Sunday, 7 December 2014

Review: Hourglass No. 28 Primer Serum & Lip Treatment Oil

Probably the two most unlikely purchases to have made it onto my blog. An oil-based luxury lip balm and a hydrating anti-aging primer. Who am I? A girl who was eager to pick up the Hourglass Ambient Lighting Blush Palette and too shy/spendy (pick your poison) when dealing with salespeople... that's who. Sigh. This was a very expensive ad-hoc purchase made at Liberty's in London, with no prior research to provide peace of mind. So what it worth it?

Well, I'll start by describing how these were sold to me! I had taken the train from Manchester to London and was spending the day being nomadic with my luggage in tow, until Dean finished with his work conference and we could check-in to the hotel. So, by the time I entered Liberty's over 12 hours after getting ready in the morning, it's fair to say my makeup was worn, I looked tired, and my skin looked uncharacteristically parched. The lovely MUA helping me with the blush palette was certainly putting on a hard sell which I tried my best to resist, but he was lovely, I was killing time, we had a good chat, yada yada yada. Typically, I never ever trial makeup on my face at counters. Probably for this exact reason - I'm definitely someone who begins to feel I owe it to them to purchase something! Am I the only one?

Hourglass No. 28 Primer Serum: First, he suggested patting this primer into my skin - over makeup - as a sort of 'refresher'. It's a product I would have never in a million years chosen for my combo-oily, prone to shine, skin. I rarely use primers but when I do I'm usually trying to mattify my skin, not hydrate it. And anti-aging? In a makeup step? It all seemed very misplaced for my age and skin type. But, on this particular occasion my skin looked like crap, and he explained that the founder of Hourglass developed this to refresh her complexion after stepping off a long-haul flight. We've all been there. So, pat on my skin he did, and the results were miraculous. Despite my makeup having mostly worn off, my skin had a restored vibrancy, a lovely natural glow, it looked... healthy, hydrated, supple. I couldn't stop looking in the mirror at the counter. I was expecting the worst and got the best. Crazy. Later that night after dinner, and without any further touchups, I asked Dean if I looked greasy (expecting the obvious answer) and he assured me I didn't at all. Good thing, because I had already caved and bought it earlier that afternoon.

The 28 refers to the ingredient list - 14 essential oils, 10 lipid-rich plant oils, and 4 vitamins = 28. It's a light dual-purpose hydrating skin treatment and primer for makeup, which is actually lovely - the idea that your makeup is actually benefiting your skin is something I'm definitely on board with. I've been wearing it everyday since I got it, mostly under rather than over makeup, and only with a very light moisturiser underneath (or just this). I need only a tiny bit. I pat it into my skin, apply foundation on top, and my makeup lasts well throughout the day - I'm not sure I would buy it for this reason alone, but it definitely doesn't hurt. It has been excellent to keep my skin looking 'alive' throughout the day, not oily or greasy, but definitely not dehydrated either. It feels comfortable going on, luxurious, even. Dare I say I really actually like it.

I think it's especially perfect for this time of year. And, interestingly, whereas I would typically think to powder my face mid-day, this was a totally different kind of refresher that really had me doing double-takes. For this reason I think it would be especially good for those ladies with dry skin, to revive the complexion throughout the day.

Hourglass No. 28 Lip Treatment Oil: Containing the same 28 beneficial ingredients plus 3 active ingredients, this is a similarly luxurious hydrating and conditioning lip treatment. The applicator is plated in 24-karat gold which I was told provided smooth and more hygienic application (though it seems a bit unnecessary/lavish to me). There is a pump that pushes product onto the applicator - no hands or mess involved. Certainly, having a balm not in a pot is a benefit for when you're out and about. I must say though, I'm not nearly as blown away by this as the serum.

First, it's not you, it's me. I'm not one of these obsessive lip balm junkies. I apply my By Terry Baume de Rose on nights I remember, and that's my lips done. So, you could argue I'm not the right person to be evaluating this product. But what do I have to say? Applied lightly it provides a nice finish to the lips (I think Men may even be able to get away with it, since it not 'balmy'). I wouldn't choose it as the best base for lipstick, since things can tend to get a bit slippy around the lip line. It feels hydrating while it's on but wears away and leaves my lips feeling almost a bit dry (I'll note that the MUA explicitly said this was not a product that creates that 'need to apply' cycle - in my opinion, he's wrong.). Applied more thickly, things get a bit goopy - fine for overnight but not a look I'd want to sport in public. It feels more nourishing this way, but it doesn't feel like it stays in place. It doesn't last as long as my By Terry so it would never win the status of my chosen overnight treatment. And if that relegates it to daytime use, I don't love that it's full of oils. I know this is its pièce de résistance but I find when I have oils around my mouth, whether it's this or something I eat, it makes my whole face feel greasy. Maybe I'm weird. Fair enough. But for me it's not worth the small fortune I spent on it. You win some, you lose some.

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