This Year for the Holidays, Clarins Got Passionate (and It’s a Slow Burn)

Published in: Makeup, Product Reviews

clarins passion holiday makeup collection (4)

Packaging ho that I am, I always salivate thinking about look forward to seeing what Clarins cooks up for their holiday collections.


Remember the floral flourishes swirling across 2010’s Barocco release and the plaster and pebbled textures from 2009’s Palazzo d’Oro?

Mmm… luxuries limited edition designs. And seriously good stuff.

Since the brand usually displays dramatic flair with the packaging of their holiday collections, I was a little surprised by this year’s release. Passion, available now on Clarins counters and also online, has at least one opulent episode via the curvy red pattern decorating the Passion Face Palette ($55), but the other items in the four-piece collection look uncharacteristically streamlined and restrained.

Here, the simple compacts merely hint at the fire that burns within them. “Hello, lovah,” they whisper, with sophisticated gray, rose, taupe, peach and silver shades that feel more to me like a controlled burn than a sudden burst of vibrant, intense color.

Eye Quartet Mineral Palette in Smokey Passion ($40)

When I started to explore Passion (LOL!), I began with this quartet. Its sleek gold compact houses two powder eyeshadows (in taupe and rose), a powder liner (in a glittery grayish black) and a creamy, glittery highlighter; I really like how the colors make my eyes smolder and shimmer, and while the creamy highlighter applies a little patchy on me, the powders slide like smooth skin on satin sheets.

Passion Face Palette ($55)

When I sweep the Passion Face Palette on my cheeks, the golden shimmer works like stage lights to illuminate my face. The downy soft texture feels like cashmere, but alas, the shimmer is just an overspray. The pale peachy pink matte powder beneath it doesn’t really show up on my tan skin. I have a feeling this piece would fare better on lighter lasses than it does on me.

Rouge Prodige Lipstick in Passion Rose ($24)

A single layer of shimmery, rosy brown Rouge Prodige Lipstick in Passion Rose (unscented and unflavored) delivers rich color that lasts for hours, even through a few cups of tea.

Instant Definition Mascara in 01 Intense Black ($24)

The boldest part of this look? — the lashes! πŸ™‚ Glossy jet black Instant Definition Mascara in 01 Intense Black ($24) will not be denied, and I fully appreciate that. The snazzy brush, with its short, stubby tip, defines and separates like a champ.

clarins passion holiday makeup collection (2)

clarins passion holiday makeup collection (3)

clarins passion holiday makeup collection (6)
Passion Face Palette

clarins passion holiday makeup collection (5)
Eye Quartet Mineral Palette in Smokey Passion

clarins passion holiday makeup collection (4)
Rouge Prodige Lipstick in Passion Rose

clarins passion holiday makeup collection (1)
Instant Definition Mascara in 01 Intense Black

clarins passion holiday makeup collection (2)
Swatches of Eye Quartet Mineral Palette in Smokey Passion

clarins passion holiday makeup collection (3)
Swatches from the left: Passion Face Palette, Rouge Prodige Lipstick in Passion Rose and Instant Definition Mascara in 01 Intense Black

clarins passion holiday makeup collection (1)

This year, Clarins’ quiet, beautiful holiday collection whispers, rather than shouts.

(And sometimes a gal’s gotta whisper.)

In terms of packaging, I applaud them for once again doing something different, even if it lacks the brand’s usual holiday bling.

Your friendly neighborhood beauty addict,


P.S. Well, we made quick work of Monday, didn’t we? I hope your day went off without any major hitches.

Tonight El Hub called on his way home from work to ask if I wanted to go out to dinner, and I replied, “Uh… yes?”


We hadn’t gone out in a while, so this was a nice treat. We headed to an Italian restaurant not far from here called Tavola Italian Kitchen.

My dish: halibut with brussel sprouts and cannellini beans

I also ordered a side of cheesy polenta (aka heaven in a bowl)

El Hub ordered steak and potatoes (he’s such a dude)

And for dessert, a quince and currant cake with vanilla gelato, NOM!


Like this post? Tell your friends!

So far, 45 people have commented on this article. How cool is that?

  1. I love the look of the Clarins products. Hmm and the food looks yummy. I’ll take both. Thanks πŸ™‚

  2. I’ve tried the skin care. OBSESSED with their hand cream and their instant smooth perfecting touch, but I’ve never tried their makeup. I always see it, but then never pick it up. I actually spotted some at TJ Maxx and the other day. I love the look of their eye palette and face palette (although the face palette seems a little pricey!)

    • Karen says:

      You should give it a go. The powders are very soft and smooth! If you’re a hard core pigment girl you might need to build up the eyeshadow, but I think it’s nice for days when you want a more mellow/professional look.

  3. gio says:

    What a beautiful collection, will have to check it out. Thanks for the review.
    gio recently posted … Product Review: Sleek Makeup Brow Kit in Light

  4. Darn it, Karen, I was SO sure I wouldn’t need that quad! It really reminds me of Graphites (which I already own), but – well. Your photos kinda speak for themselves with this one; it looks like one heck of a palette!

    Perhaps the B+ rating will be enough to sway me to leave my wallet untouched. Perhaps. πŸ˜›

  5. Sonya says:

    Gorgeous packaging for the holidays, and lovely lipstick!

    The cheesy polenta looks DELICIOUS!
    Sonya recently posted … Too Faced Smokey Eye Palette – Review, Photos, Swatches

    • Karen says:

      The polenta was BEYOND delicious. It was light, fluffy and melt-in-your-mouth good.

      Do you think you might try this collection on next time you’re at the Clarins counter?

  6. Marian says:

    Makeup and food…the two best things in the world!

