Guerlain's Terracotta 4 Seasons Bronzing Powder is Perfect for Pale People

It's matte and not too dark, in shades to match the seasons and your hair colour.
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Michelle Villett
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It's matte and not too dark, in shades to match the seasons and your hair colour.

If you've been reading here for a while, then you're familiar with two of my biggest beauty pet peeves. One is shimmer—at least when it occurs in copious quantities away from the eyes, lips or nails. Comme ça:

Kristen Bell - Burlesque premiere

Another is the too-dark, fake-baking sort of tan. (See: Ashley Tisdale; Kim Kardashian.)

Kim Kardashian faux tan blonde hair

Where they scarily intersect is in the category of bronzer.

I am AFRAID of bronzer. This is not because I haven't tried to be its friend. Apparently, though, it doesn't want to be friends with me. I'm far too pale for most of what's on the market—usually I end up with a dirty-looking face instead of a golden glow. (It's a problem. Sabrina and I were talking bronzers, and she had to drive to BARRIE just to get a certain elusive, now-discontinued shade for her pale clients. It was DuWop, by the way and I may as well save you searching for it because I already did and came up empty-handed.)

Also: why is it they have to put shimmer in all of them?! It's fine for evening, I guess, but I much prefer my highlights to be strategic, i.e. on the tops of my cheekbones, instead of all over my face. It's just more natural-looking.

But don't despair—I have some good news! There's a bronzer that addresses all of these issues, and has just arrived in four new shade families, including a couple extra-light ones for us Caspers. Finally I can welcome the Guerlain Terracotta 4 Seasons Tailor-Made Bronzing Powder into the fold.

Guerlain Terracotta 4 Seasons

The packaging is sick, as per usual with the Terracotta collections. (It's supposed to mimic the feel of amber and of course, has that signature double G on the front.) 

Each palette contains four powder shades (for the four seasons). Three of them are matte and one of them has a tiny bit of shimmer. But it's really not much, and because it's in its own little quadrant, you can totally be strategic about where that goes. According to the instructions inside, we're meant to apply them like so:

  • Winter: Mix shades 1 and 2
  • Spring and fall: Mix all four shades
  • Summer: Mix shades 3 and 4

Although feel free to be a bad-ass and do what you want.

There are six harmonies in total now, thanks to the four new ones. (The original 04 Blondes and 05 Brunettes remain, but I think are preceded by the word Moyen now, for "medium.") I love that four of them are based on hair colour instead of the standard light/medium/dark thing that is part of why it's so hard to find an appropriate bronzer shade these days. The other two are based on ethnicity; 00 Nude for "Asia" and 08 Ebony for "Ethnique" (French way of saying very dark skin).

Now, even though I am not Asian, the one that I'm most excited about is 00 Nude, which is the very lightest. Here's what it looks like on my skin.

Guerlain Terracotta 4 Seasons Tailor-Made Bronzing Powder in 00 Nude - swatches

As you can see, shade 1 is non-existent—which I think is great, because then it works as a regular powder. (Convenience!) It's hard to tell the difference between 2 and 4 but 4 is just slightly darker. And 3 is basically like a blush with barely-detectable shimmer.

The next lightest is 02 Natural Blondes. Here's how it looks on me:

Guerlain Terracotta 4 Seasons Tailor-Made Bronzing Powder in 02 Natural Blondes - swatches

This one's darker, obvi, and is more of a tone-on-tone palette since it doesn't have that pink shade. It's hard for me to tell the difference between shades 1, 2 and 4. I actually think 3 is the most wearable for me, since it's the lightest and most golden. But seriously, they are all so sheer that you need to apply quite a bit to get this intensity of colour. A good thing in my books, because who else gets frustrated when the first swipe of bronzer paints a dark brown stripe across your forehead? Ew. With these, you're guaranteed not to pick up too much pigment.

Pale people, are you excited for these two palettes? The other new shades are 03 Natural Brunettes, and 08 Ebony.

So now for the bad news; these are $95.00 in Canada ($75.00 in the U.S.) which I know is a lot. But if I do my Shiseido Facial Cotton math, it works out to $23.75 per shade, since you're getting four in one. Right?

Tell me:

Are you scared of bronzer too?
Have you checked out these new Guerlain shades yet?
Got any other bronzer recos?