Clarins' latest launch is a really impressive and strong line-up of products; whilst perhaps not the most immediately enticing or unusual looking edit, these are all very usable and durable items; buys that you will find yourself returning to and relying on rather than tossing to one side after the novelty has worn off.
This is a large collection; covering everything from foundation, to fancy palettes to concealer - what I have pictured here is not the entire collection, and better still, most of these products are permanent so there is no rush to pick them all up straight away. There's a very solid selection of kohl pencils, autumnal shades of Joli Rouge lipstick, €21, Be Long Mascara in black and (limited edition) brown, €26, as well as the infamous 3-Dot liner, €25, which I personally don't get along with at all - though that's not to say that many others do!
A quick word on the foundation before I go any further. My sample is in a dark shade, Honey, which I couldn't wear, but going on the texture alone, I feel like Extra-Comfort* will be brilliant for dry and mature skins. It's a medium-coverage, hydrating foundation that's touted as easy-to-wear, so it could be worth your while getting a sample from your nearest counter if that sounds like the kind of base you're after.
On to what has proven to be the focal point of every Clarins collection thus far - the palettes.
I am a big fan of Clarins' mineral eyeshadow palettes, but the face palettes? Not so much. They are a lovely product in that they are packaged nicely (and often even smell good) but after that, I'm afraid they are a bit same-y. Every palette I have from the last few collections swatches to the same peachey-orangey shade, which is nice for sure, but not exactly groundbreaking either. If you like a very subtle blush (I am firmly in the gimme pigment camp), this could be good, but if you have even one of these face powders from a previous collection, you probably don't need another - if you're interested in this one, it's €37.
Swatched: Limited Edition Face & Blush Powder Palette, €37*
Swatched: Ombre Minerale Palette in Forest, Crayon Khol in 02 Intense Brown
Out of the new range of kohl pencils, I received one in the shade 02 Intense Brown. Now, I am of the firm opinion that you don't necessarily have to dig deep to find a good kohl pencil - the likes of Rimmel have had that sorted for years. This is no different - apart from the shade. It's a really rich, dark brown - it took me years to take to brown eyeliner, and I love this because it's so dark that it's verging on black. It's a really intense shade and goes well with a gold smokey eye. The best thing about kohl is that there is so little effort involved - smudge it along your top and bottom lash line and you're good to go with a sexy, effortless look.
By a long shot, my absolute favourite product from this collection is the Instant Concealer. Marketed as a cover-up "for tired eyes", this is one of the very best undereye concealers that I have tried so far - I prefer it to Benefit's Fake Up, MAC Pro Longwear and Maybelline Dream Lumi. It's very creamy and moisturising, sits well on the skin, lasts all day, doesn't crease, and, most importantly, looks like skin.
The palest shade works really well on my complexion to brighten and conceal my undereye area, and I feel like it it well worth shelling the €24 for. I have to commend the packaging as well - it's a lovely, no-fuss tube. Every concealer I try these days seems to have increasingly ridiculous packaging (MAC Pro Longwear is GLASS, for God's sake), but this is fab and, for once, nice and easy to use!
The Graphic Expressions collection will be on counters at the end of the month, and should be in Brown Thomas now. See anything to add to your wishlist?