Showing posts with label concealer. Show all posts
Showing posts with label concealer. Show all posts

Monday, 16 May 2016

Bargain Brightening: SEVENTEEN Skin Wow Concealer

The past few weeks have been a bit of a clicky-pen-concealer-testing flurry in my house.  This Paul & Joe colour correcting one has been a bit of a hit for particularly blue-circled mornings, and this Seventeen* one has become a hit for a number of reasons, mostly because it's actually a concealer, where the Paul & Joe one isn't.

At just £4.99, it's a bit of a bargain too, particularly for something which can be used to brighten the undereye area, to add subtle highlights on the cheekbones, browbones and cupid's bow (not that I know anyone who does that for a normal day's makeup), and basically anything you'd use Touche Eclat for.  The similarities between it and Touch Eclat are obvious, from the golden clicky pen format, to the well-pigmented-but-not-heavy texture, to the brightening that doesn't come from glitter or shimmer.  Skin Wow blends well, and remains in place throughout the day - on dry skin days I find it does settle a little into my fine lines, but only after six hours or so, and it's only noticeable if I scrutinise my undereye area.  A little more eye cream than usual helps prevent any settling.

Given that Skin Wow is £4.99, and Touche Eclat is upwards of £20, and they're both just as great at brightening my undereye area, I know which I'll choose to repurchase.  Hint:  it's not Touche Eclat.

Disclosure:  PR sample

* I know they want me to use ALL CAPS now but I can't bring myself to do it in a chunk of text.  A title, sure, but throwing some ALL CAPS into a review feels a bit too shouty.  Apart from when I'm making a point, of course, such as right now.

This post originated at If you're reading it elsewhere, it's been stolen, violating my copyright.

Thursday, 12 May 2016

Paul & Joe Concealer Pen in Peach Yellow

This Paul & Joe concealer pen, £18, is new for spring 2016, and rather than being a traditional flesh toned concealer, it's more of a colour corrector, making it part of this year's biggest trend.  Peach Yellow is a yellow/peach toned shade, which works wonders on dark circles which are blue toned.  As you can see above, my undereye area is particularly blue toned, but with the concealer blended in, it's much less blue, and much brighter to boot.

Texture wise, the concealer is creamy but relatively thick, so you'll need some gentle pat-and-blend action with your ring finger to blend it in flawlessly.  Luckily, despite the creaminess, I've found that this stuff wears well all day, with minimal creasing.

So there you have it - if you need your dark circles toned down and they're a bit on the blue toned side, this concealer will neutralise them brilliantly.  Just take care not to apply too much, as otherwise you'll find your undereyes look a touch orangey - never a good look.

Disclosure:  PR sample

This post originated at If you're reading it elsewhere, it's been stolen, violating my copyright.

Sunday, 12 July 2015

Kiehl's Clearly Corrective Dark Circle Perfector

I was expecting this little tube to contain an anti-dark-circle eye cream, and I got a hell of a surprise when I squidged out a bit and found that it's actually a tinted brightening eye cream.  I also discovered that the pigmentation is quite strong, so you need the tiniest blob of product, rather than the good squidge I normally use for eye cream.

Brightening wise, it definitely does it's job - my undereyes typically have a blue tinge to them, which is thoroughly brightened and evened out with this stuff on.  I also love the fact that it has SPF30 - we're all aware of the need for SPF on the face, but the eye area is often left unprotected.

Now, the downsides - so powerful is the brightening effect that if you apply too much, as I did the first time I used it, you will end up with reverse panda eyes.  Another downside is that it only comes in a single shade - perfect for my porcelain complexion, but likely to result in super reverse panda eyes for those with darker or warmer skintones.

If you're looking for a daytime eye cream which does double duty on long term skincare effects and instant coverage and brightness, and you have pale skin, this is a great product, if rather spendy at £29 for 15ml.  Given that you need so little, it'll last a fair while, but if you're the slightest bit concerned about it being a match for your skin, go try it in-store before purchasing to avoid an expensive reverse panda eyes mistake.

Disclosure:  PR sample

This post originated at If you're reading it elsewhere, it's been stolen, violating my copyright.

Friday, 6 March 2015

Clinique Beyond Perfecting Foundation & Concealer

Clinique's latest foundation makes a lot of promises - firstly, that it's a foundation and concealer in one, and secondly that it's light enough for a natural, 'beyond perfected' finish - a tall order for something claiming enough pigmentation to act as a concealer.

