Review: Clarins SOS Primers

It’s no secret that I’m a big fan of Clarins. The brand consistently releases great, innovative products both in skincare and makeup, and over the past few years, has become one of my go-to brands for both. Their lipsticks have the most incredible pigment which you will know if you followed my lipstick challenge last year, and I honestly couldn’t live without their Double Serum which saved my dry skin over the past nine months of pregnancy.

Their latest release is no exception and comes in the form of six new colour correcting primers to combat dull, uneven skin complexions and focus on promoting ‘a fresh balanced skin tone with maximum radiance’. Each of the six primers targets a different problem area of the skin ranging from fatigue, to redness, and dark spots to dullness, so whatever your issue, rest assured there’s a primer for you.

A couple of weeks back, Clarins very kindly sent me some of the primers to try out and I’ve been putting them to the test ever since. Given that these are part of their SOS range, I had very high hopes for them as I completely fell in love with their SOS nourishing balm face mask released last year and use it all the time. Thankfully, I can honestly say, I have not been disappointed.

I was sent four from the collection to try out, all of which have brilliant pigment, a very smooth texture, and, they blend like a dream into the face allowing makeup to stay in place all day long. However, while my initial impressions are excellent, really, only two of the primers are relevant for my skin tone.

If you’ve been following my blog for a while, you’ll already know that I have dry skin which tends to get very dull at times, particularly in winter or when I’m feeling a bit under the weather. Therefore, I am always drawn to products that boost radiance, give me a nice glow and leave my skin feeling soft and smooth. And that’s where shades 00 Universal Light and 03 Coral come in.

Universal Light as you can see from the photos, has a white, pearlised finish to it and instantly I knew this was going to be right up my street. It is lightweight in consistency, and blends into the face very easily without leaving any stickiness or wetness behind. As soon as I apply it, my face takes on a very subtle glow that isn’t shimmery in any way (I hate that in a primer), and gives it a well-needed boost of radiance that is really hard to come by in this cold weather!

Before:AfterAfter:

Primers tend to be needed most around the t-zone area of the face, but I love this primer so much, I’ve been wearing it all over to give me a proper glow. The pump applicator makes it very easy to use, and you need very little too. Just one pump is enough to cover the entire face and believe me, it will keep your makeup perfectly in place too.

The second shade that has been working wonders for me is Coral, which helps to combat dark spots and patches, which I tend to suffer from due to dryness. I’ve been loving the warmness this shade brings to my skin; it gives a tint of colour not dissimilar to a tinted moisturiser, only it’s much more lightweight and gives a lovely glow to my skin too.

Before:BeforeAfter:

I don’t think I would use this shade as often as Universal Light, it’s more of a product I would reach for on a particularly bad skin day for example.  Having said that however, I’ve been switching back and forth between both over the past few weeks and am loving the results that I get from each.

While my concerns are dryness and dullness, we all have different concerns when it comes to our skin so here’s a breakdown of the full collection:

  • 00 Universal Light – This primer reproduces light on the skin’s surface to enhance radiance and boost skin tone
  • 01 Rose – Pink pigments in this shade combat signs of fatigue by giving the skin an energy boost and revitalizing your complexion
  • 02 Peach – This primer focuses on targeting problem skin issues such as visible veins and acne scarring by minimizing imperfections and giving it a ‘touched-up’ finish
  • 03 Coral – Best for targeting dark spots, the orange light pigments in this shade will help to even out skin tone
  • 04 Green – Already receiving rave reviews, the green primer is perfect for anyone who suffers from redness. It re-balances skin tone to remove redness, without making the skin look dull
  • 05 Lavender – This shade is best suited to those with sallow skin in need of a boost of freshness. The lavender pigment helps to give the skin a clearer appearance and combats the effects of day-to-day pollution.

As I mentioned, everyone’s skin tone is different and that’s why it’s so important to try before you buy. For example, if your skin is more oily than dry then I would say the Universal Light shade probably isn’t for you as it does make the skin look very dewy. But that’s the best thing about this collection, there is one for everybody in the audience so to speak!

One of the best things about Clarins as a brand, is the fact that they are always willing to give you samples of products to try out, so if you’re interested in investing, I would suggest popping to your local counter and getting some samples to see which best suits your needs.

Each primer costs €31 and they are on sale at all Clarins counters now.

Sorcha x

Review: This Works In Transit Camera Close-Up | Mask, Moisturiser & Primer In One

A couple of months back, I got a sample of this In Transit Camera Close-Up face product from This Works in a GlossyBox, and as I had heard so many great things about it, I was excited to try it out. Word on the street is that this is one of Victoria Beckham’s favourite skincare products so you know, if it’s good enough for Vicki…!

The interesting thing about this product is that it’s not just a primer; it’s a face mask, moisturiser and primer all in one. Now, it’s very hard to be good at all those things separately, let alone together in one formula so I was a little skeptical about how well I would get on with this.

