Tag Archives: primer

Giorgio Armani Fluid Sheer Radiant Pigment highlighter in #13 review

Giorgio Armani Fluid Sheer Radiant Pigment 13

Whilst I would love to pretend that every morning I wake up glowing with radiance in the style of a Disney princess, the reality is probably closer to being a member of the Munster family! So for those days where you need a little bit of help to let in the light, may I introduce Giorgio Armani Beauty’s Fluid Sheer Radiant Pigment in #13, from their Spring 2014 Effetto Nudo Collection.

This translucent liquid highlighter is a pretty pearly queen designed to ramp up the radiance – but in a surprisingly subtle and gloriously universal way. However, branding it as just your typical “highlighter” rather undersells it; in addition to streaking it onto your cheek and brow-bones to bring flattering highlights to your face, it’s subtle enough to be blended into your base to give an overall soft glow, or it can even be used as an ever-so-slightly shimmery eye primer too.

giorgio armani fluid sheer radiance pigment

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Chanel White Essentiel Whitening Modeling Effect Base in Rosée review

My hunt for the perfect primer continues with Chanel’s White Essentiel Whitening Modeling Effect Base in Rosée.

You may remember that I was very happy with the glowing effects of Benefit’s That Gal primer, so why change? Firstly, I seemed to be getting through my That Gals at a too-speedy-for-my-wallet pace, plus the bottle design meant that it was impossible to predict when its time was up – leaving me high and dry on a few occasions! Instead, I found myself drawn to the Chanel White Essentiel Base because, unlike That Gal, it contains a high SPF of 30, essential (or should that be essentiel!) for HK’s scorching summers. Secondly, it had been developed especially for Asian skin – I’m half-Asian, I have skin, a perfect fit, surely!

I was recommended the Rosée shade for my complexion, which has a cool-toned pale pink tint to the very white fluid. [The other shades are yellow Mimosa and blue Azur]. This would supposedly revive my pale and tired complexion and add a touch of radiance that I thought might not be dissimilar to That Gal’s pinky glow. How wrong I was.

But let’s not jump the gun. I like the chunky but compact packaging and was glad it’s plastic rather than glass; too many bottles fall out of my bathroom cabinet thanks to vigorous door slamming from my auntie for glass to be a viable option in this house! After shaking the bottle (it makes a clicking sound in the old-fashioned way I remember my Mum’s foundation doing), the fluid is dispensed via a dropper-type nozzle on the top of the bottle (see photo, apologies for rubbish description). There’s a definite knack to learning how to use it, and the first few times, far too much liquid splurged out.

The liquid itself is quite runny and can be used sparingly (so far, my bottle has lasted well over 6 months; it ended up lasting well over a year!). However, that’s just about where my positives end. It requires a lot of rubbing in to be absorbed and once it has, leaves my skin feeling chalky. Looking pretty chalky too. Whatever pink there is to the fluid is null and void and rather than brightening, it’s just whitening – in the ‘seen a ghost’ sense! Yes, it’s too pale even for my milky bean curd complexion! I know some Chinese women like their face looking several shades too white for the rest of their body (hi Fan Bing Bing) but I’m not one of them and thus, there’s no chance of being able to wear this product on its own, like the sales assistant said I could, or like you can with some other primers. Then again, I suppose the ‘Whitening’ in the name should have given it away!

It also has quite a strong scent, a very artificial sweet floral scent that I’m not a huge fan of. To White Essentiel Base’s credit, it does allow your make-up to glide on super-smoothly and keeps it set for your day. Thanks to that chalky, almost mattifying effect, it seems to minimise sweat and oily patches, although the downside is that it doesn’t give a luminous radiance like the light-reflecting particles of That Gal.

Overall, I wouldn’t re-purchase this product – it’s too pricey for something that obviously doesn’t work well with my skin tone. As a newer Chanel product exclusive to the Asian market, I feel it still needs a bit more tinkering to make it great. So whilst it’s effective enough as a base and the high SPF is a bonus, there are really no other benefits… unless I need to audition as a geisha anytime soon.

Chanel White Essentiel Whitening Modeling Effect Base in Rosée, $350; see all Chanel Beaute locations in Hong Kong here

Benefit That Gal primer review

Let’s have some light bright relief from all the murders with a new beauty review, and they don’t come much lighter, brighter and better than Benefit’s That Gal primer.

You may remember, I snagged one of these in the exclusive Hong Kong 5th anniversary gift set and I confess, thus far it’s the only one I’ve actually opened yet. What can I say?! I just can’t bear to part with that pretty packaging!

Good job I managed it for That Gal though – it’s a fantastic product. If you’re unfamiliar with primers, let me introduce you to your new best friend. Especially beneficial for hot humid summers (are there any others in HK?!), primer is essentially a base that provides a smooth surface for your make-up and helps keep it in check throughout the day. The difference is immediately obvious to the touch both when you put your make-up on (it glides on so much more smoothly and evenly) and when you take it off at the end of the day (there’s still lots left to remove, even after a sweaty 8 hours in the sun!).

Some people have complained that primers clog up their pores but I’ve actually experienced the opposite effect – primers being far less heavy than the products that go on top of it, I’ve noticed my pores actually seem to be in better shape, especially if you apply it after moisturiser but before foundation (or in my case, tinted moisturiser).

benefit that gal primer

That Gal boasts all these great benefits of a primer and more, delivering on their promise of taking you ‘from dull to darling’. It feels much lighter than other primers I’ve used in the past and glides on really smoothly, easily and evenly, with a pleasant floral/fruity scent. Its shimmery pink colour (similar to Benefit’s High Beam) adds just the right amount of dewy radiance to your skin, visibly brightening your complexion and adding a healthy glow that works pretty nicely on its own, even without a further tint on top. AND it comes in a small but perfectly-formed container, featuring an ultra-convenient non-messy method of dispensing, whereby you twist the base and product comes out the top in small amounts, allowing you to sweep it on with your fingertips.

Used almost daily, one tube of That Gal lasted me about 4 months (not as long as I hoped) and the nature of the dispenser means you can’t predict when it’s on its last legs – so have a primer spare unless you wanna be left high and dry! But as ever with Benefit, one of my hero brands, it’s a happy marriage between lovely packaging and fantastic quality. That Gal is here to stay!

Benefit That Gal primer, $280 for 11ml