Luxury spa and skincare brand ESPA are launching into House of Fraser, Westfield with the unveiling of their new counter on the 1st November.

To celebrate the launch, ESPA will be offering their first 100 customers a complimentary on-counter 15 minute HomeSpa facial from one of ESPA’s Skin Therapists as well as an introductory ESPA gift, worth £56!

The gift includes ESPA’s best-selling products: Lift & Firm Intensive Serum (8ml), Pink Hair & Scalp Mud (100ml) and Hydrating Cleansing Milk (60ml), so you can experience the wonders of ESPA at home.  The introductory offer is available until the 30th November, subject to availability.


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.

Deal Alert: Bioeffect EGF Serum – Today Only

Posted by Lipglossiping On August - 24 - 2011

In celebration of the Icelandic ‘wonder’ serum’s 1st birthday, Bioeffect are offering a free travel-sized version of their serum with every full-sized purchase.

Sadly, too rich for my blood (I might change my mind when the fine lines start creeping in properly), the £125 serum contains the revolutionary ingredient, Epidermal Growth Factor (EGF).  A substance which occurs naturally in human skin and has the ability to speed up the rate of cell turnover.

You’ll be hard pushed to find too many negative reviews of this product – trust me, my Mum’s had me searching many-a-time.  I applied for a sample bottle last year and although I’m not quite at the age where I might experience visual results to WOW me, I did notice an impressive boost in general hydration.  So much so, that the ‘crepey’ effect I get down the sides of my nose disappeared completely and the pores in that same are appeared more refined thanks to the improved skin structure.

If it’s so wonderful, why haven’t I bought it?  Well… because it’s £125 and it’s 15ml.  That’s a lot of money for not a lot of product.  If you have a lot of money to spend on not a lot of product.  I thoroughly recommend giving it a go.

Bioeffect EGF Serum is available today only with FREE next day delivery and a free travel-sized version.  If you’ve been contemplating that purchase, now is the time to go for it.

Tried & Tested: Estelle & Thild Ecorganic Rose Otto Night Cream

Posted by Lipglossiping On August - 10 - 2011

Ecorganic – each time I look at that word, my fingers itch for an extra ‘O’ and a hyphen…

I’ve been trying this ECOCERT certified night cream for the last month.  It hails from Swedish brand Estelle & Thild who have recently launched in the UK exclusively at Urban Retreat in Harrods and online at Beautique.com.  It’s one of those brands that exude loveliness… beautifully packaged, whimsical designs, natural ingredients and this night cream is no exception.

From the Estelle & Thild Rose Otto Age Prevent Line, the night cream* is rich and nourishing without sitting on the surface of my skin all night.  I’m actually not convinced it’s quite rich enough for my skin in the winter but can’t deny that it’s pretty much the perfect formula for these warmer months.

I do have one problem with this product though: it stinks.  It took me a little while to pin it down… infact, it was Mr. L who hit the nail on the head when he leant into me one evening and sniffed my face: “Why do you smell like a freshly painted room?”

Not just any paint either, we’re talking gloss which is really a big shame because if it weren’t for this simple olfactory issue, I’d be tempted to give it top marks.  I feel especially mean when you consider that the reason it smells like the inside of the Dulux factory is probably because it’s completely lacking in the crap that would otherwise synthetically scent it.

I’ve been persevering with the smell simply because I like the results I’m seeing from daily use.  Upon waking, my skin tone is remarkably more even and although I can’t say I’ve seen any particular anti-aging benefits from it, I can tell that it’s a ‘calming’ formula for my reactive skin.  I’ll be taking a closer look at the brand’s popular ‘baby’ line for when L’s eczema starts playing up this winter.

Estelle & Thild Ecorganic Night Cream is priced at £46 for 50ml and available online at Beautique.com where you can check out the rest of the range with prices starting from only £14.00

* press sample

Smoothie does it!

Posted by Lipglossiping On August - 5 - 2011

I have a smoothie-maker rapidly gathering dust in the back of my cupboard and I’ve decided to brush it off and put it into action this month!

I’m gonna feed my skin from the inside out with some beautifying smoothie recipes consisting of a whole host of revolting sounding ingredients!  Don’t laugh… check me out at the end of the month when you’re all mistaking me for err… *insert someone with really amazing skin here*.

Anyway, you get the jist.

My first Smoothie is gonna be from skincare guru himself, Dr. Murad.  I had the pleasure of meeting him a couple of years ago and listened to him talk about his theories behind the importance of ‘getting’ your water from your food as well as your drinks/general fluid intake.  He’s a fascinating man and I’m looking forward to trying out his Water Secret Smoothie.  I may have to hold my nose as I drink it though no?

