Monday, 22 March 2010

Review: Guerlain Terracotta Loose Powder Kohl

I've been lusting after Guerlain's Terracotta loose powder kohl for years.  Mostly, I admit, because it's in such pretty packaging, and is so very very luxe, because at the end of the day, what you're buying is kohl powder on a stick.  Not that that's a bad thing of course; many of life's finer things come on sticks.  Toffee apples.  Lollipops.  Errr.  Kebabs?

Anyway.  The product is mostly made up of a deep well, which contacts sparkly black kohl (it also comes in many other colours).  The top part is made up of a handle which is as easy to hold securely as it is pretty, attached to a rounded stick.  Drawing the stick from the well brings a light coating of kohl, which you can then apply to the eyes in one of two ways: Eastern or Western.

To apply the Eastern way, you gently put the end of the stick in your inner corner, close your eye, and draw the stick between your closed eyelids.  In theory, this deposits plenty of black kohl on both the upper inner rim and waterline at the same time.  I found that while this definitely did blacken both inner rims, there was also a fair bit of fallout under my eye.

 I suspect that the process of application gets easier and less messy the more you try it out.  For me, this was definitely easier than holding my eyelid up and tickling myself with an eyeliner brush, which is how I usually line my inner rims.  Just a little messier.

The Western approach is to use the stick to dab the kohl onto the upper and/or lower lashlines.  Because this is a soft, smudgy powder, you get a rather pretty smoky look when you apply this way.

Applying the kohl in both ways results in a very high impact (on my pale skin) look which would be a good foundation for a quick smoky eye.  The kohl is soft enough to be easily blendable into lighter eyeshadow colours.  The wear is pretty average; about 4 to 5 hours in, my waterline was little a little bit patchy and less dramatically black.  Because of the fallout, I'd probably recommend applying this before your foundation and concealer, otherwise you might end up with a bit of a cleanup job on your hands, as I did the first time I tried it. 

The only thing that bothers me about the product is the hygiene factor.  This is not something you'd ever want to share or allow someone else to try, obviously.  The fact that I'm essentially poking a stick in my eye makes me feel slightly worried about bacteria build up and the risk of infection.  Whereas one can always sharpen a pencil or wash a brush, there is no way to sanitise this product.

In summary: for a quick and easy way to get both inner rims lined, this is pretty fantastic.  Given that it's a good smoky-eye all rounder, and that it's very luxe (AND looks great on my dressing table), I will probably repurchase - if I ever use it up!  If you'd like to try it yourself, you can find it at for £20.


  1. I have this but not the one made by this brand, I picked up an "authentic" one when I was in India and I love it but it IS messy if you don't practice.

    I've been looking for a review on this product for a while, thank ye


  2. Hmm I guess you could clean the stick thing, but yeah it wouldnt help if you had been double-dipping in the first place D:

  3. That's funny, I've just posted my own little review of these little beauties! I love them a lot, and yes, to have to practice a bit at the beginning to get it right, but the effect is beautiful, very sultry. I would never lend this to a friend, that's for sure, but then it's like mascara really, you don't disinfect a mascara wand every time, do you? Agreed, mascara doesn't get as close to the eye as this stick, but if you're worried you can simply swipe it clean before dipping it every time, there wouldn't be much waste luckily, as the stuff easily gets stuck to your waterline and off the stylus! Love the eye pics! x

  4. great review :)
    looks good

    I was thinking about getting something like this but not this brand.

  5. Hiya!

    Just wanna add something;
    I first came into these when my pakistani friend brought me one. She told me that what they do in India, is pull the stick through their hair to get off the excess. If you do it this way, you don't get the fall-out. Obviously, it's not hygenic at all, so pulling it through a loosely held tissue works the same way. =)

  6. Excellent suggestion! I will try the tissue idea next time I use my kohl :)


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