While I’m busy testing out products from Indie Beauty Expo for a future post, I’ll leave you with part three of my latest empties, focusing on face and eye moisturisers and covering a wide range of price points and purposes, from SPF creams and overnight masks to premium eye treatments.
Trinny London BFF Cream SPF 30 (£35 / 30ml)
I do my best to wear SPF in the morning, but having to put this on after moisturiser and followed by a primer and/or foundation is such an ordeal for me. Too many steps that end up feeling tacky and heavy on the skin! So I love multi-tasking products like Trinny London’s BFF Cream that works as a moisturiser, primer that colour corrects and SPF cream with a generous factor of 30. It’s also meant to adapt to your skin tone and add a glowing effect and I have been using it instead of any kind of base makeup, under concealer and mattifying powder, with quite satisfying results. It feels like and hydrating throughout the day, almost like wearing nothing. One major criticism on my side – it really stings the eyes so I had to be very careful to avoid this area, which is probably because of the chemical SPF.
Paula’s Choice Radiance Renewal Mask (£35 / 50ml)
This product is called a mask but its application makes it very much of a night-time moisturiser. It’s quite thick so I can’t imagine you can apply it over another cream, maybe just over a hydrating or balancing serum with a much lighter feel. The good thing about the tick texture is that you only need very little to cover your whole face, so it took me ages to finish it – good value for money! It is actually designed to sit on the skin and work throughout the night, unlike classic creams that are meant to absorb much faster, thus allowing the niacinamide and vitamin C to work their brightening magic. Overall, a nice product that does help even the skin gently, but the effects are in no way miraculous.
HydroPeptide Power Lift Advanced Ultra-Rich Moisturizer (£70 / 30ml)
This is a seriously good moisturiser! I can’t vouch for the wrinkle smoothing properties outside those that you’d expect to see from the hydrating effect, but as far as a moisturising cream can go, this one is pretty amazing. It feels light, yet surprisingly rich, and leaves the skin soft and hydrated by the morning. And the surprising bonus is a cooling sensation that it creates in the first few minutes of the application, thus making it feel even lighter, quite a great achievement for a cream.
Yonka Essential White Creme Lumiere Unifying Brightening Cream ($76 / 50ml)
French spa brand Yonka might not be very well known in the UK, but they are quite respected abroad. I was curious to try their products and this cream landed on my shelf, so I decided to use it even though I’m not a big fan of the word ‘white’ in a product name – I think it’s outdated, racially obtuse and doesn’t inspire any beauty ideal in my mind. However, this cream is based on a very promising for of patented vitamin C that stabilises the ingredient that is notoriously difficult to make the most of, hence the brightening and evening effects that it commits to offer. I used it primarily as a day cream, but occasionally as a light night-time moisturiser and even though it did leave the skin feel more comfortable and hydrated, I can’t say any of my former acne scars have been in any way reduced. On the other hand, vitamin C is also good at creating an antioxidant barrier and preventing new discolouration spots from forming, so the cream might have invisibly worked through its protective action – impossible to prove without a microscope, unfortunately though, you just need to believe in it…
One Skin Wonder Cream (£55 / 30ml)
This is actually a product that I discovered at last year’s Indie Beauty Expo in London, the first European edition of the show. It has a series of very interesting ingredients that do a brilliant job at hydrating, like avocado oil and hyaluronic acid, while also helping to manage blemishes with niacinamide and firming and perfecting with a copper complex. It creates a lovely smoothing effect without a heavy film, and it was one of my favourite day-time moisturisers for colder days when my skin was struggling with dry patches.
Sanoflore Regard Hypnotica Eye Cream (£26 / 15ml)
Sanoflore are a French brand that makes premium skincare using organic plant extracts and have been owned by L’Oreal for a number of years. I bought this cream when I was in Paris last year in spring doing a skin test in the Dermacenter Store on Rue des Francs Bourgeois, where they have a great machine that tracks hidden damage to your skin that may result in wrinkles, pigmentation etc. And what the test showed was a lot of dehydration around my eyes that was on its way to turn into some pesky crow’s feet that are notoriously difficult to get right of. Prevention is always the best option and this experience is what turned me into a dedicated fan of eye creams. The Sanoflore eye cream is a lovely light-textured treatment that works brilliantly during the day under makeup thanks to a non-greasy yet moisturising feel that treats dryness and fills in fine lines. And because I used it once a day, alternating with a richer night cream, it lasted me a very, very long time, which made the price feel a lot more affordable altogether.
Alpha-H Liquid Gold Firming Eye Cream (£52 / 15ml)
I wrote about this over a year ago when I was using it every evening in combination with the Sanoflore Regard Hypnotica, praising its wonderful hydrating effect that helped smooth the fine lines around my eyes. The formula is based on peptides and Australian lime caviar, and comes with a very pleasant ice-cold metal applicator that cools the skin and it’s meant to reduce puffiness. I don’t really struggle with puffiness very often, and dark circles are for sure a very difficult issue to solve with just a cream, so I can’t say this treatment made any impact on these two aspects. But I enjoyed using this cream as it left my skin smoother and more hydrated by morning.
Perricone MD Cold Plasma Plus Eye (£80 / 15ml)
Please rest assured that I’m not crazy, I would never pay this amount of money on an eye cream – it was a gift and therefore worth testing out. Cold Plasma is such an iconic formula fro Perricone MD that kind of made his name, so I was very curious to try it out. It uses a lot more advanced ingredients than the two creams above, hence the price, like copper tripeptides, vitamin C and omegas 3, 6 and 9 and promises to visibly correct dark circles, lift, firm and smooth the eye area. It has a nice feel on the skin and is definitely a good moisturiser, but unfortunately I didn’t notice any dramatic effects – definitely nothing close to the ones advertised in the before & after photos on the official website. Reading the reviews, I can see that experiences have been very mixed and often at polarised ends, with some people absolutely raving about it and others hating it. The limited results that I had were shared by probably less than a quarter of reviewers, so high chances of hit and miss sadly. Definitely worth trying for yourselves if you can get hold of a sample, before investing a small fortune in a little tiny pot of this. And speaking of pot – I am a bit weary of creams, especially for the eye area, that come in open pots that are susceptible to alterations in contact with air, fingers, dust and other elements that can find their way inside the pack. Considering the price point, I really think this cream should come in an air-tight container that preserves the formula and gives me more confidence in using it without fear of oxidation and contamination.