The Guerlain Terracotta 2009 Collection: Holy Smoke!

Published in: Makeup

Today MBB reader Amy Lynne takes a look at how Guerlain’s taupe tiger known as Holy Smoke stands up to other products in similar shades.




Guerlain’s Terracotta 2009 Collection included a beautiful multi-faceted taupe called Holy Smoke ($35). Like many Guerlain products, the color is both rich and sophisticated, with multicolored micro-shimmers that give it depth and richness in a remarkably fine-milled powder. In other words, it doesn’t take much to get a huge taupe bang.

The question is — how does Holy Smoke compare to the other stars in the Taupe Galaxy?

As a pigment, Holy Smoke delivers much richer color than pressed shadows like Chanel Vega or Safari. One reason why comparatively messy pigments are as popular as they are is because the format gives amazing coverage without having to dig in your brush too hard, thanks to the soft, loose nature of the product.

I was shocked to find that Shu Uemura’s legendary (but, alas, now discontinued) pressed ME Silver 934 held its own beautifully against Guerlain’s Holy Smoke…




I swatched Holy Smoke next to my other favorite taupe pigments — MAC’s Coco and Subtle (both limited editions from years past), as well as Bare Escentual’s Queen Tiffany.

I think the Guerlain offers a more subtle, sophisticated look compared to the others. Coco seems to almost match the color but has larger particles of shimmer compared to the small, micro-shimmer particles in Guerlain’s Holy Smoke.

If you love taupes, don’t miss Guerlain’s Holy Smoke. Like legendary taupes from the past, it’s limited edition.

This post was written by Amy Lynne, MBB reader and lover of all things Chanel and Shu Uemura. She lives with her hubby, three kids and a labradoodle puppy named Sherman and believes makeup shouldn’t be about following rules — rather, it should be about having fun and how it makes you feel. 🙂


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So far, 9 people have commented on this article. How cool is that?

  1. jojoba says:

    never thought of comparing this with shu me 945 but they look so similar! love it! this is an awesome post! thanks

    jojoba´s last blog post..Review/Swatch/FOTD: Sephora Kat Von D True Romance Eyeshadow Palette – Ludwig

  2. Vonvon says:

    Not really my type of color but after seeing all the 6 shades swatched by you, may be I should reconsider? They have this sophisticated and elegant feel.
    Do you think these shades will suit my medium-light warm(neutral) skintone, not sure if I’ve described it properly? But I use Estee Lauder foundation in Intensity 2 which suits me well.

    Btw, I agree with Amy Lynne about makeup should be about having fun and how it makes us`feel!!!

    P.s. Sorry if the question above sounds a bit amateurish, Karen..;)

    Vonvon´s last blog post..I Was Featured

    • Karen says:

      Hi Vonvon,

      No worries, it totally doesn’t… 🙂

      I think you could do it. It would look pretty on the lid; maybe try it in the crease with a shimmery beige on the lid.

  3. Tiera says:

    I have just fallen in love with Holy Smoke. This color looks amazing. I don’t have too many Guerlain’s products (they’re quite pricey), but I think I’ll definitely spring for Holy Smoke. It’s gorgeous!

  4. Ann says:

    thanks Amy this is a great post!

  5. tali says:

    Great post! I now want to do a taupe look!!

    I find the Guerlain loose shadows hard to blend so I will skip them this time round. Also where the wand touches pigment stays.. but doesnt really spread elsewhere well. maybe if they relaunch them in a new collection theyll redo the formula a bit.

    tali´s last blog post..Tropical Look

  6. Vonvon says:

    Hi Karen,

    Thank you for the advice and tip. Already had in mind the shimmery beige to use….Stila’s Prize! But 1st, I have to check if we already have the Terra Cotta collection here. 🙂

    Vonvon´s last blog post..Estee Lauder TIME ZONE Gift Set And Good Customer Service

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