I am always on the hunt for new skincare/ makeup prep/ base products. It has become somewhat of an obsession lately. I have combination skin with some dry spots and a T-zone that gets oily late in the day. If I don't use a primer, or if I use products with oil, my makeup will slide right off me by mid-afternoon. That isn't a pretty look for the office! Now add this awful winter to the mix and my poor skin is very confused. I have a face that is dehydrated, breaking out, oily in patches, and dry in patches. What a disaster!
So I need a nice moisturizing base that isn't oily or greasy, that will help keep oil production at bay, and not cling to dry patches. I want a smooth priming base to help my foundation last all day so that I can cover all my red spots and blemishes. That is one tall order!
I had never used Clarins before. Ever. I have no idea why. I just hadn't noticed the stand in stores. My friends didn't use it and I just didn't think of the brand when I thought of makeup. I think it seemed like an "old" brand to me or an "old lady" brand. But as I started reading more beauty blogs I saw how much everyone raved about Clarins. And in particular, the girls with the beautiful, glowing skin were raving about Clarins. Those girls with the perfect complexion who could leave the house without a stitch of makeup. So that had to be a good thing!
After trial and error, I've come up with this recipe and it's working out pretty well - this week anyway. With our crazy harsh Canadian winter, who knows what the climate will do to my skin next week!
Clarins Beauty Flash Balm ($50 Cdn from Sephora.ca)
I use this product first, after cleansing, toning, and a light moisturizer. The instructions say to pat not rub. I gently rub it into my skin, I find that the warmth of my hands helps it to melt into my skin. It has quite a strong rose smell to it - so it might put some people off. But I find the smell reminds me of the spa - and it doesn't last long. It is a nice rich, cream-like product that melts beautifully into the skin and leaves just a healthy glow behind. The instructions say to apply makeup immediately after application so then I move to my next product.
Clarins Instant Smooth Perfecting Touch ($35 Cdn from Sephora.ca)
This is the newest addition to my base routine after I read countless glowing reviews online from fellow beauty bloggers. It seems that the British girls in particular rave about Clarins. Maybe because they're closer to France? Or maybe they do more PR in Europe? Who knows. Anyway - this is a lovely primer that doesn't feel greasy or slimy. It has a texture similar to Benefit Pore-fessional or Clinique Pore Refining Solutions Instant Perfector (a very nice primer as well actually) but a little more creamy and less slippery. It is quite thick and rich so you only need a little. It fills in any areas of texture or lines to create a smooth base perfect for your foundation to adhere to. You're not left feeling sticky or slimy - you can't feel it on your skin at all - which is wonderful - unlike many other primers I've tried (Smashbox, It Cosmetics, Revlon, Rimmel).
Clarins Instant Light Radiance Boosting Complexion Base ($37 from thebay.com)
This product was part of the new Spring 2014 launch from Clarins and isn't widely available. I found mine at one of the larger Shoppers Drug Mart's. They don't seem to have it at Sephora - or online anyway. I'm not sure how widely Clarins cosmetics are available in general for that matter? Anyway, this is a lovely highlighting product, that comes in three shades: Champagne, Peach, and Rose. I have the Champagne shade which seemed to suit my skin tone the best. This shade is promoted as "correcting redness" and is supposed to be a highlighting base. I like to put it on with a very light touch all over - mostly on my cheeks. It just gives my skin a little extra glow and healthy look underneath my foundation.
So there you have it - my current skin prep routine. For now anyway!