Murad does Makeup (sorta…)

Posted by Lipglossiping On September - 28 - 2011

On Monday night, I was invited to attend a rare UK appearance from Dr. Howard Murad who was visiting the UK with his son Jeff to introduce a few new products to the brand’s lineup.  Included in the launch are a new range of primers, marketed as “Hybrids” that draw maximum inspiration from the well-established skincare line.

The 4-piece range includes:

Hybrids Skin Perfecting Primer Matte Finish (£27)
Hybrids Skin Perfecting Primer Dewy Finish (£27)
Hybrids Eye Lift Illuminator (£25)
Hybrids Eye Lift Perfector (£25)

The two Skin Perfecting Primers in the range project obvious differences in overall finish (one matte, one glowy) but both claim to offer universal shade-matching from an oil-free formula.  They promise to disguise flaws, even skin texture and minimise the appearance of pores whilst balancing oil production.  Sadly, there’s nothing specific in the release about promoting longevity of makeup but that may well come under the ‘balancing oil production’ umbrella.

The other two products are intended for the eye area.  The Eye Lift Illuminator promises to instantly brighten the eyes thanks to a colour corrective formula (violet-toned), whilst hydrating, de-puffing, and minimising dark circles to give the surrounding delicate skin a more youthful appearance.

The final product is the Eye Lift Perfector which promises the same improvements to general skin health as the Illuminator but with the addition of a natural tint (concealer) to even skin tone further.

I won’t deny it, I’m very excited to try the skin primers – and for one reason in particular.  The brand have placed emphasis on something that sounds remarkably worthy of an eye-roll but has me wetting myself in anticipation regardless…

Pore Factor-5.

Murad describes Pore Factor-5 as a proprietary technology that will…

~ Improve skin grain by tightening dilated pores
~ Blends with skin’s natural pigments to add luminosity to the skin while msoothing out fine lines and wrinkles
~ Normalizes oil production and helps control bacterial proliferation
~ Soothes and reduces inflammation
~ Protects against the damaging effects of UV-induced free radicals to preserve and improve skin elasticity, firmness and tone.

Honestly, I’m too fixated on that first one to bother caring about the rest.  Note how it doesn’t say ‘improves the appearance of pores’.  Yeahhhh Murad, you’ve just given me a BENCHMARK.  I like benchmarks.

I’ll be putting the primers to the test over the next few weeks and will be looking for all these lovely, instant results that I wanna see.  As a fairly pore-y kinda chick, I’ve got my fingers crossed.

Murad’s new Hybrids range is available to buy online from Murad, Feel Unique, Urban Retreat Beautique and from leading salons and spas nationwide.


Sometimes, it takes a little bit of hindsight to fall in love…

Posted by Lipglossiping On May - 8 - 2011

I can sometimes be a bit slow on the old review lark… I get excited about a new product and throw myself into full-on playing, sniffing, painting, daubing and general testing but it has come to my attention that I’m not a conveyer belt of product analysis.

Like every other human being on this planet.  I’m fallible and I didn’t see this one coming.  Well, I kinda did because I gushed about it to a friend 6 weeks ago.  She had also tried it but didn’t like it and her impressions made me doubt my gut instincts, so I cooled my passions a little and tried to inject a touch of devils advocate into the situation.  Receiving gratis products to play with and review is undoubtedly completely awesome but with it comes a degree of responsibility in not wanting to let anyone down by being anything other than ‘spot on’ with my reviews.

With that in mind, I’d been mulling over the results I wasn’t sure I was seeing… at odds with the simple truth that I loved how the product applied/felt/moisturised etc.  But then I saw a before/after photo that wasn’t even relevant to the product I’m talking about and my doubts were blown sky high.

By now, you probably know I’m rabbiting on about the eye cream I mentioned on Friday.  A couple of you pointed out that you could detect a visible difference and in a world of disappointing anti-aging products that claim to offer the world, a visible difference (even slight) is a little beacon in the night.

Skinceuticals A.G.E Eye Complex* gives a pretty understated impression when it comes to kerb appeal.  Even more so when you consider the price tag of £78.00.  I’ve paid more for an eye cream precisely once in my life and after finishing the pot, I chided myself and said I’d never do it again.  Well, never say never…

The simply styled packaging contains 15ml of product that promises to diminish dark circles, puffiness and effects of glycation.  I don’t really understand what glycation is other than at the base level of it causing premature signs of aging because of degrading body tissue… but this product claims in the long term to reduce the effects of this glycation and in the short term, help mask the appearance of dark circles and puffiness.  Still with me?  Have a read of what they say…

…Immediately, optical diffusers improve radiance and minimize the appearance of dark circles and capillaries. Within four to twelve weeks, a complex of flavonoids and synergistic peptides improves lymphatic drainage and eliminates accumulated hemoglobin’s colored degradation end-products to dramatically improve dark circles and puffiness.

