guerlain
These days, bronzer is a dime a dozen, but less than 40 years ago the tanning powder was unheard of—that is, until Guerlain, the Paris-born perfume, cosmetics, and skin-care house, launched its now iconic Terracotta pigment in 1984. Inspired by the sun’s reflection across the vast sand dunes of a desert, the never-before-seen makeup product became an instant best-seller and remains one: according to a 2019 study, one Terracotta powder is sold every 30 seconds across the world.

Now, for the first time in nearly four decades, the celebrated compact is back—and perhaps better than ever—thanks to a new and improved formula, which contains 96% naturally derived ingredients, such as a nourishing argan oil that has been sourced from a collective of sustainable farmers in Morocco, as well as its signature luminescent shimmer pigments. (With notes of ylang ylang, orange flower, Tonka bean, and vanilla, it smells as sweet as it looks.) Available in six lit-from-within shades (three different intensities—light, medium, and dark—and two undertones—cool and warm), consider it an essential step in achieving a year-round sun-kissed effect—especially when paired with the label’s new soft-bristled brush. (Just take it from model Sara Sampaio who appears in the pressed powder’s Sølve Sundsbø-lensed campaign with a striking, second-skin glow.) In other words, spring breaks may have been postponed (indefinitely) and summer escapes may be still be up in the air, but at least, with Terracotta in hand, we can rest assured our complexions go on vacation—no matter where we may find ourselves.

 Scroll through the gallery below for a look at Terracotta throughout the ages, from its earliest ads to a 2009 campaign starring Natalia Vodianova.

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