I wish beauty product manufacturers wouldn’t fiddle with formulae.
Most recent off my list of preferred moisturisers is Clarins Multi-Active Day Cream SPF20. The revamp has the bonus of a decent SPF but it has a heavier texture than the former and is minus the delicate rose scent. I like my beauty products to smell nice and this is neutral which takes away so much of the pleasure of using it.
Worse still, Clarins has discontinued my adored Multi Active Serum. The very first serum I used was the famous Boots Protect and Perfect which did me well for several years. Then a Clarins holiday kit introduced me to their beautifully scented serum which I use to this day.
Last year I was persuaded to try their Double Serum (a whopping £70+) but was not impressed. I finished it, went to restock on Multi Active and found it was going out of production. I managed to get some 10ml tubes online – then a huge 100ml salon size at a knock down price – all of which will last me many months. It’s still around online – but at double the price.
If ever I was marooned on a desert island, there are two cosmetic products I would grab before the boat sank – Clarins Instant Concealer and Jane Iredale Lash Extender and Conditioner. I’ve used the lash product for several years but the concealer is a recent discovery (thank you Emma on the Clarins counter at Fenwick, Newcastle) and the first concealer which does not make me look like a reverse panda.
Clarins Instant Concealer
In various shades to match your complexion, this is easy to apply (fingertip or brush) but has great staying power. I can’t remember a time when I didn’t have dark shadows under my eyes and I’ve tried lots of concealers, including the much lauded Touche Eclat (the one which made me look like a panda…), before giving up and hoping I didn’t look too much of a ghoul.
If I’m in a rush I use it alone, over moisturiser, to cover the dark bits under my eyes and any random blemishes. If I’m doing a full make up, I add tinted moisturiser to the rest of my face and finish with a brush of illuminating powder.
The 15ml tube lasts months as you need only a tiny smear for coverage. It’s not billed as waterproof but it does withstand the teary eyes you encounter with chill or wind. Costs around £20 and worth every penny.
Application tip: apply in a ‘V’ under eyes, not a curve, so that the product touches the cheekbones and reflects away from dark circles.
Jane Iredale Lash Extender and Conditioner
Let me say straight away that I think the notion of conditioning eyelashes is a load of tosh. This, however, is a secret support for mascara or for anyone who wants a curl but cannot wear make up at work. It comes out of the tube white but dries transparent. When partly dry (60 seconds), top it with one or two coats of mascara. While not itself waterproof, it does not affect the properties of a waterproof mascara used on top. At about £12, it can reduce the overall cost of eye make up if you use an expensive mascara as you use less of the coloured product to get the same effect.