What happens when the French pastry house, Laduree, famous for its macarons, collaborates with Albion, a Japanese makeup company? Well, you get one exquisite make up line! With the 18th century fashionable French women as the theme, and the charming packaging, these beauties will surely become a treasure in any woman’s vanity table.
I accidentally read about Albion when browsing the Internet, and of course, Fashionese Daily has also written about it prior to the launching. Believe me, it was love at first sight. I’ve never been more excited about any makeup brand before. This line entices me like no other. Yes, I’m a sucker for pretty packaging and all, but their debut collection is just divine. Those blushes (especially the rose petals) made my heart fluttering. I just had to get my hands on them.
Realizing that this line will only be available in Japan for the time being, I asked my sister (nicely) whether she would get some for me. She’s a flight crew and she frequently goes back and forth to Japan. Her first reaction was, “Out of everything, how on earth did you find out about this brand?” She was less pleased after knowing the prices of these beauties, but ultimately agreed to buy them for me. I had to wait patiently for a few months because she is based out of Denpasar, Bali, and only comes home once in every 2 months or so, depending on her schedule.
I was excited when I saw the shopping bag and the boxes. I felt like Christmas came early. The items were beautifully and properly packaged; I expect nothing less from the Japanese. Being a sucker, I am definitely going to keep the boxes, shopping bag, and the collection catalogs.
Oh, a head’s up, this is going be a picture-heavy post.
All right, let’s get on with the obligatory photo:
First item that I bought is the Cream Cheek Base in 04 (¥4,410)
It’s a cream blush in an egg-shaped case. It’s made out of plastic, feels well made and smooth. I do need to be cautious when putting the top back on though, as the cameo has a potential of nicking the blush.
The color 04 is a beautiful baby pink shade. I initially wasn’t sure whether to get 04 or 05 because just by searching the (limited) pictures were not enough. So I asked my sister to pick one for me. She picked 04 because she said 05 looked like a scary, dark fuchsia shade (which would’ve been pretty too, I’m sure!).
Obviously, I had to have to the star of their collection, the Face Color Rose Laduree in 02 (¥7,350).
I remember very well when I opened the box, I gasped on the beautiful lavender satin drawstring pouch. It wasn’t just a pouch; it was well-made, double-lined and felt very Parisienne. As soon as I opened it, the next thing was a blur. Finally, I was holding the rose petals in my hands. The petals were tidily arranged in the plastic case. It has a powdery rose scent and smells rather sweet too, like vanilla. The color 02 is a medium rose shade, with canary yellow on the petal tips. The color is darker in real life than pictured; I think my lighting washes it out a little. The petals feel delicate but not necessarily fragile. I don’t know whether the blush pigments are pressed into petals or there’s a material (paper maybe?) as the core, but the excellent craftsmanship is undeniably there. The petals came in different sizes; there are some big ones at the bottom and some smaller ones as well, to give that authentic rose petal look.
I wanted to get the special mini rose petals in all three shades but they were sold out not long after the launching. I figured I could save my wallet a little and save some space in my dressing table, since I could stack those up. But I was still willing to get the full size anyway.
As some of you know, with Japanese makeup brands, we usually have to buy the casing separately. No difference with this. I had to buy the Face Color Rose Pot (¥3,150) to store the delicate rose petals in.
How do you use the blush? Simply swirl your blush brush in the pot, touching the rose petals then swipe it over the cheeks.
The pot is made out of translucent, hard plastic with a cameo medallion in the front. One thing though, the lid doesn’t have an actual seal. It just sits on top of the base pot. You’d have to be careful not to knock it off accidentally.
I read the pots were sold out for a while, because some people bought the pots for something else – to store jewelry, knick knacks, etc. So I was a little nervous whether I could get it or not.
I arranged the rose petals carefully, not trying to be precise or anything, but just to give that full, lush look. Doesn’t it look precious?
Now the swatches:
Cream Cheek Base 04 is noticeably pinker than the Face Color Rose 02, which is redder and has a hint of coral. I swatched both rather heavily so you can see the pigmentation.
The Cream Cheek Base 04 has a slight blue undertone when first applied, but warms up nicely against the skin. It applies and blends easily. It is buildable too. This doesn’t have any scent. As with most cream blushes, you can wear this alone or layer the Face Color Rose or any powder blush on top.
Face Color Rose 02 is undoubtely sheerer as it is meant to give the cheeks a slight flush. I rubbed one of the petals onto my arm, as I felt that’s how I can show you the true color. The other day, I layered this over Tarte’s Cheek Stain in Flush and it looked wonderful. I was contemplating on what brush I should use. I opted my Real Techniques Blush Brush and it picked up the pigments nicely without crumbling it to the bottom of the pot. I’m afraid that’s what’s going to happen if I use natural-bristled brush (that’s my logic talking). Plus, the fluffyness of the brush makes the swirling motion a piece of cake.
Applying the rose petals, the whole routine is a luxe experience on its own. I can smell the lovely scent and it got me fantasizing that I’m in a stylish Paris apartment, in my well-decored boudoir, doing my make up on a mirrored vanity, with a tri-fold Venetian mirror, and where everything else is in ivory.
A close up photo of the rose petals:
The photo of all together:
So what else did I get? Aside from plenty of catalogs, I got two free samples of the Fluid Foundation and Translucent Make up Base. I haven’t tried these. I don’t have the heart to, yet. Even the sachets look so cute.
Finally, I got a free special gift for purchasing over a certain amount. I saw the offer on the website so I told my sister to not forget about it as well. I got an adorable Ladur hand fan, in its signature packaging print on a fabric, with a golden cameo charm dangling on the bottom. It even came in a sturdy pink box and a sleeve for the fan. Tres chic.
At first, she said she’s going to keep the gift, saying that it’s her commission for getting the stuff for me. But in the end, she gave it to me *big grin*. Despite saying I was out of my mind getting these, she actually got herself an Eyebrow Palette in 01. It looks great on her. She said she was just curious about the palette and the sales lady put it on her instead. I guess she fell in love with it too. She got a membership card as well
I have to say that this is a splurge and the rose petals set is the most expensive beauty product I’ve ever spent by far. I’m sure you could find a similar blush shade in other brands though. However, these are more like novelty items to me. It’s unique, exquisite and the execution is done meticulously. I mean, when have I ever come across a blush on, literally, in rose petal form? Whether it’s worth the price or not, my justification comes back to that particular reason.
Do I want to get more? Yes, absolutely! I’d like to get the Pressed Cheek Color (they have 20 colors of these), Rouges, and the new Tinted Lip Balms. The Face Powder looks really nice too, although I wouldn’t have the space for it. Even the new Eye Color Palette caught my eye, but let’s save it for next time. I can only imagine if I have the opportunity to go to Tokyo, I’d probably go ballistic on these.
For more information, you can go to the website www.lm-laduree.com, or you can always Google around. As far as I know, the brand is only available in Japan (Ginza, Nagoya and Sendai) for now. If you’re going to Japan, make sure to drop by the counter. Beware, I can’t guarantee what you might end up buying