Saturday, 9 January 2010

Clarins Instant Light Eye Perfecting Base

RRP: £20
# of shades available: 2

--What does the promo say?--
"The invisible and lightweight texture gently evens and smoothes the eyelids, for easy make-up application and more youthful-looking eyes. Eyeshadow colour is more beautiful, more intense and very long-lasting. For a flawless, long-wearing make-up result."

An attractive and fashionable pen applicator, where the white tube is contrasted by the silver pull-off lid and red writing. You don't have to twist the end of the pen too long for the product to appear in the brush tip, but make sure you stop twisting as soon as you see any shadow of the product in the bristles: you only need the tiniest amount of this, so make sure you stop so that you can avoid wastage.

Clarins recommends application of the product using fingers or a foundation brush, going all the way from the base of the eyelashes right up to the brow bone. This is to an extent accurate, but don't take them too literally at their word: as I mentioned above, you only need to be very sparing with this product. I set about it by lining the top lashes with the product, and then blending upwards and outwards using my finger, rather than covering the whole eyelid with the product.

To my mind, this product promises two things in terms of appearance: one is a natural-looking base for eye makeup, and the other is radiance (as implied by the 'instant light' in the product name). I personally didn't find it did either of these things on me (although perhaps strangely, despite the colours appearing to be for Caucasian skin, the makeup artist in the video on the Clarins website seemed more able to make this product look natural on a Chinese person and on a black person than I was able to make it look on my own pale skin). I didn't notice any difference in radiance, but this is not disastrous. The colour, however, was disastrous. I didn't realise initially that there were two shades available (00, and the one I ended up with, 01), so my commentary will obviously not be a full one. However, the shade I had was terrible: it seemed like it was more for people with olivey complexions rather than with skin tones like mine (think English rose), so what I got was more like a reverse tan-line effect: the product made my eyelids and under-eye area look yellower than the rest of my face. Whether I would achieve a more favourable result with shade 00 remains to be seen; however, I get the impression that 01 would only suit a fairly narrow range of skin tones.

Very smooth; quite blendable, too, although the problems delineated above concerning colour perhaps didn't make blending the easiest thing in the world on this occasion.

This product at least comes through on one of its promised aspects: it certainly does hold your eye makeup well, preventing creases and fading from occurring. However, I wouldn't say that it does this any better or worse than the other two eye primers I have used in the past (Benefit's Lemon Aid, and Fyrinnae's Shadow Primer, both of which are cheaper than Clarins' primer).

--Value for money--
You can probably already guess that on this point the Eye Perfecting Base does not fare fantastically. The price cannot be justified due to the difficulty in colour matching and the apparent lack of radiance provided, even if it is ultimately a reliable primer. For radiance, instead opt for Yves St Laurent's Touche Eclat, and for an equally reliable primer at a less bank-busting price, go for either of the two I mentioned above.

perfect partners
Instant Light Perfecting Touch, £22.99
Concealer Stick, £16
Eyebrow Kit 'Pro' Palette, £29.50

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