Tuesday, 10 December 2013

Clarins: The Gentle Brightening Toner etc.

OK, well, I am the first to admit that Clarins as a brand has never particularly appealed to me.

1/ As a contemporary brand selling their products to the 'modern' women, I find their approach quite non-descript. I find their red typeface and very red blazers (I'm sure they still wear these in my local department store) dated.

2/ As a higher end brand, I just don't find Clarins particularly engaging or inviting. As far as I know there aren't any gimmicks to reel me in (and if there is then Clarins haven't been shouting loudly enough above the Benefit Maker Uppers and Chanel Ombre hype for me to hear) apart from maybe the odd multi-buy (and multi-buys, come on, how dated is that?!! We want advent calendars and miniature goodies galore please). We don't just want that 'something more' when we're paying higher end prices, we also want that something 'extra special more'. We're looking for products that wow and anything less is unacceptable.

3/ This is where Clarins' straight-forward and no-fuss approach to the market seems to work. When a blogger or vlogger mentions or raves about Clarins, I do take note as their products are not particularly trendy or hyped with claims everywhere. If somebody is taking the time to purchase a Clarins product and then taking the time to tell you it works then in my opinion, it probably does. In my experience, of four Clarins products, they have always done what they were destined to do, well!

Clarins are one of the only brands that offer me a self tanning option for my face that looks natural, sun-kissed and appropriate for my skin tone. The Liquid Bronze Self Tanning is magic and if only I did not break out every time, I used it then I would probably have made their sun-kissed look my 'signature' by now. Unfortunately though, the tanner does always break me out around the chin and neck area and that kind of ruins the overall effect so back to pale, I go which actually is not so bad since I started using two of the Clarins base products, the Extra-comfort foundation and the Instant Light Brush On Perfector (both mentioned here). I was colour matched for both products at the Clarins counter and think I've been matched perfectly. They are both very lightweight and discreet. I think, an outsider would be hard done by to pinpoint 'foundation' on the skin. For me, the Extra Comfort was definitely lighter in coverage then Revlon, Colour stay and slightly thicker then Rimmel, Wake Me Up. Once blended (easily!) both of my base products seem to sit seamlessly on my skin. In the past, sometimes my ghostly white skin dressed in foundation can look cold and harsh but both of these products add a certain glow and softness to my face as if I'm under the most flattering light and I'd imagine, given a little longer to test, I could grow to worship these two products in spite of the price.

The one Clarins product this post was meant to focus on (three or four paragraphs ago. . .) is the Gentle Exfoliator Brightening Toner which I purchased after numerous mentions and praise from Caroline and others on her blog. Caroline claims that it is a beautiful, softening, exfoliating, brightening, hydrating toner that should be in everybody's arsenal (she also talks about the more technical stuff better then I would if you are interested).

I have been using this 'gentle'(!) toner since the middle of September and on finishing my first bottle I realise that I have grown to like it.

A lot! 

The little milia around my eye area have disappeared since I started using this. Indeed, my skin too feels very smooth and I've noticed, I'm not catching myself on my little bumps as much as I used when I use my fingers to apply foundation. Note: Having ran of my favourite Botanics Microdermabrasion Polish (mentioned here) I have not physically exfoliated my face for a long while yet it is still smooth.

Smoootherr, in fact! 

I'm putting that down to this gorgeous skin care goodie. I would say my skin looks healthier and a bit more alive since I started to use the Clarins toner so we can tick off the brightening box too. The only two boxes I'm unsure about is firstly the hydrating one, this toner does not feel particularly hydrating and when I first used it I was getting over a reaction from another product and to be honest, using this twice a day
did seem to heighten my discomfort and dry areas out as they healed. I would not recommend using this product twice a day until you have been using it for a while. I stopped using it twice a day about a week in and now I use it once a day at the most and that honestly seems to be enough and the optimum for me. I'm also not sure how softening this product is, I have not noticed any extreme difference.

Though, I think this Clarins toner is a decent skincare product, I do recognise how hard it is to say how good a skin product is as it forms just one step of an entire skincare routine. However, I would say that allowing for the routines I was using at the relevant times, I am much more impressed by the Clarins toner then I was by the Alpha H, Liquid Gold and that I'm hoping another bottle of the Clarins might be in my stocking (hint hint)

The Clarins Toner is widely available from pharmacies and department stores.

What toner do you use? How do you exfoliate? Have you used this Clarins Toner? What Clarins' products do you recommend? I hope you're all having a good week, almost halfway through it now. Ooh and we can almost say the same for #bigblogmasproject too!

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