  7. Lola says:

    I WANT!!!!!!! especially the lipstick!!! πŸ™‚ xxx

  8. Vale says:

    Lovely items ! I think I will buy something from this collection ! Great review ! You are invited to my blog, I have a make up giveaway going on and I would love you to join πŸ™‚ kisses

  9. Advah says:

    I *love* that close up of your eyes, the colours are gorgeous! I’m so bummed that wouldn’t work on me. πŸ™

    • Karen says:

      Hi Advah,

      Clarins has other colors in this line of quads. πŸ™‚ Maybe next time you’re at the store you can “just look.” (LOL, I use that excuse all the time!).

  10. that polenta is KILLING me. yum.
    The Blossom Shed Beauty Blog recently posted … Luscious Locks

  11. Kim says:

    Well, I was going to completely agree with you on the packaging but then I got totally distracted by your dinner pics! You’re so good about being a healthy eater; I would have made the same choice as El Hub. πŸ™‚

    • Karen says:

      He was over the moon to be eating steak! I rarely cook it so it was a treat for him. πŸ™‚ He side of tiny roasted potatoes which had the cutest purple potatoes. Have you ever had them before? They’re surprisingly sweet.

      • Kim says:

        El Hub would be in heaven in our house – I make way too much red meat. πŸ™ I’ll tell you, I’m not a potato fan but I love the baby red and purple. You’re right; they just taste a little sweeter and better. I’d go with pasta over potatoes every time, though. You can see why my treadmill gets such a workout! πŸ™‚

        • Karen says:

          If we were neighbors I’m pretty sure he’d always find an excuse to visit around dinnertime. πŸ™‚

          I find it hard to believe you’re not a potato fan. How about French fries? Or hash browns? Or garlic mashed potatoes? Okay, I need to stop thinking about all that carby goodness…

          • Kim says:

            I’d keep an extra steak handy, just in case! πŸ™‚

            I know, it’s a bit odd. I prefer sweet potato fries to regular (unless it’s poutine), am OK with hash browns (but not home fries) and don’t care for mashed potatoes. I put the gravy on my stuffing instead. πŸ™‚ I like potato salad, though! I’m a huge fan of pasta and bread – a total carb monster – just not potatoes for some reason. I make them for the Hubs and one of my boys, though, so El Hub would be able to get his potato fix, too. πŸ™‚

  12. Vonvon says:

    We haven’t eaten out in a very long while too! But it will change especially when bro-in-law is flying in from Boston next week! Haha!

    From the color of the lipstick swatch, I can’t help but to think that it can be used as a cream blush too! πŸ™‚
    Vonvon recently posted … Photos, Swatches, Quick Review & FOTD: Shiseido Shimmering Cream Eye Colors

  13. Nina says:

    i love love love Polenta. i can eat just that, esp if its cheesy and be happy! πŸ™‚

    im digging the packaging of this collection – its so holiday-ish!

    • Karen says:

      I think I love, love, love it too. I could’ve easily eaten a huge bowl of it for dinner! The only kind I’ve ever had was the type you get from Trader Joe’s in a tube, which is just okay. The stuff at the restaurant, though, was like SUPER POLENTA. πŸ™‚

      • Nina says:

        i get my polenta from an italian deli in town, and its in a tube as well. its good, but i want to learn how to make it from scratch!

        have you ever had cheese grits? they are pretty good too. my fave breakfast place serves it and ive been known to have just that for breakfast!

        wow @ super polenta — like the superhero of all our starchy and carby dreams! πŸ˜€

        • Karen says:

          It *was* a carby cheesy dream come true. I kind of want to go back and order an extra large helping to go so that I can eat it while sitting on my couch. πŸ˜€

          I had cheese grits once and liking it! What’s not to love, though, about carbs and cheese in the morning?

          So, when you get the stuff in the tube, do you slice it and fry it? That’s what I end up doing.

          • Nina says:

            i make sure the tube is refrigerated so the stuff inside gets stiff. i cut them into a quarter of an inch slices and either fry them w/ some cooking spray (they make an olive oil variant that works well w/ the polenta) or bake them in the oven on low and then broil for abt 20 seconds when done (i like the burnty crust) …

            i am now officially craving cheese grits. maybe on saturday i can drag the hubs to that breakfast place.

  14. Chris25 says:

    My friend works for Clarins, and I always mean to stop by her store and bug her- I mean, buy makeup. *looks innocent*

    Isn’t gelato, like, the best thing ever? Besides kitties with huge tummies?

    • Karen says:

      LOL! It would be a good excuse to hang out with her *and* play with all the beautiful colors at the counter. πŸ™‚

      I love gelato! What is your favorite flavor? I love anything with caramel. I also like pistachio.

  15. The mascara wand looks so cool and different. I’ve never seen that kind of design before, but maybe that’s because I don’t wear mascara. πŸ˜› Still, it’s interesting to see. Thanks for sharing this!
    Swatch And Learn recently posted … Nail Art Tutorial: Frog Nails

  16. PinkGlitter says:

    I’ve never tried Clarins before but the face palette looks so pretty. I love the eye look you did too.

  17. Jen says:

    I love the gold packaging on the Clarins.

    I also love the food you ordered. Yum. πŸ˜€

  18. Nivedita says:

    Your cheeks look so amazing! that caught my attention the most.
    I just had a sumptuous meal with my best friend.

  19. Vidhya says:

    Hi Karen,

    I really like your make up these days. Your skin too seems to be glowing. Is there any specific product your using either make up or skin product to look the way you are? Please share.


    • Karen says:

      Hi Vidhya,

      Thanks! I’ve been doing a couple different things. My dermatologist started me on Retin-A a while back. In these pics I’m also wearing a new face combo: Cover FX Skin Prep Primer, MAC Studio Sculpt Foundation in NC42 and Tarte Provocateur Pressed Mineral Powder in Honey.

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