By twelve weeks and beyond, blueberry extract interrupts the formation of advanced glycation end-products (A.G.E.) and Proxylane restores water and nutrient content to the dermal epidermal junction (D.E.J.) to increase skin elasticity and thickness for dramatic improvement of wrinkles and crow’s feet.

Well now that I’ve managed to baffle myself with the science-y bits… let me tell you the things that I do understand about this eye cream.

It’s intensely hydrating without being heavy or too rich and I haven’t experienced any problems with milia since using this.  I began testing it at a time when I was very dry under my eyes, scaly dry even.  The Skinceuticals cream took charge immediately and within a matter of days my skin was back to normal.

Within a couple of weeks, I felt that the shadow around the edge of my eye socket had a lifted a little but I wasn’t 100% sure if I was imagining it.  As for fine lines or crepiness?  Well, I didn’t notice any differences at all.

This is the same impression I was left with after 8 or so weeks.  Amazingly hydrating, beautiful to apply, cooling on the eye area and simply lovely.  But a £78 spend demands a bit more than that for me.  My demands were coming closer to being met the other day when I was editing a before/after for my UD Lush Lash post.  Here it is again…

To my mind, my eyes look less puffy and the fine lines seem shallower (particularly the one on the right) in the 2nd photo.  OK, it’s not groundbreaking… it hasn’t erased all imperfections or tightened up any droopiness on my eyelids.  Neither is this a hugely scientific experiment but I’m TOTALLY feeling vindicated in an “Oooh I knew I liked this product for a reason!” kinda way.

I’ve been using SkinCeuticals A.G.E Eye Complex for around 11 weeks (once a day) and I estimate that I’ll be finishing my pot in around another 8 weeks.  I’m currently undecided about a repurchase.  If it were £30/40 cheaper, I’d be on it like a recovering alcoholic on a Lambrini.  But let’s wait and see what another 8 weeks bring… if it makes my undereyes smoother than a baby’s bum, I’ll be sure to let you know about it!

Skinceuticals A.G.E Eye Complex is priced at £78 and available to buy online from BeautyExpert.

* Press Sample

What’s the most you’ve ever paid for an eye cream (and was it worth it?)

Elemis Absolute Eye Mask

Posted by Lipglossiping On June - 30 - 2010

When I was contacted and asked if I wanted to review a couple of products from the Elemis range, I tried to choose carefully.  The last thing I wanted to do was choose something that left me feeling uncertain of it’s value.  I wanted products that I could have an opinion about…. something tangible that I could describe to you.  I don’t care if it’s rubbish, fanastic or unfathomably dull… I just want to be able to have confidence in my feelings on the product.  And sometimes skincare leaves me feeling a little confused.

It’s to this end that I chose two masks that claim concrete results.  You may have already seen my Elemis Tri-Enzyme Resurfacing Gel Mask review.   That mask blew me away with outcomes that I could almost instantly appreciate…. smoothing, refreshing, complexion lifting… most of it’s promises came true on my face.  A blogger’s dream and an absolute delight to describe to you.

But then it all went a bit wrong.

Elemis Absolute Eye Mask will leave your purse £27 lighter for a generous (considering how far a little goes) 30ml tube.

It describes itself thus:

Elemis Absolute Eye Mask is an eye-brightening treatment that combines vital extracts of Rose, Mimosa, Cornflower and Comfrey to help decongest, firm and minimise dark circles and leave the delicate eye area soothed and revitalized.

So… I’m looking for decongesting, firming, dark circle reduction and a soothing/revitalizing effect.

So far, I haven’t experienced any of this.

In a complete contrast to the tri-enzyme mask, this eye mask leaves me with no instant impressions.  It doesn’t tingle, soothe, feel cooling, refreshing or even hydrating upon application.  Infact, if anything… there’s a small amount of tightening.  And not in a good way.

The blurb on the back tells me to apply sparingly around the eye bone area avoiding direct contact with the lid and inner eye areas.  “Sparingly”… I like it when expensive products say that.  As previously mentioned, a very small amount will spread nicely over the eye area… this tube will last me months!

But the problem is this…

Ultimately, Elemis Absolute Eye Mask is marketed as an anti-ageing product.  Maybe I’ll see some beneficial anti-ageing effects in a years time but unlike their anti-ageing Pro Collagen Marine Cream (be still my beating heart) this doesn’t even feel that nice before, during or after application.

And there you have it.

I’ll keep using it a couple of times a week as suggested on the box, and if in 6 months time I start noticing some longer term benefits, you can be sure I’ll be back to update

But those instant mask-type results that I was looking for?  Move along… there’s nothing to be seen here.

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