03 December 2010

Skin brightener trials part 3: "Alright I'm ready make me glow, glow, glow"*

Ok, so let’s recap. We’ve had serums and primers, and today we’ll be looking at a couple of glow creams and brightening face powders, all in the quest for more radiant, youthful looking skin.

But let’s put this into perspective: what this means is that, for the past couple of months, my morning routine has looked something like this:

  1. Cleanse
  2. Sometimes exfoliate
  3. Serum
  4. Moisturiser & eye cream
  5. Primer
  6. Glow cream
  7. Base
  8. Translucent powder on the t-zone, to set foundation
  9. Swirl of illuminating face powder all over
  10. Apply rest of makeup on the bus
All of this adds another 15 to 20 minutes to my morning routine. Now that, fluffy readers, is  dedication.

But has it made any bleedin’ difference, is the question?

And here is the answer. I said to Himself, one morning last week, as he was standing around huffing outside the bathroom door (something about buses, work, late…I don’t know, I was busy with my lotions and potions), “Here, does my make-up look any different to you?”

And after scrutinising me for a long couple of seconds, he replied. “Yes”, he said. “It makes your face look better.”

And isn’t that what we’re all looking for? 

Now, onto the products that helped make that lovely romantic moment happen.

First up, Eyeko Cream: Lured in by the pretty pink packaging of this kitsch cult product, and rumours of its use by none other than Ms Kylie Minogue, I bought a couple of pots for my sisters as part of their Christmas present last year. As I am still to get feedback I gather they were put off, as I initially was, by the sight of this thick, pink iridescent paste and perhaps bemused by its claims to be an eye-cream, moisturiser and highlighter in one. 

I just ignored the first two claims when I recently picked up a tub of my own (€9 on the eyeko website; £8 on asos, who, at the moment, are offering the limited edition ‘extra glow’ cream for the sale price of £6.40).  The product is almost scentless and similar in colour to Benefit’s Highbeam. I was a little alarmed that I’d be heading out to work with a big pink, sparkly head on me, but I used a light hand and achieved the desired subtle effect. Because of its thick consistency it takes a little work to blend the cream in all over your face (the primer helps), but once it’s done, you have a lovely glowy base for your make-up. You get a lot of product for the price, too. 

Estee Lauder Spotlight Skin Tone Perfector: This lotion is a much thinner formulation than the eyeko cream and comes in a white tube. There’s a scent, but it’s not a strong or off-putting one, and the product is very easy to apply and absorbs well. Where eyeko looks like Benefit’s Moonbeam, on first appearance this product seems similar to Highbeam – but smooth both creams out and you get virtually the same finish. Inspecting the back of my hands now, I can see that the shimmer particles in Spotlight are much finer than in the eyeko cream, but on the face I couldn’t seen any obvious difference. Spotlight is way pricier at €37.50 in BT’s, but justifies the cost by claiming that, over time, the product can help fade discolorations on the face and prevent new ones. I have a stubborn sunspot on my right cheek that hasn’t faded yet, but with that faint hope, this is the cream that I’ll keep using in my daily routine (but before the primer from here on in, to reap the skincare benefits).  Look, a girl can dream. 

R-L: Blob of eyeko cream, thick layer of Spotlight, eyeko sheered out a little, Spotlight sheered out a little; sheer em out again and they start to look virtually the same, but my camera couldn't pick this up for ya.

Stila Illuminating Finishing Powder in Bronze: This was a gift, and another product for which you need a light hand. I don’t use bronzer, other than to contour, so I was a bit worried about putting this sparkley bronze powder all over my face. A light swirl later and I was impressed: just like it says in the name, my skin looks ‘finished’ with no obvious sparkles. It also comes in gold and rose gold, which are both available on Beauty Bay for £22 – they seem to be out of the bronze. (And I'm still sad we can't get Stila in Dublin anymore.)

theBalm Mary-Lou Manizer: This is a highly-pigmented, champagne coloured ‘luminiser’ with which, again, it would be easy to go a little over the top.  I followed my all-over application with a quick swish of a clean kabuki brush which blended it out a little and left me with a sheer, glowing, radiant complexion. My skin is on the warmer side and this colour suits me more than Stila’s bronze shade; I imagine it’s similar to the Stila Gold Illuminating Finishing Powder but don’t quote me because I haven’t had a chance to try that out.  I’ve also been using this as a quick daytime eyeshadow and like it just as much. And that’s before I even start on the gorgeously retro packaging… 


I previously wrote about theBalm launching in A-wear but will update you with more details on that asap. 

Coming soon: the final part of this little skin brightening series, with a review of The Sanctuary's brightening cleanser and exfoliator...

*Post title: Lyric from Nellie Furtado, 'Glow'
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