When you're a beauty blogger or addict like I am, you tend to try out lots of different brands however there are always some that you favour more than others. These brands are usually the ones that you reach for time and time again, the ones that you trust when you're looking to try something new and the ones that you repurchase from the most; that's when you really know its love! For me, one such brand is Clarins.
I've been using Clarins skincare for absolutely YEARS and I've dabbled in their makeup. When I think about it, they're definitely my most repurchased higher end skincare brand; especially since I've repurchased their Foot Beauty Treatment Cream more times than I can remember. I've been using it long before I started my blog and since its my holy grail foot cream, I don't see the point in buying others anymore when this one can't be beaten! You can read my full review of it from way back when here.
Another favourite of mine from Clarins has to be their Instant Eye Makeup Remover. I'll be reviewing it in full very soon but lets just say, I never used to like bi-phase eye makeup removers until this one converted me. It has fit perfectly into my routine, alongside the Clarins Water Comfort One Step Cleanser which is a great makeup remover and the Clarins Ultra Matte Rebalancing Lotion which is a light weight moisturiser for oily skin.
The great thing about Clarins skincare is that there are so many products that you can mix and match together to target any skincare concern within your routine. With such a wide product range, its sometimes hard to know which products to go for and which will work best for your skin. That's why the Clarins counters within department stores like House of Fraser are so important.
I recently went along to my favourite Clarins counter in House of Fraser at the Metrocentre to see Clarins Specialist, Nikita, for a Skin Analysis. This is something that anyone can book in for, be it for the face or body, simply by going along to a counter or calling the store direct. It is a completely free service that enables you to find out about your skin type and the products that would benefit you.
During my Skin Analysis, Nikita talked to me about my skin, the products I'm currently using and the concerns that I have with my skin, then she checked my skin type, which was oily and dehydrated. I was already aware of this but was reassured that she confirmed this so that we were both singing from the same hymn sheet. Its amazing the amount of people from other stores and brands that have tried to tell me that I have dry skin when really its just very mattifying makeup!
Following my consultation, Nikita then carried out a mini counter facial using products that she'd picked out from the Clarins range to suit my skin. This included the Cleansing Milk with Gentian and the Toning Lotion with Iris to remove impurities and tone my skin, both of which I've used and reviewed before here.
Next was exfoliating and Nikita recommended the Clarins Gentle Exfoliating Brightening Toner for me. This is a liquid exfoliator that uses Tamarin Fruit Acids to gently exfoliate the skin. While I have only had it applied to my skin that one time, I can attest to its gentle properties. I'd used the Alpha H Liquid Gold a few years ago and it was so strong that it stung and stripped my skin whereas this one has different ingredients and is far more gentle. It is definitely something that I would consider purchasing once my current liquid exfoliator has been used up.
After exfoliating, Nikita then moved on to hydrating my skin and the products that I could use to keep it soft without encouraging my skin to become more oily. This step began with the Clarins HydraQuench Cream Mask which was applied all over my face and then left for ten minutes.
The great thing about this mask is it actually shows you where you're more dehydrated as after the allotted time, you'll find that when you look at your skin, the areas where you're most dehydrated will have little to no product left on them as it will have gone clear and sank into the skin whereas the areas that are more oily will have some product left on. True to form, the dehydrated areas of my skin were shown to be around the outer part of my face, particularly high on the outer cheeks.
As well as the mask, Nikita recommended the Double Serum which is a two phase, age control serum that uses plant extracts to target all aspects of skin ageing within the one product. There's so much that this serum does and everyone can benefit as it is suitable for all ages and skin types. I was so surprised to feel how light weight it is and it sank into my skin straight away after patting it in.
To moisturise and nourish my skin, Nikita recommended a couple of products from the Clarins range that could be used together with the Ultra Matte Rebalancing Lotion that I already have.
The first was the Lotus Treatment Oil which is 100% plant based, free from preservatives and works as a natural astringent for oily skin. It blends a combination of oils together that purifies the skin, tightens pores and refines texture as well as softening the skin, soothing it and locking in moisture. This all helps to prevent fine lines which is something that I'm very concerned about. It can be used alone as I had it applied at the counter or you can add a couple of drops into the moisturiser you're using in the palm of your hand.
The second product was one of the new Clarins Boosters. These are absolutely fab oil like products and I immediately got on board with what they're all about. You basically add 3 to 5 drops of your booster into your face cream, mask or foundation and continue this for a day, week or month until you see the desired results; it all depends on your skins needs.
Nikita asked me 5 quick questions about my daily routine and skin to be able to determine the kind of lifestyle that I lead and the impact that it has on my skin. I was then matched to one of the three Boosters.