He says:

The delicious smoothie you are about to enjoy is a wonderful way to give your body Internal Care by flooding your system with the building blocks of healthy strong cells.  That’s why this smoothie provides you with:

Amino Acids: the building blocks of cell-building proteins.

Lecithin: a source for a key ingredient in cell membranes called phosphatidycholine.

Antioxidants: to protect cells from free-radical damage.

Essential Fatty Acids: to help cells attract life-sustaining water.

If you wanna join me (go on, be brave!) here’s the recipe for Dr. Murad’s The Water Secret Smoothie.

  • 1/2 cup blueberry juice (unsweetened)
  • 1/2 cup almond milk
  • 1/2 cup raspberries (fresh or unsweetened frozen)
  • 1 tablespoon lecithin granules
  • 1 small banana
  • 3 to 4 cubes of ice (optional)
  • Stevia extract or Agave Nectar (optional) to tast

I’ve just picked up my lecithin granules from here with free delivery, blueberry juice is looking a little elusive at the moment but the rest should be simple enough to find.

Hope it’s not revolting!

You can read more about Dr. Murad’s theories on looking and feeling younger in his book, The Water Secret* (£12.99)

Do you ever make skin-beautifying smoothies?  One of those ideas you always toy with but never see through?

* press sample

Allons enfants de la Patrie…

Posted by Lipglossiping On July - 14 - 2011

…Le jour de gloire est arrivé!

I have strong connections to our neighbours over the other side of the English Channel and I’m not just talking about my love for Steak Frites!  I spent every Summer, the entire 6 week school holidays practicing my rubbish French and playing with the local kids not too far from La Rochelle.  My parents still visit for a few months every Summer and still try to drag me over there for family holidays fifteen years later!

It’s been a good few years since I visited for longer than a day trip, I think the overkill when I was a child/teenager may have put me off a little but the country will always hold a special place in my heart.

So, in honour of Bastille day and the fact that ordinarily (were it not ‘weigh in day’) I would be stuffing my face with Brioche and Pain au Raisin to mark the occasion, I’m gonna pay tribute to some awesome and lesser-known French brands that you ought to know more about!

1.  Darphin – Hailing from Paris, Darphin is a professional, botanical skincare line that takes a more holistic approach.  Priding itself on its aromatic, plant-based formulas, the latest addition to the line: Melaperfect* is an Anti-Dark Spot Perfecting Treatment designed for skin with hyper pigmentation.

2.  Rouge Baiser – This French drugstore brand is best known for creating the first ‘kiss-proof’ lipstick in 1927.  I own #405 L’Authentique… isn’t the packaging to die for?

3.  Nuxe – Born out of a small laboratory in Paris, Nuxe is now one of the best-selling brands in pharmacies today.  Another brand firmly based in natural origins, their dry oils have a global fan-base.  Apply a few spritzes to your skin, face, hair… anything that could do with a gentle golden shimmer!  The Huile Prodigieuse Or* is an iconic holiday essential.

4.  Payot – Created in 1927, this Parisian (I’m sensing a theme) Spa brand offers a huge range of products and spa treatments.  The philosophy of the brand is also heavily invested in massage techniques and facial exercises, practically pioneering beauty rituals that are still used in spas today.  The Payot Lift-Performance Firming Remodelling Care has been put to work on my (many) wobbly bits in the hope of some remodelling of my own!

5.  Caudalie – Born from French vineyards, the philosophy behind the brand is based in the anti-oxidant properties of the grape and the grapevine polyphenols.  The Caudalie Beauty Elixir promises to tighten pores and provides an instant burst of radiance to the skin.  I’m a long-term fan of the Grape Water spritz as an alternative to my Avene in hot weather so I’m looking forward to seeing if I can achieve any ooh la la miracles with the power of wine grape.

6.  T. LeClerc – The T. LeClerc line is steeped in heritage and prestige, best known for the iconic T. LeClerc powders in various correcting shades.  One day, I will get my hands on Banane but as things stand, I will make do with my blush and lipstick in all their beautifully packaged glory!

7.  Bioderma – You can’t enter a French pharmacie without being greeted by the same staple lines: Avene, Vichy, Bioderma, La Roche Posay and Biotherm to name just a few.  Of course most people know about the Bioderma Crealine H2O by now but the brand make some other lovely products too!  Bioderma Sebium Foaming Gel is a gently foaming wash for combination skin that doesn’t strip my face of moisture.  I’m getting my Pharmacie dealer (a.k.a Mum) to bring me back some more Pharmacie goodies this Autumn!

