Clinique Superprimer

Clinique’s latest offering is the Superprimer – a range of six, lightweight, oil-free primers designed to cater for every skin tone. The Universal Face Primer is a colourless primer ideal for women without specific skin concerns, but for those that do – Superprimer to the rescue!

The new range contains:

Yellow tinted primer to correct red skin and give a neutral, even base. 
Pink tinted primer that corrects dull lacklustre skin and leaves a vibrant, radiant base.
Bronze tinted primer, which is softly pearlised, designed for deeper skin tones to correct ashiness and dullness leaving a radiant, healthy base.
Peach tinted primer to correct dark spots, acne scars and hyper pigmentation for a brighter, more even-toned base. 
Lavender tinted primer to correct sallow skin and leaves a healthy looking base. 

As a former sufferer of bad skin, and some scarring, the Peach seemed right up my street, so I’ve been road-testing it for the past couple of weeks. 

As you may be able to tell from the middle photo, the texture is somewhat moussey. It’s easy to apply to the face, but I found that you do need a fair amount to feel as if your whole face is covered. The primer is odourless, which I found pleasant, and silicone-based; so straight away it creates a silky layer on top of the skin ready for the application of foundation. The photo above shows just how well it’s blurred the web of lined over my hand, and it does the same thing for the face – minimising the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles in an amazing way. 
In terms of the colour correction, there is a slightly better overall appearance to my skin, although nothing that will change my life. I do think it improves the appearance of scarring, but I still need to use foundation and or concealer for them to be totally invisible. 
The primer itself is great – foundation glides on over the top of it, lasts well throughout the day, and also stays true to colour. The feeling of my skin with the primer on is lovely too. I would imagine it would be even more of a blessing for those with oilier skintones, as I feel my face is quite matt using the primer. It definitely doesn’t make my skin feel dry – I am just used to adding more of a radiance-creating primer now my skin is drier. 
Clinique Superprimer costs £20 for 30ml and is available from Selfridges from 6th September

Illamasqua Paranormal Collection

Next Tuesday (30th April) sees the launch of Illamasqua’s latest collection – Paranormal – where everything is not as it seems. I went along to the launch this week, which was very eerie, and had a look at the new things on offer.

The new range consists of 3 nail polishes which – to the eye look like normal, pretty nail polish, but are secretly UV nail polishes that glow in UV black light – Parnormal UV Nail Varnish is limited edition and comes in Ouija (bright pink), Omen (bright green) and Seance (bright purple) as well as a clear UV topcoat – Geist.

The eyeshadow quad, Paranormal Palette, looks just like a palette of pink, green copper and purple shadows – but when you touch them they are squishy – kind of Moondough-esque.

The new gel liner, Infinity, promises to be blacker than black… and the rest of the things, I was lucky enough to get to take home for a play…

Hydra Veil was one of the most exciting discoveries for me on the night. I rarely get in a fluster over skincare, but this is something else – literally like nothing I have seen before. It’s main purpose is to be used as a primer before foundation, to get rid of those flaky bits we get near the nose (or anywhere!) and to hydrate under the eyes – but could also be used to hydrate the whole face as part of a skincare routine or on a long haul flight. When you open the tub, there is a little scoop spoon attached – and this is where the fun begins.

Hydra Veil looks like any thick, gel-like product. To the touch, it’s bouncy – like a jelly. You use the scoop spoon to get some product out – and the jelly just grows back over and settles back down to a flat topped product again, with no indentations – it really is magic!

I had a chat with David Horne on the night, Illamasqua’s Director of Product Development – and he said that he rejected so many products before this because it wasn’t settling perfectly. This one has definitely hit the nail on the head – I can’t stop testing it!

As for the product itself, when you rub it between your fingers it turns to an almost water-like substance. One scoop is enough to apply to your whole face. It smells divine and leaves skin feeling hydrated and ready for make up. David said it works in perfect harmony with Skin Base Foundation, so I shall be giving that a go tonight.

