#FrenchFriday : Lancome La Rose a Poudrer Highlighter Review

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Hello there and welcome to your weekly French beauty rendez-vous! This week we're going to talk about a very unique, stunning, and yet controversial new makeup product, La Rose à Poudrer, part of Lancôme's spring 2017 makeup collection. Keep reading for photos of the gorgeous rose and my honest review!

Lancome La Rose a Poudrer Highlighter for spring 2017: review, photos, swatches

The Packaging

I don't usually like to write wildly enthusiastic descriptions of pretty makeup products, but in this case I just don't have a choice. Lancôme's La Rose à Poudrer is gorgeous, ethereal, mesmerizing, and it is by far the most beautiful makeup item I have ever seen.

The Rose comes in an exquisite pale pink round cardboard box with rose gold details. It looks like it should contain macaroons, candied violets or other sophisticated and fancy sweets. The rectangular frame-like design on the side evokes the classic wooden wall panels found in bourgeois French apartments (Lancôme says Parisian, but you can find that type of decor anywhere in France really).

Once you pull up the top of the box, you reveal the gem, a pale pink opalescent rose. It is in fact an artificial, fabric rose, whose petals are lightly coated in highlighting powder. I had never seen something like that, nor had I ever encountered a makeup product looking so beautiful. It is completely unique (French macaroon maker Ladurée makes a rose petal blush, but they had never made a full flower), absolutely stunning, breathtaking, and all things like that. When I first read the description I was concerned that it may look cheap - some artificial flowers look really fake with loose threads and wrinkles - but oh no, it doesn't! Can you tell I'm impressed?

I detect a faint floral scent when I stick my nose in the box. I know some people have described it as odorless, but there is fragrance in the formula based on the ingredients list. I don't know if the very light rose scent I detect is my brain playing tricks on me - you're sniffing a rose, so it must smell like rose - but that's what my nose tells me!

The Highlighter

La Rose à Poudrer is a powder highlighter, with the super fine powder dusted over the petals of the fabric rose. In order to get product on your brush, you need to swirl it over the flower, but do so very gently, otherwise some of the powder flies away as if the rose was smoking.

The highlighter itself is a very pale, icy pink with decidedly cool undertones. It looks almost white if you swatch it heavily. For this reason, I think it will work best on fair to light skin tones. I think it looks very flattering on me, but anyone with a deeper or warmer complexion than mine might find that it either doesn't show up much, or looks too cool.

It may look a little powdery on your brush or fingertips, but in my experience it doesn't look powdery on the skin at all. It is incredibly finely milled and the texture completely disappears on my cheeks. It also doesn't contain any visible sparkles, so no glitter bomb here. Instead it imparts a very beautiful and natural sheen to the skin. It is quite subtle, but I am able to build it for a delicate yet very noticeable effect. Because the glow it creates is so soft, it doesn't emphasize my skin texture and pores at all.

fotd motd face shot

The Controversy

Lancôme La Rose à Poudrer has stirred up surprisingly strong reactions in the beauty community. While multiple makeup gurus have stated they liked it in their reviews, the highlighter has gathered a lot of negative comments, attacks, and even some online rage. The criticism usually centers around three main points: La Rose is too expensive, it contains very little product, the highlight is too subtle. Let me give you my personal opinion on these matters:

- Price: well yeah, at $60, La Rose à Poudrer doesn't come cheap! On the other hand, it is not insanely priced either for a high end product, especially for something so unique and exquisite - can we talk about the $85 Louboutin lipglosses, or $385 face mask from Guerlain? You obviously pay a premium for the awe-inspiring packaging of this luxurious product. Let's keep in mind that Lancôme's core customer base is made of middle-aged women with a bit more discretionary income than average to spend as they please on a dreamy rose highlighter. Perception of price is relative, and what makes you and me raise an eyebrow might be peanuts for someone else. I mean, there are $100 toothpastes out there!

- Quantity: that's what hurts the most in my opinion... La Rose à Poudrer contains a tiny, tiny amount of highlighter: only 1.6 g, which is 0.056 oz. A lot of commenters argue that this is ridiculous, and I would tend to agree. For comparison, a MAC eyeshadow is usually 1.3 g, and a powder highlighter by Becca is 8g. However, the amount of product present here is obviously linked to the design: I'm not sure how they could have added more powder to the rose petals, I suppose it would become too friable very quickly. Anyways, it is obvious that La Rose à Poudrer is not a good value in terms of how much product you get - but again, we are talking about a luxury product here, not a drugstore highlighter, so I don't know how relevant this aspect is for the target consumer. I never, ever finish any powder makeup product because I have too many, so I know I won't go through this rose very quickly. I just hope it doesn't lose its beauty once there is little powder left on the petals.

- Intensity: a common source of criticism is the fact that this highlighter would be too subtle. Again, intensity is a very relative notion and I personally disagree. Yes, it is subtle and delicate, but it does create a very beautiful and visible natural glow on the skin. I think the heart of the problem here is that La Rose à Poudrer deviates from today's typical highlighter trend, which is very intense, metallic, and visible from space. La Rose is not like that, it won't give you the Instagram look that some have described as "robot cheek". But, remember that Lancôme is not exactly a brand that caters to the needs of teens or girls in their early twenties, despite their recent marketing efforts to refresh their image. The bulk of their customers are 30+, at least. For that demographic, a more subtle highlighter that gives a soft and sophisticated glow is probably much more attractive than metallic shine. Beware of echo chambers, the Instagram face is not what everyone is going after!


Although I personally find Lancôme's La Rose à Poudrer delightful, I understand that it won't be everyone's cup of tea. I would recommend it to makeup collectors, people who squeal when they see pretty things, women or men with fair to light skin tones who like a subtle, healthy glow. On the other hand, I would not recommend it if you have a deeper or very warm complexion, if you prefer a strong metallic highlight, or if you are on a tight budget. You may be disappointed or feel like you wasted your money. As for me, I want to buy a glass cloche so I'm able to admire my rose on my vanity at all times, and I'll enjoy the natural pretty glow on my skin :)

Where to buy?

The Rose is quite elusive, I actually missed it on its initial release, but despite Lancôme's official comment that it was sold out, it actually came back in stock in a few places, including the brand's official website, Macy's and Bloomingdale's. At the time I'm writing this post, it seems to be sold out everywhere in the US again, but keep an eye out if you would like to buy it.
3/17 UPDATE: La Rose à Poudrer is now available at Ulta, online only! It will most certainly sell out very quickly, so if you want it you should grab it ASAP.

Would you buy the Rose? What do you think about the controversy?

The product featured in this review was purchased by me. I received no compensation to write this post, which only reflects my personal opinion. This post contains affiliate links. I receive a very small commission when you click on those links, and the money generated covers a small portion of my expenses to purchase products for review. Clicking on those links helps ensure that Beaumiroir continues to publish reviews of new and exciting high end French products - at no cost to you!

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