8.  Parfums D’Empire – My most expensive perfume purchase to date is Ambre Russe from Parisian fragrance house, Parfums D’Empire.  The most decadent combination of rum (though I think I’m supposed to smell vodka), amber, leather, tobacco and tea that catapults you straight into the grand corridors of an imperial Russian palace of yesteryear.  It’s completely over the top and a love it or hate it scent.  Can you tell I love it?  Love.  It.  Next on my list is Cuir Ottoman… just as delightful.

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What are your favourite French brands in honour of Bastille Day?

* press samples

Olay launches the PROFESSIONAL range in the UK!

Posted by Lipglossiping On June - 22 - 2011

When a well-known skincare brand announces that it’s bringing out a professional line with professional results, it’s a point of interest.  When well-known skincare brand points out that its results are backed by a long-term, independent clinical study that’s been published in the British Journal of Dermatology – it’s a point of slightly more significant interest.

Introducing, Olay Professional.

You can keep your Thandie Newtons, show me the clinical studies!!!  Though to be fair, better dumb ’em down a bit, I only got a C in my GCSE Double Award Science.

The study involved a panel of women aged between 40-65 who tested the regime over a 6 month period against a leading anti-ageing prescription ingredient.  The study showed that the new Olay Professional range was as effective as the prescription ingredient, Retinoic Acid (the most powerful form of Vitamin A) at reducing the appearance of wrinkles.

If you want to find more about this study, there’s an article on cosmeticsdesign.com that you may be interested to read.

POP-UP SKIN CLINIC!

In celebration of the launch, Olay will be opening the doors to a temporary clinic where you’ll have the opportunity to pre-book for a free one to one consultation with a skin expert from the world of dermatology.

The Olay Professional Clinic will be open to the public for three days only (28-29 June and 1 July 2011) at 18 Maddox Street, Mayfair, London from 10am-5pm.  If you don’t want to pre-book, you can still drop by to receive a product demonstration by an expert beauty consultant, and relax in the lounge with an anti-ageing “mocktail”.

To book, call the Olay Professional Clinic booking hotline on tel: 0207 611 3770 and register your details.

Olay Professional went live on the Boots website today on a strictly limited pre-sale basis with only 300 Olay Professional Anti-Wrinkle Kits available for purchase and I hear that over 7000 women signed up for the pre-sale.  Scary stuff!

The full, nationwide launch is scheduled for August.

Do you feel like you’ve seen it all before or are you more likely to be interested by products marketed around the results of their clinical trials?

Deal Alert: Omorovicza’s top tips & a generous GWP at Liberty

Posted by Lipglossiping On June - 17 - 2011

I know I’ve got a few ladies who like to hear the latest deals at Liberty so thought I’d share what’s happening this month with Hungarian skincare brand, Omorovicza.

Hailing from Budapest, the luxury brand (who centres their products around the health benefits of Hungary’s thermal waters) have sent their head therapists, Beata and Dominika to the UK for 10 days.  Until the 25th June, they’re available on counter in Liberty where they’re teaching Omorovicza facial massage techniques and providing personalised product recommendations.

In addition to this and in celebration of the refurbishment of the beauty hall at Liberty, you can take advantage of the following special offer.  Purchase any Omorovicza three product combination, and you’ll receive a free full size moisturizer of your choice and a travel size Queen of Hungary Mist.

If you’re interested, call 0207 573 9402 to book your free 30 minute one-to-one appointment with Beata or Dominika.

Sun Protection. There are worse things to obsess over…

Posted by Lipglossiping On May - 25 - 2011

I’m a sun-protection devotee, not just for the products but also the theories and chemistry behind the idea of protecting yourself from sun exposure.  Throw in some tales of vitamin D deficiency and I can be hooked for hours.  Do I understand it all?  I wish… but choosing a reliable, safe sunscreen is probably one of the best favours you can do for your skin.  It’s worth the effort!

I’m the proud owner of around 2sq metres of sun-sensitive, freckled skin that turns pink at the merest hint of a sun ray and my (un)healthy interest in these products began a couple of years ago with the discovery of some of the fine sun protection products available to the Asian market.

I have a real fear of sunburn.  As a 9 year old, I was left bandaged across the back and shoulders, with daily visits to the hospital for blister-draining after a particularly nasty case of sunburn.  I own a slightly bizarre photo of me taken as an 11 year old… lying in bed, red as a beetroot mid-hallucination thanks to sunstroke.

