Tuesday, 24 February 2015

My New HOLY GRAIL: The Clarins Instant Concealer | Review

As I mentioned in my recent haul here, I was left lusting for this concealer after having read so many raving reviews by a variety of bloggers and vloggers whom I've long respected for their critical honesty. A lot of the time, I think it's very easy to get drawn into a hype, buy something and end up realising that it just wasn't for you. For this however, it's a totally different story. From experience, I've found that you only really hear miraculous things about a concealer if, at the very least, it is good at doing what it says on the tin - concealing. & wowwweeee is this good!

The Clarins Instant Concealer is made up of a very light, wet formula. Not only does it contain useful ingredients like caffeine extract to help the under eye area appear less puffy, alongside aloe vera to help soften the skin, but it also contains light-blurring pigments that help to blur out (clearly Hannah), and essentially 'cover' any dark circles or other 'impurities'. Due to its very runny, liquid formula, I found that applying this product is joyfully easy, particularly on the under eye area. It's runny consistency means that you can get to grips with where you want it, and then blend to your hearts desire before it even thinks about drying and setting on you. It honestly blends far superiorly to any other concealer I've ever tried (All be it, this is the first high-end one I've ever used) - making that 'cakey look' you sometimes get with concealers easy to avoid. 

At first, I was worried that its runny texture would mean that I'd have to layer up the product to see any results, but oh was I wrong. The Clarins Instant Concealer's formula possesses such beautifully rich pigmentation, enough so that you literally only need a few tiny drops to conceal even the darkest of circles. Whilst I don't necessarily have the darkest under eyes (any more), I do still struggle with them, and I find that this product successfully manages to hide them, which is just a dream as in the past I've always had to layer multiple products to get a similar result. It's such a delight to use something that's so lightweight, and somehow manages to gets the job done ten times better whilst requiring far less product - leaving a very natural, discretely brightening trail in its way (Y'know, no jazzy sparkles or anything).

Additionally, not only does it cover my under eyes well, I find that it's also brilliant at covering redness on my chin and around my nose. One again, I only have to use the tiniest smidge and it somehow manages to last all day. IT'S A MIRACLE! I don't really suffer from that many spots (TOUCH WOOD), but even when I do I never try to pin point my concealer otherwise the blemish can't breathe and might become even more congested. As a result, I can't say whether this is the concealer for you - if it's blemishes that you're specifically looking to cover. Nonetheless - due to its lightweight formula, I'd recommend it anyway (mostly because I feel that its consistency won't prove to be 'too heavy' on your problem areas). Plus, there's nothing worse than cakey looking concealer on a blemish so I think that the thin, natural finish of this would prove desirable.

I personally found that 'Shade 01' was perfect for my slightly tanned, yellow-toned skin, whereas someone who has more pinky undertones would probably suit the peachier nature of Shade 02 instead. I just thought I'd mention this as I know a lot of people buy online without trying on in store so that's just something to bare in mind. I suppose the biggest negative of the Clarins Instant Concealer is that there are only three shades overall, which obviously isn't very broad and there are quiteeee significant differences between each one - so please do go in store to make sure that you pick up the right shade for your skin if you are thinking of picking this up!

Lastly - the packaging. When I first handled the tube of the Clarins Instant Concealer I found it quite weird as it isn't anything like the thick plastic tubing that I'm used to. As I mention in my 'first impressions' review here - I have every now and again found myself in my sleepy morning state easily squeezing this a little too much which really isn't ideal, as like I've said, you really don't need very much of this bad boy at all. Although, it's also worth mentioning that because of this, you know that this concealer is going to last you a very long time, and at £21 per 15ml of product, I think that that is an absolute steal, and would encourage you to not be totally thrown off by the price tag (as I nearly was) if you're seriously looking for a good concealer. I'm expecting this to last me a very long time and that's just an added bonus on top of just how good it actually is at doing what it's meant to do, plus everything it manages to achieve beyond my previous expectations of a concealer. 