The first surprise is the applicator - I was assuming it had the usual pour or pump format for dispensing foundation, but actually it comes with a giant doe's foot applicator.  It's brilliant for applying carefully to areas you want to conceal - under the eyes, around the nose - but less intuitive for foundation.  Once I got used to it, though, I started to really like it - a couple of stripes on the cheeks, one on the chin, one on the nose and one on the forehead and I was ready to blend with my foundation brush.

Once blended, the finish is smooth and glowy enough to look natural... ish.  The coverage verges on the medium/full side, which does give a lovely flawless, even finish but can look a bit thick and cakey if you're not really careful with the application.  To get an even glow, this foundation needs to be applied atop a well moisurised or primed face - it's not particularly slippy, and you'll need a slightly slippy based to avoid a cakey mess.  It also really does require a brush - either a traditional flat foundation brush or a stippling brush - to make sure the finish is as even as possible.  I tried blending it with my fingers, and it was a little bit too dense in some places.

As a concealer, it's great - a dot or two under the eyes, patted in on top of foundation, hides dark circles brilliantly, and the formula is creamy enough to mean it looks natural, not powdery.  It also does a fine job of not settling into fine lines.

All in all then, this is a foundation you'll like if you're prepared to put a bit of effort into the application.  I'm wearing the Alabaster shade, which is a lovely light cool tone which goes well with my skin.  Clinique have released it in a staggering 21 shades, although it does look like darker skintones aren't as well catered for (sadly, no big surprise).  Find it at the Clinique website, and at Clinique counters, where it'll cost you £25.

Disclosure: PR sample

This post originated at If you're reading it elsewhere, it's been stolen, violating my copyright.

Monday, 29 December 2014

A year in review: 2014's Killer Products

2014 has been a great year for beauty.  We've seen millions of variations on tubby pencils, micellar waters continue to be a big thing on the high street as well as from high end brands, and cleansing conditioners became king.

Over the year, I've declared a few truly excellent products BUY THIS NOW items, which conveniently makes it much easier for me to compile a review of them, and to reflect on whether they're still favourites.

The first stand out of the year, and the only nail polish to truly knock my socks off, was the rather beautiful Into the Night by Girlie Bits, an indie brand which makes the most stunning holographic and duochrome polishes.  I still wear it, and I still stare at my nails when I do.

On the hair side, I fell firmly in love with L'Oreal Elvive's Fibrology hair care, which promises and delivers thicker feeling hair.  I don't use the shampoo (it contains the dreaded colour-dulling sulphates) but the conditioner, serum and mask have all earned permanent places in my bathroom.  Perhaps the highest praise is that my husband uses them too, and chooses to repurchase the shampoo every time he runs out.

More recently, I tried out Bumble and Bumble's Blow Dry creams, and found that they really do help you get a smooth blow dry with minimal effort.  You only need a little bit, they make the hair super shiny, and they smell neutral to boot.  I'll be repurchasing the original Straight version when my sample is finished.

Macadamia's Flawless Cleansing Conditioner was one of the first widely available cleansing conditioners, and it's lightweight yet still nourishing formula cleans the hair beautifully, reduces blow dry time, and leaves the hair smooth and shiny.  Lovely it is, but it's perhaps telling that I've not repurchased it.

One product I completely failed to write about, but absolutely adore, is the Babyliss Big Hair.  The first couple of times I used it I managed to tangle my hair up rather impressively, but with a little practice this rotating brush has become my favourite way to style my hair.  Used on damp hair, it gives a shiny, bouncy blow dry which almost looks like a professional has done it.

These recently released Bourjois Mega Liner and Volume 1 Seconde mascara are still getting used virtually every day.  Intense black pigment, easy to use packaging and very reasonable pricing make this eye pairing a winner.

On the other end of the price scale, I found my Holy Grail waterproof mascara.  Clarins Truly Waterproof mascara stays put, wears like iron, and gives a very defined, voluminous look.  I've been through three repurchases since my sample ran out earlier this year.

Eyeshadow wise, there have been a lot of beautiful palettes I've fallen in love with this year, but this small, super-cheap palette from Makeup Revolution combines flattering shades, good pigmentation and excellent blendability with a teeny tiny price.

I'd heard of Amazing Concealer before, but hadn't quite appreciated the power of the tiny tube until I tried it.  The pigmentation is intense, and you only need the tiniest bit to erase dark circles and blemishes.  It's economical too - my tiny sample tube is still going strong.

