Manolo for the Beauty » Why Are Guerlain Meteorites in Pearl Form?

Why Are Guerlain Meteorites in Pearl Form?

By Glinda

When I recently wrote a product review of Guerlain Meteorites, wildflower asked:

I’ve also seen the pressed powder equivalent of this–where the colors are discrete, and you swish the brush over all of them to get a blend of them all.

What is the purpose of either of these? Why not blend the powder together before packaging it?

And I thought to myself, damn, that is an excellent question.

Now, if I only knew the answer.

I kicked around on the intertubes for a bit, but couldn’t find what I was looking for. Then the other day, my daughter grabbed the box that the Meteorites come packaged in off my bathroom counter, and lo and behold, a product pamphlet!

This is what Guerlain had to say about why they make the Meteorites in pearl form (and as mentioned, pressed powder with discrete colors)  rather than as a pre-mixed pressed powder:

For this unique creation, Guerlain took its inspiration from the way light separates into a spectrum of colour. When white light is split through a prism, it transforms into a myriad of different colored rays. Conversely, when these colours are brought together, a single ray of absolute white light is formed. Meteorites reproduce absolute white light to enhance your complexion by blending together small multicolored pearls, creating that sought after perfect radiance.

So, there you have it straight from the manufacturer’s mouth.

Is it true?

I am no scientist.

But I do know that the product does indeed work.

8 Responses to “Why Are Guerlain Meteorites in Pearl Form?”

  1. marvel Says:

    Balderdash. The hooey about white light and prisms is true for transmitted light (color), but not reflected color. If you mix paints that are all the colors of the rainbow together, you get muddy brown.

    I bet it works like those “pontillism” paintings, where up close all you see is a bunch of discrete little dots of bright color, but from an appropriate distance you see a bright, light-filled work of art. (Seurat, for instance). When you pass a brush across those meteorites, you probably don’t mix all the colors together into one monochromatic blend; you probably pick up lots of different colors in different places on the brush, and when you brush it on your cheek, you don’t have a monochromatic blend of powder but tiny little areas of blush pink, cream, lavender, whatever other colors are in the mix. Some blending occurs of course as well, but it wouldn’t be uniform. Up close, little bits of different color. At an appropriate distance, lots of shimmer and shine.

    No data, but that’s my bet.

    In defense of Guerlain, they did say they took the transmitted light as “inspiration.”

  2. wildflower Says:

    Ahhhh… I see! I think I agree with what Marvel says. :) Thanks for addressing my question!

  3. marvel Says:

    @wildflower– really? cool!

    I actually went and looked up “pontillism” this morning just to get the term right. I’d forgotten how much I like those paintings… might have to go look at some more…

  4. marvel Says:

    P.S. Just found this link and had to share:

    There is an extensive discussion of the perception of color. Skip down the description of additive mixing. I think I was sort of right but not completely.

  5. aurumgirl Says:

    Muddy brown (in a variety of shades) is a pretty good description for makeup colour, isn’t it? Guerlain does say “inspiration”, and the product actually does apply well and it looks good on. Thing is, with higher priced lines of cosmetics, it’s usually all about the packaging. Sure, you can press the coloured powders down into a flat compact, and it might work on the same principle (described perfectly by Marvel) but it doesn’t look anywhere near as beautiful as an object as the Meteorites product. On top of everything else, you’re not just slapping some powder on your face, you’re applying “pearl” radiance in colours that look anything but muddy brown. Who wouldn’t want to do that?

  6. marvel Says:

    I found a link that described why “pointillism” provides a more luminous color than mixing everything together into a monochromatic hue, but I think it got caught in the spam filter. I’m hoping the lovely blog moderator might release it, after perusing its contents to ensure its appropriateness for a family blog. (It’s appropriate! I promise!)

    Based on the link, I think I was half right; the meteorites “work” because they produce an effect similar to pointillism. However, “pointillism” works based on additive color (like mixing light), not subtractive (like mixing paint), so I was, um, wrong about that.

  7. Glinda Says:

    Comment released!

    Because flattery gets you everywhere!

  8. aurumgirl Says:

    The link was a good find. I remember reading somewhere that the pointillists, and their pals the impressionists, really sought to “deconstruct” the way our eyes perceive colour, breaking down what appears to be pure colour into light, which our eyes then decipher/turn into the colour we see. They really thought what they were doing with paint, colour, and our visual capabilities was “scientific”. Despite detractors, who called what they did the historical equivalent of the “hot mess”, they were on to something or we wouldn’t be looking at them today.

    With the Meteorites product though, there’s no reason why the same visual effect couldn’t be achieved with a flat, pressed cake of powder, as opposed to the “pearls” in the various tints. I think part of it has to be the packaging, which adds a real sensuousness to the application of the product, and part of it has to be the quality of the pigments. Higher priced lines usually feature higher concentrations of colour pigment, or just better pigment formulations which result in a better product, overall.

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