Take a look at the Spring 2017 Collection from Clarins.
"This spring 2017, Clarins is creating a collection around a big trend: the perfect contouring. Facial features are set off with a subtle play of light and shadow. The complexion is luminous, contours redefined and cheekbones sculpted to reveal a woman to her best angle. With Clarins, contouring is child’s play!"
The limited edition Face Contouring Palette ($49 CAD) comes with 3 shades; a highlighter, a bronzer, and a blush. It also comes with a little "expert brush", to apply the powders.
While the powders were pigmented, two of the three powders just didn't do the job for me. The highlighter shade (the white) didn't scream "highlighter" to me, as much as it was a matte yellow-toned shade (perhaps it would work best to set the undereye?). The bronzer was also a letdown, as it was extremely warm, and too orange for me to rock - it took a lot of blending to make it wearable. The blush was a nice warm pink, that leaned a bit more red once on my cheeks, and was the most use-able shade in the trio.
The "expert brush" although cute just didn't seem like a good choice for this palette, seeing how the shades come off very stark, and require a lot of blending, and the brush is meant more for carving out a contour, and not blending out powders.
The 4-Colour Eyeshadow Palette in 'Smoky' ($45 CAD) was definitely the stand-out product from this collection. It comes with 4 monochromatic shades that can be worn wet or dry. The formula includes carnauba wax to provide comfort to the eyelids.
Usually when I see an eyeshadow palette without a brown transition shade, I'm skeptical. But it worked for this palette! I used the third from the left shade as a transition shade, and the eye look turned out very nice. The pigmentation on these shadows is a bit tricky - it didn't appear to be pigmented and didn't pick up too nicely on my brush at first, however when I applied it to my eye, the colour payoff was pretty good. I should mention that the applicator that came with the palette (the one that people usually toss away) actually really helped with the application of the white shade, in my inner corner, and browbone. While the shadows weren't full coverage when I swatched them on my arm, they were still pigmented enough to make an impact on my eyelid. What a fun surprise!
Next up is the lipstick. This collection includes 3 'Joli Rouge Brilliant' shades; 'Tender Nude', 'Pink Fuchsia', and 'Soft Plum' (I believe 'Soft Plum' is a re-promote - worn in this look). The lipsticks are formulated with plant ingredients like marsh samphire and mango oil.
'Tender Nude' ($29 CAD) is a creamy golden "my lips but better" nude shade. It has a slightly frosty finish, and has a light mango smell. It applied beautifully, and felt thin, but moisturizing on my lips.
In the swatch above, I wore the shade 'Tender Nude' with the lip liner included in the next product, the All-In-One Pen.
The limited edition '4-Colour All-In-One Pen Eyes & Lips' ($44 CAD) is definitely the most talked-about piece from this collection. The pen is a play on those fun multi-ink pens from the pencil case that you took to school in the 90's. It includes 3 eye shades; black, brown, and a sapphire blue, as well as a nude lip liner shade.
Gaaaaah, I wish this one worked out for me, because it's such a fun concept! While the execution of the packaging was a fun idea, this product fell apart when it came to the formula. The swatches were smooth and creamy on my arm, however, when it came to actually putting the product on my eye, it was very difficult.
I first drew a thin line on my eye and it was okay, but when I went back in to make it more of a solid line and add a wing, the pen would only draw a sheer line of colour. The formula was just too dry. So much so, that when I tried to add another few layers of colour, all it did was pull my eyelid. The dry formula just wasn't optimal for creating a smooth, pigmented line, or doing a wing (you can see the result in the eye photo, below - to assist with the dry formula, and therefore the problems with smooth application, I used tape to make a sharper wing). As far as the lip liner, it was a perfect match for the lipstick 'Tender Nude', however, the lip liner broke off in chunks during application.
Perhaps this concept could be improved with a reformulation of the liners.
If I had to recommend one piece from this collection, I'd say that it was the eyeshadow palette. Don't be afraid of the greys and silvers - they make for a pretty look!
You can find the Clarins Spring 2017 Collection at Clarins counters now. But if you see something you like, don't sleep on it, because some of the products are limited edition.
Press samples featured