First up, there's the Energy Booster which has Ginseng in it. This helps to tone and re-energise the skin, minimising the signs of fatigue and reviving radiance in the skin. This one is ideal if you're the kind of person who is always on the go, drinking plenty of coffee and having a dull and tired skin day.
Then theres the Repair Booster which contains Mimosa Tenuiflora. This one helps to reduce feelings of discomfort in the skin. It helps to optimise the skins strength and minimise the appearance of redness. This makes it ideal to use if your skin is feeling particularly sensitive, perhaps from sun damage, or if you've been exposed to a lot of pollution, perhaps through being out and about in a large city which can leave your skin feeling tighter.
The last booster is the one that I was recommended, Detox, which contains Green Coffee and is designed to tackle a dull complexion by reviving its radiance and detoxifying and plumping the skin. It is ideal to use when your skin is feeling congested and looking uneven. I'd been out late quite a lot for work and socialising and really felt as though I'd over indulged with everything from the amount of makeup I was wearing to what I was drinking and eating.
I was really surprised to find that the booster didn't make my moisturiser feel oily at all and they really blended well together.
After my Skin Analysis, my skin felt fantastic and looked clear, hydrated and healthy as you can see in the photo above. Some of the products that were used, I could tell immediately that I liked them and that they would be something I'd purchase myself, such as the exfoliating toner and the mask. However some I would need to try out for a little longer, such as the Lotus Treatment Oil, to see how they would fit into my routine with my existing products (Clarins and otherwise) to see what the benefit would be to my skin.
As part of the Skin Analysis that I had booked in for, Nikita gave me some samples to take away with me to try which was great as it enabled me to use them at home to get a real feel for how they work for my skin.
She gave me a sample bottle of the Lotus Treatment Oil that I had wanted to try out further as well as a small sachet of the Energy Booster which I got a couple of uses out of. I have been mixing both in with my moisturiser and I love the results. My skin looks hydrated, supple and full of life; these two definitely give my moisturiser a boost. It feels so soft after I use the oil and my skin really looks healthy.
I would certainly purchase either of these myself as I really saw a difference in my skin with using them, especially the oil. You can see how healthy my skin looks in the photo below. Since you need such a small amount of each of these products, I could see them being a worthwhile investment as they'd last ages!
The other two sample sizes that I received were the Eye Contour Balm and the Pore Minimising Serum. These are both products that could be used to complement my skincare routine.
I tried out the Eye Contour Balm until the generous sample was used up but I didn't find any noticeable differences through using it. It wasn't as balm like or hydrating as I'd have liked. I'm very pleased that I was able to try out a sample as this would have been something that I'd have just taken the plunge and bought because of the name, only to find later that it wasn't quite right for me and that would have been a disappointing waste of money!
Similarly with the Pore Minimising Serum, I do think that this product is good but not something that I could see myself buying. It is light weight in texture so it sinks in effortlessly and its pale green colour does help a little with redness. It is designed to refine and smooth the skins texture while improving the appearance of pores.
From using it for a short time, I would say that I like the feeling of it on my skin and I can see where it could help the skin over time but for me, I didn't see enough of a benefit in the week that I used it to make me want to buy it. Again, a sample I was pleased to try out as this was actually a product that I was going to buy quite a while ago.
The whole Skin Analysis appointment took approximately half an hour and it was completely bespoke to me and my skins needs. The majority of the samples I was given lasted about a week which gave me ample time to test them out and see which ones I really liked.
As part of the service, Nikita usually recommends that customers come back in to see her for another appointment 6 weeks later so that she can see how they're getting on with the products that they purchased and to see how the samples worked for them. This time gives the skin a chance to adapt to the change in routine and so that the true results can be seen.
Nikita had such a fantastic knowledge of Clarins products and it was great to see how much she believed in the brand. When you're talking to someone who really enjoys the company they work for, it shows and I felt really comfortable asking her any questions about the products and my skin, without feeling intimidated which I think is exactly what you need when you're looking for beauty recommendations and advice.
I really felt as though her recommendations were spot on for my skin type and I'll definitely be picking up a bottle of the exfoliating toner in the future. I also asked her for some suncare recommendations as I'm always off on holiday and I'll certainly take her advice on which SPF products to take with me.
If you're looking for a new skincare product or if you're wanting to change your routine, perhaps if you feel as though it is lacking in something at the moment, then I'd definitely recommend booking in at a Clarins counter. The trouble is, there are so many products out there and what works for one persons skin might not work for yours so to have someone who can analyse your skin and your needs and to recommend individual products or a whole routine to you off the back of that is really valuable.
To get healthy, youthful skin, book your Skin Analysis with a Clarins Specialist by contacting your local Clarins counter. If you're in the North East, I'd highly recommend going to see Nikita in House of Fraser, Metrocentre as she really knows her stuff. Book in by calling 0191 493 2424, extension 7954.
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