Unsurprisingly, I found a handful of really good lip products this year.  My absolute favourite is this Sephora Give Me More Lip sampler, which contains seventeen products in mini sizes and a variety of shades and formats.  I still carry around a number of products from it at all times, and I really love the cute little lipsticks as well as the huge variety I got to try out from a single set.

Kiko's Unlimited Stylo lipsticks were a revelation in long-lasting matte at a budget price - at least 8 hours of wear combined with intense pigmentation made these gorgeous lipsticks an absolute winner for me.  Hibiscus Red, a pink-toned red, still lives in my makeup bag, and I get it out every time I want a power matte red which will last with no maintenance.

At the other end of the price scale, there's no doubt that Estee Lauder's Pure Color Sculpting Lipsticks are expensive at £24 a pop, but they're so beautiful.  Creamy in texture and with incredible pigmentation and impressive wear, they're luxurious, functional, and come in a very wide array of colours.

When Bourjois entered the fray with a matte liquid lipstick, the world sat up and took notice.  Rouge Edition Velvet are a range of easy to apply, beautifully soft matte liquid lipsticks which last well and are very easy on the wallet.  My favourite shade, Frambourjoise, has earned me many a compliment this year.

So that's it!  The cream of the products I've tried this year.  What have been your favourites?  Let me know in the comments!

This post originated at If you're reading it elsewhere, it's been stolen, violating my copyright.

Tuesday, 9 September 2014

BUY THIS NOW: Amazing Concealer

It takes real balls to name your product Amazing Concealer.  Expectations are set high, and if it isn't, well, amazing, then you're going to take a lot of flack and probably disappear from the beauty industry pretty quickly.  Luckily, Amazing Concealer is actually amazing.

It's amazing because the pigmentation is so rich that it's more like paint than it is a makeup product.  Despite being so highly pigmented, it manages to look surprisingly natural on the skin - so long as you follow the simple prescribed application technique, that is.  The technique simply advises that you pat it, not rub it, and you use the tiniest speck possible and build up if you need to.  You won't need to, because the tiny speck will surprise you with how many blemishes or undereye circles it can cover - I use the amount of product above to cover both undereye areas, and the three or four healing spots I've got at the moment.  Impressive!

The one thing I'm not quite so keen on is the packaging - it's a teeny tiny tube (since a little goes a long way) and I find it difficult to squeeze delicately enough to dispense only a small amount of product.  What usually happens is that I squeeze out too much, then spend the next few days using the residue left on around the opening of the tube with my fingers, and the residue in the lid with a brush.

Anyway, packaging gripes aside this stuff is absolutely amazing if you're looking for some heavy duty undereye shadow or blemish concealing, and you don't want to go for a dry product like Laura Mercier's much beloved Secret Camouflage.  The price is £19.50 for a tiny 6ml tube - ordinary I'd be affronted that it was so expensive for so little, but given that my sample is still full and I've been using it for a month, I think it's pretty reasonable.  The makers say the 6ml tube should last 6 months, which makes it actually a bit of a bargain.  Find it at Marks and Spencer now.

Disclosure: PR sample

This post originated at If you're reading it elsewhere, it's been stolen, violating my copyright.

Sunday, 6 October 2013

Clarins Extra Comfort Foundation and Instant Concealer

Clarins have recently launched two new base products - Extra Comfort foundation, and Instant Concealer.  Instant Concealer, as you'd expect, is supposed to instantly conceal dark circles, for a radiant, bright effect which lasts all day.  And hydrates the eye area.  No small claim.  Extra Comfort foundation claims an anti-aging, nourishing formula which plumps the skin and minimises the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.

Unfortunately, I don't really like the packaging of Extra Comfort foundation.  It's a JAR.  An OPEN TOP jar.  C'mon Clarins, it's 2013 - it's possible to make packaging for thick, creamy foundations which doesn't involve finger-and-air exposure every time you use it.  It's also heavy and made of glass, which makes it pretty unusable for travel.

If, like me, you assume that a squeezy tube and a "tinted" formula means you'll need a bead of concealer, you may end up with far too much product under your eyes.  Your eyebrow may also raise itself in disbelief.  Moral of the story - this stuff is very pigmented, and you need the tiniest dab to cover the undereye area.  Seriously.

After removing the excess concealer, putting on a bit of lipstick, and running around the house looking for some decent autumn light, my skin looks radiant, smooth, and pretty flawless (apart from that one spot, which you can ignore, thanks).  I suspect any plumpness is down to my love of cake rather than the foundation, but there's no denying that it does help the skin look nourished and healthy.

