Foundation pigments you blend yourself? Seems a bit fiddly, really, and potentially patchy.
Why would you bother when there are so many ready-mixed formulas?
Clinique’s angle is that, rather than invest in tinted moisturiser, you can just go ahead and tint your moisturiser.
One drop gives sheer coverage, two gives medium, etc.
This advice disregards that we all apply different amounts and kinds of moisturiser.
Three drops in a rich dry-skin formula do not full cover make and while oily and combination types don’t need much — or sometimes any — moisturiser, they often need the most coverage.
Also, diluting your SPF moisturiser with anything is a bad idea, especially if you are not applying protection liberally enough to begin with.
The point of experimenting with these drops is customisation but the novelty of your makeup being custom — if it exists when you could drown in fantastic foundations — usually lies in discussing at a counter how a bottle can be mixed for your needs, not playing cosmetic chemist yourself every morning.
The weakness of BIY is visible in the texture, rather than the coverage.
I tried it with two moisturisers — one creamy, the other very fluid — and neither blend compared to the smooth, even look of a pre-blended BB cream.
Previously pure-pigment liquids have been about makeup enhancement, not replacement.
Giorgio Armani Fluid Sheer, €45, which the brand’s faithful use to make foundation a shade or two warmer when they’re tanned, works on bare skin as a shade or highlighter but not a base.
The one issue major advantage BIY Drops offer over a BB cream/tinted moisturiser is the colour selection.
Typically there are only three or four, but Clinique has a dozen, plus one limited-edition bronze shade.
These are an interesting concept for natural look-lovers but to me BIY on a bottle remains as enticing as BYOB on an invitation.
Yves Saint Laurent Volupté Tint-in-Balm, €33
YSL’s newest lipstick also takes mixing but the moisturiser is right there in the bullet.
Volupté Tint-in-Balm is a lips-shaped colour pigment-stick encased in clear plant fats and a little perfume.
The colour goes on sheer and radiant. The emollient formula has a lot of slip and while YSL claims it is long-wearing, this was not my experience. Plus points include the tingle-free plumping effect of balmy ingredients and a choice of beautiful shades.
If you like to gift makeup, remember no brand makes lipstick tubes look more like jewellery than YSL.
Estée Lauder Advanced Night Repair Intensive Recovery Ampoules, €115 for 60
Ampoules are booster shots for skincare. Inspired by Korean beauty regimes, they typically comprise high concentrations of two or three antioxidants to mix with other products.
Estée Lauder’s first addition to this category contains so many ingredients it is more like a jar of serum capsules.
In an either-or scenario, I would certainly recommend buying the brand’s wonderful Advanced Night Recovery Serum over these little pods, as it takes less time to apply and contains a wealth of reparative extracts, but these are a nice alternative for dry types.
Using both won’t irritate your skin but seems unnecessarily expensive.
The brand calls “chronoluxAI technology” their ampoule formula’s anti-ageing secret.
This sounds intriguingly futuristic, but there’s actually nothing on the ingredients list you won’t have seen elsewhere.
That said, it is all good stuff: fukui nut, apricot and camellia oils; coffee and sunflower seed extracts;Vitamin E, bilberry, rosemary… all potent free-radical fighters whose effects are unhindered by perfume or alcohol.
Plant fats such as cholesterol and glycerin support skin’s natural moisture barrier while damaged cells heal.
NARS NARSissist Loaded Eye Palette, €55
I know, I know, eye palettes are overdone and you only really need one that facilitates a nude look for day and something smoky for after work. “Loaded” already sounds like several shades beyond what’s useful.
In truth, all of the shadows are both very wearable and elemental to a nude or smoky look. It is the choice of finishes that bumps the shade number to twelve.
After all, one woman’s nude eye is incomplete without a touch of gold shimmer in the lid’s centre, while another prefers terracotta lids to beige because they bring out her blue eyes.
The real draw for me is the warmth of this palette, it holds nothing that washes out fair skin. Even ‘Newbury Street,’ the white base shade, has gold undertones that neutralise redness.
I like ‘Dover,’ the taupe brown, for soft contouring and ‘Montaillou’ and ‘Reale’ both double as liner with the help of a damp brush. Loaded is lots of fun to experiment with, even if you aren’t a classic NARSissist.
Guerlain Mon Guerlain, €62.50
Guerlain’s put more money into the promotion of this fragrance than any in the company’s 190-year history, CEO Laurent Boillot tells Women’s Wear Daily, so you probably already recognise the shadowy portrait of Angelina Jolie.
The “quadrilobe” bottle, created in 1908 to resemble and apothecary flaçon, is even more familiar and variations on this pink-and-gold number also hold L’Heure Bleue’s centenary collection, launched in 2012.
Jolie, who donated her fee to charity, reportedly accepted the endorsement role because she associates Guerlain with her late mother’s face powder.
Speaking on French news network BFM last month, Boillot revealed that the fragrance itself is not brand new but a repackaged version of Mon Exclusif, which was released in French stores in 2013. T
he purpose of Mon Guerlain’s international launch this Spring is to be Guerlain’s “manifesto to the world,” showcasing the company’s incomparable savoir-faire in a saturated market.
“We are trying to speak to customers who don’t even know who we are,” he explained.
The formula is that of an oriental, so pretty sexy, but with fresh lavender top notes that keep it light. Tahitian vanilla keeps the sambac jasmine-heart sweet, while rose and sandalwood create a warm base.
It is certainly the most commercial Guerlain women’s scent I’ve tried. Classics like Shalimar, Jicky and Mitsuoko are heady and instantly recognisable, though maybe not so attractive to young customers or those enamoured of clean, minimalist scents by Margiela or Calvin Klein.
Even Guerlain La Petite Robe Noir, which went international in 2012 after a 3-year trial in French stores and without a celebrity face, is richer and more floral. Mon Guerlain is soft, romantic and visually ubiquitous.
There is no magic formula that produces a hit fragrance like but Guerlain has chosen auspicious ingredients.
April beauty is all about experimentation, but which launches are worth the time? Rachel Marie Walsh reports.