Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Wherein I Round Up Some Ballz -- of the Flat, Round and White Varieties (Guerlain Meteorites Perles)

I have come into my general affection and befuddlement a bit late in life.  Earlier aborted and perhaps even unsuccessful attempts had originally made me a bit suspicious of them.  I've purchased and returned them once on occasion questioning the actual darn utility of these things.  I have hosted a giveaway on the blog.  I have given them as gifts receiving "What are these things?" in response.

Well what are they, actually?

Ballz.
Pearls.
Perles.
Meteorites.
Flat Ballz.
Clockwise from top left: Guerlain Meteorites Wulong Compact, Guerlain Meteorites Perles du Dragon; Guerlain Meteorites 01 Blanc de Perle; Koyudo H008 brush
These powders from Guerlain are considered finishing powders.  The finishing powders are generally used as one last skin-perfecting touch on the skin.  Depending on the colors, the shimmers, et cetera, it imparts the final beautifying effect on the skin.  And depending on what Kool-Aid you are drinking, the final appearance of the skin is slightly color corrected and maybe with the most barely noticeable glow.

There are now reformulated permanent loose ones available, as well as new compact ones.  Seasonally, Guerlain also releases pressed compact and loose ones on a limited edition basis.

The Flat:
(a.k.a. Wulong)
The compact one shown here is the really beautiful Wulong compact.  This one is particularly notable for the heavy metal compact and its very hefty price.  The current permanent ones are lightweight plastic that look metallic.  A mosaic of harmonious pinks, beige, brown and pearl shade are in the pan.  This is a long-gone limited edition item from 2012.

If you click on the picture, you can see some small flecks of pale gold shimmer.

The Round:
(a.k.a. Perles du Dragon)

This one was released at the same time as the Wulong and shares the colors, but has a deeper toned plum in the mix.  I've seen swatches on-line which shows discernible color on the skin of the individual pearls, but I really didn't want to manhandle these ballz just for the sake of showing those swatches!  After all, the normal application on the face of these particular set of pearls is very light.

The Dragon definitely shows sheen on the surface of each pearl as well as some noticeable shimmer.

White Ballz:
(a.k.a. 01 Blanc de Perle)

This is shade 01, which is not here in the US, but which I purchased from Selfridges online (available here).  Other shades are here at your regular retailers (shades 02, 03, 04).

This one is rather pretty in the tin.  Has an assortment of white, yellow, pink and lavender pearls.  This one is the subtlest of the ones I own currently.  The Voyage palette with Mythic was probably the most subtle, bordering on invisible.

Seriously, What Do These Do?

They are finishing powders, as I mentioned above.  Very dry skinned folks might use this as a setting powder (e.g., alone over a foundation to set the foundation).  

While the distinct colors have some property for brightening, correcting sallowness and such, I don't really notice that on my face.  Truly, I think the greatest pleasure in the Guerlain ones is the beauty ritual of application.  The heaviness of the Wulong compact in the hand is tactile and luxurious.  The scent of the Meteorites is a heavenly candied violet.  The swish of soft brush into the pan and brushed on the face releases a soft scent of the product for a short moment and imparts the wish of beautiful skin.  That's the wish.  But what's it on the skin?

Swatched even heavily, way more heavily than I would on my face, the effect is still very subtle.  To make these swatches, I used a very dense natural hair kabuki.  I would normally use a brush that is much less dense on my face when I am apply these.

Here is Wulong.  You can see the glints of the shimmer, as well as a slight brightening and a sheen.  I find that with a light application, the shimmer is just barely visible.  The general effect on my face is a slight brightened sheen.

And here is Wulong swatched next to Dragon.  I think the effect is completely identical.  There is, for me, no real need to own both.  Although the tins of the pearls are a pain to travel with, while the elegantly heavy Wulong makes a luxurious travel companion.  I've also heard that the pressed Wulong is less shimmery than the Dragon, but to my eye, I don't see any huge difference.

And now, all three, with 01 Blanc de Perle added to the very right.  Blanc de Perle is just gorgeous.  The sheen is real, but much more subtle than what I would get from a true highlighting or luminizing product.  This is the least shimmer of the three.
No face pictures in this post, but I am wearing them in many of my recent posts.  I still think that the pretty effect is enhanced by the beauty of the product and the sensory delights of the scent and the application.  I suppose there is some enhancement to the face, but on me I don't notice anything dramatic.  

