Review: Clarins Double Serum

I’m a huge fan of Clarins as many of you already know by now I’m sure. Their products are such great quality, from their makeup to skincare, and it’s very rare that I try a Clarins product I don’t love.

I’m always discovering new things from the brand, and a few months back, they very kindly sent me their new reformulated Double Serum to try out. It launched back in August but I didn’t get around to trying it until September, and wanted to have enough time to really test it out before reporting back to you lovely lot.

Double Serum was first formulated in the mid-80s and its unique formula of water-soluable and oil-soluable ingredients have been a favourite among beauty lovers ever since then. It has been reformulated several times, each time bettering the quality of the product, and this formulation is said to be the best yet.

This year’s version is packed full of the the same 20 plant extract ingredients as the original formula, but also contains one very important new ingredient: Tumeric. Tumeric is known widely for its antioxidant and healing properties, and is also said to help boost skin hydration, minimise the look of fine lines and increase skin vitality. Big claims, I know!

So now we get down to the real question, is it any good? Well, in a word or two; hell yes!

I never used the previous versions of Double Serum so I can’t compare it to that, but what I can tell you about is, the dramatic effect it has had on my skin over the past two months. I have completely fallen in love with it for so many reasons.

When I started using it, my skin was in pretty bad shape due to pregnancy hormones. You’ll have heard me talking about this already in previous posts so I’m not going to bore you with the details, but generally, my skin was incredibly dry, lumpy and very patchy. I had been trying out several different products in order to find something that would help, but the minute I started using this, I knew I needed to look no further.

The ‘Double’ in this serum refers to the water and oil elements as mentioned above; both of which are contained in separate parts of the bottle. With just one pump, they are released together leaving the oil part in the middle surrounded by the water element on the outside.

To apply, once you’ve pumped onto your hand, you blend the formula together then lightly press into the skin all over your face and neck.

There are two pump dispenser options, one small and one large; I tend to use the large option as I need quite a lot of product, and I also love how it feels on my face so I don’t use it too sparingly. Having said that, I only use this once a day at night time so the bottle still lasts me quite a while.

Despite what you’d initially think given the oil element, there is absolutely no greasiness to the product, and as soon as you apply it, you can feel your skin becomming more hydrated. It penetrates the skin quickly to leave it looking plumper, fresher and feeling incredibly smooth, and somehow manages to break down any dryness on the skin’s surface, removing lumps and bumps, and leaving a lovely smooth texture.

One thing to note with this is that serum is generally the step in your skincare regime in between cleansing and moisturising, but in all honesty, I don’t like to put anything else on my skin once this is on. I really don’t feel like it needs anything else. In fact I find it so good, my skin is still as hydrated and smooth the following morning, and therefore needs less product then too.

Now for the serious part – the price. This baby is expensive! The 30ml bottle which I have is priced at €72, but there is also a 50ml bottle which costs €92, so this is definitely an investment buy should you choose to purchase. It’s a lot of money to spend on one product, but it is full of so many good ingredients and works so well, I honestly can’t fault it in any way.

Before Application

The staff at Clarins counters are always incredibly helpful, so I’d suggest trying out some of this on your face in store to see if you like the formula and texture before purchasing. Bare in mind however, the best results with this serum come from using it over time so you need at least a week to see the full benefits on your skin.

My bottle is two months in use and still going strong, though I will have to replenish soon. However, I will most definitely be repurchasing it and even have it on my Christmas wish list this year!

Double Serum has won a host of beauty industry awards over the years and is a favourite among beauty editors and makeup artists alike so I’ve no doubt this version will be just as popular. But the question is, will you be trying it out? Or have you already invested? I’d love to hear your thoughts…

Sorcha x

Review: Lancôme Teint Idole Ultra Wear Foundation 

A couple of months back, I was sent the new and improved Teint Idole Ultra Wear foundation by the lovely people over at Lancôme to try out.


In all honestly, I’ve never tried a Lancôme foundation before; my Mum has worn different Lancôme options for most of her life and swears by them so I’ve always tended to associate them with her and not me. But, after trying this out for the past few weeks, I’m really beginning to understand her long standing love affair with their foundations.


