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Elizabeth Arden was a beauty brand that I had often considered, read plenty of reviews about and came close to buying on numerous occasions, but never actually got round to trying.
I finally decided it was time to put it to the test, and ordered the Elizabeth Arden Visible Difference Refining Moisture Cream Complex, Flawless Finish Sponge-On Cream Makeup, and Eight Hour Cream Lip Protectant Stick.
Before I get on to the specifics, here is a little bit about me. On a good day my skin both dry and greasy at the same time, it’s also saggy, my pores are far too large and visible, and I look pale. As if those problems were not enough, I am also allergic to a whole array of different ingredients, so I have to be very careful. So, nothing too demanding for my new cosmetic trio then?
With those slight (or severe, depending on whether the pint glass is half full or half empty) issues in mind, here is my review of my new Elizabeth Arden range.
Elizabeth Arden Visible Difference Refining Moisture Cream Complex
My first impressions were that it was going to last me a very long time. The jar contains 75g and the moisture cream is to be applied two times a day. I wasn’t wrong. I have now had the jar for a month and have barely touched it. There are a few shallow dints in the top of the cream where my finger has been, but a substantial amount is left. It’s like when you buy an enormous salad or a bowl of noodles from Wagamas, and you feel like you have been eating it for hours, but the amount in the bowl just doesn’t seem to have gone down. Furthermore, I haven’t just used it on my face during those weeks, but also have had a little go at putting it on my legs and arms. Why would I do a thing like that? Well, one thing that immediately strikes you about the cream is the scent – and having enjoyed the fragrance on my face – I decided I wanted it everywhere. I am not usually a fan of heavily scented products – I don’t like to be bogged down by smells, but this smells fresh and clean – almost like soap.
The real test, though, is how it dealt with my very specific skin demands, and I feel like I have gone through a bit of a cycle with it. At first, the cream was wonderful – I was hailing it as a miracle cream as my skin felt lovely and soft, hydrated and supple. This was a marked improvement on the moisturiser I had previously been using. Then I entered phase 2 and my skin began to not absorb it so readily. This coincided with the weather getting a bit hotter, but also with my monthly cycle, so I couldn’t be sure whether this was down to the cream, or just general changes in my skin’s appearance that would have happened regardless. Anyway, I persevered and was pleased I did, as my skin appeared to settle down again after two weeks and by the third week had started to glow again.
Much of my work with my company, LoveMyVouchers.co.uk, is computer based, and long hours in front of the screen leave me feeling like I have ‘computer face’. This is essentially where my face has been frozen into a single position, which is a sort of squint. You can imagine the effect this has on my fine lines and wrinkles! What impressed my about the Refining Moisture Cream Complex is that the moisturised feeling seemed to last throughout the day. Previously I had noticed my face start to feel dry and have had to reapply moisturiser to ensure that my skin doesn’t crack when I look at the screen, but reapplication wasn’t necessary with this product. That’s a big tick from me.
It’s final benefits were how it created a smooth surface ready for makeup application, which will become more clear in the next part of my review.
Elizabeth Arden Flawless Finish Sponge-On Cream Makeup – Honey Beige
I am not a fan of having anything on my skin, other than moisturiser. When I was younger, I would just go and get myself a nice tan and that would be sufficient for giving me a healthy glow. It doesn’t work like that as you get older. Tans don’t give you a youthful healthy glow anymore, they give you an old, leathery look – and that’s to say nothing of the damage that a tan causes.
Eating carrots and other fruit and veg that contain carotenoids can help put the glow back in your skin – that’s actually true – but in spite of the fact that I completely excel in fruit and veg consumption, I can still look quite pale and peaky at the best of times, so help is required.
The trouble that I have had when trying new foundations or even tinted moisturisers, is that they look splendid for all of about five minutes, and then the product sinks into my fine lines and large pores, and looks awful. Really awful.
I was therefore anticipating a similar experience with this cream makeup, but as it is slightly different to anything else I have tried before, I thought it was worth experimenting with.
Again, top marks! When I say top marks, it is obvious that I have makeup on – this is not a totally natural look. However, if you embrace the made up look, and actually I do now, then this works well. The packaging is a sleek black box, with a mirror inside that is a good size. Open the box and the first thing that hits you is the scent. This is stronger than the cream, more perfumed, but it still has the signature fresh and clean notes. I use the cosmetic sponge to apply to the borders of my face, along my cheek bones and down my nose. This just gives me enough coverage to get a touch of glow to my face, without piling it on. The honey beige colour is quite dark on pale skin, which is why I don’t find it necessary to apply all over my face, and think it works better to shape my face, almost like a blusher.
The reason I was so pleased with this make up is that it didn’t feel like I had great pools of it in the dimples and wrinkles in my skin. The product is fairly sturdy and sits on top of the skin quite well, allowing for some flexibility. I think it is crucial to have a good moisturiser as a base, but together with the Visible Difference Refining Moisture Cream Complex, the products resulted in a smooth looking, flexible coverage, that went a long way towards hiding my flaws.
Eight Hour Cream Lip Protectant Stick
I have been addicted to a pale pink lip balm for many years, but the time has come to grow up and move on. One thing that instantly appealed about the Eight Hour Cream Lip Protectant Stick is the packaging. I like to look in my make up bag and find elegant looking products – not items with cheap, plastic casing and guerish designs. The Elizabeth Arden Stick is a shimmery red, with embossed number 8s forming a pattern on the surface. It looks luxurious; the kind of thing that wouldn’t be out of place in Victoria Beckham’s make up bag.
Again, the Lip Protectant Stick has a fresh scent to it. This is similar to the Visible Difference Cream, but a lot more subtle – which is what you would expect from a product that sits on your lips.
It glides on easily and one stroke across the lips applies just enough for them to be moisturised, without feeling sludgy. Another benefit is that the cream features SPF15 protection from the sun – so is great for holidays and festivals.
What has really surprised me about the Elizabeth Arden range is the value for money. I always thought it was an expensive brand, but actually, when you take into consideration the length of time the product will last, as well as the discounts available from Direct Cosmetics, they are well worth the price.
There is also a very definite theme to the fragrance across all the products, and one that will make you want to lean over and kiss someone, just so that they can smell your face.
Would I ever try any other product ever again? Yes, probably, but then you never know when you are going to find the next little cosmetic miracle!