Well, maybe there are worthwhile nice things that are all about subtlety.
Do you use finishing powders from Guerlain or other brands?  What are your favorites?  The pretty, is it real or is it in our heads?

35 comments :

  1. I haven't tried these yet, but I'm thinking the day will come at some point when I'll cave to the beautiful jars of ballz. The only true finishing powder I own is the Hourglass Ambient Lighting in Diffused, which I'd consider more smoothing than brightening, and I actually use it as a setting powder anyway, because I'm too lazy to use two separate powders on my face. But! Violet scented ballz...

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    1. Using two powders on one days is often beyond my general malaise, but when I do use them it is a wonderful treat. I swear, the scent is probably the best part of its appeal to me... although I know LOTS of people don't like scented beauty products. *SNIIIIIIFFFFF* ahhhhhh.

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  2. I'm still loving the Blanc de Perle you gifted me (Mwah). I'm so happy with it honestly I don't really think I need to buy other kinds, although I do know more ballz are better. Maybe I will get the light shade from the recently (and affordably) released flat ballz. :)

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    1. :D It went to the best home and your 00s are so beautiful on your face! Unless you get the blush version of the ballz, I really think that for most people, with a light dusting, would not see a big difference from one set to another. But they are such an appealing product. I can TOTALLY understand how people collect them all.

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  3. I've got Dragon, and while I adore the things I admit that the effect is subtle (but I know it's there!) and agree that part of it is indeed the pleasure of the ritual itself. They're pretty and smell divine- what's not to love? I also use them as setting powder. Just whatever I feel like on a given day.

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    1. :-) Such a gorgeous product to have sit on a table top AND such a pleasurable ritual putting them on. Nothing to not love, imo.

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  4. I got the WuLong. So beautiful. I live in the U.S. I bought it from Harrods one year later. It was cheaper. Love it. A nice collector piece.

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    1. :) You got a good score from Harrods!

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  5. Τhe beauty ritual of application....The swish of soft brush into the pan and brushed on the face...You are the best girl!!!

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  6. What made you choose the white balls?

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    1. You mean like a real good reason? *scratches head* Because nice? I wanted the palest offering without going glittery and I think the 00s were too shimmery for my liking.

      Are you thinking about getting these? ;)

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  7. Oh yes.... my beloved Wulong. I missed out on Dragon, and i'm so envious that you've got it here!!! Honestly, I can't discern any swatch at all... blind i am. But on my face, i see it fo sho!

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    1. If I squint real real hard and stand in the sun, I can totally tell. But then at the same time, I look a little bit like Merv Griffon.

      Hehe, actually in real life, I can totally see a difference, even though the effect is so subtle. I love them!

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  8. What brush do you usually use for your round ballz? And now I am lemming 01 *shakes fist*

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    1. Vampy, I know you lurrrve your ballz. 01 would be very nicely suited to you! Am I helping?

      I use any fluffy brush. I don't like using a very dense brush because it picks up too much product for my taste. Have happily used Sonia Kashuk black handled giant powder brush, SUQQU Face, Chikuhodo Artist Red 20-2.

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  9. Wulong! I am a devotee of the Voyage Mythic compact, and how I let Wulong pass by without inviting it to be part of my makeup hoard, I'll never know. Should you ever decide you no longer want to care for yours, I'd be happy to pay a hefty adoption fee to give it a new home in the country. ;)

    Wulong regret aside, Voyage Mythic is my favorite powder ever. I have quite dry skin and do use it as a setting powder, and it works well. I notice a definite and immediate difference when I wear it. My (dry, old) face becomes luminous and everything appears diffused in the best way. In photos, I can always tell when I was wearing it vs not. I look almost embarrassingly better with it on. Note to self: wear it every day. Even when jogging or taking out the trash.

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    1. :) heehee! SoSuSam, I purchased the Wulong very recently from a seller in Sg on eBay. Although I think this seller has depleted her supplies. But I did pick up Dragon a while back in a blogsale. Here's to hoping Wulong turns up somewhere for you! Meanwhile, I promise to give Wulong a happy loving home.

