea – a highlighter pen for shadows and dark circles with a tan touch..no more panda eyes using concealer over a tan.
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Terracotta Tient D’Allures: A tropically fragranced tinted moisturiser with tan enhancers and protection – again in two shades, Blonde and Brunette.
Terracotta Gloss: Six gorgeous nude tones of shimmer gloss with SPF15. Not so nude as to scare away the bright-babes, but enough that they look natural with a kick.
Terracotta Fard Metal: Two beautiful, creamy metal shades for eyes – Gold, and the bronzier Smoky Metal. The Gold is a true, gilt lover’s dream.
Terracotta Khol: A smoky chocolate brown, this limited edition khol is absolutely stunning – I have brown eyes and it’s a gorgeous match but can see it making blue and green eyes absolutely pop.
Olivier revealed that he is now working on the Spring 2011 collection – I tried so hard to make him spill the beans over Christmas 2010 – the most I could get him to say is that it is completely different to 09, and that was just before he chucked me under the chin and said, ‘You will have to wait and see’.
Now I’ve met the man, I’m not shy to say that I love the brand all the more….French creative directors, I find, are often unavailable (mostly because they are outside smoking) but Olivier delivered such charm and wicked humour that I’m determined to meet him again. Even though he won’t remember me.
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