Saturday, 10 September 2011

Cosmetics Contemplations: A Girl's Best Friend?

I was lucky enough to be able to peruse hundreds of diamond engagement rings online before choosing the one to be bought for me back in 2009. Certainly the newly-affianced of my parents' generation usually had to make do with whatever was available down the local jeweller's, whereas these days there is an infinite wealth of choice. I choose the phrase 'wealth of choice' not without significance - we're not all lucky enough to be able to afford diamond rings, and even my now-husband and I were only able to get mine by going Dutch on its cost (how thoroughly modern of us) - but that doesn't matter, because it's mine and I love it. So how can we all add a touch of diamond sparkle to our lives without breaking the bank?

Sadly real diamonds will always come at a cost - but I think that cosmetics and treatments containing diamonds still offer remarkable value for money. Crème de la Mer's Refining Facial, for instance, does cost £59 - but you're only going to get two or three inferior facials at best for this price in a salon, whereas the 100ml tube is going to offer at least 10 treatments. And for the money, it's certainly worth it for its ability to smooth skin, tone redness, and make visible pores apparently disappear (sadly only temporarily) as if by magic. 

Another brand harnessing the power of diamond powder technology is Larynn Crystalline, whose products, for the record, I have not yet tried. Using "the healing powers of gemstones and plants", the products are supposed to unlock our natural beauty and radiance. Its Diamond face cream is of a comparable price to Crème de la Mer's mask, with a single pot in its smallest size priced at £65. Containing plankton extract, squalane, black oat seeds, maca root, apricot kernel oil, seaweed extracts, avocado oil and honeysuckle alongside pure diamond powder, it is intended to combat wrinkles, regenerate skin, act as an anti-inflammatory, increase collagen stimulation, moisturise, and increase radiance and luminosity (although I can't say I'd want to be the lucky individual who gets the job of measuring something as intangible as radiance).

But even cheaper products are now getting in on the act. Skin79 BB Cream uses diamond powder and jewel complex to help strengthen and fortify skin - and all at the perfectly reasonable price of £17.99. High street luvvie Soap & Glory are also at it, with its anti-ageing gem, Wish Upon A Jar, containing its patented YouthFake diamond spheres as well as shea butter and anti-oxidants - and all for under £15. Even Avon went as far as to bring out its Skin So Soft Mineral Gems Diamond Blush range of body and hand care this year, which contains trace elements of minerals and diamonds, allowing you to get your mitts on some sparkle for under a fiver. Avon doesn't stop there, either, with their Diamond Eau de Parfum also being available.

You can also give your nails the diamond treatment (just the look, or the real deal) with polishes such as Maybelline's Express Finish Diamonds and Leighton Denny's Diamond VIP Nail Buffer (the latter contains nearly 10% diamond). Give yourself a pedicure, too, with the Diamond Sole Mate Foot Scrub, which contains sea salt, pumice and diamond to kick dry skin into touch.

But naturally these products all run out and need to be replaced. If you really want diamonds to be forever, consider eternity rings - diamonds stretch around them in an everlasting line and can be had for as little as £60 from Amazon, Tesco and Argos. Same price as that Crème de la Mer mask I linked to before in fact. Convenient.

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