Splurge vs. Steal: Glowy primers

I was going to do two separate reviews on these products but I couldn’t help but notice the similarities between them, and because the price points are so different I thought I would do a combined review and comparison of the L’Oreal Lumi Magique Pure Light Primer and the Blanc de Chanel Sheer Illuminating Base.

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Both of these primers claim to deliver a radiant glow and prime skin for makeup. Side by side the white liquids look nearly identical. You can use both as a primer to add luminosity to your skin or mix with foundation to add a bit of a glow and even lighten the colour of a foundation which is perhaps a shade too dark come winter. The packaging is pretty in both products, but obviously the luxurious frosted glass bottle of the Chanel is in keeping with its price tag, while the L’Oreal version is plastic packaging. It must be said right upfront that L’Oreal got it right here by adding the pump dispenser. Chanel focussed on the aesthetics and then totally forgot to make the primer easily accessible by adding no pump. What the hell are you meant to do when you get to the bottom of the glass jar?

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Anyway, luckily I don’t judge a book by its cover, because it is what’s inside that counts. The difference between the two products becomes apparent when you blend it into the skin.

L’Oreal Lumi Magique is quite pearlescent and although it doesn’t look white when blended in (thank goodness, can you imagine?) it does leave a noticeable pearly shine on the skin which very obviously needs to be covered up by makeup. On the plus side, it can therefore also be used as a highlighter on top of foundation along the cheekbones or down the bridge of the nose, and it looks subtle but definitely light-reflecting. If your t-zone gets oily or your makeup melts a bit during the day then I would stay away from this as an all-over primer as it exacerbates shininess. At R179 it is good value for money and quite versatile, so if you’re normal to dry skin and looking for an affordable glow-enhancing primer or liquid highlighter then this is a nice option.

Chanel le Blanc blends into the skin and disappears. This effect can hopefully be seen in the swatches below. When I bought this primer it sent the Lumi Magique to the back of a drawer, because this one just came out tops. It contains no obvious pearlescence or shimmer at all, yet somehow manages to even out the skin and provide luminosity. It is lightening and brightening and smooths over pores, and also does a good job of keeping my makeup intact for longer – which is the whole point of a primer really, isn’t it? You can also mix it with foundation to lighten the shade slightly or add a bit of glow. It will never make you look shiny though. It does seem to help reduce the oiliness I get around my nose, but it is very comfortable to wear and feels hydrating on the skin. It isn’t necessarily designed to be a mattifying primer. At R480 it is a lot more expensive, and the lack of a pump is a bit daft, but I feel it is worth it. I don’t think it would work as a liquid highlighter over makeup due to it’s mysterious disappearing quality, but I’ve got actual highlighters for that purpose so I don’t mind that it isn’t as multi-purpose.

Primer swatches

New from Clinique | Fluttery lashes and pops of colour

I’ve been waiting for Clinique to launch their pop blushes this April because these are some of the prettiest cheek colours I’ve seen in a long time. They packaging is real love at first sight stuff, adorable bright gerbera daisies in four shades. On the day I planned to go searching for them in stores I was surprised by an unexpected delivery from Clinique containing not only a Pop Blush in Plum Pop but also their new Lash Power Feathering Mascara as well. I just wanted to make clear that although they were sent to me, the blush was already on my shopping list so this isn’t an obligatory post by any means!

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The way the blush is moulded into a daisy makes it difficult to put a brush to. You know some products are just too damn pretty to destroy? Luckily the blush is firm enough that even with many, many uses it won’t lose the daisy design. I’ve heard more than one person mention that the texture reminds them of a cream blush, but I don’t find that at all. It looks and acts like a powder blush in my humble opinion. The blush applies very sheer but it can be built up with no struggle at all, so it is really versatile in that way. Whether you prefer a barely there wash of colour with a bit of brightening, or a more noticeable flush of colour, this will appeal in both cases. It doesn’t contain shimmer but somehow manages to catch the light on your cheekbones and give you natural-looking radiance, which makes this such a beautiful blush to wear. Plum Pop is rather oddly named, because it is a pretty cool toned pink. It should have been called Pink Pop. I’m a bit perplexed. Next on my list is Ginger Pop! It looks like the perfect coral bronze colour for Autumn.

 

Mascara is such a personal preference that whether you like the Lash Power Feathering Mascara or not is really going to depend on what you look for in a mascara. I have recently moved away from the volumising false lash effect mascaras more towards the natural and defining, and this mascara is the best in that category I’ve tried to date. It is apparently waterproof but can be removed with warm water, which I haven’t tried (I stick to makeup remover) but it is indeed easy to remove. I find it really lengthens my lashes, and although it doesn’t do much curling or volumising it defines every individual lash and so your lashes looks seriously fluttery, and you can add numerous layers for added definition without any clumping whatsoever. It’s a very natural-looking everyday mascara which I adore. It doesn’t smudge or flake either. The only downside is that it doesn’t work on my lower lashes at all. The large feathery wand bristles get no grip on my short lower lashes and deposit no product. Oh, and I think the packaging is a bit of a let-down. The matte silver plastic tube looks a little cheap, especially compared to Clinique’s shiny High Impact Extreme Volume mascara (which I love too btw.!).

 

 

 

 

 

Love pink? I thought so. Read on…

Anybody who loves makeup, pink, glamorous acrylic organizers and cake is going to want to hear about the 27Pinkx Cape Town launch event at the One & Only. I will start off by admitting that I was a little intimidated by the thought of meeting Khatija and Anjum, sisters and owners of 27pinkx, because they are so impeccably glamorous it is a bit frightening. But I was relieved to discover that they are both so sweet and genuinely nice, and I loved the story of now 27Pinkx got its name (one sister’s nickname was Pinkie and the other’s birthday is on the 27th)…

If I try to get the image of the One & Only high tea out of my mind – it’s difficult, I’m a sugar addict – the best thing about the morning was getting the chance to experience the products first hand. The beautiful pink 27Pinkx makeup brushes caught my eye a long time ago, but I was really keen to actually feel them before ordering. I thought they were lovely and very affordable at R420 for a set, the same price of some individual brushes on the market. The palettes are also very well priced at R460 for ten shades, and the shadows beautifully pigmented. Of course the nude palette had me drooling (I’m nothing if not consistent) but the moment of true love was when I discovered the blush, bronzer and highlight palette. Such prettiness. Sigh.

They also sell the most covetable (and incredibly robust quality) acrylic storage boxes which are on every beauty nut’s wish list, ranging from the more affordable stackable drawers to pretty gigantic boxes which could easily hold Kim Kardashian’s makeup collection. I was absolutely thrilled when we each spoilt with a three drawer unit, and was amazed to find it holds my entire makeup collection excluding my lipsticks which are on a separate stand. This fantastic gift was pretty much the cherry on top of a lovely morning at a beautiful venue where I had the chance to meet so many familiar faces.

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So do yourself a favour and have a look on the 27Pinkx website if you haven’t already. They also have pigments, sets of lashes, upcoming hair extensions and tools and a few select Benefit and Too Faced products for those who just have to get their international makeup fix. Tres glam.

Thanks so much to 27Pinkx and Danielle Franco for inviting me!