Friday, 6 September 2013

Escentual Haul & Swatches: Clarins & Dior

A little later than anticipated, here is the second part of my 'last' Escentual haul (honestly no idea why it's taken me all week to write this up). I'd mentioned in that other post, that I didn't have enough money at the time to buy all in one go, so had to split the order. I'd just missed the 'sale' for this second part, so some items were a little pricier than if I'd bought them the first time (annoying).  However I still had my 15% off code and all of the items were still cheaper than you'd buy elsewhere. I think I worked out I'd have saved under a tenner if I'd bought it all in one go, so for the amount I was paying, that wasn't too serious.
First is Clarins and I've already mentioned in other posts that I'd bought these. Another bottle of Energizing Emulsion for tired legs (after I used half a bottle in 2 weeks).
A full size tube of the cult Beauty Flash Balm. I'd received a travel size in my last Clarins order and it reignited my love for this hard working little product. I've been wearing it every day, applying after moisturiser and before makeup. You have to try and just place it on the skin without massaging in and then apply foundation immediately after. I'm also going to get into the way of using it as a mask once or twice a week (tried it yesterday).  For that, you apply a thick layer and leave for 10-15 minutes then tissue off the remaining. It's a wonderful boost for tired or lacklustre skin.
I jumped in feet first with this Daily Energizer Cream, after ordering a little sample with my Clarins order but not trying it before buying this one! I mentioned previously that the scent reminds me of Mr Sheen furniture polish (not a good thing), but I'm pleased to say the scent in the jar doesn't seem quite so bad. It's actually fine. My skin has been parched and is just soaking this right up and I think it's working to calm and reduce blemishes too, which is brilliant. I'm glad I took the plunge now as it's cheaper than my usual (Multi-Active) at £21 for 30ml. Escentuals price is £16.80 and with my 15% off, I paid just £14.28, bargain!
The other items I bought were Dior. I said I'd collected most of the 'summer look' and I wasn't kidding. In this order I added the gorgeous limited edition brush and fabulous Diorskin Nude Tan blush/bronzer to my quad of nail polishes, jelly lip pen and lipstick from the Birds Of Paradise collection.
I've heard rave reviews about the Diorskin Nude Tan compacts and although it's priced slightly higher than I'd usually pay for a blush (er, not exactly like I'm lacking in blusher), I took the plunge and bought one. For the summer look, there were two shades and I got 001 Pink Glow (the other was coral). Whenever I opened it, I realised it's well worth the money. It comes with it's own kabuki brush (which doesn't feel like one of those flimsy brushes you get with compacts) and both items are housed in their own monogrammed velvet pouches. The silver compact is weighty with the distinctive Dior 'quilted' effect and there's a large mirror inside.
Inside, the pan is split into four sections with two 'bronzing' colours and two 'blush' colours (a lighter and darker of each), with a 'quilted' letter spelling NUDE. I tried to photograph it from as many angles and in different lights, so you could properly see it. You can see shimmer in some of the sections. I've swatched all four shades alone and then blended together too. I've mostly been wearing all four mixed, although sometimes have opted just for the pink side. I'm also going to try out the bronzing side to use as my contour colour as I think this could be an excellent palette for those interested in highlighting and contouring. I'm actually blown away by how lovely this is. It gives such a beautiful, refreshing and not false flush of healthy colour to the cheeks. This will set you back £40, I got mine for £28.90 and I'm slightly kicking myself for not picking up the coral one too! Safe to say I understand the hype behind this now.
The Backstage Summer Brush, Professional Finish Blush Brush (phew!) was another pricey item at £43 (mine cost just over £31), but one I'd been drooling over every time I walked past the Dior counter. It would be hard not to be attracted to it, it's certainly eye-catching! It features this stunning bright, I'm saying red, I've heard others call it pink, bristles. Hello, gorgeous!
Now I already own the silver cheek brush, I've had it for years. I remember thinking it was quite large to begin with, but it's become my absolute favourite blush brush. So I have to admit I was a little disappointed with the summer one in comparison. It just doesn't feel as luxurious as I was expecting. Don't get me wrong the bristles are super soft, but the handle (supposedly wood but feels like lightweight plastic) just lets it down a little. The brush size feels quite large for a cheek brush and I'm not sure how the very curved dome shape will work (my silver one doesn't look quite so tapered). Also the bristles/shape weren't as pristine as I would expect for a brand new brush. It does come with a velvet pouch which gets a tick from me and the unique colour is certainly worth the purchase if you're into that sort of thing. I haven't used it yet so can't comment on shedding/washing and how it does apply. I'm wondering if I'll use this more for face powder than specifically colour on the cheeks. Personally I'd recommend getting the silver one which feels more like a luxury brush and is actually £13.20 cheaper (at Escentual) than the red one.
I also picked up another couple of Dior items, not from the limited edition line. A lipstick I'd had my eye on and an eyeshadow that I liked the look of.
The lipstick is Rouge Dior Nude in 263 Swan, a gorgeous dusky nude pink. I really love the look of this colour, it's wearable and pretty and nude-ish! What's not to love?
The eyeshadow is Diorshow Mono Backstage in 453 Spencer. I've only swatched it dry here (top two swatches, below), but am keen to see what it's like wet as it's already super pretty and super sparkly dry. It's very similar to Lancome 'Erika F' which you can see here. It's that green toned pewter, smokey shade. I've compared the two (bottom swatches below, Lancome shown on the right) and I'd say Dior stays quite green whereas Lancome goes quite pewter. Both have incredible sparkle, which is best viewed in direct sunlight. The Dior one is perhaps a little more sheer too. Like I say, I can't wait to try it wet for added oomph!
I thought this would be my last Escentual order for some time, but they were running a promotion during the bank holiday weekend and I went ahead and ordered the Autumn items I'd had my eye on!  I'm slightly gutted they've now started a loyalty scheme as I've literally spent hundreds over the past couple of months with them!  I've had some wonderful bargains though, so can't complain and it's just another incentive to place more orders (although I don't have plans for any yet, before you start thinking I've won the lottery).  Anything here you've tried or like the look of?  

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