The consistency is lovely and creamy without being too thick or thin, and though Lancôme describe it as a full coverage foundation, it is full coverage without being thick or cakey. Because of that, it blends like a dream and a little goes a long way.


My pet hate with foundations is a thick consistency so the fact that this is light and creamy makes me like it. But what makes me like it even more, is the fact that it really lasts on the face all day long. 


I’ve worn it with and without primer, and while I do prefer to wear a primer under my foundation, I have to say, it really held its own on days when I had nothing on underneath it, which is always a great sign when it comes to foundation.

Foundation on left side, no foundation on right side

For the purposes of this post, in my photos here I haven’t used any primer underneath to show you how easy it glides on and blends into the skin, especially because the shade I have, 03 Beige Diaphane, is just a touch dark for my skin tone at the moment. 

Before foundation on right side
After foundation on right side

Now, when I say a touch dark, I really mean  just a touch because I’ve been easily able to wear this for the past few weeks. However, I do think it will be even nicer to wear in the Summer when I have a tan (I don’t really wear fake tan).

Foundation blended into both sides

While I really like this foundation, there is one thing I don’t like about it which I have to mention, and that is: its extremely strong floral perfume scent. I find it so overpowering – it was almost sickly the first time I smelled it but I think that’s mainly down to the fact that I just wasn’t expecting it. It completely hit me out of left field!

Finished look

Having said that, I’ve managed to look past that because I do like how it wears, so if you don’t mind a scented foundation then the formula makes this really worth trying out.


I have to say, I’ve been really impressed by this and probably shouldn’t be surprised by that, given what an enormously successful and popular brand Lancôme is. 

Have you tried any Lancôme foundations or do you wear them regularly? This is a new discovery for me so I would love to hear your thoughts! 

Sorcha x

Review: Contour with Clarins | Face Contour Trio Palette

Back in February, I was invited along to the launch of Clarins’ Spring collection where they unveiled a gorgeous new face contour palette which I was very kindly given on the day to try out. 

I know that’s a few months ago now, but as you may know if you’ve been following my blog posts, I had to take a few weeks away from blogging due to some personal reasons, and as a result, am only getting around to reviewing it now even though I’ve been using it a lot over the past few weeks.


Firstly, I want to say how impressed I’ve been lately by some of Clarins’ new launches. Their Valentine’s inspired blushers which I wrote about in February, were amazing and I haven’t stopped using them since. And that’s also true for this contour palette.


The shades in this palette are three very distinct shades, all for a particular purpose: to contour, sculpt and highlight. Sure, that’s what you would expect from any contour palette really, but what I particularly like about this one is, it’s got all your face prep in the one place.


The first shade is a very fine, soft cream shade which Clarins recommend using as a skin illuminator. I’m not sure that I really find it illuminating to be honest, but I am finding it great as a base finishing powder. Because it is so light, it gives gorgeous coverage over my foundation (I’ve tried it over both my Bourjois City Radiance and Armani Luminous Silk foundations) and it has been equally nice over both.


I don’t know about you, but sometimes I find face/finishing powders are too heavy over foundation and can give a kind of cakey look, but this doesn’t do that at all, and is very light and smooth to apply.

The second powder is the contour powder, which again is finely milled, but has an incredible pigment. One swatch of this gives very high impact and therefore you do have to be careful when applying not to make it too dark, because let’s be honest, that’s not a good look for anyone.


The other thing I’ve noticed with the contour shade is, you need to blend pretty quickly after application in order to get a light, even application. Initially, I used the small angled applicator brush that comes with the palette, but if I’m honest, I felt I got a better blend using my trusty MAC 129, small powder brush so therefore, I would recommend using a powder brush instead.


The last shade in the palette is the blush shade, and the star of the show in my opinion. I just love it! It is the most beautiful warm-toned, rose shade with a matte finish, that finishes off the face and contour look perfectly. Like the other two shades, it is light, maybe even slightly lighter than the others, and therefore blends like a dream once applied.