There are two new matte lipsticks – Posture (as above) and ESP – a darker, bolder purple. Posture is a cool toned purple which can look different in different lights. Sometimes it looks really purple, others pinkish, and sometimes a little nude. If you like MAC Blankety, I think you’d like this. It’s the more purple, matte version. I am wearing it in the photos below.

The new Gleam highlighter shade is a warm bronze illuminating shade. When I first laid eyes on it, it reminded me of MAC’s Cream Colour Base in Seaside – but it’s much more coppery and fluid than Seaside.

As I swatched it, I thought it would make a perfect highlighter for a darker skinned person – absolutely beautiful on black skin… so me doing what I always do – put it on my eyes.

It looked really pretty colour-wise, but formula-wise, the eyes weren’t the best idea as it creased within 5 minutes. I decided, after all, to try it on my cheekbones – and WOW, I’m in love! The Gleam actually worked quite well as a base for a more grungey, smoked out look too.

The nail polish I have is Ouija. It looks bright pink in the bottle, but when you catch it, you see silvery tones to it too. On the nails it looks almost metallic – then in UV light it is gorgeous and luminous (but unfortunately I don’t have a black light to show you!)

My thumb nail shows the colour of Seance polish, which I had applied at the event… and this is Ouija!

It hits stores and online at www.illamasqua.com on Tuesday 30th April. Whatcha think?

Urban Decay Ammo Palette

I am one of these girls that seems to stick to the more neutral shades of shadows – give me a 100-pan palette of nudes, taupes and golds and I’m set for life. The Ammo Palette from Urban Decay looked a little scary to me at first sight – my eyes instantly darting to the end, golden toned shades. The thing is, I have brown eyes and I know that greens and purples are good colours for me to wear – it’s just hard to step out of that zone I have got so comfortable in for every-day make up.
When I swatched the shades from the Ammo Palette I had a nice surprise – for these are such beautiful versions of green, pinks and turquoise that it made me want to give them a go. The ten shades are all best selling Urban Decay shadows, and it’s easy to see why.
The palette is a thin, compact (easy to transport and put in your make up bag) mirrored palette, which comes with a travel sized 11ml sized Primer Potion – which is a great, colourless eyeshadow primer which helps to show the intensity of the colours, and helps them to last longer without creasing. There is also a small synthetic Good Karma eyeshadow brush inside the palette, which is a nice tapered shape making it easy to use (although not that great for blending),

 I had to do two lot of swatch photos – my kids are off school and wanted to get involved, natch!

There are some truly amazing colours in this palette. My favourite has to be Maui Wowie – it looks so metallic, like no other powder shadow I’ve seen before. Mildew is an amazing mossy green colour with hints of gold – just beautiful, and Last Call is a gorgeous cranberry shade – those are the stand out shades for me, although I think I can get good wear from all of the colours.

I like that there are neutral shades thrown in there with the colours – it means you can shake up a neutral look, or go for full-on colour. The colours have been laid out in a way that the shade opposite it compliments it perfectly – all of these pairs could be used with the lighter colour on the inner part of the lid, the darker on the outer part, and a little Oil Slick in the crease or outer V for definition. You could add some Polyester Bride to the tear duct and under the brown bone too – there are so many options!

The palette has been around for a while, but it has recently been re-released with a new formula for the shadow – they feel really creamy and velvety and really do pack some punch colour-wise. You do have to be careful when you apply – there is micro glitter in a few of the shades, which can fall down when you apply, so apply in thin layers rather than loads of product in one go – they’re so pigmented anyway that you really don’t need much.

Here are a couple of looks I created using the colours from this palette

For this look I used Maui Wowie all over the lid, then added chopper to the middle of my eye close to my lash line and blended it out to the outer corner of my eye. I then did the same with Last Call a little further over, and added black eyeliner which I blended out with a brush. I added Last Call under my lower lash line too.

