Review and Swatches: Guerlain Parure Gold, Parure Extreme and Tenue de Perfection foundations

Guerlain foundations (left to right): Parure Gold, Tenue de Perfection, Parure Extreme
Guerlain foundations (left to right): Parure Gold, Tenue de Perfection, Parure Extreme

As mentioned previously, Guerlain Parure Gold foundation (number 02, Beige Clair) is my favorite foundation ever. Some blogs mentioned it will be discontinued, so I scrambled to find an alternative (after making sure I hoard another bottle).

It turns out that Parure Gold is not discontinued, and I have this straight from Guerlain France. They might in the future, but not now. But I scrambled already, and amongst the newer Guerlain line-up, these are closest to what Parure Gold offers, i.e. long-lasting and full coverage finish: Parure Extreme Luminous Extreme Wear Foundation SPF 25 and Tenue de Perfection Timeproof Foundation SPF20/PA++. Here are my thoughts.

Coverage. All are similarly long-lasting. I do not find a difference amongst all.

Oil control. Parure Gold wins. Tenue de Pefection and Parure Extreme have about the same level of oil control.

Texture. Parure Extreme is a little bit more runny. Also, Parure Extreme and Tenue de Perfection set more quickly compared to Parure Gold.

Shade: As you can see, even the same number yield different shades; heck even the same type in the same number in different forms (liquid vs powder) yield a different shade; note Parure Gold number 02 in liquid and powder. I actually have this in 03 with the actual compact, but have not been able to find it, and I’m afraid I must have misplaced it somewhere during my travels. Actually, I am not sure at first whether this refill is 02 or 03, but having swatched them together, I’m sure now it is 02, which is too light for my face but works well for highlighting and contouring. Number 03 is the better match shade-wise though slightly redder than the 02 liquid, if I remember correctly.

Anyway, let’s go through the shade one by one (see the comparison shade below).

Parure Gold No. 02 liquid, my HG, is too dark compared to my neck, but since my makeup bases of choice have white casts, it works out ok. I’ve also tried this in No. 03 (samples) but it is darker and redder.

Tenue de Perfection No 02 Beige Clair actually comes very close to my neck shade, although not green and yellow enough. I also bought the Tenue de Perfection No. 23 because this actually matches my tanned skin quiet nicely (I bought it while I had a tan from a week-long coastal trip). I got No. 23 over the purported yellow-based No. 32 (Ambre Clair) because 23 is actually MORE yellow, bordering on orange, and I thought would be a great shade to mix with the Tenue de Perfection No. 02.

Parure Extreme No. 24 is actually for my sister when I make her up, it matches nicely, and really not as dark as the swatch when buffed on skin. I also like to use this as a contouring shade, it works really, really well for me in this respect. I don’t contour with it often though as it is time consuming to do with liquid foundations. I’m not sure why I bought Parure Extreme No. 23 – it has become quite confusing, this matter of foundations.

So, bottom line. Since Parure Gold is not actually discontinued (yet), I should really extricate myself from this confusion, so I will be continuing with this one, in No. 02. Parure Extreme 24 is also a keeper, for my sister and for my contouring purpose. Parure Gold 02 compact too, for contouring. Everything else may need to be relegated to better homes.

Click to enlarge: Guerlain foundations (left to right): Parure Gold, Tenue de Perfection, Parure Extreme
Click to enlarge! Guerlain foundations Parure Gold, Tenue de Perfection, Parure Extreme compared with MAC BB Cream and Studio Fix Fluid



Saturday Zen: Three Favorite Foundations

Comparison swatches: CoverGirl AquaSmooth, Kat von D Lock-It Tattoo, Guerlain Parure Gold
Comparison swatches: Guerlain Parure Gold, Kat von D Lock-It Tattoo, CoverGirl AquaSmooth

A makeup addict’s search for more exciting, more effective, overall BETTER makeup is never-ending. But for a few years now, I am at a zen in terms of foundation. These are my three favorites, in order of preference.


g Gold Radiance Foundation (Source)
Parure Gold Rejuvenating Gold Radiance Foundation (Source)

1. Guerlain Parure Gold Rejuvenating Gold Radiance Foundation

I first bought this at a 50% off event, and boy am I glad I did! it was truly love at first use, I’m now about halfway my second bottle after only about 3 years or slightly more. This foundation gives a level of coverage that is believably luminous (not over-luminous), has amazing oil control, relatively good shade match (#02, Beige Clair, in my case), not fussy in terms of application (brush, sponge, fingers, all work as well), gives a little sun protection (SPF 15), relatively moisturizing (or at least not drying), has a nice fragrance (I am a fan of the scents Guerlain puts in its makeup), and has some skincare benefits. The downside is the price, of course, upward of $80, therefore I don’t use it as much as I’d like (which is, every time, budget permitting).

Unfortunately, the love story is destined to be short. Guerlain has discontinued this foundation. I have another back up, but considering I have another year or so with my current one, and with the backup another 2 years or so, I’ve decided that unless I find one at a very good price, I’ll need to let go. If you still want to give it a try, do it now as once supply diminishes, I guarantee you’ll find this selling on Ebay for hundreds of moolah.


Cover Girl Smoothers Aquasmooth Foundation (Source)
Cover Girl Smoothers AquaSmooth Foundation (Source: Cover Girl)

2. Cover Girl Smoothers AquaSmooth Compact Foundation

The name is a mouthful, but this foundation is worthy of a big name. It’s relatively flying off radar, and I discovered this quite by accident, at an impoverished Cover Girl makeup counter. The only tester that wasn’t icky to try was this one, which seemed newly opened at the time. Swatching it on my arm, I loved how it is solid in the compact, liquid to the touch and application, and dries powdery on the  skin. Magical. I have been a convert ever since. The pros: the magic of form changing (solid and compact for travel; liquid-y for ease of application, powder as the preferred finish); has some sun protection (SPF 15), matte finish, cheap (about $9). I grab this most often in my current stash of, I think, more than 10 foundations.