I’ve been wearing this shade a lot, and one thing I’m realising is that, between this and the Valentine’s inspired Skin Illusion Blush that I mentioned earlier; I am a big fan of Clarins blushers! They really have lovely pigment that isn’t too light or overpowering, and they give a lovely finishing pop of colour to the cheeks.


The palette isn’t cheap, it costs €45, so you’d have to really use each shade to get the value out of it. But in saying that, you get three really great powders in one, and you’d probably spend close to that, if not more, on each of these products separately, so because of that I think it’s good value.


Of course, it’s on the higher end price wise so it won’t be for everyone, but if you like Clarins, and you like investing in good powders, then I don’t think you’ll be disappointed with this.

What are your views on contouring? Are you in the yay or nay bracket?! I’m not massively into it I have to say, but I do like a bit of definition on my face so this is great for that.

Sorcha x

Review: Charlotte Tilbury Wonderglow

A few months ago I was having a conversation with a good friend of mine about how much I love products that give my skin a dewy glow. I have naturally very dry skin so in order for my face to look fresh, I’m on a constant hunt for the best dewy and highlighting products to make my skin look glowing.

Anyway, while we were chatting she asked me if I had ever tried the Charlotte Tilbury Wonderglow primer, to which I replied ‘no, but tell me more immediately!’. It is one of her favourite products, she swears by it for giving her face a lovely glow, and it wasn’t long before she convinced me that it was the next beauty product I had to try out. So naturally I ran out the next day to buy it and see what all the fuss was about.


Now, the thing is, I have a weird relationship with Charlotte Tilbury products. I don’t know why but some of her products I’d live and die for, and others I find a bit ‘meh’. It’s really hit or miss for me. For example, her Retoucher Concealer Pen I literally couldn’t live without, I use it every day religiously and it’s a firm favourite of mine (if you want to know more you can read my review here). I’m also a fan of her lipsticks and eyeshadows.

But, when it comes to her Magic Cream, I am completely underwhelmed. I don’t dislike it, but I wouldn’t really consider it a moisturiser and therefore, if it’s a moisturiser you’re looking for, I don’t think it’s worth the hefty €90 price tag that accompanies it. I found it acted more like a primer than a moisturiser, and it was one of those products that just left me feeling a bit confused by really (you can read my full review on it here).

Anyway, needless to say I wanted to keep an open mind when testing out Wonderglow, but I did have my reservations. Here’s how I got on…

On first impressions I was totally in love with the packaging, as I am with all Charlotte Tilbury products. She knows good branding and packaging that’s for sure, and who doesn’t love a pop of rose gold? It’s all the rage these days! But now down to the product itself.

The smell is similar to that of the Magic Cream, almost floral and maybe a bit strong for those who don’t like scented face products. I don’t mind the scent though once a product works and I have to say, I was more impressed with this than I was with the Magic Cream.

I would describe it as a liquid and it is much wetter than other primers I’ve used, but it still has a creamy consistency and soaks well into the skin. It is quite shimmery, moreso than I had expected, but it does give your skin a nice glow. The first time I applied it I almost balked because I found it to be quite glittery which was definitely not the look I was going for, however, after putting my foundation over it, the glitter effect fades and you are left with a fresh faced look.



In terms of the effect it gives your skin texture, in all honesty it doesn’t give anything. It doesn’t smoothen my skin like other primers, and I’m not convinced it holds my makeup very well either. For me, I only really wear primers for the purpose of holding my makeup in place for as long as possible, so is it a great primer? I don’t think so.

BUT. And there is a big but here. It is a gorgeous brightening product. My skin definitely glows when I wear it, and also has a much fresher look about it. According to Charlotte Tilbury, the product contains a florescent core light diffuser which ‘steals UV light from its surroundings‘. Now whether that’s true or not I don’t know, but I certainly have noticed my skin looking brighter and more dewy each time I wear it. I’m sure you all know by now any product that brightens the skin gets a major thumbs up from me and this is certainly getting a thumbs up so far.

