Friday, August 14th, 2009


Poppia

Kevyn Aucoin: The Expect Lip Tint Lipstick

Kevyn Aucoin’s The Expert Lip Tint ($23.00) is a bit of a misleading product name, considering it’s an opaque, lightly frosted/full sheen lipstick. These lipsticks wear extremely well (four hours or longer), and they’re not at all drying. They’re creamy, richly pigmented, and go on smoothly. Sephora currently stocks eleven different shade variations, and I picked up two from when the brand was on sale at HauteLook (so everything was 50% off).

  • Poppia is an orange-based red with medium frostiness and good color pay off. It’s a bold red, and the orange-base makes it pop a lot.
  • Talula is an opaque, poppy-orange shade with less frost in its finish as Poppia, but it has a nice sheen to it.

The packaging is elegant and fun without being too impractical. I love the mix of black and red and soft shimmery look all of the products have. I think if I were to try any other shades, I’d be most interested in checking out Bloodroses, Faith, Falon, and ThelmaDora. Any of these shades catch your eye?

  • Product: 8/10
  • Value: 6/10
  • Ease of Use: 8/10
  • Packaging: 7/10

Recommendation: If you love yourself some pigmented lipsticks that feel creamy and wear well throughout the day, Kevyn Aucoin’s The Expert Lip Tints are one way to go.

Availability: Sephora.com

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Thursday, August 13th, 2009

It’s a Toner, Not a Lotion: Clarins’ Super Restorative Wake-Up Lotion

Clarins Super Restorative Wake-Up Lotion ($40.00 for 4.2 oz.) is indeed a toner. I must admit that I had to read the product’s tip sheet before realizing it was a toner and not a moisturizer. (Hey, I associate the term “lotion” with moisturizer, what can I say?) I will even go so far as to admit that I used this a few times as a lotion, but I am happy to report it did not cause any ill effects (e.g. breakouts). Funny enough, my skin didn’t feel like it even missed a moisturizer!

Which leads me to tell you that this is an excellent, non-drying, non-irritating toner that works well to re-energize the skin with the slight cooling nature of the product. The toner is a gel-based toner, rather than a liquid toner. Clarins recommends applying it with a cotton ball with “light, tapping movements,” and I’d say that’s a fair technique. You can substitute cotton balls with cotton pads or sheets as well.

Whenever I’m reviewing a product, I like to see what a company says about their products and what ingredients they tout as amazing, just because it helps keep me aware of what the product is supposed to do. Clarins lists the primary ingredients in the product as well as what they’re designed to do–something I like. Perhaps not always entirely believable, but I appreciate it nonetheless.

  • Pueraria Lobata – helps boost cell activity and collagen production, while soothing the skin.
  • Green coffee extract – rich in caffeine, energizes skin, helping it look more vital and radiant.
  • Ginseng root – reinforces energizing action of caffeine, adds vitality.
  • Oat Sugars, extracted from the plant’s seeds, work as a natural skin-tightening agent, and help smooth appearance of imperfections on skin’s surface.
  • Hibiscus extract – remove excess dry skin cells and brightens skin.
  • Butcher’s Broom (Ruscus) – helps eliminates toxins and reduce puffiness.

When applied, the product does feel a bit sticky, but it absorbs/fades within a few minutes, so it’s not a major concern for me, but it is a mild annoyance. My skin does feel clean and refreshed after using this product, and this toner is more about tapping it on than wiping away anything. I think this product is suitable for those with sensitive skin, but those with extremely sensitive skin may not find this suitable. It’s lightweight, goes on easily, and doesn’t leave skin feeling dry or tight.

  • Product: 8/10
  • Value: 7/10
  • Ease of Use: 8/10
  • Packaging: 7/10

Recommendation: Easy to use and effective are two great ways to describe Clarin’s Wake-Up Lotion (aka Toner!). It doesn’t strip skin of its natural oils or leave behind tightness (often confused with “clean”), which is something I consider a must-have in any toning or skincare product. The value is so-so, with $40 being a steep investment for a toner, but the bottle is large enough to give you approximately two months’ of use, perhaps more. It’s a good, solid toner, and Clarins’ fans will enjoy it.

Availability: Clarins, Nordstrom.com, Sephora.com

Anyone else try out this Clarins’ toner? Thoughts?