Thursday, 22 April 2010

#125 Forget Paris

When travelling I like to pack a bag of untried goodies which get a trial in the hotel bathroom. I always seem to have more time to test, and also the inclination, thanks to more nights out and days spent meeting-and-greeting as opposed to working from home (which is what I do 80% of the time in Londres). On holiday I'll always try at least one new lip colour and something tinted, ordinarily with SPF, to see how coverage fares in other climes.

In the bag that spent 2 weeks with me in Paris were the following:

Dior Hydra Life Pro Youth Skin Tint - my companion tested this on my behalf & used it everyday for 2 weeks. It was imperceptible, feather-light and felt very comfortable on her sensitive skin. It did a great job of covering imperfections & I noticed a real difference in her skin pre- and post-application. I'd try it myself but she went home with it. Cheeky. But surely the surest sign of a top skin treat?

Ellis Faas Creamy Lips - wow. I love lippy - YSL, Chanel, NARS, MAC, Revlon - but this stuff felt too good to be true. I twisted up the pen to get a teeny blob of colour through the firm sponge applicator and it went on like poster paint - utterly faithful to the colour in the tube, incredibly smooth, deeply pigmented but entirely comfortable and light feeling. Heck, it even felt hydrating. And it stayed put. Just not possible to fault this one! I used shade L103 - and loved it - a geranium red that really perked up my face.

And to add to the eternal lip balm quest - I snapped up Caudalie in Paris - just 3euros at the local pharmacy - and it's doing a lovely job too. Wish I'd bought a couple more.

Venus Embrace Razor - okay, so has anyone ever seen that hilarious comedy sketch about the marketing team behind a fictional toothbrush company who are brainstorming the various ways they can get people to buy a new model? They're talking about adding MORE BRISTLES, SQUIDGIER HANDLE, DIFFERENT COLOURS - and then one of them says, 'I know! A tongue cleaner! I bet you we can get people to brush their tongues!' - and you suddenly realise how ridiculous it is that existing companies have in fact made toothbrushes with tongue scrapers attached [ick]. Well, sometimes the razor market seems the most bonkers of all - driven by tireless 'bigger betterdom' - and MOISTURISING STRIPS, SPRUNG HANDLES, AERODYNAMIC DESIGN, RUBBER FINS... and the continual boost in blades seems increasingly comical. I mean - where will the line be drawn? 8? 10? Wasn't 1 enough? Really? Well, I'm biting my sarcastic tongue, because I used the Embrace while away [yep, the new Gilette offering which serves up 5 blades], and it gave me the closest, smoothest shave of my life. It was also remarkably speedy - a single swipe caught every single hair, so both legs & underarms were dealt with in about 2 minutes flat. This one's definitely earned its non-ironic place in my arsenal.

Unfortunately I also had a close shave of a less pleasant kind. Namely after a facial which left me red & blotchy - my eczema being the current bane of my life since becoming pregnant [oh to be one of those pregnant women whose eczema disappears entirely!]. I woke up the next day with the sort of painfully tight skin that has never been my lot in life (grainy and with the fine-lined texture of tissue paper across the cheeks and under the eyes), and completely freaked out. How had my skin gone from perfect to patchy in just 24 hours! I knew I had to bring the allergic reaction back down - felt like my face was on fire, and the redness around my brows, eyes and cheeks was glaring. The first thing I tried was Weleda Skin Food, but discovered it's rather better in smaller doses and not as grand spread all over the face when said face is burning up - that bit too thick & sticky. Inspecting my face again I noticed just how dehydrated the skin seemed, so I layered on ESPA's Floral Water with the Cellular Hydrating Complex. This made a marked improvement - skin drinking it up and cooling down. I also purchased Bioderma Make-Up Remover which worked a treat around my sore eyes [it's a backstage favourite], and tapped some of The Organic Pharmacy Ultra Hydrating Cream onto the driest sorest patches throughout the day. Thankfully [and after a few days of anti-histamine help too], things are almost back to normal. I've also traded out Emma Hardie's Cleansing Balm for the time-being [I have an inkling that the mandarin & orange essential oils have been causing a sting upon my sensitized skin], and returned to ESPA once more for what my skin seems to tolerate as a gentler, less irritating cleanse. Although, I must note that prior to the flare-up Emma H was doing a divine job of making my complexion bright, soft and very very comfy, so this one will be back on the shelf as soon as skin's back up to scratch.