There were so many gorgeous items in the Clarins Holiday 2012 collection that I could have pounced on but when I was prowling the counters at Debenhams last week I must have had my sensible head on as this was the only item I picked up. At first I was confused, some blogs have reviewed this as a highlighter but Clarins themselves call it a ‘silky smooth compact powder’. I needed a new powder compact and this is just so gorgeous that I had to have it.
Oh be still my beating heart. From the festive red pouch to the exquisite pale gold compact is it just a delight to pull out of your makeup bag. The compact is not so heavy as to be cumbersome but it does have a satisfying heft to it which makes it feel as expensive as it is (and it is definitely not a bargain I can tell you that now). You have a handy mirror and a gorgeous soft matte powders with a very brightening peach tone to it decorated with a glittering gold overspray.
When you first use it you get the gorgeous but ever so slightly chunky glittery overspray which makes for a pretty but rather obvious highlight. If you have large pores (which I do) this is about as subtle and as flattering as a large sticker on your cheeks saying ‘here there be pores (and possibly dragons)’. Delightful. Regardless of it rudely accentuating my pores it was very pretty, definitely more of a party ready highlight than something I could wear to work though. After a few swipes of a powder brush the overspray is gone although the gorgeous embossed pattern remains for some time (I’ve been using this all week and it still looks pretty!).
Once it’s useful life as a highlighter is done it knuckles down to a far more practical task. I am plagued with an oily nose that refuses to play along with the rest of my dry skin. As such I blot and powder regularly throughout the day. As a bog standard pressed powder this does perform very well, with a few caveats. Whatever you do don’t use a dense retractable kabuki to apply this like I did the first time! For a pressed powder it has surprisingly good coverage and it will cake up! This works much better with a soft, loosely packed brush. You do not need a lot of product!
It gives a very soft matte but not flat look to the skin and does a pretty good job of stopping the shine reappearing for a good 2-3 hours. The shade does work well on my fair skin and I find the hint of peach to be brightening on the skin rather than orangey. I’m not sure how well this would work but darker skin tones, or the uber pale for that matter.
Aside from the caking issue (which is easily solved with the right brush) the only other potential negative is the price. When all is said and done this is just a pressed powder, albeit a rather fabulous in a fancy frock. £35 for 11g of pressed powder it not what I’d call a bargain. Of course you all know I’m a scrooge and did not pay full price (thank you £10 Debenhams gift card and 10% off sale!). But honestly every time I pull the little compact out of the red velveteen pouch I smile a little and for me that kind of makes it worth it.
This is a Ltd edition item for the holiday collection as far as I am aware however the Clarins counters I spotted in Debenhams and Boots still had plenty and it is still available online should you be interested.