The formula is quite thick, much thicker than I would ever usually like in a primer and I really wasn’t sure about it at first. But surprisingly, it blends so well into the skin and actually feels incredibly light on. I thought the thickness might make it cakey or sticky, but once it dries in, it kind of melts into the skin, leaving it feeling very soft and smooth.

However for the purposes of my review, I want to specifically address the three big claims it makes, and how well I think it works in relation to those. As a result, I have broken it down into three parts…

Mask

The purpose of a good face mask in my opinion, is to hydrate the skin and leave it free of any nasties or impurities that we pick up day-to-day. As my skin is on the drier side, I also tend to prefer masks that have a brightening element as a lot of the time my skin looks dull.

From this point of view, while I’m not sure that this tackles nasties and impurities, it definitely leaves my skin feeling plumper and brighter. It contains Bio Boost which is a blend of repairing plant oils; which along with hylauronic acid and caffeine, really help to give the skin a boost of hydration.

Moisturiser

One thing this product is without a doubt, is moisturising. The thickness of the formula means you only need a very small, pea sized amount as a little goes a long way with it.

As I mentioned above, it contains some amazing ingredients including Argan Oil, Shea Butter, Lemon Balm and Hylauranic Acid, all of which are known for being super hydrating and kind to the skin whilst also making it look more radiant too. And, I have to say for me, it really lives up to these claims. My skin feels so soft when I apply this, and I can feel it becoming more hydrated the minute I put it on.

I tend to get some redness around my nose area, and it definitely helps to combat that too, but overall, I just love how my skin feels when I use it.

Primer

So far this product is working for me; I like it as a mask, I like it as a moisturiser, but I love it as a primer!

Like I mentioned above, I tend to opt for primers that have a brightening element, and I love the dewy glow that my face gets when I wear this. Because it’s thick, I tend to wash my face, apply the cream and then let it dry in for a few minutes so that it’s settled into the skin before applying my foundation.

It’s neither oily nor mattifying, but it’s one of the best primers I’ve used for keeping my makeup in place all day long. I’m lucky in that I don’t have oily skin, but I honestly think this would work well on all skin types because of the filter-like finish it gives to your face when you wear it.

Of all the things this product claims to do, for me, it is best as a primer. It brightens the skin, and smooths out blemishes and dryness (especially at the moment when my skin is extra dry from pregnancy). But best of all, its smooth finish also means my foundation glides on so easily without any patchiness.

I find myself reaching for this more and more these days, and I’ve really grown to like it a lot, hence why I decided to share my thoughts with you all. Obviously the tube I have is a sample size but the full size bottle costs €39.50 for 40ml. So yep, it’s spendy.

However, given that you’re getting three good products in one, for me it’s worth the spend, especially if you like your morning skincare routine to be quick and easy.

I don’t think it’s going to replace any of my face masks, I have a particular love for the ones I’m currently using, but as a moisturiser and primer go, I’m definitely sold on this and will be using it for a long time to come.

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 10: Benefit That Gal Primer

Although I spoke a little bit about my love for Benefit’s That Gal Primer in my Airport Beauty Haul post yesterday, I love it so much that I felt it warranted its own dedicated post as part of the ‘My Faves’ series.

I’ve been using this highlighting primer for several years now, it was actually my sister who first told me about it, and she’s equally obsessed with it as I am. And what’s more, we both have very different skin types.

As I mentioned yesterday, the primer is pinkish in colour, and the formula contains light reflecting pigments meaning it has a very soft sheen when applied to the skin. But rather than make you look shiny, it gives the skin the most amazing dewy glow and really brightens up the whole face. I find it particularly great on days where my skin is looking tired and dull, or when the black circles have decided to come out in force!

You don’t need to apply it all over the face but I do. To apply, you just twist the nozzle at the bottom of the bottle to push up the formula and using your fingers, gently rub it into the skin. It blends quickly and easily, and has a very quick drying time which allows you to apply your makeup straight after. Not only that but it smells so frickin’ good too!

My skin is slightly on the dry side, my sister’s skin is probably more combination, but it looks, and lasts, equally well on both of us. I think the thing I love about it most however, is the staying power it gives your makeup. When I apply this primer in the morning, I really don’t have to top up my makeup at all during the day, and not only that, it leaves your skin feeling super soft as well as giving it a gorgeous glow.

I’ve taken pictures without makeup to try show you the difference. It’s subtle, but there’s definitely a difference between before and after. And I like that it’s subtle. It is light and creamy, has no stickiness, and is definitely my favourite of all the many primers I’ve tried. I do have others I really like, but That Gal takes first place for me.


The tube that I have costs €32 and I get about three to four weeks out of it. You would probably get more however if you are only using it around your T-Zone area, I just can’t help but put it all over my face.

