The Spring 2017 Make-Up Collection from Clarins is … wait for it … absolutely lovely AND totally wearable. Is it just me, or does this brand seem to fly under most people’s radar? Regardless, there’s much to recommend and apart from some really well made products, they’ve also managed to infuse a touch of nostalgia with this latest release.
05 Smoky Palette 4 Couleurs (CAN $45.00) | Housed in a gold-tone compact with a nice heft to it (pet peeve: cheap plastic casings … don’t even get me started …), the four shimmery shades all play on a chiaroscuro theme and are a nice departure from the usual pastels associated with Spring collections. You can wear these either straight from the pan as is, or dampened for more depth and impact although I was surprised by the relatively light colour payoff when applied dry — good for a wash of colour, but it might leave you wanting more if it’s major saturation you’re after. Staying time over primer is excellent and while I love the smoky effect, I do wish a matte had been included here for extra balance. The shade breakdown (from left to right):
- pearly white
- dove grey
09 Silver Rose Ombre Iridescente (CAN $26.00) | Clarins has been consistently putting out some totally amazing cream eyeshadows and the latest is no exception. This texture is incredibly smooth and the shimmer quite refined (no chunky fallout, thank you) and you even have a bit of blending time before it sets. Silver Rose can be certainly be worn solo and depending on the amount, you can either apply it as a light wash which provides a ‘watercolour-like’ effect that’s so incredibly fresh & pretty, or it can also be used as an anchoring base; its complex shimmer will add a lovely depth to whatever powder shadow is layered on top. If your lids tend to get oily (like mine. UGH), you’ll need a primer underneath to keep the colour from sliding around or creasing.
Also available in 08 Silver White and 10 Silver Grey
Palette Contour Visage, limited edition (CAN $49.00) | A trio of face powders that are infused with skincare benefits for an added bonus, and which comes with its own natural hair brush that was ‘specifically designed for contouring’. The shades are meant to be universal in nature, but I suspect that the two complexion extremes (ultra fair & super dark) won’t be able to get as much out of this palette. The shade breakdown:
- bone highlight powder, satin matte finish
- caramel tan shading/contour powder, satin matte finish
- rosewood blush powder, satin finish
Forget what’s trending on social media; contouring has been around as long as mankind has had the ability to draw and is not going anywhere soon. What differentiates this palette from a host of others, is that these shades are meant to give a subtle effect, and nowhere near the overly exaggerated look often associated with shading. You’d think that a ‘matte highlighter’ might be something of an oxymoron, but interestingly, when applied to the high points of the face (or any other feature you wish to bring out) and worn with either the blush or contour, it actually serves to add a natural-looking light without any false gleam to throw things off. The blush shade is quite universal in that it has both cool and warm tones for good balance, and the shading powder can also double as a bronzer (a twofer). For those still unsure about their shading/contouring skills, I actually found the included brush to be quite useful in helping to ‘map’ out placement, but you’ll still need to blend any demarcations and edges out with a fluffier brush for the best effect.
Stylo 4 Couleurs All-In-One, limited edition (CAN $44.00) | For me, the best part of school’s start in the Fall was that I got new stationery supplies, so when I opened this up, I ran around gleefully shouting “LOOK” while shoving it in my family’s faces (they were not amused). Inspired by the iconic 4-colour Biro pen (PS: I just googled it and found out that they’re still being made! Will definitely be rushing out to get one STAT!), this has four liner shades housed in one body that are ‘clicked’ out. The hues are also inspired by the pen, and offer 1 lip and 3 eye liners — and are pretty much all you need when travelling. The texture on is ridiculously creamy, gliding effortlessly along the skin and you can even blend them out before they set. The shade breakdown:
- warm nude rose (lip liner)
- Indian Ink blue
- chocolate brown
33 Soft Plum Joli Rouge Brillant (CAN $29.00) | There are several hybrid balm/lipstick products in the market today, but there’s still something unique that sets the Joli Rouge Brillant range apart. Enriched with organic Marsh Samphire extract and mango oil for their moisturizing properties along with pro-ceramides for an ultra nourishing and softening feel, these lipsticks have a secret weapon: a tiny amount of incredibly fine ‘pearls’ and a Shine Booster+ Complex for both colour and gorgeous shine. Expecting Soft Plum to be much richer based on the bullet hue, I was pleasantly surprised to find that it applies relatively sheer, yet still provides a fresh pop of colour. The best part, however, is the lip feel: like buttah.
The two other new shades are 31 Tender Nude and 32 Pink Fuchsia
As I said at the top, I feel like Clarins doesn’t get as much love as it should and I’m guessing the reason is probably because certain larger and more influential brands are probably grabbing the lion’s share of the public’s attention. Being able to spotlight beauty gems — like this — is part of what makes the industry so interesting, not to mention the fun factor of a introducing you to a product like the Stylo 4 Couleur All-In-One. Think of the looks on people’s faces when you pull this baby out … and then start using it on your face!
Available at The Bay and other retailers
Media samples kindly provided, all opinions are my own