Overall, I am so so sosoSO pleased that I picked up the Clarins Instant Concealer, and I would wholeheartedly recommend it to anyone in search for a new concealer. It's so easy to apply, it isn't toooooo expensive (in terms of the amount of product you get and how little you actually need to use), it just gets the job done with minimal fuss and the final result is FAR superior to anything I've ever tried. I can honestly say that I wish I had discovered this a long time ago, and I think that this will prove a staple in my make-up bag for a long long while yet!

What's your holy grail concealer?


Sunday, 22 February 2015

Little High Street Beauty Haul

As mentioned in my recent 'High End Beauty Haul' post here, I haven't really bought many beauty items for quiteeee a while, so I was super excited to hit the shops and pick up some old favourites and some new curiosities. I didn't go all that mad on this one because there weren't many high street items that had really caught my eye recently, but I figured it'll be fun to show you what I did pick up anywhoo. As always, if you have any recommendations - then please do let me know in the comments below!

1) LUSH 'Silky Underwear' Dusting Power
I have to admit, I only really looked at this because of the obscure name. I thought, oh goodness... what have they thought of now?? But it turns out that this product is a lot more innocent than the name suggests, and is rather what I guess one could class as a 'scented talc' powder. I love the smell of Jasmine, it's so calming, yet refreshing, so I decided to pick this up! I can't say I've ever found the need to use talc outside Halloween or drama performances though, so I don't know if I'll get much use out of it. But either way, it has a lovely bottle which looks great on my shelf haha!

2) The Body Shop 'Tea Tree Oil'
Ooooo... tea tree oil. It's not the most exciting thing in the world I am aware of that, but I absolutely love this stuff. Somehow I'd managed to lose my old one, and whilst I was having a look around The Body Shop to buy a lip balm (next product) anyway, I figured I might as well pick another bottle up. It's just tea tree oil, you don't need to get it from The Body Shop, but as I said I was there, it's £7 for 10ml (enough to probably last a year at least) and I trust the brand and its ingredient sourcing methods.

3) The Body Shop 'Wild Argan: Solid Oil Lip Balm'
I had actually previously purchased this item not that long ago in a Christmas set The Body Shop was selling (which can be viewed here), but ended up giving it to a friend as she was lusting to try some of the range and I was totally devoted to my Elizabeth Arden 'Eight-Hour-Cream' at the time and not wanting to try anything new - or waste anything for that matter! Since, my friend has given this huge praise and recommended it for times when I have a smaller bag and the large Arden tube is just a bit too much to carry around. I haven't had chance to try this yet but I'm very much looking forward to it after all its raving reviews!

4) The Body Shop 'Vitamin E Eye Cream'
I didn't mean for this haul to be so Body Shop heavy... but I guess that just shows how much I love the brand! haha. This was a repurchase for me, and I'll be honest I didn't really need another as I still have half of my last to go but I felt like treating myself so I did. Simples. I have sort of a love/hate relationship with this eye cream - it's what I reach for each day but on particularly cold days it doesn't quite do the job in preventing my concealer from drying up. Nonetheless, I really do enjoy using this product most of the time, particularly on those days when I'm not wearing any make-up as I really find it has helped combat my dark circles (only a tad, but still) and is very lovely and refreshing to use in the mornings! 

So that's it now... I'm not allowed to do any more shopping! *weeps*. I know it wasn't that much but, as I've said before, I'm really working hard to get through my stash before going on any vast shopping sprees and I AM trying to save as much as I can at the moment now that I'm on a mission to move to New York, so I suppose it's the perfect excuse really! I really hope you enjoyed these little hauls and let me know what your thoughts are if you've checked out any of the items before!
Hannah x

Saturday, 21 February 2015

High End Beauty Haul & First Impressions

I haven't bought any beauty items in the longest time because I made a point half way through 2014 to finish and use up everything before I purchase anything new. I'm pleased to say that I was victorious and so I felt it only just to treat myself to some goodies that I've been eyeing up for a while! So here's what I bought: 

