You know it's good when you do this to the bottles to get EVERY LAST DROP out.
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Call me cynical but I honestly don't believe there is any difference between Ponds cold cream and Creme De La Mer. Well maybe a there's little bit of a difference, but quite frankly I would always rather spend my money on shoes, than moisturiser, so Boots No 7 Protect and Perfect is usually enough for me. I don't have great skin, but its not bad, and my skin care routine takes oh - about five minutes usually, as frankly life's to short to spend too much time looking in the mirror - especially when the face that looks back at you doesn't look like the 25 year old you imagine yourself to be!
So when Amanda and I were given a big bag of Skin Science face creams to try recently, I have to admit I was more than a little bit sceptical. Amanda had been frantically taking notes and nodding throughout the science bit of the presentation and I could tell she was already a convert. But being a designer, I have never really seen the point of science (or maths if I'm honest) so the lovely fresh faced Norwegian man presenting, had lost me at the word Spermine!! (TM)
I took the products home and smuggled them through the door, and when the teen spotted them I told her they were specially for old skin and would have a hideous aging effect on young skin, so she mustn't touch them.
I had never in my life had such expensive products and was secretly quite excited. I waited till the weekend and tried the Lunchbreak Lift facial. First was the liquid from the Bio Active Instant Replenishment ampule. I love an ampule - it sounds like it could potentially work miracles and it's tininess seems hugely significant! Then came the Quick Lift peel off mask, followed by the 24 hour Protective Complex moisturiser. I looked in the mirror expecting to see Kiera Knightly, but instead saw the street drinker that lives on my High Street. My face had gone bright bright red and I was scared to leave the bathroom. 'Bloody Hell' said M.A.D, and I knew it must be bad cos he usually doesn't notice anything new about me! 'eeeeoooow' said the teen, causing me to run upstairs to hide! I was glad it was the weekend and I could spend the day on my bed, watching back to back episodes of Come Dine With Me.
The next day my skin was back to it's normal 'not quite so ruddy, but still quite ruddy', colour.
For the next month I apply each cream religiously, when and how I am supposed to, in order to gain maximum effect. It helps that it is January and the weather is hideous, so I am not socialising much, getting lots of sleep and eating healthily. People start telling me I look well and when I look in the mirror, I don't see a 25 or even a 35 year old, but I do like the way my skin looks and feels. And dare I say it - I'm impressed!!!
Two weeks ago I ran out of the serum and thought nothing of it, I still had plenty of moisturiser and felt confident it wouldn't make much difference. By day three I could virtually hear my skin screaming 'what the Hell have you done, get me that serum NOW, I am desperate here - I need a drink! It was red, flaky and horrible and had I not had loads of work on and put off by the trek to Harvey Nichols, I would have for the first time in my life spent £95 on a bottle of skin cream.
My skin has calmed down and looks ok (but not as good as it did before) and I am managing with just the moisturiser, but I really don't know what I am going to do when that runs out. I may have to sell a member of my family!
(checking back on the notes, it appears that Jane might have used the products in the wrong order when her face went red, sometimes it's useful to read the instructions...#justsaying)
Being given a giant size bag of very expensive beauty products was better than Christmas, well my Christmas anyway (regular readers might remember I got a foot massage machine from M.A.D....). The science lesson that we had from the charming Norwegian Geir Havard Kvalheim (Skin Science is his company) to explain why this stuff was so good was also terrific (he did explain why Spermine was so marvellous and what fish oils did but my notes don't really make much sense now I come to read them back, I think I was high on Spermine inhalation....). One thing I do remember was that he dismissed the idea that any cream could be anti-ageing or indeed turn back the hands of time, that's just not going to happen, he called what he was doing 'age management'. All any good cream can hope to do is make you look as good as possible and keep you that way and I did rather like this approach.
So for the first time ever I had the luxury of the complete range of a product to use and it really was a treat. I piled on the Bio Active Stimulating Serum, Renewal Complex Moisturiser (night) or 24 hr Protective Complex cream (day) and occasionally threw in half an ampule of the Instant Replenishment Complex when I was going out and wanted to impress.
Keeping this up for a month or two was not hard and people actually started to say nice things about how well I looked. Most importantly I liked how it looked and felt too and much like Jane, when I ran out of the serum I felt a bit anxious and ended up forcing the top off to ensure the last drop went onto my skin and not in the bin. I did something similar to the moisturisers as they came to a finish too.....you know when you use a bit of brute force and sharp instruments to get the last drop out of a tube, it's a good product.
The only criticisms I have are; the little ampules are a daft size and design, they have to be tiny because the product goes off quickly, but you're only supposed to use half...well design it smaller then...it's tricky to use as it is.
Secondly, it doesn't smell of anything. This is entirely superficial, but if you are paying close to £100 per product, I want it to smell expensive...or at least very nice. Not of nothing.
Apart from that, it's terrific. Expensive, but terrific. And I am seriously considering buying both the Serum and the Active Renewal Complex Cream. What I really liked though, was the total treat of getting the whole lot....A real luxury that we'd rarely if ever treat ourselves to, but if you want to cheer some one up, buy them the entire package and wait for the hugs......
Sandy Lewis's review of the eye cream....(just to balance things up a bit we gave the eye cream to Sandy to check out)
Oh joy, another product testing mission. I could happily be employed full-time trying stuff. I take it very seriously, so forgive the blunt honesty.
The first thing to say about Skin Science Bio Active Eye Contour Complete Cream (phew) is that it drew my attention to using a cream specifically for the eye. Up until now, all forty six years, (well, not for the first twenty or so, obviously) I’ve slapped on bog standard face cream, lightly skimming over my eyes, doing my best to avoid but usually failing, to get any cream accidently nudging into my eye socket. This results in some stinging and an odd greasy blurring of vision which is particularly tiresome when trying to read at night. I’ve discovered this can be avoided by using eye cream. Simple really, but not something I’ve grasped until now.
The second comment I must make is the design of the container. I usually scoff at most product containment vessels, making scandalous remarks like ‘probably designed by a bloke’ or ‘I could have made a better job’. But this vacuum pump tube produced an appropriate amount of cream with no fuss right until the very end. When the last pump produced thin air, I cut the tube open and I’d say there was one more application inside, which I think is quite respectable.
That’s where my positive vibe dries up. This product was mega bucks and lasted me 3-4 weeks (twice daily applications). Not good. This product implied it was going to change the life of the skin surrounding my eyes, it failed to deliver. This product was underwhelming. Plus if I’d actually paid for it I would be miffed by the small quantity I got for my money. I’m off to Superdrug.
All products are available exclusively at Harvey Nichols stores and on the Harvey Nichols website. They start at £60 for the Quick Lift Mask and go up to £120 for the Instant replenishment Complex ampules. Check out the website for all prices.