Serge Lutens Lèvres en Bôite 1

Someone promise to send me mean emails when you notice that the Serge Lutens tag on this blog has a number bigger than *picking an arbitrary number* say 2 or 3 or ...
I am wondering if there is a brand you make a point of avoiding because you know it is a dangerous place to loiter about.  Serge Lutens is well known as a fragrance house, but it also has a very small offering of exquisite looking products which are offered exclusively at Barney's and on line in their own website.

Why dangerous?  First the price points are about as stratospheric as beauty products can get.  Buying something would force me to eat crackers and water for lunch a few weeks level of expensive.  The kind of dangerous that would make me feel bad actually using it because then a pristine product would be marred.  Also so dangerous because what would happen if I actually LIKED the brand.

Crap.

Shiny, heavy, decadent case of (wallet) doom.
Containing a most elegant assortment of red lip shades.
Shades that span the spectrum of cool to warm and from uber-pigmented to wearable sheer.  Why, RUN AWAY from the counter, Belly.  RUN!

Like a moth to the most exquisite flame, I had to take a closer look and you should, too.

Red
Red
Red
Red
Each individual red has a reason for being and stands on its own, but of course since this is a palette, one can customize by mixing shades to one's heart's content.  That is, if you can actually stand messing up those pristine looking pans.

Speaking of customization, there is an empty well to mix colors, but I prefer to just use the back of my hand.  I don't want this case to get messy.
Also included are two really short lip brushes.  The instructions included note that you should gently separate the bristles before use and to wipe away the extra color on the bristles after use.  I've not used these brushes myself, preferring to use the ones I keep at home (Tom Ford, Chikuhodo Artist Red, Bobbi Brown) and the ones I keep in my makeup bag (Chikudo Artist Red - the travel one, and the Shu Uemura travel kolinsky ones).
How many red lipsticks does one need anyway?  I'm going to say this is just a rhetorical question so we'll just ponder and not give any answers (such as a number less than 4).

Here are the swatches of the colors for my enjoyment, swatched from top to bottom of the palette.
  • The top red is a richly pigmented blue-toned red.  It is opaque and deep.
  • The second red is a slightly sheer pinky red.  This is probably my least favorite of the four, though probably because I own many sheer reds and pinky reds among my lipsticks.
  • The third is a bright and rich warm orange red.  This is not a unique color but absolutely unique in my collection.  I seem to have gravitated to neutral reds over time.
  • The fourth and final red is another beauty.  This is the one I tried on at the counter and made me think, ".....I....I...."  A generally neutral red that has a hint of translucent blue.
The glinting gleam you are seeing in the swatches is the bright natural light reflecting off the colors.  The colors are all without any shimmer.  There are single lipsticks in the Serge Lutens line, but these shades are exclusive to this palette.
But how are they?  How are they applied and how do they feel?  I love richly pigmented colors but many lipstick formulas that are high pigment dry my lips.  Some are more tolerable than others, but most formulas, when worn over consecutive days will completely shred up my lips.

The Serge Lutens reds are not moisturizing.  Well, if they were I would get go out immediately and grab some more (like #3 palette of the vampy shades).  But I find them not drying either, which for me is a wonderful find.  Over the course of the last week or so, I've been wearing these every day and noticing:
  • excellent smooth light consistency that is not thickly creamy, but has enough slip for easy application.
  • not particularly long wear time.  Particularly the red #2, the sheerer one.  I definitely need to touch up during the day.
  • classic soft shine finish
  • didn't bleed, but I don't usually have a problem with lipsticks bleeding
  • not drying!  Yahoo!  Let's not offend my Google Overlord.  I meant, GOOOOOGLE!
I mentioned the price, but did I mention the size?  The case is substantial and may give you the impression that there is a good mass of product in there, but to tell you the truth, it is wee little itty bitty tiny in terms of weight.  Containing a miserly 3.6g of product, it dwarfs in comparison to a Tom Ford lipstick (one shade) at 3g.  It performs a similarly amazing feat of being several times the price of a Tom Ford lipstick.

People often ask me things like, is such-and-such worth the price.  Is this the very best eye shadow-blush-lipstick there is?  Honestly, I have no idea.  It's not like the ingredient list contains pure gold or magical potions.
With worth being a term that is very personal and relative to an individual, I will say, worth it for me.

Since purchasing this palette, I've been actively culling down the reds I own, where if not close to perfection in formula or color, I've let it go.  Bye bye, SUQQU Creamy Glow Karakurenai.

Here are the shades on me, from top to bottom palette order:
 Goodbye, any other blue-based red I've ever owned.
 You're perfectly fine (and in a palette) so I will keep you.
 Hot chili, good grief!
Neutral red perfected.

Serge Lutens beauty is produced by the Japanese beauty giant Shiseido, so some of the sleek aesthetics is reminiscent of that brand/sub-brand offerings.  No scent, no taste!  The lip colors have no taste.  As for me, tasteless for life!

I purchased my Serge Lutens palette in person at Barney's on Madison Avenue in New York.  Elie, the SA was most patient and a dream to work with.  *Must continue to avoid this counter like the plague*  Elie can be reached at (212) 833-2425.

So tell me, have you already been indulging heavily into Serge Lutens?  What are your recommendations (but it's not like I really want to know.  BUT I DO!) from this brand?  Any other brands you avoid because falling in love would be tres dangereuse?

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