1. Clarins Instant Concealer 
This is totally Anna's (at 'Vivianna Does Makeup') fault. I've been a long term lover of her blog and the honesty she projects in her posts and videos, so when I saw her just raving about this for months on end I just had to get it. I've never really owned a concealer that I'm 100% happy with, and I was definitely sick of the cakey and dry nature of the all famous 'Collection Lasting Perfection' concealer so I was in the market to try something new, and was prepared to pay the price if it gets the job done better. The packaging of this is a little strange, I have to admit. Every now and again in my half-dazed morning state I squeeze a little too hard and end up having to use this stuff in place of a foundation - terrible I know! Oh well, morning Hannah doesn't have much time to faff to find another way to resolve the problem. Now that I've had the chance to use it a little more however, I think that its the perfect packaging for this product. You only need a teenie tiny bit and due to the very wet, liquid nature of this concealer - something which makes it joyfully easy to spread under the eye and blend to your hearts desire. 

2. Vichy Idealia BB Cream
After years and years of terrible acne as a teen, I think I got a little obsessed with the idea that I had to wear a foundation to help perfect my now-clear skin a little further. I never wore make-up when I had acne, so the novelty of having a flawless face was too much to resist. Now however, I've come to realise that I'm very fortunate to have such clear skin now (touch wood TOUCH WOOD) and I don't like having that 'perfect' airbrushed face everyday because I just don't feel that it's needed - queue the Vichy Idealia BB cream. What I love about this product is it really does look like your skin but WAY better (as long as you blend it in properly that is). It possesses such a subtle, beautiful glow and its so easy to slap on when I just can't be arsed on the morning of a lecture, or when I'm simply nipping to the shop and in need of a little 'perk'. It is slightly pinky toned though, so it's a little off my natural skin tone which is upsetting because this is the only light colour that they do - but I'm prepared to rock a slightly pinkier face when I use this because it really is just lovely.

3. Benefit Oxygen Foundation
I wasn't sure whether to include this or not because my mum bought it for herself, didn't like it and so passed it down to me so I didn't technically purchase this, but I've never owned a high end foundation before so I was super excited that this is now in my possession. I'll have to use it a little more to see how I really feel about it but first impressions wise? YESYESYES. JUST YES. I've never used a base that has this high-a-coverage either so I've found it particularly enjoyable to use on those days when I want to make an extra effort!

4. Benefit Dandelion Blush
Another thing my mum bought, never used, and so passed it down to me (WINNING). I was very lucky as to receive the Benefit 'Cheeky Sweet Spot: box o' blushers' set for Christmas from my parents, and I have so say, since having had time to use the range of colours with different base products and looks, I totally get the hype that surrounds Benefit's blushers now! I'd never bought one myself because I think they're crazy expensive in comparison to my beloved Milani blush (which I still love) but I really love the natural flush this shade in particular gives my complexion. Baby pinks are definitely not my thing but this is so light and subtle that I find it really works for me and definitely helps brighten up my face a little on these cold, dull mornings!

5. Tarte 'Lights, Camera, Lashes' Mascara
This is hands down one of, if not my favourite mascara. Need I say more for my reasoning to repurchase this? I think I've worked my way through about five now, which represents just how much I absolutely adore this product. In the past when it came to buying a new mascara, I usually just opted for whatever was on offer at the time and never really repurchased any. As Tarte isn't widely sold in the UK though, these mascara's can be quite difficult to get hold of - often selling out quickly online - so I decided to pick up two as I feel like I'd just be at a loss now without it in my make-up bag! For you fellow British beans, you can pick it up here!

So there you have it! I'm absolutely loving everything I've bought thus far, but I clearly haven't had the opportunity to test them out properly yet so I don't feel comfortable in actually writing any singular reviews of my thoughts and experiences just yet - I much prefer the novelty to wear off first and test them out under different circumstances before I do any of that so if you'd like to see any in-depth reviews of these, make sure to stick around!
Hannah x

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