I know that I am SO late to the party with this one but it's been on my list for a long time. It's Clarins best selling beauty balm... supposedly there's one sold every 30 seconds.. that's like... a lot!
So let's start off with what Clarins have to say about it..
Brightens, TightensAn exceptional beauty booster which immediately eliminates all signs of fatigue: facial features appear rested and smooth. The cream in contact with the skin remains soft and pliable to fill out fine lines, while the cream in contact with the air sets to a firming film which gives skin a radiant glow. It promotes a radiant complexion and long-lasting, incredibly luminous make-up. The ideal treatment before a busy day or an evening out. Skin Type: All skin types
In a nut shell in claims to be caffeine in a tube. It perks up your skin, smooths out any imperfections and leaves a perfect, glowing base for makeup to adhere to all day (or night) long... and do you know what? It really does! This may sound odd but when a product is so beloved as this one and has so much hype.. I'm suspicious. I tend to be the last person to buy the "it" product of the moment because I just don't believe it can be as great as everyone says. It's almost as if the more people that tell me I must have something the less I want it. This was one of those products. I knew I was going to get it eventually, I had swatched it on my hand (as you do) in store numerous times and walked away empty handed... It's something you can't really believe works until you've tried it. With an eyeshadow or a lipstick you can generally tell if you like it before you leave the store.. with this it's not quite so simple. You have to get it home and give it a test run. So that's what I did.
Out of the tube it's a thick yellow-toned balm. The directions suggest you smooth this over your skin (do not rub!) and immediately apply your makeup. I was very aware of the rubbing action I was trying to avoid so I applied both the balm and my foundation with the lightest possible touch. I concealed where necessary and powdered to eliminate shine. I'm told that powder is not necessary to "fix" your makeup when using the flash balm so if that's your gig you can skip that step but I tend to get oily. One thing I did notice straight away was that I didn't look totally matte. Okay so my foundation of choice was Nars Sheer Glow but usually once powdered I am glow free. With this balm underneath I seemed to have that "lit from within" look I'm always hearing about. I applied the rest of my makeup as normal and went on with my day. I revisited the mirror around 2pm and my base was still perfect. I was a touch "glowier" (pardon my inventing words) but by no means shiny and under normal circumstances my Nars Sheer Glow would have melted off my face by lunch. I purposely chose it as I knew it had no staying power of its own and it really proved this beauty balms worth. I don't know if I will use it every day as it's not a cheap primer but it is nice to know it's there if I need it. I tend to go foundation free these days but as Winter is approaching and I miss my full coverage products this will be a life saver. It will stop my skin from looking dull and chalky under layers of makeup as well as help to protect it from the elements as the weather gets colder.
It does state on the box that this can be used as a mask as well so of course I had a go with that..I can't say it made any major visible improvements once I'd washed it off but while it was on I felt the tightening effect that it said I would. Whether this could be beneficial over time or I will see a bigger difference using it when my skin really needs it I don't know but I will definitely be trying that again.
Overall I am really pleased with the product, It's a best seller for a reason and next time maybe I'll trust the opinion of the millions of women buying some "cult" item every 30 seconds.
They know what they're doing!