Have you tried That Gal? If so let’s discuss our mutual love. Or if you had a bad experience then fill me in, I’m in the mood for a chat! 🙂

Sorcha x

Review: MAC Prep + Prime Natural Radiance Illuminating Primer

I am one of MAC’s biggest fans, I absolutely love their makeup, particularly their lipsticks and foundations. However, for some reason I’ve never really tried any of their skin care or prep and prime products until now.

A few weeks back when I was in getting my free lipstick, the lovely girl at the MAC counter gave me a sample of their Prep + Prime Natural Radiance illuminating primer to try out and let me tell you all, it’s love!


I’ve been using this for about two weeks now and the difference on my skin is amazing. Although it’s more like a gel than a cream, it still has a smooth, creamy texture, and because of that you only need a very small pea size amount when applying. Once blended in, it leaves the skin feeling lovely and fresh, and there is no stickiness like you get from some primers.

Not only is this primer very easy to apply, the yellow tone of the Radiant Yellow shade gives your skin a gorgeous, dewy glow, and brightens up the skin beautifully meaning your makeup goes on much smoother. I find I need less concealer because of the brightening power of the primer, and my makeup is lasting so well throughout the day too.

It contains Vitamin E and Vitamin C which are super hydrating for the skin, and the illuminating properties come from pearl powders which means it will work for all skin types too. I have dry to normal skin so that’s probably why I’m always drawn to illuminating products, however, even if you have oily skin this should work for you as there is no sheen or shimmer in it to make your skin look shiny. It also leaves your face feeling quite soft, even after makeup application which is always a bonus.

Benefit’s That Gal primer has been my favourite for some time now and this is the first primer I’ve tried in a long time that comes close to matching it. I’m really loving it and plan on purchasing a full size version as soon as my sample tube runs out. So if you like me are a big fan of That Gal, then I’m pretty sure you’ll love this too.

The full size version is €40.00 so that does make me wince a little, however, given that I’ve only needed to use a very small amount each day, I’m pretty sure this tube will last ages. But I’ll report back on that soon!

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

Review: Benefit POREfessional Matte Rescue Gel

I’m back! After a dreadful week of blogging last week, which you’ll have to forgive as I was up to my eyes in work, I’m back with lots of great reviews and posts for you this week. It’s so funny how when you become used to blogging everyday, you really miss it when you can’t do it. I feel I’ve had no creative output for the past week so I’m happy to be back in the saddle today (apart from the rotten cold I have).

So now on to today’s review, which is Benefit’s POREfessional Matte Rescue Gel. Now, where to start. So I’m a big fan of Benefit products, as I’ve said before I love their POREfessional and That Gal primers as well as countless other offerings from the brand. But I was let down by this, I mean seriously let down.

I started testing this out about a week ago. Given that it was my busiest week in work, I knew there wouldn’t be a whole lot of time for touching up my makeup and given the claims that this gel makes on its ability to reduce shine, I thought it would be the perfect product to get me through the week.



I don’t have particularly oily skin, it’s probably more normal to dry, but like most people, come the afternoon if I don’t have a good primer on, my T-Zone area can get shiny and my makeup can start to come off in those areas.

According to Benefit, this product claims to instantly minimize pore appearance. The lightweight, water-based gel overpowers shine and absorbs excess surface oil, leaving a natural-looking matte finish. Skin feels smooth and refreshed.

Benefit recommend wearing POREfessional primer over the gel so I tried a few days with primer over it, and a few days with no primer. Overall result? Without the primer this just doesn’t work in my view. Yes, with the primer you could say it held my makeup better, but no different than my primer normally would without the matte rescue gel which left me feeling a bit cheated.

 

Did it instantly minimize pore appearance? I don’t think so. Did it minimize shine and absorb excess surface oil? While it did initially when first applied, it was only a matter of time before the effects wore off. And I’m not talking long here. On a day when I didn’t wear a primer on top of it, I took a photo of my makeup when first applied, then took another photo four hours later just to give you an idea. As you can see, the shine is there. The light in these two images is different as one was taken at home, and the second was taken when I was out and about but you get the gist. Bummer.

After Makeup Application

 

Four Hours Later

The gel does smell lovely and fresh, and has a really light texture which means it spreads evenly over your face. You only need a very small amount (slightly larger than pea size) which is always a bonus but is that enough to make me like the product? No. I kind of don’t see the point to it. If you’re primer works anyway then why do you need this? It doesn’t add anything extra so for me, you’d be better just sticking to your primer in this case.

I hate that I’m saying this because I love Benefit, but this one gets a big fat no from me I’m afraid. At €31 it’s not cheap and there are much better ways to spend your money in my opinion.

Have any of you tried this? If so I’d love to hear how you got on because I’ve heard so many positive things about it, but I don’t get it. I really wanted to, but I just don’t.

Sorcha x