I have a love-hate relationship with my lips.
I've been told on many occasions that I have nice lips but I've never really thought that they were good enough to be emphasised. They are not particularly voluminous a la La Jolie, or my gorgeous friend O, but neither are they thin. Slap bang in the middle I think you'd say, but for some reason I feel very self-conscious drawing attention to my mouth, despite the fact that I own 2 or 3 bright red showstopping lipsticks.
I think that there is something overwhelmingly bold about emphasising the mouth and, without going too Freudian about it, provocative lips have long been thought to be a mirror to 'what must not be seen'....
And now onto the review.... *clears throat*
Not surprisingly, being a little lip-colour shy, I prefer to wear very neutral, pale lips in general. I'd heard good things about Clarins Instant Light Lip perfectors, and when I was last at Brussels Airport I found a nifty little duo pack exclusive to travel retail (how I LOVE travel retail, especially when travelling sans Mr P...).
|Clarins Lip Perfector Duo pack, exclusive to Travel Retail|
So what are these 'lip perfectors'. Well, I'm not sure I would have believed it myself if I hadn't tried them, but they literally do 'perfect' your lips. A hybrid between a gloss and a balm, these work by illuminating, smoothing and volumising the lips. Think of them as a lip 'foundation', over which you need apply nothing else.
In the travel exclusive I picked up were two full sizes, one in Rose Shimmer (01) and the other in Apricot Shimmer (02). The names are misleading as there isn't really strong shimmer in either of them, more of a 'glow'. I guess they refer to the microscopic light reflecting particles which work by playing on the light and giving you that illuminated perfection as promised.
|Apricot Shimmer (above) & Rose Shimmer|
As you can see from the swatches below 01 is more pink-toned and 02 more peachy. On the lips you can see the difference between them but it's not huge. In fact, I leave one at home and carry the other with me for touch-ups as they are pretty much interchangeable.
|Top: Rose Shimmer (01), Bottom: Apricot Shimmer (02)|
The packaging is a squeezy tube from which the product is dispensed via a foam tip with several teensy holes (see photo). There are probably some hygiene questions to be raised regarding the foam tip, but I've no intention of using these on anyone but myself and I suppose I could wash the tip in good old soap 'n' water if I ever get grossed out by my own germs. I have to say though, I do like the feeling of the sponge tip on my lips, it smooths the product onto them really effectively.
|Clarins Lip Perfector, sponge applicator tip|
The texture is is that of a creamy lip balm. It feels wonderfully smooth on the lips and not sticky at all and there is a very light sweet 'candy' fragrance which is very pleasant and non-intrusive.
When I first applied this it looked like a lovely, neutral looking lip-gloss. Pretty enough, but nothing wow. After 15-20 minutes though, after it settled onto the lips, I looked in the mirror and just saw wonderfully smooth lips! It was as if a magic wand had been waved and all the little imperfections, dry patches and uneven colour had melted into oblivion and I was just left with a naturally airbrushed pout.
|With Clarins Instant Light Lip Perfector - Rose Shimmer (01)|
|Bare lips (different light, sorry!)|
|With Clarins Instant Light Lip Perfector - Apricot Shimmer (02)|
Result! I actually started to appreciate my lips, thinking that maybe they weren't so bad after all.
As far as volumising is concerned, I think this is achieved via the illusion of smoothness. Smoother lips tend to look more volumised, but this is by no means a magic potion for a trout pout.
I have also been using this as a lip balm and it works really well under normal circumstances, although for this awful cold snap we're having at the moment it needs bolstering with a proper lip balm.
If you feel like your lips need a little makeover then I would definitely recommend this marvelous little lip perfector. It's the perfect 'no make-up' make-up for everyday healthy looking lips. You can stick it in your pocket and apply it without a mirror and you don't even need a separate lip balm.
I paid a bargainous €19.90 for this set at Brussels Airport.
In the UK I've seen them priced at between £12 to £15, so definitely shop around.
Around Europe prices vary obviously and on the French Clarins website the official price is €14.80 but when you're next at the airport, wherever that may be, have a look out for the duo set. I'm certainly glad I have two of them!