      I love these powders when I wear a more matte finish foundation because without adding anything crazy dramatic, it subtly lifts the finish on the face. These are deeeeelightful!

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  10. These are my favorite finishing powders! I have several different ones, but I use Crazy 68 the most often. I think they make a wonderful difference that is very visible in real life!

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    1. Ah, Crazy Ballz! :) Those are beautiful, too.

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  11. The effect is most definitely real! Or so I say anyways. Maybe I am the only one who can notice it on myself, but that's plenty enough for me cause I'm an independent woman who does whatever she.... wait, what? Ahem. But yes, the sparkly pretty ballzzzz, the intoxicating smell... it is all about the ritual, the pretty glow is *almost* secondary. I have some old ones from 2008 that I forget the name, but probably just whatever was in the permanent line back then and I still have a few balls left... these things are unfinishable! Finishing unfinishable shiny ballz. Of course I am a mad woman who knows no restraint so I also have the latest version in 03 (I think? Medium?) the LE Aquarella version, the crazy pressed version and just recently got the new plastic compact version (which I think will end up gifting to my sister because this is... entirely too many ballz?!)

    I'll happily babysit your wulong flat ballz if you ever require such an odd service :)

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    1. :D You have old ballz? *strangled muffled giggle*

      What do you think of Aquarella? I love the pastel looks of those ballz.

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    2. Belly, if I am honest, I have only used them once hahahaha! Not because I don't like them but because I am trying to finish the OLD BALLZ from 2008 first (where did I get that dumb idea?! It's impossible.) From my first impression though, I can say that they are not as flashy as I feared they might be given the silver BALLZ in the mix. I didn't end up with large glitter chunks on my face or anything of the sort, just the usual lovely glow. I am gonna give up on this stupid idea and just use AALLLLL THE BALLLZ.

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  12. What brand is that brush from? I would like to get one. Thanks.

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    1. It's Koyudo H008, which is available on cdjapan.

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    2. My life is so so stressful right now. Reading blogs like yours give me a moment of relaxation. Thank you.

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  13. Did you know the prices went up as much as 40% for Koyudo brushes this March 3rd?

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    1. Yes, I am subscribed to cdjapan emails so I saw that. I guess with the weak Yen, the raw materials import costs must have gotten high. It also puts Koyudo more on par wih the other Kumano fude, so it makes sense.

      Sad for us though! I scored the H008 prior to the new pricing going into effect.

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  14. Happy Friday Belly!

    I could not stop touching my new Surratt Cheeks when it arrived yesterday. Is this behavior normal?!! Although I dont' have any G balls at the moment, the Surratt brush tempts me to grow a pair just because I'll have another excuse swoosh and twirl. ARGH! Then again, with skin drier than a monk's heels, my Suqqu Nuancing Pressed Powder is enough to set foundation; the addition and application of a foncy finishing powder would just spread patches across my face.

    Butt...BUTT even in the face of logic, I still wonder what it feels like to have not just a pair but whole canisters of balls! How wide would one's subway stance be in order to contain multitudes? The width of two seats? Three? An entire row? >: {D

    - Josie, Age: 7-ish

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    1. Hello Josie,
      :D You and my youngest would get along swimmingly. The mere mention of BUTT just throws her into a fit of uncontrollable laughter. BUTT. BUTT.

      Nay, you don't need any ballz. If the smell of tender ballz drives you to acquire a set, you should skip the setting powder & just use the ballz. :) I've heard from dry friends that the finish is very pretty with just the ballz. Also then also, you can also get the Surratt Face one just for that very purpose.

      BUTT.

      BUTT.

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  15. You've got balls Belly :D (sorry, just had to)

    PS. Bought a 3 weeks ago. Didn't know it was possible to have great hair everyday without having to blowdry hair.

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    1. :D Wait, Rae. You bought Ballz or you bought brush with great hair that you never need to blow dry?

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    2. Oh, didn't notice that I failed to mention 'tangle teezer'. Anyway, almost bought balls, but got diffused light instead.

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    3. A Tangle Teezer! OH! Now it makes complete sense. :) How are you liking the diffused light?

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  16. I SWEAR I know what you're talking about!

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