Infact, nearly every holiday snap shows those tell tale burn lines on my bare shoulders.  It was a recurring theme throughout my childhood, teens and even early twenties until I realised that I simply couldn’t get away with exposing my skin to the sun in the same way my friends could.

I make my poor parents sound neglectful… they weren’t at all.  Who wanted to be the fat kid swimming in an oversize t-shirt and hat whilst your olive-skinned mates frolicked around in bikinis?  Not me!  Those sun defences bit the dust as soon as I was out of eyeline and we just didn’t understand the importance of re-applying SPF regularly back in those days.

For the month of June, Lipglossiping.com is going to putting an emphasis on sun protection.  I want to learn more about the different chemicals/mineral options available and what they mean in laymans terms.  I want to fully understand all this UVA/UVB stuff and look beneath the obvious differences between an SPF15 and an SPF50+.  I wanna discuss some of the options currently available on the market and whether or not they’re up to the job.

I want to discover some of the easiest-to-wear sunscreens that don’t work against my makeup or skin type and I want to finally decide for myself whether the convenience of easily-absorbed sunscreen is outweighed by the potential health risks associated with chemical protection.

Phew!  I hope you don’t mind coming along for the ride?!

Guest Review: Elemis FreshSkin

Posted by Lipglossiping On May - 23 - 2011

I want to extend a really huge thank you to Gem at SparkleSparkle for guest reviewing the Elemis FreshSkin range for me.  1 month and 9 products later my head would be spinning – but she’s managed to keep her brain clear enough to provide some great analysis on the products from the new range!

Take it away Gem…

The new Elemis FreshSkin range is aimed at 16-24 year olds.

I am at the far end of that scale at 24, but my skin is exactly the same as it was as a teenager.  I’m getting to the point where I don’t think it is ever going to change.  I have combination skin which is very oily across my T-zone and can get dry in other areas.  I haven’t changed my skin care for years because what I have been using has left my skin reasonably spot free and balanced.  Before trying these products I was using the No7 Protect & Perfect Intense Beauty Serum and the No7 Balanced Results Day Sorbet.  I didn’t use an eye cream because all those I’d tried I was either allergic to (puffy eyes was the opposite of the effect I was going for!) or caused me milia.  So I’d given up on finding a good eye cream.

I was very pleased to try these products.  I had not tried any Elemis before and most young skin targeted ranges I had tried were quite harsh and targeted more at spots than normal skincare.  I can’t have much fun using normal skincare ranges as they all seem too rich for my skin and I need a lot of powder to get rid of the oily shine left behind.  After just over a month of using these products, I can say I really liked the range as a whole.  It had some really good parts and some bits I didn’t like so much.

Softly Softly Daily Moisturiser 50ml (£20.00)

This is my favourite product of the range!  The cream being nice is important for this range, because face cream is the item I think most people will judge it on.  It has a gorgeous lavender smell and leaves a really fresh feeling after you apply it.  It looks very creamy when you first see it, but when you spread it, it is very light and very easily absorbed.  Best of all doesn’t leave an oily layer, yet it still moisturises my skin really well, which is the most important factor to me.

It has lots of lovely ingredients to sooth and soften the skin such as, seaweed extract, sweet almond oil, chamomile, geranium, rosehip seed oil and lavender.  All these ingredients are focused on soothing, calming and moisturising, which I think is a good aim for the age group Elemis are aiming this range at.  There is one downside though, that it has no SPF.  Some people might say another downside is the price, but the No7 cream I’ve used forever is £17 for the same amount.  In fact I think I need less of the Elemis cream to cover my face.  The price difference really isn’t a lot.  I will be buying this cream when I run out!

Dreamy Sleep Night-Time Moisturiser 50ml (£22.00)

This cream is very similar to the day cream.  It smells of lavender like the day cream and absorbs into the skin quickly without leaving it oily.  I don’t know if you necessarily need both the day cream and the night cream, they are very similar.  I’m not sure if I would notice a difference were it not for the labels.

Tired Eyes Soothing Eye Rescue 15ml (£15.00)

This clear eye gel is de-puffing and cooling.  I’m not a morning person and will take anything I can get to wake myself up.  As I mentioned before I have had some trouble finding a good eye cream, so I was excited to try this.  I really like this eye gel.  It is very soothing, reduces any morning puffiness and feels nice and refreshing.

