I have yet to try Guerlain’s older line of Colour Lacquer, but I simply had to try their newly-released line of La Petite Robe Noire Deliciously Shiny Nail Colour—ain’t that a mouthful?—because of…the packaging.
Yeah, I know, I’m a sucker. Guerlain’s new line of makeup is named for their 2009 perfume release, La Petite Robe Noire (Little Black Dress—there’s an Avon perfume with the same name, but in English, of course!), which is housed in the signature Guerlain bottle style shared by a few of their iconic fragrances—in particular, 1912’s L’Heure Bleue and 1919’s Mitsouko, two of my all-time favorites. The new makeup takes its packaging cues from this classic bottle style:
Designed by Georges Chevalier, its bottle is underscored with graceful scrolls typical of Art Nouveau. Its avant-garde stopper, in the form of a hollowed heart, evokes the delicate romanticism of this perfumery masterpiece and represented a real technical feat at the time.
I’m really not a big fan of La Petite Robe Noire, the perfume, as it’s too sweet for my taste, but I suppose it sells better these days than L’Heure Bleue and Mitsouko, so we now have La Petite Robe Noire makeup rather than Mitsouko makeup!
Guerlain’s La Petite Robe Noire Nail Colour claims many things, as it should with a US$23 price tag.
From Guerlain (typos are theirs—for shame!):
Guerlain creates fragranced colour and imagines an absolutely essential and utterly irresistible La Petite Robe Noire Nail Colour in deliciously shiny texture to dress up your style with colour!
A real La Petite Robe Noire miniature perfume bottle with its lid in the shape of the famous upside-down heart. Its flat brush allows optimal, easy and precise colour application.
– an ultra-shiny finish and revived shades thanks to a new technology of pigment grinding combined with a new generation of plasticizers
– an exemplary hold thanks to a specific resin that guarantees the film’s elasticity and suppleness
– a floral fruity fragrance that reveils itself instans after the application
Earlier this month, Canadian drugstore Shoppers Drug Mart held a one-day Optimum Points redemption event and I redeemed some of my points for one each of these new nail polishes and lipsticks, both in the shade Black Perfecto (007):
I’ll review the lip colour another day—today is all about the nail colour! For some reason, Guerlain call it “Nail Colour” on the box and on their promotional material, but on the bottom of the bottle, it says “Nail Enamel”. Consistency, sheesh.
The clear acrylic cap pops off to reveal a black ridged cap for handling. The ridged cap is a touch small and the tapered top doesn’t make it the easiest to grip, but it generally works as it should.
The brush is wide, as advertised, and just slightly rounded. It’s a little too wide for my taste, though it’s not anywhere near as bad as the Burberry brush! I do wish it was more rounded, a shape that makes Dior’s brush the best I’ve ever used, despite its width.
Black Perfecto in the bottle is a super-deep blackened burgundy with extremely subtle (kind of like Chanel’s famed “invisible” shimmer) browned burgundy and purple shimmer. Unless it’s quite sunny or under bright light, the shimmer is not really noticeable, and the polish looks almost—though not quite—black.
Under sunlight, though, it’s stunning!
Halogen light shows the shimmer, though it looks browner here under the yellowish halogen light:
The polish dries to a beautiful, glossy finish, living up to the Deliciously Shiny moniker. I do wish the shimmer was more noticeable in this shade, though.
Application was quite smooth and easy, though I found the wide brush a touch cumbersome for use on my smaller nails. I did end up using three coats for full opacity—like many vampies, this polish started off a little sheer and was best with three coats. The third coat also allowed the subtle shimmer to emerge a lot more.
Oh, and this polish is supposed to be scented. I didn’t actually notice anything different apart from a slightly sweeter “nail polish” scent, so I wouldn’t really classify this as a scented polish. I could wave my polished hand in front of my face and not notice a scent.
While the shade is very pretty, I did find the shimmer too subtle and for that reason I can’t recommend this whole-heartedly. The formula and brush are very good, but not top-notch. Really, based on this shade alone, the best thing about Guerlain’s new polish is the packaging!
I am looking forward to trying a more straightforward cream shade from this line in the future, as vampies are not often the best-performing shades. Personally, I also had my eye on Fire Bow, a vibrant tomato, and Apri-Coat, a soft peach. Guerlain has also cleverly included a sparkly vibrant pink called My First Nail Polish (there’s a Lip Colour version, too, called My First Lipstick), which I’ve already fantasized about getting for my unborn daughter…
Guerlain La Petite Robe Noire Deliciously Shiny Nail Colour retails for US$23 / CA$27 and is 0.29 fl oz / 8.8 mL. It is made in Luxembourg.
Guerlain is a fragrance and cosmetic company based in Paris, France. It was established in 1928 and is one of the world’s oldest perfume houses. LVMH acquired Guerlain in 1994.