I was expecting this foundation to fall off my face pretty quickly, thanks to my combination skin and it's moisturising formula.  But actually, it lasts very well - a bit of powder on my t-zone and chin is all that's needed to make it last a full workday.  Pretty damn impressive.

At £35, Extra Comfort is a pretty expensive foundation, and I'd fully recommend trying it out at a Clarins counter before investing.  Instant Concealer, at £20, is also expensive, but given that pigmentation level, it's bound to last a long time, and is well worth a try if your dark circles bother you.  Extra Comfort comes in 9 shades (I'm wearing Nude), and Instant Concealer comes in three skintone-based shades (I'm wearing yellowy-beige).

Disclosure: PR samples

This post originated at If you're reading it elsewhere, it's been stolen, violating my copyright.

Wednesday, 29 September 2010

Review - Benefit Erase Paste in No. 1 (Fair)

I wouldn't have purchased this, if it hadn't been used on me to great effect by makeup artist supremo Katy Messer when she made me over a couple of months back. We discussed how surprised we'd been to discover that underneath all the over-pushy sales patter, Benefit had some really genuinely excellent products. Katy rates Erase Paste among them, and I was glad to take her advice.

At £18.50 for a 5ml jar, it's not cheap, and my first experience of it (overapplied by an SA in a Benefit store) was not good. But I've since found a place in my heart for Erase Paste, a thick and creamy concealer that sells itself as "brightening camouflage for eyes and face".

What sets it apart from its counterparts is its consistency. Where other concealers tend to be slightly chalky and highlight dry patches on the skin, Erase Paste has a thick emollient texture that feels more like a balm or face cream than a makeup product. The shades tend to run cool (despite the yellow appearance of the swatch above, IRL the No. 1 Fair shade is quite pink toned). Coverage is very good, and despite the oily/greasy texture I haven't had any particular problems with this moving around or settling in lines.

A glance at the ingredient list on the box explains the texture thing right away. Top of the list, two effective moisturising ingredients - one natural (Lanolin - from sheep), and one mineral (petrolatum, close relative of the much-maligned Mineral Oil). There are also additional oils, waxes and a bit of Vitamin E in there.

The presence of Petrolatum (Vaseline to you and me) makes me very hesitant to use this for covering blemishes. It's an effective occlusive moisturiser, which means that it creates a barrier over the skin and to my mind that's not something you want where pores are already clogged and inflamed.

However, for undereye concealing and general skintone-evening, I think this product is a great choice, providing you can find a suitable shade (always an issue with Benefit - there are a grand total of three colours to choose from.) It's definitely something I'll be reaching for more as the cold weather dries my skin in the coming months.

Erase Paste is £18.50 and is widely available. As usual, I suggest purchasing from Boots to get the Advantage Card points.

Saturday, 12 June 2010

Free Benefit pencils with July issue of Glamour

Look what we found in our local newsagent! Benefit have sold their souls to Glamour magazine (or vice versa) resulting in a cover gift of one of three full size eye pencils. If you see this issue (which has Lily Allen on the front, looking like she's overdone it with the Bad Gal), pick it up quicksmart.

You get either Bad Gal, It Stick or Eye Bright with each issue. Glamour are encouraging you to collect all 3, and with a cover price of £2, I see no reason why you wouldn't provided you can find enough copies of the magazine. It will definitely sell out very quickly.

The products, then;

Bad Gal - it's a black eyeliner. If you don't have one, or you want one that looks a bit funky, pick this. It doesn't have any special powers besides being awesomely chunky. It will smudge and fade like any standard black pencil.

Eye Bright - a bit more sophisticated and definitely my pick of the bunch. A pink pencil with subtle shimmer to cheer up the inner corners and brow bone. This is a good one to keep in your handbag as it definitely does perk up the look of the eyes when quickly applied in the ladies' loos.

It Stick - a creamy concealer pencil with high coverage. Great to have, but only if you have pale or light-medium yellow toned skin. It is VERY yellow-toned, so if your skin has a neutral tone, blend very well. If you're cool-toned, approach this one with caution.

Friday, 19 March 2010

Review: Laura Mercier Secret Camouflage Concealer

Laura Mercier's Secret Camouflage is a bit of a cult product, unfailingly recommended by magazines and often a winner in beauty awards.  Recently, I arranged to swap for one in the lightest shade, SC1 - the hefty £25 price tag wasn't something I was prepared to pay without a cheaper trial period.

Read on to see how I got on.

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