You only need a small amount to dab around the eyes so although the price is quite steep at £15, I think it is worth it if you are looking for an eye cream that is refreshing and de-puffs your eye area.  It isn’t all that moisturising, but it doesn’t claim to be.  For me this is ideal, but if you want a moisturising eye cream, you may want to look elsewhere.

Face Mask Duo Deep Clean and Magical Moisture 6 x 7ml, 3 of each (£15.00)

These face masks are a nice set.  The masks are individually packed in sachets containing a perfect amount of face mask goo. You just squeeze it out of the sachet, slop it on your face and relax.  The deep clean mask is a clay mask, which felt nice and cool when I put it on.  It tightens only slightly after 10 minutes and when I washed it off, it left my skin feeling really clean and soothed.

The magical moisture mask is more like a thick cream.  It smoothed on my skin nicely, and left it feeling nicely moisturised.  It didn’t leave my feeling extra oily, it just left me with nice soft skin.  My make-up seemed to go on really nicely after the moisture mask my skin just felt really nice.  I would recommend these face masks and the price isn’t too steep for 6 masks.

FreshSkin Make Up Away Cleansing Wipes (£8.00)

These wipes are ok, but I’m not sure if they are worth the £8 for 25 wipes.  It says it gently sweeps away impurities and make up, but I found it stung a little on my eyes.  Also, I wasn’t too keen on the smell of these face wipes.  It’s just a personal preference thing, but the chamomile and elderflower smell was a bit strange.  Most face wipes smell identical, whether you buy cheap ones or expensive ones, so I think I was surprised that these smelt different.  They did remove my make up, but I would say no better than my usual cleansing wipes.

Loving Lips Quenching Lip Balm 10ml (£8.00)

I wasn’t very keen on this lip balm.  I found it had a very greasy feel to it and wanted to rub it off straight away.  I am not a fan of using Vaseline on my lips and this felt quite similar to that.  If you like the Vaseline feel, you will probably like this.  It is a clear balm that is very moisturising and is peppermint flavoured.  I normally love all things minty flavoured, but I can’t get over the greasiness.

Skin Glow Exfoliating Face Wash 100ml (£12.00)

This is a great face scrub.  Like most of the products in this range it smells lovely, nice and fruity.  It is rough enough that you can feel that it is scrubbing away all the dead skin, but not too rough that I feel like my whole face is being scrubbed off as well!  It really leaves my skin feeling clean and looking radiant.  I’m not sure if it is worth the £12 though.  I think you can get a face scrub from the high street that is cheaper and does a similar job.

Peachy Perfect Gentle Face Wash 100ml (£12.00)

Again, this product smells gorgeous, quite fruity/citrusy.  It lathers up really well and leaves my skin feeling very clean, but not at all dry.  This seems to go further than the face scrub due to it lathering up so well, so is better value for money.

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Overall, I think the range has some good and not so good parts.

The day cream and eye cream are my favourites and they really suit my combination/sensitive skin.  The face washes and wipes are pretty standard really and I believe not worth the price that they are.  I think someone 16-24 will be happy to spend a little extra for a really nice cream and less likely to spend more for a face wash, unless it is amazing.

I think the range does fit the needs of the ‘average’ young person’s skin and has some quality products that aren’t too expensive for a young person’s budget.  I will definitely be purchasing the day cream and the eye cream when I run out!

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Have you tried the Elemis FreshSkin range yet?  Any thoughts?

Elemis introduce the Anti-Ageing Super-Duo!

Posted by Lipglossiping On May - 17 - 2011

As one of many Pro-Collagen Marine Cream devotees, I’m always happy to discover an opportunity to purchase my beloved anti-ageing moisturiser in a tub big enough to drown myself in.

Due for a strictly limited release this June, the Elemis Anti-Ageing Super Duo combines two of Elemis’ most sought after skincare offerings…

Pro-Collagen Marine Cream – 100ml (usual price £127)

Cellular Recovery Skin Bliss Capsules – 60 caps (usual price £59)

The Cellular Recovery Skin Bliss Capsules are a new one on me.  I have to say, I usually overlook anything that comes in little pods like that… I’m quite old-fashioned about my moisturisers being cream based!  However, the capsules contain pure Moringa Oil and promise to renew skin elasticity and counteract the external effects of our environment thanks to a healthy dose of anti-oxidants.

The set doesn’t come cheap (but we knew it wouldn’t right?) at £128 but does offer a saving of over £59 were you to buy these two products separately.

It will be available online at timetospa.co.uk or at Elemis spas, salons and selected department stores nationwide.

Quick, sell your grandmothers!

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.

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