For this look I applied Sin to the inner third of my eye, then Smog in the crease of my eye and blended out. I then added Mildew all over the rest of my lid and blended the colours together, then a small amount of Oil Slick in the outer corner. I used Mildew under the eye and finished with liquid liner and mascara.

There are really so many combinations that could be created with this palette – for £23 I think it is amazing value for money!

Urban Decay is available at House of Fraser, Debenhams and online at lookfantastic.com and beautybay.com

Arbonne Makeup Primer

If you don’t wear primer, you are missing out a vital step in your make up routine, in my opinion! Wearing a good primer under your foundation will help to make your pores look less visible, blur imperfections, and is something for your foundation to cling to, making it last a little longer.

I have tried many primers in my time – some have been good, some have been terrible – another to add to my ‘good’ list is the Arbonne Makeup Primer.

It comes in a sleek black plastic bottle which looks very stylish. My only issue is that as it’s opaque you can’t see how much product you have left in the bottle, but they are using technology with their pump applicator to ensure that every last bit of the product comes out. I am going to have to open up my bottle once I can’t get any more out of it to see if this is true!

The primer is silicone based, and feels very slippery to the touch. It’s sightly peach tinged when you first pump it out, but once it’s on your face there is no colour to it. It goes onto the skin really easily and leaves my face with a velvety kind of texture without it looking matt and lifeless.

It’s a dream base for foundation – mine literally glides on over this (I’m using Estee Lauder Double Wear at the moment) and I’ve found that I actually need less foundation when I’m using this primer.

My face does look better overall when I wear this primer – my pores appear smaller, and bad bits are a bit more hazy – I wouldn’t say it makes my foundation last particularly longer, but it does have a better overall finish and I’m not as shiny as I’d normally be which is a bonus.

My skin is absolute rubbish, so for me to introduce something new to my face routine is a bit of an issue for me – my skin has been fine and I haven’t had any reaction when using it. It is filled with “skin conditioning agents, antioxidants and premium skin preserving ingredients” so good news all round!

Arbonne Make Up Primer is £25 for 30ml from www.arbonneinternational.co.uk or from your local Arbonne Consultant

Clinique Age Defense BB Cream

BB creams are all the rage at the moment, so it was no surprise to hear that a top brand like Clinique was bringing their own version out.

The Clinique Age Defense BB Cream has an SPF30 and helps to prevent the premature signs of ageing with UVA and UVB protectants. It has a very lightweight formula but also manages to smooth the skin and hide some imperfections. It seems to have a lot more coverage than all other BB creams I have tried, but without looking any heavier. In fact, to me, it looks as though I am wearing no make up when I wear it – in a effortless kind of way, not a ‘daaaamnnn, get that girl some make up’ kind of way!

I have quite a lot of scars on my face, and it managed to cover them with ease. At the time of taking the photo below I was having a period of particularly bad skin – apart from the raised spot near my nose, the BB Cream has managed to hide those imperfections.

It wears well through the day without needing to be reapplied and leaves the skin with a nice, naturally dewy kind of finish.

As I am used to wearing a full-on foundation it feels a little strange
to me going out feeling so light in the face, so I have taken to wearing
it for days I’m not meant to wear make up but am not brave enough to go
barefaced – like swimming.

As well as being worn on its own, it can also be used under foundation as a primer to help your foundation last longer – I have enjoyed doing this, knowing that what I am putting on under my (quite heavy) foundation, is doing good to my skin.

It is allergy tested, 100% fragrance free, oil free, dermatologist tested, ophthalmologist tested, Super Gorgeous tested, non-comodegenic and suitable for all skin types. Phew!

It comes in two shades for pink or golden undertones – I used the pink – which is fine for me, but too light (almost white) on my mum who has golden tones – so if you decide to invest, make sure you get the right one for your skin tone.

Clinique Age Defense BB Cream is available exclusively at Harrods and Clinique.co.uk right now, and nationwide at selected Clinique counters from the 2nd March 2012 and is priced at £25 for 40mls.