I am going to be upfront with y'all that I cannot be objective about this collection. I'm a nut for vintage styling, and I freakin' LOVE Mad Men - the simultaneously sympathetic and loathsome characters, the exquisite period detailing, the precise balance of pathos and humor, and, of course, the pure masculine glory that is Don Draper.
When Estée Lauder came out with this collection, it was love at first sight. The packaging is just sublime, and I am going to conserve the boxes to store along with the actual product.
They really outdid themselves with the period-authentic details, while keeping the overall feel fresh and modern. The outer packaging has that mix of pale blue/aqua and gold that calls to mind Palm Springs or Palm Beach, circa 1962, without being too precious.
The Creme Rouge in Evening Rose is a gorgeous, heavy and very, very blingy, with a blue stone on the push-clasp. The kind of thing that inspires any excuse to use in public.
|Mad Men Limited Edition Creme Rouge in Evening Rose|
The lipstick in Cherry is a smaller size, which for the price might seem outrageous, but it is accurate for the period.
|Mad Men Limited Edition Lipstick in Cherry|
|Size comparison: Cherry below, |
a standard GWP-packaged Estée Lauder lipstick above.
Both items are actually a lot less red than I was expecting, with the lipstick being a very clear red with a strong pink undertone, almost rasberry-ish, while the Creme Rouge is beautiful bright rose. I think very warm complexions might have a hard time pulling these off, but they are worth a try if a counter near you has any testers.
With my coloring (light skin, dark eyes, brownish-blond hair), they're pretty damn perfect. The kind of makeup that looks crisp, clean and pretty with just a touch of mascara.
The lipstick is an opaque, satin finish cream that applies with a lot of pigmentation on the first swipe. It doesn't have any detectable shimmer, but retains a certain glossiness. I wouldn't call it hydrating, but it is very comfortable on the lips, and wears very well. Like all reds, it stains and therefore lasts longer than the average - up to lunch with no problem. And then you can just whip out the Creme Rouge compact to reapply, and be wonderfully chic about it. ;)
The Creme Rouge is not the usual cream-to-powder concoction. Evoking its ancestry, this rouge is wonderfully creamy and dewy, and retains a soft glow even after it's worked into the skin. It also has a very fine shimmer that is barely apparent, but there. If you are concerned about aggravating the look of oily skin, or just don't enjoy a glowier finish, then this is probably not going to rock you boat. I do think it can be a very beautiful, fresh and vibrant look though, and in the summer, over tanned skin - I think it's just stunning.
It can be applied as is from the pan with the fingers, and blended in for a more dense application. However, I do prefer doing a more sheered out version using the Real Techniques contour brush (probably my favorite brush for cream blushes).
And it can also be used as a lip product. With the creamier finish, it actually feels very nice on the lips, and dries to a satin finish. (Actually, I think it might be a very similar formulation to the one featured in the MAC Casual Colour Collection.)
In each picture: Creme Rouge on the left, Lipstick on the right. Indirect natural light for both, at different angles.
Picture on the left is under artificial light, the one on the right is in full sunlight.
The Creme Rouge blended out, in indirect natural light on the left, full sunlight on the right.
You can see more of the shimmer in the sunlit picture.
Availability: Available on the Bloomingdale's site, on the Estée Lauder site, and perhaps at some counters. Unfortunately it's not available in Canada, however the US site will ship to here. The lipstick is 25$ USD, the Creme Rouge is 40$ USD.
Pros: Incredible vintage packaging. Beautiful colors that are both period-appropriate and modern-use friendly. Creamy, blendable and pigmented textures on both items. The Mad Men tie-in, if that's your thing.
Cons: Difficult to locate and acquire, small size of the lipstick is incongruous with the price. May be difficult for warmer complexions to carry off.
(I purchased both these items from the Estée Lauder website.)