Before makeup
After makeup

Because I still use a separate primer, I tend to wear Wonderglow over my foundation on my cheeks and other areas of the face I want to brighten and highlight, and I’m really loving the effect it gives my face. I won’t use it as a primer, but I’ll definitely use it, in fact I could see this becoming a staple in my makeup bag. Plus you get a lot of product in the 40ml tube so this is going to last for ages.

The price tag on this is €49 so this is a luxury purchase. If you like the sound of it though, my advice would be to go to your local Charlotte Tilbury counter and ask for a tester pot, or get them to apply it on you in store to see if you like it first. If you have dull or dry skin like me that needs brightening then this could be for you.

Have you tried Wonderglow? If so I’d love to hear your thoughts. When researching the product I found very few reviews online so I’m very interested to hear what you all think!

Sorcha x

 

My Faves Part 11: Clinique Moisture Surge Extended Thirst Relief


As many of you will know by now, I often write posts about my most-loved and most-used beauty products as part of the ‘My Faves’ series, and today I want to share my love for Clinique’s Moisture Surge with you all.

This product has been on the market for quite a long time now so many of you may know about it already, but I’ve just recently rediscovered this in my bathroom cupboard and remembered just how much I love it!

For those of you not familiar with this product, Clinique describe it as a gel-creme, which I would say is very accurate, and it is one of the best face moisturisers I have ever used. Firstly because it does exactly what it claims to do, and secondly, because it leaves my skin feeling smooth, hydrated and gloriously plump.

The key ingredient in this moisturiser is Hyaluronic Acid which is a natural component of the skin that is now used in many cosmetic products. It is known for being super hydrating because of its ability to retain extremely high levels of moisture, therefore allowing for quicker, deeper moisturisation of the skin.


Many of you will know by now that I suffer from dry skin and I’m prone to dehydration quite often. As a result, I’m quite strict with the type of skincare products I use because let’s be honest, there is nothing worse than a dry, dehydrated face. But any time I use the Clinique Moisture Surge my skin feels A.MA.ZING! Even after just one day.

There are so many things this product claims to do that I feel its justified in stating so let’s run through them quickly:

  • Hydrating? Yes, every time.
  • Moisturising? Absolutely.
  • Reduces fine lines? You know what, it really does. Now it doesn’t get rid of them of course, but the ability it has to plump out the skin means lines really are reduced.
  • Firming? Well, maybe not quite firming, but plumping definitely.

While you can use this gel-cream both day and night, I tend to use it at night time after taking off my makeup to give my skin a real boost of freshness, and also because it needs a little drying time. But, the minute you apply this on your face it feels better, and when I wake up in the morning my skin is always as smooth as a baby’s bottom!

Yes, as mentioned above, I suffer from dry skin so maybe the results wouldn’t be as dramatic if you have a normal, combination or oily skin type. But if like me, you’re always looking for good hydrating products then this is really worth a try. The only downside to this if I really have to pick one, is that it doesn’t contain an SPF. But if you wear a separate SPF or your makeup contains one, then you don’t need to worry.

I can’t believe I forgot how much I liked this product. I definitely won’t be forgetting anytime soon again that’s for sure!

Have you ever used this? If so, I’d love to hear your thoughts.

Sorcha x

 

My Faves Part 1: Eve Lom Rescue Mask

Last night as I was applying my favourite face mask for a bit of evening pampering, I decided I would write a blog post about it to share with you all. I have a lot of favourite products that are not new to the market and therefore haven’t written about them, but then I thought, why not write about them? Some of the greatest products out there are classics! So going forward I’ve decided to add a new section to my blog called ‘My Faves’.

For this post, I’m talking about my Eve Lom Rescue Mask. This face mask is by no means new on the market, in fact many of you may have already tried it, but it’s the best one that I’ve come across in a long time and have been using it for over a year now. I apply it usually around every two weeks or so and still love it as much now as the first time I tried it.

The Rescue Mask is made of a clay called Kaolin Clay and contains some great ingredients such as honey and sweet almond. According to Eve Lom; Kaolin Clay (absorbs excess oils and reduces puffiness), Camphor (cools and decongests), Ground Almonds (gently exfoliates) and Honey (conditions the skin).


