30 September 2011

MAC Prep+Prime Skin Brightening Serum

A while ago, MAC extended their Prep+Prime Range, bringing a new Serum into the beauty market, the MAC Skin Brightning Serum.

As the name says, it is meant to brighten your skin (not lighten, only brighten!) with its Vitamin C properties, making it more plumped, and visually healthy. So far so good, I went to a MAC counter and got it the second it came into the store, and I asked for guidance at the counter. The lady was super friendly and said it’s an awesome product, I’d love it, and it would even out my skin, pigmentation, refine pores, reduce wrinkles and magic. She was really happy about the serum, but I had my doubts: how could she be so sure, being it a new product? But then I convinced myself maybe MAC workers get access to things first.

Happily went home and tried for a couple of nights (1 week and half), but seriously? I haven’t seen any difference. I can’t say it is a bad product, or a complete fail, I’m just not sure if it worked for me.

It is a lightweight cream, a bit white transparent, that skinks immediatly into your skin once applied, leaving no greasy residuo but a fresh feeling and fresh/citric smell (not strong, disappears in 5 min). I was oriented to use it before everything I put on face before cleaning it (OBVIOUSLY), night and daytime.

So I did, and I enjoyed the treat, but the lack of visible results was a bit downward for me. I do not have wrinkles yet, I exfoliate my skin regularly (3x-4x a week) so I wasn’t expecting it to give me  a facelift, but I do have pigmentation, a bit scarring and large pores, and in almost 2 weeks I saw none progress in these areas. I did experience better “feeling” to the skin though, a bit more radiance, the sensation that skin was not only with a greasy layer on top, but actually moisturised deep skin.

It may have prevented my skin to get more large pores or more wrinkles, and that’s where I lay my 2 cents, because I could be suffering from High Expectations, just because the shop assistant told me so. Maybe it isn’t a corrector serum, but a “maintenance” serum.

After a long pause (about 3 months), I rediscovered the serum just because I ran out of my Estee Lauder Advanced Night Serum and thought I’d better use my 40 euros spent in this serum. And the packaging is very neat, sleek, and practical until you have to open it to get the last drop of product, because the pump can’t find it. The hole bottle lasted 60 days, in total, using it only at night.

If you are looking for a uncomplicated serum, to keep your skin deep moisturised and feeling happy, I’d recommend it. If you want miracle in a bottle, steer away and save your 40 euros for something else.

Product: Serum, Skincare
Quantity: 30 ml
Consistency: Cream/Gel
Colour: transparent 
Suitable for: All skin types
Price: 40€
Where to find: MAC counters and stores

Soleil de Tan de Chanel – Bronzing Makeup Base (Former Universal Bronzer)

Finally. I got my hands. On this. Product.
And it’s beautiful. *.*

  “The velvety finish of this light cream-gel bronzer leaves your skin with a beautiful sun-kissed look. Wear it on its own to enhance your complexion or for a hint of outdoors radiance, over or under your favorite CHANEL Foundation
-from Chanel website

The description found on the Chanel website is totally true, it has a velvet finish, and it does gives you a sun-kissed glow.  The cream-gel consistency blends in really well with foundation or directly onto skin, but like every cream product, you need to work it with a good dense brush to get the seamless and from within effect, otherwise it will only sit on your cheeks and look blotchy.  

The colour isn’t very reddish, tending to yellow/golden undertones (It’s number 30 according to Chanel website..), which could be complicated to pull off if you are too pale or cool toned, it can look a bit orangey if applied too much, but in general it is suitable as bronzer for fair skin tones up to medium-olive complexions like mine . I could imagine this as a very suitable highlighter for darker skin tones (MAC NC 50/Chanel 050 and above), but I never seen or tried like this, so I can’t guarantee.

Above: With Flash, Below: Natural Light
Swatch for Olive Skin Tones, MAC NC35/40

It is a shimmery product though, and I don’t recommend it for contouring, as the shimmer particles will reflect light and it will look funny (at least to me) under your cheek bones. It is indeed a BRONZING cream, to be used on the high points of face or as a overall tan. Having said that, the shimmer isn’t glittery, and the sheen it’s very discreet. You don’t get the disco-ball look, but a beautiful healthy glow to your skin.

I like to apply it with a dense soft brush, to get a airbrushed effect, either a Kabuki Flat Top  or Blush Angled Brush (White hair), both from Sigma. A very soft brush will not do the job, as the product is almost a solid cream, and you wouldn’t get anything loaded on your brush or be able to blend it correctly.

The packaging is a big jar with a lid you should unscrew nicely; it holds 30g product; the overall jar quality is exquisit as expected. Like almost all the other Chanel products, follows the black/white/gold patterns. It looks nice on your vanity :)

I had high expectations about this bronzer and they were all happily met. I’ve heard many people saying it’s not worth the hype, but I guess they couldn’t find a good application method / the right brush.

So far so good, I just said the good points. Now to the down side. IT IS DIFFICULT to find it - at least in Germany. I’ve been to many many many many Chanel counters and stores last year and none of them had Soleil de Tan in stock, but I can’t guarantee this information it is true. Mainly because 90% of the Shop assistants actually didn’t know the product. Most of them said I was confused or meant something else and ALL of them tried to sell me something similar. So perhaps there are LOADS and loads of Universal Bronzers in the back of Chanel counter drawers expiring.

I found mine randomly, at Galeria Kaufhof in Nürnberg, and I had to lecture the shop assistant about the product. When I found the tester (which was wrongly placed at “Teint Innocente” tester) and I asked for the full size jar, she said it was something they didn’t have anymore. I said they must have it and made her look all the boxes in the drawer, until she finally found it. Even after finding it, she tried to change my mind.
I mean, why? Why nobody knows about it? I don’t understand Chanel Marketing strategy.

Second point is Price. It is a luxury product, and be prepared to paid around 40 € for it. But worth every cent! And it smells DIVINE!!!!! (Wonder if they had this as a Fragance...)  
Have you got Chanel Bronzer? Planning getting one? What's your favorite bronzer?

Product: Bronzer
Quantity: 30g
Consistency: Cream (Hard, solid)
Colour: Chanel 30, medium/tan tone
Suitable for: All Skin Types
Price: about 40€
Where to find: Chanel counters with luck, and fight!