Friday, 31 August 2007

#48 GO-LD Figure

Fans of Benefit may have noticed a disconcerting new trend. The brand that used to launch the sporadic, niche innovation seems to have switched into top gear and is now peddling products faster than you can say the words 'Press Release'. Now, I'm hardly against new bootie - I mean, news is how I make my money - but it's always startling when a brand's inventory goes from selective, to exhaustive, in a matter of months.

Having launched the Love Your Look range - which is, in itself, a complete make-up capsule, the last six months have also seen the birth of That Gal - a primer; D'Finer, D'Liner - for lips; California Kissin' - teeth-whitening lipgloss; Cupid's Bow - a lip-shaping set; Gee That Was Quick - a speedy make-up remover and You Clean Up Nice - a face wash. That's a hell of a lot of loot.

Anyway, lest I get off the point, the latest newbie is 24K - a 'sexy gold lipgloss' and 'sexy gold lipstick'. Now, I love gold. There has not been a summer in living memory which has not involved, at some point, a golden, shimmering body oil - (Nuxe, Sisley, Nars) - but I've never ventured to wear the shade on my lips. The problem is often that gold 'shimmer' actually translates as a strong statement, that wears off to a patchy, glitter-stuck-on-dry-looking-lips result. This has happened in the past and I feared a foray into 24K would be no different. I was sort of right. The 24K lipstick feels good - it glides on and is pleasantly emollient BUT the colour itself is rather outweighed by the glitter content. So, in soft, flattering, evening lamp light, it looks pretty and shimmery, but in the cold light of day, the actual glitter particles are easily discernible whereas the sheer golden hue itself is not. The lipgloss fared slightly better because its viscosity makes lips look seductively 'wet shiny', rather than 'dry spangly', but as with all glosses, it lasts about as long as it takes to drink a cup of tea and then you're left with bits of glitter stuck to gloss-less lips. It's not a Benefit slur as such - it's a common problem with glitter-infused products.

In the same gilted vein, Guerlain (LVMH owns both Guerlain & Benefit, if anyone's interested....) has gone all out with a flurry of precious products, which include L'OR - 'a radiance concentrate with pure gold' - which acts as a make-up base and Forever Gold - a super spangly powder for face and body. L'OR will appeal to anyone living on credit and gagging for the new Chanel 2.55. In truth, it's a bit of a gimmick - the gold particles float enticingly in the clear liquid, but dissolve on contact with skin in much the same way as anything else - no trace is left behind - precious maybe, but lacking in mettle. The serum is also very heavily fragranced, which will put a lot of people off and having used it before a night out a couple of times, I'm not convinced by it's radiance-enhancing properties. I think the promise is bigger than the product. On the other hand - and at the opposite end of the shimmer scale - Forever Gold is a powder-filled atomiser, that you 'puff' onto your skin where it leaves a very sparkly veil. Mine half exploded in the box, so when I opened it for the first time it left layers of scented fairy dust over my new black pinafore, which have proven a bugger to get out. Now, it's certainly true that if you want to gleam and glitter your way into a room, you could do a lot worse than this. And I'm sure it'll go down a storm at Xmas, when everyone lets loose. BUT, I have to say, for me, if it's visible to the naked eye, leaves a Tinkerbell-esque trace in the air and doesn't resemble anything that Mother Nature intended, it's a trend that I'm likely to sidestep. Crazy colour is one thing, but glitter is quite another and, for now, I'm washing my hands, face, lips and eyes of it. Over and over and over again.

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