The mask is quite thick, as you would imagine from any clay mask, and I tend to apply a generous amount all over my face, obviously avoiding my eyes and mouth. The mask smells amazing, and starts to dry into the skin and harden quite quickly after application, so be prepared to sit quietly for ten to fifteen minutes while the mask does its work. The perfect excuse for some quiet time!

After roughly fifteen minutes, I splash some warm water over my face, then using a warm damp muslin cloth, gently wipe and remove the mask from my face.

The softness of my skin after this mask is just incredible, and it also leaves skin looking fresh and glowing. So in other words what I’m saying here, is that Eve Lom is very justified in its product description. It reduces puffiness, it decongests, it exfoliates and it conditions. What more could you need in a mask?!

The 50ml tube that I have will set you back €45 so it’s not cheap, but it will last you around three to six months depending on how often you use it. So given the lasting time, to me that’s not bad.

If you’ve tried this, or decide to try it then I’d love to hear your thoughts, and I’d love to hear about your favourite masks too. As you know, I’m always on the lookout for new things to try so send them on!

Sorcha x

Review: Charlotte Tilbury Magic Cream

A couple of weeks ago, I shared a sneak peak post on some of the beauty products I’ve been trying out and putting to the test over the last while. One of those products was the now infamous, Charlotte Tilbury Magic Cream, which I had been dying to try for ages. And the fact that I got it as a gift from my mama made it all the more exciting!

I have read many reviews about this Magic Cream over the past year or so, some good, some not so good, so as you can imagine I was really interested to see what it was like.

 

For those of you that don’t know about Magic Cream, apparently it’s been a secret weapon of Charlotte Tilbury’s for years now. She used to concoct it herself and apply it on models back stage at every fashion week and fashion shoot she worked on, and it’s basically become a cult phenomenon in the makeup world.

So naturally when she was bringing out a beauty and makeup collection, she decided to bottle up her magic cream and share its wonders with us all. Sound a little over dramatic? That’s what I thought when reading this on the Charlotte Tilbury website. But who am I to judge, I do love a bit of drama every now and then!

 

Anyway, I’ve been using this for about a month now and yes, I do really like it.  The texture is thick and deliciously creamy, without being sticky or making your skin feel caked. It is absorbed so easily by the skin, does not sit on the skin’s surface, and leaves your face with a wonderful dewy glow after application.

 

The ingredients contain all the goods such as Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Rose Hip Oil and an anti-aging skin booster BioNymph Peptide Complex, which is said to plump up and transform the skin in an instant. It also has SPF 15 to protect the skin which is always a winner in my book.

But here’s where my questioning comes in. I have read several blog reviews that say the Magic Cream is great as a primer, but not so great as a moisturiser, and I didn’t really get that. Surely a moisturiser is a moisturiser? But I get it now, it is so like a primer, a really good primer. Your makeup looks incredible when you apply it over the cream, and the staying power is really brilliant.

 

When I compare it to my current everyday moisturiser, Dr. Obagi’s Daily Power Defense, I don’t think it quite cuts the mustard for me however. If you’ve read any of my skin care posts, you’ll know I’m totally obsessed with Obagi Skincare, but I’m always on the lookout for, and interested in, other brands and options too. And although I do really like this product, I just wanted a little bit more from it as a moisturiser.

I recently discussed this with a makeup artist friend of mine after trying it out to see what she thought, being much more of an expert than I am, and she agreed. She doesn’t rate it as a moisturiser but uses it all the time on clients as a primer. And hers is definitely an opinion I value when it comes to all things beauty.

In saying all of that, I’m certainly going to keep using the one I have. This is one of those weird conflicts where you really like something, but just don’t know if you love it enough to consistently spend the money on it.

So I’m left kind of feeling confused on this one.

At €90 you would probably want to really love this to purchase, so if you’re looking for a great primer and can afford the hefty price tag then I say go for it. But I’m still not sure you’ll want to replace your current moisturiser with it.

Have you tried Charlotte Tilbury’s Magic Cream? I’d love to hear your thoughts if you have. Because from what I can tell, there are a lot of mixed feelings out there on this one.

Sorcha x