The shade with this one is a bit tricky though. Online stores and swatches don’t really reflect the real color, and it is darker in the pan than in real life. I use soft honey; it is slightly darker than my neck and chest area but is a good match for my face. Fortunately my favorite bases has a whitish cast, so it’s perfect. I keep two shades of this, actually, the other is buff beige. They both go well together especially if I have the time to contour and all that jazz. But really, mainly I’m keeping both just because I can.

I can’t really think of a con for this one. I wish the packaging could be a bit simpler, but there’s probably no way to do that, and the sponge provided is actually pretty decent quality. So if this got discontinued? I will hoard and hoard and hoard.


Kat von D Lock-It Tattoo Foundation
Kat von D Lock-It Tattoo Foundation (Source: Sephora)

3. Kat von D Lock-It Tattoo Foundation

I already love the Kat von D eyeshadow palettes, so when the Pink Sith recommended this foundation, I purchased it at the first opportunity of a Sephora sale. And? It is everything she says it is, and more! The coverage is AMAZING! It’s like liquid pigment. Just a drop, and scars, darkness, redness, unevenness, etc, are covered. This wasn’t an instant love, but one that grows as we get to know each other better and go out more. Actually for me, this is the foundation that garners most of those “you look nice today” comments.

I use shade M54, and it’s less yellow than I’d like, but not glaringly so especially on days when I stay mainly indoors. With careful application (in layers and using the Beauty Blender sponge), I can actually achieve something akin to perfect skin with this. Which is scary, really. It’s so far from the truth that I don’t ever try that outside.

I just ordered another shade during the last Sephora 20% off (M62, which should be more yellow); but I would gladly buy full price ($34 at Sephora). The downside for me is, believe it or not, too much and too good coverage if I’m not careful. Yes indeed, a nice con. Plus, no SPF.

Comparison swatches: CoverGirl AquaSmooth, Kat von D Lock-It Tattoo, Guerlain Parure Gold
Left to right: Guerlain Parure Gold, Kat von D Loct-It Tattoo, CoverGirl AquaSmooths

So there you go, my little roundup of 3 favorite foundations that put me in foundation zen. I still try this and that, because the world revolves and innovations get made everyday, so I don’t want to miss a good thing. But if right now I have to choose one? Or Two? Or Three? In a heart beat! Actually, I don’t even have a fourth favorite as everything else can be lumped under ‘not favorite’, pretty far down the list from these three.

What is you current foundation love?

Complete 18 shades swatched: L.A. Girl Pro Conceal high definition concealer

L.A Girl HD Pro Conceal high definition concealer complete swatch
L.A Girl HD Pro Conceal high definition concealer complete swatch of 18 shades (click to enlarge)

I don’t really use concealers to conceal; I haven’t got the patience for micro-concealing. A good foundation that evenly covers everything, and that would be a wrap for me, in terms of coverage. Sometimes I would do some under-eye dark circle concealment, but that’s once in a blue moon.

I do,  however, understand that concealers can be good stuff. I haven’t tried a lot of concealers, but the L.A. Girl Pro Conceal high definition concealer gets high raves online that it’s hard to give it a miss. I first tried it in ‘pure beige’, using it as a foundation. It was really good, though the shade is a bit dark for me, but the tone is right. I next tried ‘creamy beige’ and it’s such a good match as a foundation that I am keeping it in my personal arsenal.

What I like about this product: its price (cheap!); its creamy texture that blends well and gets along with other liquid makeup (foundation, tinted moisturizer, sunblock) so I can use it to tint, lighten or darken them; and it’s portable size. I can hardly think of a con except for its brush applicator tip, which will need to be cleaned once in a while.

My favorite way to apply the L.A. Girl Pro Conceal as foundation is to use the Beauty Blender sponge. You can build coverage from sheer to medium; I guess you can do full coverage but I think it will look a bit heavy as this product is thick. Applying with a brush also works if you thin this product first (with your facial serum, moisturizers or other creamy liquids), but if you’re aiming at getting full coverage, take care since the buffing may make your skin feel raw. I found that using my toners as a mixture with this product will not work, as this stuff is very creamy, and substances that are too watery can’t blend well with it. Ditto with spritzing my face first, which can lead to streaky results.

The L.A. Pro Conceal comes in 18 shades and it can be mind boggling to pick a shade. I can only find one complete set of swatches on the internet, so here’s an additional reference by yours truly. In the picture above, I swatched all 18 shades, and also included three of my foundations as comparison (Tarte Maracuja Miracle foundation in ‘light’, Guerlain Parure Gold Foundation in 02 ‘Beige Clair’, and MAC Studio Fix Fluid in ‘NC40’ which i use on other darker people). Note I am yellow-toned around MAC NC 25-30.

If you’re still not sure which shade to get, you can get a couple of colors, one light and one dark in the color family that you need, and mix them up as needed. Below a few results of mixing some of the shades.

L.A. Girl Pro Conceal high definition concealer mixed shades
L.A. Girl Pro Conceal high definition concealer mixed shades (50:50 ratio)
L.A. Girl Pro Conceal high definition concealer mixed shades
L.A. Girl Pro Conceal high definition concealer range of shades by mixing ‘beautiful bronze’ and ‘natural’ at various ratios