Some brands seem to fly under the radar, yet in my opinion, they also happen to release some of the most amazing products out there. Elizabeth Arden is one such brand, and apart from some pretty awesome colour cosmetics (some of their past bronzers are to die for), they also happen to make one of my absolute favourite skincare ranges, Prevage.
Last June I was invited to the preview of several of their new launches, held at The Four Season’s Centre for the Performing Arts in Toronto, and the three products that caught my eye in particular, were Prevage City Smart, Prevage Anti-Aging Foundation and Always Red Femme fragrance — all of which I’m featuring here today, along with a few shots of the event. I was also able to sit down and chat with Kara Langan, VP Global Marketing for Elizabeth Arden, where we talked skincare innovations (I was also given some early info on what’s coming up, but my lips are sealed!) and some scary facts about how damaging pollution really is to our skin. Hint: way worse than we thought. WAY.
Both City Smart and the Anti-Aging Foundation are reviewed in more detail after the photos of the event.
Essentially, this is a lotion with a high SPF level but one without a heavy feel or that will leave a white cast upon the skin. That’s the condensed version; in fact, City Smart is so much more than that, as it also helps to strengthen skin, act as a moisturizer, provide antioxidant benefits to protect the skin, work as a super sunscreen AND helps even out tone via the universal tint in the formula.
There’s literally tons of R&D and scientific research that goes into every product Elizabeth Arden creates, so when they state facts, I sit up and listen. The scariest thing I learned was that over 80% of damage caused to our skin is actually related to pollution, and not genetics, sun exposure, or lifestyle, as I originally thought. That fact was reiterated at another skincare event I recently attended, and something tells me that more and more brands are going to be heading into the ‘anti-pollution-skincare’ game, but remember that Elizabeth Arden was first out of the gate.
City Smart works on several levels; firstly it forms an invisible barrier upon the skin to help prevent harmful toxins and pollution particles from penetrating into the skin. The 100% Mineral Broad Spectrum SPF 50 sunscreen in the formula (micronized Zinc Oxide and Titanium Dioxide) filters out both UVA & UVB rays.
Secondly, City Smart also contains a patent-pending Anti-Pollution Complex which is comprised of an exclusive blend of Idebenone (the star ingredient in all Prevage products), Green Tea, Thiotane, Ferulic Acid and L-Carnosine to ‘neutralize free radical damage caused by pollution and UV exposure, including both oxygen-based and nitrogen-based free radicals’.
Lastly, City Smart helps to support skin’s natural repair process against oxidative stress by protecting the elastin and collagen matrix, thus assisting in the natural recovery process resulting in healthier, more resilient skin.
A liquid foundation made with a breakthrough anti-aging formula that contains Idebenone, the star ingredient in Arden’s Prevage range.
- Idebenone Ester – helps protect skin from oxidative stress & environmental assaults to minimize the visible signs of aging
- Hydra-Pigments – encapsulated moisture-rich pigments fuse with the skin, helping to retain moisture while providing long-lasting colour along with a blurring effect
- Antioxidant Complex – contains Idebenone, Thiotane, Ferulic Acid, L-Carnosine, and Green Tea Extract to protect the skin and keeping it looking healthy & luminous
Getting the scoop on City Smart from Kara Langan, VP Global Marketing, Elizabeth Arden
A closer look at the nail look I created for the event
made my mark … see it?
mandatory post-event shot … sunbeams an added bonus
Prevage City Smart Broad Spectrum Sunscreen 50 SPF Lotion (CAN $85.00) | Meant to be applied during the day after cleansing & your serum, but before your moisturizer. The pump dispenser is pressure-sensitive, making it easy to control the amount released. There’s the typical ‘Prevage’ scent to City Smart and while not unpleasant or strong, is still worth noting. For application, my advice is to start with a small amount and add more as needed, since a little does go a long way. The most amazing thing to note about this product is that it acts as a physical shield upon skin’s surface, helping to trap pollutants and irritants, which you can effectively wash off at the end of the day. Now THAT’s what I call genius.
Even knowing the risks, I tend to avoid wearing sunscreen under my foundation, mainly because I don’t feel comfortable piling on a billion products onto my skin. But the research is undeniable and avoiding this step is not just stupid, but dangerous, so City Smart has definitely made it into my daily routine — and even on days where I’m going makeup-free, I still like the idea of knowing my skin is protected. That said, I found that I actually needed the smallest amount since anything larger than pea-sized was much to heavy for me to handle, although I have no issues with using a touch more for my neck and breastbone, both areas we all usually tend to neglect and are the first to show signs of aging.
Prevage Anti-Aging Foundation SPF 30, shade 05 (CAN $80.00) | This foundation is easy to dispense via a pump delivery system, while the transparent bottom of the tube helps to see the shade & product usage. Available in 8 shades, this formula leans on the emollient side, making it more suited for those with medium to dry skin. As I have combination skin (oily in the T-zone area), I’m still able to make this work and actually prefer wearing it in the Winter where my skin is at its driest.
During last June’s event, I was colour-matched to this shade and as I was sporting a light tan at the time, this hue is a bit too dark on me now, but surprisingly still wearable. The finish is dewy — but not of the shiny variety– and certainly NOT matte. Interestingly enough, it seems to take a few minutes to meld with the skin after initial application, and once that’s done, it leaves behind the most gorgeous finish and one I can’t really describe, other than to say that my skin looks healthy & vibrant. As with all Prevage products, this too has that distinctive scent which to my nose is pleasant and inoffensive, but still worth mentioning for those with sensitivities.
Alway Red Femme (CAN $65.00/50 ml) | At last June’s event, I was able to preview several new fragrances and the one that intrigued me the most was Always Red Femme, as much for the lovely bottle as for the scent. With its light fruit & citrus tone rounding out the overall earthiness, this scent is both fresh and sexy — not to mention so well priced.
- Top Notes: Blackcurrent Bud, Pear, Lemon
- Middle Notes: Peach Blossom, Muguet, Jasmine
- Base Notes: Vanilla, Moss, Cedar Wood, Patchouli
Having worn and tested City Smart for some time now, I can say that even though I may not physically see any differences in my skin, I still like knowing that I’m doing something to protect it — but as this product stays on the emollient side throughout the wearing, you really need to go in with a light hand. The foundation is one I’ve turned to quite often lately, as I love the way it makes my skin appear so luminous without heading into disco-ball territory, although I’ll see how it fares come the warmer weather. And with Valentine’s Day coming up, how gorgeous (and affordable) is this bottle of Always Red Femme?
Available at The Bay & Shopper’s Drug Mart/Pharmaprix
Media samples kindly provided, all opinions are my own